Dodge’s Grand Caravan is still America’s most successful minivan. It still lives up to its reputation for comfort, lots of room, and easy driving. Unfortunately, it still has a lot of mechanical problems for a vehicle that is supposed to be a reliable family cruiser. Grand Caravan has been completely redesigned for 2006 with a number of features that make it an even better family ride. The best of these is certainly the brand new Stow n’ Go seating. This system makes folding the second and third seats up and down a breeze. That should make loading the Grand Caravan or adding room for extra kids easy.
The 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan is also a really pleasant vehicle to drive. Both of the V-6 engines provide a lot of power and pickup. Steering and handling are also better than average for a van. A feature many families will appreciate is towing capacity. SE, the base passenger model, will pull up to 1800 pounds. SXT, which has a slightly larger 3.8-liter engine, will pull up to 3800 pounds. If a consumer is looking for a versatile family vehicle that is a great passenger and cargo hauler, they should definitely check out the Grand Caravan. This minivan’s biggest drawback seems to be its lack of reliability. Reviewers report that it has more mechanical problems than other minivans like Honda’s Odyssey. These seem to get worse as it gets older. That means the Grand Caravan would be an excellent choice for a family that plans to trade it in after a couple of years.
Body Styles: minivan
Engines: 3.3-liter V-6, 3.8-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Dodge Grand Caravan, Dodge Grand Caravan CV (cargo), Dodge Grand Caravan SE. Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
The 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan's Stow n’ Go seating system makes it easy to change from passenger to cargo space. The third seat in the back can be completely flipped to over to provide even more cargo space. The strengthened roof provides more protection in case of a rollover. Side curtain airbags have been also updated to make this van safer.
The 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan has three trim levels: the CV, SE and SXT; it all looks pretty much the same from the outside. All the difference is on the inside. Chrysler has realized that minivan drivers really do not care about the looks; they care about safety, comfort, cargo space, and ease of driving, which is what this van provides. Door configuration makes it very easy to load and unload and roof racks and a lot of space up top provides more space for hauling objects like skis or bikes.
The 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan is one of the most comfortable rides on the road. Optional features include leather seats, triple zone climate control, Bluetooth, a navigation system, and a DVD player. Although, the sound system is fairly basic with just an AM/FM radio and CD player. Lots of cargo space is augmented by a power lift gate.
Performance & Handling
The 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan has above-average power, handling, and ease of driving. Cruise control, power steering, and the four-speed automatic make this van easy to drive. Front-wheel drive means it performs well on ice and snow. The SXT model with the 3.8-liter V-6 offers an impressive towing capacity of 3800 pounds. Models with the 3.3-liter V-6 engine only have a towing capacity of 1800 pounds.
The 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan has many safety features, which will make mothers be appreciative. SE comes standard with four-wheel ABS, electronic brake force distribution, rear-door child locks, and a passenger side airbag with occupant sensing deactivation. A rear wiper and rear defogger are also standard. SXT offers traction control, engine immobilizer, fog lights, auto-delay headlamps, upgraded four-wheel disc brakes, and a universal remote transmitter. This minivan’s roof has been strengthened to make it safer in rollovers. Improved side-curtain airbags are also now offered as an option.
EPA Fuel Economy
Grand Caravan 3.3-liter: 17/24 mpg city/highway
Grand Caravan 3.8-liter: 16/23 mpg city/highway
- Lots of cargo space
- Easy folding seats
- Ease of handing and driving
- Dual-power sliding doors
- Rear DVD player
You Won't Like
- Poor reliability
- Boring conventional body
- Lack of all-wheel drive
- Numerous mechanical problems
Ease of driving, lots of cargo space, safety, and lots of room make this a solid minivan.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Dodge Caravan
- Honda Odyssey
- Nissan Quest
- Chrysler Town & Country