Just when you thought the Grand Caravan was dead forever.
Last year, Chrysler surpassed 15 million minivans sold over 35 years, including everything from the classic Plymouth Voyager to today's Chrysler Pacifica. Also making up this vast number are the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Chrysler Voyager, but the Grand Caravan is no more, having been discontinued for the 2021 model year as minivans continue to lose ground to SUVs.
This doesn't mean that the Grand Caravan name is completely gone, though, as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has just announced the launch of the Chrysler Grand Caravan, but only for the Canadian market. Continuing a long rebadging tradition, this new Grand Caravan is essentially a Chrysler Voyager, which sits below the Pacifica in the US.
Described by FCA as a budget-friendly option for families, the Chrysler Grand Caravan will start at an MSRP of $37,995 Canadian dollars. That works out to just over $28,000 in US dollars, a tad more than the $26,985 that the Voyager starts off at in the North American market. The new Grand Caravan uses the same 3.6-liter V6 engine as the Voyager, which produces 287 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque.
Seven occupants can be accommodated and Chrysler's superb Stow 'n Go system makes the vast interior as practical as ever. Unlike the outgoing Dodge Grand Caravan in the US, the new Chrysler Grand Caravan is better equipped with a more modern touchscreen interface featuring both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
For now at least, FCA continues to play a huge role in keeping the minivan segment alive with Canada's new Grand Caravan and the Pacifica/Voyager sold here. Alternatives from other brands are limited to the Kia Sedona, Honda Odyssey, and the Toyota Sienna. Last year, FCA maintained the biggest market share in a dwindling segment.
For customers less concerned with their image, a minivan remains the most practical way to move around a large family and their paraphernalia. In the US, Chrysler has also shown the segment some love this year with the early arrival of an all-wheel-drive Pacifica providing even more choice. And if for nothing else than a touch of nostalgia, at least there's the knowledge that across the border up north, the Grand Caravan name lives on.