The single engine option after the 2008 model year is a 3.5L V6 that delivers 266 hp and 245 lb-ft of torque. The engine is always paired to a six-speed automatic. The combo offers middle-of-the-road fuel economy of 20 mpg combined. Where the Toyota Sienna stands out among used minivans is the available all-wheel drive system. This is a great option for buyers who must contend with a lot of snow and ice.
The modern equivalent of that engine is GM’s ZZ427 crate motor. It stays true to the cast-iron block of its forefather, but runs pump-gas-friendly 10.0:1 compression, sports aluminum heads and an all-forged rotating assembly.
This may be a no-brainer to some but those who forget this in their Jeep mods often regret it later. There’s nothing like a good winch when it comes to getting yourself out of a sticky situation. Whether you’re stuck in a swampy mud pit or have found a slope you can’t crawl up, these can save the day.
The Dodge Grand Caravan has been one of the top selling minivans since it was introduced for the 1984 model year. The Grand Caravan is so popular that more than 11 million units have been sold globally, with several million units having been sold in North America alone. With so many new units sold, you would assume that the Dodge Grand Caravan would be on a list of great used minivans. You would be wrong.
Enter the LT4 crate engine. Power comes on fast: a 1.7-liter Eaton supercharger spins at 20,000 rpm to force 9 pounds of boost into this 6.2-liter engine. That results in the same 650 horsepower and 650 torques you’ll find in the Z06 that’s sitting over at your local dealership, but for a fraction of the price.
The alternative is to either rebuild an old engine yourself, have an engine builder do it for you, or buy a custom-made engine directly from an engine builder. Each of these options has a fair share of hurdles, and often it’s cheaper to order a crate engine than it is to go those other ways.
That didn’t stop this shop from stuffing the lower-compression street version into a 2012 GMC Sierra single cab truck, a vehicle which, as you may know, has almost no weight over the rear wheels. That must be a hoot to drive.
Even if you can overlook the drab exterior, the cheap plastic interior of this used minivan can almost turn your stomach. Once inside, you will find average passenger space and less-than-stellar cargo space. These things could be overlooked if the Grand Caravan offered a smooth and quiet ride, but it doesn’t offer either.