Dodge Accessories

Dodge Grand Caravan Accessories

Dodge grand caravan Introduction

The most recent Dodge Caravan represented the vehicle's fourth generation. Whereas most "minivans" (including its "Grand" brother) extend to the 200-inch mark, this Dodge measured a slightly tidier 189 inches from bow to stern. Combined with a likewise shorter 113-inch wheelbase, the Caravan was among the easiest vans to maneuver and park. It was also one of the most affordable. The base Caravan SE was the value leader, featuring a 150-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a four-speed automatic transmission. The SE had bench seats in the second and third rows, air-conditioning and a CD stereo, but was otherwise sparsely equipped. After 2003, the Caravan also came in a V6-powered Cargo Van version targeted for business use.

The more desirable Caravan SXT (known as Caravan Sport until '04) came with a 180-hp 3.3-liter V6, a four-speed automatic transmission, an optional power-sliding passenger door, dual-zone air-conditioning, second-row bucket seats, full power accessories, a tilt steering wheel, cruise control, projector headlights and keyless entry. As long as the underpowered four-cylinder is avoided, the last Dodge Caravan is quite capable. While lacking the famous "Stow 'n Go" seats of its "Grand" sibling, this Caravan has adequate room for seven adults (and plenty of room for five) or 129 cubic feet of cargo with all rear seats removed. Just note that this conversion takes patience and strength, as the rear bench seats are quite heavy. There was only one substantial change made to this final generation Dodge Caravan after its debut for 2001.

Dodge Grand Caravan Body KitIn 2005, Dodge eliminated its optional front seat side airbags in favor of optional curtain airbags protecting all three rows. That was an important upgrade, but considering the Caravan wasn't tops in its class to begin with, it's still hard to recommend it except as a budget buy. Those consumers who do decide to buy a used Caravan would be wise to expand their search to include the nearly identical Chrysler-badged versions -- the short-wheelbase base model Town & Country (2004-'07) and the Voyager (2001-'03). Newer Dodge Caravans trace their basic design to the third-generation model, which was produced from 1996-2000. Compared to the most recent model, this Caravan was an inch or two smaller in most dimensions, and the engine roster was much different.

Back then, the 3.3-liter V6 only made 158 hp. The 2.4-liter engine still made 150 but was paired to a lowly three-speed automatic transmission. This generation of Caravan also had access to the Grand Caravan's top-of-the-line 180-hp, 3.8-liter V6. Plus, there was a fourth engine: a Mitsubishi-built 3.0-liter V6 with 150 hp. Initially, the Caravan's trim lines consisted of base, SE, LE and ES models, though Dodge subsequently moved to position the regular-length Caravan as a budget minivan, resulting in the discontinuation of the top-of-the-line ES for '98. The midrange LE lasted until 2000. The base model came with only the four-cylinder and 3.0-liter V6 at first, then added the choice of the 3.3-liter V6 in 1997, only to lose it again after '99.

Dodge Grand Caravan Body KitThe SE started with the same three choices of Dodge Grand Caravan Accessories, but dropped the four-cylinder after '97 and the 3.0-liter V6 after '98. The upscale LE and ES stuck with the bigger 3.3- and 3.8-liter V6s. Consumers looking at used Dodge Caravans would be wise to zero in on SE and LE models, as both came with essentials like antilock brakes, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel and 15-inch wheels. The LE also provided standard air-conditioning and power windows and locks. (A/C was also standard on '99 and '00 SE models.) The high-line ES added 16-inch alloy wheels and a driver-side sliding door (an item that later became standard on lower-line models). Depending on the trim level, major options included second-row captain's chairs, an upgraded Infinity CD stereo and a self-leveling rear suspension.

The late-'90s Caravan was regarded as the state-of-the-art minivan, setting the standard for spaciousness, comfort and convenience. Seating was still comfortable in all rows and the rears were still removable. Note that only the front seats had head restraints. The Caravan's most major update came in 1994 when a second airbag, better side-impact protection and more dashboard revisions were added; all-wheel drive was dropped. For 1995, Caravan lost the stickshift as well. While we definitely recommend sticking to newer Caravans for better engineering, safety and convenience, this was the only generation in which Dodge offered all-wheel drive on the regular-length Caravan. Just be sure to exercise caution when shopping for models of the early '90s; the four-speed automatic found in most was known for its extremely high failure rate.