FANDOM


Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan
2001-2004 Dodge Grand Caravan.jpg
2001–2004 Grand Caravan
Manufacturer Chrysler
Production November 2, 1983[1] – present
Model year(s) 1984–present
Assembly Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Class Minivan
Layout FF layout (1984–present)
F4 layout (1992–2004)
Related Plymouth Voyager
Chrysler Town & Country
Chrysler Grand Voyager
Volkswagen Routan

The Dodge Caravan is a family minivan manufactured by Chrysler Group LLC and sold under its Dodge brand. Along with its nameplate variant, the Plymouth Voyager, the Caravan was introduced for the 1984 model year. In 1987, the Dodge Grand Caravan long-wheelbase (LWB) model was introduced and sold alongside the short-wheelbase (SWB) Caravan. The SWB model was discontinued after the 2007 model year; and, since the 2008 model year, the van has been sold only under the Grand Caravan nameplate.

Other nameplate variants of the Caravan include the Chrysler Voyager (1988–present), the upmarket Chrysler Town & Country (1990–present), and the Volkswagen Routan (2008–present).

Chrysler manufactures and markets its minivan series worldwide. Together with its nameplate variants, the Chrysler minivans have ranked as the 13th best-selling automotive nameplate worldwide.[2]

OverviewEdit

Chrysler introduced the Dodge and Plymouth minivans in November 1983 for the 1984 model year, using an extended derivative of the Chrysler K platform, the Chrysler S platform. Chrysler followed with a long wheelbase (LWB) model, the Grand Caravan in 1987, also based on the Chrysler S platform.

Lee Iaccoca and Hal Sperlich had conceived their idea for a modern minivan during their earlier tenure at Ford Motor Company. Henry Ford II had rejected Iaccoca's and Sperlich's idea (and a prototype) of a minivan in 1974, then rumored to carry the name "Maxivan". Iaccoca followed Sperlich to Chrysler Corporation, and together they created the T115 minivan — a prototype that was to become the Caravan and Voyager, known colloquially as the "Magic-wagons" (a term used in advertising)[3]

The Chrysler minivans launched a few months ahead of the Renault Espace (the first MPV/minivan in Europe, initially presented to executives as a Talbot in 1979,[4] but not launched until 1984), making them the first of their kind — effectively creating the modern minivan segment in the US. The original Matra design for the Renault Espace was created when Matra was owned by Chrysler Corporation, so Chrysler may also be credited with originating the minivan concept in Europe as well.[3]

1986 Dodge Caravan Smithsonian National Museum of American History

1986 Dodge Caravan at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

Since their introduction in the fall of 1983, the Chrysler minivans have outsold other minivans in the United States,[5] with over 13 million Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth minivans[5] in over 80 countries[5] sold as of October 2008. Only recently, has Chrysler ceded the top-selling minivan spot to the Honda Odyssey,[5] if Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country sales are considered separately.

  • Magician Doug Henning was used as a spokesman to introduce the Caravan as a vehicle with the space of a cargo van that would fit in a standard garage and a low step-in height for small children.
  • A first year production Dodge Caravan is displayed at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit.
  • The "America on the Move" exhibit at the National Museum of American History opened in 2003. The display also marked the 20th anniversary of the minivan and the year Chrysler sold its 10 millionth minivan worldwide.
  • In 2004, Chrysler held a Stand By Your Van Contest, where contestants had to place one hand on the new van. The person whose hand was on the longest won a brand new Caravan and was one of the first consumers to experience the new Stow 'n Go seating. The event was held during the Chicago Auto Show.

Special anniversary editions of the Chrysler minivans have included, in 1994, the "10 Year Anniversary Edition" Dodge SE with badges and special two-tone paint, as well as the 2004 Anniversary Edition SXT Caravan.

Generation I (1984–1990)Edit

Generation I
87-90 Dodge Grand Caravan.jpg
1987–1990 Dodge Grand Caravan
Also called Dodge Grand Caravan (LWB Model)
Dodge Caravan (SWB Model)
Production 1983–1990
Model year(s) 1984–1990
Body style(s) 3-door minivan
Layout FF layout
Platform Chrysler S platform
Engine(s) 2.2 L K I4
2.5 L K I4
2.5 L Turbo I4
2.6 L Mitsubishi G54B I4
3.0 L Mitsubishi 6G72 V6
3.3 L EGA V6
Transmission(s) 4-speed A460 manual
5-speed manual
3-speed A413 automatic
3-speed A470 automatic
3-speed A670 automatic
4-speed A604 automatic
Wheelbase 1984–1988 SWB: 112.1 in (2847 mm)
Grand Caravan & C/V Extended: 119.1 in (3025 mm)
1989–1990 SWB & C/V: 112 in (2844.8 mm)
Length SWB & C/V: 175.9 in (4468 mm)
Grand Caravan: 190.5 in (4839 mm)
1989–1990 LE SWB: 177.3 in (4503 mm)
1989–1990 Grand Caravan LE: 191.9 in (4874 mm)
C/V Extended: 190.6 in (4841 mm)
Width 1984–1988: 69.5 in (1765 mm)
1989–1990: 72 in (1829 mm)
Height 1984–1988 SWB: 64.4 in (1636 mm)
1987–1988 Grand Caravan: 65 in (1651 mm)
C/V: 64.2 in (1631 mm)
1989–1990 SWB: 64.6 in (1641 mm)
1989–1990 Grand Caravan: 64.8 in (1646 mm)
Related Chrysler Town & Country
Plymouth Voyager
Chrysler Voyager (Europe only)

Generation I Caravans used the Chrysler S platform, which was closely related to the K-cars, Dodge Aries and Plymouth Reliant. There were three trim levels on the Generation I Caravan: base, mainstream SE, and upscale LE. The Caravan was on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1985. All trim levels were also available in a slightly longer body, called the Grand Caravan, which allowed significantly more cargo space behind the rear seat. Most of the interior trim, controls, and instrumentation were borrowed from the K-car, leading to a very "car-like" interior look and feel. Coupled with the lower floor that the front wheel drive design allowed, this helped to make the Caravan seem more like a large station wagon than a van, enticing many buyers who would not have otherwise been comfortable driving a van.

