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2009 GRAND CARAVAN/T&C FEED BACK

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Comments

  • desi1desi1 Posts: 40
    Morning Everyone,

    While we would have not thought of looking at GC and TC (were set on Sienna and Odyssey), you cannot ignore the deals being offered, so we did this past weekend.

    We looked at both 2009 GC and TC 25th anniversary editions and both were really nice.

    Can someone elaborate on which one is better? I could not see any difference in the leather interior or the options but GC seemed to have the 4.0 Lit engine by default as well as the price about 2K less than TC.

    I am scratching my head over why the TC is more expensive. Any help you can offer would be appreciated.

    Thank you.
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    TC should have different colors on the interior with a perforated leather and softer. The GC MAY HAVE sport suspension with stiffer leather. Other than some minor trim stuff and the antennae that is all we noticed. Drive them both and pick the one that drives the best.
  • nursekevnursekev Posts: 18
    ETP,

    My wife and I just bought a 2009 TC touring with the 4.0 engine last week. Took it to Pennsylvania Dutch country for a little 2 day getaway with the kids and am really enjoying the satellite radio for us and the TV/DVD for the kids. The trip was a little over 200 miles and we averaged only about 23 mpg, mostly at highway speeds of 60-70mph. That was with 2 adults, 3 small kids and all our luggage. There were a few times when we did some city driving and had the car parked and ran the engine longer than we should have, so those things could have affected the mpg. I'm not worried about it, we'll see how it does for the next road trip soon enough.

    Kevin
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    My 3000 mile oil change is this Friday. I am going to risk the synthetic oil since you should wait until the rings set. But engine wear is a concern if the warranty winds up in federal hands and I want to stop that before it starts.
    Everyone, the 4 wheel disk breaks are awesome, so check the rotors with your fingers on the front every 3000 miles for roughness and report back. thanks all!
  • djmopardjmopar Posts: 1
    My 2008 GC SXT just turned over 25k miles and I still love it. I can't deny there is evidence of brake wear at the front end but the brakes do perform extremely well. General driving, to and from work and such I'm getting 19.5 to 21 mpg through the winter. Highway trips I'm averaging 24mpg + and believe me I'm no feather-foot. I love the way this thing almost leaps from a standing start effortlessly. I think it almost annoys people in other cars seeing a minivan...with balls. I'm obviously Mopar mesmerized but hey, it's not my fault they're products are awesome. (BTW this is my 5th Mopar Minivan since my first one in 84 and this is hands down, the best vehicle I have ever owned - design, quality, ergonomics, functionality, features, reliability, durability, it has it all. :blush: :) :)
  • Thanks so much for the mpg info and your thoughts about vehicle quality and performance. We are scheduled for a test drive with both Dodge and Honda this Saturday and it will be the first time I actually get to see how the 4.0 performs. If all goes well we hope to hammer out a deal on one of the two this weekend. although I like the Honda's lay out and looks I must admit the lack of stow and go on the second row seating is a bit off putting as I do manage to haul some large things now and then, also I find that big rubber H staring up from the steering wheel to be unattractive.

    Dave
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    Thanks man, just turned over 6K and had my toe set for free as well as the drivers door adjusted. The touring package is definitely a firmer ride than the non touring. Get the leather if you are a new buyer and can foot the cost. Honda would not quote me over the phone even though I was a repeat customer. So I dumped them. I am a happy buyer so far but drive it before you buy and make an offer and walk away if you are not satisfied. They will call back. Trust me.

    PS/ My stable is Honda 2007 Hybrid Civic and a Prius 2009 touring package 6. Dodge pulls all that weight with speed and economy that is amazing to say the least.
  • I love this quote,

    "make an offer and walk away if you are not satisfied. They will call back. Trust me."

    I'm going to have that framed for my office.

    Dave
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    Thanks Dave.

