2012 Dodge Grand Caravan

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2012 Dodge Grand Caravan Review

Adequate entry in a competitive class

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview
The 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan carries over largely unchanged after a major upgrade last year addressed many of its shortcomings. After going through said refresh last year, the 2012 edition still manages to get a few minor tweaks both inside and out. Other popular features like Stow 'n Go seating, rear-seat entertainment, and an optional internet hot-spot make the usual final cut for the 2012 model.

Also new for the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan is the American Value Package, which encompasses a balanced amount of features making the Grand Caravan competitive. With the minivan market giving way to crossover vehicles Dodge's stake is stabilized with the Grand Caravan. If the main purpose of a minivan is to haul cargo first and people second, checking out the competition may not be a bad idea.

The Range

Bodystyle: Minivan
Engine: 3.6-liter V-6
Transmission: six-speed automatic transmission
Models: AVP, SE, SXT, Crew, R/T

What's New

Only minor tweaks grace the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan after the fifth-generation minivan went through a major overhaul last year. The biggest news for the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan is the American Value Package. The AVP comes standard with the aforementioned engine and automatic transmission, and includes air conditioning, anti-lock brakes, and electronic stability control.

Exterior

The newly implemented split crosshair front-end and "ring of fire" LED taillights made its way onto the 2011 Grand Caravan, along with the Stow 'n Place roof rack system, which allows luggage and other cargo to be stored safely on top of the vehicle while traveling. Five models will be offered for the 2012 Grand Caravan: the AVP, SE, SXT, Crew, and R/T. Other exterior changes were minimal for 2012 after going through a refresh in 2011.

Interior

Even one year later, the brightly lit instrument cluster on the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan is still a refreshing change. The updated interior's lighted accents are present throughout, and a bigger center console that's integrated with the dash is available as an option, a worthwhile one too, considering its ergonomically friendly design and abundant storage space. The space between the front and second row of seating is large enough for a bag to sit in between. You can order a heated three-spoke steering wheel for those cold winter mornings, but the integrated with audio, navigation, and speed controls are handy regardless of the climate. Opting for the Crew model gets you a 6.5-inch touch-screen media center, back-up camera, and satellite radio.

Performance & Handling

The 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan draws its motivation from the new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission. Chrysler's latest engine produces 283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. A fuel economizer mode can be turned on by the driver and lower-rolling resistance tires boost fuel economy as well. The R/T model features sport-tuned suspension for sharp handling but doesn't sacrifice a comfortable ride.

Safety

Standard safety features on the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan include front seat-mounted side air bags, a driver-side knee bag, remote keyless entry, and electronic stability control. The optional Safety Sphere package offers a rear park system, back-up camera, blind-spot monitoring, and a rear cross path detection system.

EPA Fuel Economy

17 mpg city/25 mpg highway

You'll Like

  • Pentastar engine
  • Stow 'n Go seating

You Won't Like

  • Fuel economy

Sum Up

Adequate entry in a competitive class

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Kia Sedona
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Toyota Sienna

See the New 2014 Grand Caravan.

Front & Driver Side View

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