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Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager

My lease on the 98 Venture is coming up soon.
There is no van out there today that tickles me.
(INCLUDING the Odyssey)

Any news on the Chrysler vans due this fall?
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Comments

  • wis9wis9 Posts: 3
    would you want ot go down a step in reliability! I'll bet that Chrysler will have a bad first year of production with the new vans, in terms of problems. I'll bet some things that will be on them will be power sliding doors which every company had there bad first years with those, new engines, VCR edition, hopefully new transmissions, and probably some new things they can come out with.
    PS=====I own a 1998 Chevy Venture LS with 39300 miles on it and it has been a great van!
  • We only have about 29k on our 98 Venture and it has been great. But, we want to move upscale, and keep the built-in child seats.

    Uhm...2001 T&C?
  • Visit www.4adodge.com,and no v-8 just the 3.5 300M engine.
  • heimyheimy Posts: 13
    I was all set to buy a 2000, but was a little leery of the relative lack of horsepower compared to their competitors. The 2001's take care of that problem. I don't know that they're changing all that much on them, i.e. is may not be the redesign disaster that "wis9" talks about. It looks more like a tweaking of engine and tranny, plus some body side appearance stuff. At this point, I'm waiting until August to see how the 2001's look and ride.
  • Be smart,and buy the 2001!
  • I had this concern about the horsepower of the minivan until I: a. realized that I'm not going to be towing or drag racing with the thing and b. I drove one of the 3.3L equipped T+Cs and it had plenty of zip to merge in traffic. From my perspective, it wasn't even worth the extra green to get the 3.8L. I certainly did not feel 22hp worth of difference between the two when I test drove them.

    Quite frankly, I think this mini-van horsepower race is based more on manipulation of people's egos instead of legitimate performance concerns.
  • You'll only notice and appreciate the power difference when you're on the highway, towing or climbing hills. With the new '01 minivans I think the performance increase is justified. DC is now the minivan power king with 230hp (a 50hp boost from this year's 3.8L 180hp), yet all the engines are getting at least 1 mpg better fuel economy.
  • what is the torque change? I really believe that is what is important. And if you look, the 3.8 had more torque than the odyssey the last 2 years.

    jpotoff: I drove a 3.3 for 7 years and was very happy with the reliability and power, what it lacked was torque. shifted down on hills. my 99 has the 3.8 and that problem is solved. the 3.3 is really a nice engine though. I never had a moments problem with it.
  • We are trying to decide between the Silouhette and the Odyssey both 2000 models. There are things about each that we like but our main concern is the power doors on the Odyssey. When we test drove one the other day someone tried to manually open the door and we then had trouble getting the door to open under power. Even the salesman had trouble getting it to work. Has anyone had a problem with these doors?
  • indydriverindydriver Posts: 620
    I will definitely opt for the 3.8 or 3.5 300M engine in my '01. My current 3.3 is OK around town but really struggles on Interstate drives through the mountains. It has been totally reliable after 130K though. I also own a '99 300M and absolutely love that engine. Besides the increase in power, it will definitely help reduce NVH levels in the minivan.

    TARGETGRN: Sure you meant to post in this topic?
  • maggie944maggie944 Posts: 1
    Can anyone help me with this ? How do the rear cargo and seating areas compare between the T & C and the Windstar? My current '95 T & C has had adequate room for the 3 or 4 hockey players and their bags I lug around all winter. How do you folks think the Windstar would compare ? Windstar is a lot cheaper. Would I be "penny wise and pound foolish ?"
  • bordsourcebordsource Posts: 95
    The Windstar is nowhere near as roomy as even the current Chryslers. Your '95, however, and the Windstar (past and present), are about the same size inside. The Windstar...well, there's no real advantage. The Windstar has no real price advantage (especially if it's a '00 that you're interested in), and it's significantly smaller inside than a similarly sized Chrysler (read: LWB). The rear seat of the Windstar is noticably more cramped than the rear of the Chrysler. Cargo space is similarly truncated. The Windstar has the more powerful engine, and the better crash test scores. Aside from those two things, I can't think of any reason to get a Windstar...get an Odyssey first. Yeah, we've got a Chrysler- '97 T&C- so there's probably some bias in this opinion. I wouldn't get a GM minivan unless someone had a gun to me (figuratively or literally). They've got ratty materials, poor build quality, and they're BORING! At least with the Honda, you're getting decent materials and build quality, even if it isn't quite up to Honda's usual levels. Either way, make sure that whatever you get (outside of a Honda) comes with a big discount! The minivan market has cooled considerably, so if the grille doesn't have an "H", then don't let them sell you anything at sticker!
  • tsjstsjs Posts: 1
    I agree with bordsource. I have a 90 GC and the windstar isn't as large at that, but close. I check headroom as well - I hit my head in the rear seat of the ford. You can hurt your metatarsal (?) (top of foot) on exposed bolts under the captains chairs in even the new windstar.

