RSS icon Home icon
  • 2011 Dodge Caravan Mainstreet

    Posted on June 14th, 2011 ninarussin

    Minivan is a best value for active families

    By Nina Russin

    2011 Dodge Grand Caravan

    In this challenging economic environment, families trying to maximize their  budgets should re-familiarize themselves with minivans. Few other vehicles with a seven-passenger capacity can match their value-pricing or fuel economy. The Dodge Caravan Mainstreet which I drove this past week is a case in point.

    Base price for the Mainstreet with fold-in-floor seating is $25,995, not including the $835 destination charge. The Mainstreet is not a base-level vehicle: convenience features include tri-zone climate control, remote keyless entry, a six-speaker MP3 compatible audio system, 12-volt power points front and rear, and power windows, mirrors and door locks.

    2011 Dodge Grand Caravan

    In comparison, the Ford Edge starts at $27,995 for the base model; the Chevrolet Traverse at $29,370; and the Toyota Highlander at $28,090. The 2011 Dodge Journey is less expensive, with the equivalent variant costing $24,445 without the delivery charge. But a third-row seat is a $1000 option.

    Since both second and third-row seats fold into the Dodge Caravan’s floor, it can haul some pretty serious cargo. When properly equipped, the Grand Caravan can tow up to 3600 pounds, meeting our ALV minimum standards.

    In addition, the minivan’s aerodynamic profile makes it more fuel efficient than any comparably-sized sport-utility vehicle, as well as many crossovers. The Grand Caravan, equipped with the Pentastar V-6 engine averages 25 miles-per-gallon on the highway, according to EPA estimates.

    Entertainment options make the minivan commuter-friendly

    Buyers who use their minivans for daily commuting will want to consider the Uconnect package on the test car, since Bluetooth interface is not standard equipment. The $690 option also adds a USB port for plugging in an iPod or music stick.

    An entertainment package on the test car includes a rearview backup camera, which projects a wide-angle view to the back on the center stack screen when the driver shifts into reverse. Lines superimposed over the image show the car’s trajectory according to steering inputs. I strongly recommend the backup camera as a safety feature for parents of small children who might wander behind the car.

    The entertainment package also adds satellite radio, a rear seat DVD system, 115-volt outlet in back for plugging in a computer or games, headphones, a remote control, a 30 gigabyte downloadable hard drive and a touch screen display in the center stack ($1995).

    Power for the open road

    2011 Dodge Grand Caravan

    Power for the Grand Caravan comes from a 3.6-liter V-6 engine rated at 283-horsepower. Peak torque, 260 foot-pounds, is available from 4400 rpm, which is slightly over half throttle. When paired with the six-speed automatic transmission, the V-6 has enough power to keep the driver comfortable in typical urban traffic.

    Merging into high-speed traffic is quite easy, as is passing slower vehicles at speed. At 4500 pounds, the front-wheel drive Grand Caravan is lighter than some of the crossovers and sport-utility vehicles with similar passenger capacity. This contributes to its good gas mileage, and also gives it a more positive power-to-weight ratio.

    The manufacturer suggests mid-grade 89 octane gasoline for peak performance, but 87-octane fuel is acceptable. Since the primary purpose of octane is to prevent detonation, the lower grade gasoline is fine for most situations. Drivers should upgrade to higher octane when engine loads are high: for example, towing a trailer.

    A rack-and-pinion power steering system produces good response at all speeds. Steering response is on the soft side, which is to be expected from a minivan. The standard 16-inch aluminum wheels provide an adequate footprint for high-speed driving. Buyers who want to improve the car’s high-speed steering response can upgrade to available larger wheels.

    Four-wheel disc brakes stop the Grand Caravan in a firm, linear fashion.

    Visibility around the perimeter is quite good, with the obvious exception of the rear corners and the area under the back glass. Over-the-shoulder visibility is excellent, making it easy to monitor traffic in the adjacent lanes. Engineers did an good job of isolating passengers from road and wind noise, making it easy for those in all three rows to converse.

    Versatile interior

    Grand Caravan Interior

    The Stow ‘n Go seating technology on the test car has raised minivan functionality to a whole new level. It eliminates the need to remove seats from the car in order to maximize cargo space.

