Dodge Caravan

Dodge Grand Caravan
2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Mainstreet -- 02-17-2011.jpg
2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Mainstreet
Overview
Manufacturer
Also called
  • Chrysler Voyager/Grand Voyager (Europe, 1988–1st June 2011/UK/IRL 1988–2015
  • Lancia Voyager (Europe (except UK and Ireland, 2011–present))
ProductionNovember 2, 1983[1] –present
Model years1984–present
Assembly
Body and chassis
ClassMinivan
Layout
Related

The Dodge Caravan (also known as the Dodge Grand Caravan) is a series of minivans produced by Chrysler since the 1984 model year. Marketed as the Dodge version of the Chrysler minivans, the Caravan is currently in its fifth generation of production. Introduced alongside the Plymouth Voyager, the Caravan was also sold by Chrysler as the Chrysler Town & Country until its 2017 replacement by the Chrysler Pacifica.

Largely marketed in the United States and Canada, the Dodge Caravan was marketed in Europe as the Chrysler Voyager. From 2009 to 2014, Volkswagen marketed the Volkswagen Routan, a rebadged version of the Dodge Grand Caravan.

Since its November 1983 introduction for the 1984 model year, the Dodge Caravan has been assembled at Windsor Assembly, in Windsor, Ontario, Canada; prior to 2010, Saint Louis Assembly (in Fenton, Missouri) was an additional source of production. Since their introduction in late 1983, over 14.6 million Chrysler minivans (including rebadged variants and export versions) have been sold worldwide.[2]

Background[edit]

At the end of 1977, Chrysler commenced development on what would become the Chrysler minivans.[3] Alongside the ability to park within a standard-height garage, designers sought to develop a vehicle with a low floor and car-like NVH levels.[3] While front-wheel drive was sought out for the design, rear-wheel drive was still considered an alternative for cost reasons.[3] Following the move of both Hal Sperlich and Lee Iacocca from Ford to Chrysler in late 1978, the Chrysler minivan design (codenamed T-115 at the time) adopted front-wheel drive.[3]

While the Dodge Caravan (and Plymouth Voyager) shared no chassis underpinnings with the K-cars, the two model lines retained mechanical commonality, sharing engines and transmissions.[3]

First generation (1984–1990)[edit]

First generation
87-90 Dodge Grand Caravan.jpg
Overview
Also calledDodge Grand Caravan (LWB Model)
Dodge Caravan (SWB Model)
ProductionOctober 1983–1990
Model years1984–1990
DesignerBob Hubbach (1980)[4][5][6]
Body and chassis
Body style3-door minivan
LayoutTransverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
PlatformChrysler S platform
RelatedChrysler Town & Country
Plymouth Voyager
Dodge Mini Ram
Chrysler Voyager (Europe only)
Powertrain
Engine2.2 L K I4
2.5 L K I4
2.5 L Turbo I4 TURBO
2.6 L Mitsubishi G54B I4
3.0 L Mitsubishi 6G72 V6
3.3 L EGA V6
Transmission4-speed A460 manual
5-speed manual
3-speed A413 automatic
3-speed A470 automatic
3-speed A670 automatic
4-speed A604 automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase1984–1988 SWB: 112.1 in (2,847 mm)
Grand Caravan & C/V Extended: 119.1 in (3,025 mm)[7]
1989–1990 SWB & C/V: 112 in (2,844.8 mm)
LengthSWB & C/V: 175.9 in (4,468 mm)
Grand Caravan: 190.5 in (4,839 mm)
1989–1990 LE SWB: 177.3 in (4,503 mm)
1989–1990 Grand Caravan LE: 191.9 in (4,874 mm)
C/V Extended: 190.6 in (4,841 mm)
Width1984–1988: 69.5 in (1,765 mm)
1989–1990: 72 in (1,829 mm)
Height1984–1988 SWB: 64.4 in (1,636 mm)
1987–1988 Grand Caravan: 65 in (1,651 mm)
C/V: 64.2 in (1,631 mm)
1989–1990 SWB: 64.6 in (1,641 mm)
1989–1990 Grand Caravan: 64.8 in (1,646 mm)
Dodge Caravan SE Turbo (Chile)

Originally slated for introduction as a 1982 model[3], the Dodge Caravan was introduced alongside the Plymouth Voyager in November 1983 for the 1984 model year.

Interior trim, controls, and instrumentation were borrowed from the Chrysler K platform, and coupled with the lower floor enabled by the front-wheel-drive, the Caravan featured car-like ease of entry. There were three trim levels: base, SE, and LE. Notably, the Caravan, along with the Plymouth Voyager, are considered to be the first mass produced vehicles to have dedicated built in cup holders.[8][9]

Base vans came equipped for five passengers in two rows of seating. The LE came with seven passengers standard in three rows of seating. The base van had two bucket seats with attached armrests and open floor space between them in the front, a three-person bench seat in the second row. The seven-passenger came with two bucket seats with attached armrests and open floor space between them in the front, a two-person bench seat in the second row, and a three-person bench seat in the back row. The two bench seats in the rear were independently removable, and the large three-person bench could also be installed in the second row location via a second set of attachment points on the van's floor, ordinarily hidden with snap-in plastic covers. This configuration allowed for conventional five person seating with a sizable cargo area in the rear. The latching mechanisms for the benches were easy to operate though removing and replacing the seats typically required two adults. A front low-back 60/40 split bench, accommodating a third front passenger in the middle, was offered in the SE trim level in 1985 only, allowing for a maximum of eight passengers. This configuration was subsequently dropped. Base model curb weight 2,910 lbs.

Safety features consisted of 3-point seat belts for the front two passengers, with simple lap belts for the rear five. Seats on base models and cloth-trimmed SEs had no headrests, which were not mandated due to the van's "light truck" legal status. However, the two front seats were equipped with non-adjustable headrests on the LE model and in conjunction with vinyl upholstery on the SE. Side-impact reinforcements were mandated, and were at all seating positions front and rear. Neither airbags nor anti-lock braking systems were available.

Access to the rear rows of seating was by a large passenger-side sliding door enabling easy access in confined situations, e.g., parking. Because only one sliding door was offered, the smaller 2nd row bench seat was shifted to the driver's side of the van, facilitating passenger access to the 3rd row seat. To facilitate variable cargo storage behind the rear seat, the seat could be adjusted forward in two increments, the first of which removed roughly 6 inches (150 mm) of legroom from the back row passengers, and the second of which would push the bench all the way to the back of the 2nd row, making the seats unusable. The seat back of the rear bench could also be folded forward, providing a flat cargo shelf. The smaller 2nd row bench was not adjustable, nor foldable; it could only be removed entirely.

Cargo access to the rear was via a hatchback, similar to the one on the K platform station wagons. The hatch was hinged at the top and held open by gas struts.

A long wheelbase variant, marketed as the Grand Caravan, was introduced in May 1987. It allowed more cargo space behind the rear seat.