The vans came equipped for seven passengers in three rows of seating, putting it between a typical twelve-passenger/four-row full-size van and a six-passenger/two-row large sedan. 2 bucket seats with attached armrests and open floor space between them in the front, a 2 person bench seat in the second row, and a 3 person bench seat in the back row. The two bench seats in the rear were independently removable, and the large 3 person bench could also be installed in the 2nd row location via a second set of attachment points on the van's floor, ordinarily hidden with snap-in plastic covers. This configuration allowed for conventional 5 person seating with a sizable cargo area in the rear. The latching mechanisms for the benches were very intuitive and easy to operate. The act of moving the seats, however, typically required 2 adults, and lifting them back into the van was a very awkward procedure. An 8-passenger model with a bench front seat accommodating a middle front passenger was offered in the SE trim level in 1985 only, and was not repeated due to poor sales.

Safety features were typical of vans of the era, and consisted of 3-point seat belts for the front two passengers, with simple lap belts for the rear 5. The rear seats had no headrests, while front seats with non-adjustable headrests came only on the LE and in conjunction with vinyl upholstery on the SE. Base models and cloth-trimmed SEs did without front headrests which were not mandated due to the van's "light truck" legal status. Side-impact reinforcements were, and were at all seating positions front and rear. Airbags or ABS were not available.

Access to the rear rows of seating was by a large sliding door on the passenger side. The sliding door allowed easier access in a confined suburban garage, compared to the double doors found on most full-size vans of the era. Because only one sliding door was offered, the smaller 2nd row bench seat was installed off center, shifted to the drivers side of the van, to allow easy passenger access to the 3rd row seat. The cargo area behind the rear seat was very limited on the standard short body model, however, the seat could be adjusted forward in 2 increments, the first of which removed roughly 6 inches (150 mm) of legroom from the back row passengers, and the second of which would push the bench all the way to the back of the 2nd row, making the seats unusable. The seatback of the rear bench could also be folded forward, providing a flat cargo shelf. The smaller 2nd row bench was not adjustable, nor foldable; it could only be removed entirely.

Cargo access to the rear was via a hatchback, similar to the one on the K-Car station wagons. The hatch was hinged at the top and held open by gas struts, and it was the source of much confusion among Caravan owners. It could only be released by the key, or by a button on the driver's control panel; it did not have a traditional door handle. Once the hatch had been "popped", the key could be removed, and the hatch lifted by a handhold above the license plate holder. However, many owners did not identify the handhold area, and instead used the turned key as a handle to lift the hatch, resulting in many broken keys.

A cargo version of the Caravan, called the Mini Ram Van, was also introduced in 1984. It was renamed as the Caravan C/V for 1989, and was discontinued after 1995. It was available either with the short or long wheelbase models. Unique to the Caravan C/V was the option of either having the traditional hatch door in the back or the optional "barn doors" (with or without windows), swing-out versions similar to those of more traditional cargo vans. These doors were made of fiberglass and required the C/V vans to be "drop shipped" as these doors were custom installed by another vendor. Another version of the Caravan was the camper. The camper wasn't very popular and dropped within 2 years.

TransmissionsEdit

Both a three-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission and a five-speed manual were available with all inline-4 engines, including the turbocharged 2.5 L (this was a rare combination). The Plymouth Voyager which was a rebadged version of the Caravan was also available with a manual transmission. The Chrysler Town & Country which was a more luxurious repackaged version of the Caravan had no manual transmission option. V-6 engines were only offered with the venerable fully hydraulically operated TorqueFlite, until the computer controlled Ultradrive 4-speed automatic became available in 1989. The Ultradrive offered much better fuel economy and responsiveness, particularly when paired with the inline-4 engine. However, it suffered from reliability problems, usually stemming from what is known as "gear hunt" or "shift busyness", resulting in premature wear of the internal clutches. It also requires an uncommon type of automatic transmission fluid and is not clearly labeled as such, leading many owners to use the more common Dexron II rather than the specified "Mopar ATF+3", resulting in transmission damage and eventual failure.

Subsequent years would see many design changes to the Ultradrive to improve reliability, and many early model transmissions would eventually be retrofitted or replaced with the updated versions by dealers, under warranty. These efforts were mostly successful, and most 1st generation Caravans eventually got an updated transmission.

EnginesEdit

For the first 3 years of production, only 2 engines were offered in the Caravan, both were inline-4 engines with 2 barrel carburetors. The base 2.2L was borrowed from the K-cars, and only produced 96 horsepower. The higher performance fuel injected version of this engine later offered in other Chrysler products was never offered in the Caravan, and the weak 2-bbl version would remain the base powerplant until mid-1987. Alongside the underpowered 2.2L, an optional Mitsubishi 2.6L engine was available producing 104 horsepower, which did a better job motivating the van.

