2019 Dodge Grand Caravan Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
The Dodge Grand Caravan has been around for so many years that it is hard for many people to recall a time when it was not on the market. Unfortunately for the new 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan, Dodge has not done much to revamp this minivan since the release of its fifth generation all the way back in 2008. This means that some contemporary components found standard on other vehicles are missing on the Grand Caravan. Still, drivers love the flat-folding Stow 'n Go seating and the level of comfort they receive while riding around town or going on long road trips.
What's New for 2019?
Not a whole lot is new on the 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan. The only significant change that is worthy of noting is that the rear-view camera with an auto-dimming capability is now a standard feature. Other than that, everything carries over from the 2018 line-up.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan – The Pros
1. Stow 'n Go Second-row Seats
One of the long-standing features found in the 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan is its Stow 'n Go seating. Both the second and third rows of seats in the Grand Caravan fold completely into the floor, thereby making plenty of room for any extra large cargo that needs to be hauled in the rear. Using the Stow 'n Go system is as easy as the press of a button, eliminating the hassle of trying to manually move the seats out of the way.
A huge selling point for the Dodge Grand Caravan models has historically been that they are affordable for drivers who are on a tight budget. This tends to make them ideal for families with young children who want something with plenty of space but that can take a beating over time without becoming a major financial loss. The Dodge Grand Caravan tends to have a starting MSRP below its competition and does not have a ton of expensive options and stand-alone features that will jack up the price tag.
3. A Rear-seat DVD Entertainment System is Available
One of the options that might be worth adding to the 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan is the rear-seat DVD entertainment system. This option can be added on to any trim level and includes a viewing screen that is mounted onto the roof, satellite radio, a DVD player, wireless headphones, a charging-only USB port, and a 115V power outlet. This can keep rear seat passengers entertained for hours during lengthy road trips.
4. Appropriate Feedback From the Steering Wheel
Steering on the new Dodge Grand Caravan feels just as it should for a vehicle in its class. While the steering does not have a ton of bulk, it provides an appropriate amount of feedback, and the steering weight is something that drivers will easily get used to. Overall, the steering does a good job of providing information about how the wheels on the van are tracking along the road surface and inspire driver confidence.
5. Comfortable Seats Throughout the Cabin
Comfort can be found throughout the spacious 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan. Pick any seat and experience the plush, well-padded seating that it has to offer. The seats offer plenty of lateral support, and the optional second-row captain's chairs are just as comfortable as the standard seats. If you are looking to add a few more creature comforts, the Driver Convenience Group package adds heated front seats.
6. A Quiet and Smooth Ride Quality
The Dodge Grand Caravan provides all occupants with a compliant ride that is both quiet and smooth in terms of its quality. This minivan has no problem sticking to the road surface, and you will most likely not be hearing any bizarre rattling noises coming from inside of the cabin. The cabin itself is well-insulated from engine, road, and wind noise, so disturbances will be few and far between.
7. Controls Are Easy to Use
The 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan is an exceptionally user-friendly vehicle that makes its controls sensible and easy to access. While the dash-mounted shifter is a bit of an odd choice, everything else makes sense along the dash. Every primary and secondary control is well within the driver's grasp. Digital controls are well-labeled and minimal so as to avoid confusion for the non-tech savvy driver.
8. Excellent Visibility All Around
Although the third-row head rests can be difficult to see around, the fact that they can be flipped downward to improve rear visibility means that the Grand Caravan has excellent viewpoints all around. The front windshield is massive and is held in place by slender roof pillars that allow for excellent forward visibility. The side windows are also quite wide, which makes it easier for the driver to be able to check out what is happening in the van's blind spots without having to rely heavily upon blind-spot monitoring functions.
9. Getting In and Out is Simple
Access in and out of the van, as well as throughout the entire cabin, is made simple thanks to the spacious design. The 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan has a low step to get up, and the second and third rows of seats can easily be moved for better access in the rear. Entry and maneuverability for those with limited mobility is good in this minivan.
10. Plenty of Small Item Storage Areas
There is no shortage of small item storage bins and containers in the Grand Caravan. There are plenty of cup holders to be found and more than enough areas for the driver and passengers to place their purses, backpacks, laptops, tablets, cell phones, and books. Versatility is a huge strong point for the Grand Caravan, which shows in how thoughtfully Dodge has designed its storage areas.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan – The Cons
1. A Sluggish Acceleration
Spunky and speedy, this vehicle is not. The 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan is not able to compete with other top-selling minivans in terms of its acceleration. The Grand Caravan has been clocked going from 0 to 60 mph in roughly 8 seconds, which feels sluggish and a bit boring. While no minivan is designed to be a speed demon, many are at least embracing the average driver's desire to be able to get up to speed in a reasonable time. Tweaks to the powertrain somewhere in the future could help the Grand Caravan better compete with its rivals.
2. The 6-Speed Transmission Searches For Gears
Drivers will notice that the van's 6-speed automatic transmission spends too much time searching for gears. While this is merely a minor issue, it is one that can feel obnoxious for drivers who are not used to this level of gear-hunting from a transmission. Also, the van's throttle calibration feels a bit off, which can also be an annoyance.
3. Technology is Minimal
Technology on the 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan is, at best, minimal. Functional, yes, but scanty compared to what is offered on many of its competitors. Even on the highest trim level, technology is something left to be desired. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not available, and audio and Bluetooth connectivity are merely optional. The infotainment touchscreen is small and has an outdated look to it.
4. The Cabin Looks Cheaply Made
Nobody should expect this year's Dodge Grand Caravan to be luxurious, but the cabin falls short of even modest expectations for its segment. Most of the trim you will find throughout the cabin is just cheap hard plastic; soft-touch surfaces are scarce. Also, there could be some build quality issues with the second row of seats that would develop after several years of use.
How it stacks up to the competition:
2019 Dodge Grand Caravan vs. 2019 Chrysler Pacifica
A major rival for the 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan is the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica. The Pacifica offers a more contemporary look from the inside, out. It also features the same Stow 'n Go seats as the Grand Caravan and has excellent visibility. The major drawback on the Pacifica is that the 9-speed automatic transmission sometimes seems hesitant to shift. In terms of its list of infotainment and safety features, the Pacifica has the Grand Caravan beat.
2019 Dodge Grand Caravan vs. 2019 Honda Odyssey
Another top contender for the new Dodge Grand Caravan is the 2019 Honda Odyssey. The Odyssey is loaded with standard safety and infotainment features, putting the Grand Caravan completely to shame. The Odyssey is capable of providing a smooth and quiet ride as well, and the powerful V6 engine makes the Honda Odyssey more fun to drive than the Grand Caravan. However, the Odyssey does not have third-row seats that are power-folding, so you will have to manually try to raise and lower them. The second-row seats are also difficult to move.
The 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan keeps up the tradition of comfort and utility over luxury and power. The Stow 'n Go seats are a favorite among minivan drivers, and the visibility drivers get from behind the wheel is superb. Unfortunately, the Grand Caravan is getting overshadowed by its more high-tech and luxurious-looking peers. If Dodge wants to continue to compete in this segment, they are going to have to make some major changes with a future overhaul. Otherwise, the Grand Caravan is just treading water in a market that is becoming more saturated with SUVs than minivans.
• Why buy a 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan? w/ pros vs cons