22 Best & Worst Dodge Grand Caravan Years (Pictures & Stats)

The Dodge Grand Caravan made its debut in the late ’80s and was discontinued in 2020.

It’s not earnt the best reviews from auto journalists for being a bit outdated, although many owners are more than happy with it.

In this article, we’ll be going through all of the best and worst model years of the Grand Caravan.

2020 Grand Caravan

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Dodge Grand Caravan Are:

The best Dodge Grand Caravan model years are 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002, and 2001. The worst model years of the Grand Caravan are 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 1996, 1997, 2005, 2016, and 1998. This is based on reviews, NHTSA stats, problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Dodge Grand Caravan?

2020 Dodge Grand Caravan

The 2020 Grand Caravan is the final model year ever produced and is part of the 5th generation introduced for 2008. It is the least problematic model according to NHTSA data.

It is known for being significantly more affordable than its competitors and has practical foldable second-row and third-row seats. 

New for this particular model year are new features and cosmetics for the SE Plus trim and an optional Blacktop package.

There are 4 trims to choose from: SE, SE Plus, SXT, and GT Fleet. 

  • Edmunds: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2020 Grand Caravan, Edmunds review:

“This is our second caravan and trust me, at ten grand or more below the competition, it’s a great value. Plenty of power for a minivan, plenty of room for the family, plenty of storage below and behind the seats, plenty of room for those of us who aren’t tiny, and plenty of savings overall.”

2019, 2018, and 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan

The 2019, 2018, and 2017 Grand Caravan models are essentially the same.

These models are reliable, affordable and offer versatile seating and cargo configurations – although they don’t have the best safety scores.

The sole engine option is a V6 that can get loud during hard acceleration, but offers plenty of oomph and good gas mileage.

A change that occurred for these model years is the trim naming.

The lineup for these models now consists of the following trim levels: SE, SE Plus, SXT, and GT.

Owners love these models for the following aspects: interior, comfort, appearance, seats, handling, and steering.

2019 Grand Caravan:

  • Edmunds: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book:3.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 76 / 100

2018 Grand Caravan:

  • Edmunds: 3.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 74 / 100

2017 Grand Caravan:

  • Edmunds: 3.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 72 / 100

2019 Grand Caravan, Edmunds review:

“Aging individuals are finding that the minivan is invaluable if you need to travel with adaptive medical equipment such as a wheelchair and oxygen tanks. After a large search of the minivan market, the Stow n Go seats plus the reliable 6 speed automatic 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT beat out the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. The finishes in the SXT delivered a heated steering wheel, heated seats as well as leather upholstery — all very desirable features in our search. All in all, the 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan has exceeded our expectation after one week of ownership…”

2015 Dodge Grand Caravan

The 2015 Grand Caravan is known for its versatile seating and cargo bay configurations and its affordable price tag.

New for this particular model year was the introduction of the value-focused SE Plus and SXT Plus trims.

These 2 trims are added to the existing 4 trim levels: American Value Package (AVP), SE, SXT, and R/T.

There is a single engine for all variants, a 3.6-liter V6 that offers good power and reasonable fuel economy.

NHTSA awarded this model year with 4 out of 5 stars. This is based on a series of standard collision tests. 

  • Edmunds: 3.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 73 / 100

2015 Grand Caravan, Edmunds review:

“I have a 2015 Grand Caravan SXT with navigation. I love the look of the outside and inside of the Dodge over that of the Toyota or Honda. I like how my car rides and handles. I like the Dash and console, both glove compartments (upper glove compartment has a USB port inside). I really like the fold in the floor middle seats, why Toyota or Honda have not installed these into their vans is a big mistake. I love the navigation, it is very simple. I like the Bluetooth, it is also very simple to use. My sister has a 2016 Honda CRV and her car phone is horrible and always calls the wrong person and her navigation is very confusing. I like the hard drive, I can save my favorite song or band, and then the radio will notify me if the song or band is playing on a different station, a very cool feature. I like how easy it is for a 6 foot 1 man to get into and out of the van…”

2007 and 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan

The 2007 and 2006 Grand Caravan model years benefit from a strengthened roof and side structure, as well as updated side curtain airbags for better side-impact crash protection (introduced for 2005).

These two models were the final installment of the 4th generation and they received significantly fewer complaints than the 2005 and 2008 models.

There are 3 trims to choose from: Cargo Van (C/V), SE, and SXT.

Fuel economy is respectable. EPA estimates say that owners can reach 20 MPG for combined driving, 17 MPG for city driving, and 24 MPG for highway driving. 

Engine choices include a 3.3-liter V6 (180 horsepower) or a 3.8-liter V6 (215 horsepower), depending on trim. 