    PS// I still don't have my service CDs. Even though you can order them online they are not available. ARGH!
  • Just finished up with the dealer on our Grand caravan Monday. after spending 3 days going back and forth on price with the first Dodge dealer and getting no place I called 2 other Dodge dealers in the area and both immediately met my price no question. The one who find us the van we were asking for got our business. went to pay for it that evening and in less than 4 hours we had what we wanted. the lesson to me was if you don't feel your getting what you should be from a dealer call around don't wait like I did. some one will want your business and meet your price. Our buying strategy was to find the van in the trim color and interior we wanted with the options we wanted then research average price paid for it and offer that, asking them to cover the tax. it worked well and we even got free Auto Armor soundproof and rust undercoating with it as an incentive to buy. Paid 24 for a van with a list price of 32 and can still deduct the sales tax next January.

    We are very happy with this van and althow it may not have the luxury car drivers seat apeal of the Honda it also dose not have the recall history of the Oddisy platforam. It is a more servicabul van with the stow and go, better fuel economy, larger engine, increased towing capacity and better warenty. It is just as qwiet as the Honda inside and out and we feel lookes better. we also paid 2 grand less than the best price we could get on the Honda.

    All in all this is the best time to buy the Dodge Grand Caravan. (Chrysler wows not with standing) We have every confidence in this car. If your looking to buy go for the SXT with the 4.0L you will not regret it. Considering all you can get with the SXT package and the price you can get it for there is little incentive to go with the base models.

    Dave
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    So you did the deed Dave! LOL

    Yep! Me and my daughter are happy so far with our vans. Mine seems to not use oil anymore and I am running full synthetic. The dealer adjusted the toe and drivers door to my satisfaction.

    Good luck Dave getting your wife to let go of it. LOL
    I have yet to drive it to work.
  • At least I got to drive it home.

    It was an agonizing decision to chose between the Honda and the Dodge, the bankruptcy issue had to be considered, and the Honda Odyssey is no slouch in the minivan market. But after the 3rd day I went back to Dodge and sat in the back seat of a van with my 3 and 1 year old boys, looked around a bit and could feel it was the right thing to do. The Honda just didn't have the design features that were important to us, it would cost us more and with its meager warranty and less than ironclad track record wasn't going to do it for us.

    The thing to consider about Chrysler is that if there design team and the people on the factory floor can forward a winning van like this while being cramped and downsized at every turn by the poorest of corporate management (Cerberus) Imagine what they could accomplished with the proper support. They deserve to have that chance. I'm crossing my fingers Dodge will have that opportunity and be around for a long time to come.

    Dave
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    I read an article about Fiat being interested in buying the Van plants, select truck and Jeep plants as well as Saturn to have a full market spread in the US. All at fire sale prices May 1 2009. Also saw some sort of deal between the unions and the federal government on benefits if they reorganize. All very confusing to say the least. Also our federal extended warranty/how will that work?
    Hope mine lasts for 200K and never needs warranty work.
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    PS// JD Powers best van today on the news. What a shame people would buy a higher priced van with less quality and let this asset slip away for our country. I have a Chevy truck, two Dodge Vans, Civic hybrid and Prius hybrid with outstanding quality by all of those units. Of them all it amazes me Dodge can build a vehicle that large and heavy with great performance and great gas mileage. This says alot for American engineering at its best.
  • I would like to hear from any one with solid information about how the government administered warranties would actually work. I cannot find any specific information about it online. Warranty or no I have every confidence in this Van and do expect it is capable of going at least 200.000 with out much problem. I put a bit over 212.000 on my 89 Dodge shadow, had it for 13 years and it never needed any mechanical repairs. Just belts, plugs and filters that was it.

    Dave
  • This is the most explicit description of the warranty buyout I can find.

    Dave

    From the Baltimore News2 website

    Automakers and the government will set up an account and contribute funds totaling 125 percent of the expected cost of servicing warranty claims. The automakers will put in 15 percent of the anticipated cost and the Treasury Department will put up 110 percent as a loan.

