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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?


  • 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,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.
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