Interior trim, controls, and instrumentation were borrowed from the Chrysler K platform, and coupled with the lower floor enabled by the front-wheel-drive, the Caravan featured car-like ease of entry. There were three trim levels: base, SE, and LE. Notably, the Caravan, along with the Plymouth Voyager , are considered to be the first mass-produced vehicles to have dedicated built in cup holders. The LE came with seven passengers standard in three rows of seating.
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Interior trim, controls, and instrumentation were borrowed from the Chrysler K platform, and coupled with the lower floor enabled by the front-wheel-drive, the Caravan featured car-like ease of entry. There were three trim levels: base, SE, and LE. Notably, the Caravan, along with the Plymouth Voyager , are considered to be the first mass-produced vehicles to have dedicated built in cup holders.
The LE came with seven passengers standard in three rows of seating. The base van had two bucket seats with attached armrests and open floor space between them in the front, a three-person bench seat in the second row. The seven-passenger came with two bucket seats with attached armrests and open floor space between them in the front, a two-person bench seat in the second row, and a three-person bench seat in the back row. This configuration allowed for conventional five person seating with a sizable cargo area in the rear.
The latching mechanisms for the benches were easy to operate though removing and replacing the seats typically required two adults.
This configuration was subsequently dropped. Safety features consisted of 3-point seat belts for the front two passengers, with simple lap belts for the rear five.
However, the two front seats were equipped with non-adjustable headrests on the LE model and in conjunction with vinyl upholstery on the SE. Side-impact reinforcements were mandated, and were at all seating positions front and rear. Neither airbags nor anti-lock braking systems were available. Access to the rear rows of seating was by a large passenger-side sliding door enabling easy access in confined situations, e.
The seat back of the rear bench could also be folded forward, providing a flat cargo shelf. The smaller 2nd row bench was not adjustable, nor foldable; it could only be removed entirely. Cargo access to the rear was via a hatchback, similar to the one on the K platform station wagons.
The hatch was hinged at the top and held open by gas struts. A long wheelbase variant, marketed as the Grand Caravan, was introduced in May It allowed more cargo space behind the rear seat. A cargo version of the Caravan, called the Mini Ram Van, was also introduced for , with a flat floored cargo space four feet tall and with four feet between the wheel wells. It was initially available with the short wheelbase; a long-wheelbase variant was introduced alongside the Grand Caravan.
SE - Added: Cloth upholstery, reclining front seats, rear assist strap, 20 gallon fuel tank, power liftgate release, tape stripes, and steel rims. LE - Added: Cloth-and-vinyl upholstery, front and rear fascia, forward storage console, warning lights for door ajar, storage drawer, washer fluid warning, and so forth, and power mirrors.
Transmissions[ edit ] Both a three-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission and a five-speed manual were available with all inline-four engines , including the turbocharged 2. The Plymouth Voyager, which was a rebadged version of the Caravan, was also available with a manual transmission. The V6 engines were only offered with the venerable fully hydraulically operated TorqueFlite , until the computer controlled Ultradrive four-speed automatic became available in The Ultradrive offered much better fuel economy and responsiveness, particularly when paired with the inline-four engine.
However, it suffered from reliability problems, usually stemming from what is known as "gear hunt" or "shift busyness", resulting in premature wear of the internal clutches. The Ultradrive received numerous design changes in subsequent model years to improve reliability,[ original research? These efforts were mostly successful, and most first-generation Caravans eventually got an updated transmission. The base 2. The higher performance fuel-injected version of the 2. Alongside the 2. In mid, the base 2.
Shortly thereafter in model year , a more powerful engine became optional, with a turbocharged version of the base 2. The V6 engines became popular as sales of the 2. In these years, the ES model debuted short wheelbase only to highlight the new engines, the turbo 2.
The ES was introduced to the long wheelbase Grand Caravan for and continued throughout , before it was discontinued and replaced with the SXT.
Dodge Grand Caravan 2020 | Dodge Canada
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