Cars.com Reviews the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan

2011DGC
Like most Chrysler models, the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country received significant upgrades to the interior, suspension and mechanics under the hood. While that sounds good, you really need to experience the new Grand Caravan in comparison to the previous model to notice the stark differences between the two, according to Cars.com senior editor David Thomas. The updates make the Grand Caravan an all-around competent opponent to the more well-regarded Japanese competitors, Toyota and Honda. Even with the updates, is the Dodge Grand Caravan really worth considering over the significantly enhanced 2011 Honda Odyssey? Read David’s review to find out.

2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Review

2011|Dodge|Grand Caravan

Comments 

Sheth

Inferior to the odyssey? What a shock. It cheaper, more powerful, has just as nice of an interior and more seating innovation but without even driving the honda back to back its already clear that the dodge comes up short. A loaded odyssey is around $44k which is like 10 grand more than this dodge. Sorry, that is a huge gap and the dodge looks better . Advantage: Dodge.

Sheth,
Remember, I reviewed the Odyssey too. I give major props to the DGC and I think price will be a big factor. But factors like seating comfort, that expandable second row in the Odyssey and the drivetrain all go to Odyssey in my book.

But there's no question, for the money I think Dodge wins big time. We'll have a post Monday about minivan value. Stay tuned!

Sheth

Well I hope it stands a chance but the Odyssey is more it less worshipped by the auto press. Its a nice van,but come on, its not perfect. The new model us pricey, lacks a standard 6 speed auto and the styling is lacking. The Dodge's seats ate for kids and they offer class leading versatility. They may be thinner than some competing seats, but that's not a shock considering what they can do. Rear minivan seats are not for adults in general. Another thing, you have to spend significant money in the Honda to get some pretty basic features. It's well nto luxury sub pricing territory.

JP

I just returned from 24 Hours at Daytona. We rented a 2011 DGC, and my friend put it through its paces. He drove the thing like a 911, I was impressed with the handeling and composure for a van.

Mike

Just because something is inexpensive doesn't mean it's a good value. The Honda Odyssey has more of a useful life than a Caravan. In the long run, the Honda costs less because at 8-10 years, the Honda still has plenty of life left while the Chrysler is on the way to a buy-here pay-here lot or the junkyard. People will buy the Caravan because they have no other choice in their price range. There are more early 2000 Odysseys still running around and still look great than the Caravan. Every 3rd gen Caravan that is still running has rust, peeling/discolored paint, missing hubcaps, and yellow headlights; not to mention a below average rating for reliability. In 5 years, we'll just have to see if this new van can hold up.

Troy S.

Sheth,

If you've ever earned praise, you would know that it took alot of work, consistancy and above average performance. The Honda has done just that. The Caravan has not yet achieved this. The Ody is simply the bar at which the Caravan has yet to reach. Just look at how the 2010 Dodge was clearly subpar and behind the automotice times.

Advantage: Honda

John S.

When we bought our Ody two years ago the difference between it and a DGC was $3,800. After having driven the Ody for two years we now know that real difference is easily worth $7-8K. If you don't earn much money then you should probably buy the DGC.

L

I happened to be at the dealer today getting my current '05 Town & Country inspected - 202k miles now and still going strong thank you! Anywho, I checked out the new van while I was waiting and I have to disagree with you on the new stow-n-go seats! The new one's are way better! Much more comfortable for an adult than the ones in my van and they fold down easier. I would definately buy another Chrysler van.

Sheth

Mike:

You can't prove anything you just said and the dgc is almost all new so it would be foolish to make predictions about durability. On top of that I don't keep vehicles for 10 years so I'm not going to overpay for the honda based on the chance that it might hold up better after a decade. I can tell you are well versed in honda propaganda.

Sheth

Troy:

What world do you live in? Who invented the minivan? Who has sold the most minivans as a corporation? Who has offered the most innovations in the segment over the last 25 years? Here's a hint: its not honda dude. You talk as if chrysler has no idea how to design and sell a van. Best selling van last year was the town and country. The new models are high quality and pack for value than the press darling odyssey. If the dodge is chepaer but just as well made I have no.reason to get the honda.

Chili

Sheth,


Seriously, get off it. Quit talking about the Odyssey like it stood you up at prom and you still aren't over it. Go buy the Dodge and shut up already. And don't say "dude", how old are you?

Amuro Ray

Be gone, you digital ink waster!

Skankzilla

Did I get this straight? We can not judge a brand new Chrysler product poorly, even though Chrysler has done absolutely NOTHING in the past two decades to prove they can make a quality product. But we certainly SHOULD say it's irrational to pay more for a vehicle that is known in the industry to easily withstand 10+ years of use and 200,000+ miles?

