• Jul 23, 2010
Toyota and Honda may be improving the images of their minivans, but we mustn't forget about the company that started it all: Chrysler. The very first Dodge Grand Caravan went on sale 27 years ago, and through all of the ups and downs that the automaker has faced over the years (especially in recent times), the Grand Caravan and Town & Country twins have always been a mainstay.

The current pair of minivans was introduced for the 2008 model year, so it's only fitting that a slight mid-cycle refresh is on deck, and the folks at The Detroit News have snagged some spy shots of a Town & Country prototype out testing. In addition to modest exterior updates that include things like LED taillamps and a reworked rear bumper, expect Chrysler's new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 to be slotted under the hood. Combined with a six-speed automatic transmission, this should account for a healthy improvement in fuel economy, not to mention power.

What's most important for minivan shoppers, though, is interior refinement, and the 2011 T&C is expected to get a host of cabin upgrades. More comfortable seats, higher-quality materials and an integrated center console will be on hand, and we'd expect the nifty Stow 'N Go and Swivel 'N Go seating configurations to carry over, as well. Look for similar improvements to make their way into the Dodge Grand Caravan, as well. Thanks for the tip, Aaron!

[Source: The Detroit News]


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  • 21 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I guess no Routan this time.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Its still alive and will be
        • 4 Years Ago
        This is a refresh, not an all-new. Routan probably will still be sold until a complete redesign.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The grille on the current T & C is ghastly, the Caravan looks much better.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Quote: ""The scores and scores of complaints about the new Caravan's reliability is enough to keep me away.""




        Honda and Toyota are far from perfect. The transmission problems on the Odyssey have been well docmented. As for the Sienna, scores and scores of problems is about right.

        • 4 Years Ago
        To be fair, the new Odyssey is only a design failure from the C-pillar back. But why are we talking about exterior design? This is a minivan. Nobody cares how it looks. The scores and scores of complaints about the new Caravan's reliability is enough to keep me away.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not only it is not the same company, they did not invent any minivan. Volkswagen has had a minivan for far, far longer than Chrysler and Chrysler's parent company Fiat had a minivan in the 50s. My family owned one and it worked extremely well. So did Renault and it was called Espace. All this long before Chrysler.
      • 4 Years Ago


      Will it have the ledgendary Chrysler minivan residual values?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I leased a loaded Grand Caravan.
      Then I bought a Flex Limited.

      Sorry Chrysler, but Ford figured out how to make their "minivan" handle like an autocross champ compared to that wet noodle that flops around on the road with the Grand Cavavan name.

      And NVH...don't even get me started. Build quality? No wonder you needed a bailout.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Um sorry to bust your bubble but a Ford Flex isnt not a Minivan.... its basically a Lowerd SUV.
      • 4 Years Ago
      No to be too picky, but 27 years ago (1983) would have been the introduction of the Caravan. The longer wheelbase Grand Caravan was not introduced until a few years later.
      • 4 Years Ago
      They need changes.
      With Toyota's new Swagger Wagon and Honda bringing out the next-gen Odyssey as well as the new Nissan van, Chrysler needs to update things to keep people interested.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I never understood the point of the Chrysler T&C? Especially with the Dodge Caravan in existence. I mean Chrysler is not what most materialistic Americans would consider luxury, so what's the advantage over the Dodge except a different grill and fake chrome trim? Plus, the Dodge, in my opinion, looks better. Its sorta like Mercury to Ford, and look where thats going.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @bh

        Goes to show you that people are truly blind when it comes to badge engineering. Same van, yet the dodge starts off 2 THOUSAND!!!!! dollars cheaper. Why not get the Dodge???!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Why the T&C over the Caravan..... well, as an owner of a 2000 T&C, I can tell you my reasoning was twofold. First, the T&C of that model year looked nicer to me. Second, the T&C have a higher content level, a T&C was much more likely to have the appointments I wanted. I didn't have to waste time digging through each Caravan window sticker to see what appointments it had. The T&C came with most of what I wanted, while the Caravan could be loaded or a stripper. Nice to have choices, especially since the eng $$ involved are minimal.

        This has always been one appeal of the American car companies... for any given class of car, there is a wide range of content available, more so than most foreign makes, and many times there was a similar model (or two or three) in a sister brand which may look better to you.

        • 4 Years Ago
        The point is that it's profitable, or else it would be canceled in the first place.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is it a New Dodge Journey in the background?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I was surprised to learn that the Chrysler Caravan owns 75 to 85% of the market in Canada. I expected a healthy 35%, but was floored to learn almost 9 out of 10 people up here choose it over Honda, Toyota, and so on.
      • 4 Years Ago
      At least someone is remaining conservative with their style...no Hello Kitty minivan here.

      On the flop side...the roofline/C-pillar transition is really really ugly. I think the prior gen had it right...and the Routan.

      Also, this cut-from-a-cube-of-clay look is extremely dated and cheap. Apparently their modeling software lost its sweep command.
      • 4 Years Ago
      For what it's worth, I drove a rental T&C last month for about a week. It was fairly new, had around 11000 miles on it. They didn't have the SUV I requested so I was stuck with the minivan. The cabin was comfortable and the ride was good. I had fun playing with the remote control doors and tailgate. But this thing needs some style in a BIG way-- inside and out. The materials inside feel so cheap and the design, no that's not the right word because no designer was actually involved, so the layout then is dull and utilitarian. It's like a soccer-mom patrol car, not a family car. Come on Chrysler, I know you can do better.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Everyting about Cryslers Co. Interiors isnt Chryslers Problems, Its Diamlers. People are even Disapointed in Merc.Benz's plasticy Interior in there new $240.000 Super Car SLS.
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