2007 Grand Caravan:

  • Edmunds: 3.9 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 75 / 100

2006 Grand Caravan:

  • Edmunds: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2007 Grand Caravan, Edmunds review:

“My wife was in a head-on collision in this van at 50 mph. The crumple zones worked as advertised and there was no noticeable damage to the cabin. She was a little bruised up from the airbags and seat belt but otherwise she walked away. The van was totaled but she is with us to talk about it.”

2007 Grand Caravan

2004 Dodge Grand Caravan

The 2004 Grand Caravan is one of the most reliable models produced based on NHTSA statistics, it also received excellent consumer feedback scores.

It received praise for its ride and handling although it has a subpar frontal offset crash test score.

Dodge, in celebration of 20 years of building minivans, offered an Anniversary Edition package for 2004.

This special edition features chrome wheels, two-tone leather upholstery, and an in-dash CD/DVD changer paired with a rear entertainment system. 

There are 3 trims to pick from: SE, a midrange EX, or a top-spec SXT.

Other additions include a tire pressure monitor, upgraded audio systems, and a new integrated keyfob. 

  • Edmunds: 4.8 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2004 Grand Caravan, Edmunds review:

“I am very pleased to date with our Caravan. The DVD system with the remote headphones is a blessing on long drives. Had one problem with the driver’s side window, dealership replaced a voltage regulator. Gas mileage is not quite getting what I had hoped, about 17-19 MPG.”

2003 Dodge Grand Caravan

The 2003 Grand Caravan has excellent ride and handling, a refined drivetrain, comfortable seating, and a nice-looking interior.

New to this particular model is a power sunroof, a factory-installed DVD entertainment system (that also comes with wireless headphones).

Music enthusiasts will appreciate the upgraded CD changer with a 6-disc capacity (compared to the previous 4-disc capacity)

Owners have praised this model year for its interior, comfort, spaciousness, value, driving experience, and exterior appearance. 

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2003 Grand Caravan, Edmunds review:

“I did not want to buy a minivan. But in 2004 I bought a 2003 with 11K on it for $11K. This car has been fantastic. It took us through the western states camping. It moved us from one house to another. It has hauled carpool kids, craigslist finds, saddles, hay, dogs, beds and building materials. It averaged 29 mpg when we first got it on the highway, it now gets a solid 21 city/hiway. It broke down once in its 150K miles-the main computer glitched. That was not a pretty $500 but nothing since except standard maintenance. Even though it is no longer shiny and new, our current crop of carpool kids still like it best. I walk by it and pat it sometimes like a good pony.”

2002 and 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan

The 2002 and 2001 Grand Caravans offer owners with a comfy ride, impressive handling, and affordable upfront and long-term maintenance costs.

New for this pair of models is the Caravan eL trim, power-adjustable pedals and rear-seat audio with wireless headsets (for the higher-end models), and a DVD video system for the rear seat (which also has wireless headset capability).

In addition, the 2001 model year provided numerous industry-firsts, such as a power rear tailgate, a power sliding door obstacle detection system, a removable and powered center console, and a pop-up rear cargo organizer. 

2002 Grand Caravan:

  • Edmunds: 4.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2001 Grand Caravan:

  • Edmunds: 4.1 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2002 Grand Caravan, Edmunds review:

“Very reliable van. purchased when it had about 26,000 miles. It now has 188,700 miles. We have had to do the standard repairs (Tires & Brakes). Around 100,000 miles we did have an antifreeze leak. Finally after a couple years of dealing with that they figured out it was a crack in a hose. They repaired that and we have not had any problems since. Currently the only thing wrong is the Drivers auto lock broke and the exhaust needs replaced.”

Consumer Scores For Best Dodge Grand Caravan Years

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
JD Power
Consumer Rating
2020 Dodge Grand Caravan4.0 / 5.03.7 / 5.0NA
2019 Dodge Grand Caravan4.0 / 5.03.7 / 5.076 / 100
2018 Dodge Grand Caravan3.7 / 5.03.7 / 5.074 / 100
2017 Dodge Grand Caravan3.7 / 5.03.7 / 5.072 / 100
2015 Dodge Grand Caravan3.7 / 5.03.7 / 5.073 / 100
2007 Dodge Grand Caravan3.9 / 5.04.0 / 5.075 / 100
2006 Dodge Grand Caravan4.0 / 5.04.0 / 5.0NA
2004 Dodge Grand Caravan4.8 / 5.04.0 / 5.0NA
2003 Dodge Grand Caravan4.4 / 5.04.0 / 5.0NA
2002 Dodge Grand Caravan4.2 / 5.04.0 / 5.0NA
2001 Dodge Grand Caravan4.1 / 5.04.0 / 5.0NA

Related: How Long Do Dodge Grand Caravans Last? (Solved & Explained)

What Are The Worst Years For The Dodge Grand Caravan?

