- Convenient second-row Stow ‘n Go seating
- One of the most affordable minivans on the market (lowered base price in 2013)
- 500 mile range on one tank of gas (25 highway mpg, 20 gallon tank capacity)
The 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan packs big storage and plenty of seating into a little price, offering one of the best utility to cost ratios on the road today.
Much of the minivan segment isn’t exactly what most would call budget friendly, but the Grand Caravan, starting at just under $20,000, stands as an exception to this rule. The only other minivan close in cost to the Grand Caravan is the Mazda5, but that vehicle can only seat six and has less usable interior space than the Dodge.
Up front, the 2014 Grand Caravan fits in with the rest of the Dodge lineup with a prominent crosshair grille over black mesh, and plenty of bulges and crease along the hood and front fenders. Powered back doors and a powered, automatically opening rear liftgate are optional, a convenient pair of features for loading up the minivan. Options include color matching trim and a roof rack for carrying up to 150 pounds of bikes, canoes, or children on time-out (note: do not put kids on the roof).
Inside, the Grand Caravan seats up to seven passengers and features one of the most versatile interiors around. Not only does the rear bench fold into the floor, but the second row features Stow ‘n Go seating which means that the second row captain’s chairs will also fold into the floor and create one large, flat cargo area. This also means you don’t have to worry about removing the seats from the car and storing in the garage anytime you need to move something big. Air conditioning and a 60/40 split rear bench are standard, as are cruise control and a CD stereo system with an auxiliary audio input. For entertainment, there are plenty of tech options including a Blu-ray rear entertainment system, Uconnect hands-free technology with Bluetooth, satellite radio, navigation, and Wi-Fi hot spot capability.
The 2014 Grand Caravan has one engine option and thankfully it’s a good one: a 283-horsepower, 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 making 260 pounds-feet of torque. This engine is seen in several Dodge/Chrysler vehicles, but in the Grand Caravan it has been tuned to give most of its torque mid-range to aid in family hauling and towing. The engine is connected to the wheels via a six-speed automatic with a manual shifting mode. This combination returns 17/25 mpg city/highway, a respectable numbers when considering the size/weight of the Grand Caravan.
Standard safety features include seven airbags (front, side-impact, side-curtain, and driver’s knee), traction control, antilock brakes, and active front head restraints. Optional features include back up cameras and radar, blind-spot monitoring, and a nifty central information display unit to alert the driver of emergencies. The 2014 Grand Caravan also earned a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS for its performance in crash testing.