Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Jun 24, 2019

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The Dodge Grand Caravan is a popular North American-made minivan that competes vigorously against its Asian counterparts for market share.

If you’re considering buying a Dodge Grand Caravan, read on to learn more before entering your zip code to compare car insurance quotes.

We’ll discuss new upgrades introduced with the 2011-year Caravan, as well as reviews, safety ratings and other information to consider when buying and insuring this full-size family-friendly vehicle.

A North American Success Story

The Dodge Caravan is an established bestseller and an iconic symbol of the American family minivan. Back in 1983, Dodge first introduced the earlier, shorter-wheelbase version, the 1984 Dodge Caravan, to the American market.

It seized the public’s domestic suburban imagination, popularizing the minivan as a whole new class of family transportation.

In 1987, Dodge added the longer-wheelbase model we now know as the Grand Caravan, and by 2008 had phased out the short-wheelbase original Caravan. Throughout their history, both the Caravan and the Grand Caravan have been recognized as perennial bestsellers in the US and Canada.

View the top 10 Mini Vans in America

Upgrading History: The 2011 Grand Caravan

The newest Dodge Grand Caravan has joined the ranks of several top-selling minivans in undergoing redesigns and upgrades for 2011.

The Grand Caravan has an edgier, more sculpted appearance, although some critics still consider it to be somewhat boxy in comparison to its Japanese competitors.

Other significant changes include interior upgrades and a new, smoother and more efficient 3.6 liter/283 horsepower engine at all trim levels.

While many reviewers such as Edmonds.com and thecarconnection.com still prefer Japanese minivans from Honda, Nissan and Toyota for drivetrain refinement, reliability and features, the Grand Caravan has several distinct advantages.

Starting at $24,995 (there is a no-frills commercial version available at $21,800) and topping out at $30,595, the Grand Caravan’s price is noticeably less than its teammate the Chrysler Town and Country ($26,935-$38,660), the Honda Odyssey ($26,805-$40,755), the Toyota Sienna ($25,700-$38,700) and the Nissan Quest ($27,750-$41,350).

The Kia Sedona as well as the Mazda5, a smaller vehicle overall, are both notable exceptions that are competitive with the Grand Caravan on price if not features and overall value.

Another advantage of the Grand Caravan is back for 2011: the Stow and Go seats. These seats fold flat into the floor with one-touch ease to create an ideal cargo space and plenty of flexibility in configuration.

Although some critics have found seating in competitors’ minivans to be more luxurious, this comes with the inconvenience of having to manually remove seats for cargo conversion.

For many consumers with children, pets and/or plenty of gear, the Stow ‘n Go feature is a deal-maker.

Many reviewers also like the electronic gadgetry abundant in the new Grand Caravan, including on-board TV, a USB port for 3G that enables creation of a Wifi hotspot, and options on some tiers that include a media hard drive, navigation, satellite radio and Bluetooth.

These goodies, along with the price and Stow ‘n Go seating, are enough to convince many consumers to ignore the formidable Asian competition. As with all big-ticket purchase decisions, it’s a matter of defining your priorities.

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Dodge Grand Caravan Safety Ratings

You can rest assured that recent-year Dodge Grand Caravans have performed well in safety ratings from major organizations. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the ’08 through ’10 models its highest rating for front and side impact.

After March ’10, the rear impact and seat/head restraint evaluation was good as well; all of this bodes for well for upcoming 2011 evaluations.

The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has also awarded recent Grand Caravans the top five-star rating according to their old rating system.

The 2011 Grand Caravan has yet to be fully rated according to the NHTSA’s new, stricter system, so it’s a good idea to check their website throughout this year to learn more about the new system and any updates to evaluation results they may post if this is of interest to you.

Safety Features and Insurance Rates

The Dodge Grand Caravan has plenty of safety features consumers expect in a family minivan including multiple airbags, active head restraints, ABS brakes, traction control and more. Notable safety options include a rear view camera, parking and traffic sensors, and blind-spot monitoring.

These safety features translate into reasonable insurance rates on average for the Grand Caravan. In fact, the website automotive.com listed the Dodge Grand Caravan, along with its competitors the Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna, among the ten cheapest vehicles overall to insure in 2010.

However, you should note that there are variables affecting the insurance prices you personally will be be quoted, including the state in which the minivan will be garaged, the age and moving violation history of the driver(s), the intended use, the annual mileage and the desired trim level.

To take an example, insuring a new Dodge Caravan in Maine costs on average below $800, whereas, at the other extreme, in Louisiana the premium average is more than double this amount.

Car insurance for young drivers, even those with clean driving records, can be particularly expensive to insure. Such variables are the very reason it is so important to compare insurance quotes in order to get the best rate available for your situation.

To learn what it will cost to insure a Dodge Grand Caravan in your area, simply enter your zip code in the box and begin your comparison shopping.

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