A cargo version of the Caravan, called the Mini Ram Van, was also introduced for 1984, with a flat floored cargo space four feet tall and with four feet between the wheel wells. The load capacity was 1,700 lb (770 kg).[10] It was renamed the Caravan C/V for 1989 and was then discontinued after 1995. It was initially available with the short wheelbase; a long-wheelbase variant was introduced alongside the Grand Caravan. Unique to the Caravan C/V was the option of either having the traditional hatch door in the back or the optional swing-out bi-parting doors (with or without windows), similar to those of more traditional cargo vans. These doors were made of fiberglass and required the C/V vans to be "drop shipped", as these doors were custom installed by another vendor.[citation needed] Also based on the Mini Ram and C/V were aftermarket conversion vans sold through official Chrysler dealers and from the conversion companies themselves.

Trim levels[edit]

  • Base - Included: Vinyl upholstery, 5-passenger seating, warning chimes, cigar lighter, digital clock, manual locks, windows and mirrors, 15 gallon fuel tank, tinted windows, halogen headlamps, an AM/FM stereo with four speakers, vinyl steering wheel, and intermittent wipers.
  • SE - Added: Cloth upholstery, reclining front seats, rear assist strap, 20 gallon fuel tank, power liftgate release, tape stripes, and steel rims.
  • LE - Added: Cloth-and-vinyl upholstery, front and rear fascia, forward storage console, warning lights for door ajar, storage drawer, washer fluid warning, and so forth, and power mirrors.

Transmissions[edit]

Both a three-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission and a five-speed manual were available with all inline-four engines, including the turbocharged 2.5-liter (this was a rare combination). The Plymouth Voyager, which was a rebadged version of the Caravan, was also available with a manual transmission. The Chrysler Town & Country, released in 1990, which was a more luxurious repackaged version of the Caravan, had no manual transmission option. Manual transmissions were not available on V6 models of the passenger Caravan, but were an option on the Mini Ram Van and Caravan C/V's long wheelbase models with a 3.0 L V6[citation needed].

The V6 engines were only offered with the venerable fully hydraulically operated TorqueFlite, until the computer controlled Ultradrive four-speed automatic became available in 1989. The Ultradrive offered much better fuel economy and responsiveness, particularly when paired with the inline-four engine. However, it suffered from reliability problems, usually stemming from what is known as "gear hunt" or "shift busyness", resulting in premature wear of the internal clutches. It also required an uncommon type of automatic transmission fluid and is not clearly labeled as such, leading many owners to use the more common Dexron II rather than the specified "Mopar ATF+3", resulting in transmission damage and eventual failure.

The Ultradrive received numerous design changes in subsequent model years to improve reliability,[original research?] and many early model transmissions would eventually be retrofitted or replaced with the updated versions by dealers, under warranty. These efforts were mostly successful, and most first-generation Caravans eventually got an updated transmission.[original research?]

Engines[edit]

For the first three years of production, two engines were offered in the Caravan – both inline-four engines with 2-barrel carburetors. The base 2.2 L was borrowed from the Chrysler K-cars, and produced 96 hp (72 kW) horsepower. The higher performance fuel-injected version of the 2.2 L engine later offered in the K-cars was never offered in the Caravan, and the 2-bbl version would remain the base power plant until mid-1987. Alongside the 2.2 L, an optional Mitsubishi 2.6 L engine was available, producing 104 hp (78 kW) horsepower.

In mid-1987, the base 2.2 L I4 was replaced with a fuel-injected 2.5 L I4, which produced 100 hp (75 kW), while the Mitsubishi G54B I4 was replaced with the new fuel-injected 3.0 L Mitsubishi V6 producing 136 hp (101 kW) in March of that year.

Shortly thereafter in model year 1989, a more powerful engine became optional, with a turbocharged version of the base 2.5 L producing 150 hp (112 kW). Revisions to the Mitsubishi V6 upped its output to 142 hp (106 kW) that same year, and in 1990 a new 150 hp (110 kW) 3.3 L V6 was added to the option list. The V6 engines became popular as sales of the 2.5 turbo dwindled and it was dropped at the end of the year. In these years, the ES model debuted (short wheelbase only) to highlight the new engines, the turbo 2.5 in particular. The ES was introduced to the long wheelbase Grand Caravan for 1991 and continued throughout 2003, before it was discontinued and replaced with the SXT.

  • 1984–1987 2.2 L K I4, 96 hp (72 kW), 119 lb⋅ft (161 N⋅m)
  • 1984–1987 2.6 L Mitsubishi G54B I4, 104 hp (78 kW), 142 lb⋅ft (193 N⋅m)
  • 1987½–1990 2.5 L K I4, 100 hp (75 kW), 135 lb⋅ft (183 N⋅m)
  • 1987½–1988 3.0 L Mitsubishi 6G72 V6, 136 hp (101 kW), 168 lb⋅ft (228 N⋅m)
  • 1989–1990 2.5 L Turbo I4, 150 hp (110 kW), 180 lb⋅ft (240 N⋅m)
  • 1989–1990 3.0 L Mitsubishi 6G72 V6], 142 hp (106 kW), 173 lb⋅ft (235 N⋅m)
  • 1990 3.3 L EGA V6, 150 hp (110 kW), 185 lb⋅ft (251 N⋅m)

Second generation (1991–1995)[edit]

Second generation
2nd-Dodge-Caravan.jpg
Overview
Also calledDodge Grand Caravan (LWB Model)
Dodge Caravan (SWB Model)
Guangdong Sanxing SXZ6451 (Short wheelbase)/SXZ6490 (Long wheelbase) (China)
ProductionAugust 14, 1990 – August 1995[11]
Model years1991–1995
Body and chassis
Body style3-door minivan
LayoutTransverse front-engine, front-wheel drive / all-wheel drive
PlatformChrysler AS platform
RelatedChrysler Town & Country
Plymouth Voyager
Chrysler Voyager (Europe only)
Powertrain
Engine2.5 L K I4
3.0 L Mitsubishi 6G72 V6
3.3 L EGA V6
3.8 L EGH V6
Transmission5-speed A523 manual
3-speed A670
3-speed A413 automatic
4-speed A604 automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase1991–1993 C/V: 112 in (2,845 mm)
SWB & 1994–1995 C/V: 112.3 in (2,852 mm)
1991–1993 C/V Extended: 119.1 in (3,025 mm)
C/V AWD: 112 in (2,845 mm)
Grand Caravan & 1994–1995 C/V Extended: 119.3 in (3,030 mm)
Length1991–1993 C/V: 175.9 in (4,468 mm)
1991–1993 SWB & 1994–95 C/V: 178.1 in (4,524 mm)
1991–1993 C/V Extended: 190.6 in (4,841 mm)
Grand Caravan: 192.8 in (4,897 mm)
Width72 in (1,828.8 mm)
1991 C/V: 72.2 in (1,834 mm)
1992–1993 C/V: 69.6 in (1,768 mm)
HeightSWB & 1991–93 C/V: 64.2 in (1,631 mm)
Grand Caravan: 64.8 in (1,646 mm)
1991–93 AWD: 65.9 in (1,674 mm)
Grand Caravan: 66 in (1,676.4 mm)
Grand Caravan: 66.7 in (1,694 mm)
1994–95 SE: 64.3 in (1,633 mm)
Curb weight3,305 lb (1,499 kg)
3,531 lb (1,602 kg) (Grand Caravan)

From 1991 through 1995, the Caravan used the Chrysler AS platform; they were the last minivans derived from the Chrysler K platform. The increasing popularity of the short wheelbase Caravan had a dramatic effect on the captive import from Mitsubishi, called the Dodge Colt Vista, and was no longer imported to North America starting in 1991.

