Like a determined old soldier, the 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan marches on alongside newer and more sophisticated minivans such as the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna and its own cousin, the Chrysler Pacifica. While it lacks the latest safety and tech features, the Dodge continues to entice with a low starting price below $28,000.
You'll Like The 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan If...
If your priority has more to do with a low-cost way of shuttling your family vs. having the latest amenities and safety and tech features in your minivan, the Dodge Grand Caravan is suitable transportation.
You May Not Like The 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan If...
The aging Grand Caravan lacks active-safety and driver-assist features that are now common or standard on other minivans. The Kia Sedona also has a low starting price, and it’s backed by a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
The 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan trudges on for yet another year with no significant updates or changes.
The Dodge Grand Caravan is limited to seating seven passengers, vs. the available eight of its rivals. That’s because even with the bench seat in the second row, there is only room for two, just like with the optional bucket seats. With either setup, the third row is a bench that accommodates up to three passengers. Again, compared to rivals, the Grand Caravan’s interior feels simplistic at best and dated at worst, but at least it’s quite functional. Highlights are its standard Stow n’ Go 2nd-row seats that fold into the floor to create a flat load space. Cargo room in general still trails that of the Honda Odyssey, though. Up front are basic controls for climate, and a standard 6.5-inch touch-screen infotainment system. As for interior colors, they are limited to black or gray.
Styling of the Dodge Grand Caravan might be called “conservative” by an optimist or “plain” by a pessimist. Either way, it’s safe to say it doesn’t have the stylistic flair of the latest Honda Odyssey or Chrysler Pacifica. Your eyes will know if they like it when they see it, and if you’re not trying to make a fashion statement but simply transport your loved ones in a new and roomy vehicle, then this Dodge can fit the bill. Basic models have manual-sliding side doors and manual tailgate, but these can all be power-operated if you’re willing to spend extra cash on the top-line SXT model. No matter which trim you go with, the only wheel size available is 17 inches.
The Dodge Grand Caravan isn’t exactly exciting to drive, but that shouldn’t be a surprise considering the segment it’s in. With the possible exception of the Honda Odyssey, few minivans can be called all that interesting to drive, and that’s pretty much the point. These vehicles are for ferrying family and friends, not tempting fate or testing the local authorities. Those caveats out of the way, we can at least attest to the Grand Caravan minivan’s power. Its standard V6 provides good straight-line acceleration, so you needn’t fear that freeway onramp. If there’s one other endearing ride quality, it’s this family vehicle’s soft, comfortable ride. Other aspects reflect this Dodge’s age and price. It’s just not as maneuverable as its competitors, and it lacks features such as blind-spot monitoring, 360-degree cameras, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping aids and other systems that can made driving more enjoyable and all-around safer.
The Dodge Grand Caravan SE has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $27,645, including the $1,395 destination charge but before incentives. The SE Plus checks in under $30,000, while the SXT comes in just north of $33,000. At these prices, Dodge’s minivan undercuts rivals like the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna by several thousand dollars. The Kia Sedona, however, starts closer in price. Before buying your new minivan, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. The Grand Caravan’s resale value isn’t very strong, significantly trailing better players like the Honda Odyssey.
OK, so what's next?
I'm interested in this car. What's for sale near me?
I'm interested in this car, and I'd like to trade in my current car while I'm at it.
Then again, maybe I should be thinking about a used car.
The 2019 Grand Caravan minivan comes in three trims: SE, SE Plus and the top-line SXT. The least expensive Dodge minivan, the Grand Caravan SE, is pretty basic, with a urethane steering wheel, manual-adjust cloth seats and steel wheel covers. It does at least have 3-zone climate control, rearview camera, auto-dimming rearview mirror and the Stow n’ Go seats. The basic infotainment system is a 6.5-inch touch-screen unit with CD/DVD player, radio and hard-disc drive for storing music. Unlike rival minivans, no version of the Grand Caravan offers Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone integration.
Stepping up to the mid-trim Grand Caravan SE Plus adds fog lights, aluminum-alloy wheels, upgraded cloth upholstery, and voice-operated infotainment system. This trim also grants the Blacktop Package, which adds darkened aesthetics for a more aggressive character. The most-outfitted Grand Caravan is the SXT, which includes power-operated tailgate and side doors, automatic headlights, 2nd-row bucket seats (optional on other trims), and power-adjustable driver’s seat. The Grand Caravan can be further outfitted with a navigation system, and in the SXT, leather seating and heated steering wheel, 2nd-row window shades, universal garage-door opener and heated front seats. A DVD system with 2nd-row screen and a pair of wireless headphones is available on all trims.
3.6-LITER V6 ENGINE
This V6 has well-served a variety of Dodge and Chrysler vehicles, and it impresses here again in the Grand Caravan. It earns a respectable 25 mpg on the highway, and is even rated to tow 3,600 pounds.
For many new-car buyers, the Dodge Grand Caravan’s biggest appeal is its price. Starting well under $28,000, it is the least expensive minivan in its segment.
Under the Hood
The 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine good for 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Known as the Pentastar, it's a laudable engine, delivering smooth power and pretty good fuel economy. The engine is paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission that delivers smooth shift action and, unlike some other transmissions in other vehicles, doesn't have the annoying characteristic of continually "hunting" for the correct gear. Finally, the V6 is E85-compatible, so it can operate on blends of gasoline and ethanol. The Grand Caravan is front-wheel drive, just like all of its rivals except the Toyota Sienna, which offers all-wheel drive.
283 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg (gasoline), 12/18 mpg (E85)
Like a determined old soldier, the 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan marches on alongside newer and more sophisticated minivans such as the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Kia Sedona, and its own corporate cousin, the Chrysler Pacifica. Yet there’s a reason the Grand Caravan remains a best-seller: a sub-$28,000 starting price that undercuts rivals by thousands. But that can’t help it avoid the “you get what you pay for” mantra. Or, more accurately, what you don’t get. Active-safety features like forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning and automatic braking -- all standard on a Toyota Sienna -- aren’t even optional on a Grand Caravan. Nor are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration on the technology front. Dodge’s Grand Caravan does at least boast a powerful V6 engine and nifty Stow ‘n Go seats.