Daimler Chrysler’s redesigned, front-wheel-drive Dodge Grand Caravan may look similar to its predecessors, but the differences are mainly on the interior. 2005 models boast more than 15 new features, most notable of which is the Stow ‘n’ Go fold-flat second- and third-row seats. These are the first models to have both sets of seats fold flat into the floor, done with minimal effort. Built on an all-new platform, the Dodge Grand Caravan comes on a longer 119.3-inch wheelbase. Stow ’n' Go seating is standard in the SXT model and optional in the SE.
Body Styles: minivan
Engines: 3.3-liter V-6, 3.8-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Dodge Grand Caravan CV, Dodge Grand Caravan SE, Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
The most notable improvement for the 2005 model year is the new Stow ‘n’ Go seat system for the second- and third-row seats. Other upgrades include a new driver’s knee airbag, side curtain airbags, an UConnect audio system that incorporates Bluetooth hands-free calling, Sirius satellite radio service, and an overhead track system in the cabin that allows for moving or removing storage bins, a first aid kit, and other accessories. Dodge has also updated its Grand Caravan with optional rear parking sensors and an available navigation radio system. Slight styling changes and new exterior colors renew the van’s appearance, and the model lineup has been simplified to include just the SE and SXT variants.
The styling of the new Grand Caravan is similar to the previous version, but the 2005 models have an entirely new underbody. Dodge’s distinctive crosshair grille sits up front in a U-shaped design with black bars. A new front fascia contains a molded-in license plate pocket and new foglamps. New body-side moldings on the SXT feature chrome inserts. The SE features 15-inch steel wheels, while the SXT upgrades it to 16-inch aluminum wheels.
All Grand Caravans seat seven occupants. Bucket seats are standard for the second row, and the third row features a 60/40-split bench that can be partially or completely folded. With Stow ’n’ Go seating, the headrests do not need to be removed in order to fold down the seats. When the second-row seats are upright, two storage bins with integrated lids provide an additional 12 cubic feet of storage space. Standard cargo net bags adjust to fit each storage bin. Outboard breakaway cup holders remain intact when the second-row seats are folded. The rear seat can be flipped rearward to provide tailgate seating.
All of Dodge’s minivans use super-high-density foam developed by NASA. The second-row seats move forward and backward, recline up to 40 degrees, and have 13 possible positions. The third-row seatbacks are nearly as flexible with up to 39 degrees of recline and 12 positions. The second-row seat tumbles away at the pull of a single strap for easy access to the third row. Three adjustable and removable bins fit into an overhead rail system. A navigation system with a 4.2-inch screen is also available. Cargo volume behind the rear seat is 26.4 cubic feet. With all of the seats folded flat, the minivan can hold 167.7 cubic feet.
Performance & Handling
The standard engine on the 2005 Grand Caravan SE is a 3.3-liter V-6 rated at 180 horsepower 210 lb-ft of torque. The SXT gets a 3.8-liter V-6 that generates 215 hp and 245 lb-ft of torque. Both minivans are equipped with a four-speed-automatic transmission.
Thanks to the addition of safety features like side curtain airbags and a driver’s knee airbag, the 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan receives more impressive safety scores than its predecessors. For models built later in the 2005 production run, the Grand Caravan earns five stars across the board in frontal-impact testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In side-impact tests, the Grand Caravan scores five stars for rear passenger protection and four stars for driver protection. The rollover rating for the Grand Caravan improves from three to four stars from the 2004 model to the 2005. However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) holds steady with its ?acceptable? rating for frontal impact crashworthiness, and gives the minivan a ?poor? rating for rear-impact injury protection for all models except those equipped with front seats that have adjustable lumbar support, suggesting that results could be better.
EPA Fuel Economy
Dodge Grand Caravan, 3.3-liter V-6: 17/24 mpg city/highway
Dodge Grand Caravan, 3.8-liter V-6: 16/23 mpg city/highway
- Excellent ride and handling
- Good low-end torque in the 3.8-liter engine
- Roomy cabin
- Fold-flat second- and third-row seats
You Won't Like
- No stability control available
- Low resale value
- Folding second-row seats can be a bit cumbersome
Offers a pleasant ride and a new Stow ‘n’ Go seating system for incredibly versatile cargo and passenger space.
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