How it has changed over the years
The current generation was designed by Ralph Gilles, who grew up in Montreal and worked on the Magnum and 300. The Grand Caravan, with a longer wheelbase, is now the only version available.
The image of cars in a showroom
The introductory engine was a 2.2-litre four-cylinder that put out 99 horsepower. Other engines were offered throughout the first generation, including a 2.5-litre turbo. The rear seats were benches and you could order the vehicle with wood panel siding. Among the few van-like features were the available four- and five-speed manual transmissions that stuck out of the floor like those in a tractor-trailer.
A V6 was available for two years in the previous generation but it became a permanent option in the second generation. Bucket seating made its way into the second row, integrated child seats were introduced, ABS brakes became available as an option and the standard driver-side airbag that Lee Iacocca campaigned against in the 1970s showed up.
Big horsepower increases highlighted the third-generation Caravan with engines producing 150 to 180. The driver’s side sliding door started as an option but became standard. This generation departed from the K-platform that so many Chrysler vehicles had been based on.
Power sliding doors and liftgate became available and Stow ‘n Go seats were introduced.
The current generation was designed by Ralph Gilles, who grew up in Montreal and worked on the Magnum and 300. The Grand Caravan, with a longer wheelbase, is now the only version available. It can be ordered with a 3.3-litre engine that produces 175 horsepower or a four-litre that produces 251 horsepower.