    Good luck.
  • The T&C is the luxury van in the pack. If you are worried about the cost but still want the space, check out the Grand Caravan or Grand Voyager. If you need the big 3.8L engine, though, you must get the GC LE or ES, or the T&C LXi or Limited.
  • Voyager is still slated to be the budget-minded van.
  • indydriverindydriver Posts: 620
    Sorry for the long delay in responding, I had taken the 2001 sites off my routine since there wasn't much useful info available. Rereading my earlier comments here are funny because I'm in a totally different place now, working hard to find just the right 2000 GCS which has the 3.3!(see Vans #342 for the details). Anyway, to your question. I monitor my gas consumption very closely as I drive my 300M for business. I bought it in Dec. 98 and now have 42,000+ miles. I drive an eight state region in the Midwest so two-thirds of my miles are on flat highways. I usually drive long stretches at 75-80. In 1999, I averaged 22.3 mpg and YTD through May, I am averaging 22.5 mpg. I run on 87 octane even though it is recommended for 89 for max performance. It looks like the 2001 minivan 3.5 will have the powercurve tweaked for more torque at the expense of 23 HP (253 v. 230). But this is one sweet engine. It revs quickly and smoothly right into the red zone (6,500+ rpm) but you can short shift it at 2500-3000 for normal crusing. I know you've been heavily engaged in some of the "problem" topics and you'll notice there are NEVER any entries on Chrysler engine reliability. So, bottom line, 2001 engines should be a great upgrade all the way around. I did hear though, that the 3.5 availability would be very limited, perhaps only on T&C Ltd?
  • indydriverindydriver Posts: 620
    I agree mileage would be lower in a van because unless you were using it for business, you would have a much higher percentage of city miles than highway miles. Obviously, the van is heavier with much greater frontal area (higher Cd) so it will burn more gas to push the vehicle at the same rate. BUT, I would choose it in a van in a heartbeat if I was checking off an options list. By the way, since I was shopping for a Dodge, I went to the 4adodge website to see what they had on the 2001's. They have the options matrix like you find in the back of the brochure. No 3.5 for Dodge available. Too bad DC doesn't see fit to put the high output engine in their performance division.
  • indydriverindydriver Posts: 620
    I was so focused on buying the Sport that I really didn't pay that much attention to the big picture, but you're right. DC has dramatically compressed the lineup for 2001. I suppose its the old 80/20 rule: you sell 80% of your volume to 20% of the market so the costs are disproportionately higher to maintain all the low volume choices. I think with the elimination of Plymouth, a lot of the marketing will be swung to the Chrysler brand which, in the past was positioned as the upscale version only. So, I guess it makes since. I do prefer the Dodge nameplate and front end styling though.
  • indydriverindydriver Posts: 620
    will be a little (or maybe a lot!) envious when the 01's start rolling off the lots. While I haven't had time to explore all the features on my 2000 yet, I am delighted and more than a little surprised that a van can handle this well and still have a smooth ride. They say one of the advances for the '01 is a stiffer chassis with "20%" greater torsional strength (resist twisting) which helps handling and C&D raved about the improvement in handling in their preview review, but its hard to imagine it going around corners any better than this Sport.
  • StrategoStratego Posts: 29
    Imagine how great the '01 Sport will be! :)
  • indydriverindydriver Posts: 620
    Can't do that anymore. I got tired of waiting, bit on the big rebate, now I gotta reinforce that decision!
  • grathgrath Posts: 13
    I understand 2001 t&c's will arrive in showrooms in august but cannot get a straight answer on when the 3.5 will arrive.Does anyone have any info on this?
  • StrategoStratego Posts: 29
    Just thought I'd share the trim packages for those of you that might not already know:

