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2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Preview

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2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Preview

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As Dodge continues to work its way through its updated 2011 lineup, we're beginning to see a trend in the new styling of the now truck-free brand, and it relies heavily on the split-crosshair grille. The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan, unveiled this morning, is no different--though it is different from last years model in a number of ways.

First, the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan gets an all new powertrain centered around the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine. Paired with a six-speed automatic, the new combo replaces a multitude of options from last year, including the 3.3-liter, 3.8-liter and 4.0-liter V-6 engines.

Power in the Grand Caravan application is now 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet, upgrades of 86 horsepower and 30 pound-feet of torque over the previous work horse for the Grand Caravan, the 3.8-liter V-6. But it's not all about power--efficiency is considered too. A new programmable transmission lets the driver flip a switch to go from fuel-saving to power modes, while a 12-millimeter lower ride height, lower rolling resistance tires, and a new spoiler reduce drag on the minivan.

New looks include a new front fascia that highlights the Dodge grille, a new hood, quad headlamps, and "ring of fire" LED tail lights to give the 2011 Grand Caravan a much fresher look, unified with the rest of the 2011 Dodge lineup.

Inside, a heavily redesigned interior sports a one-piece instrument cluster, a "super" center console with lots of space and a pass-through space for larger items. More premium materials are used throughout, and the Stow 'n Go seats are now larger and easier to use thanks to a one-touch fold-down button.

With four trims available, the Caravan will be available to fit any lifestyle, with the "Man Van" Grand Caravan R/T due out next spring.

The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan will be arriving in showrooms later this year.

[Dodge]

link:

http://www.thecarconnection.com/marty-blog/1050938_2011-dodge-grand-caravan-preview

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Officially Official: 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan reports for family duty

by Zach Bowman (RSS feed) on Oct 28th 2010 at 11:28AM

Chrysler has just dropped details on the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan. Along with packing the company's new Pentastar V6 under the hood, Dodge says that the minivan also sports a significantly revised suspension designed to make the vehicle a little more engaging to drive. So far we haven't been told exactly what's been changed underneath, but the press release says that "virtually every system" has received some sort of tweaking.

Behind the new 3.6-liter V6 sits a six-speed automatic transmission, and that duo effectively replaces all three of the previously offered drivetrains. Look for 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque when the van hits the road later this year.

But the biggest change looks to come from the styling department. Chrysler has heaped all of the company's new found enthusiasm for excellent interiors onto the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan, swaddling surfaces in top-notch materials, better seats and throwing in redesigned gauges, to boot. The Grand Caravan even wears a massaged front fascia to go along with all of the changes inside as well as a set of LED taillamps out back. Hit the jump to take a look at the full press release.

[source: Chrysler]

Show full PR text

The Originator is Back With an All-new Attitude - The New 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan: New Heart, New Moves, New Soul

October 28, 2010 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Dodge continues its product onslaught with the reveal of the new 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan, a minivan with the driving dynamics of a performance sedan – and a little bit of attitude.

Dodge believes that just because a driver needs the versatility of a minivan doesn't mean that the experience has to be boring. So engineers redesigned and retuned virtually every system in the new Grand Caravan's suspension. That major suspension overhaul, combined with a new V-6 engine that delivers best-in-class horsepower, gives Grand Caravan drivers a dynamic driving experience that other minivans in the segment just don't deliver. Get behind the wheel, and enjoy a driving experience once never thought possible in such a functional vehicle.

At the heart of the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan is an all-new powertrain. The new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine is mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. This potent combination replaces all three of the previous minivan engines. Gone are the 3.3-liter, 3.8-liter and 4.0-liter V-6 engines, all replaced with one high-tech, high-performing and highly responsive motor that hits the sweet spot between power and efficiency.

With the Pentastar engine, the new Grand Caravan delivers best-in-class horsepower (283 hp compared with 197 hp in the previous 3.8-liter V-6 engine) and more torque (260 lb.-ft. versus 230 lb.-ft.) without sacrificing fuel economy. It features a new driver-selectable Fuel Economizer Mode. With the flip of a switch, drivers can change the transmission shift schedule to maximize their fuel efficiency. In addition, a 12 millimeter lower ride height, new premium, lower-rolling resistance tires, a new spoiler and reduced brake caliper and rear bearing drag all contribute to Dodge Grand Caravan's excellent fuel economy.

