2015 Dodge Grand Caravan

What's new for 2015? The value-focused SE Plus and SXT Plus trim levels are added to the 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan. Seventeen-inch wheels replace 16-inchers as standard and power-adjustable pedals no longer are available.

All manner of vehicles, particularly the ever-growing "crossover" class, purport to be family-oriented, but if you have either a lot of family or a lot of cargo to consistently move from place to place, it's still almost impossible to beat a minivan. And in many respects it's hard to beat the originator of the genre, Dodge's all-things-to-all-people Grand Caravan.

For Dodge, the 2015 Grand Caravan essentially is the culmination of everything most minivan buyers over the years proved was most important in a family hauler: plenty of engine power combined with reasonable fuel economy. For Dodge, the 2015 Grand Caravan essentially is the culmination of everything most minivan buyers over the years proved was most important in a family hauler: plenty of engine power combined with reasonable fuel economy.

Exterior Highlights
Seven-passenger minivan available in AVP, SE, SE Plus, SXT, SXT Plus and R/T trim levels

The 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan is a seven-passenger minivan offered in six trim levels: American Value Package (AVP), SE, SE Plus, SXT, SXT Plus and R/T.

The bargain priced AVP trim has a reasonably solid standard equipment list: 17-inch steel wheels; heated mirrors; power locks, mirrors and front windows; dual-zone air-conditioning; a second-row reclining/folding/removable bench seat; an overhead console; a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; a conversation mirror and a four-speaker audio system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

The SE adds rear privacy glass, tri-zone climate control (with rear air-conditioning), second-row captain's chairs with the Stow 'n Go fold-into-the-floor feature, a front floor console and a six-speaker audio system.

The SE Plus gets body-color heated side mirrors, special upholstery and trim, an overhead console and power windows for the second and third rows.

The SXT adds alloy wheels, roof rails, power rear windows and a larger floor console. Moving to the SXT also brings a power liftgate and power sliding rear doors as well as access to certain optional equipment and packages, including a rearview camera and a Blu-ray DVD rear-seat entertainment system.

For the SXT Plus, you get the SXT's standard equipment along with the Uconnect hands-free group (which also includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, voice command capability, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, steering-wheel audio controls and satellite radio) and an eight-way power driver seat

Top of the line for the 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan is the R/T. It incorporates all of the standard equipment of the other three trim levels, plus 17-inch alloy wheels with special tires, a body-colored grille, a performance-tuned suspension, remote engine start, automatic headlights, foglights, black interior accents, unique interior lighting, tri-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather first- and second-row seats, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar adjustment), a rear overhead console, a trip computer, a 115-volt power outlet, a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone connectivity and an upgraded nine-speaker audio system with satellite radio and a USB port.

For the midlevel SE and SXT, a single-DVD entertainment bundle is available. It adds the R/T's standard touchscreen and audio system along with a 9-inch second-row display screen and an HDMI input. The SXT Plus and R/T can also be outfitted with a Dual DVD/Blu-ray Entertainment package that boasts 9-inch screens for the second and third rows as well as the touchscreen display.

Available for all trims except the AVP and R/T is the Blacktop package, which features 17-inch aluminum wheels, a black grille, foglamps, leather interior accents, premium cloth seats and silver accent stitching.

The Driver Convenience Group also is optional for the SXT Plus and R/T; it adds Bluetooth audio connectivity, heated front- and second-row seats, automatic temperature control, a heated steering wheel and second- and third-row window shades. The Safety Sphere Group (R/T only) adds blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic detection and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. All Grand Caravans with the touchscreen infotainment system can be equipped with an integrated Garmin navigation system.

Interior Highlights
Simple gauges, Stow 'n Go second-row seats, useful luggage space behind third row, backward folding third-row seats

You'll find good outward vision from an upright front-seat position. Gauges are simple and usable. Cabin plastics and other materials, including the cloth seat upholstery, are satisfactory, but the Japanese vans' interiors manage to look and feel a little more upscale.

It's hard not to love Dodge's ultra-useful Stow 'n Go second-row seats that disappear into the floor with the flick of a lever. The Stow 'n Go seats are standard for every Grand Caravan except the base AVP model, where they're optional. Transforming from max people-carrying mode to max cargo-carrying mode couldn't be simpler, while the third-row seats fold backward into a deep cargo well, although they demand a few extra strap and lever pulls to make the transition. Luggage space behind the third row is a useful 33 cubic feet, while you can open up a maximum of 143.8 cubic feet, a space similar to most other minivans, by dropping all the rear seats.

It's worth the money to make sure you buy a trim level or option package that includes the Uconnect 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment interface. It's not the big 8.4-inch screen found in other Dodges, but the system is pretty easy to use otherwise.

Standard safety features for the 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan include stability control, antilock disc brakes, active front head restraints, a driver knee airbag, front seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Optional features in the Safety Sphere Group -- available only for the Grand Caravan R/T -- include a blind-spot monitoring system, rear parking and cross-traffic sensors and a rearview camera.

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