GTP Cool Wall: 1996-2000 Dodge Caravan

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1996-2000 Dodge Caravan


  • Total voters
    36
  • Poll closed .
854
United States
United States
Poll 1370: 1996-2000 Dodge Caravan nominated by @Volksauto
DODGE%2FGRAND%20CARAVAN%2FMinivan%2F5%2F1997%2Fexterior-photos%2Fo%2Fdodge-grand-caravan-minivan-5-doors-1997-model-exterior-photos-4.jpg

Body Style: 3-door minivan, 4-door minivan
Engines: 2.4 L EDZ I4, 2.5 L VM425 I4 (diesel) (Philippines), 3.0 L 6G72 V6, 3.3 L EGA V6 (gasoline / E85), 3.8 L EGH V6
Power: 150-180 HP
Weight: 3,528 lbs (1,600 kg), 3,680 lbs (1,669 kg) (Grand Caravan)
Transmission: 5-speed manual (Philippines diesel), 3-speed 31TH automatic, 3-speed A670 automatic, 4-speed 41TE automatic
Drive train: front engine, front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive
Full development for the third generation Chrysler minivans began in 1991. Designed by Don Renkert, the 1996 model Chrysler minivans were introduced at the 1995 North American International Auto Show.
Among minivans, the new third Gen. Chrysler vans were revolutionary. They were the first non-compact minivans in the North American Market to feature a driver side sliding passenger door (optional at first). They also featured "Easy Roll-Out Seats" which added to the vehicle's versatility.
The 1996 Dodge Caravan, along with the Chrysler Town & Country and the Plymouth Voyager won the North American Car of The Year award. The Dodge Caravan specifically earned Motor Trend's 1996 Car of The Year award. The Dodge Caravan was the best selling family vehicle of the '90s.
The Dodge Caravan was available to two wheel base sizes. The long wheelbase was called the Grand Caravan. The Caravan was available in a variety of trim options:
  • Base - Included: Cloth upholstery, speed-sensitive wipers, manual locks, 14-inch steel rims with "Successor" hubcaps, and an AM/FM stereo with four speakers. Package 22T added air conditioning and cargo net.
  • SE - Added: air conditioning, power mirrors, speed control, rear defroster, power locks, sliding rear driver's side door, an AM/FM stereo with cassette player and four speakers, steering wheel audio controls, and 15-inch steel rims with "revolver" hubcaps. Package 28D added power front windows with automatic driver's side window, ignition delay, glove box, and an ashtray.
  • Sport - Added: tinted windows, and power windows with automatic driver's side window, fog lamps, and 16-inch steel rims with "Vortex" hubcaps.
  • LE - Added: optional leather seating surfaces, dual-zone air conditioning with temp control, overhead console with sunglass holder, garage door opener holder, illuminated entry, headlamp off delay, keyless entry, security alarm, power driver's seat, an AM/FM stereo with cassette player, steering wheel audio controls, graphic equalizer, Infinity 200-watt sound system and 10 speakers, center console storage bin, and 15-inch steel rims with "Citadel" hubcaps.
  • ES - Added: leather seating surfaces, fog lamps, automatic headlamps, garage door opener, heated power front seats, an AM/FM stereo with cassette and CD players, rear spoiler, and 16-inch "genesis" alloy rims.
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854
United States
United States
It's a meh to be sure, but not a bad car. I'm sure a few people will rate it higher (Or maybe lower?) due to growing up in them. It's a bit before my time (I grew up in an '04 Odyssey) but I can respect this car for what it did.
 

JohnBM01

JohnMarineDesigns
Premium
24,664
United States
Houston, Texas, USA
JMarine25
The Dodge Grand Caravan was always a handsome and stylish van to me. Not boring, but not bonkers either. There's only one call for me then- Cool. I liked a lot of Dodges in the 1990s, especially mid and late 1990s.
 

MisterWaffles

Ferrari Shill
Premium
5,609
Canada
Ottawa
Pyano1132
I’ll give it a meh. It’s not a cool car but it’s the backbone of North American families so it deserved higher than an uncool for all of the use and abuse it takes.
 
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Adamgp

Well-Known Hippo
Premium
7,062
United States
Land of the smelly onion
I liked the design of these. Too bad nearly all of them around here have rusted away.

Still a Cool.
 

GranTurNismo

Resident Car Nerd
Premium
2,835
United States
Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA
This was peak KarenVan. Modern and sleek "cab-forward" styling, stow-N-go seating, seat-mounted DVD players for the kids, very roomy interior, all at a pretty affordable price tag. The previous two generations may still have been best-sellers in their class, but were clunkier, not as spacious, and were quite obviously K-platform based. The generations to follow went down in quality majorly, hence why the Caravan lost its spot as #1 best selling minivan to its Japanese competitors. So, the 3rd-gen KarenVan/Town N Country is the best generation in many respects.

