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December 09, 2011

2012 Dodge Caravan Road Test Review

2012 Dodge Caravan Minivan Road Test Review by Martha Hindes

by Martha Hindes

It's been almost 30 years since Dodge's Grand Caravan launched a truly original segment in the automotive world, addressing a need people probably didn't realize they had. Back then, few if any knew what a minivan was all about, or how it could accommodate those needs. Jump to 2012 and there are answers all over the map. But one question remains. Does the minivan originator still lead?

The 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan is a totally different breed than the original that offered sensible utility for five. Since then, Caravan grew legs and added the appropriate "Grand" description to show off its stretched, more usable space for seven, and morphed from plebeian to downright pleasurable in its driving experience rating.

Along with its up-market Chrysler Town & Country cousin, the Grand Caravan got a major redo this year, along with almost every other competitive minivan out there. That brought it interior refinements along with a new single powertrain to replace three previous ones. For the 2012 model year, Dodge adds an R/T version to spike up the sporty side, with performance suspension, special 17-inch aluminum wheels and a knockout black leather interior with red stitching. Crew and R/T editions gain standard remote start, power liftgate and security alarm. Full review

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