click above image to view high-res gallery of the 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan The minivan is dead, so says GM and Ford. They've all but given up on the sliding-door people movers. But where two-thirds of the Big Three see a dead end, Dodge sees an opportunity. And so do Toyota, Honda, Kia and Hyundai, which means it takes more than a smooth ride and a full set of cup holders to compete in this tricky segment. Chrysler has therefore packed its latest Grand Caravan with a family-sized list of innovations. Relying on a laundry list of features is a good thing, because if the Grand Caravan depended only on its looks for sales, then the minivan might be dead meat. The last time we saw sheet metal this flat and unadorned was on a UPS truck. Surely it wouldn't have cost that much more to put in a curve or character line here and there. And is that the same grille as on last year's Dakota? But as my wife points out, "It's a van. You don't buy a van for the aesthetics." True. It's what is inside that counts, and the Caravan has interior goodies galore. Continue reading about the 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT after the jump. %Gallery-8527% %Gallery-940% Live Photos Copyright ©2007 Chris Tutor / Weblogs, Inc. At the top of the Caravan's options list for 2008 is, of course, the Swivel 'N Go seating seen first at the Detroit Auto Show in January. The van's second row captain's chairs can turn 180 degrees to face both the third row bench and a small table on which passengers can play games or eat or do homework. The table and swiveling seats are certainly attractive features that will probably get quite a few families looking at minivans again. The second row seats can also be stopped halfway in their turn to face either of the two sliding rear doors, making rear-seat entry much easier for elderly passengers. Grandmother opens the door, swivels the seat to face her, sits down and swivels it to the front of the car. We see it as a bonus feature for parents of infants and toddlers, too. Swivel the seat halfway for super-easy child-seat access. The center table, however, has its drawbacks. When removed, it and its pedestal conveniently stow beneath the center row seats. Removing the table ain't all fun and games, though. Dodge's people even had a little trouble getting the table top off of the metal pole. Maybe with practice it gets easier, but try it out yourself before taking one home. One other drawback to the Swivel 'N Go system is leg room. With the second-row seats turned backwards and the table installed, there's not really any good place to put your feet. Put four twitchy kids back there and a calm game of Go Fish can soon turn into a familiar match of "He Kicked Me!" But with only two rear passengers, those swiveled seats make great …
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