The second generation had features including:

  • "Quad Command" bucket seating (1991)
  • Integrated child safety seats (1991, MY1992), improved design with recliners (1993, MY1994)
  • Available anti-lock brakes (1991)
  • First driver's side airbag in a minivan (1991) and first dual front airbags (1994)
  • First minivan to meet 1998 U.S. federal safety standards (1993, MY1994)
  • All-wheel drive was introduced for the minivan. (1991)

1992 models included revised roof-racks and doorhandles. 1993 marked the final year for optional woodgrain and wire wheels on higher level models. 1994 models had a redesigned interior, with slightly different seat contours/fabrics, along with a new dash, in order to accommodate a passenger-side air bag.

1994 exterior trim changes included a body colored grill and moldings on certain models, as well as the addition of a one-year only "10th Anniversary Edition" package. Available as an option on a mid-level Caravan and Grand Caravan (also offered on Voyager models as well), the package featured two-tone paint schemes, which included a contrasting light gray colored lower break, along with a gold fender badge. Only select colors were available on this model.

Trim levels[edit]

  • Base - Included: cloth-and-vinyl upholstery, intermediate bench seat, tinted manual windows, power mirrors, intermittent windshield wipers and rear wiper, glove box, and an AM/FM stereo.
  • SE - Added: power liftgate release, reclining front seats and rear bench.
  • LE - Added: heated mirrors, forward storage console, tachometer, oil pressure and voltage gauges, overhead console, power locks, rear defroster, speed control, storage drawer under front passenger seat, and tilt steering column.

Engines[edit]

  • 1991–1995 2.5 L K I4, 100 hp (75 kW), 135 lb⋅ft (183 N⋅m)
  • 1991–1995 3.0 L Mitsubishi 6G72 V6, 142 hp (106 kW), 173 lb⋅ft (235 N⋅m)
  • 1991–1993 3.3 L EGA V6, 150 hp (110 kW), 185 lb⋅ft (251 N⋅m)
  • 1994–1995 3.3 L EGA V6, 162 hp (121 kW), 194 lb⋅ft (263 N⋅m)
  • 1994–1995 3.8 L EGH V6, 162 hp (121 kW), 213 lb⋅ft (289 N⋅m)
1994–1995 Dodge Grand Caravan ES AWD

Third generation (1996–2000)[edit]

Third generation
Dodge Grand Caravan Sport -- 11-24-2009.jpg
Dodge Grand Caravan, the long wheelbase version
Overview
Also calledDodge Grand Caravan (LWB Model)
Dodge Caravan (SWB Model)
3-Star Grand Caravan SXZ6510 (China)
ProductionJanuary 30, 1995–2000
Model years1996–2000
1996–2002 (China)
AssemblySt. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Windsor, Canada
DesignerDon Renkert (1991)
Body and chassis
Body style3-door and 4-door minivan
LayoutTransverse front-engine, front-wheel drive / all-wheel drive
PlatformChrysler NS platform
RelatedChrysler Town & Country
Plymouth Voyager
Chrysler Voyager
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission5-speed manual (Philippines diesel)
3-speed 31TH automatic
3-speed A670 automatic
4-speed 41TE automatic
Dimensions
WheelbaseSWB: 113.3 in (2,878 mm)
Grand Caravan: 119.3 in (3,030 mm)
LengthSWB: 186.3 in (4,732 mm)
Grand Caravan FWD: 199.6 in (5,070 mm)
Grand Caravan AWD: 199.7 in (5,072 mm)
Width76.8 in (1,951 mm)
Height68.5 in (1,740 mm)
FWD: 68.7 in (1,745 mm)
Curb weight3,528 lb (1,600 kg)
3,680 lb (1,669 kg) (Grand Caravan)
1996 Dodge Caravan (no driver-side sliding door)

The third-generation Chrysler minivans were available in long- and short– wheelbase models; three- and four-door configurations; and eight different powertrains, including electric and compressed natural gas; on a single, flexible platform.

In development for nearly 5 years from early 1990 (full development from 1991) to December 26, 1994 (final design by Don Renkert was approved on September 23, 1991 and frozen in May 1992),[12] the 1996 model was introduced at the 1995 North American International Auto Show using the Chrysler S platform.[13] It included a number of innovations, including a driver's side sliding door (optional initially, to become standard equipment later), a first for Chrysler and a non-compact minivan for the United States and Canada.[14] With Generation III, Chrysler introduced a seat management system marketed as Easy Out Roller Seats. A conventional door handle and lock was added to the rear hatch, eliminating the confusing pop-and-lift maneuver which had been required on earlier models.

Base models of the Caravan were offered in most states with either a 2.4 L four-cylinder or the 3.0 L Mitsubishi 6G72 V6 engine, except in several northeastern states, where the Mitsubishi did not meet emissions standards. In those areas, the 3.3 L engine was offered as the V6 option from 1997 through 2000.

The 1996 Caravan, along with the Plymouth Voyager and the Chrysler Town & Country won the North American Car of the Year award. The Caravan itself won Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year 1996 and appeared on the Car and Driver Ten Best for 1996 and 1997. 1999 also saw the addition of a one-year only 15th anniversary "Platinum Edition", to mark Caravan's 15th year of production. This package was offered on various trim levels, and included Platinum Metallic paint, and fender badges. The 2000 model year offered packages which included the "2000+" and "Millennium" package, however these were little more than unique fender badges on vans with popular equipment.[citation needed]

During the 1996 model year, running changes saw the elimination of the plastic intake manifold cover from the 3.8L engine and redesigned interior door panels. Changes for the 1997 model year were minor, adding traction control as an option or standard equipment, depending on trim level, along with the reintroduction of optional all-wheel drive. The Caravan received more minor updates in 1997 for the 1998 model year. These changes came in the form of new colors, new wheels for trims above SE, new interior fabric, optional heated seats and automatic headlights on higher trim levels. In calendar year 1998, the Caravan's HVAC vents on the driver's side and center of the dashboard were updated to have a more conventional design. Later that year, the 1999 Caravan received new front styling on all trims above SE, while the Sport and ES models received even sportier styling. The ES model was the first minivan to receive the "AutoStick" transmission and 17 inch wheels. A cargo net between the driver and front passenger seats was added. Color keyed door and lift-gate handles were standard across the whole range, in addition to a new keyless entry remote. Base and SE models had options for a spoiler as well as color keyed bumpers and trim (grey or color molded bumpers and trim were standard). The driver's side sliding door became standard. Chrysler had updates of the Plymouth Voyager in 1996 for the 1997 model year and the Chrysler Town & Country in 1997 for the 1998 model year, prior to the 1998–2007 DaimlerChrysler era; it was the only exterior update of the NS Dodge Caravan.

