Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Dodge Grand Caravan – A Great Fit for My Family {Review}

This post is part of YummyMummyClub.ca> and Dodge Grand Caravan's 'Talesfrom the Minivan' program. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors. 

A few years back, when Little Boo was getting a little bigger and his brother was heavy into karate with all its accompanying gear, we decided we needed a bigger vehicle. We were carting around a lot of stuff, and we wanted to do it more comfortably. We were also spending about 2 hours each day commuting with our hyperactive preschooler. It wasn't a pretty picture.

We realised we were in minivan territory.

After a bunch of research, reading lots of reviews, comparison shopping, we decided to go with the recommendations and buy a new 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan. We opted for the full entertainment package with a DVD player, satellite radio, and Bluetooth connection for our phones. We loved it! And we still do, but it’s time to think about trading her in for a newer model. Naturally, when the opportunity came up to test drive and review the new 2013 Grand Caravan for YMC, I jumped at the chance!

These days we need a minivan more than ever. You see, Hubs has rekindled his passion for drumming. Drummers have a lot more gear than most other musicians. It takes a lot of room to drag that around to practice. The 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan has it in spades.

I was very happy to see that the 2013 has held on to the Stow ‘n Go seating in the second and third rows. The rear seats even have numbers on the straps to guide you in how to put them down or bring them back up. For that trip to Ikea or a drummer’s night out, you can lay the whole thing flat, or for smaller loads, you can just take advantage of the 60/40 split in the third row. When the second row seats are not being stored, there’s lots of extra storage in the in-floor bins. This is a real bonus when you’re packing for the cottage, or to store your emergency kit (blanket, water, shovel, etc.) in the winter months.
Dodge Grand Caravan Stow N Go #spon

Dodge Grand Caravan Storage #spon
Look how tidy my groceries are!
There’s actually lots of storage everywhere in this minivan, for all the gear a family needs on their travels. The 2013 model offers an optional Super Console, with a variety of nooks and bins, including a pull-out bin with cup holders and storage space for the second row passengers.

The entertainment system has been updated quite a bit from our 2009 model. The 2013 Caravan offers a dual-screen Blu-ray player – something no competitor has. The system also features a HDMI input for video game systems and two USB ports for charging of cell phones or MP3 players. Lightweight wireless headphones and a handy remote complete the package. Awesome for entertaining the kids on road trips, and allowing mom to concentrate on her driving.

The feature that I most appreciated, for its convenience, and Little Boo most appreciated, for its cool factor, was the power doors and rear gate. A quick double-press of the button on the fob will open the sliding doors or the gate, and another double-click will close them. I can’t begin to tell you what a difference that made. Walking to the car with an armload of karate gear? Just click open the car door before you leave your front door. Just unloaded your week’s groceries? Click the fob to close the gate, or use the handy button inside the car. So. Much. Easier. LB loved that he could press the button inside his door to slide it open or close it on his own. He finds the sliding doors a bit heavy, so the power option is something he appreciated.
Dodge Grand Caravan Key Fob #spon

There’s also a remote starter on the model I tried, which is great for warming up the car on those cold winter mornings. Especially with small kids, getting into a warm car in February is so much easier.

Space, entertainment, convenience. The 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan delivers on all three, and so much more. I haven’t even begun to tell you about the more than 40 standard and available safety and technology features, including an in-dash navigation system, Bluetooth, and satellite radio, and back-up camera. But no worries, you can find out about all these features and the different models available by visiting dodge.ca/grandcaravan.

Based on my experience with our own 2009 and now this 2013 test drive, I believe the Caravan is a perfect option for families. This vehicle is just made for a busy mom juggling kids and gear and errands. Plus, it’s a comfortable drive and handles really well for a large vehicle, and looks good too.

Dodge Grand Caravan #spon

Back to school chaos, car pool etiquette, what to love about minivans…. Find these stories and more on YMC's 'Tales from the Minivan' page.

And to learn about the Dodge Grand Caravan visit dodge.ca/grandcaravan

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