    The test car comes with standard cloth upholstery, which most active families will find to be more practical than leather. It’s easier to clean, and doesn’t get as hot in temperature extremes. Both first and second rows are equipped with captain’s chairs. The space between the second-row seats makes it easier to access the third row.

    All three rows of seating offer enough head and legroom for average adults. Standard tri-zone climate control enables all three rows of passengers to stay comfortable. Ceiling vents circulate air throughout the back of the cabin.

    There are numerous storage spaces throughout the cabin, including a double glovebox, map pockets behind the seats and in the front doors, bottle holders in all four doors, and a center console with four large cupholders. Third-row passengers have cupholders and open bins to either side of the seats, as well as a 12-volt power point and 115-volt outlet.

    I found both the gauge cluster and touch screen display easy to read in a variety of lighting conditions. Bluetooth and cruise control buttons on the steering wheel minimize driver distraction. The tilt-and-telescoping steering column enables smaller drivers to maintain a safe distance from the front airbag.

    A conversation mirror in the overhead console allows parents to monitor kids in the second row. Overhead reading lamps up front and a dome light in back illuminate the interior at night.

    With the third row seats in place, a deep well in back is ideal for loading up grocery bags or luggage. Grocery hooks behind the seats keep the bags from sliding around.

    The test car did not have a power lift-gate. I’m fairly tall, so it wasn’t a problem for me to reach the handle. But the struts which hold the door up are stiff. It might be difficult for smaller drivers to close the door, especially with one arm holding groceries.

    Standard safety

    The Dodge Caravan comes with front, side, side curtain and driver’s knee airbags, four-channel antilock brakes, active front headrests, and electronic stability control. Dodge builds the Grand Caravan at its newly refurbished plant in Windsor, Ontario Canada.

    Likes: A versatile, value-packed minivan with better fuel economy than many crossovers and sport-utility vehicles.

    Dislikes: Bluetooth interface is not standard equipment. Rear lift-gate is difficult to close with one hand.

    Quick facts:

    Make: Dodge
    Model: Grand Caravan Mainstreet
    Year: 2011
    Base price: $25,995
    As tested: $29,515
    Horsepower: 283 Hp @ 6400 rpm
    Torque: 260 lbs.-ft. @ 4400 rpm
    Zero-to-sixty: N/A
    Antilock brakes: Standard
    Side curtain airbags: Standard
    First aid kit: N/A
    Bicycle friendly: Yes
    Towing: Yes*
    Off-road: No
    Fuel economy: 17/25 mpg city/highway
    Comment: *Requires optional towing prep package.

     

    43 responses to “2011 Dodge Caravan Mainstreet”

    1. Roy Berkenbosch

      what is included in the towing prep package – I just bought a Caravan which does not have the factory tow package – can I still get this installed?

    2. Typically these are installed at the factory, but I don’t see why it couldn’t be installed after the fact. Ask your dealer about the availability of towing or approved aftermarket towing prep packages.

    3. Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass favor.

    4. If you can find any secret stratigies out below to trade on forex, alright,
      I’ve not instructed.

      my blog output teach

    5. Firstly, when mastering forex platforms for sale – http://www.naymz.com, trading YOU
      HAVE TO understand that you can not rely on anyone else
      to give you success – it originates from within.

    6. you’re actually a good webmaster. The site loading speed is incredible.

      It kind of feels that you’re doing any distinctive trick.
      Moreover, The contents are masterwork. you have performed a wonderful activity on this topic!

    7. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Adwokaci toruń.

      Regards

    8. This post will assist the internet users for setting
      up new weblog or even a weblog from start to end.

    9. You shߋuld also maкe ѕure th&#6513y ɑг&#6513 spacious еnough tߋ pack yοur items.
      Slinhg bags (Shoulder bags) aге a type &#11423f handbag worn ߋνеr one shoulder with а strap.
      ƬҺе rrest of tɦe Israeli hostages
      ѡere machine-gunned bү t&#1211е terrorists.

    10. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all folks you actually recognise what
      you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also seek advice from my site =).
      We will have a hyperlink change agreement between us

    11. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my site thus i came to return the favor.Im attempting to find things to improve my website!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

    12. Excellent post! We are linking to this particularly great post on our site.
      Keep up the great writing.

    13. I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. Youre incredible! Thanks!

    14. Im impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog thats both equally educative and amusing, and let me tell you, youve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which too few people are speaking intelligently about. Im very happy I came across this in my search for something regarding this.