At launch, the Caravan's low horsepower to weight ratio had not been much of a concern. Its main competitors were the Toyota Van and the Volkswagen Vanagon, both of which had similarly sluggish performance. However, by 1988, new competition from Ford's Aerostar and Chevrolet's Astro had highlighted how underpowered the Caravan was. Therefore in mid-1987, the base 2.2 L K I4 was replaced with a fuel-injected 2.5L, which produced a respectable 100 hp (75 kW), while the Mitsubishi G54B I4 was replaced with the new fuel-injected 3.0L Mitsubishi V-6 producing 136 hp (101 kW), which was an extraordinarily popular upgrade. This gave the base Caravan noteworthy performance among its (mostly heavier, rear wheel drive) peers.

Shortly thereafter in 1989, an even more powerful engine became an option, with a turbocharged version of the base 2.5L producing 150 hp (112 kW). This engine would not prove popular though. Also in 1989, revisions to the Mitsubishi V-6 upped its output to 142 hp (106 kW), In 1990, a new 150 hp (110 kW) 3.3L V-6 was added to the option list. Sales of the 2.5 turbo dwindled to nothing, and it was quietly dropped at the end of the year.

  • 1984–1987 2.2 L K I4, 96 hp (72 kW), 119 lb·ft (161 N·m)
  • 1984–1987 2.6 L Mitsubishi G54B I4, 104 hp (78 kW), 142 lb·ft (193 N·m)
  • 1987½–1990 2.5 L K I4, 100 hp (75 kW), 135 lb·ft (183 N·m)
  • 1987½–1988 3.0 L Mitsubishi 6G72 V6, 136 hp (101 kW), 168 lb·ft (228 N·m)
  • 1989–1990 2.5 L Turbo I4, 150 horsepower (110 kW), 180 lb·ft (240 N·m)
  • 1989-1990 3.0 L Mitsubishi 6G72 V6, 142 hp (106 kW), 173 lb·ft (235 N·m)
  • 1990 3.3 L EGA V6, 150 hp (110 kW), 180 lb·ft (240 N·m)

Generation II (1990–1995)Edit

Generation II
2nd-Dodge-Caravan.jpg
1994–1995 Dodge Caravan
Also called Dodge Grand Caravan (LWB Model)
Dodge Caravan (SWB Model)
Production 1990–1995
Body style(s) 3-door minivan
Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive/four-wheel drive
Platform Chrysler AS platform
Engine(s) 2.5 L K I4
3.0 L Mitsubishi 6G72 V6
3.3 L EGA V6
3.8 L EGH V6
Transmission(s) 5-speed manual
3-speed A413 automatic
3-speed A670 automatic
4-speed A604 automatic
Wheelbase 1991–1993 C/V: 112 in (2845 mm)
SWB & 1994–1995 C/V: 112.3 in (2852 mm)
1991–1993 C/V Extended: 119.1 in (3025 mm)
C/V AWD: 112 in (2845 mm)
Grand Caravan & 1994–1995 C/V Extended: 119.3 in (3030 mm)
Length 1991–1993 C/V: 175.9 in (4468 mm)
1991–1993 SWB & 1994–95 C/V: 178.1 in (4524 mm)
1991–1993 C/V Extended: 190.6 in (4841 mm)
Grand Caravan: 192.8 in (4897 mm)
Width 72 in (1828.8 mm)
1991 C/V: 72.2 in (1834 mm)
1992–1993 C/V: 69.6 in (1768 mm)
Height SWB & 1991–93 C/V: 64.2 in (1631 mm)
Grand Caravan: 64.8 in (1646 mm)
1991–93 AWD: 65.9 in (1674 mm)
Grand Caravan: 66 in (1676.4 mm)
Grand Caravan: 66.7 in (1694 mm)
1994–95 SE: 64.3 in (1633 mm)
Curb weight 3,305 lb (1,499 kg)
3,531 lb (1,602 kg) (Grand Caravan)
Related Chrysler Town & Country
Plymouth Voyager
Chrysler Voyager (Europe only)
Dodge Grand Caravan AWD

Dodge Grand Caravan AWD

From 1991 through 1995, the Caravan used the Chrysler AS platform; they were the last minivans derived from the Chrysler K platform.

This generation of vans brought additional innovations, such as:

  • "Quad Command" bucket seating (1991)
  • Integrated child safety seats (1992), improved design with recliners (1994)
  • Available anti-lock brakes (1991)
  • First driver's side airbag in a minivan (1991), made standard (1992), and first dual front airbags (1994)
  • First minivan to meet 1998 U.S. federal safety standards (1994)
  • All wheel drive was introduced for the minivan. (1991)

Changes for this generation included revised trim for 1992, including roof-racks and doorhandles, among other components (prior to this, said components were largely like those found on the previous generation). 1993 marked the final year for optional woodgrain and wire wheels on higher level models. 1994 saw a redesigned interior, with slightly different seat contours/fabrics, along with a new dash, in order to accommodate a passenger-side air bag. 1994 also saw exterior trim changes, such as a body colored grill and moldings on certain models, as well as the addition of a one year only "10th Anniversary Edition" model. Available as an option on a mid-level Caravan and Grand Caravan (also offered on Voyager models as well), the popular "10th Anniversary" package featured 2-tone paint schemes, which included a contrasting light gray colored lower break, along with a gold fender badge. Only select colors were available on this model.