Dodge has also redesigned the 2011 Grand Caravan to match its new attitude about driving. A new front fascia that sports the new Dodge signature "split crosshair" grille, a new hood, quad headlamps, all of which combine to give the face of the 2011 Grand Caravan a more aggressive look. A new, more sculpted rear fascia and liftgate, new rear "ring of fire" LED taillamps and new Dodge badging complete the look from front to back.

Owners will step inside to an all-new world-class interior for 2011. A modern, new one-piece instrument panel is more intuitive for the customer with improved ergonomics and larger, redesigned gauges. An available new "super" center console provides clever functionality and storage for the active commuter, as well easy driver/passenger access with a pass-through storage space for larger items, like a purse. Trim rings in the console glow an ambient blue-green color, which allows passengers to find the items they are looking for at night. The Grand Caravan also features more comfortable, larger Stow 'n Go seats with a new, easy to use one-touch fold down function. New, premium seating materials and new door trim are soft to the touch. A minivan-first heated steering wheel option and the best storage in the segment round out the improved interior.

Standard safety and security features include front seat mounted side air bags, a new driver side knee blocker air bag, supplemental three-row side-curtain air bags, electronic stability control, tire pressure monitoring and remote keyless entry. The available Safety Sphere package of features includes ParkSense® rear park assist system, a rear back-up camera, blind spot monitoring and rear cross path detection system, rain-sensitive wipers and automatic headlamps.

The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan will be available in four configurations that fit almost any lifestyle: the Dodge Grand Caravan Express, Grand Caravan Mainstreet, Grand Caravan Crew, and arriving in spring 2011, the ultimate "Man Van," the Dodge Grand Caravan R/T. The R/T is where versatility meets performance and attitude. Uniquely designed both inside and out, the Dodge Grand Caravan R/T proves a driver doesn't have to give up a spirited driving experience or their identity when they have a family. The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T throws down the gauntlet for a whole new level of cool transportation for families on the go.

With sleek, athletic styling; smart, cutting-edge entertainment features; flexible seating and cool storage options; the reliability of a 100,000-mile warranty and models that fit specific lifestyles, the new Dodge Grand Caravan moves families where they need to go in a way that makes the journey of life easier.

The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan will be built at the Windsor Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and will arrive in showrooms later this year.

LINK:

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/10/28/2011-dodge-grand-caravan-revealed/

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interior has improved, but its still not right.

the front end and rear updates are nice. I like the ManVan. New engine is a big plus.

I dunno, they still screwed the pooch inside. Didn't go the extra mile.

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Well the engine is a very nice upgrade, interior is better but still a little meh. If they keep the prices down like they are its all good.

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Chrysler reveals upgraded 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan

Alisa Priddle / The Detroit News

Chrysler Group LLC released details of changes to the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan today in a bid to hang on to its prominence in the minivan sector in the face of competition from a new Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey introduced this year.

The Dodge Caravan has Chrysler's new Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 engine for 283 horsepower replacing three old V-6s.

The new engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and there is a Fuel Economizer Mode that changes the shift schedule for better fuel efficiency.

The suspension has been re-engineered and the van lowered. Lower-rolling resistance tires are designed to improve gas mileage.

The strength of a minivan is the utility of the interior. To that end, for 2011 there is a new one-piece instrument panel with larger gauges and a new center console for storage and an area for large items such as a purse.

The Stow 'n Go seats are more comfortable and can be operated with a one-touch button.

The Grand Caravan introduces a heated steering wheel to the segment.

Safety features include a rear park-assist system and backup camera as well as blind-spot monitoring and a system that detects vehicles crossing the van's path from behind.

There is a new front fascia, grille, hood and quad headlights to make it look more aggressive than its Chrysler Town & Country counterpart. In back there is a new rear fascia, liftgate and LED taillamps.