2008 Dodge Grand Caravan

The 2008 Grand Caravan was awarded the demerit of “Beware of the Clunker” by CarComplaints.com. It is statistically the most problematic model year ever produced. 

It was plagued with various problems related to the electrics, the airbags and horn assembly, the brakes and the engine.

Many of these issues were linked to a faulty TIPM (Totally Integrated Power Module) which controls the electrical system.

Here’s what owners had to say:

“The tipm went out as I was driving 64 mph and every light on my dash came on. Luckily the car kept running and did not cause a serious accident. 1/2 of the electrical components on my car no longer work and I’m going to have to spend over $700 to fix a problem that Dodge knows fully about and has not issued a recall.”

“Tipm completely failed, locking my transmission in “limp mode” and also affecting doors and window controls. While driving on the highway I lost speed instantly making it necessary to pull onto the median to prevent an accident.”

Owners also reported that the brake pads and rotors would wear out far too quickly.

“I have had our minivan for almost 4 years, and have had to have the brake pads replaced 10+ times! Sometimes it seems like every 3 months they are failing and start to squeak.”

“Having to replace brakes and rotors on a car that was less than 2 years old is insane. Dodge refused to fix the problem and blamed it on my driving. I went elsewhere and had it fixed. 6 months later I received a recall notice. Very frustrating.”

  • The 2008 Grand Caravan had a total of 1,881 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 592 complaints at CarComplaints.com

Common problems:

  • Premature brake failure
  • Transmission failure
  • Totally integrated power module (TIMP) faulty
2008 Grand Caravan

2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan

The 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Dodge Caravans were all highly problematic and all shared similar problems.

The most common problem was a faulty TIPM (Totally Integrated Power Module) which led to various electrical and loss of power issues.

Owners reported that whilst driving all electrical systems fail would, warning lights flash on and off, power steering and brakes fail, and all lights go out.

Numerous owners also reported the engine would shut off whilst driving.

“The engine will turn off while driving and then nothing works. No airbags, no power steering, no power brakes. This happens frequently. This has happened while driving on city streets under 35 mph. At highway speeds this could be fatal.”

“The engine turns off while driving. It happens at any speed. When this happens, the esp indicator lights. When you coast to a stop and put the car in park, it will restart.”

Fuel pump relay failure was another common issue. This device controls power to the fuel pump and many owners reported that they had difficulty starting their Grand Caravans.

Owners also reported having to replace the brake pads and rotors far more often than is normal.

  • The 2009 Grand Caravan had a total of 767 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 151 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2010 Grand Caravan had a total of 1,256 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 303 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2011 Grand Caravan had a total of 787 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 323 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2012 Grand Caravan had a total of 773 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 217 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2013 Grand Caravan had a total of 581 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 130 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
2012 Grand Caravan

Common problems:

  • Premature brake failure
  • Transmission failure
  • Totally integrated power module (TIMP) faulty
  • Various electrical issues
  • Engine stalls/shuts off while driving
  • Door lock malfunction
  • Vehicle is hard to start
  • Loud and rough shifting

1996 and 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan

The 1996 and 1997 Grand Caravan models were the debut model years and should be avoided, especially the ’96 model.

These models received high numbers of complaints for various issues.

Airbag problems were widespread with owners reporting that the airbag warning light would come on intermittently due to issues with the clock spring.

Pre-mature transmission failure was another common problem.

Gas leaks from the fuel tank were another widely reported issue.

  • The 1996 Grand Caravan had a total of 1,155 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 42 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 1997 Grand Caravan had a total of 597 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 36 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Transmission failure
  • Engine stalls
  • Headlights point toward the sky
  • Premature brake wear
  • Air conditioning does not work properly

2005 Dodge Grand Caravan

The 2005 Grand Caravan, labeled “Beware of the Clunker” by CarComplaints.com, had widespread issues with door locks and the electrics.

Owners widely reported that the locks on the van stopped working, here’s what they had to say:

“Our door locks stopped working with both the unlock button and the remote key. We cannot unlock our doors unless we do it manually, and there is now no way to lock the back hatch. There is only one key hole and this is a major safety issue.”

“The power door locks on this 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan just stopped working. Key fob sounds horn when locking, but locks do not engage. Very dangerous for travel as locks do not engage when vehicle reaches 18 mph.”

Electrical problems often manifested in headlights flickering whilst driving, headlights staying on, or turning on/off randomly.

