When you picture a typical minivan the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan is probably not at all what comes to mind. This beast – ok, well it’s still a minivan, so probably not a beast – has completely set a new standard for what a minivan should be. Affordably priced at an MSRP of $20,995 this van should be within reach of many consumers. When one initially glances at the exterior design of this year’s Grand Caravan, it is tough to tell whether it’s a minivan or crossover SUV. Dodge did an outstanding job of reinventing what an American minivan should be. It retains the signature grille design of Dodge, while incorporating power sliding side doors and stylish 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels. It also has a power-lifting tailgate that can be activated from the remote. A collapsible roof rack allows the Grand Caravan to achieve as much aerodynamics as possible, when the rack is not in use. Technology was also given much thought, with the windshield that senses raindrops and automatically wipes them away.
Seven passengers can be comfortably accommodated inside the Grand Caravan. Of course, if you need that space for gear or luggage, the third and second row of seats fold flush with the floor. The space is large enough for 2 – 3 adults to sleep in the back, on camping trips where there is a torrential downpour. Dodge though a lot about the interior of the Grand Caravan and this thought shows in the final product. It can be used as a utility car or a family car. It also has a voice-activated Bluetooth system, as well as GPS navigation system and a free 3-month trial of Sirius XM satellite radio. For those times when you’re on long trips with kids in the back, this minivan has a DVD player, a screen that flips down from the ceiling and capabilities with most video game systems. Traveling with the family has never been easier. Further entertainment includes either an available 6-speaker sound system or 9-speaker sound system.
Under the hood the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan is remarkably well equipped; especially for a minivan. It has a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine with a best-in-class 283 horsepower and 25 MPG on the highway. Perhaps even more surprising is the fact that is also has a best-in-class towing capacity of 3,600 pounds. See? We told you this was no ordinary minivan.
With all the crazies on the road today, Dodge had to make sure that the Grand Caravan was chock-full of the latest innovations in safety. The blind spot monitoring system warns you if you are about to change lanes and collide with another object. Electronic Stability Control automatically detects when the vehicle strays from its intended path and will utilize the ABS system to regain control of the minivan. Energy-absorbing impact zones will make sure the car receive most of the force of the impact and not the occupants of the vehicle. Airbags are packed into this car every place possible. Essentially when the minivan is in a collision, the occupants will be packed like sardines in a can of pillows.
Whether you are a soccer mom looking for a new ride, or an outdoor enthusiast who needs a vehicle to get away from the daily rat race, make sure you visit your local Dodge dealer and ask to take a test drive.