The Dodge Grand Caravan minivan is easily one of the best options for a long road trip. With comfortable seating for seven, a rear-entertainment system, and enough space behind the rear seats to stow gear for a five-day jaunt to Southern Utah, we loaded up the car and headed for Moab for an annual spring break adventure.
We’ve reviewed the 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan in detail, so we’re hitting just a few highlights here. Read our full review for details.
26 MPG in Mostly Highway Driving
SUV fans take note: I managed to achieve 26-mpg fuel efficiency over 900 miles. You won’t match those numbers in your standard Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, Acura MDX or Chevy Suburban. In fact, any big rig you choose will fall short.
We traveled with two families who drove 2008 and 2013 Honda Pilots and the Grand Caravan averaged 5 more miles-per-gallon than those sturdy SUVs. However, one area where the Pilot beats the Grand Caravan is in passenger capacity. The Pilot holds eight while the Grand Caravan maxes out at seven people. Keep that in mind if your carpool or family has room to grow.
Stow ‘n Go Seats Ideal to Hide Valuables
These days, even with rear-entertainment systems in vehicles, there’s a good chance you still will lug enough digital gadgets on any road trip to nearly require an additional ticket for extra baggage on a Delta flight. With multiple kids in the car we had iPods, iPads, a notebook PC, video camera, wallets, purses, DVDs and more. In most vehicles, you may make a half-hearted attempt to shield your valuable gizmos from prying eyes by dropping a sweatshirt or blanket on top of your stuff.
We rely on the Stow ‘n Go cargo area in the floor of the van to hide our stash. Drop your goods inside the two large floor compartments, pull the floor mat on top of the brackets and your stuff is safety stowed. I’m a big fan of the Stow ‘n Go feature even though I rarely use it as intended, which is to store the middle seats in the floor. Instead, I use it like a rolling safe on wheels.
Dodge Grand Caravan Second Most Popular Van in America
When it comes to choosing a minivan, practical choices reign supreme. You don’t buy a minivan to engage Ford Mustangs and Porsche 911s in off-the-line duels. You buy a minivan for its unparalleled ability to affordably and relatively fuel-efficiently ferry folks from place to place in great comfort.
By that criteria, the Dodge Grand Caravan is a winner and that helps explain why it trails only the Honda Odyssey by just over 1,000 units sold since 2010. If you think the Grand Caravan is a common sight on the road, you’re not alone. More than 214,000 have left dealer showrooms in the past two years.
If you want a minivan that’s a bit less common, you can always choose the very similar Volkswagen Routan that has sold just over 28,000 units since 2010. And that Routan is really just a Dodge Grand Caravan in disguise.