EnginesEdit

  • 1991–1995 2.5 L K I4, 100 hp (75 kW), 135 lb·ft (183 N·m)
  • 1991–1995 3.0 L Mitsubishi 6G72 V6, 142 hp (106 kW), 173 lb·ft (235 N·m)
  • 1991–1993 3.3 L EGA V6, 150 hp (110 kW), 180 lb·ft (240 N·m)
  • 1994–1995 3.3 L EGA V6, 162 hp (121 kW), 194 lb·ft (263 N·m)
  • 1994–1995 3.8 L EGH V6, 162 hp (121 kW), 213 lb·ft (289 N·m)

Generation III (1996–2000)Edit

Generation III
Dodge Grand Caravan Sport -- 11-24-2009.jpg
1998–2000 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport
Also called Dodge Grand Caravan (LWB Model)
Dodge Caravan (SWB Model)
Production 1995–2000
Body style(s) 3-door and 4-door minivan
Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive/four-wheel drive
Platform Chrysler NS platform
Engine(s) 2.4 L EDZ I4
3.0 Mitsubishi 6G72 V6
3.3 L EGA V6
3.8 L EGH V6
Transmission(s) 3-speed 31TH automatic
3-speed A670 automatic
4-speed 41TE automatic
Wheelbase SWB: 113.3 in (2878 mm)
Grand Caravan: 119.3 in (3030 mm)
Length SWB: 186.3 in (4732 mm)
Grand Caravan FWD: 199.6 in (5070 mm)
Grand Caravan AWD: 199.7 in (5072 mm)
Width 76.8 in (1951 mm)
Height 68.5 in (1740 mm)
FWD: 68.7 in (1745 mm)
Curb weight 3,528 lb (1,600 kg)
3,680 lb (1,669 kg) (Grand Caravan)
Related Chrysler Town & Country
Plymouth Voyager
Chrysler Voyager
3rd Dodge Caravan

Short-wheelbase Dodge Caravan

With Generation III, the Chrysler minivans long – and short – wheelbase models, three – and four-door configurations, and eight different powertrains – including electric and compressed natural gas, on a single, flexible platform.

The 1996 redesign used the Chrysler NS platform and included a number of innovations, including a driver's side sliding door (optional initially, to become standard equipment later), a first for Chrysler and a non-compact minivan for the United States & Canada (the Honda Odyssey had introduced the first four-door non-compact minivan for the United States & Canada in 1995, although the first-generation Odyssey had rear-hinged doors). With Generation III, Chrysler introduced a seat management system marketed as Easy Out Roller Seats. A conventional door handle and lock was added to the rear hatch, eliminating the confusing pop-and-lift maneuver which had been required on earlier models.

Base models of the Caravan were offered in most states with either a 2.4 L four-cylinder or the 3.0 L Mitsubishi V6, except in several northeastern states, where the Mitsubishi V6 didn't meet emissions standards. In those locales, the 3.3 L engine was offered as the V6 option from 1997 through 2000. The manual transmission, never popular, was dropped. The 2.4 L four-cylinder engine produced more power than the Mitsubishi 3.0 had in the first two generations.

The 1996 Caravan, along with the Plymouth Voyager and the Chrysler Town & Country won the North American Car of the Year award. The Caravan itself won Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year 1996 and appeared on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1996 and 1997. 1999 also saw the addition of a one year only 15th anniversary "Platinum Edition", to mark Caravan's 15th year of production. This package was offered on various trim levels, and included Platinum Metallic paint, and fender badges. The 2000 model year offered packages which included the "2000+" and "Millennium" package, however these were little more than unique fender badges on vans with popular equipment. In 1999 the Dodge Grand Caravan got new front styling on all trims above SE, and the Sport and ES models received even more sportier styling. The ES model was the first minivan to receive the "AutoStick" transmission and 17 inch wheels. A cargo net between the driver and front passenger seats was added. Some other changes during this generation included new colors, and interior fabric.

EnginesEdit

  • 1996–2000 2.4 L EDZ I4, 150 hp (110 kW), 167 lb·ft (226 N·m) (Canadian vans beginning in 1999 included a 3.0 L V6 as standard equipment)
  • 1996–2000 3.0 L Mitsubishi 6G72 V6 150 hp (110 kW), 176 lb·ft (239 N·m) (not available in certain U.S. states, 3.3 L V6 offered as standard equipment in those states instead)
  • 1996–2000 3.3 L EGA V6, 158 hp (118 kW), 203 lb·ft (275 N·m)
  • 1996–1997 3.8 L EGH V6, 166 hp (124 kW), 227 lb·ft (308 N·m)
  • 1998–2000 3.8 L EGH V6, 180 hp (130 kW), 240 lb·ft (330 N·m)

ConceptsEdit

Other plans for this model year included three minivan concepts all to be made in the Windsor Assembly, the Dodge Caravan R/T, Voyager XG, and the Chrysler Pacifica. The Caravan R/T was to include the most powerful engine ever for a minivan, rated at 325 horsepower (242 kW). It had two Dodge Viper hoodscoops, a brushed aluminum instrument panel, racing-style pedals, and black and white rubber flooring. The Voyager XG was more rugged, and included many outdoor amenities, such as a built-in ice pack. The Chrysler Pacifica was more luxurious, had power leather seats and footrests, overhead bins and lighting, an LHS grille, and roof-long skylights. The skylight feature was used by Nissan in the Quest. The Pacifica actually did come to be in 2004, based on the current Caravan, except that it became a crossover SUV rather than a minivan.

