You can enter the rear through two optional ($1,495) power sliding doors on either side of the Grand Caravan. The large doors can be operated from the key fob and make it easy for everyone to enter and exit the back area. With that option also comes a rear power liftgate making it easy for mom to load and unload items.
Conveniences like having the power tailgate raise can be worth a lot when you walk up with your arms full and have two or three kids in tow. The controls are also located on the headliner between the front seats. The driver can conveniently open doors and rear gate from there.
The Grand Caravan’s second-row bucket seats slide and make it easy to access to the third row, or they fold forward with one pull of the lever. The Grand Caravan comes with the very popular and versatile invention called Stow ‘n Go. This feature allows the second and third-row seats to be stowed flat into the floor. And when they are not, the area below can be used for additional storage underneath the passenger’s feet.
They can be put into the floor easily with the pull of a few straps and I didn’t have to refer to the owners manual to figure it out. In less than 2 minutes, the Grand Caravan can be converted from a van that carries the kids, to a cargo van that can transport a 4X8 sheet of plywood. Or you can just put the third row into the floor and still have seating for four passengers and room for a ton of cargo.
The Swivel ‘n Go option is another great seating feature from Chrysler. It comes with second-row seats that rotate 180 degrees, and a stowable table that fits between the second and third rows. The seats turn and the table stows away when its not in use. It makes for a great feature that allows the kids to play board games or cards while on long road trips.
Other available features include a video system with one or two rear screens, wireless headphones, and remote control; a spot to plug in a laptop; power sliding side doors and power liftgate; and the capability to download music to a hard-drive sound system.
The overall interior volume in the Grand Caravan isn’t as big as some of the competition, but this minivan is big inside and the Grand Caravan is perfect for families with kids. Both second and third rows are also big enough for adults. Tomorrow we will look at all the available options that make this minivan family friendly.
2010 Dodge Grand Caravan SE Review: Technology and Convenience
When you step into the Dodge Grand Caravan, it’s like being in a family room on wheels. The best part of the Grand Caravan is the interior options that turn this minivan into a rolling entertainment room. This is the reason families buy a minivan. Not because of their stylish appearance outside, but because of what they offer on the inside.
The Grand Caravan comes with an array of technology to entertain the family. It starts with the dual DVD entertainment system. The DVD player is first of all easy to use. You just put in the DVD, press Play, and it works; the screen drops down from the ceiling and the movie begins. The dual-DVD has two-screens, one for the second row and another for the third row seat.
The two screens are independent of each other so third-row passengers can watch one thing and second-row passengers can watch another. A video can also be shown on the front touch-screen for viewing by the driver and front-seat passenger, but only when the transmission is in Park. When the DVD screen is deployed, the driver loses some visibility in the rearview mirror so more attention needs to be paid to the side mirrors.
Other goodies include wireless headphones, jacks to plug in video game systems, and Sirius Backseat TV is an option. It comes with three child-friendly channels: Disney Channel, Nickelodeon , and the Cartoon Network. There is an available LED pinpoint lighting also that allows reading by rear-seat passengers.
The UConnect system is another nice feature that comes with a hard-drive radio and 30 gigabytes of storage to hold music and picture files. UConnect GPS adds a navigation system with voice activation and real-time traffic provided by Sirius. A standard USB port allows for songs to be downloaded from thumb drives that have been ripped from CD’s.
Two other safety options that are available on the Grand Caravan are the Blind Spot Monitoring system which uses radar sensors to detect vehicles in the van’s blind spots and then warns the driver with lights in the side mirrors or a driver-selectable chime that sounds like the seat belt chime.
The Rear Cross Path system is activated when the van is in reverse. It uses radar sensors to detect vehicles crossing behind the Grand Caravan and warns the driver with lights in the side mirrors and the same chime. It detects vehicles up to 20 meters away, and is programmed to recognize the speed of oncoming vehicles and alert the driver if they are traveling at a speed that could lead to an accident.