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Pros: The room I have when the back seat is removed
Cons: Chrysler knowing the transmission in the 3.3 liter engines are JUNK, but unwilling to recall and fix the problem
Advice: If it's a Caravan you want don't go with the 3.3 liter engine pay the extra money and go the next one up.Thank goodness you get a 7 year/70,000 mile warrenty on the power train. At 20,000 miles while driving home from a trip without any warning the van grabbed and jerked while slowing down to 28 MPH scaring the heck out of me. It turned out to a pump inside the transmission. All the oil leaked out causing the van to grab and jerk when dropping down from 4th gear into 3rd. Chrysler is aware of this problem (the 3.3 liter engines), but does not have a recall on it. I was informed by the Dodge dealership that fixed the transmission...Chrysler DOES NOT consider this a safety issue. In the winter I have a whistling sound coming from either one of the side sliding doors or the back door. Service can't find the problem so I have to live with it when it gets cold out. Chrylser says the Grand Caravan can tow up to 3,500 lbs. Don't believe it. My popup is around 3,000 lbs and I have to drive at a snails pace for several miles on the highway before I can go from 3rd to Drive and stay with the flow of traffic.
Pros: Power doors, rear seat reading lamps, DVD player
Cons: no standard side airbags
Advice: Buy the ES trim line if you can afford it.My family owns a 98 Caravan. With a growing family and ageing grandparents, we really needed more room that the Grand Caravan provided. We test drove the eX trim that the dealer was really pushing. It was OK but the ride just didn't seem very smooth....keenly felt every bump in the road and the brakes were rough. Next, test drove the ES which has the touring suspension and the ride was superior...much smoother for driver & passenger. Planning to keep this family vehicle for the next decade, we purchased the more expensive ES which has a smoother ride and all the bells & whistles. Also, we considered the 2004 Toyota Sienna but the dealership required a $500 deposit just to get one in for a test drive and there was absolutely no haggling on the sticker price. I know Toyota's got an excellent product and is rated 'the best minivan', but that really turned us off. We chose to be repeat Dodge (and American car company) customers and feel we got a roomy, comfortable, feature-loaded quality vehicle for our money.
Pros: versatility and convenience
Cons: minivan stigma, I was hoping for better gas milage
Advice: Check the EX even though it doesn't qualify for 0%/cashbackEX package is a good value w/ the 3.8L engine. I drove it with the 3.3L and didn't consider it safe for my wife to merge on highways with. Power doors gave us some problems early on but I feel the doors make it worth it. Handling is a little tippy but not bad for a minivan. Stereo sounds good. Rear seats are easy to take out and reinstall.
Cons: Seats and reliability
Advice: DON'T BUY this or any other Chrysler productThis I have to say is the WORST vehicle that I have ever owned. I now have the vehicle 14 months and it has been back to the shop 12 times for part failures, door failures and recalls. The transmission intermittantly causes the whole vehicle to vibrate when sitting at lights. The MPG is well below the advertised amounts and its fit and finish is terrible. Thanks to this vehicle I will NEVER buy another American vehical again. Hello Toyota.