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2011 Dodge Grand Caravan

craigmricraigmri Posts: 243
edited December 2013 in Dodge
Just picked up my new 2011 Grand Caravan. First let me say, I've been driving Caravans for over 15 years. Every two or three years I get a new one for a company car(I'm a Field Service Engineer). My most recent Grand Caravan was a 2008 and had 95,000 miles when I turned it in today. I typically put between 80,000 to 125,000 miles on them so after having several I believe I have some experience with these products.

I must express that I hate minivans with a passion. I'm a car enthusiast and would rather drive a sports-car, sports coupe, sports sedan or anything that is fun to drive. They pay me to drive these vans so since the price is right(free) I do my job with it. It is effectively, a tool.

With that said, I will admit, nothing hauls stuff and people like a minivan. We get to use my vans on personal vacations and we've taken many. For example, this past summer we drove from Florida to Maine covering over 4000 miles total and with five occupants, the Minivans are a dream to travel in. As a Service Engineer I carry lots of tools, test equipment and on occasion, boxes of parts. The stow and go seats(especially the middle captains chairs) are awesome. You can haul ANYTHING in these!

Now onto the new for 2011 Grand Caravan. While I remember vividly the drive home in my 2008. I was 1 mile off the dealer lot and commented to my wife.....This thing is junky. Far worse than the 2006 it replaced. Today however was a different story.

For 2011 they overhauled the interior. Its WAY better!! The dash is actually nice looking. The door panels and arm rests are made of nicer softer materials and the seats are significantly improved. Even the fabric is nice. This interior is actually competitive now with others in its segment. The exterior is largely the same with the exception of the grill, front bumper and rear hatch and rear bumper. They are revised and look a little better but compared to every other minivan available it still looks the weakest. Suspension is supposed to be new and it feels it. This van rides noticeably smoother. The steering and driving dynamics feel better than before. The 3.6 engine does feel snappier however the new 6-speed transmission doesn't shift as smooth as before. I'm hoping there is some adaptive logic going on and will eventually improve.

Overall its a significant step in the right direction. Would I buy this for myself if I needed a Minivan for my family vehicle? Nah, I like the Kia Sedona still more-so. Sienna and Odyssey are still far superior in my opinion.

So, for the next two or three years I suffer the daily grind in the Dodge Grand Caravan. An improved one but still a Dodge Grand Caravan. Boring, unexciting but utilitarian, functional and actually reliable.

Craig
Dreaming for a day without a minivan.

Comments

  • Hello,

    I have interest in 2011 Grand caravan. Several pros: Cheap, exterior look awesome compared with Ody and Sienna. But I heard that there were some horrible problems with this van like crazy electronical issues and sudden stalling when driving. Anybody know if these problems have been fixed or not in 2011 model? Besides, do they still have some other issues?Thanks.
  • This is a hugh disappointment to me and my wife. We are 56 years old and this is our very first new vehicle..we have had five used caravans throughout the years and any of them would score over this one.Rough rear suspension, loud engine noise, rattling slide door, cabin crunching,not real stable on high speed,much harder on fuel than the others,minor bucking occuring now at just 3k.....dont be disappointed
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    What does your age have to do with anything? My wife and I are only a year younger than you and we both prize handling over a soft cushy ride any day. We're considering our fourth minivan and recently test-drove a new 2011 T&C and love how it rides and prefer it to any of our previous three (all of which had the up-rated suspension). Go figure.
  • this forum is about 2011 dodge caravan.....chrysler town & country is a different vehicle as well as a much more expensive vehicle.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Bzzzt! I'm sorry, that is incorrect; they are basically identical vehicles from the ground up.
  • thats where age makes the difference!!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    An age difference of one year? Does that mean I'm going to be trading in my sporty little daily driver with a stick-shift for a plush boulevard cruiser next year?
  • I bought a new 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan in August. 6,000 kms later I'm still quite satisfied with this vehicle! It has the stow n go seating but other than that it is pretty basic. I get 12-13 ltrs/100 kms (23 mpg) and as low as 8.4 ltrs/100 kms (33) on the hwy. I just had my first oil change which was no charge. I have only good things to say about this vehicle! So versatile & powerful! I'll be reporting in as the vehicle ages. I'm 63 with 5 children & soon to be 8th grandchild, so this vehicle is just the ticket for my needs!
  • My 2011 Grand Caravan came equipped with Yokohama 225 65R 16 tires. I've been told these tires aren't the best quality for this vehicle. So my question is, what would be a good replacement tire?

    Also, my dealer recommends servicing the brakes every 12-15,000 kms @ $139 per pop. Is this necessary/worth it?
  • gaby10gaby10 Posts: 2
    My 2011 grand caravan got crazy!!!! The wipers begun to move and was impossible to stop them, while the lights and audio didnt work at all!!
    went to Chrysler and they want to charge 1,300 dollars to fix it saying that it's the instrumental cluster!
    They claim that need 6hours to do that!!!!
    Please! is anybody there to help me? should I accept it? THANK YOU!
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