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

Making its debut in 1987, the Grand Caravan is Dodge’s best selling model in the United States.

Offering seating for up to 7 people so no one gets left behind, the Grand Caravan is a popular choice for big families.

Before signing on the dotted line, you may be wondering how long one of these minivans will last you.

Read on as we assess the average lifespan of the Dodge Grand Caravan…  

Here is the short answer to how long Dodge Grand Caravans last:

The Dodge Grand Caravan is a robust minivan that on average can last between 200,000 and 250,000 miles. Depending on driving style and how well the vehicle is maintained, they can last between 13 to 17 years, based on 15,000 miles driven per year, before breaking down or requiring expensive repairs.

How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Dodge Grand Caravan?

The Dodge Grand Caravan boasts a healthy lifespan and these vehicles have earned a reputation as some of the most durable minivans on the market.

One owner we encountered had put 260,000 miles on their Grand Caravan with only minor mechanical repairs along the way.

Some anecdotal reports from owners claim to have clocked over 400,000 miles, however, this type of mileage isn’t typical and shouldn’t be expected. 

A conservative expectation is a lifespan of 200k to 250k miles, but this will require regular maintenance and upkeep on the owner’s part. 

The general lifespan of the Dodge Grand Caravan ultimately comes down to the care provided by the owner. 

Factors that are crucial for the lifespan of the vehicle are:

  1. Keeping up with routine maintenance such as changing the oil and air filter.
  2. Having the vehicle regularly serviced as per the intervals outlined in the owner’s manuals
  3. Routinely checking the tire pressures and other vehicle fluids.
  4. Adopting smooth driving habits that don’t over-exert the vehicle’s engine. This will help avoid wear and tear on components. 

The Dodge Grand Caravan was discontinued after the 2020 model year, if you’re looking to buy a used model then we wouldn’t recommend buying one with over 200,000 miles on the clock.

How Soon Should You Expect Rust on A Dodge Grand Caravan?

There is no set timeline for when you should expect rust on your Dodge Grand Caravan.

In general these vehicles aren’t any more rust-prone than their closest rivals and the biggest factors that will affect corrosion are location and how well they are looked after.

There are reports of disgruntled Grand Caravan owners across online forums although many of these complaints can be attributed to the fact they’ve been using their mini-van in a region where roads are heavily treated with salt during the winter.

One of the most common areas to rust on a Caravan is the rocker panels – if buying used you should always inspect these thoroughly.

If you live in areas where your roads have excessive salt, it is recommended to wash your vehicle once to twice per week, including the undercarriage, the same applies to those in coastal regions where salty air can have a similar effect.

Owners residing in drier, hotter states such as Arizona have reported they’ve experienced no issues at all with rusting – although paint fading is more common.

Rust can spread quickly if not taken care of, if its beyond a DIY fix contact your local dealer or body shop and have them take a look.

We recommend the following tactics to avoid rust:

  • Wash the vehicle regularly to avoid cracking and chipping of paint.
  • Use an anti-rust spray.
  • Store the vehicle indoors.
  • Get undercoating protection.

What is High Mileage for a Dodge Grand Caravan?

A Dodge Grand Caravan with over 100,000 miles is considered high mileage, these vehicles can last much longer however they will be more prone to repairs, niggles and issues once they have hit higher numbers and are at a greater risk of engine failure. Important factors include the overall condition of the vehicle and its maintenance history.

Buying one with over 100,000 miles won’t necessarily equate to a sour outcome.

A well-maintained Grand Caravan with 100,000 miles might be a better purchase than one with 60,000 miles that had lots of owners and led a rough life or was a prior rental car.

It’s important to always do a thorough investigation of the vehicle.

When buying a second-hand Grand Caravan, consider the following:

  1. Maintenance history. Check that the minivan was properly serviced and the owner can provide evidence of this.
  2. Get a second opinion: Take it to an independent auto diagnostic clinic or have it inspected by a mechanic.
  3. Check the CarFax. This doesn’t guarantee anything but it will help provide a clearer picture of wear-and-tear. Ensure it has minimal damage if any. Review the information to make sure if something happened, it wasn’t engine related or mechanical.
  4. Number of previous owners. As a general rule, less is better. More owners usually mean more wear and tear. If one family owned it and drove the full mileage and serviced it, then you can almost guarantee they took good care of it throughout their ownership.
  5. How long you are planning on keeping the car. If you’re planning on keeping the minivan for a long time, you should evaluate whether the short-term savings outweigh spending a bit extra into something more reliable.