    If an automaker failed, the program would appoint an administrator who will "identify an auto service provider to supply warranty services." The fund would pay for covered repairs.

    It's not clear whether consumers would have a choice of repair shops. "It might be something like a health care plan where you have to go to an in-network provider," says Jeff Schuster, executive director of forecasting with J.D. Power and Associates.
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    I think we will need this. The Unions and the banks have not made a deal yet that will result in a successful chapter 11. Looks like chapter 7 so the bond holders and health funds can be dumped and fire sale on all the plants. Evidently everyone knows this but us and the administration has already made a deal to back up the health care fund with government funds. What a crying shame with all the million dollar paid brains they can not figure this all out. I am pissed we may lose GM and Dodge for the most part. I have never owed a Ford as all my dead uncles worked in the Chevy plant and would kill me if they were alive and I bought anything but a full size Chevy. Good men and I miss them.
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    One of my uncles was a chief final inspector and he would only buy a vehicle that his plant made and he sure was the main inspector and brought the hammer down on quality. Oh the stories he would tell to us young children and later adults. Pride in his work and he could drive any Chevy and tell you exactly what it needed. I know there were some rats in the pile too. Too bad the unions and management did not uniformly enforce quality 50 years ago across the entire industry and have a plan to make safe, fuel efficient cars and trucks and the government enforce universal standards on everyone all the time.
  • fmichaelfmichael Posts: 95
    I would like to buy "American", and help out Chrysler since I like the looks/layout of the T&C - however the past quality woes (per Consumer Reports), and possible bankruptcy kinda scares me away from Chrysler, and more towards Honda/Toyota (whom by the way aren't chastised by CR for their respective faulty transmissions/faulty sliding doors).

    Looks as though some here have had good luck with the 2009 line-up; this gives me some confidence about giving the T&C some more thought.....The offers/deals right now are also a big bonus, and a good reason to buy a T&C; hopefully they'll continue to have good rebates/financing this May when I'm ready to buy.
  • If your interested in the Chrysler you should definitely think long and hard about getting one in preference to Honda or Toyota. One thing to consider, no matter what may happen to Chrysler the VW Routan is the exact same van without the stow and go seating. Its made on the same assembly line in the Chrysler plant. so parts supply should be good on this van for some time to come and warranty should also be fully backed. The decision is as usual weighing all the factors and determining whats the best fit for you and your family.

    Best of luck to you.

    Dave
  • I don't think we are going to lose GM, everything I have read about them points to the company using a quick trip in and out of bankruptcy as a part of there restructuring. GM is solid enough to survive that and will reemerge as a perhaps leaner and hopefully wiser manufacturer. Chrysler is not solid enough to survive bankruptcy without a partner like Fiat. Chrysler's almost total lack of foreign market presence demands they remain solid in the North American Market and they have lost too much under Cerberus to maintain stability as an independent entity. Even when Daimler let them go they probably couldn't have made it on there own for long, but Cerberus saw an opportunity to suck what little value Chrysler had out and has done so. They took a company that was basically solvent and cut it to half its size saddling it with what has now grown to 9 billion dollars of debt all in the span of 2 years. They also chose to make Chrysler a Limited Liability Co. instead of a Corporation allowing the partners (venture capitalists of Cerberus) of the holding Co. to tamper with it financially in ways that were prohibited under its former corporate structures. All this mess just so some one could line there pockets. To me that is criminal.

    Dave
  • fmichaelfmichael Posts: 95
    So I take it there are no regrets concerning your purchase? I'd have to test drive one to see if it'd win me over...Hopefully Chrysler will get a deal worked out with Fiat soon; it'll help ease my mind about buying a T&C....Almost forgot about the Routan; those commercials with Brooke Shields kinda disappeared quickly didn't they - lol.
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    Not yet! 4.0 and the 6 speed with leather is as good as it gets. Plus the only car on the market with a federal guarantee. I bought an extended warranty but it they get swamped by Dodge claims they will probably go under too.
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    Bunch of greedy politicians that sold us down the road and car/bank/brokerage firms that sold this country for 30 million pieces of silver and left us holding the bag of ***.

