Dodge Grand Caravan ES
With Generation III, the Chrysler minivans were available in long- and short- wheelbase models; three- and four-door configurations; and eight different po...More »
Dodge Grand Caravan ES
With Generation III, the Chrysler minivans were available in long- and short- wheelbase models; three- and four-door configurations; and eight different powertrains, including electric and compressed natural gas; on a single, flexible platform.
In development for nearly 5 years from early 1990 (full development from 1991) to December 26, 1994 (final design by Don Renkert was approved on September 23, 1991 and frozen in May 1992), the 1996 model was introduced at the 1995 North American International Auto Show using the Chrysler S platform. It included a number of innovations, including a driver's side sliding door (optional initially, to become standard equipment later), a first for Chrysler and a non-compact minivan for the United States & Canada (the Honda Odyssey had introduced the first four-door non-compact minivan for the United States & Canada in 1994, although the first-generation Odyssey had conventional hinged rear doors). With Generation III, Chrysler introduced a seat management system marketed as Easy Out Roller Seats. A conventional door handle and lock was added to the rear hatch, eliminating the confusing pop-and-lift maneuver which had been required on earlier models.
Base models of the Caravan were offered in most states with either a 2.4 L four-cylinder or the 3.0 L Mitsubishi 6G72 V6 engine, except in several northeastern states, where the Mitsubishi didn't meet emissions standards. In those locales, the 3.3 L engine was offered as the V6 option from 1997 through 2000. The 2.4 L four-cylinder engine produced more power than the Mitsubishi 3.0 had in the first two generations.
The 1996 Caravan, along with the Plymouth Voyager and the Chrysler Town & Country won the North American Car of the Year award. The Caravan itself won Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year 1996 and appeared on the Car and Driver Ten Best for 1996 and 1997. 1999 also saw the addition of a one-year only 15th anniversary "Platinum Edition", to mark Caravan's 15th year of production. This package was offered on various trim levels, and included Platinum Metallic paint, and fender badges. The 2000 model year offered packages which included the "2000+" and "Millennium" package, however these were little more than unique fender badges on vans with popular equipment.
In 1998, the 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan got new front styling on all trims above SE, and Sport and ES models received even sportier styling. The ES model was the first minivan to receive the "AutoStick" transmission and 17 inch wheels. A cargo net between the driver and front passenger seats was added. Some other changes during this generation included new colors, and interior fabric. Color keyed door and lift-gate handles were standard across the whole range, in addition to a new keyless entry remote. Base and SE models had options for a spoiler as well as color keyed bumpers and trim (grey or color molded bumpers and trim were standard). The driver's side sliding door became standard. Chrysler had updates of the Plymouth Voyager in 1996 for the 1997 model year and the Chrysler Town & Country in 1997 for the 1998 model year, prior to the 1998-2007 DaimlerChrysler era; it was the only exterior update of the NS Dodge Caravan.
1996-2000 2.4 L EDZ I4, 150 hp (110 kW), 167 lb·ft (226 N·m) (Canadian vans beginning in 1999 included a 3.0 L V6 as standard equipment)
1996-2000 3.0 L Mitsubishi 6G72 V6 150 hp (110 kW), 176 lb·ft (239 N·m) (not available in certain U.S. states, 3.3 L V6 offered as standard equipment in those states instead)
1996-2000 3.3 L EGA V6, 158 hp (118 kW), 203 lb·ft (275 N·m)
1996-1997 3.8 L EGH V6, 166 hp (124 kW), 227 lb·ft (308 N·m)
1998-2000 3.8 L EGH V6, 180 hp (130 kW), 240 lb·ft (330 N·m)
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