    For MY '01 Caravans:

    ALL CARAVAN TRIM LEVELS:

    STANDARD
    - Next Generation driver and front-passenger airbags
    - Front air dam
    - "Dodge" badge on front doors
    - Brake-park interlock: Cannot shift out of Park unless brake pedal is depressed
    - Front and rear 5 mph bumpers
    - Cargo net: Located between front bucket seats
    - Driver and passenger side rear sliding doors
    - Carpets, passenger and cargo area
    - 20-gallon fuel tank with tethered cap
    - Front and rear seatback grocery bag hooks
    - Exterior lighting: Halogen headlamps
    - Interior lighting: Cargo compartment, dual liftgate flood lamps
    - Front and rear power outlets, 12-volt
    - Easy Out Roller Seats
    - Rear floor silencer
    - Power rack-and-pinion steering
    - Under front passenger seat, lockable storage drawer
    - Normal duty suspension
    - Spare tire, compact
    - User-Ready Child Seat Tether Anchors: Top, located at each back seat position to minimize child seat movement
    - Windshield wipers: Variable intermittent front, intermittent rear

    OPTIONAL
    - Supplemental side airbags for front and rear occupants
    - Engine block heater
    - Heavy-duty engine cooler
    - Roof rack
    - Security alarm and Sentry Key Engine Immoblizer
    - Smoker's Group: Front and rear ash receivers and cigar lighter

    CARAVAN SE FWD - C PACKAGE

    STANDARD
    - 150 hp 2.4L I-4 with 3-speed automatic
    - Manual single-zone air conditioning
    - 140-amp alternator
    - Front and intermediate passenger assist handles
    - 600-amp battery
    - Power front disc/rear drum brakes
    - Tinted glass
    - Intermediate bench with rear three-passenger bench
    - AM/FM stereo radio with cassette player and 4 speakers
    - 215/70R15 BSW All-Season tires
    - 15" steel wheels with Kinetic wheel cover

    OPTIONAL
    - 180 hp 3.3L FFV V6 with 4-speed automatic and 500 amp battery
    - 4 wheel ABS
    - Climate Group II: Sunscreen glass
    - Electric rear window defroster and windshield wiper de-icer
    - Deluxe Convenience Group: Speed control and tilt steering column
    - Power door locks
    - Front and rear floor mats
    - Power Convenience Group: Highline door trim panels, foldaway power heated mirrors, power windows and power door locks
    - Remote keyless entry system
    - Intermediate bench with two child seats and rear three-passenger bench
    - AM/FM stereo radio with CD player and 6 speakers
    - Load levelling and height control
    - Full size spare tire

    CARAVAN SPORT FWD - F PACKAGE

    STANDARD
    Same as Caravan SE FWD, plus:
    - 180 hp 3.3L FFV V6 with 4-speed automatic
    - 500-amp battery
    - 4 wheel ABS
    - Electric rear window defroster and windshield wiper deicer
    - Speed control
    - Tilt steering column
    - Power door locks
    - Front and rear floor mats
    - Tachometer
    - Dual folding power, heated mirrors
    - Rear fascia scuff pad
    - Intermediate deluxe bench with rear deluxe three-passenger bench
    - Deluxe cloth seat trim
    - AM/FM stereo radio with cassette player and 6 speakers
    - 15" steel wheels with Crossfire wheel cover

    OPTIONAL OR WITH H OR K ORDER PACKAGES
    Same as Caravan SE FWD options, plus:
    - Dual zone temperature control with particulate air filter
    - Fog lamps and 160 amp alternator
    - Overhead console
    - Passenger side power sliding door
    - Light Group: Ignition time delay, glove box and overhead ash tray/cup holder lamps
    - Headlamp off time delay
    - Dual illuminated cover visor vanity mirrors
    - Intermediate deluxe bench with two child seats and rear deluxe three-passenger bench seat
    - Intermediate Quad Command roller bucket seats and rear deluxe three-passenger bench seat
    - Intermediate Quad Command roller bucket seats with one child seat and rear deluxe three-passenger bench seat
    - Intermediate Quad Command roller bucket seats with one child seat and rear deluxe 50/50 split three-passenger bench seat
    - Power eight way driver's seat
    - AM/FM stereo radio with CD player and 6 speakers
    - AM/FM stereo radio with cassette player, CD player and 6 speakers
    - AM/FM stereo radio with cassette player, CD player and Infinity Acoustic 10 speaker system
    - AM/FM cassette player with 4-disc, in-dash CD changer and Infinity Acoustic 10 speaker system
    - Sport Touring Group: 4 wheel disc brakes with ABS, bodyside molding, woodgrain instrument panel bezel, fog lamps, 160-amp alternator, leather wrapped steering wheel, touring suspension, 215/65R16 LBL All Season Touring tires and 16" Europa aluminum wheels

