As the Dodge//SRT brand unveiled their 2021 lineup of vehicles earlier this month, two of the brand’s more popular nameplates were absent. The iconic Dodge Grand Caravan and the flexible Dodge Journey, will not be returning after the 2020 model year. MoparInsiders.com has been reporting for some time, that neither of the brand’s aging people movers would return for 2021, and it seems that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is now confirming the rumors.
The dated Dodge Grand Caravan continues to be the best-selling vehicle for the brand, as well as the best-selling minivan on the market, despite being the oldest in the segment. The Grand Caravan’s shorter-wheelbase variant the Caravan made its debut in 1983 as a 1984 model. It was then, the then Chrysler Corporation created a windstorm, and changed the auto industry’s traditional “station wagon” families into minivan customers.
Even with minor updates, the dated Grand Caravan will not continue meeting tightening crash testing and emission regulations without a huge investment. Instead, it will be replaced by the budget-friendly Chrysler Voyager offering in both the United States (where it has been on sale, starting this year) and Canada (next year). Based on the Chrysler Pacifica, the Voyager offers more technology, safety features, and room than the Grand Caravan, as well as received top safety honors.
Making its debut in 2008, the Dodge Journey replaced the shorter-wheelbase Dodge Caravan in the brand’s lineup and putting the brand into the growing crossover segment. It’s unique packaging allowed the Journey to offer a three-row midsize crossover layout at an affordable price. Journey struggled to take off at first, with its flimsy and awkward interior design at the initial launch. However, when Fiat took over Chrysler operations, then CEO Sergio Marchionne poured some much-needed money into the Journey’s interior, allowing it to become one of the most comfortable family haulers in the segment.
Since its 2011 update, there really hasn’t been anything new for the Journey since besides a few trim package revisions and a few appearance package offerings. The 2020 model year sparked doom for the nameplate when both the award-winning Pentastar V6 and all-wheel-drive were cut from its lineup. While Journey continues to offer great bang for the buck, the midsize crossover is running on its last cylinder.
Currently, there is no replacement for the midsized crossover. But MoparInsiders has heard rumors that the Dodge//SRT brand is working on a new midsized rear-wheel-drive two-row crossover, based on the Alfa Romeo Stelvio that could potentially fill the gap left by the Journey. The only issue is that that particular vehicle probably won’t show up in the brand’s lineup until 2022 at the earliest.
This will mark the first time in decades, that the Dodge brand will not have a feature a front-wheel-drive offering in the U.S. marketplace. Dodge’s goal was to convert the brand into America’s true-performance brand, offering only rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive offerings, and it seems 2021 will be the year in accomplishing that goal.
It will be interesting to see how the Dodge//SRT brand adjusts without the Grand Caravan and Journey from its lineup. Especially, when you consider that those two models make up 40% of the brand’s volume in sales. Nevertheless, the Dodge brand isn’t going anywhere and only time will tell if the success of the new Chrysler Voyager can continue to Grand Caravan’s legacy.