Here’s why the Dodge Caravan was loved by so many – except me

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by Kivi

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08.17.2022



In this first part of a two-part episode, I provide the history of the first and second generation Dodge Caravan, which ran from 1984 to 1995, along with its corporate twin, the Plymouth Voyager. The Chrysler Town & Country joined them in 1989 as a more luxury-themed option. The front-wheel-drive Caravan and Voyager were a huge hit when they debuted in 1984, and created a new market segment, the minivan, a cross between a car and full-sized van. Ford and GM introduced competitors over the next couple years, but were rear-wheel-drive and truck based to bring them to market quicker, and could never reach the sales level of Chrysler. GM would later introduce their “dustbuster”-looking minivans in 1990, but they too could not compete, nor could Japanese models from Toyota, Mitsubishi, or Nissan. In a later episode I will review the third and later generation Chrysler minivans, which were a huge departure from the models they replaced starting in 1996.

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