    GRAND CARAVAN SPORT FWD - F PACKAGE

    STANDARD
    Same as Caravan Sport FWD

    OPTIONAL OR WITH H OR K ORDER PACKAGES
    Same as Caravan Sport FWD options, plus:
    - Climate Group III - Sunscreen glass, manual tri zone temperature control, rear air conditioning and particulate air filter
    - Center removable console with power outlet
    - Power liftgate (requires Remote Keyless Entry and power passenger sliding door)
    - Trailer Tow Group - 160 amp alternator, 600 amp battery, 4 wheel disc brakes with ABS, heavy-duty engine cooling, load levelling and height control suspension, full size spare tire and trailer tow wiring harness

    GRAND CARAVAN ES FWD - P PACKAGE

    STANDARD
    Same as Grand Caravan Sport FWD, plus:
    - Tri zone automatic temperature control with particulate air filter
    - 160 amp alternator
    - Front and intermediate passenger assist handles
    - Sunscreen glass
    - Power four wheel disc brakes
    - Overhead console with trip computer
    - Driver side power sliding door
    - Passenger side power sliding door
    - Fog lamps
    - HomeLink® Universal Transceiver: Programmable, 3 function, with remote controls for garage door opener, interior/exterior home lighting and security devices
    - Intermediate Quad Command roller bucket seats and rear 50/50 split bench seats
    - Power eight-way driver's seat
    - Premium cloth seat trim
    - AM/FM cassette player with 4-disc, in-dash CD changer and Infinity Acoustic 10 speaker system
    - 215/65R16 LBL All-Season Touring tires
    - 16" Europa aluminum wheels

    OPTIONAL OR WITH S ORDER PACKAGE
    Same as Grand Caravan Sport FWD options, plus:
    - 215 hp 3.8L V6 with 4 speed automatic and 600 amp battery
    - 215 hp 3.8L V6 with 4 speed AutoStick and 600 amp battery
    - Center removable console with power outlet
    - Power liftgate (requires Remote Keyless Entry and power passenger sliding door)
    - Automatic day/night mirror
    - Front heated seats (requires leather seat trim)
    - Leather seat trim
    - Steering wheel mounted audio controls
    - Touring suspension
    - 215/60R17 BSW All-Season Touring tires
    - Low speed traction control
    - 17" Chrome Titan chrome aluminum wheels

    GRAND CARAVAN SPORT AWD - H PACKAGE

    STANDARD
    Same as Grand Caravan Sport FWD H Package, plus:
    - 215 hp 3.8L V6 with 4 speed automatic
    - Tri zone temperature control with particulate air filter
    - Power four wheel disc brakes
    - Fog lamps
    - Sport Touring Group: 4 wheel disc brakes with ABS, bodyside molding, woodgrain instrument panel bezel, fog lamps, 160-amp alternator, leather wrapped steering wheel, touring suspension, 215/65R16 LBL All Season Touring tires and 16" Europa aluminum wheels
    - Load levelling and height control

    OPTIONAL
    Same as Grand Caravan Sport FWD H Package options

    GRAND CARAVAN ES AWD - P PACKAGE

    STANDARD
    Same as Grand Caravan ES FWD P Package, plus:
    - 600 amp battery
    - Load levelling and height control

