With the arrival of the new Chrysler Pacifica minivan, we were sure the Dodge Grand Caravan would be retired at the same time as its cousin, the Chrysler Town & Country. However, the high MSRP of the Pacifica, $43,995 before freight and delivery charges, likely disoriented families on a budget who were attracted by the Dodge minivan’s low price.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles decided to prolong the Grand Caravan’s life, in its current form, by at least a year. For 2017, it receives very few changes.
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The most affordable version is still the Canadian Value Package edition that includes air conditioning, cruise control, a four-speaker sound system, keyless entry and a telescoping steering column as standard equipment. To get the second-row Stow ‘n Go seats that fold flat in the floor, we must move up to the SXT, which also adds a modular roof rack, 17-inch alloy wheels, three-zone air conditioning, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a power driver’s seat. In both cases, Bluetooth connectivity is optional.
The Crew version gets more equipment, such as climate control and a trip computer, while the Crew Plus benefits from an enhanced infotainment system, a rearview camera, power-sliding doors and leather-faced seats.
The Dodge Grand Caravan R/T becomes the GT for 2017, but otherwise, changes are minimal. Aside from its sportier, monochromatic appearance—which sounds funny because it’s a minivan, but anyway—the GT trim adds heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel and a remote starter, which are all optional features in lesser trim levels.
Among the 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan’s other available options, we find a trailer tow hitch, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a navigation system, a blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert and a rear-seat Blu-ray entertainment system with two screens.
Under the hood is FCA’s widespread 3.6-litre V6, which develops 283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, mixed with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Grand Caravan’s towing capacity can reach 3600 lbs. (or 1633 kg), while city/highway fuel economy numbers are set at 13.7/9.4 L/100 km.
Pricing for the 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan hasn’t yet been announced. However, we’re expecting it to be very similar to that of the 2016 edition, including the substantial rebates that bring the entry price down to about $23,000.