2013 Dodge Grand Caravan Crew Review
Spending a week behind the dual power-sliding doors.No Comments
The sportiness doesn't completely end when faced with the kind of road best suited for sports cars.
Minivans continue to exist despite the overwhelming popularity of crossover SUVs for several reasons: they continue to provide plenty of utility, they sometimes deliver better MPGs than the SUVs do, and as long Americans shun true wagons, minivans will always have value. Not just for families, but for those who use their vehicles for work.
Enter the 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan Crew, which is a bit too dressy to be a work vehicle (despite its name) but not quite sporty enough to be the hot-rod van of the family. It basically tacks some goodies onto the volume-selling SXT trim.
Our 'work crew' didn't need to load the van with people, pets, or cargo, but that didn't stop us from taking a spin.
The sportiness doesn't completely end when faced with the kind of road best suited for sports cars. Dodge imbued the Crew with steering that actually has feel and a pleasant heft, and while body roll exists (how could it not in a van?), the Crew holds the road better than we'd expect, without mushiness. It's still a van, and it reaches its limits quicker than we'd like, but even if it's not a hot-rod in van clothing, it's competent.
Ease of use trumps luxury here, everything is functional - just not glamorous.
That's the good news for Dodge and Chrysler. The bad? It's become kinda, well, boring. Not that any minivan is truly sexy, but Honda, Nissan, and Toyota get points for trying (Toyota's Sienna might be the best-looking of the bunch), while Dodge slaps on its traditional 'cross hair' grille and hopes that's enough. For those for whom looks matter not, it's fine, and it ain't ugly. But style flair isn't the main selling point here.
We'll likely never love a minivan around these parts. But this one is more than likeable enough.
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Drive Wheels: Front-wheel-drive
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg city (automatic), 25 (manual)/33 mpg highway
Base Price: $28,595
As-tested Price: $32,480
Available Features: Navigation, Bluetooth, USB, satellite radio, infotainment system, heated front seats, blind-spot monitoring, rear park assist, heated second row seats, heated steering wheel, power liftgate, cross-path detection.