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Arrigo Automotive Group

6500 Okeechobee Blvd
Directions West Palm Beach, FL 33411

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2008 Dodge Grand Caravan

Hours

  • Monday: 8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
  • Thursday: 8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
  • Friday: 8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
  • Saturday: 8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
  • Sunday: 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM

2008 Dodge Grand Caravan

The 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan is all new. It's a necessary redesign for Dodge, to remain the leader of the minivan pack. And it's a good one, with many improvements, including a new optional 250-horsepower V6 and six-speed transaxle (a minivan first), with fuel economy of just one less mile per gallon than the standard 175-hp V6 with a four-speed. Aerodynamics are better and it's quieter inside. The redesigned rear suspension delivers a good ride. Electronic stability control is now standard. The new Grand Caravan has earned five-star front and side crash ratings, and four stars in rollover ratings, from NHTSA. The Grand Caravan is all about transporting people comfortably and safely, while keeping them entertained. Its designers focus on interior creature comforts, and they have succeeded with the '08 model. The base 3.3-liter V6 gets an EPA-rated 17 City and 24 Highway miles per gallon.

The 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan SE uses the smallest of the three available engines, a 3.3-liter overhead-valve V6 mated to a four-speed automatic transaxle.

The Grand Caravan SXT uses a 3.8-liter overhead-valve V6 with six-speed transaxle and Stow 'n Go standard. The interior adds overhead storage and pinpoint LED lighting.

The SXT offers the L package with heated seats for the first two rows, a MyGIG Multimedia Entertainment System, power liftgate and rear backup camera.

The M package includes hands-free phone, rear climate controls, second- and third-row window shades, cabin air filter, automatic headlamps, backup camera, backup beeper, and 17-inch aluminum wheels.

The N Package starts out with the 4.0-liter single-overhead-cam V6 engine. Most of the rest of it is about deluxe entertainment. MyGIG, DVD screens for both the second and third rows, wireless headsets and remote control, Sirius radio, and an Infinity sound system with nine amplified speakers and subwoofer.

2008 Dodge Grand Caravan Handling and Powertrain

The Dodge Grand Caravan is a transporting machine, not a driving one. The main thing is, on the road, it's safe and stable. Electronic stability control is standard, and it activates fairly early.

Our SE test model had the smallest of the three engines, the 3.3-liter making 175 horsepower at 5000 rpm and 205 pound-feet of torque at 4000 rpm. For the way we drove it during our week, which we believe is the way most Grand Caravan owners drive, it offered enough acceleration and speed.

Higher performance is available in the SXT, with the 3.8-liter making 197 horsepower, or the new aluminum SOHC 4.0-liter making a big 240 hp. These engines only get one less mile per gallon, still on 87 octane, so it's something to seriously consider.

Suspension-wise, the redesign has changed leaf springs to coil springs in the rear, and brought a new twist-beam rear axle with a track bar, not independent. (A Trailer Tow Package includes self-leveling shock absorbers.) Despite being less sophisticated than other minivans, the ride is good.

The brakes are plenty big, and although the Grand Caravan is no heavier than the competition (some 300 pounds lighter than the Honda Odyssey), its stopping distance from 70 mph was the longest among the five minivans tested by Car and Driver magazine.

2008 Dodge Grand Caravan Interior

Dodge Grand Caravan leads the minivan field when it comes to interior convenience, capability and versatility. Chrysler has been working on these things for a long time, and they haven't been afraid to be creative.

The H package includes Chrysler's YES Essentials fabric for the seats, designed for the soccer-mom lifestyle, meaning it resists stains and odors left behind by dirty, smelly children. The second-row bucket seats slide rearward to ease access to the third row, so there's less fighting and yelling about stepped-on feet. Stow 'n Go works, too. For a fairly simple invention, it's a masterpiece.

More useful information on the dash includes: low coolant/washer fluid, low oil, fuel cap/door ajar, fuse fault, ESP off, and cruise control on.

2008 Dodge Grand Caravan Exterior

A minivan is not a stone that lends itself to sculpture. It looks fresh, as the old styling is ubiquitous. All the sheet metal is new, as is the front fascia, rear fascia, and tail lamps.

It's more aerodynamic, although it seems boxier because of the nose, which now looks more like it's in the Dodge family. It's attractive in a SUV-ish kind of way. The hood is less sloped than before, and it bears character lines. The grille is more upright, making the Dodge crosshair grille look more like a Dodge truck, especially in chrome.

The wheelbase of the new Grand Caravan is 1.9 inches longer, and the overall length stretched 2.5 inches, so the overhangs are about the same. The front track has been widened by 2.5 inches, and the rear by 0.8 inches, without widening the vehicle at its sides. However the roof has been widened by 6 inches, allowing more overall interior room.

2008 Dodge Grand Caravan Safety

Safety features that come standard on all models include electronic stability control, four-wheel-disc ABS with brake assist, and full-length airbag curtains. Side-impact airbags are not available. Grand Caravan received five-star front and side crash ratings and four stars in rollover ratings from NHTSA.

The redesigned 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan offers substantial improvements at a lower price. The 3.3-liter V6 with 175 horsepower is fine, while the optional 3.8-liter and 4.0-liter engines make more power with almost the same fuel mileage. The transmission and ride are both smooth. But it's the interior where the Grand Caravan leaps high hurdles. There's little left wanting, from storage space, to lighting, to options like a DVD system and sound system with hard drive, and tables for the passengers to sit around. But the best optional feature is Stow 'n Go, allowing the rear seats disappear into the floor for carrying cargo. The Grand Caravan's versatility is unmatched.