Trim levels[edit]

  • Base - Included: Cloth upholstery, speed-sensitive wipers, manual locks, 14" steel rims with "Successor" hubcaps, and an AM/FM stereo with four speakers. Package 22T added air conditioning, and cargo net.
  • SE - Added: air conditioning, power mirrors, speed control, rear defroster, power locks, sliding rear driver's side door, an AM/FM stereo with cassette player and four speakers, steering wheel audio controls, and 15" steel rims with "revolver" hubcaps. Package 28D added power front windows with automatic driver's side window, ignition delay, glove box, and an ashtray.
  • Sport - Added: tinted windows, and power windows with automatic driver's side window, fog lamps, and 16" steel rims with "Vortex" hubcaps.
  • LE - Added: optional leather seating surfaces, dual-zone air conditioning with temp control, overhead console with sunglass holder, garage door opener holder, illuminated entry, headlamp off delay, keyless entry, security alarm, power driver's seat, an AM/FM stereo with cassette player, steering wheel audio controls, graphic equalizer, Infinity 200-watt sound system and 10 speakers, center console storage bin, and 15" steel rims with "Citadel" hubcaps.
  • ES - Added: fog lamps, automatic headlamps, garage door opener, heated power front seats, an AM/FM stereo with cassette and CD players, rear spoiler, and 16" "genesis" alloy rims.

Engines[edit]

  • 1996–2000 2.4 L EDZ I4, 150 hp (110 kW), 167 lb⋅ft (226 N⋅m) (Canadian vans beginning in 1999 included a 3.0 L V6 as standard equipment)
  • 1996–2000 3.0 L Mitsubishi 6G72 V6 150 hp (110 kW), 176 lb⋅ft (239 N⋅m) (not available in certain U.S. states, 3.3 L V6 offered as standard equipment in those states instead)
  • 1996–2000 3.3 L EGA V6, 158 hp (118 kW), 203 lb⋅ft (275 N⋅m)
  • 1996–1997 3.8 L EGH V6, 166 hp (124 kW), 227 lb⋅ft (308 N⋅m)
  • 1998–2000 3.8 L EGH V6, 180 hp (130 kW), 240 lb⋅ft (330 N⋅m)

Dodge Caravan EPIC[edit]

In 1999, Dodge introduced the Caravan EPIC, a fully electric minivan. The EPIC was powered by 28 12-volt NiMH batteries and was capable of traveling up to 80 miles (130 km) on a single charge. The EPIC was sold as a fleet-only lease vehicle. Production of the EPIC was discontinued in 2001. Only a few hundred of these vehicles were produced and sold. After the leases expired they were returned and crushed. Approximately 10 vans remain in private hands today.

Crash test results[edit]

The 1996–2000 Dodge Grand Caravan received a "Marginal" rating in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's 40 mph offset test. The structural performance and restraints were graded "Acceptable", but the foot injuries were very high.

In the NHTSA crash tests, it received 4 stars for the driver and front passenger in the frontal-impact. In the side-impact test, it received 5 stars for the driver, and 3 stars for the rear occupant, and resulted in a fuel leak that could cause a fire hazard.

Concepts[edit]

Other plans for this generation included three minivan concepts to be made in the Windsor Assembly, the Dodge Caravan R/T, Voyager XG, and the Chrysler Pacifica 1999 concept. The Caravan R/T (originally ESS) was to include the most powerful engine ever for a minivan, rated at 325 horsepower (242 kW). It had large air intakes and driving lights in the front bumper, a brushed aluminum instrument panel, racing-style pedals, and black and white rubber flooring. The Voyager XG was more rugged, featured a diesel engine and manual transmission, and included many outdoor amenities, such as a built-in ice pack. The Chrysler Pacifica, based on the Town & Country, was more luxurious, had power leather seats and footrests, overhead bins and lighting, an LHS grille, and roof-long skylights. The Pacifica actually did come to be in 2004, based on the fifth generation Caravan, except that it became a crossover SUV rather than a minivan; the nameplate was eventually applied to a minivan in 2016.

Fourth generation (2001–2007)[edit]

Fourth generation
2007 Dodge Caravan SXT.jpg
Overview
Also calledDodge Grand Caravan (LWB Model)
Dodge Caravan (SWB Model)
ProductionJuly 24, 2000 – July 2007 (North America)
2007–2010 (China)
Model years2001–2007 (North America)
2008–2012 (China)
DesignerBrandon Faurote (1997)[15]
Body and chassis
Body style4-door minivan
LayoutTransverse front-engine, front-wheel drive / all-wheel drive
PlatformChrysler RS platform
RelatedChrysler Town & Country
Chrysler Pacifica
Chrysler Voyager
Powertrain
Engine2.4 L EDZ I4
2.8 L CRD diesel (Philippines)
3.0 L 6G72 V6 (China)
3.3 L EGA V6
3.8 L EGH V6
Transmission3-speed 31TH automatic with 2.4EDZ
4-speed 41TE automatic
Dimensions
WheelbaseSWB: 113.3 in (2,878 mm)
Grand Caravan: 119.3 in (3,030 mm)
Length2001–2004 SWB: 189.1 in (4,803 mm)
2005–2007 SWB: 189.3 in (4,808 mm)
Grand Caravan: 200.5 in (5,093 mm)/200.6 in (5,095 mm)
Width78.6 in (1,996 mm)
Height68.9 in (1,750 mm)
2002-2004 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport

Unveiled at the 2000 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) on Monday, January 10, 2000,[16] the redesigned 2001 Dodge Caravan and 2001 Chrysler Town & Country were released for sale in August 2000. The release was part of a promotional tie-in with Nabisco, which unveiled their new "Mini Oreos" inside the van during the unveiling.[17] The first vans rolled off the line at the Windsor Assembly Plant on July 24. The fourth generation vans were available in the trim levels; SE, Sport, SXT, AWD Sports, "base" model, AWD Choice, eL, C/V, ES, EX, AWD Wagon, and SXT All-Wheel-Drive.[18]

In development from February 1996 to December 1999, the Generation IV minivans were based on the Chrysler RS platform and featured a larger body frame with modified headlights and taillights. Design work was done by Brandon Faurote from January 1997 and reached production approval in 1998.

In addition to other detailed changes, power sliding doors and a power hatch became available as options. The Mitsubishi 3.0 L V6, which no longer met emissions standards in California and the northeastern U.S., was discontinued, and a more powerful 3.8L engine, based on the 3.3L, became available. All Wheel Drive continued to be offered on high end models. Other innovative available features included remote operated sliding doors and rear hatch, which could be opened and closed at the push of a button, either inside the vehicle, or with the keyless entry fob.

In the 2002 model year, DaimlerChrysler stopped using the "DODGE" badges on the front doors, like with all Dodge vehicles.

In 2003, the Caravan C/V and Grand Caravan C/V returned after having been discontinued in 1995. The C/V featured the option of deleted side windows (replaced by composite panels), optional rear seats, a cargo floor made of plastic material similar to pickup truck bedliners, rubber flooring in lieu of carpeting and normal hatch at the rear. Minor changes were made to the Grand Caravan ES including many of the features included in Option Group 29S becoming standard, the 17 inch Titan Chrome wheels no longer being an option replaced with standard 16 inch chrome wheels, and the disappearance of the AutoStick Transmission option. This year also saw the appearance of an optional factory-installed rear seat DVD system with single disc player mounted below the HVAC controls.

2004 offered an exclusive one year only "Anniversary Edition" package to mark Caravan's 20th year in production. This package was offered on higher level SXT models, and included chrome wheels, body color moldings, special interior accents and a unique fender badge.