Dodge Caravan EPIC Edit

Main article: Dodge EPIC

In 1999, Dodge introduced the Caravan EPIC, a fully-electric minivan. The EPIC was powered by 28 12-volt NiMH batteries and was capable of traveling up to 80 miles (130 km) on a single charge. The EPIC was sold as a fleet-only lease vehicle. Production of the EPIC was discontinued in 2001. Only a few hundred of these vehicles were produced and sold. After the leases expired they were returned and crushed. Approximately 10 vans remain in private hands today.

Crash test resultsEdit

The 1996–2000 Dodge Grand Caravan received a "Marginal" rating in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's 40 mph offset test. The structural performance and restraints were graded "Acceptable", but the foot injuries were very high.

In the NHTSA crash tests, it received 4 stars for the driver and front passenger in the frontal-impact. In the side-impact test, it received 5 stars for the driver, and 3 stars for the rear occupant, and resulted in a fuel leak that could cause a fire hazard.

Generation IV (2001–2007)Edit

Generation IV
2007 Dodge Caravan SXT.jpg
2007 Dodge Caravan SXT (SWB model)
Also called Dodge Grand Caravan (LWB Model)
Dodge Caravan (SWB Model)
Production 2001–2007 (America), 2009-present (in China)
Model year(s) 2001-2007
Body style(s) 4-door minivan
Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Platform Chrysler RS platform
Engine(s) 2.4 L EDZ I4
3.3 L EGA V6
3.8 L EGH V6
Transmission(s) 3-speed 31TH automatic with 2.4EDZ
4-speed 41TE automatic
Wheelbase SWB: 113.3 in (2878 mm)
Grand Caravan: 119.3 in (3030 mm)
Length 2001–2004 SWB: 189.1 in (4803 mm)
2005–2007 SWB: 189.3 in (4808 mm)
Grand Caravan: 200.5 in (5093 mm)/200.6 in (5095 mm) in
Width 78.6 in (1996 mm)
Height 68.9 in (1750 mm)
Related Chrysler Town & Country
Chrysler Pacifica
Chrysler Voyager

The redesigned Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town&Country were released in August 2000. The release was part of a promotional tie-in with Nabisco, which unveiled their new "Mini Oreos" inside the van during the unveiling.[6] The first vans rolled off the line at the Windsor Assembly Plant on July 24.[7]

Beginning in 2001, the Generation IV minivans were based on the Chrysler RS platform and featured a larger body frame with modified headlights and taillights. In addition to other detailed changes, power sliding doors and a power hatch became available as options. The Mitsubishi 3.0 L V6, which no longer met emissions standards in California and the northeastern U.S., was discontinued, and a more powerful 3.8L engine, based on the 3.3L, became available. All Wheel Drive continued to be offered on high end models. Other innovative available features included remote operated sliding doors and rear hatch, which could be opened and closed as the push of a button, either inside the vehicle, or with the keyless entry fob.

In 2003, the Caravan C/V and Grand Caravan C/V returned after having been discontinued in 1995. The C/V featured the option of deleted side windows (replaced by composite panels), optional rear seats, a cargo floor made of plastic material similar to pickup truck bedliners, rubber flooring in lieu of carpeting and normal hatch at the rear. Minor changes were made to the Grand Caravan ES including many of the features included in Option Group 29S becoming standard, the 17 inch Titan Chrome wheels no longer being an option replaced with standard 16 inch chrome wheels, and the disappearance of the AutoStick Transmission option. This year also saw the appearance of an optional factory-installed rear seat DVD system with single disc player mounted below the HVAC controls.

2004 offered an exclusive one year only "Anniversary Edition" package to mark Caravan's 20th year in production. This package was offered on higher level SXT models, and included chrome wheels, body color moldings, special interior accents and a unique fender badge.

2005 changes to the Caravan included a revised grille, new foglight fascia, and a system of in-floor folding second and third row seats, marketed as With Generation III, Chrysler introduced a seat management system marketed as Stow 'n Go seating.

2009 Production of the IV generation continues in China http://www.dodge.cn/caravan/index.html

EnginesEdit

  • 2001–2007 2.4 L EDZ I4, 150 hp (110 kW) at 5400 rpm and 165 lb·ft (224 N·m) at 4000 rpm
  • 2001–2007 3.3 L EGA V6, 180 hp (130 kW) at 5000 rpm and 210 lb·ft (280 N·m) at 4000 rpm
  • 2001–2007 3.8 L EGH V6, 215 hp (160 kW) at 5000 rpm and 245 lb·ft (332 N·m) at 4000 rpm

Note: In Canada, the 3.3 L V6 is standard on all models.

IIHS ResultsEdit

The 2001 model of this version got a "Poor" rating in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 's 40 mph offset test. While it did protect its occupants reasonably well, a fuel leak occurred. Chrysler corrected this problem starting with the 2002 models, moving it up to an "Acceptable" rating.

The 2006 model year brought optional side curtain airbags and a stronger B-pillar, which was tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's side impact crash test. With the side airbags, it got an "Acceptable" rating. For the driver, there is a chance of serious neck injuries, rib fractures and/or internal organ injuries. The rear passengers, however, could leave this accident unharmed, as there is a low risk of significant injury in a crash of this severity for them.

