Are You a Man in Need of a Van? Try the Dodge Caravan R/T

Natalie Josef
March 11, 2011

When my best buddy, David, moved his family into a new place in Orange County, CA, he was curiously excited about giving me a tour. When I finally made it down there, we took about thirty seconds to check out the three-bedroom townhouse before he beckoned me out the back door.

Off the back patio, we came to the garage door and his smile widened when he said, "Check this out ..."

He pushed the button on the garage door opener and as the door lifted and revealed the true glory inside, a hush fell over both of us. Inside the garage was the shining source of his pride and accomplishment—a man cave.

In the space was a couch, coffee table, chair, and a rug. He had a stereo set up and a TV. He even had a fridge that already had my favorite beer in there. It was glorious—it was the coolest man cave I have ever seen. We spent as much time there as the ladies in our lives allowed us and we loved every single minute of it.

If you like the idea of a man cave, and life has dictated the necessity of a minivan, don't fear. According to Dodge president, Ralph Giles, Dodge's Grand Caravan R/T is for the man who wants to drive a sports car, but is realistic about their impracticality. The R/T, scheduled to debut in showrooms in April 2011, is what Giles calls, the "man van." With custom wheels, performance suspension, more horsepower, and an "aggressive" silhouette, it's not our parents' minivan anymore.

Its transversely-mounted 3.6 liter engine produces 283 horsepower, the best in its class. The R/T also features a state-of-the-art 506-watt sound system with nine speakers and a sub woofer. And while the exterior is available in eight different colors, the interior is standard on all vehicles—all black with red stitching. “It’s intended to scare off the run-of-the-mill minivan buyer,” says Gilles. “It’s all dark inside. Like having your own man cave.” It's fun to look at, fun to drive, and fun to ride in.

If you have no choice but to get a minivan, then the R/T may be right for you. Paraphrasing the Rolling Stones, Steve Boyce, general manager for sales at Freehold Dodge in Freehold, New Jersey, adds, "The R/T might not be what you want, but it just might be what you need.”


Natalie Josef

About the Author

Natalie Josef is an automotive expert at RepairPal, the leading online source of auto repair resources and estimates. With many ASE Master certified mechanics on staff who have decades of experience, RepairPal knows all the fine points of car repair.

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