    I guess you take it I am pissed. It seems everyone I talk too feels the same way and we waist billions on wars we will lose while our own borders get overrun. :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

    Now for something completely different as Monty Python would say, " buy the SXTL 4.0 with sport suspension while you can still get one."
  • Absolutely no regrets, but this is just my first week of ownership. I agree with etp the sport suspension makes a difference and brings it closer to the solid road feel of the Honda. We didn't test drive anything but the 4.0L and unless you have a specific reason for wanting a smaller engine remember that the 4.0L has the best fuel economy and is a strong time proven design. My wife likes the 6 speed transmission, I didn't expect it would matter to her but I intend to hyper mile it on a long highway trip to see just what sort of millage it can get. Look at the options you want and schedule a test drive with that vehicle. Once you get in one and take it out for a drive you will have the best idea of how it may or may not fit your needs. also if you do decide to buy ask your dealership to throw in an extra key or two as you will only get 2 programed keys with the van and you may want a spare hanging around.

    Dave
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    Any of you ever owned a Fiat? Why would anyone buy from a company on the verge of disappearing (Chrysler)? Your Chrysler built minivans already have no resale value in comparison to Honda and Toyota so what will they be worth six weeks from now? I owned a relatively new Olds van just before Olds folded. The value dropped immediately.

    Just because VW is a separate company does not mean Routan parts will forever be available as they come from Chrysler.

    As I stated in an earlier post, are you going to have to travel to the nearest military post to get your government warranty backed vehicle serviced at the motorpool? Don't laugh, stranger things have happened.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I'm thinking that your alarmist post is completely without merit and is inappropriate for this discussion.
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    DITTO, This is a quality product and your warranty is safer than a foreign company that goes belly up. The best customer service I ever got was from Chevy and the worst was from Honda. But you know time will tell and we will see. Everyone has lemons and great cars also.
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    Fiats are the thing in Europe where gas is $10 a gallon. They have fixed their early 70s quality problem and build a fine car. I really don't think Fiat has anything to do with discussion as it looks like they will work with pieces of GM and maybe buy the van plant????????????????????
  • I agree that your post is inappropriate to the discussion we are having, however I would like to answer your concerns with some of my experiences. I have never owned a Fiat in the US so I don't know what they brought over here until they diapered from the US in the 80s. I did drive a used 1977 Fiat 127 when I lived in Portugal and I must say that for a simple car it was almost as good a value as my 1979 Ford Fiesta (Stuttgart) that car could get 52mpg hwy. I sold both cars for more than I payed for them and they remain to date two of the best automotive values I have ever owned. easy to maintain reliable and extremely fuel efficient. The sort of extream value cars you see all the time in Urope that never make it over here to a market segment clamoring for just such a car.

    Even if Chrysler disappears from the face of the earth tomorrow and there is no reliable parts supply from any Chrysler left overs VW is the same van almost verbatim in everything but body panels and some trim parts. If the Routan is off the market tomorrow VW will still be obligated as a manufacturer to maintain a 10 year parts supply for there vans and would likely see a profit in supplying Chrysler buyers with the same. VW is also uniquely positioned to buy up Chrysler facility and left overs at fire sale prices and I feel would be likely do so.

    I'm sure we will all know a lot more come May1st. Regardless of deprecation or the outcome of a Chrysler bankruptcy I'm satisfied that I have the best van I could find, it meets my personal needs better than any competitor and at a fair price.

    Lastly, when I worked in Kuwait I had several friends in the Army from Camp Doha who did repair work on every sort of vehicle the US military used and I thought they did fantastic work under the most adverse conditions. Id be happy to have the US Armed Forces work on my van, those people really do a Kick A** job! I love em. Plus I get to call Obama on the "Red phone" in the middle of the night and have him tow my van if I need it. Now that's service! What other auto maker can claim that?!

    Dave
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