2020 vs 2021: What's the Difference?
Anyone who follows Fiat Chrysler knows that they have long been planning to move the Dodge Grand Caravan off of the market, leaving just the Chrysler Pacifica and Voyager to stand against the increasing demand for third-row SUVs instead of mini-vans . Unfortunately, 2021 is the year that the Grand Caravan is no more.
That means you are left with the 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan and everything that came before it. You can also opt for the newer Voyager, which is basically a Pacifica Lite . In other words, it has the same basic design but with fewer features, making the cost more attractive at the onset. The Pacifica has been restyled for 2021, with a brand-new trim level (the Platinum) and newly available all-wheel drive .
The one thing that the Grand Caravan really had going for it throughout the years were the Stow 'n Go seats. They allow the second row to fold flat into cubbyholes within the floor, creating a ton of cargo space when needed. These seats do carry over to the Pacifica and Voyager, so that is something to test out inside of those 2021 models.
Without a 2021 Grand Caravan to compare, we will go over the 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan and make some comparisons to the 2021 Voyager and Pacifica along the way. Is one of these mini-vans the right one for you? Time to find out.
What Do the Various Trim Levels Offer?
The 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan comes in just three trim level choices: the base SE, SE Plus, and SXT. Each one is powered by a 3.6-L V6 engine that generates 283 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission comes standard. The Voyager comes as just the L and LX for individual consumers, and they have a 3.6-L V6 engine that serves up 287 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive and a 9-speed automatic come equipped. Also, the Pacifica comes as the Touring, Touring L, Hybrid Touring, Hybrid Touring L, Limited, Hybrid Limited, Pinnacle, and Hybrid Pinnacle. The plug-in hybrid gets about 32 miles of all-electric range, and the gas-powered V6 is the same that you find in the Voyager.
Now, let's explore features. On the base Grand Caravan, you get 17-inch wheels, a back-up camera, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, a 6-speaker sound system, and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. There is also an optional Uconnect Hands-Free Group package that adds Bluetooth connectivity. You can switch the second-row seats to captain's chairs too. The SE Plus upgrades to 17-inch alloy wheels, different upholstery, remote engine start, front fog lights, and automatic headlights. Going up to the SXT adds roof rails, chrome exterior trim, a bigger floor console, a power liftgate, and suede inserts with the leather upholstery. You can also get the Driver Convenience Group package, which adds niceties like heated front seats and a tri-zone climate control system.
Going for the Voyager's base trim gets you cloth seats, a rear-view camera, a third-row Stow 'n Go bench seat, a 7-inch touchscreen display, and smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The LX has far more creature comforts, ranging from satellite radio to tri-zone climate control. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and remote start are left as some of the available options.
The Pacifica's Touring trim has 17-inch wheels, heated side mirrors, rear parking sensors, active noise cancellation, 60/40-split third-row Stow 'n Go seats, a blind-spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, and smartphone app integration. The Touring L tacks on roof rails, window shades, and leather upholstery. The Limited has 18-inch wheels LED fog lights, xenon headlights, ventilation on the front seats, and added USB ports for the second row. The Pinnacle adds a nifty feature called the Ultra, which is an optional center console with a padded top that sits at armrest height and a bigger bin beneath a split storage top tray. Quilted upholstery with matching pillows comes standard, as does mid-century inspired wood trim.
Which Trim is Right for Me?
If you're settled on the Grand Caravan, go for the SE Plus. The SE feels a bit basic, but the SXT costs more. The SE Plus adds just enough extra features without going overboard on the cost. However, if you are going to pick a 2021 Chrysler model, we'd opt for a 2021 Pacifica Hybrid Limited. Opting for the S Appearance package gives it a sporty red appearance that is definitely eye-catching and worth the minor cost. The Pacifica Hybrid Limited offers a respectable fuel economy while being as comfortable as your own living room (perhaps even more so).
What Kind of Technology Does it Have?
The Dodge Caravan's technology has always been fairly standard for the segment. A lot of it gets placed into packages that you have to pay more to get. That's why we recommend the SE Plus - standard Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, and an extra USB port that all feel essential. Smartphone app integration isn't available at all, and that's a big reason why buyers will probably go for the Voyager and Pacifica. It comes standard on both line-ups. Those vehicles also can give you WiFi hot-spot connectivity, SOS emergency calling, and automatic collision notifications - things that are sadly missing on the Grand Caravan.
How Does It Perform?
The 2020 Grand Caravan is a bit slower than other minivans and has an awkwardly-placed gear shifter. While its stopping distance is average, you get a lot of nosedive and brakes that get squishier as you go. The steering is well weighted, and handling is pretty average for its segment.
The Voyager has a clunky 9-speed automatic that hinders its performance. However, it accelerates well enough and feels like what you'd expect. The Pacifica can be equipped with AWD, which makes it a strong performer on slick road surfaces.
Is It Safe and Reliable?
The 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan doesn't have the best scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and NHTSA took away stars on the Front Barrier Crash tests and the Rollover assessment. It also lacks a lot of the driver aids that come on the Pacifica and Voyager, such as lane keep assist and forward collision warning.
What's the Interior Like?
The Grand Caravan's interior is, much like the Pacifica and Voyager, quite cavernous and padded for comfort. The Stow 'n Go seats are a defining feature that demonstrate a lot of versatility. This mini-van is a people-hauler that also functions well for hauling cargo.
What are the Alternatives to this Model?
The alternatives are, quite obviously, the Pacifica and the Voyager. And they will continue on despite the Grand Caravan being eliminated. Other manufacturers have strong contenders too, such as the Honda Odyssey and the Kia Sedona.
Note: All Dodge Grand Caravan lease prices and dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.