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Dodge Caravan

Review

REVIEW

Chrysler literally invented the front-wheel-drive minivan 16 years ago. Since then, a hungry market devoured 8 million of this maker's transport gadgets. Today, with no fewer than 15 competitors fighting for a chunk of that segment, DaimlerChrysler chefs have cooked up an even more delicious van. We recently sampled some early examples of this new-for-2001 recipe in a preview drive near Phoenix, Arizona.

Some of the basic ingredients of this eminently successful offering have not been changed, things like its size, seat-height, and front-drive configuration. But the upcoming Dodge Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country, and Chrysler (nZ'e Plymouth) Voyager, and models do benefit from quieter-ride suspension pieces, bigger brakes, a trio of more potent V-6 engines, a powered rear liftgate, dual powered sliding doors, improved front airbags and new side-impact bags, power-adjustable pedals, fresh exterior sheetmetal, and an even more clever interior design.
2001 Dodge Caravan dashboard View
  |   2001 Dodge Caravan dashboard View
More power always tastes good. And so, though a 150-horse/2.4-liter SOHC four will still be offered, the spicy news concerns the three V-6s. The 3.3- and 3.8-liter OHV engines have been redesigned for greater smoothness and more power. In fact, engineers claim the only things saved from last year were their displacements and connecting rods. The 3.3 goes from 140 to 180 ponies, while output of the 3.8 jumps from 180 to 215. But top underhood muscle comes from the new 3.5-liter SOHC V-6. Borrowed from Chrysler's 300M sedan, it produces 230 horsepower. Driving through winding desert roads with steep grades, the vans effortlessly delivered the extra power like solid, premium sedans with virtually imperceptible shifts.
2001 Chrysler Voyager rear Side View
  |   2001 Chrysler Voyager rear Side View
The exterior mods are visually subtle, but remarkably substantial. Front and rear fascias, grilles, and the lighting systems are all new and so is the edgier body-side sheetmetal. Even the floorpan and suspension mounts have been extensively beefed up to minimize shake, quiet the ride, and protect more effectively in a crash. Several competitive vans piloted on the same drive shuddered noisily over the identical road surfaces.
The only doors you'll have to open by hand on the 2001 vans are the fronts. Chrysler now offers power-sliding side doors and a powered rear gate commanded by a key fob button that opens all for easier cargo and passenger loading.
Is there anything missing from Chrysler's new minivan cake? Only one item: A convenient, space-saving third-row seat that folds away into a floorwell, like the ones found on the Honda and Mazda minivans to provide flat-floor, cargo-hauling capacity. Chrysler says it couldn't fit one in its short-wheelbase van due to the location of the fuel tank and spare. Engineering also cited all-wheel-drive packaging problems and noise. The rear bench is still removable, but it remains an awkward and inconvenient process. That relatively small gripe notwithstanding, this latest iteration of a proven market leader should take up right where its predecessors left off.
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2007 Dodge Caravan

SPECIFICATIONS
$19,055
N/A
2.4L I4
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2006 Dodge Caravan

SPECIFICATIONS
$18,630
N/A
2.4L I4
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2005 Dodge Caravan

SPECIFICATIONS
$18,380
N/A
2.4L I4
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Review: 2005 Dodge caravan /Grand Caravan
It may have given up some ground over the years to a host of ever-improving rivals, both foreign and domestic, but Dodge's Caravan and long-wheelbase Grand Caravan are still the 800-pound gorillas of the minivan world. They, and their upmarket cousin, the Chrysler Town & Country, are the highly evol
Nov 8, 2005
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Road Test: Mininvan Comparison- 2005 Honda Odyssey Touring vs. 2005 Toyota Sienna XLE vs. 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
Let'S Be Bold here and assume you're secure in your manhood; that you can forget about going to Las Vegas in a Lincoln Town Car, because that's what everyone else is driving; and that you've grown out of spelunking from casino to casino in the greasy back seat of a clapped-out Crown Vic cab. With al
Ron SessionsJun 17, 2005

2004 Dodge Caravan

SPECIFICATIONS
$21,130
20 / 26
2.4L I4
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2003 Dodge Caravan

SPECIFICATIONS
$20,640
21 / 27
2.4L I4
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Truckin news
2003 Dodge Caravan - Blessings And Beatings And Finally - May 2006
Read this month's editors note featuring the sickest minivan ever, the 2003 Dodge Caravan, only on truckinweb.com, the official website of Truckin' Magazine
Dan WardMay 1, 2006
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Minivan Comparison -Dodge Grand Caravan eX vs. Honda Odyssey vs. Kia Sedona EX
If people can get past the often-irrational desire to see the view above traffic in a macho-but-less-efficient sport/utility, there's a period of life when nothing gets a family's light hauling and transport done like a minivan. It's a fact millions have discovered since this product type emerged al
Todd LassaFeb 7, 2003

2002 Dodge Caravan

SPECIFICATIONS
$16,430
19 / 24
2.4L I4
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2001 Dodge Caravan

SPECIFICATIONS
$19,160
20 / 25
2.4L I4
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See all Photos, Ratings, Pricing and Specifications
Motor Trend Motor Trend
Road Test: 2001 2001 Chrysler Dodge
Chrysler literally invented the front-wheel-drive minivan 16 years ago. Since then, a hungry market devoured 8 million of this maker's transport gadgets. Today, with no fewer than 15 competitors fighting for a chunk of that segment, DaimlerChrysler chefs have cooked up an even more delicious van. We
Jack KeeblerMar 11, 2000
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truck reviews
Road Test: 2001 Chrysler and Dodge Minivans
Chrysler literally invented the front-wheel-drive minivan 16 years ago. Since then, a hungry market devoured 8 million of this maker's transport gadgets. Today, with no fewer than 15 competitors fighting for a chunk of that segment, DaimlerChrysler chefs have cooked up an even more delicious van. We
Jack KeeblerMar 11, 2000

2000 Dodge Caravan

SPECIFICATIONS
$19,565
20 / 26
2.4L I4
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1999 Dodge Caravan

SPECIFICATIONS
$18,205
20 / 26
2.4L I4
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1998 Dodge Caravan

SPECIFICATIONS
$17,540
20 / 26
2.4L I4
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1997 Dodge Caravan

SPECIFICATIONS
$17,235
20 / 25
2.4L I4
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1996 Dodge Caravan

SPECIFICATIONS
$16,615
20 / 26
2.4L I4
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Truck Trend news
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Multi Car - Long-Term Updates - Dodge, Honda, Porsche
One of MT's editors recently took a three-week trek through the dusty West in our long-term Grand Caravan ES, clocking 3837 miles. The driver noted plenty of cargo space, with the third-row seat removed for luggage, camera gear, and souvenirs.
Jeff BartlettNov 1, 1996

1995 Dodge Caravan

SPECIFICATIONS
$16,160
20 / 24
2.5L I4
VIEW ALL SPECIFICATIONS
See all Photos, Ratings, Pricing and Specifications
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