Auto review by Veeno Dewan
It’s always been one of the more consummate Minivans in the market place and for 2013 the Dodge Grand Caravan remains a top seller in the Minivan segment. Its excellent people carrying capacity and practicality remains unchanged while standard equipment for 20131 includes the clever Stow ‘n Go seating system that hides the entire rear seat under a perfectly flat floor for amazing versatility.
All Grand Caravans now have upgraded brakes. Optional equipment is abounds you can opt for a second-row bench seat, power tailgate and Swivel ‘n Go second-row seats that include what else? Swivel around and you can get a removable telescoping table. Integrated child booster upgraded audio system with 30GB hard drive for digital music storage; touch screen controls, satellite radio and a rearview-parking camera are also handy options. A rear optional DVD entertainment system includes the upgraded stereo plus a swiveling second row flip-down screen, remote control, two wireless headphones and 115-volt outlet
Also new for 2013, Dodge is offering an industry-first new dual-screen Blu-Ray DVD video system with four-times higher resolution on Crew and R/T models. The system also features a High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) input for video game systems, a 115-volt power outlet and two USB ports so customers can charge their cell phones, laptops, tablet PCs or MP3 players. The Blu-Ray player can play both standard DVD’s and Blu-Ray Discs.
The 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan will be available in five models to suit various budgets Available as standard on the SE, SXT, Crew and R/T is the industry-exclusive Super Stow ‘n Go seating with new easy one-touch operation and more comfortable seats. The second-row Stow ‘n Go seats in the Dodge Grand Caravan can be effortlessly stowed in less than five seconds with just one hand. And when not stowed, only Dodge Grand Caravan allows secure storage in the second-row in-floor bins. Standard on all Grand Caravan models is the 60/40 split-folding third-row Stow ‘n Go seating.
Other new features for 2013 include a new Black/Sandstorm interior color scheme, integrated Trailer Sway Damping standard on all models, standard 17-inch wheels (late availability on AVP models), new 17-inch aluminum wheels on SXT and R/T, anchored second-row floor mats and the exterior colors Maximum Steel, Billet Silver and Blue Streak.
The Crew Model we tested featured bright chrome exterior accents, fog lights, 6.5-inch touchscreen media center and backup camera, power eight-way driver’s seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, SiriusXM satellite radio, universal garage door opener, ambient interior lighting and automatic temperature control. Also standard on Crew is power liftgate, remote start and security alarm. The class-exclusive Blu-Ray DVD system will also be available on Crew models.
The R/T version adds more performance and attitude. First up is a distinctive monochromatic exterior and unique new 17-inch satin carbon aluminum wheels, premium black leather interior with red accent stitching, nine speakers with amplifier and subwoofer. Meanwhile the suspension tuned for sporty handling, still providing a comfortable ride. The shocks are also re-tuned to allow for quicker responses to driver input and tighter handling characteristics.
Dodge Grand Caravan R/T models also include remote start, power liftgate and security alarm as standard.
Note the Grand Caravan comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, and full-length side curtain airbags. On the road the Grand Caravan remains a quiet, smooth unremarkable vehicle to drive. Driving dynamics are good and there is more than enough space for everyone to stretch out. With its spacious cabin and kid-friendly interior this is one minivan to be considered for those with families who love to travel.
Good news is the availability of Chrysler’s impressive new Pentastar engine. Impressive specs include the fact the 3.6-litre VVT-equipped V6 generates 283 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm and 260 pound-feet of torque @ 4,400 rpm. This significant increase over last year’s engine. Increased fuel economy over last year is also claimed with the Pentastar’s rating of 12.3L/100km and 7.9L/100km city and highway driving respectively.
This new engine endows the 2013 Grand Caravan with refined smoothness and more power. Transmission is via a six-speed automatic transmission that features Chrysler’s Auto/Stick electronic manual-mode shift function. The Grand Caravan for 2013 is might impressive and will be a big favorite with Canadian families. It just keeps getting better.
2013 Dodge Grand Caravan Crew priced from $33,995 – $36,995