2005 changes to the Caravan included a revised grille, new foglight fascia, and a system of in-floor folding second and third row seats, marketed as Stow 'n Go seating.

Production of this generation continued in China from 2008, when the Taiwanese Chrysler Town & Country production line was relocated there, until late 2010 when the fifth generation Chrysler Voyager was introduced to the Chinese market. The Caravan was subsequently replaced by the Journey, although a page for the Caravan still exists on the Dodge China site.[19] The Chinese Caravan was produced alongside the Town & Country, now using the Grand Voyager nameplate, by Soueast, and did not share any aesthetic components with the North American Caravan aside from the wheels. Instead, the Chinese Caravan was identical to the Taiwanese Town & Country, aside from the lack of chrome trim on the exterior door panels, and used a modified version of the Town & Country front bumper with a Dodge grille. Chinese vans were equipped with Mitsubishi 6G72 engines, and came in three trim levels: Classic, SXT, and Luxury.

Trim levels[edit]

  • SE - Included: Cloth upholstery, grocery bag hooks, manual air conditioning, tinted windows, manual locks, an AM/FM stereo with cassette player and four speakers (later, a single-CD player replaced the tape deck), and 15" steel rims with "Kinetic" hubcaps. Later standard features were sliding door alert (hazards flash when opening), and 15" steel rims with "Interface" hubcaps.
  • SE Plus (Grand Caravan only) - Added: power mirrors, sound insulation, keyless entry, illuminated entry, power front windows and rear vents,
  • Sport - Added: overhead console, rear defroster, sunscreen glass, speed control, power locks, floor mats, tachometer, power heated mirrors, an AM/FM stereo with cassette player and 6 speakers, power windows and 15" "crossfire" hubcaps. Package 25H added dual-zone air conditioning, glove box and ashtray lights, headlamp off delay. Package 25K added an AM/FM stereo with single-CD and cassette players and 6 speakers, power sliding doors and power driver's seat. Later replaced by SXT package.
  • SXT - Added (from SE Plus): Three zone air conditioning, power driver's seat, fog lamps, power sliding doors, HomeLink garage door opener, an AM/FM stereo with single-CD/cassette players and 6 speakers, tachometer, and 16" "Ingot" alloy rims.
  • ES - Added: three zone air conditioning, trip computer, fog lamps, driver's side power sliding door, garage door opener, an AM/FM stereo with cassette player, in dash 4-disc CD changer, and Infinity sound system, and 16" "europa" alloy rims.

Engines[edit]

  • 2001–2007 2.4 L EDZ I4, 150 hp (110 kW) at 5400 rpm and 165 lb⋅ft (224 N⋅m) at 4000 rpm
  • 2001–2007 3.3 L EGA V6, 180 hp (130 kW) at 5000 rpm and 210 lb⋅ft (280 N⋅m) at 4000 rpm
  • 2001–2007 3.8 L EGH V6, 200 hp (150 kW) at 5000 rpm and 245 lb⋅ft (332 N⋅m) at 4000 rpm
  • 2009–present 3.0 L EG1 V6, 168 hp (125 kW) (China)

In Canada, the 3.3 L V6 was standard on all models.

IIHS results[edit]

The 2001 model of this version earned a "Poor" rating in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 's 40 mph offset test. It did protect its occupants reasonably well, and the dummy movement was well controlled, however, a fuel leak occurred. Chrysler corrected this problem starting with the 2002 models, moving it up to an "Acceptable" rating.

The 2006 model year brought optional side curtain airbags and a stronger B-pillar, which was tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's side impact crash test. With the side airbags, it got an "Acceptable" rating. For the driver, there is a chance of serious neck injuries, rib fractures and/or internal organ injuries. The rear passengers, however, could leave this accident unharmed, as there is a low risk of significant injury in a crash of this severity for them.

Fifth generation (2008–present)[edit]

Fifth generation (Dodge Grand Caravan)
'16 Dodge Grand Caravan (Carrefour Angrignon).jpg
2016 Dodge Grand Caravan
Overview
Also calledRam C/V Tradesman
ProductionAugust 16, 2007–present
Model years2008–present
Body and chassis
Body style4-door minivan
LayoutTransverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
PlatformChrysler RT platform
RelatedChrysler Town & Country
Chrysler Grand Voyager
Volkswagen Routan
Ram Cargo Van
Powertrain
Engine2.8 L 176 hp (131 kW) CRD I4 diesel (Philippines)
3.3 L 175 hp (130 kW) V6
3.8 L 197 hp (147 kW) V6
4.0 L 251 hp (187 kW) V6
3.6 L 283 hp (211 kW) Pentastar V6
Transmission4-speed automatic (3.3 engine)
62TE 6-speed automatic (3.6, 3.8, 4.0 engines)
Dimensions
Wheelbase121.2 in (3,078 mm)
Length202.5 in (5,144 mm)
Ram Cargo Van: 202.8 in (5,151 mm)
Width78.7 in (1,999 mm)
Height68.9 in (1,750 mm)
Ram Cargo Van: 69.0 in (1,753 mm)
Curb weight4,306 lb (1,953 kg)
2009-2010 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
Interior, 2011-present

The fifth generation van had debuted at the 2007 North American International Auto Show with exterior styling by Ralph Gilles. Beginning with Generation V in model year 2008, Chrysler only made the long wheelbase Grand Caravan. With discontinuation of the short-wheelbase Caravan, Dodge offered the Journey on nearly an identical wheelbase and as a crossover rather than a minivan. Although the SWB model, which had accounted for half of all sales in Canada,[20] cost approximately $2,000 less and offered a four-cylinder engine option with improved fuel economy, Chrysler executives stated the SWB Caravan was discontinued to accommodate new features offered in the Grand Caravan, consistent with the demands of the majority of the minivan market.[21]

A new six-speed automatic transmission became standard with the 3.8 L V6 and the new 4.0 L V6. The four-speed automatic transmission is standard with the 3.3 L Flex-Fuel V6. This generation of Grand Caravan and its Town & Country counterpart were not available with an all-wheel-drive system. The previously unavailable Electronic Stability Control was made standard on this generation.[22]

Chrysler introduced a seat management system marketed as Swivel'n Go seating, the MyGIG entertainment system (a stereo with built in hard drive for recording, storing, and playing music), second and third row video screens, powered second row windows, standard side curtain airbags, and dashboard-mounted transmission controls. The gear shift lever moved to the instrument panel, the location used by competitors.

The market shifted briefly away from minivans and SUVs with the gasoline price spikes of the earlier part of 2008. This trend began to reverse itself towards the fall of 2008.[21] In 2009 and 2010 the Dodge Grand Caravan continued to be the top selling minivan in Canada, with over 60% of the market's monthly sales.

Automotive News reported that, from January to October in 2010, Dodge sold about a third of its 2010 Grand Caravans to rental fleets. The relatively high rental fleet sales depressed used vehicles' resale value: as the number of returned ex-rental 2010 Grand Caravan to the market jumped fourfold between July to October, prices of used 2009 and 2010 Dodge minivans dropped by as much as 20%.[23]

Trim levels[edit]

  • SE - Included: Cloth upholstery, 16" steel rims with hubcaps, overhead console with observation mirror, sunglass bin (not available if equipped with sunroof), power locks, power windows with automatic driver's side window, sliding door alert system (hazards flash for 10 seconds when opened), manual sliding doors, manual mirrors, air conditioning (manual temperature control), floor console, and an AM/FM stereo with single-CD player, MP3 capability, auxiliary input jack and four speakers.
  • SXT Added: power sliding doors, power heated mirrors, automatic front windows, power 2nd row windows, rear power vents, rear overhead console, universal garage door opener, LED lighting with rear overhead swivel lamps, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, power driver's seat, Stow N Go, an AM/FM stereo with single-CD/DVD player with MP3 capability, 20GB HDD, backup camera and 6 speakers, and 16" alloy rims.

