The overall history of the minivan has been a rocky one. When it was first introduced in the early 1980s, the minivan was well received by the many drivers who appreciated its practicality and functionality. Touted as the perfect family car for many years, somewhere in the nineties, the minivan began to lose its appeal. Buyers still flocked to the segment despite the negative stigma that surrounded the minivan, as the pure pragmatism of the model won out over the harsh criticisms. Fast forward over thirty years later, and the minivan has endured. It has evolved and adapted to changing needs, with the main focus on improved convenience and styling enhancements. Today, one of the minivans that was the first on the scene continues with that adaptation, and is offered as the 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan.
How the Grand Caravan Defined the Minivan Segment
The Dodge Grand Caravan was one of the first minivans introduced to the American market, and has been a pioneer in developing the segment into what it is today. The Grand Caravan was first offered as a 1984 model, and featured seating for up to seven passengers. Dodge immediately stood out from other minivans available on the market, by offering removable second and third row seating for easily altered configurations. The still-utilized sliding side door allowed access to the rear seating area, but was only available on one side of the Grand Caravan.
In 2004, Dodge introduced a real game changer to the minivan segment. Now known as Stow ‘N Go Seating, this feature allowed the second and third row seating in the Grand Caravan to fold completely into the floor of the van. The technology that was engineered over many years earned several awards including the “Best of What’s New” for 2005 by Popular Science magazine.
In 2007, Dodge unveiled a new seating system known as the Swivel ‘N Go. This seating system allows the two second row captain’s chairs to swivel in order to face the third row. A detachable table came with the system, and could be placed between the third and second row. This unique system was a game changer in the minivan segment, especially when it came to long family road trips. Despite its promising future, the Swivel ‘N Go system was discontinued after the 2010 year. Even with its ultimate demise, it is this type of ingenuity that has kept Dodge at the forefront of innovation in the minivan segment.
The 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan
The Dodge Grand Caravan entered into its fifth generation back in 2008, receiving a complete makeover to mark the occasion. Both the 2011 and 2014 Grand Caravan models received updates, complete with new packages, amenities, and price tags.
The 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan was recently introduced to the market, and while it did not undergo any major revisions, it is a great contender in the segment. Starting at just $22,095 the 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan is one of the less expensive vehicles in the segment, and in our opinion, it is also one of the best looking.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what the 2016 Grand Caravan offers, and five reasons why we think it is the best minivan available for this model year.
Unique Seating Systems:
Dodge invented the now famous Stow ‘N Go seating system, which gives the Grand Caravan an obvious advantage over others in the segment. 60/40 Super Stow ‘N Go seating is available in both the second and third row of the 2016 Grand Caravan, ensuring that you have room to stow all of your important cargo. Even more unique is the Tailgate Seating, which allows the third row seats to completely flip to a rear facing position for the ultimate tailgating experience. Pop open the rear hatch, and enjoy the pre-game tradition, or a drive-in movie in comfort and with ease.
Class-Exclusive Entertainment Technology:
The 2016 Grand Caravan offers an available class-exclusive dual screen Blu-Ray and DVD entertainment system. With two flat screen displays that fold down from the ceiling, your second and third row passengers can enjoy two different entertainment experiences without having to argue over what to watch.
Automatic Temperature Control For Everyone:
The 2016 Grand Caravan offers a three-zone automatic temperature control system that allows for every row of passenger to select their ideal temperature setting. Ensuring maximum comfort for everyone that comes along for the ride, this feature will help keep complaints at bay, so you can enjoy the ride.
Wi-Fi Hotspot Connectivity:
Transform your 2016 Grand Caravan into a mobile hotspot with available Web by Mopar Wi-Fi connectivity. With a range of up to 150 feet, your minivan will keep everyone happy, even on camping adventures.
Dodge recognizes that safety is one of the most important considerations for drivers, especially in the minivan segment. Hauling your most precious cargo should be done in the safest possible way, which is why the 2016 Grand Caravan offers great safety features like a conversation mirror, blind spot monitoring, and a ParkView rear backup camera.
Trim Levels for the 2016 Grand Caravan
For the 2016 model year, all Dodge Grand Caravans come standard with a 3.6-liter V6 engine, a six speed automatic transmission, and a fuel economy rating of 25 miles per gallon on the highway. All Grand Caravan models also come with standard front-wheel drive, and seating for up to seven passengers.
Dodge offers the newest Grand Caravan model in four different trim levels, ensuring something for everyone, at nearly every budget. Explore below and discover an overview of each offering for the 2016 Grand Caravan.
American Value Package:
Starting at $22,095, this entry level Grand Caravan offers standard electronic stability control, four wheel anti-lock braking system, a conversation mirror, and premium cloth seating. SiriusXM Satellite Radio, dual-zone manual temperature control, and a rear window wiper are also included on this base model.
SE and SE Plus:
The next level up starts at $24,595, and includes the Stow ‘N Go seating system, a tire pressure monitoring system, three-zone manual temperature control, and a six speed automatic transmission. The SE Plus model adds $1,000 to the sticker price, and includes a leather wrapped shift knob, and a UConnect Voice Command system.
SXT and SXT Plus:
Starting at $27,795 and $28,895 respectively, the mid-level Dodge Caravan models include a Stow ‘N Place roof rack system, dual power sliding doors, a power liftgate, steering wheel mounted controls, leather trimmed seats, and 17-inch polished wheel.
The highest level trim level for the 2016 Grand Caravan starts at $30,995, and includes plenty of premium upgrades. A nine speaker sound system with subwoofer, leather trimmed bucket seats, a ParkView rear backup camera, power second row windows, a driver information digital display, automatic temperature control, and all season tires.
Choosing Your 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan
Deciding which Grand Caravan is right for you, comes down to a matter of preference and necessity. Whether you opt for the very basic American Value Package, or choose to splurge on the R/T model, every 2016 Grand Caravan is a high quality Dodge vehicle.
Extra packages can be added to Grand Caravan models, including the “Plus” package which adds enhanced interior trim, foglamps, automatic headlights, and a power driver’s seat.
Bottom line – the 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan is an exceptional option in the minivan segment, and truly offers a little something for everyone.