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Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager

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Comments

  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    "If the Chrysler minivans are so great, why the $2,000 rebates and $6,000+ discounts in the Boston Globe?"

    Well, first of all part of what makes the Chrysler minivans attractive is the discounts. Odyssey EX or T&C EX? Price independent, the Odyssey is probably the winner. Consider price, and either you save many thousands on the T&C or you get a high end LXi for the same price as the Odyssey. Either way, the Chrysler competes BECAUSE of price.

    In addition, there are many reasons why DC needs to offer rebates (and hidden factory-to-dealer incentives) to make the Chrysler attractive.

    1. High supply. More DC's are manufactured than any other minivan. Someone recently posted the stats ... roughly 4 times as many as the Odyssey, for example.
    2. Still no crash test results. Many minivan buyers, a significant minority, won't consider a minivan without stellar crash test results. They were due in March, have slipped to May. Expect the crash test results to affect demand, one way or the other.
    3. Reliability reputation. As many have posted here, the reliability of the DC minivans have improved dramatically in recent years, but they were stinkers for so long that it will take a lot of years of solid reliability to change their image.
    4. Pricing/recession. 2001 prices were set assuming continued economic growth. The slowdown has really hit the high end car market, especially minivans and SUVs.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Look at Odyssey forums to see the obscenely high profit items many dealers "loaded" onto the Odysseys to include charges above MSRP. Now there are many who are buying Odysseys at BELOW MSRP and do not have to buy all of those high profit add on items of little value.
    Most buyers of DC minivans do NOT pay MSRP. Reason: Sales VOLUME. Same reason WalMart can sell for less than the old "Mom and Pop" corner grocery store.
  • dwgutwirdwgutwir Posts: 60
    Did you're neighbor get the dealer to do a seat swap with another vehicle for the LTD?

    What state are you in? Maybe I'll get lucky and can visit the same dealer.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    No, it was an actual option on their Limited van with second row child bucket seat and 50/50 rear seat. You can see it's an option if you go to Chrysler.com and build your own T&C LTD. Towards the end it asks for general options or something and it offers the 50/50 and child seat for $200 something I think. I also went to the Chrysler dealer by me to get an oil change and they had MANY Limited vans on the lot with the 50/50 and child seat option. Only a few had the full bench. Hope this helps
  • dwgutwirdwgutwir Posts: 60
    dave210 - Since your neighbor's vehicle is a Limited, I assume it's a leather interior.

    Thanks, and sorry for beating a dead horse
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    I wonder if we can buy the 50/50 3rd row from the parts department.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    Yes, my neighbor's Limited has leather/sued seats with the 50/50 rear seat and middle child bucket seat option. I though have the full bench on my Limited, which I like better for myself since I can still keep the seat in place while still being able to slide it forward, where the 50/50 seat is either flipped forward (making it unable to sit on) or in the upright position with no sliding capabilities. After have a sliding rear bench in the 88 and 96, I'm just content with my full bench in the 01. Plus the dog has a place to sit on those trips to Grandma's, where she (the dog) wouldn't if we had the 50/50. BTW, here is a link showing you that there is indeed this option including a child seat and a 50/50 rear.


    Seats -Buckets w/1 Child/Split Bench - Add $125.00

    http://www.chrysler.com/PriceEquip/step4

  • micgamicga Posts: 56
    I can't believe that anyone would buy a minivan, esp a dodge! I know, I know, you need the room. However, it seems that as soon as many couples have a child, it is minivan city. Can anyone explain why a minivan is a good choice besides the cargo space? Which, by the way, you can get comparable room in somthing much more exciting. Please, what is the thought process??
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    "Which, by the way, you can get comparable room in something much more exciting." -- micga

    I'd be interested in what motivates this post. I see you've been posting in the BMW 3-Series and Toyota Celica groups. Are you "slumming" here?

