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2008 Dodge Grand Caravan

SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
For 2008, the Grand Caravan ups its style and technology quotient.

2008 Dodge Grand Caravan
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Comments

  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Does that mean I can get a 2007 Grand Caravan on closeout come 2008 if I wanted to, or should I stick with my Odyssey?
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Would be nice if sketches, specifications, or some details of substance had been included. ;)
    (Items such as engine size, 4, 5, or 6 speed Automatic Transmission, etc.)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Maybe the Dodge will adopt the Displacement on Demand from the V-8s for the vans v-6s?
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Which is on the opposite end of the food chain from the type of van described in Sylvia's link.

    What attracted me to the SE is the fact that it is one of the shorter (than the Grand) minivans out there, and is available with a 4 cylinder engine. Since I do a LOT of freeway driving in my commute, with little stop or slow and go, the 4 cylinder is great, and you simply can't get a 4 cylinder any more these days on any other minivan (unless you count the Mazda5, which I consider a micro-, not mini-, van). I've been getting an average of 25 mpg with 1800 miles of driving so far.

    I had been tempted to wait until the next generation of vans came out, or at least until '07, to see if the next generation of 4 cylinder engines from DC make it into the mix - the variable valve timing "world engine" that will start in the Caliber and gradually replace the existing DOHC 2.4 used in the Carvan SE, the PT Cruiser, and the "cloud cars." But in '06, they finally cleaned up the emissions on the 4 cylinder and I decided to give it a try.

    While by '08 the "posh" minivans will undoubtedly have inflatable hot tubs in them to go with DVD players, and the "tech" minivans will all have side curtain/torso airbags with stability control etc., my wish list is simpler:

    1. The 2.4 "world" engine with vvt, and/or the 2.7 small block DOHC engine used in the Magnum;

    2. A 5 speed or 6 speed automatic transmission. The Benz based 5 speed might be an interesting choice; Ford and Chevy apparently have a great new 6 speed coming out soon.

    (This last is optional and doesn't affect me too much, since I buy basic vehicles without a lot of electronic subsystems, but 3. An upgraded intravehicle network protocol to handle all the microprocessor controlled subsystems without glitches.)

    In short, I'd like to see DC go a little "retro" and put the "mini" back into minivan - some of the current minivans are getting way too big, and they all strike me as a little heavy.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The Sienna and Odyssey both have two extra cylinders and are getting equal/better mileage than the 4-cyl, but also cost a bunch more. Did you consider the 3.3l 6-cyl? It gets comparable highway mileage (one less mpg intown) and has lots more torque, and 30 more hp. Just a thought...Sounds like your van was on a budget, and nothing but DCX minis can fit in a budget like this! Congrats on your new car
  • I hope the redesign is not another microwaved warm-over.
    Chrysler needs to aim at the Odyssey and Sienna, hit a home run and create a new benchmark in the class.
  • davertdavert Posts: 23
    2008 Dodge Caravans and other Chrysler minivans - this redesign is not another warmover.

    Frankly I already think the Caravan is better than the Odyssey and Sienna in terms of driving - it's more fun to drive and with Stow and Go nicer to live with. But coming up are new engines, new transmissions (which I'm told are more reliable than the existing ones, which in turn are said to be more reliable than the Hondas!), and new features like a diaper changing station.

    As far as gas mileage goes, there's EPA and there's reality. Also, the Chrysler V6 seems to take a LONG time to break in and get its full mileage and power.

    The big question for me is whether they can get to Toyota quality levels, but they are supposed to be reorganizing their plants, so I suspect the answer is yes...after the first year! (At least I think they can beat Honda, which has not done so well on quality lately as they had in the past.)">link title
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    this redesign is not another warmover.

    With Ralph Gilles in charge of the design, you can bet a million it's a MAJOR REDO!!

    I met Ralph and his wife a few times. First time was him passing me on i75 northbound at 3 am. He was doing probably 100+ mph in a tricked out VW Corrado VR6! Luckily he got off at my exit and stopped for gas and I stopped and chatted him up. The VW had over 300hp!!! He's a total car freak!

    When he got promoted at DCX to Director of Design, he had to dump the VW and get a DCX product. His wife was pregnant at the time and demanded a Minivan. He took a 2001 DGC, put in a tricked out 3.5 V6 from 300M, Viper brakes and made himself a racer for weekends at the track!!!!

    I have total faith in what Ralph will do!!!

    As far as gas mileage goes, there's EPA and there's reality. Also, the Chrysler V6 seems to take a LONG time to break in and get its full mileage and power.

    yes! EPA numbers are a joke!!!! What do you consider a LONG time to break in? I have about 10k on mine.....on my christmas trip home to PA, I was getting 27mpg at 75 mph on the Ohio turnpike (flat). In the mountains of PA "only" 23 mpg :( Still, compared to Odys and their "high tech" VCM, i'm very happy!
  • dm3dm3 Posts: 23
    As far as gas mileage goes, there's EPA and there's reality. Also, the Chrysler V6 seems to take a LONG time to break in and get its full mileage and power.

