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Grand Caravan 30th Anniversary minivan is a winner even if the clock is ticking

Grand Caravan endures for 2014 with 30th Anniversary Edition
Grand Caravan endures for 2014 with 30th Anniversary Edition
austinautoboomer by permission

The 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan 30th Anniversary Edition is solid proof that the minivan segment is not dying but rather morphing to the new reality of modern family needs with new and better segment offerings that are cost effective while creating an excellent alternative to crossover SUV vehicles for families. And, for 2014, the Grand Caravan 30th Anniversary Edition is packed with a range of features and functionality that make it an even better value to meet those needs.

Perfect road tripper - pictured at Driftwood, Texas
austinautoboomer by permission

The 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan 30th Anniversary Edition package is available on two models, the SE (MSRP $24,795) and SXT (MSRP $27,995). Both SE and SXT are equipped with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with class-leading 283 horsepower and a six-speed automatic transmission that, with the segment exclusive driver selectable fuel economizer, lower rolling resistance tires and a spoiler - working together - deliver upwards of 25 mpg fuel economy on the highway that translates to a 500 mile plus range for the Grand Caravan.

The Dodge Grand Caravan SE 30th Anniversary Edition features unique 17-inch polished satin carbon aluminum wheels, body-color heated exterior mirrors and 30th Anniversary badging on the front fenders. On the inside are silver accent stitching and piano black accents throughout, black cloth seats, a black leather-wrapped steering wheel, black leather-wrapped shift knob, black headliner and overhead console, chrome heating and air conditioning trim bezels, power second- and third-row windows and a 30th Anniversary logo in the gauge cluster.

We recently tested the 2014 Grand Caravan 30th Anniversary Edition for a week, driving the SXT trim level. The SXT trim level added bright chrome window trim moldings and roof rack, fog lamps, automatic headlamps, Black Torino Leatherette seats with suede inserts and silver accent stitching and a 10-way power driver’s seat. The exterior for our test car was a handsome unique Granite Crystal Pearl Coat.

Some of the standard features of the Grand Caravan 30th Anniversary Edition that we think make it an exceptional and flexible recreational vehicle - plus people hauler - include the remote power sliding doors left and right, power lift gate, power adjustable pedals, Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel with Audio and Information Screen controls, one-touch Super Stow and Go second row seating, and 3,600 pounds of tow capacity with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Trailer Sway Damping.

Starting with a base price around $27,000 (for the SXT) Dodge added the following: fog lamps, Bright Side Roof Rails, Sirius Satellite Radio, Uconnect Hands-Free and Voice Command with Bluetooth, Bluetooth Streaming Audio and Remote Start. It got even better with Three-Zone Automatic Air Conditioning, Cup Holders (they were everywhere) with Illumination, Lighted Front Door Storage, Portable Rechargeable Trouble Light, Sun Visors with Lighted Mirrors, Sun Shades for Second and Third Row Windows, Heated Front Seats and Heated Steering Wheel.

The 30th Anniversary Edition was also equipped with a Dual DVD / Blu-Ray Entertainment Package. It included the Blu-Ray DVD Player with Wireless Remote and High Definition Multimedia Interface plus Wireless Headphones to deliver entertainment through the 9-inch VGA Overhead Video Screens in both the second and third rows. Also added was Overhead Ambient Surround Lighting, Rear Swivel Overhead Reading/Courtesy Lamps, Overhead Bin Storage, ParkView Rear Back-up Camera, 6.5-inch Touch Screen Display, Unconnect 430N with Garmin Navigation, USB ports and a 115-Volt Auxiliary Power Outlet.

With delivery, our 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 30th Anniversary Edition priced at (just) $33,370.

As with our ride and drive of the 2014 Chrysler Town & Country 30th Anniversary Edition a little while back, the Grand Caravan is a remarkably nimble and easy to drive minivan – driving much smaller on the road than you might imagine. With the award-winning Pentastar V6 engine, it has plenty of power for acceleration. Well-engineered, it handles hills, curves and stop and go traffic with no apology for being a minivan. It also parks easily in all kinds of garages and lots – and with the remote power sliding doors and liftgate plus the one-touch Stow ‘n Go second row seats, you get in and out, people or cargo, with ease. Driving about 250 miles in town and out in the country, we got fuel economy of 22.2 mpg combined - better than the EPA estimated 20 mpg rating for this minivan.

Dodge Caravan Awards Recognition

The 2014 Dodge Caravan has been recognized throughout the marketplace having been named a Consumers Digest ‘Best Buy” for 2014, received the Kelly Blue Book ( 2014 5-Year Cost to Own award, the 2014 Most Popular award from, named a 2014 Consumer Guide Automotive Best Buy and is an IIHS Top Safety Pick.

Future of the Minivan Segment

The minivan in 2014 is not your parents (or grandparents) people hauler of old. It is no longer a big-cabin ‘boat’ that hauls people only. It is now a fully integrated vehicle suitable for all of a family’s daily needs and recreation adventures - and the customer is responding.

Minivan owners have shared with us many times that, when you need a minivan, a full-size crossover or SUV simply will not do. The proof is that consumers are buying them at levels not seen in several years. Sales in North America were right at a half million units in both 2012 and 2013. And, through seven months of 2014, just under 400,000 minivans have been sold – a pace that may take the segment to firmly over 600,000 units for 2014.

The leader, of course, is Chrysler with their history of designing and building minivans that meet customer needs that going all the way back to 1983 with their creation of the segment with their first minivan. Today, Chrysler continues that leadership with their two brands – the Chrysler Town & Country and the Dodge Grand Caravan – leading the market in 2014 with combined sales over 200,000 vehicles in the first seven months of the year. The Chrysler Town & Country share of the segment (that now has just six brands represented) is over 23 percent with the Dodge Grand Caravan share nearly 31 percent – for a Chrysler Group total over 54 percent of the segment in North America.

Sadly, for some Chrysler Group minivan aficionados, they announced Group product realignments earlier this year that had good news and bad news in it. The good news is that a new Chrysler Town & Country is in development for beyond 2016. The sad news is that the Dodge Brand will drop the minivan from their line-up after 2016.

If a Dodge Grand Caravan is on your radar for purchasing a new minivan – you should get to your Dodge Dealer now and take a look at this 30th Anniversary Edition (either SE or SXT). If the Grand Caravan is not on your radar for a minivan – then put it there now. There is a whole lot of functional, utility, recreational and safety value for the family packed into either Grand Caravan 30th Anniversary Edition model – and the delivered price (even with extras) will be very reasonable for the family budget.

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