    OPTIONAL OR WITH S ORDER PACKAGE
    Same as Grand Caravan ES FWD P Package, minus:
    - Touring suspension
    - Low speed traction control
    - 17" Chrome Titan chrome aluminum wheels
  • maryh3maryh3 Posts: 263
    Doesnt sound that different than 2000. I bit on the 2000 - rebates and invoice price too hard to resist. At these prices I can probably replace my transmission twice for what I saved over other minivans. Lots of luxury in this T&C
  • cesarpcesarp Posts: 47
    That is probably because the dual temperature zone is being replaced with triple temperature zone for the 2001 models. Also, as you pointed out, torque of 3.3L is respectfull at 210 Ft. Lbs. and an optional 3.8L rated at 215 HP with 245 Ft. Lbs. Now for the ultimate power, 3.5L rated at 230 HP and 255 Ft. Lbs. which might be available on the LE model (I'm only guessing). Like a lot of people, I was kind of waiting to see the 2001 model before making a purchase. But when DC had the 0.9% financing and a terrific sale on a 2000 Town & Country Limited AWD it was hard to pass up! Got wait another 12+ years before it is time to consider in replacing the 2000 model, oh well.
  • grathgrath Posts: 13
    Thanks for the trim info.Do you know when the 3.5 motor will be available?
  • StrategoStratego Posts: 29
    carleton1 - I found the information at the Dodge site (www.4adodge.com/caravan/frameset_caravan.html), and I myself was wondering if this is the full line-up or if this is just preliminary specs. I;m going for the latter, as Dodge has always had a full line up, with the Base, SE, Sport, GC Base, GC SE, GC Sport, GC LE, GC ES, GC Sport AWD, GC LE AWD and GC ES AWD. That's 11 different combinations of trim levels, wheelbases and drive formats. I only saw 6 combos for '01 at the site, which is too much of a reduction for DC to follow through with. And with those 6 combinations comes only 14 order packages. The SE variants were always the DC best sellers, so it just doesn't make sense that they cut back availability this much, AND continue to not offer the 3.8L V6 for the SE's and Sport's (in the US, lucky Canadians). DC has always offered the more powerful motors in respective classes, so it doesn't make sense not to offer the 3.8L to SE buyers. Obviously DC wants customers to upgrade and buy an LE or ES if they want more power, but customers will buy another make (eg. Ford or Honda) that offers more power for the money. Maybe the engine availability in the US corresponds to US-only CAFE standards and restrictions which DC is having problems meeting?

    However, I am glad to hear that DC will offer 4 wheel disc brakes on Trailer Tow-prepped, performance and premium FWD models in addition to AWD. I have a '98 T&C LXi AWD and the lease is up next August. AWD is nice, but where I live, I only benefit from it when it rains. So for me, it's not worth the extra money, even with the 4 wheel discs and multi-leaf rear suspension. My van just happened to be the last '98 T&C available in the province. I would have got a '99 T&C Limited, but there was no special lease rate available.

    cesarp - According to DC, there are 4 different HVAC setups:

    - Manual
    - Dual zone (driver/front passenger) with NEW particulate air filter
    - Tri zone (driver/front passenger/rear) with particulate air filter
    NEW - Automatic tri zone (driver/front passenger/rear) with particulate air filter

    And again, these specs may be only preliminary and not finalized, so I would expect changes.

    grath - At this time, the 230 hp, 250 lb-ft torque 3.5L V6 is limited to mid-'01 production T&C Limited's until engine production can be increased. Or maybe the 3.5L is limited to T&C Ltds. UNTIL mid-'01 production, I'm not positive. The 3.5L V6 must also be shared with the Prowler, 300M, LHS and Intrepid R/T, in which it is the only available engine.

    For those of you interested in purchasing an '01 model, the Windsor minivan plant will begin production of the all-new Chrysler Grand Voyager and Grand Caravan on July 24th. The high end Chrysler Town & Country and the budget priced Chrysler Voyager and Dodge Caravan won't start rolling off the line until October 2nd.

    And one '02 minivan change has already been announced, and that is the availability of a power moonroof.
  • indydriverindydriver Posts: 620
    is expanding dramatically in '01 with the demise of Plymouth. DC HAS TO rationalize the number of offerings so they are not just allowing everything at both Dodge and Chrysler dealers. The Chrysler offerings will expand to come down-market to help fill the Plymouth void and Dodge variants will be reduced and more specialized to create market differentiation. Dodge has always been the performance division so you will see some emphasis there, probably in the form of an R/T minivan in late '01 or '02. The Dodge dealers screamed bloody murder about the 3.5 going only to Chrysler brands and got the Intrepid R/T.
  • maximamaxima Posts: 19
    honda should use the CL type S engine on the odyssey soon and nissan might use the pathfinder's engine on the upcoming minivan
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