Drivetrain: Solid 3.6-liter V6 with six-speed automatic transmission posts respectable city and highway mpg numbers.
Chrysler’s celebrated “Magic Wagons” have garnered plenty of praise from buyers, although the timing of their next-generation replacements remains a mystery. Until that decision is made, if you’re looking for the Grand Caravan’s combination of a great starting price with plenty of space and decent performance, you had best act quickly. Since its 2011-model-year updating, the GC drives more securely and frugally with a revised suspension topped with low-rolling-resistance tires to help prop up fuel economy. At the same time, the interior was upgraded with new gauges and soft-touch dashboard and door-panel surfaces replacing hard plastic. The 3.6-liter “Pentastar” V6 that was introduced at the same time produces 283 horsepower and, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, easily runs with the minivan herd for fuel economy. You’ll find the usual dozen or so cupholders plus a variety of small-item bins and pockets (including dual glove boxes) that showcase the vehicle’s utility. The standard third-row split-folding bench seat can be power folded (as an option) to create a flat load floor. The Stow ‘n’ Go feature comes with a one-touch-down function and provides out-of-sight storage bins when the second-row seats are left in their upright positions. The price-leading American Value Package (AVP), heads the list of trim levels that also includes SE, SXT, Crew and the sporty R/T. The AVP rings in at $22,700 (2015 price) and includes most of the basic features and safety systems you would expect. At the top end, the R/T comes with a tighter suspension.