Engines[edit]

Model Displacement Type Valves Power
(HP@RPM)
Torque
(lb-ft@RPM)
Compression
ratio
Transmission Fuel economy
(MPG)
Years
2.8L VM Motori A 428 DOHC diesel I4 2,766 cc (168.8 cu in) DOHC 16 [email protected],600 [email protected],000 6-speed 62TE automatic 2011–
2.8L VM Motori RA 428 DOHC diesel I4 2,766 cc (168.8 cu in) DOHC 16 [email protected],600 [email protected],000 6-speed 62TE automatic 2008–2010
3.3 L V6 3,301 cc (201.4 cu in) OHV 12 [email protected],000 [email protected],000 9.3:1 4-speed 41TE automatic 17/24 2008–2010
Pentastar 3.6 L[24] V6 3,604 cc (219.9 cu in) DOHC 24 [email protected],400 [email protected],400 10.0:1 6-speed 62TE automatic 17/25 2011–
3.8 L V6 3,778 cc (230.5 cu in) OHV 12 [email protected],200 [email protected],000 9.6:1 16/23 2008–2010
4.0 L V6 3,952 cc (241.2 cu in) SOHC 24 [email protected],000 [email protected],100 10.2:1 17/25 2008–2010

Both the 3.8 L and 4.0 L engines were paired with Chrysler's 62TE 6-speed automatic transmission with variable line pressure (VLP) technology (See Ultradrive#62TE).

In Canada (2008–2010) the 3.3 L was the standard engine across the range, combined with the 4-speed 41TE automatic transmission. The 4.0 L engine and six-speed combination was available as an option on only the top of the range SXT models. In 2011 the six-speed transmission was specified as standard on the Town & Country.

Safety[edit]

In the U.S. the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program crash testing, the 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan achieved a five star (top safety) rating in several categories.[25]

Frontal Impact – Driver and Passenger: 5/5 stars
Side Impact Driver: 5/5 stars
Side Impact Rear Passenger: 5/5 stars
Rollover: 4/5 stars
IIHS:[26]
Moderate overlap frontal offset Good
Small overlap frontal offset Poor
Side impact Good
Roof strength (2012–present models) Good

2009 model year[edit]

For 2009, standard Stow 'n Go seats were added that folded flat into the rear area floor to create more cargo room, while the Swivel 'n Go seats turned 180 degrees to face the third row. The available SXT trim now included new technology options. New for 2009 was an optional "sport" suspension system as well as a blind spot warning system and "Cross Path Detection" with sensors to warn of cars or other obstacles when backing out of a parking space.[27]

2010 model year[edit]

The Chrysler minivans became the only domestic brand minivans as GM and Ford replaced their slow-selling models with three-row crossover SUVs.[28]

Changes for the 2010 Dodge Grand Caravans included new active head restraints for the driver and front passenger on all models, three-zone manual climate controls for the Grand Caravan SE, and a new 3.16 final drive ratio for models equipped with the 4.0-liter engine.

2011 model year[edit]

Post-facelift 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan

The Grand Caravan underwent a mid-cycle refresh for the 2011 model year, which included major changes in both styling and functionality. The suspension was heavily re-tuned, with both Dodge and Chrysler minivans gaining a larger front sway bar and new rear sway bar, increased rear roll center height, adjusted spring rates, a new steering gear, a revised front static camber setting, and lowered ride height. This improved handling.

All three of the former engine choices were replaced by the new Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 with six-speed automatic transmission, now the sole powertrain choice for all models. Interior trim was restyled on both vans, in addition to major exterior revisions highlighted by the new "double-crosshair" grille on the Grand Caravan.

Other changes included extra sound insulation, acoustic glass, new seats, softer-touch surfaces, new LED ambient lighting and center console, and halogen projector headlamps with LED accents. The Chrysler models were adjusted so that instead of competing against equivalent Dodge trim levels, they were above Dodge in trim and features.[29]

2012 model year[edit]

For 2012, a new, basic style trim called "AVP" was introduced, while some features previously unavailable for "SE" (like touch navigation panel) become available as options (The "SE" now also received a floor console, similar to the one available for "SXT"). The same year, the front logo design was changed the two slanted rectangles in red to match the rest of the Dodge lineup. For 2013, the American Value Package "AVP" trim manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) was reduced by $1,000 from the year before.

2013 model year[edit]

The grand Caravan added a class-exclusive feature with optional Blu-Ray DVD player while the base "AVP" model was described by Autotrader.com editors as having a "shockingly low MSRP" giving buyers "incredible utility" in their vehicle.[30]

2014 model year[edit]

2014 Dodge Grand Caravan 30th Anniversary Edition on display at the Montreal Auto Show, 22 January 2014

For the 2014 model year, three new packages are introduced: American Value Package (US; Canada Value Package in Canada), Blacktop package (US only) and the 30th Anniversary Edition. They are all different sets of the SE and SXT trims, and include new luxury features for basically the same price. The Grand Caravan AVP also gained easy-clean floor mats that came with the optional second-row Stow'n Go seats (standard on SE, SXT and R/T).

The "Blacktop package", based on SE and SXT, came equipped with 17-inch polished aluminum wheels with gloss black pockets, a gloss black grille, black headlamp bezels, an all-black interior including headliner, door panels and console, unique black cloth seats and door trim panels with silver accent stitching, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with silver accent stitching and a leather shift knob, choice of 6 body colors (Granite Crystal, Billet Silver, Brilliant Black, Maximum Steel, Redline Red, Bright White). SXT models also include fog lamps.

The "SE 30th Anniversary Edition", based on the SE trim, came equipped with 17-inch satin carbon aluminum wheels, body-color heated exterior mirrors, 30th Anniversary badging on the front fenders, silver accent stitching and piano black accents throughout, black cloth seats, a black leather-wrapped steering wheel, black leather-wrapped shift knob, black headliner and overhead console, bright heating and air conditioning trim bezels, power second- and third-row windows, and 30th Anniversary logo on the key fob

The "SXT 30th Anniversary Edition", based on the SXT trim, was packaged with 17-inch polished aluminum wheels with satin carbon pockets, bright chrome roof rack, bright window trim moldings, fog lamps, automatic headlamps and special 30th Anniversary badging, Black Torino leatherette seats with premium suede inserts and silver accent stitching, power 10-way driver's seat, piano black accent trim bezels, and bright chrome accents throughout.

Both 30th Anniversary Editions included an available special body color, Granite Crystal Pearl Coat, a customized gauge cluster with 30th Anniversary badging, as well as the UConnect Handsfree Group (SiriusXM Satellite Radio with a one-year subscription, Bluetooth streaming audio and voice command and an auto-dimming rear view mirror). The vehicles arrived at dealerships at Q3 2013.[31][32][33]

Also new for the 2014 model year, the Grand Caravan R/T gained standard auto headlamps with black bezels and the Security Group featuring remote start and security alarm.