Well, you go ahead and buy that Chrysler and prove us wrong. In the meantime I'll keep my shop doors open for you. Oh, and if you can convince Chrysler to still keep parts available for their product then you may have a chance of getting it repaired by the end of the day. What a freaking joke.

I routinely can keep my customers Toyota's and Honda's well above the 150,000+ mile mark with very LITTLE quality breakdown.

I routinely have to diffuse my annoyed customers when their Chrysler needs a repair at the early stages of it's life. Sorry, "dude" but if it breaks down when you're still making car payments then that is plain and simple absurd. I and a whole lot of other educated people refuse to have that negative experience. Chrysler needs to up their game in a big way.

Ken

Our 2005 DGC needed a new transmission at 38,000 and then again at 71,000. The steering rack, water pump, fuel injectors, and alternator all needed replacing by 75,000 miles. The last straw was when the radiator started leaking. Finally dumped the pos and bought a three year old Sienna. We now have 141K and have had ZERO problems and the van runs like when we bought it with 26K on it. We'll never ever buy another Dodge again as it's obvious the Japanese make much better cars.

Sheth

Let me see if I can explain this in terms that the rabid honda fanboys can grasp. I have no desire for a minivan, including the dodge. Secondly, don't be mad at me because chrysler sells a lot of vans and has always been the volume leader in the class. I never owned one but many people have and they continue to sell well over 100k a year. You can attack me all day but facts are facts. In addition, I have no intention of keeping any vehicle for 150k miles so all the anecdotal stories about how hondas and toyotas last for a decade or more without needing any maintenance or repairs mean nothing to me. I don't care. All vehicles require some repairs or some investment if you keep them for many years- even japanese models. I notice there has been no mention of the odysseys well known tranny issues in this thread where people claim you can never put a dime into a honda over the course of 150k miles or more. Finally, I fail to see why people are telling me about 6 year old dodge vans when I am talking about the 2011 model. At least give me info about the current generation which debuted in 2007. At the end of this year chrysler will sell more vans than toyota and honda, just like every year. They corrected the two main flaws of the old vans and that is a recipe for success. The interiors of these new vans blow away the cheap sienna and at least tie the honda.

V

It's easy to spot the poorly educated low-wage earning public sector employee as they always feel the need to comment on any post they don't agree with.

Sheth

Are you talking about yourself or the Japanese car zealots that patrol this site to crush anyone that dares like anything not made by Honda or Toyota ?

Mike

Well, I don't keep cars for 10 years OR drive a minivan; BUT I can tell you that in my business, I put 150k-200k miles on vehicles every 2-3 years, and I buy an Accord every time for the durability and gas mileage. I have been through maybe 8 or 9 Accords and they have never had major problems considering I beat the sh*t out of my cars. If I did that to...lets say a Sebring (which Chrysler thinks competes with the Accord), I'd be replacing vehicles every few months or be on the side of the road because something else broke down on it. Chrysler vehicles ALWAYS score below average in dependability. If anyone can read, it doesn't take any research to find it.

Sheth

Mike:

I assume you are talking about consumer reports- the only source honda fans believe in. Cr tells you nothing about cost of ownership, number of warranty visits or how many days a vehicle spends out of service due to repairs. Their definition of reliabilty includes anything and everything. A rattle is a reliability issue. A stereo system that confuses owners can lead to a poor showing in that category. If you measure reliability in terms of mechanical failure rates consumer reports' data is almost useless. They offer nothing in the way of data on probability of failure nor do they reveal sample sizes or explain inconsistencies between nearly identical vehicles. All of the domestic brands have slashed warranty expenses due to better quality but only ford models manage to reflect that in consumer reports surveys.

Troy S.

Sheth,

Who invented the minivan? Chrysler. Who made a better minivan? Honda and Toyota. This has been documented by many publications, professional auto reviewers and the rave reviews of actual customers.

No matter how much you try to spin your Detroit bias into this thread, you have to admit Chrysler was beat at the game it invented by the very brands you're so blatantly against. Deal with it.

Amuro Ray

@ Troy S.,

Actually you are wrong. Chrysler didn't invent the minivan. The answer is Stout Scarab.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stout_Scarab

But seriously, don't waste your time responding to someone who is wasting digital ink...

Troy S.

Amuro,

Thank you for the info on the1930's Stout Scarab. I enjoyed reading about it from your link.

Chrysler seems to have claimed to invent the "modern" minivan in the 80's.

See the Dodge Caravan subtitle in this thread:
http://www.allpar.com/model/m/history.html

I guess the marketing word "modern" allows them their claim.... Seems to be the typical twisting of facts we have learned to expect.

A

Get a Life!!!!

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