Generation V (2008–present)Edit

Generation V (Dodge Grand Caravan)
Dodge Grand Caravan SE -- 12-26-2009.jpg
Dodge Grand Caravan SE -- 12-26-2009
Also called Lancia Grand Caravan
Production 2008–present
Body style(s) 4-door minivan
Layout FF layout
Platform Chrysler RT platform
Engine(s) 3.3 L 175 hp (130 kW) V6
3.8 L 197 hp (147 kW) V6
4.0 L 251 hp (187 kW) V6
3.6 L 283 hp (211 kW) V6
Transmission(s) 4-speed automatic(3.3 engine)
6-speed automatic (3.6, 3.8, 4.0 engines)
Wheelbase 121.2 in (3078 mm)
Length 202.5 in (5144 mm)
Width 76.9 in (1953 mm)
Height 68.9 in (1750 mm)
Curb weight 4,306 lb (1,953 kg)
Related Chrysler Town & Country
Chrysler Grand Voyager
Volkswagen Routan
Ram Cargo Van

Beginning with Generation V in model year 2008, Chrysler only made the long wheelbase Grand Caravan. This van debuted at the 2007 North American International Auto Show and had exterior styling by Ralph Gilles.

A new six-speed automatic transmission became standard with the 3.8 L V6 and the new 4.0 L V6. The four-speed automatic transmission is standard with the 3.3 L Flex-Fuel V6.

Chrysler introduced a seat management system marketed as Swivel'n Go seating, the MyGIG entertainment system (a stereo with built in hard drive for recording, storing, and playing music), second and third row video screens, powered second row windows, standard side curtain airbags, and dashboard-mounted transmission controls. The gear shift lever moved to the instrument panel, the location used by competitors.

With discontinuation of the short-wheelbase Caravan, Dodge offered the Journey on nearly an identical wheelbase and as a crossover rather than a minivan. Although the SWB model, which had accounted for half of all sales in Canada,[8] cost approximately $2,000 less and offered a four-cylinder engine option with improved fuel economy, Chrysler executives stated the SWB Caravan was discontinued to accommodate new features offered in the Grand Caravan, consistent with the demands of the majority of the minivan market.[9]

The market shifted briefly away from minivans and SUVs with the gasoline price spikes of the earlier part of 2008. This trend began to reverse itself towards the fall of 2008.[10] In 2009 and 2010 the Dodge Grand Caravan continued to be the top selling minivan in Canada, with over 60% of the market's monthly sales. Fiat has stated that the Dodge Grand Caravan, assembled in Windsor, Ont., will remain in the company’s product line until at least 2014.[11]

The first update in the 2009 model year caused the Grand Caravan to have the "DODGE" badge at the trunklid's left that used to have the "GRAND CARAVAN" badge, which has since been moved to the right. The previously unavailable Electronic Stability Control was made standard on this generation.[12]

2011 updateEdit

2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Mainstreet -- 02-17-2011

2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Mainstreet

Major changes were made for the 2011 model year, both in styling and functionality. The suspension was heavily re-tuned, with both Dodge and Chrysler minivans gaining a larger front sway bar and new rear sway bar, increased rear roll center height, adjusted spring rates, a new steering gear, a revised front static camber setting, and lowered ride height.

All three of the former engine choices were replaced by the new Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 with six-speed automatic transmission, now the sole powertrain choice for all models. Interior trim was restyled on both vans, in addition to major exterior revisions highlighted by the new "double-crosshair" grille on the Grand Caravan and a new chrome grille for the Town & Country.

Other changes included extra sound insulation, acoustic glass, new seats, softer-touch surfaces, new LED ambient lighting and center console,and halogen projector headlamps with LED accents. The Chrysler models were adjusted so that instead of competing against equivalent Dodge trim levels, they were above Dodge in trim and features.[13]

SafetyEdit

In the US National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA)'s NCAP crash testing the 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan achieved a five star (top safety) rating in several categories.[14]

Frontal Impact - Driver and Passenger: Star fullStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg
Side Impact Driver: Star fullStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg
Side Impact Rear Passenger: Star fullStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg
Rollover 2WD: Star fullStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg

EnginesEdit

Model Displacement Type Valves Power
(HP)
Torque
(lb-ft)
HP
@ RPM
Torque
@ RPM
Compression
Ratio
Transmission Fuel economy
(MPG)
Years
3.3 L V6 3,301 cc (201.4 cu in) OHV 12 175 205 5,000 4,000 9.3:1 4-speed 41TE automatic 17/24 2008-2010
3.6 L[15] V6 3,600 cc (220 cu in) DOHC 24 283 260 6,400 4,400 10.0:1 6-speed 62TE automatic 17/25 2011-
3.8 L V6 3,778 cc (230.5 cu in) OHV 12 197 230 5,200 4,000 9.6:1 16/23 2008-2010
4.0 L V6 3,952 cc (241.2 cu in) SOHC 24 251 259 6,000 4,100 10.2:1 17/25 2008-2010

Both the 3.8 L and 4.0 L engines were paired with Chrysler's 62TE 6 speed automatic transmission with variable line pressure (VLP) technology (See Ultradrive#62TE).

