2012 Dodge Grand Caravan Performance Review

Open any of 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan doors and immediately find comfort, luxury, and superior craftsmanship at every turn. Well appointed interior design details include soft-touch surfaces, chrome accents, and must-have features intuitively placed for ease of driver and passenger use. The integrated instrument panel offers a unified look with touches of chrome around the ventilation controls, shifter, and gauge cluster. The gauges are also positioned for easy viewing and the steering wheel houses cruise and audio controls. Grand Caravan R/T takes sporty style to the next level with Black leather-trimmed seats featuring striking Red stitching and interior accents of equally modern brushed aluminum. The available overhead rail system features the soft glow of halo lighting. An available Super Console features a large driver-accessible storage area and another large storage drawer accessible by both first- and second row passengers. Both areas can be covered with sliding doors to keep travel items out of sight. Two power outlets, perfect for charging media devices, are within easy reach of the driver. The console’s four cup holders include two cup holders that can hold 12-oz cans or 1-liter bottles.

This isn’t a one-size-fits-all interior. It’s designed to move, fold, tumble, and stow right along with your ever-changing lifestyle. The segment-exclusive second-row Super Stow ’n Go seats effortlessly fold into the floor with one-hand operation in a matter of seconds. This flexibility converts Grand Caravan from a passenger-carrying powerhouse to an impressive cargo hauler without removing any seats. The 60/40 split-folding Stow ’n Go third row seat easily folds into the floor bin behind it with a few easy pulls on the conveniently numbered straps. It also can fully flip over to the tailgate seating position. With all seats folded into the floor, the flat cargo floor area offers 144.2 cu ft of cargo room. With seats upright, the storage bins below accommodate a multitude of items.

When it comes to storage, Grand Caravan’s ingenuity takes a backseat to no one. The best-in-class storage system includes segment-exclusive in-floor storage bins behind the front seats that hide gear for a cleaner interior appearance and added security, while still remaining close at hand if needed. Third-row passengers have quick and easy access to essential travel gear, a cup holder, and room for juice boxes. The available class-exclusive Super Console features roll top covers, four cup holders, power outlets, and driver and front-passenger pass-through storage areas for large items including a purse, camera, or small umbrella. An innovative storage cubby helps keep items organized and from moving around Grand Caravan’s rear cargo area. As the inventor of the minivan, Dodge knows how important interior functionality is. Grand Caravan delivers with best in class versatility and hidden storage.

In adverse conditions, the standard ESC with Electronic Brake Assist works with an advanced all-speed traction control system to help the driver maintain vehicle directional stability and limit oversteering or understeering. Electronic Brake Assist detects conditions when maximum force is needed for optimum
stopping power. Standard four-wheel antilock disc brakes afford premium stopping power from state-of-the-art electronics that provide faster system response. ABS senses and prevents wheel lockup, offering improved steering control under extreme braking and/or slippery conditions. Standard side-curtain air bags and standard front-seat mounted air bags deploy, blanketing outboard positions in all three rows of seating. A driver’s inflatable knee blocker helps reduce severe injuries to lower extremities on impact with the dashboard and helps properly position the driver in relation to the front air bag. This available system displays an accurate visual reference of what is behind your vehicle when you are in Reverse. Park sense rear park assist. When in Reverse, sensors detect the presence of objects in the backup pathway and provide an audible and visual warning. Dual radar sensors constantly monitor driver blind spots, providing notification of an encroaching vehicle via illuminating icons on sideview mirrors and by an audible chime if the turn signal is activated. When in Reverse, rear sensors warn the driver with an audible chime if cross traffic approaches the vehicle.

Grand Caravan not only holds a seven-person crew and cargo with ease, it holds your attention just as well. Styling cues like taillamps with LED lighting, body-color rear spoiler, sculpted hood, available fog lamps, pronounced front and rear fascias, and rear liftgate give 2012 Grand Caravan the right amount of swagger. An available segment-exclusive Stow ’n Place roof rack system offers the convenience of crossbars that attach to the side rails when not in use for improved fuel efficiency and reduced wind noise. Grand Caravan also boasts Quiet Steel technology to reduce road noise coming into the cabin. This leading-edge noise- and vibration-reducing steel, along with other design cues, works to dampen extensive noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) levels.

Confidence isn’t just found in Grand Caravan’s safety and security. It’s also found in the acceleration of an engine that applies some of the most advanced automotive engine technology. From the state of the art high-pressure die-cast aluminum block to full independent dual cam phasing, sequential port fuel injection, and high-flow intake and exhaust ports, the 3.6-liter Pentastar engine isn’t shy about performing. The result is an exceptional blend of high torque, fuel efficiency, low emissions, and first-rate noise, vibration, and harshness control. 

The only thing better than numbers like best in class 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque is the engine’s durability enhancing features, like an advanced oil filter system that helps to eliminate oil spills and contains an incinerable filter element for more efficient disposal. The Dodge Grand Caravan engine is also Flex Fuel capable, offering consumers the choice of using either gasoline or ethanol (E85) fuel. Grand Caravan’s overall ride quality is boosted by tight suspension tuning, an efficient and easy to operate gated shifter, and a segment-exclusive fuel economizer feature that alters shift patterns to help improve real-world fuel efficiency.

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