It should have come to everyones attention by now that the new products from Dodge and Chrysler has all received major overhauls for their 2011 iterations. Chrysler seems to consider itself the creator of the modern minivan that we see today, that is why Chrysler has been involved with the 2011 model Dodge Grand Caravan and of course their own new Town & Country model.
The new Grand Caravan has been installed as standard in all variations, the brand new Pentastar V6 3.6 liter engine. It has to be said though, the majority of the budget for redeveloping this minivan went to places that would instantly be noticeable; that’s why the interiors received a massive overhaul, and now incorporates better quality and upgraded materials throughout.
With 4,500 pounds to shift around the Dodge Grand Caravan is never going to astound you with high speeds, but it wasn’t really designed that way. Surprisingly, the new minivan does actually managed to be quicker than expected, which is probably due to the incorporation of the newer Pentastar engine. Chrysler stated that virtually nothing was left untouched regarding the redesign of the mechanics, and by the looks of things that statement is true. The overall responsiveness of the chassis was very impressive considering it is a minivan, although slightly disappointing is that the cabin noise level remains high; although it has to be noted that the cabin noise levels in the new Town & Country were very quiet, this may be due to the increased base price.
The general design of the interior is very well presented, this new minivan has been incorporated with a new sportier and tunneled gauge cluster as well as a much softer dashboard. This is a vast improvement upon the previous model, which was kitted out in cheap plastic throughout. It’s very refreshing to see the Grand Caravan receive such pleasant upgrades.
A Brighter Future?
This overhaul of the Grand Caravan couldn’t have come at a better time, because most of the major competitors within the minivan market place has completely redesigned many of their own models; this includes the recently revealed Nissan Quest, the Honda Odyssey, and the Toyota Sienna.
The base price of the new Grand Caravan starts at $25,830; this is the Express trim level. This comes incorporated with features such as “Stow ‘n Go” second row captain’s chair, a multi-functional steering wheel and entry to the vehicle without a key. The Mainstreet trim level will set you back $26,830, this will come with power rear windows, and a body color exterior trim. The top of the range Crew trim level will cost $29,530, this level comes with power sliding doors, infotainment system with integrated 30GB hard drive, automatic climate control, adjustable pedals, power driver ‘s seat, plus some other extra features. The most intriguing trim level has yet to be released; the Grand Caravan R/T which is set to cost around $31,430. Scheduled to debut early 2011, while this trim level will be equipped much the same as the Crew, the new R/T will also boast exterior alterations. Some extra feature that are incorporated within the R/T are 17 inch aluminum wheels, a 9 speaker sound system, and performance suspension. The R/T variations looks very interesting indeed.