In Canada (2008–2010) the 3.3 L was the standard engine across the range, combined with the 4-speed 41TE automatic transmission. The 4.0 L engine and six speed combination was available as an option on only the top of the range SXT models. In 2011 the six speed transmission was specified as standard on the Town & Country.


SalesEdit

Calendar Year United States Canada Total
2008[16] 123,749 39,396 [17] 163,145
2009[18] 90,666 40,283 [19] 130,949
2010[20] 103,323 55,306 [19] 158,629

Automotive news reported that, from January to October in 2010, Dodge sold about a third of its 2010 Grand Caravans to rental fleets. The number of returned ex-rental 2010 Grand Caravan to the market jumped four folds between July to October, depressing prices of used 2009 and 2010 Dodge minivan by as much as 20%.[21]

Lancia Grand VoyagerEdit

For European markets only the Fiat Group has decided to sell the Chrysler Town and Country/Dodge Caravan as the Lancia Grand Voyager. it will be available in three trim levels (Silver, Gold and Platinum) and two choices of engine a 283 HP 3.6-liter V6 petrol unit and a 2.8-liter CRD diesel with particulate filter as standard delivering 163 HP and 360Nm.[22]

Ram Cargo Van (Ram C/V)Edit

The Ram Cargo Van or Ram C/V debuts for the 2012 model year, replacing the Dodge Grand Caravan C/V. It is based on the Dodge Grand Caravan, but with solid metal instead of rear windows and a flat load space with 144.4 cubic feet of interior storage, and a 1,800-lb. cargo payload plus a towing capability of up to 3,600 lbs. The Ram C/V is offered with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. [22]

Volkswagen Routan Edit

Beginning with Generation V, Volkswagen began marketing the Routan, a rebadged variant of the Chrysler RT platform minivan with revised styling and content, for the North American market.

The Routan, made at Windsor Assembly alongside the Grand Caravan, debuted in 2008 at the Chicago Auto Show. Sales began in autumn of 2008, and features neither Chrysler's Stow'n Go nor Swivel'n Go seating systems. Total sales as of September 2010 were reported as being under 10,000 units, far lower than the target of 5% of the minivan market.[13]

TrimsEdit

CurrentEdit

  • Crew – 2008–present
  • C/V – 1989–present
  • Express – 2011–present
  • Mainstreet – 2011–present
  • R/T – 2011–present

FormerEdit

  • Base – 1984–2007
  • eL – 2001–2003
  • ES – 1984–2003
  • EX – 2002–2003
  • Hero – 2008–2010
  • LE – 1984–2000
  • SE – 1984–2010
  • Sport – 1994–2003
  • SXT – 2005–2010

Seating featuresEdit

The Dodge Caravan has incorporated various seating systems for their minivans to enhance interior flexibility.

Integrated child safety seatsEdit

In 1992, Dodge introduced a second row bench seat integrating two child booster seats. These seats continued as an available option through Generation V until they were discontinued in 2010.

Easy-Out Roller SeatsEdit

In 1996, Dodge introduced a system of seats to simplify installation, removal, and re-positioning, marketed as Easy-Out Roller Seats. When installed, the seats are latched to floor-mounted strikers. When unlatched, eight rollers lift each seat, allowing it to be rolled fore and aft. Tracks have locator depressions for rollers, thus enabling simple installation. Ergonomic levers at the seat backs release the floor latches single-handedly without tools and raise the seats onto the rollers in a single motion. Additionally, seat backs were designed to fold forward. Seat roller tracks are permanently attached to the floor and seat stanchions are aligned, facilitating the longitudinal rolling of the seats. Bench seat stanchions were moved inboard to reduce bending stress in the seat frames, allowing them to be lighter.

When configured as two and three person benches (available through Generation IV), the Easy Out Roller Seats could be unwieldy. Beginning in 2001, second and third row seats became available in a 'quad' configuration — bucket or captain chairs in the second row and a third row three-person 50/50 split "bench" — with each section weighing under 50 lb (23 kg). The Easy-out system remained in use through Generation V — where certain models featured a two-person bench and the under-floor compartments from the Stow'n Go system.

The Volkswagen Routan, a rebadged nameplate variant of the Chrysler minivans, uses the Easy Out Roller Seats on its second row seating.

Stow ’N Go seatingEdit

In 2005, Dodge introduced a system of second- and third-row seating that folded completely into under-floor compartments. It was marketed as Stow ’N Go and was available exclusively on long-wheelbase models.

In a development program costing $400 million,[23] engineers initially used an Erector Set to visualize the complex interaction of the design[24] and redesigned under-floor components. The system included the spare tire well, fuel tank, exhaust system, parking brake cables, rear climate control lines, and rear suspension[24] but precluded all-wheel drive (AWD).

The system, in turn, creates a combined volume of 12 cubic feet (340 L) of under-floor storage when second-row seats are deployed. With both rows folded, the vans have a flat-load floor and a maximum cargo volume of 160.7 cubic feet (4,550 L).[23][25]

Stow ’N Go received the Popular Science magazine's award for "Best of What's New" (2005).[26]

Stow ’N Go is not offered on the Volkswagen Routan, a rebadged nameplate variant of the Chrysler minivans.

Stow ’N Go in the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Chrysler Town & Country will be improved and renamed "Super Stow 'n Go" for the 2011 model year.