    15. Are you someone who avoids wearing a heavy backpack or
      a shoulder bag on a sightseeing tour. Furthermore, they are also use to
      make them appear more modern and playful. Inside you can see
      durable padding, making it capable of protecting
      documents, flash drives, CDs, and other electronic items.

    16. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I in finding It
      really helpful & it helped me out much. I hope to present something again and help others like you helped me.

    17. If you are in generally good health, think about purchasing a scaled down high-deductible
      individual medical insurance strategy.

      Also visit my website :: show shore

    18. It’s really a great and useful piece of info.
      I am happy that you shared this useful information with us.

      Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

    19. Cdiscount vous advice vous de des marketplaces sur votre achat robot
      bebe Babycook first p BEABA + Notice comme pour vos achats
      Eveil & Puericulture bebe…!

    20. Quel que soit le voyage au Perou que vous ayez en vue, que ce soit au classique Machu Picchuou sur des sentiers detournes de l’Amazonie, pour survoler le site
      de Nazca ou assister a des evenements culturels a Cusco, pour etudier des ruines ou estimer la hauteur du canyon de
      Colca, un voyage au Perou passe level Peru Paradise Journey.

    21. As pues, tenemos una razn ms para enviar flores a nuestros seres queridos en un arreglos floral encantador!

    22. hotel vanities with granite tops (2cm or 3cm thick)
      60″/54″/48″/42″/36″ width x 33.5″ height x 21″ depth

      Morestone Granite and Marble Limited
      Stone Supplier for Hospitality and Multifamily Industry
      http://www.hotelcountertop.com

    23. Youre so cool! I do not believe I have read through something like this before. So nice to find someone with unique thoughts on this issue. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing thats needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

    24. Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass favor.

    25. Spot on with this write-up, I seriously think this amazing site needs a
      great deal more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the info!

    26. In conclusion, the monogrammed quilted bags are always lightweight
      and highly durable. Fortunately, the nappy bags of today meet both their utilitarian and fashion needs.
      The GYST DB1-14 stood up to our high standards and earned its place
      with the big boys of triathlon gear transport.

    27. You can easily either purchase Twitter supporters , which are real,
      naturally, or allot a strategic some time plan to obtain them
      normally.

      My website Waldo

    28. To obtain more engagement in social media definition oxford media marketing, one has to actually be an icon of anything, be the
      ideal in one thing, the peak of one thing.

    29. Youre so cool! I do not believe I have read through something like this before. So nice to find someone with unique thoughts on this issue. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing thats needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

    30. Currently it sounds like Expression Engine is the preferred blogging platform available right now. (from what Ive read) Is that what youre using on your blog?

    31. Currently it sounds like Expression Engine is the preferred blogging platform available right now. (from what Ive read) Is that what youre using on your blog?

    32. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my site thus i came to return the favor.Im attempting to find things to improve my website!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

    33. I have been surfing on-line greater than 3 hours today, yet I never
      found any interesting article like yours. It is beautiful price sufficient for me.
      In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did,
      the net can be much more useful than ever before.

    34. Very nice blog post. I absolutely love this site. Keep it up!

    35. Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Many thanks for supplying this info.

    36. For those who cherished this report and you want to get further information with regards to advisable site kindly cease
      by the web site. Signet rings are additionally used as
      a membership attribute, as an honor ring a memento or as a class ring.

      Also visit my web blog :: Danon Jewellery Sale; Celsa,

    37. Look at my site :: binre optionen 60 sekunden;
      http://www.finewoodworking.com,

    38. Several sites to find automatic impulses are at ZipSignals and Tradency.

      Feel free to visit my webpage … meaning

    39. Having read this I believed it was really informative. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this informative article together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

    40. Good post! We are linking to this particularly great article on our site. Keep up the great writing.

    41. There is certainly a lot to know about this issue. I love all of the points you’ve made.

    42. That would be the end of this article. Right here youll find some web-sites that we believe youll value, just click the links.

    43. that would be the end of this article. Here you will find some web-sites that we consider youll enjoy, just click the links over

    Leave a reply