2015 model year[edit]

The Grand Caravan was not changed for the 2015 model year except for content features added to SE Plus and SXT Plus trims. The SE Plus package included black leather upholstery, power windows for the second row seats, and Chrysler's Uconnect voice command with Bluetooth sound system.

2016 model year[edit]

The new Chrysler Pacifica was unveiled on January 11, 2016, and getting all the attention, but the Dodge Grand Caravan continued to be marketed as a budget minivan alternative.[34]

2017 model year[edit]

A small 2017 model year update yields SE, SE Plus, SXT, and GT models. The 6.5-inch Touchscreen (Radio 430 and 430 NAV) became standard equipment. (Navigation is standard on GT and optional on SXT.)[35]

FCA unveiled the Chrysler Pacifica, a new crossover minivan for the 2017 model year, at the 2016 North American International Auto Show. The Pacifica replaced the Chrysler Town & Country, but it was originally stated that the 2016 model of the Dodge Caravan would be produced for one more model year as a lower-cost alternative to the Pacifica, before being discontinued.[36][37][38][39] In January 2017, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne stated that it was not clear if the Caravan would be discontinued, and that they would have to look into offering "some level of affordable access to the Pacifica at the lower end to try and replace the outgoing models" (this would eventually come in the form of the sixth-generation Voyager, although it is being produced alongside the Caravan). Despite the introduction of the higher-cost Pacifica model, sales of the Caravan increased by 26% in 2016.[39] A substantial number of Caravans are sold to low-margin rental fleets.[40] The vehicle continues to be positioned for price-conscious customers and it draws traffic to dealerships when the vehicle is aggressively priced.[40] Additionally, FCA provided various rebates and incentives to assist purchases of the Grand Caravan and other models by customers with credit scores of less than 620.[41]

According a report by an automotive journalist, this strategy helps the Chrysler Pacifica hold its value better while also having a more affordable minivan available.[42] Over 60% of the Dodge Caravan's sales goes to fleet sales and the vehicle was the second best selling vehicle for rental fleet sales.[42][43]

2018 model year[edit]

Production of Grand Caravans was temporarily suspended from September to November 2017 with the assembly of the 2018 model year versions starting in December 2017.[44][45] The production line required changes to install airbags that meet U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 226 calling for larger and more robust side-impact air curtains, as well as for them to deploy in the event of either a side-on collision or a rollover.[46]

Standard on all 2018 models are advanced multistage driver and front-passenger airbags that include low-risk deployment, a driver's-side inflatable knee blocker, front seat-mounted side airbags, and side-curtains for outboard passengers in all three rows.[47]

For 2018, the Grand Caravan was Dodge's best-selling vehicle while the sales of foreign-branded minivans fared worse than the Dodge in 2018.[48]

2019 model year[edit]

The 2019 model year marked the 35th anniversary of the Chrysler minivans.[49] A commemorative trim option was available on the SE and SXT models that included a bright grille, 17-inch "tech silver" aluminum wheels, a 35th Anniversary fender badge as well as "piano black" console and instrument panel accents and front floor mats with 35th Anniversary embroidered logo.[50] A "Blacktop Package" featuring a black grille, headlamp bezels as well as an all-black interior was optional on SE and SXT 35th anniversary edition models.[50]

The minivan market segment decreased in general. Sales of the Grand Caravan models in Canada declined by 9% during the first quarter of 2019, but it was still number 10 among the best-selling vehicles for that period in Canada.[51] Most sales went to the rental and on fleet customers.[51] The vehicle has not received major changes, but continues to be produced because "Dodge sold more than 125,000 Grand Caravans last year [2018], while Honda only sold 100,000 of its Odyssey minivans during the same year [2018]."[52]

The third shift at Windsor minivan plant ended in October 2019 due to sluggish sales, eliminating 1,500 direct jobs.[53]

2020 model year[edit]

Three models are available: SE, SE Plus, and SXT. The Grand Caravan SE Plus model now includes standard second-row Super Stow 'n Go bucket seats, power eight-way driver seat, and an all-black interior with cranberry wine accent stitching on the seats.[54] The optional "Blacktop Package" continues for the SE Plus and SXT models.

The Canadian market includes six models starting from an entry-level version and then increasing the standard equipment on each: CVP, SXT, SXT Premium Plus, Crew, Crew Plus, and the GT that includes many convenience features as well as a performance suspension system and a monochromatic exterior.[55] The "Blacktop Package" trim option is available on SXT models.

Sales[edit]

Calendar year United States Canada Mexico Total
2002 244,911[56] 244,911
2003 233,394 233,394
2004 242,307 63,559 305,866
2005 226,771 65,002 291,773
2006 211,140 61,901 273,041
2007 176,150 55,041 231,191
2008 123,749[57] 39,396[58] 163,145
2009 90,666[59] 40,283[60] 130,949
2010 103,323[61] 55,306[60] 158,629
2011 110,862[62] 53,406[63] 164,268
2012 141,468[64] 51,552[65] 193,020
2013 124,019[66] 46,732[63] 170,751
2014 134,152[67] 51,759[63] 185,911
2015 97,141[68] 46,927[63] 144,068
2016 127,678[69] 51,513[70] 179,191
2017 125,196[71] 46,933[72] 786[73] 172,195
2018 151,927[74] 32,253 184,180

Europe[edit]

Lancia Voyager (Austria)

As with preceding generations, Chrysler marketed the Caravan in Europe as the Chrysler Voyager, with the fifth-generation becoming exclusively sold as the long-wheelbase Grand Voyager. From 2007 to June 2011, the model line was sold under the Chrysler brand; following the acquisition of Chrysler by Fiat, the Voyager was rebranded as a Lancia in continental Europe (with the Chrysler Voyager remaining in Ireland and the UK).

The Chrysler/Lancia Voyager was marketed under three trim lines distinct to Europe (Silver, Gold and Platinum). The standard engine was a 2.8L I4 diesel (producing 161 hp), with a 3.6L gasoline V6 (producing 279 hp)[75]; both engines were paired to a 6-speed automatic.

Following the 2016 model year, exports of the Voyager were discontinued as Fiat Chrysler reorganized its brands, with Chrysler remaining largely in North America and Lancia sold exclusively in Italy.

Ram Cargo Van (Ram C/V Tradesman)[edit]

2012 Ram Cargo Van

For the 2012 model year, the Ram Trucks division received the Dodge Grand Caravan C/V cargo van, renaming it the Ram Cargo (C/V) Tradesman (reviving the name used by Dodge for its full-size cargo vans during the 1970s). In contrast to its predecessor, the Tradesman was strictly a two-seat vehicle, with solid metal body paneling in place of rear windows and a flat rear load floor.

As the Ram brand increased its use of Fiat-based vehicles, the Tradesman was replaced for 2016 by the ProMaster City[76], an American-market version of the Fiat Doblò.

