The 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan is all about taking your family and friends from point A to point B without breaking the bank. It's the most affordable seven-passenger minivan out there, and even when fully loaded with options, it's still cheaper than the competition. What's even better is that you still get all the features you'd expect, like tri-zone climate control, Dodge's second-row Stow 'n Go seats, a central touchscreen display, and a rearview camera, even at the most basic SE trim level.
The Grand Caravan's price is an attractive aspect, however, it is not as refined as its competitors. This is the 10th model year of the Grand Caravan and the only time the cabin was updated was in 2011. The interior materials are generally satisfactory, however, the design looks a bit outdated. This is especially true with the inclusion of Dodge's older touchscreen interface. Its graphics and response times are not as good as the Uconnect interface found in the Chrysler Pacifica.
The 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan may be the most affordable minivan on the market, but if you're willing to invest a bit more, you can get a much more modern people mover. The new Chrysler Pacifica (which replaces the Town & Country) is luxurious and has a host of features to make your ride more comfortable. The Kia Sedona is just as attractive inside, with optional leg cushions for second-row passengers who just want to relax. The Toyota Sienna is incredibly comfortable and has a powerful V6 engine, and Honda's Odyssey is getting a complete makeover this year, so it should continue to be the top choice for a van that does it all.
If you're looking for a great deal on a minivan that offers plenty of features and versatility, then the 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan could be perfect for you! However, some other minivans may provide a bit more refinement and access to the latest features. So make sure to read more to find out which one is the best fit for you.
The 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan is a seven-passenger minivan with four trim levels to choose from: SE, SE Plus, SXT and GT. The SE base model comes with a great range of features, such as 17-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, tri-zone climate control (with rear air-conditioning), cruise control, rearview camera, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, a conversation mirror, a second-row bench seat with the Stow 'n Go fold-into-the-floor feature, and power locks, mirrors and front windows. You'll also get a six-speaker audio system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack, which can be easily controlled via a 6.5-inch touchscreen display.
The SE is available with the Uconnect Hands-Free Group package, which includes an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, satellite radio, USB port and Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity. For those with special mobility needs, the Mobility Prep Package II with Load Leveling is also an option on the SE. For extra comfort, second-row bucket seats can be added as an upgrade.
The SE Plus comes with the above equipment as standard, plus 17-inch alloy wheels, upgraded upholstery and trim, a comfortable front floor console, second-row captain's chairs with an extra floor console and rear privacy glass for extra privacy. The Grand Caravan SXT added features include eye-catching chrome exterior trim, foglights, automatic headlights, roof rails, convenient power sliding rear doors, a power liftgate, remote engine start, a spacious floor console, luxurious leather upholstery with suede inserts and an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar) for added comfort.
The SXT's Driver Convenience Group package is packed with features to make your drive even more comfortable and convenient, like a rear overhead console, an overhead storage bin, automatic climate control, a heated steering wheel, second- and third-row sunshades, heated front and second-row seats, ambient lighting and voice controls.
The Grand Caravan GT is the top-of-the-line choice! It includes all the features from the SXT's Driver Convenience Group (minus the chrome and roof rails) and adds a stylish body-colored grille, a performance-tuned suspension, unique wheels, a sleek black interior, a driver information center, a 115-volt household-style outlet, luxurious full leather seating, an eight-way power passenger seat, a 6.5-inch touchscreen display with navigation, a rearview camera, and an upgraded nine-speaker audio system.
The SE Plus and SXT trims come with the Blacktop appearance package which includes silver interior accents, a black grille, black wheels, and leather interior accents. All models can be equipped with the DVD entertainment system that includes the GT's touchscreen, a 9-inch second-row display screen, an HDMI input, the rearview camera, satellite radio, two USB charging ports, and a 115-volt power outlet. The GT-only Safety Sphere group gives you the added benefit of rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
For the 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan, you'll find only one engine option: a 3.6-liter V6 that offers 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission to propel the front wheels, and it's been tested to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in a speedy 8 seconds. That's right on par with other minivans. Plus, the Grand Caravan offers an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 20 mpg combined (17 city/25 highway), which is right in line with the competition.
You'll have a great view from the front seat when you're sitting upright, but some people, especially taller ones, might find the seat position a bit uncomfortable because the pedals seem too close. The gauges are easy to read and use. The materials in the cabin, including the cloth seat upholstery, are good quality, but the other vans have interiors that look and feel a bit more luxurious.
It's hard not to love Dodge's super convenient Stow 'n Go second-row seats that can easily be stored away with a simple flick of a lever. Standard on every Grand Caravan, they quickly switch from accommodating passengers to storing cargo with minimal effort. The third-row seats fold backward into a deep cargo well, although they require a few extra strap and lever pulls to make the transition. There's 33 cubic feet of useful luggage space behind the third row, and you can open up a generous 143.8 cubic feet of space, which is similar to most other minivans, by dropping all the rear seats.
The 6.5-inch touchscreen interface isn't the most attractive - many Dodges have made the switch to the 8.4-inch screen with the more advanced Uconnect interface - but it's still simple to use.
The 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan may not offer the most refined driving experience, but it's unlikely that it will be noticed in everyday life. The V6 provides adequate acceleration, but can be a bit noisy when pushed too hard and its automatic transmission isn't always the smoothest. The ride is generally comfortable, but it doesn't quite match up to other vans in terms of absorbing bumps and keeping passengers comfortable. Additionally, it isn't as confident around turns or in traffic as the Odyssey.