2012 Toyota Sienna vs. 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan: Which One Should I Buy?

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The battle of the minivans: Toyota Sienna versus the Dodge Grand Caravan. Both of these comfy people-movers provide options galore, and the minivan is meant to get everyone where they need to go safely and quickly, at a reasonable cost and without a fuss.

The Toyota Sienna may not have the flexibility of many minivans, but it is safe, reliable, and large and still offers the options for 4-cylinder power and all-wheel drive if you want them. The Grand Caravan doesn’t offer much in the way of style, but it does have a responsive and refined V-6 engine with excellent second- and third-row seating options. While it’s considered a box on wheels, at least it is a high-functioning one.

dodge grand caravan 2012
2012 Dodge Grand Caravan

Fuel Economy

Neither van offers anything to write home about in the way of fuel economy, but they are very comparable; with only slight nods to the Sienna for 2 points in city fuel economy with 17mpg versus the 19 mpg with the Grand Caravan. Both vehicles have a sizeable 20.0 gallon fuel tank, meaning you may be able to go a full week between fill ups depending on your driving habits.

Interior

While the exterior design of the Sienna is far better, most people are interested more in the interior options when it comes to a van. The two options are very comparable, trading off with one vehicle having slightly more third row shoulder room, while the other will have just a tad more hip room on the second row; truly making them comparable with each other. There is a fair bit more cargo volume in the Sienna 39.1 cubic feet versus the 33.0 cubic feet in the Grand Caravan.

Safety Rating

Safety is another big concern when you look at vans. The side pole rating for the driver front seat for the Sienna suffers, and the rollover rating for both vans is only 4 stars out of a possible 5. The Sienna takes a hard hit with only 3/5 stars for the frontal barrier crash test rating for the passenger; while passing the same test for the driver with flying colors. The Grand Caravan misses a star from all of the frontal barrier crash ratings. While both are still relatively safe vehicles, there is definitely room for improvement in both. Overall ratings for the two vehicles were 4/5 stars.

When you want to move people around, you will be hard-pressed to find two more affordable or comparable vehicles than these.


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Benji

21 years of experience
92 reviews
Benji
21 years of experience
Ford Thunderbird - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Phoenix, Arizona
This is the second time this week that Benji has inspected a car for me before purchase. His reports are clear and thorough, saving me a lot of money from buying a lemon. He is dependable and honest. Even after the inspections, I kept contacting him with question after question. He answers them all and even sends me additional information. I totally recommend him!
Ford Thunderbird - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Mesa, Arizona
Benji went through a flooding situation to inspect my car. His inspection was thorough and professional. I emailed him numerous times, and he answered each and every one of them. He even has a good sense of humor. Thanks to his hard work and thorough inspection, I was saved from buying a potential lemon. Thanks, Benji.

Attila

18 years of experience
487 reviews
Attila
18 years of experience
Subaru WRX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Elmwood Park, New Jersey
It was once of the best experience I've had buying a car. I felt more confident then nervous and I would 100% recommend this
Volkswagen CC - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Little Ferry, New Jersey
Attila was absolutely amazing! Very knowledgeable and went over and beyond to give me clarity regarding a vehicle I am planning to purchase. He was very competent and did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for a VW CC. Excellent people-skills!

Breck

19 years of experience
562 reviews
Breck
19 years of experience
Chevrolet Express 2500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Houston, Texas
I scheduled a pre-purchase inspection and was really happy with the quality of the inspection. Breck was actually running ahead of schedule which was fine and was also well communicated. The inspection was thorough including interior, exterior and undercarriage reviews both written, verbal and documented with photos. Also, Breck identified some potential issues that could cause a real headache with the vehicle.
Jeep Wrangler - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Houston, Texas
Breck was timely and efficient. Very knowledgeable. After the inspection was complete, he took the time to ride along with me to pinpoint a noise I heard. Would definitely recommend and use him again.

Carlos

27 years of experience
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Carlos
27 years of experience
BMW 330Ci - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Brea, California
Carlos was very thorough with his inspection on this vehicle I’m considering purchasing. He took detailed information with pictures of any defects and an estimate to have things maintenanced. Highly recommended and I may have him maintenance the car if I should decide to buy it.
Toyota Camry - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Baldwin Park, California
Professional and knowledgeable. Found problems quickly and explained to me what it means and what we can do. Highly recommend.

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