For 2011 there are four trim levels of Grand Caravan. The Express, Mainstreet and Crew go on sale this quarter and the R/T — dubbed the "man van" — follows next spring.

The minivans are built at the assembly plant in Windsor, Ontario.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20101028/AUTO01/10280469/1148/auto01/Chrysler-reveals-upgraded-2011-Dodge-Grand-Caravan#ixzz13g8Wuey6

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Look at the interior side by side with the old one, it is a huge improvement. It looks to me to be every bit as good as the Lambdas...

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Dodge Continues Product Onslaught with 2011 Grand Caravan, will be Available in R/T form

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2010

After tossing out the facelifted 2011 Avenger earlier today, Dodge has now unveiled the revised 2011 Grand Caravan. If you have been following the news on the Chrysler Group's 2011MY products, you won't be surprised to know that the changes on the Grand Caravan can be summed up in the following points: Pentastar V6; overhauled interior; re-tuned suspension and subtle exterior mods.

In detail, the 2011 edition of Dodge's minivan gets a redesigned interior with a one-piece instrument panel and a three-spoke steering wheel (optionally heated), while soft-touch and higher quality materials have been used throughout the cabin. There's also an available "super" center console with added functionality and storage plus more comfortable and larger Stow 'n Go seats with a new, easier to use one-touch fold down function.

You'll probably have to be a fan of the Grand Caravan to notice the exterior revisions, which are limited to a split crosshair" grille, a new hood and front bumper design, quad headlamps plus a more sculpted rear fascia and liftgate, and LED tail lamps.

Underneath the sheetmetal, the suspension has been re-tuned and lowered, while the 3.3-liter, 3.8-liter and 4.0-liter V-6 engines have all replaced with the group's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 delivering 283 ponies and 260 lb.ft of peak torque. The new engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

When it arrives in dealerships later this year, the 2011 Grand Caravan will be available in three configurations - Express, Mainstreet and Crew. However, in Spring of 2011, Dodge will add a sportier R/T version to the range. No specific details were given on the R/T, but Dodge said it will feature unique design cues inside and out.

link:

http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2010/10/dodge-continues-product-onslaught-with.html

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11-caravan.jpg

10_d_gcv_photo_int_02.jpg

Interior is a massive improvement and now looks on par with everything else in the segment. Exterior...well the back is still a weak point but it is improved. At least they tried to do something with all that space. Front end is a very nice improvement.

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2011_honda_odyssey_interior_main.jpg

the honda's interior layout is functionally better and looks better

-shifter in a better spot

-room for a purse in two spots without contorting to squish it under something.

-slide out device tray

-honda's console still allows walkthrough

-4 cupholders plus food tray in the honda.

-chill zone in right spot

-honda's second and third rows are more functional and comfortable

-honda's doesn't waste vertical space like the dodge does with sto n go

-honda has dual widescreen and HDMI

-better fuel economy

Dodge put a nice truck steering wheel in the van. Looks clunky.

New van interior is ok, its not stunning though. That center console really was botched, especially since there is no shifter there. At least put 4 cupholders there. The bulk of the dash is ok.

Edited by regfootball
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I do like the new Odyessy's interior design a lot. With that said:

2011_honda_odyssey_interior_main.jpg

the honda's interior layout is functionally better and looks better

I do like the new Odyessy's interior design a lot. With that said:

-shifter in a better spot

Shifter placement is non issue. No one who buys these things is going to do any manual shifting. Put in gear and go. It's no worse than a console shifter.

-room for a purse in two spots without contorting to squish it under something.

Those compartments in the center console are easily big enough for purses, among other things.

-slide out device tray

Unless you've sat in the new interior and have poked around, you don't know what all features they may have added.

-honda's console still allows walkthrough

A valid point, although hardly a deal breaker. My family owned minivans for years, and we always had a console between the seats. You shouldn't be moving around while the car is in motion. If the car is stopped and you need to move, you can, you know, open teh door. I know physical activity is pretty tough for America, but we'll just have to adapt.

-4 cupholders plus food tray in the honda.