If the car has averaged a lot more or a lot less than 10,000-15,000 miles per year, you might want to further investigate why e.g. a 4-Year-old car with 100,000 miles.

How Long Do Dodge Grand Caravans Last Compared to Similar Car Models?

Here is how the Dodge Grand Caravan stacks up to the competition:

Dodge Grand Caravan vs. Toyota Sienna

The Dodge Grand Caravan and the Toyota Sienna are well known in the minivan market and have always been close competitors.

When it comes to longevity, the Grand Caravan has a lifespan of 200k to 250k miles, whereas the Toyota Sienna can last between 250k to 300k miles.  

According to RepairPal,

  • The Dodge Grand Caravan has a reliability rating of 4 out of 5.
  • The Toyota Sienna is slightly less, with a reliability rating of 3.5. 

The Grand Caravan is expected to be slightly more expensive than the Toyota Sienna in annual repairs. 

Annual costs for the Grand Caravan are $673 Vs. $554 for the Sienna. 

You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Toyota Sienna Hybrids Last?

Dodge Grand Caravan vs. Honda Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey is a popular van of choice amongst consumers. 

Our research has found that the Honda Odyssey has an average lifespan of 250k to 300k miles. This is more than the Dodge Grand Caravan that has an average lifespan of 200k to 250k miles. 

RepairPal gives the Honda Odyssey a reliability score of 3.5 out of 5 and the Dodge Grand Caravan a 4 out of 5.  

Annual repair costs are slightly more expensive for the Grand Caravan than the Honda Odyssey. 

When driven properly, the Honda Odyssey’s annual repair and maintenance costs are $547. 

This is $126 less in annual repair costs than the Dodge Grand Caravan.

How Reliable Is a Dodge Grand Caravan?

When the time comes to buy a new vehicle, you want to make sure you get a reliable one – especially if you have big family.

Fortunately for Grand Caravan enthusiasts, this minivan has received healthy reviews for its reliability.

RepairPal awarded the Grand Caravan a reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0, which ranks it 2nd out of 8 for minivans.

Kelly Blue Book’s consumer index gives the Dodge Grand Caravan a reliability rating of 3.9 out of 5, based on 373 consumer reviews. 

J.D. Power gave the Grand Caravan the following scores for reliability and quality:

Model YearJ.D Power Score
2020Not yet rated
201976/100
201879/100
201776/100
201674/100

Reliability Compared to Other Minivans

ModelReliability 
Kia Sedona4.0 / 5.0
Dodge Grand Caravan4.0 / 5.0
Honda Odyssey3.5 / 5.0
Chrysler Town & Country3.5 / 5.0
Nissan Quest3.5 / 5.0
Toyota Sienna3.5 / 5.0
Ford Flex3.5 / 5.0
Volkswagen Routan3.5 / 5.0
Avg. Minivan 3.5

The Best and Worst Years for Dodge Grand Caravan

Like all vehicles – the Grand Caravan has had it’s good and its bad years…

Worst Model Year

To find the worst years of the Dodge Grand Caravan, we searched the database on the website carcomplaints.com 

Even though the 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan had the most complaints, the 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan is reported as the worst year due to its higher repair costs or more problems at lower mileage.

Numerous consumers reported that the number one issue with the 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan was premature transmission problems. 

This vital issue was reported to happen at an average of 75,000 miles and had an average repair cost of $3,200. 

On Car Complaints alone, there are over 405 complaints about this year of Dodge Grand Caravan.

Other common repair complaints about the 2002 Grand Caravan are electrical problems and A/C / heater problems.

Best Model Year

Despite having relatively few updates, the latest (and last ever produced) Dodge Caravan 2020 model would be our pick.

So far on Car Complaints it has received no complaints at all.

Any model from 2017 onward has an impressive track record of few reported issues.

You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Chrysler Towns & Country Last?

Grand Caravan Model Year and Number of Complaints

Below is the full table of complaints from Car Complaints – highlighting the model year and its associated number or complaints.

Model YearNumber of Complaints
20200 (Best Year)
20191
20181
20174
201641
201548
2014104
2013120
2012198
2011310
2010298
2009147
2008583
200784
2006139
2005587 (most complaints)
200426
200382
200294 (worst year)
200173
200057
199935
199855
199736

What About Recalls for These Models?

Dodge Grand Caravan has had some years worse than others when it comes to recalls. 

Recalls are manufacturing repairs that are offered at no cost to the consumer.

  • The years 1991 through 1996 had reported the most recalls in the history of the Grand Caravan 
  • The 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan had the most recalls, with a total of 11.  
  • The 2020 model has reported zero recalls. 
  • In 2019 the Dodge Grand Caravan only had two recalls related to the fuel pump and rear brake calipers. 

