Chrysler still owns the minivan business. Whatever the models considered in any given survey, or sales at any given time period, Dodge and Chrysler minis never fall below a 40-percent market share-and everyone else divvies up the rest.
The Chrysler group remodeled its minivan lineup for '01, and we rounded up a nearly top-of-the-line Dodge Grand Caravan ES to see what it's made of and how it'll handle a year with us. The big-news feature is the optional power rear-deck hatch to complement the optional dual power side doors. Our Shale Green Metallic ES based at $29,110 and was very well equipped at that. Selected options include a leather/power seat package (reasonable at $1250, considering how many seats there are), the 29S Preferred Equipment Package (AutoStick trans, traction control, upgraded stereo system, touring suspension, 17-in. alloy wheels, and a bunch more stuff, all for $1985), the 215-hp 3.8L V-6 (why wouldn't you buy it at only $325), the aforementioned whiz-bang liftgate at $295, heavy-duty cooling ($155), an in-dash four CD changer (just $150), plus D and D, for a grand total of $33,290. It's already on duty, with no problems to report so far.