I see two visible cupholders but there may very well be deployable ones for the second row. In any case there will be second row cupholders. Let's actually see the entire interior (or better yet, spend actual time in one!) before comparing features.

-chill zone in right spot

I don't know where it is in the Honda, but again, its hardly a deal breaker being located in the upper dash.

-honda's second and third rows are more functional and comfortable

Because you've sat in the redesigned seats. Man you must have some press privileges! :rolleyes:

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-honda's doesn't waste vertical space like the dodge does with sto n go

Have you ever used Stow `n Go? It's the best invention for minivans since the minivan. That feature along is enough to get me into the showroom.

-honda has dual widescreen and HDMI

Certainly if the equipment hasn't been updated, then yes that would be an advantage. However full specs weren't in the press release, so why not wait until all the features and specs become available before comparing all the features.

-better fuel economy

Oh, you got official EPA numbers too? Man you're good.

Dodge put a nice truck steering wheel in the van. Looks clunky.

The only "truck" that uses that wheel is the new Durango. It's Dodge's new corporate wheel. it's on the Journey, Avenger, Charger, Challenger, and aforementioned Durango. Hardly a "truck wheel".

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Chill zone? Wot's that?

I do wonder why they put the shifter on the dash on these minivan instead of on the column. I see nothing wrong w/ the Dodge interior, seems quite pleasant. It's just a minivan...most will be filthy and trashed by the time they are a few years old..

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It's an air conditioned cubby that keeps items cool.

I never really got the shifter placement either, but at the same time it wouldn't bother me. Not like I'd try rowing my own gears in a minivan.

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Honda's interior does look a generation newer than the Dodge's, which it is. But a solid effort from Chrysler nonetheless.

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I do like the new Odyessy's interior design a lot. With that said:

I do like the new Odyessy's interior design a lot. With that said:

Shifter placement is non issue. No one who buys these things is going to do any manual shifting. Put in gear and go. It's no worse than a console shifter.

Those compartments in the center console are easily big enough for purses, among other things.

Unless you've sat in the new interior and have poked around, you don't know what all features they may have added.

A valid point, although hardly a deal breaker. My family owned minivans for years, and we always had a console between the seats. You shouldn't be moving around while the car is in motion. If the car is stopped and you need to move, you can, you know, open teh door. I know physical activity is pretty tough for America, but we'll just have to adapt.

I see two visible cupholders but there may very well be deployable ones for the second row. In any case there will be second row cupholders. Let's actually see the entire interior (or better yet, spend actual time in one!) before comparing features.

I don't know where it is in the Honda, but again, its hardly a deal breaker being located in the upper dash.

Because you've sat in the redesigned seats. Man you must have some press privileges! :rolleyes:

dude, i've already checked out the odyssey first hand. so yes, I have sat in the seats. the new Odyssey is a packaging godsend.

regarding things like # of cupholders, location of shifter, ability to walk through (moms get up while the van is in motion to tend to small babies who are having issues travelling).....it all matters.

I have used and tried sto n go. there are some issues with it. first off, compare the second row seats of a Routan vs. the Dodge. If you had paid attention to many press reviews in the Dodge you will find complaints regarding the second row seats in the Dodge. The Sto N Go compromises (because Chrysler did a $h!ty ass job packaging it) the seating in the second row in a couple ways. First off, the leg room and footspace is compromised. Secondly, the seating is abysmal (and seating is the primary function of a SEAT). The seat cannot be stowed unless the drivers seat is WAY far forward and this is a pain in the ass. If they had designed it right the seat could be stowed without having the driver's seat in an unnatural position. Also, if you have anything stored in the stowable compartment, now you cannot stow the seat. Also, most of the time if you have kids there is $h! on the floor, so you would have spend forever moving stuff just to access the compartment...which raises the whole floor of the van, which raises the height and the center of gravity, worses the drag, destroys the styling, contributing to worse handling and space efficiency (note how the Odyssey manages better seating with a more comfortable step in and footspace and massive cargo area). In addition, the Honda second row allows the third center position, which is valuable for new borns for access to mom or to ride 3 in the second row with 5 in the van in case there is huge cargo which requires the third row in the floor. Moms with newborns want them in the center position away from side impacts and they want the baby slid up close so they can reach them by just turning around to hand them a bottle, pacifier, rattle, whatever.

