It seems like the minivan has been with us forever or maybe it was here in the form of station wagons that generations grew up with as the family vehicle. The original minivan is turning 30 years old, yet it remains high on the list for families searching for that first family vehicle that is going to provide maximum family functionality ranging from an entry level up to the sporty R/T trim level. In recognition of making it 39 years in the market, Chrysler has a new 30th Anniversary Edition that brings in additional functionality and features that a people mover looks for after 30 year of change and improvements.
The exterior of the Grand Caravan is where age is showing, as the cross-hair grille easily identifies this as a Chrysler product even with the fog lights and HID headlights. Up on the roof is the low profile roof rack that has a Stow N Place cross bars streamline the profile, while the rear spoiler deflects air across the power lift gate. The large power sliding side doors that provide easy access to the 2nd and 3rd row seating areas are available with electric windows and even sun shades that are also available on the back quarter glass. The Grand Caravan has several wheel choices available with the 30th Anniversary Edition rolling on the available 17-inch polished aluminum spoke wheels.
For 2014, the Grand Caravan is equipped with a reliable Pentastar V6 engine that is backed by a 6-speed automatic combining to provide smooth performance that will handle freeway speeds when loaded with the available 8-passengers and enough luggage and gear for the family vacation. In town, the Grand Caravan is surprisingly easy to blend into traffic and most tight turning situations although a complete u-turn will take some space to complete. When properly equipped, the Grand Caravan will also handle some light towing duties when properly equipped. The Grand Caravan SXT 30th Anniversary is rated by the EPA with 17 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined.
The interior of the Grand Caravan is where the family friendly vehicle shows it’s capability to move people in a functional manner that is user friendly. In the front cabin area, controls are large and easy to identify as well as reach. The 30th Anniversary gauge pod has two large round white faced gauges that are easy to read, and the digital support screen will provide the driver with adjustable updates on the vehicle functions. There is ambient lighting through the interior as well as numerous 12V power options. The front of the center console has an open pass through storage area the top of the console has several storage areas that can be closed to minimize loose clutter. The second row seating is part of the Stow N Go seating that fold into the floor, or that same seat storage area makes for additional dry storage when it comes time to really pack the Grand Caravan full. There are other storage compartments and solutions throughout the vehicles including door panels and side panels of the 3rd row seating. In addition to the available UConnect system on the 30th Anniversary Edition, there are several entertainment options that include Blueray DVD with wireless headsets and upgraded audio features to choose from that will contribute to making the Grand Caravan the people mover that it needs to be.
Pricing Notes on the 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 30th Anniversary Edition
The base 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan is the AVP, which has an MSRP that starts under $21,000, and the different trim levels go up from there until the fully loaded R/T model starts bumping $40,000. The review Grand Caravan SXT has a base MSRP of $26,995 and with the $5,380 in available features added on, a destination charge of $995, and the total MSRP is at $33,370.
Other vehicles in the segment include the Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest, and the Kia Sedona.
For more information on the 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 30th Anniversary Edition visit your local Dodge dealer or online at www.dodge.com