The Dodge Caravan a family minivan which was first introduced in 1984 along with its other nameplate, the Plymouth Voyager. The long-wheelbase model of this vehicle was initially introduced and sold along with the short-wheelbase version of the Caravan in 1987. The short-wheelbase version of this vehicle was discontinued after 2007 however, and has been marketed under the Grand Caravan nameplate since 2008. Some of the other platform variants of this vehicle include the Chrysler Voyager as well as the Chrysler Town & CCountry and Chrysler Grand Voyager.
Both the Dodge and Plymouth line of minivans were introduced in 1983 for the 1984 model with an extended derivative of the Chrysler K platform and the Chrysler S platform. Chrysler developed a long-wheelbase model of the Grand Caravan in 1987 and it too was based on the Chrysler S platform. The first generation of Caravans used the Chrysler S platform which was very similar to the K-cars, which included the Plymouth Reliant as well as the Dodge Aries. There were three different trim levels available for the first generation Caravan, including the base model, mainstream SE, and the more upscale LE. The Caravan make the Top Ten list for Car and Driver magazine in 1985.
These vans were able to fit up to seven passengers in three rows. There were also two buckets seats which included attached armrests as well as open floor space between them in front and a two person bench seat located in the second row. There was a three person bench seat in the back row and the two bench seats in the back were able to be removed independently of the rest. The configuration of these vans allowed for conventional five person seating with a spacious cargo area in the back.
The Generation II model Caravans, which were produced from 1990-1995, were the last minivans to use the Chrysler K platform. Because the short wheelbase design started to become incredibly popular with the public, the Dodge Colt Vista was no longer available in North America starting in 1991. There were a number of changes that came with this generation of vehicles, including the revised trim in 1992 which included new roof racks as well as door handles and various other components. In 1993 there was the addition of optional woodgrain as well as wire wheels on some of the higher-end models. In 1994 the public saw a new resdesigned interior which used a different seating fabric and contour for a whole new look.
When it comes to engines, there have been many which were used for the Dodge Caravan. For models ranging from 1991-1995, a 2.5 liter K14 100 horsepower engine was used. There was also a 3.0 liter Mitsubishi 6G72 V6 142 horsepower engine available. Caravans that were made between the years 1994-1995 used a 3.8 liter EGH V6 162 horsepower engine with 213 pound-feet of torque.
Generation V, which is the current generation for the Dodge Caravan, brought all kinds of positive changes to this vehicle’s overall design. A new 6-speed automatic transmission became standard with these vehicles, as well as a 3.8 liter V6 and the latest 4.0 liter V6. The 4-speed automatic transmission is standard with the 3.3 liter Flex-Fuel V6 engine. Another update that this vehicle received was the Swivel’n Go seating as well as the MyGIG entertainment system which features a stereo which has a built-in hard drive for recording, playing, and storing music. This vehicle has received quite a few updates over the last ten years, many of which have come recently, making the Dodge Caravan a flawed but still impressive van nonetheless.