  • The 2005 Grand Caravan had a total of 1,134 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 589 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Rotors wear out prematurely
  • Transmission failure
  • Power door locks not working
  • Headlight issues

2016 Dodge Grand Caravan

The 2016 Grand Caravan was another highly problematic model year.

The most common problem was related to the power sliding door which would often become stuck in the locked position due to a faulty door actuator.

Here’s what one owner had to say:

“Driver side passenger sliding door is stuck in locked position and will not open manually or electronically. This poses severe safety risk in the event that passenger needs to exit vehicle quickly.”

Transmission problems were also common with owners reporting whining sounds, loss of power, shuddering and not shifting properly.

Many of these transmission issues were traced back to a failed transmission pump which caused the transmission to seize.

  • The 2016 Grand Caravan had a total of 1,014 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 74 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Sliding door buzzing and not unlocking
  • Transmission pump failure
  • Air conditioning not performing well
2016 Grand Caravan

1998 Dodge Grand Caravan

The 1998 Grand Caravan had various issues, the most common of which was that the serpentine belt detached from the vehicle.

A commonly reported scenario is that owners would be driving along fine and then all of a sudden the steering wheel would be difficult to maneuver.

Here is one such report:

“Serpentine belt comes off when it gets wet such as driving through puddles or water from roadway when raining. Has happened several times over past few months. Replaced belt but still comes off. This results in loss of power steering making it very difficult to safely pull off road to safe location.”

The airbag warning light coming on and the horn not working were also widely reported, this was due to a failed or faulty clock spring.

  • The 1998 Grand Caravan had a total of 575 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 54 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Transmission failure
  • Gear shifting issues
  • Instrument panel failure
  • Serpentine belt detached

Related: How Long Does a Chrysler Town & Country Last? (Useful Guide)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints
(CarComplaints.com)
Problems
(CarProblemZoo.com)
Recalls
(NHTSA.gov)
2020 Dodge Grand Caravan170
2019 Dodge Grand Caravan101343
2018 Dodge Grand Caravan112143
2017 Dodge Grand Caravan263772
2016 Dodge Grand Caravan741,0145
2015 Dodge Grand Caravan572823
2014 Dodge Grand Caravan1214174
2013 Dodge Grand Caravan1305813
2012 Dodge Grand Caravan2177735
2011 Dodge Grand Caravan3237873
2010 Dodge Grand Caravan3031,2565
2009 Dodge Grand Caravan1517677
2008 Dodge Grand Caravan5921,8818
2007 Dodge Grand Caravan882343
2006 Dodge Grand Caravan1403434
2005 Dodge Grand Caravan5891,1346
2004 Dodge Grand Caravan261273
2003 Dodge Grand Caravan822363
2002 Dodge Grand Caravan943076
2001 Dodge Grand Caravan733055
2000 Dodge Grand Caravan574618
1999 Dodge Grand Caravan354415
1998 Dodge Grand Caravan545756
1997 Dodge Grand Caravan365976
1996 Dodge Grand Caravan421,15511

What Problems Do Dodge Grand Caravans Have?

  • Premature brake failure
  • Bad totally integrated power module (TIPM)
  • Rotors wear out prematurely
  • Transmission failure
  • Power door locks not working
  • Various electrical issues
  • Engine stalls/shuts down while driving
  • Loud and rough shifting

Related: 11 Common Dodge Grand Caravan Problems (Explained)

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Dodge Grand Caravan?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Honda Odyssey8.5$27,942 – $40,448City: 19 /Highway: 28
Chrysler Pacifica8.3$29,834 – $37,076City: 19 /Highway: 28
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid8.3$33,173 – $38,651City: NA /Highway: NA
Kia Sedona8.0$24,868 – $33,280City: 18 /Highway: 24
Chrysler Voyager7.7$23,231 – $25,483City: 19 /Highway: 28
Toyota Sienna7.6$32,697 – $45,626City: 18 – 19 /Highway: 24 – 26
Dodge Grand Caravan6.4$24,054 – $26,403City: 17 /Highway: 25

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

Related: 21 Best & Worst Chrysler Town & Country Years (Explained)

References

https://www.caranddriver.com/dodge/grand-caravan

https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/dodge/grand-caravan

https://www.edmunds.com/dodge/grand-caravan/2020/review/

https://www.kbb.com/dodge/grand-caravan/

https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2020/dodge/grand-caravan

https://www.carcomplaints.com/Dodge/Grand_Caravan/

https://www.carproblemzoo.com/dodge/grandcaravan/

https://www.cars.com/research/dodge-grand_caravan/recalls/

Author:

  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...