Two Grand Caravan models are offered for 2008, SE and SXT. The SE is powered by a 3.3L V6 that makes 175 horsepower and 205 pound-feet of torque and is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission, while the SE comes with a 3.8L V6 making 197 horsepower and 230 lb-ft. At the top of the engine range is the 4.0L V6, making 251 horsepower and 259 lb-ft.
The 3.3L engine can also run on blends of ethanol and gasoline up to E85, which is 85 percent ethanol. The optional 4.0L engine, new for 2008, is made of aluminum and is quite efficient at 16 mpg city, 23 mpg highway.
Stow 'n Go seating, which allows both the second- and third-row seats to fold completely into the floor, is included with the SXT model. SE models get a standard second-row bench seat with fold-into-the-floor third row.
Making its debut for 2008 is a new arrangement, the so-called Swivel 'n Go, which brings the capability to turn the second row seats 180 degrees, so they're facing the third-row occupants. There's also a removable table that installs between the two rows, to make a small "living room." The arrangement also brings additional storage. It's available as an option on both models.
The Grand Caravan continues to offer one of the most useful interiors for stowing and storing small items. All models get dual gloveboxes, the front console slides rearward 21 inches to reach rear passengers, and there's a total of up to 13 cup and bottle holders.
The new Grand Caravan has improved aerodynamics, helping to reduce wind noise, while noise, vibration, and harshness levels have been reduced overall due to the use of more high-strength steel and a new suspension geometry.
Supplemental side curtain air bags, now with added rollover protection, covering all rows, are standard, along with the ESP stability control system, and anti-lock brakes with brake assist.
Grand Caravan SE models come with quite a bit of standard equipment, including air conditioning, keyless entry, and an MP3-compatible CD sound system with four speakers. SXT models upgrade to a tri-zone climate system with rear air conditioning, stain-resistant upholstery, cruise control, heated exterior mirrors, fog lamps, illuminated cup holders, ambient lighting, power-adjustable pedals, power rear quarter vent windows, steering-wheel mounted audio controls, a universal garage door opener, a removable/rechargeable flashlight system, swiveling reading lamps, and a six-speaker sound system.
There are several innovative entertainment options available. The new Sirius Backseat TV brings streaming video, and the DVD system is capable of playing different media at the same time. There's also a new MyGig Multimedia Infotainment System that brings a navigation system with real-time traffic info and six gigabytes of music storage space good for about 1,200 MP3 songs. The top surround sound system audio system now has nine speakers and 506 watts, a subwoofer, and Sirius satellite radio.
Other available options--many of them arranged in packages--include heated first- and second-row seats, retractable sunshades, a power third-row folding seat, a rear backup camera, and remote start. An available Trailer Towing Group includes a host of heavy-duty components and allows a tow capacity of 3,600 pounds.
For 2008, the shorter-length Dodge Caravan has been dropped from the lineup, leaving the longer Grand Caravan model, which has been completely redesigned for 2008. The Grand Caravan has an all-new look inside and out, more powerful engines, an innovative Swivel 'n Go seating system, and new entertainment features.