    I've owned both a 2005 Sienna and a 2006 Grand Caravan SXT. I get several mpg better mileage on the Grand Caravan although its rated 18/25 vs the Sienna rated 19/26. In mostly city some highway mix I got 19 on the Sienna, 21 in the GC. Highest ever in the Sienna was 23mpg vs 27.5mpg in the Grand Caravan. I don't see how you can ever approach the rated Sienna highway mileage. Best we did at 55mph for hours with just a few short stop lights was 23mpg.

    I think Toyota has tuned the car to optimize it for the EPA test. The 5th gear makes the engine turn such low RPM that it has such little torque that even a minor hill or any attempt to accelerate will cause it to pop out of torque lock. Accelerating from a stop at a decent speed requires a heavy foot which kills the gas mileage.

    The Grand Caravan feels like it has much more torque. You can do mild hills and even accelerate without getting out of torque lock (only 4 gears). And modest acceleration from a stop doesn't feel like you're ragging on it.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    With the redesign coming up, are there any insiders out there that know if DC plans to continue a short wheel base version?

    Not sure we want the added bulk/length of the Grand Caravan, as we are now driving a 1996 Caravan (short wheel base) and find it's cargo capacity more than adequate for our needs, though the Stow and Go features available now only in the Grand are definitely a plus.

    Basically we am trying to decide whether to buy now while we know the SWB's are available or wait till fall? 2007 for the redesign knowing that the SWB may not be an option at that time.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Don't quote me on this, however, I believe that I read over on http://www.allpar.com that the new DC vans will indeed have a SWB version. I don't have time right now to confirm that so you might want to have a look and report back. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Thanks for the link. I poked around over there in their section on the redesign and did not find any statement about SWB being continued or discontinued, so unless an insider springs the information, I may not be able to find out until closer to introduction.

    Oh well, we could probably wait and pick up a leftover 2006 SWB when the new ones are introduced!
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    The 4.0 V6 (260hp, 275lb/ft) and 6 spd auto from the revised Pacifica due this summer, will be basis for top of the line Minivans from DCX. You can bet Honda and Toyota will offer similar setups by then! But there's no way they'll have the styling. I'll bet a penny for 08 Honda will add extra gear and tri-color taillamps (just like 2003 MY...adding gear and tweaks).
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    2008 looks very similar to new Dodge Caliber and the shifter has been moved to center of IP. I don't agree with the shifter move....it's out of the way on column and doesn't take up valuable IP space. But Dodge didn't ask for my opinion so it's their lost! :)
  • mirlaccamirlacca Posts: 4
    I wish they'd produce this vehicle with a hybrid engine. I really like how manuverable it is, and I love the Stow'n'Go seats. But why hasn't it occurred to any of the auto manufacturers that there's a crying need out there for a minivan with a hybrid engine that will cut emissions and raise mileage? This would be my next car if they'd just do this!
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I'll be in line behind you :)
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    The FWD Hemi Rampage with Stow 'n' Go may just be foreshadowing a FWD Hemi Grand Caravan with Stow 'N' Go!

    DrFill
  • if u go to americancarfan.com they got a picture of the 2008 voyager unmasked it will give u a idea with the caravan will look like. it looks sorta like a chrysler 300 with dodge caliber cues.
  • ntbillntbill Posts: 20
    Wow, thanks for the link. The rear looks like a Dodge Magnum, but with a higher roof.
  • mirlaccamirlacca Posts: 4
    *sigh* but does it have a hybrid engine....?
  • odysomedayodysomeday Posts: 12
    Has anyone heard if the 08 models will add an 8th seat like Toyota and Honda offers?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    A hyped up hybrid? Yuck! No thanks. :P

    A high efficiency Diesel? Yeah, now that's the ticket. :shades:

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • ntbillntbill Posts: 20
    Yep, a Diesel version would be great. Why is the Europe version has a Diesel engine as an option but not here in USA or Canada? Not enough demand? Not enough advantages over the gazoline version? :confuse:
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Not enough demand? Not enough advantages over the gazoline version?"

    Demand? Probably not. Yet.

    Advantage? Hmmm, when I dropped my new 530i off at E.H. Harms in Munich to be shipped back to the States, the taxi that picked me up was a ~1998 Chrysler Caravan with a diesel in it and a 5-Speed transmission. The owner/driver told me that he had somewhere north of 550,000 km on the clock (i.e. greater than 340,000 miles), and the engine still hadn’t been opened up. That and he was getting something like 30+ mpg in the Munich urban area. Is that enough of an advantage? I'd buy one.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • ntbillntbill Posts: 20
    I agree with you shipo, but why don't we have them here?
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    probably something to do with the non-supply of low sulfur diesel and passing California/Northeastern emission laws.
  • dan bitmandan bitman Posts: 158
    from an insider: 2.8L DIESEL. 6 SPD auto, is available ...but only for the outside markets ( non US ), and of course, for the VW version of it.
  • dan bitmandan bitman Posts: 158
    from an insider: NO short wheel base version for 2008.
    Dan
  • dan bitmandan bitman Posts: 158
    because gas is still very cheap.WHy bother with a hybrid project that would cost tens of millions to design adn build???
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