Volkswagen Routan[edit]

Volkswagen Routan SE

After a five-year hiatus, Volkswagen re-entered the minivan segment in North America by introducing the Volkswagen Routan for the 2009 model year. Replacing the Transporter T4 (1992, 1999-2003 EuroVan) in North America, the Routan was sold in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Targeting approximately 5% of the sales within the minivan segment, Volkswagen entered into a 5-year production agreement with Chrysler.[77][78]

The Routan was manufactured by Chrysler at its Windsor Assembly facility alongside the Grand Caravan and Town & Country, styled with its model-specific interior trim and front and rear exterior fascias. While sharing powertrains with the Grand Caravan, the Routan was given its own suspension tuning and seating configurations (the last Chrysler-designed minivans with lift-out seats).[79] As part of the 2011 update of the Chrysler minivans, the Grand Caravan received the stiffer suspension tuning previously used by Volkswagen[77]; while receiving the 3.6L V6, the Routan carried over much of its interior.[80]

Falling far under sales expectations, the final Routans were produced by Chrysler in August 2012; all 2013 sales were from dealer inventory, with 2014 vehicles sold exclusively to fleets.[81][82] Originally predicting to sell 50,000 units per year, Volkswagen sold 57,683 Routans through its four years of production.[81] As Volkswagen shifted to SUVs in North America, the Routan minivan was replaced for 2018 by the three-row Atlas (also replacing the Touareg in North America).

Seating features[edit]

The Caravan has incorporated numerous seating systems for their minivans to enhance interior flexibility.

Integrated child safety seats[edit]

In 1991, Dodge introduced a second row bench seat integrating two child booster seats on 1992 models. These seats continued as an available option through Generation V until they were discontinued in 2010.

Easy-Out Roller Seats[edit]

In 1995, Dodge introduced a system of seats to simplify installation, removal, and re-positioning, marketed as Easy-Out Roller Seats. When installed, the seats are latched to floor-mounted strikers. When unlatched, eight rollers lift each seat, allowing it to be rolled fore and aft. Tracks have locator depressions for rollers, to simplify installation. Ergonomic levers at the seat backs release the floor latches single-handedly, without tools, and raise the seats onto the rollers in a single motion. Additionally, seat backs were designed to fold forward. Seat roller tracks are permanently attached to the floor and seat stanchions are aligned, facilitating the longitudinal rolling of the seats. Bench seat stanchions were moved inboard to reduce bending stress in the seat frames, allowing them to be lighter.

When configured as two and three person benches (available through Generation IV), the Easy Out Roller Seats could be unwieldy. Beginning in 2000, second and third row seats became available in a 'quad' configuration – bucket or captain chairs in the second row and a third row three-person 50/50 split "bench" – with each section weighing under 50 lb (23 kg). The Easy-out system remained in use through Generation V – where certain models featured a two-person bench and the under-floor compartments from the Stow'n Go system.

All the rebadged nameplate variants of the Chrysler minivans use the Easy Out Roller Seats on their second row seating, where not the Stow and Go system.

Stow 'N Go seating[edit]

In 2004, Dodge introduced a system of second- and third-row seating that folded completely into under-floor compartments. It was marketed as Stow 'N Go and was available exclusively on long-wheelbase models.

In a development program costing $400 million,[83] engineers initially used an Erector Set to visualize the complex interaction of the design[84] and redesigned under-floor components. The system included the spare tire well, fuel tank, exhaust system, parking brake cables, rear climate control lines, and rear suspension[84] but precluded all-wheel drive (AWD).

The system, in turn, creates a combined volume of 12 cubic feet (340 L) of under-floor storage when second-row seats are deployed. With both rows folded, the vans have a flat-load floor and a maximum cargo volume of 160.7 cubic feet (4,550 L).[83][85]

The Stow 'n Go system received the Popular Science Magazine's "Best of What's New" for 2005 award,[86] and was never offered on the Volkswagen Routan, the rebadged nameplate variant of the Chrysler minivans.

For model year 2011 Chrysler revised the system, rebranding it as "Super Stow 'n Go". New pivoting head restraints with taller seatbacks and a revised folding mechanism (marketed as "single action") improved stowage ease – with the head restraints folding on themselves automatically and the entire seat automatically folding down to a position just over its floor recess.

Swivel 'n Go seating[edit]

Dodge introduced a seating system in 2007, marketed as Swivel 'n Go. In the seating system, two full size second row seats swivel to face the third row. A detachable table can be placed between the second and third row seats. The Swivel 'n Go seating system includes the third row seating from the Stow 'n Go system. The system is offered on the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country, but not the Volkswagen Routan, a rebadged nameplate variant of the Chrysler minivans.

These Swivel 'n Go Seats are manufactured by Intier Corp. a division of Magna. The tracks, risers and swivel mechanisms are assembled by Camslide, a division of Intier. The swivel mechanism was designed by and is produced by Toyo Seat USA Corp.

The system is noted for its high strength.[citation needed] The entire load of the seat in the event of a crash is transferred through the swivel mechanism, which is almost twice as strong as the minimum government requirement.[citation needed]

The swivel mechanism includes bumpers that stabilize the seat while in the lock position. When rotated the seat comes off these bumpers to allow easy rotation.

The seat is not meant to be left in an unlocked position or swiveled with the occupant in it, although this will not damage the swivel mechanism.

"Swivel 'n Go" was dropped after the 2010 model year and is no longer an option on 2011 and later Chrysler and Dodge vans. However, the seats can still be installed by modifying the van with a few basic tools and parts[citation needed]. However, it is impossible to install the table.

Production[edit]

The long-wheelbase Dodge Grand Caravan with Stow 'n Go seats are built in Windsor, Ontario, Canada at Windsor Assembly (WAP Plant 3) by members of Canadian Auto Workers Local 444. Both wheelbase models were also produced in Fenton, Missouri at Saint Louis Assembly by members of the United Auto Workers Local 110 until 31 October 2008.[87]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hyde, Charles K. (2003). Riding the Roller Coaster: a history of the Chrysler Corporation. Wayne State University Press. p. 267. ISBN 978-0-8143-3091-3. Retrieved March 4, 2011.
  2. ^ Gr, Chrysler Pacifica Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Dodge; Caravan. "Chrysler And Dodge Minivans Get 35th Anniversary Editions". Motor1.com. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f ,"Creating the Plymouth, Dodge, and Chrysler Minivan: The Caravan/Voyager Development Story". www.allpar.com. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  4. ^ "Bob Hubbach". LinkedIn. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  5. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Archived from the original on March 14, 2016.
  6. ^ "United States Patent: D286865". Patft.uspto.gov. November 25, 1986. Archived from the original on October 18, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 30, 2018. Retrieved May 29, 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Dean, Sam. "The History of the Car Cup Holder". Bon Appetit. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  9. ^ Pages, The Society. "When Did Cars Get Cup Holders? - Sociological Images". Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  10. ^ Witzenburg, Gary (September 1983). "Detroit '84". Popular Mechanics. Vol. 160 no. 3. Hearst Magazines. p. 162. ISSN 0032-4558.
  11. ^ Eisenstein, Paul A. (July 29, 1990). "Car Changeovers Show Japan Lead". Chicago Tribune.
  12. ^ Hyde, Charles K. (2003). Riding the Roller Coaster: A History of the Chrysler Corporation. Wayne State University Press. p. 300. ISBN 9780814330913. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  13. ^ "Civil Action File No. 0110133833" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 16, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2014.
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