Swivel 'n Go seatingEdit

Dodge introduced a seating system in 2008, marketed as Swivel'n Go. In the seating system, two full size second row seats swivel to face the third row. A detachable table can be placed between the second and third row seats. The Swivel'n Go seating system includes the 3rd row seating from the Stow'n Go system. The system is offered on the Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country, but not the Volkswagen Routan, a rebadged nameplate variant of the Chrysler minivans.

These Swivel 'n Go Seats are manufacted by Intier Corp. a division of Magna. The tracks, risers and swivel mechanisms are assembled by Camslide, a division of Intier. The swivel mechanism was designed by and is produced by Toyo Seat USA Corp.

The system is noted for its high strength. The entire load of the seat in the event of a crash is transferred through the swivel mechanism, which is almost twice as strong as the minimum government requirement.

The swivel mechanism includes bumpers that stabilize the seat while in the lock position. When rotated the seat comes off these bumpers to allow easy rotation.

The seat is not meant to be left in an unlocked position or swiveled with the occupant in it, although this will not damage the swivel mechanism.

ProductionEdit

The long-wheelbase Dodge Grand Caravan with Stow 'n Go seats are built in Windsor, Ontario, Canada at Windsor Assembly (WAP Plant 3) by members of Canadian Auto Workers Local 444. Both wheelbase models were produced in Fenton, Missouri, USA at Saint Louis Assembly by members of the United Auto Workers Local 110 until the end of October 2010.[27]


ReferencesEdit

Smallwikipedialogo This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Dodge Caravan. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons by Attribution License and/or GNU Free Documentation License. Please check page history for when the original article was copied to Wikia

  1. Hyde, Charles K. (2003). Riding the Roller Coaster: a history of the Chrysler Corporation. Wayne State University Press, 267. ISBN 9780814330913. Retrieved on 4 March 2011. 
  2. "Chrysler LLC Celebrates 25th Anniversary of the Minivan". Autonew24h.com.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "A Brief History of the Chrysler Minivan". Retrieved on 2010-10-28.
  4. "The Matra/Renault Espace". Matrasport.dk. Retrieved on 2010-10-10.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Chrysler icon celebrates 25 years". 1853chairman.com, Chrysler Press Release.
  6. "Article: New Mini Oreos Debut in New Mini Van. | AccessMyLibrary – Promoting library advocacy". AccessMyLibrary (August 10, 2000). Archived from the original on July 16, 2012. Retrieved on September 26, 2009.
  7. "Article: The First, All-New 2001 Chrysler Town and Country and 2001 Dodge Caravan... | AccessMyLibrary – Promoting library advocacy". AccessMyLibrary (July 19, 2000). Archived from the original on July 19, 2012. Retrieved on September 26, 2009.
  8. "Test Drive: 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan Canada "Value Package"". Canadian Driver, Jil McIntosh, February 25, 2008.
  9. "Minivan sales slow, hit by gas prices and image", USAtoday, 6/6/2008, Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto writer (June 6, 2008). Retrieved on May 1, 2010. 
  10. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named USA_Today
  11. "Chrysler reveals future product plans", Leader-Post, Canwest Publishing, November 4, 2009, retrieved on November 5, 2009.
  12. "Iihs-Hldi". Iihs.org. Retrieved on 2010-04-03.
  13. 13.0 13.1 "2011 Chrysler Town & Country and 2011 Dodge Caravan Minivans", Allpar, http://www.allpar.com/model/m/11-minivans.html. Retrieved on <time class="dtstart" datetime="2010-10-28">2010-10-28</time>. 
  14. "2010 Chrysler minivan US NCAP safety ratings". NHTSA www.Safercar.gov. Retrieved on June 23, 2010.
  15. "Chrysler Pentastars Engines - Specifications", Allpar, http://www.pentastars.com/engines/specifications.php. Retrieved on <time class="dtstart" datetime="2010-10-28">2010-10-28</time>. 
  16. "December 2008 Sales: Chrysler LLC". CheersandGears.com (2009-01-05). Retrieved on 2009-01-05.
  17. http://media.chrysler.com/newsrelease.do?id=8424
  18. "Chrysler Group LLC December 2009 Sales". CheersandGears.com (2010-01-05). Retrieved on 2010-01-05.
  19. 19.0 19.1 http://media.chrysler.com/newsrelease.do?id=10416&mid=192
  20. "Chrysler Group LLC December 2010 Sales". CheersandGears.com (2011-01-04). Retrieved on 2011-01-04.
  21. Autonew: High fleet sales rates take toll
  22. 22.0 22.1 New Lancia Grand Voyager Minivan Carscoop,
  23. 23.0 23.1 "Chrysler extends leadership in Mideast minivan segment with 'Stow 'n Go'". Ameinfo.com.
  24. 24.0 24.1 "Chrysler Group Brings Minivan Segment's Only Stow 'n Go Seating And Storage System to Market in Just 18 Months". Chrysler Press Release.
  25. "Stow ’N Go Seating and Storage System Solidifies Dodge Caravan as the Leader in Minivan Sales and Innovations". www.media.chrysler.com. Retrieved on 2010-04-03.
  26. "Stow 'n Go Minivan Technology Awarded Popular Science Magazine's "Best of What's New" for 2005". Autointell.com.
  27. "Chrysler factories, offices, and testing grounds, 1925-2010", Allpar, http://www.allpar.com/corporate/factories.html. Retrieved on <time class="dtstart" datetime="2010-10-28">2010-10-28</time>. 

External linksEdit

Commons-logo
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.