2018 Dodge Grand Caravan Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
What's New for 2018?
No significant changes were made between the 2017 and 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan – The Pros
The 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan is one of the most affordable minivans on the market. Drivers on tight budgets will appreciate the lower prices, even on mid- and top-of-the-line vehicle trims. While being an economy vehicle comes with a certain negative stigma, the Grand Caravan actually offers a lot of safety and technological features.
2. Second Row Stow 'n Go Seats
As per usual, the 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan includes Stow 'n Go seats, which allow you to easily flatten the second row of seats down, whether you get the standard row of seats or the captain's chairs. This allows an extra amount of cargo space, which is already quite generous.
3. Abundant Storage Areas
Whether you're trying to store small items in the cabin or in the cargo area, there are plenty of storage bins and compartments to be found. The Driver Convenience Group package, which is offered as an option on the SXT and standard on the line-topping GT, includes an overhead storage bin.
4. Good Feedback From the Steering Wheel
The steering wheel provides a surprisingly good amount of feedback to the driver. Overall, the steering and handling on the 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan is quite proficient and makes the driver feel secure while navigating busy roadways and crowded parking lots.
5. Comfortable First- and Second-Row Seats
Seat comfort is one of the highlights of the Grand Caravan. While the third row is standard, the first and second rows are extremely well-padded and can comfortably fit people of almost any size. There is a good amount of seat width for those with wider hips.
6. Not Much Noise
The Grand Caravan is well-insulated, so drivers won't have to crank up the volume on the stereo system. In fact, there is relatively no noticeable road or wind noise, and there are not too many engine vibrations while going along on main roads.
7. Easy-to-Use Controls
The controls on the Grand Caravan tend to make sense. They are all clearly labeled and put within arms-reach of the driver. Also, a lot of the controls are still in the form of physical knobs and buttons, so they won't stump a non-tech-savvy driver.
8. Uconnect Hands-Free Group is An Available Package
The Uconnect Hands-Free Group package can be added to the base SE trim. This package includes a satellite radio, USB port, a leather shifter and steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and Bluetooth capabilities. This package makes it so that drivers won't have to take their hands off the wheel to adjust some controls, and the leather wrapping is a nice touch that's nice to touch.
9. Optional Second-Row Captain's Chairs
If you prefer to have a little bit more space in the rear, getting the captain's chairs is a good idea. These chairs come with Stow 'n Go, so you won't have a hassle trying to maneuver them.
10. Optional Rear-Seat Entertainment System
Regardless of which trim you choose, any model can be equipped with an optional rear-seat entertainment system. This includes the touchscreen that can be found on the center stack in the line-topping GT trim, a 9-inch overhead screen in the rear, HDMI input, two USB ports, satellite radio, and a 115-volt outlet. All in all, this addition is bound to keep kids engaged while on long drives and is worth the upgrade if you frequently have rear-seat passengers.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan – The Cons
1. Cheap Materials
Unfortunately, one gaze at the interior tells a rather frustrating tale. The materials just don't stack up to the competition in terms of quality. Of course, this is an economy vehicle, so glitz and glamour aren't to be expected. However, it would be nice to see Dodge put slightly more into crafting a high-quality interior on this minivan.
2. Bluetooth Isn't Standard
Bluetooth doesn't come standard on any trim level. This is rather surprising, seeing as how some of Dodge's competitors offer Bluetooth standard on, at the very least, higher trim levels. This might just cause Dodge to fall further behind the competition.
3. Laggy Touchscreen Interface
Dodge's touchscreen interface is possibly one of the slowest and most glitchy on the market. You will have to wait for the screen to load to a new page, and you will have to press hard with your finger to make it sense your touch.
4. A Sluggish 6-Speed
The 6-speed automatic transmission seems to spend a significant amount of time trying to find the right gear, especially at certain speeds. This isn't a huge issue, as it will eventually find the gear, but it is noticeable by some drivers.
How it stacks up to the competition:
2018 Dodge Grand Caravan vs. 2018 Honda Odyssey
Unlike the Grand Caravan, the 2018 Honda Odyssey is crafted from high-quality interior materials. Its transmission is fluid and doesn't struggle with gear-finding, and the steering and handling are impeccable. Fuel economy is also better on the Odyssey, but the vehicle is, of course, priced well above the Grand Caravan. The only major drawback is that the second row of seats is difficult to move. However, it is one of the top minivans available and packs a lot of creature comforts into one spacious and well-designed package.
2018 Dodge Grand Caravan vs. 2018 Toyota Sienna
Another top competitor in the minivan segment is the 2018 Toyota Sienna. The Sienna features onboard 4G LTE WiFi, and there are a grand total of five USB ports, which are spaced throughout the vehicle. There are tons of safety and tech features to enjoy. Again, the Sienna is more expensive than the Grand Caravan but can be well worth the cost.
The 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan struggles in certain areas. Its interior design is lacking refined, high-quality materials, and the touchscreen interface every tech-geek's nightmare. However, the vehicle is very family-friendly, is relatively comfortable and spacious throughout, and offers great optional features and packages on all trims.
• Why buy a 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan? w/ pros vs cons