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The best minivan, ever.
And just about exactly the same as the 1995, but the 1994 tends to be more reliable.

To start out with, the Dodge Caravan is about the best designed minivan on the market. Chrysler made the first minivan, in 1984, and ten years later, they had just about perfected the second body design of that vehicle. (There are have been four major body styles - 1984-1990, 1991-1995, 1996-2000, and 2001-present.) It was a nice, simple box, designed to haul people and stuff, to be both comfortable and functional. And it did all that well.

Then more than double the price with options.

Fully loaded, the Caravan becomes something like an SUV, only with a reasonable center of gravity and without taking up half the roadway. Go with a 3.8L V6 engine and a four speed manual transmission - why not give it the best power plant? - it is already about a $30,000 vehicle, new.

The Grand Caravan SE Sport AWD has, among other things:

  • A two foot longer body than the standard Caravan - big enough to fit a full 4 x 8 sheet of plywood or drywall in the bank with the tailgate closed.
  • All wheel drive
  • Anti-lock brakes
  • Power windows, doors, and mirrors - especially helpful when you are driving alone, it starts to rain, and you want to close the rear vent windows.
  • Driver and passenger airbags
  • privacy glass (bah. no way to get all this other stuff without it)
  • alloy wheels
  • a luggage rack
  • air conditioning - including a supplemental rear air conditioning system, for the back of the van
  • leather upholstery and captains chairs are still an option
  • tachometer

Ok ok ok... Yes, it is still a minivan. But it is a minivan with most of the features that seem to be desirable in an SUV, at about half the weight. Unlike the versions with the smaller engines, it is not underpowered. It is a nice, competent minvan, powerful enough to tow another Caravan, big enough to haul the whole family, yet still small enough to comfortably maneuver.

And the price is certainly right. For US$6,000 - 8,000, one can find a nice, rust free model with relatively low (60k-70k) mileage, and drive it into the ground.

Yes, I want one of these. How'd you guess? It is just the perfect vehicle for me and everything I do. And it fits, comfortably.

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