Sunday, March 25, 2012

2012 Grand Caravan Offers Performance and Utility

The Grand Caravan is Dodge's famous segment leading minivan with anywhere from 70% to 90% of the Canadian market depending on region. In fact Dodge invented the segment in 1984 and have stuck by it even when other manufacturers have run towards more profitable segments like SUVs and CUVs. And why has Dodge stuck by the minivan? Everyday Canadian families decide that they need a practical vehicle that can fit family and friends one day and move a combination of cargo and people the next, and move sheets of plywood or drywall on the odd weekend project. And they want to do all of this without having to spend money on a high end vehicle. The minivan offers all of this and more for the price of the average mid-size car.

Once families have made the decision that a minivan is the way to go, they love the fact that the Dodge Grand Caravan has best in class versatility with its industry exclusive 2nd and 3rd row stow'n go that folds up and disappears in cargo bins in the floor leaving a full 4 x 8 cargo area that can carry up to 1000 lbs. They also love the available rear seat entertainment center that plays CD's, DVD's and allows up to 3 different radio options simultaneously for the occupants. Many are impressed by the safety features including 7 airbags that make Grand Caravan a 2011 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety "Top Safety Pick".

Once I have shown families these features I suggest that they take one for a drive and often they say, "Why? It's just a minivan." These people are setting themselves up to miss out on one of the best parts of the new Dodge Grand Caravan. In 2011 Grand Caravan had a makeover that included interior soft touch surfaces and ergonomic controls but most importantly it introduced a new more powerful drive train. Gone is the 3.3 L 178 hp of the 2010 Grand Caravan and now Chrysler has introduced the new 283 hp 3.6L DOHC Pentastar engine with Variable Valve Timing, paired with a new 6 speed automatic transmission. This combination increases horsepower by 60% while providing better fuel economy than the old powertrain. The pentastar engine increases power, decreases fuel consumption, emissions, and noise. These features all contribute to the Pentastar earning a Ward's 10 Best Engines award for 2 years in a row. If you have ever tried to merge into fast moving traffic or pass a slow moving vehicle on a two lane blacktop you will appreciate how much power the new Grand Caravan has.

If you are considering a new vehicle and could benefit from the versatility that a minivan can provide, you owe it to yourself to check out the new 2012 Grand Caravan. With current rebates this vehicle is now selling for the lowest price it has been in 18 years, with many of the new features that we have come to expect in today's vehicles.

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