We bought this 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT to haul our family of two adults and four teenage sons. It replaced our old 1998 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE, which was also a Chrysler product, and is our third such van.
Pluses for the 2006 are the bigger 3.8L engine with more power, 4-wheel disc brakes, and the power sliding doors. The SXT package includes upgrades over the SE trim such as fog lights, aluminum wheels, overhead computer, etc., all of which which really help in the looks department or add convenience.
I rated the comfort as "average" because I'm tall and the front door panels are shaped in such a way that they encroach uncomfortably against my knees, but my shorter wife has no complaints about them, and she's the primary driver for this vehicle anyway. We really like the way the seats fold flat into the floors, but the trade-off is that the padding on the middle & rear seats are thinner and less comfortable than those in the '98. This won't likely be a problem with smaller children, but adults will probably complain on long trips. One also seems to sit higher in the 2006 than the 1998, but we're not sure if that's just an illusion due to the interior redesign, or possibly a result of floor height manipulation to accommodate the folding seat feature, or if the whole vehicle sits higher.
The ride is comfortable, although the van has a tendency to "porpoise" over large dips and bumps at freeway speed. It's no sports car, and it doesn't handle like one either. For the 99% of people out there who buy these vans, it handles just fine.
A few other minor details we miss from our old van are that the PW and PL switches on the passenger's door no longer light up at night, and the redesigned dash seems large and monolithic, which contrasts with the lighter colors and airy feeling of our old ride.
We've had this vehicle for about five weeks so far, and mileage seems to be about 14mpg in the city, and 18-19mpg on the highway. Nothing to write home about, but typical for vehicles in this class and in line with the mileage our 1998 returned (which was lighter and had the smaller 3.3L motor).
Overall we feel this vehicle offers great value for the money with a lot of standard features and a larger interior volume than many of its competitors. The price we paid for this very low mileage example was roughly half the price of a comparably-equipped new model.
ES82 - Salt Lake City, UT08/24/2012
The Dodge Grand Minivan Crew is extremely comfortable and spacious. My family loves all the upgrades and space and we love having a hard drive with all our music stored in the car. The car doesn't have a lot of power, but is sufficient when driving up the canyon fully loaded.
Good car for the price
HNCounts - Middletown, OH03/26/2012
This car looks great. I love the stow-n-go seating, how much room there is and also the power doors. I could be more impressed with the performance though. I know the van is 6 years old, but it feels like the transmission is losing power. Overall, its a good deal so far. Guess we'll have to see how this transmission thing goes first.
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