Still, it's a KarenVan. These were driven by the blandest soccer moms in the most cookie-cutter neighborhoods when they first came out, and now that they've hit 20 years old and can be found on Marketplace for $1,000 or less, a vast array of sketchy characters will drive them. I've even seen a few as landscaping equipment vans. With the exception of the Renault Avantime and maybe a few others, Uncool is the best that a minivan can get.
 
4,856
United States
United States
Stawookie
This was peak KarenVan. Modern and sleek "cab-forward" styling, stow-N-go seating, seat-mounted DVD players for the kids, very roomy interior, all at a pretty affordable price tag. The previous two generations may still have been best-sellers in their class, but were clunkier, not as spacious, and were quite obviously K-platform based. The generations to follow went down in quality majorly, hence why the Caravan lost its spot as #1 best selling minivan to its Japanese competitors. So, the 3rd-gen KarenVan/Town N Country is the best generation in many respects.

Still, it's a KarenVan. These were driven by the blandest soccer moms in the most cookie-cutter neighborhoods when they first came out, and now that they've hit 20 years old and can be found on Marketplace for $1,000 or less, a vast array of sketchy characters will drive them. I've even seen a few as landscaping equipment vans. With the exception of the Renault Avantime and maybe a few others, Uncool is the best that a minivan can get.
Most people I see driving them now are 40 year old men with nobody else in the vehicle.
 

GranTurNismo

Resident Car Nerd
Premium
2,835
United States
Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA
Most people I see driving them now are 40 year old men with nobody else in the vehicle.
I've also seen that, as well as with other 90s minivans still on the road today. Chris Hansen has probably taken notice.
 
279
New Zealand
New Zealand
Much better looking than its forebears (and its replacements if I'm being honest) but not up to GM DustBuster levels (they were considered good looking to European eyes, get over it!) . But MPVs/people carriers/minivans are inherently uncool and as has been stated above few rise above it. Meh.
 
643
Italy
Under some Risotto
I respect it, it's the textbook definition of a minivan and it looks good enough for what it is.
It's a meh for me though because well, minivans never seemed cool to me.
 

Joey D

Swedespeed
Premium
44,154
United States
Holladay, UT
GTP_Joey
GTP Joey
Moves people, not emotions.

Also, I had no idea they made a diesel variant of these.
 
643
Italy
Under some Risotto
Moves people, not emotions.

Also, I had no idea they made a diesel variant of these.

The diesel variant was also super common here in my area only to completely disappear in 10 to 15 years.
Also I should note that it was the same turbodiesel that was used in a wide array of cars and in some versions of the Alfa 155 and 164, curiously enough (but with more power)
 
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GranTurNismo

Resident Car Nerd
Premium
2,835
United States
Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA
Also, I had no idea they made a diesel variant of these.
Even stranger was the Chinese rebadged variant, which has a quite interesting name. "Sanxing SXZ6510 3-Star Caravan", sold from 1997-2002.

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There was also the 1999-2000 Caravan EPIC, a plug-in electric vehicle with an 80 mile range. An estimated 200-300 were sold, yet less than 10 are still on the roads today.



 
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GranTurNismo

Resident Car Nerd
Premium
2,835
United States
Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA
I’m guessing “3-star” was meant to be “3-rows” but lost in translation somewhere. Because what brand would openly admit that their product is just mediocre.
 
1,781
United States
Columbus, Ohio
There was a time where it wasn't unusual to see two or even three of these sitting side by side in any given parking lot, sometimes alongside its siblings the Plymouth Voyager and Chrysler Town & Country, at least if you lived in the surburban midwest. I also remember that there were some really, really generous financing options for the Caravan in particular back then as well, likely because the Ford Windstar was cutting into its turf and Chrysler weren't having any of that.

That said... it's a minivan. It never really tried to be anything more* than a high volume people mover, and for the most part it succeeded in that. So... Meh.

It was here, it was there, it was everywhere, but it wasn't really exciting.

*Unless we're counting the '99 Caravan R/T concept, but that never made it to production so I don't think it should count.
 
39,077
Yeah those first in class dual sliding doors that made the entire rest of the segment completely irrelevant overnight as soon as they were starting to catch up (especially poor Ford and their Windstar) are great and all, but can the third gen Caravan do this:


Didn't think so.
 
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127
North Korea
Kijŏng-don
PS1 Memory Card
Too late to vote, but I would've voted *cool* because of the movie 'The Jackal' with Bruce Willis & Richard Gere.

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