So if you want 5 in the Dodge, you have to have part of the third row up anyways which reduces your cargo capacity so what is the point of stow n go if it actually makes your seating less flexible? You can't ride 5 in a 2 row configuration.

The Sto N go was actually packaged better in the last generation. But seriously, the Swivel and BLO and Sto N BLOW CHUNKS is why the Dodge van looks like a bread box, handles crappier and feels like a barge, uses more gas, and has miserable second row seating options.

All because they were completely obsessed with stowing the second row seats in the floor. Well if they had done a better job of it........ the Sto N Go mechanism is slick but sure looks prone to breakage or malfunction to me. It's a bit of a swiss watch.

Go try it yourself. Go to a VW dealer and sit in the second row nice bucket seats. Then, peer in the window of a Caravan and look at the second row seats. Then, sit in them. They are some of the worst seats in autoland. And for a 4500 pound barge to have inefficient seating that is uncomfortable (trip vehicles are supposed to have COMFY seating baked in), well that is unacceptable.

Shifter placement matters since it is one of the primary controls on the vehicle. The shifter on the dash is awkward and not at all where most people want or expect the shifter to be in 2011. Since dodge was redesigning the vehicle they should have put the shifter in a more appropriate location along with the interior redo. What's really effed up is they made a full console on the floor (which you don't do in vans) and they didn't even drop the shifter down there even though the space is already wasted. It looks like all they did was change the arc of the shifter a bit to mimic the path of the shifter if it were still a column shifter.

Honda, Kia, Toyota, Nissan, where do they put the shifter?

I actually like the center stack layout in the 08-010 Dodge vans. Its the rest of the dash and quality of the plastic entirely that was terrible.

Edited by regfootball

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edit, those -2- cupholders in the new layout look like they might actually be carved out for 2 drinks on each side. But even then, it doesn't look secure for 2 drinks. Its almost like they designed it to hold 2 big gulps or 5 small drinks. That is bizarre.

what is missing from the vans still and a lot of cars is two drink spots in the door panel. Those usually end up being where you store the empties. Just two spots for 'empties' in the front row of a family vehicle is not enough.

Edited by regfootball

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Thing is, they have been saying for months the Sto N Go is redesigned for 2011. I can't wait to see it.

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if they did and it works better then all the more power to them. they still would lack a center position in the second row still however.

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I'll say this about the shifter on the Odyssey, it is NOT in a better spot. It is exactly in line for you to wack your hand on as you move your hand from the steering wheel to the audio system/hvac. I had this issue with the previous generation and it's still there in the new one.

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again, having sat in the new Odyssey, the shifter is actually forward a bit, I do not see any such conflict with either the radio or CC.

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Hope they fix the handling. I rented one back in 2009 and thought it was a complete POS. I'd take our 8 year old Odyssey any day over that van.

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Hope they fix the handling. I rented one back in 2009 and thought it was a complete POS. I'd take our 8 year old Odyssey any day over that van.

Well if you actually read the press release you'd get an idea what the answer will be.

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The older Odysseys have unacceptable road noise and the steering allows too much bump feel to come through the wheel.

I can say the Routan drives ok, its just that the whole van did not feel tight. A bread box this large is hard to get tight as a drum without feeling sloppy, even after 10,000 miles.

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11-caravan.jpg

10_d_gcv_photo_int_02.jpg

Interior is a massive improvement and now looks on par with everything else in the segment. Exterior...well the back is still a weak point but it is improved. At least they tried to do something with all that space. Front end is a very nice improvement.

Looks good...and simple.

My parents are going to replace their old Astro very soon. From what I've seen so far, the update looks great. This is their current choice, as you can use this van is so many ways.

I'm looking forward to the test drive...

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Hope they fix the handling. I rented one back in 2009 and thought it was a complete POS. I'd take our 8 year old Odyssey any day over that van.

It's a van?

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