Below, we have listed out the years of the Dodge Grand Caravan and the number of recalls associated. 

  • 2019: 2 Recalls
  • 2018: 3 Recalls
  • 2017: 2 Recalls
  • 2016: 5 Recalls
  • 2015: 3 Recalls
  • 2014: 4 Recalls
  • 2013: 3 Recalls
  • 2012: 5 Recalls
  • 2011: 3 Recalls
  • 2010: 5 Recalls
  • 2009  7 Recalls
  • 2008: 8 Recalls
  • 2007  3 Recalls
  • 2006: 4 Recalls
  • 2005: 6 Recalls
  • 2004: 3 Recalls
  • 2003: 3 Recalls
  • 2002: 6 Recalls
  • 2001: 5 Recalls
  • 2000: 8 Recalls
  • 1999: 5 Recalls
  • 1998: 6 Recalls
  • 1997: 6 Recalls
  • 1996: 11 Recalls
  • 1995: 3 Recalls
  • 1994: 6 Recalls
  • 1993: 9 Recalls
  • 1992: 8 Recalls
  • 1991: 8 Recalls
  • 1990: 3 Recalls

Dodge Grand Caravan Model Year List

Here are all the model years for the Dodge Grand Caravan:

First Generation

  • 1984 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 1985 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 1986 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 1987 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 1988 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 1989 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 1990 Dodge Grand Caravan

Second Generation

  • 1991 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 1992 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 1993 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 1994 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 1995 Dodge Grand Caravan

Third Generation

  • 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan

Fourth Generation

  • 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2004 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan

Fifth Generation

  • 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan

Are Dodge Grand Caravan Expensive to Maintain?

Compared to other full-size sedans, the Dodge Grand Caravan has slightly above average repair and maintenance costs.

According to RepairPal, the Dodge Grand Caravan has an annual repair cost of $673 compared to an average annual repair cost of $647 for all other minivans. 

ModelAvg. Annual 
Repair Cost
Frequency of
Unscheduled
Repairs (per year)
Probability of Severe
Repairs
Kia Sedona$4950.310%
Dodge Grand Caravan$6730.311%
Honda Odyssey$5470.512%
Chrysler Town & Country$6360.312%
Nissan Quest$6590.314%
Toyota Sienna$5540.415%
Ford Flex$7130.414%
Volkswagen Routan$7450.711%
Avg. Minivan$6470.412%

How Long Do the Brakes Last?

On average, the Grand Caravan factory brakes last on average 30,000 to 70,000 miles. 

Depending on your driving habits, this average can increase or decrease. 

Constant braking in stop-and-go traffic will wear down the brakes quicker than driving on the highway or interstate. 

You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Chrysler Pacifica Last?

How Long Do the Tires Last?

If properly cared for and stored, Dodge Grand Caravan tires can last four to five years. However, this is dependent on miles driven each year. Typically, factory tires should last 50,000-60,000 miles.  

Regular tire rotations every 7,500 miles will help prolong the life of your tires.

How Long Do the Transmissions Last?

A Dodge Grand Caravan transmission has been reported to last between 130,000 to 180,000 miles. 

Ensure fluid levels are topped up and fix any problems immediately to keep the transmission running smoothly.

How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?

On average, Dodge Grand Caravan will need a spark plug replacement at approximately 30,000 to 40,000 miles. 

Spark plugs are responsible for creating the spark that ignites the air/fuel mixture, causing the explosion which makes the engine produce power.

They are usually inspected and if needed, replaced when you go for a tune up.

You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Ram ProMasters Last?

What About Insurance Cost?

The average full coverage insurance for the Dodge Grand Caravan costs on average $105 a month or $1,264 per year.

Insurance costs can vary from person to person; be sure to shop around to find the best possible deal.

Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Dodge Grand Caravan

Here are some things you can do to prolong the life of your Dodge Grand Caravan:

  1. Follow the regular maintenance schedule outlined in the owners manual
  2. Wash the car often to avoid the possibility of rust.
  3. Fill the gas tank before it gets too low to avoid waste in the fuel filter.
  4. Religiously check the fluids.
  5. Don’t neglect the tires and stay true to the tire rotation schedule. 
  6. Do not overload your vehicles

Resources

https://repairpal.com/reliability/dodge/grand-caravan

https://www.carcomplaints.com/Dodge/Grand_Caravan/2019/recalls/

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

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

https://www.consumerreports.org/cars/dodge/grand-caravan/