    The only vehicles with comparable interior room are the largest SUVs (Expedition, Navigator, Suburban, Yukon XL). If you need more room you need a full-sized van. The top minivans in sales (Honda, DC, Ford, Toyota) all ride and handle much better than the largest SUVs, use far less fuel, are less susceptible to accidents (the largest SUVs are 3 times more likely to be in single car accidents, which is a pretty good indication of how well they handle), are crashworthy without endangering the lives of everyone NOT in an SUV or Pickup, cost far less than the largest SUVs, are more reliable (okay, Ford Windstar excepted), easier to park, easier for kids to climb into, easier to configure the interior to match changing needs, have more kid-appropriate conveniences (i.e. automatic doors), and fit into normal garages. They can't, of course, go off road, but the largest SUVs don't rate very well off road anyway.

    On the other hand, the large SUVs are "cool." They are, in marketing-speak, "lifestyle" vehicles, while minivans are "lifestage" vehicles. We all know how uncool it is to admit you are in a parenting stage.

    Hmmm. Rational vs. Cool. Hmmm. You're right, I'll trade my minivan in tomorrow for an Expedition. No, wait, I gotta have an Excursion. That'll impress the chicks.
  • bostnwhalrbostnwhalr Posts: 128
    Sorry to ruffle your feathers Haynelden, but you really don't have to be obnoxious about it with the "DUH" comments. Of course I know about model year closeouts. However, since the Chrysler vans are in their first year of production, the $2,000 rebates seem pretty steep to me recession or no recession. As a consumer, I'm not complaining.

    The discounts do make the Chrysler vans a heck of a value and an attractive alternative to the Odyssey. I'm just trying to point out that people who bought earlier in the model year missed out on these discounts and that would likely affect THEIR resale value. Contrast this with the Toyota Sienna. Still no rebates on a vehicle that has been in production since 1998. Probably less sales volume I guess combined with the Toyota name.

    As for the 2002 models with no rebates, guess again. Unless they go the way of the EX model with lots of features for an attractive price, they'll be slapping $1,000 rebates from the get-go like they have done in previous years. It's always hard to end rebates once you start them.

    Speaking of the EX model, anyone know why Chrysler decided to use the "EX" designation for their new "Odyssey" fighter? That seems to be an unusual designation since it is not used on any other vehicle at DaimlerChrysler (they of course use the LX designation for the Concorde and Sebring. I know it matches the Odyssey EX model name which is pretty bold.
    Micga,
    As for why a minivan? Plenty of reasons but compared to what, an SUV? Well then:

    Better handling and ride
    More passenger room
    Better gas mileage
    Cheaper initial purchase (most of the time)

    Many people buy SUVs that otherwise would be better served by a minivan, yet they care about what others think. Maybe minivan buyers are more practical and don't care what other's think.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    When I was young, we had Impala 2 door hardtops as they were comfortable for me and then for us after we got married. However, it was not very easy to place child (and then the 2nd child) into the child seat and attach the safety straps with a 2 door so when eldest daughter was 7 and 2nd daughter was 4, we got a NEW Volvo station wagon as primary car (had a VW Super Beetle as my work car).
    Later tried VW Busses (used 1965 and 1977) but VW reliability was so dismal we could not afford the exorbitant maintenance costs so we went back to 1980 Chevrolet Impala 4 door sedan in 1979. Got 1981 Chevy C-10 for me to use as a work vehicle. In 1991 we got a NEW Chevy Astro CL.
    Now the children are raised, married and on their own, we traded the Astro in on a NEW GC SE as for us the minivan is THE most comfortable vehicle at a reasonable price. 1999 GC SE averages 27 MPG on 1400 mile trips to Disneyland and we can take a daughter, her husband and 2 children in comfort. Overall mileage of GC SE with 3.3L V6 is 23.5 in 27,444 miles. Sure beats the fuel economy of ANY SUV with comparable room.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Discounts on NEW Sienna are in the $1500 on CE to $2500 on loaded XLE at dealers in this area. Odyssey discount was $180 for my sister on their NEW Ody EX picked up 2 days ago. The Odyssey seats are more comfortable for me than are the seats in our GC SE...except for 3rd seat where the outer hinges of Magic Seat poke me in the back. The cargo space of Odyssey is VERY nice and seems about twice as much behind 3rd seat as in our GC SE. However, I would hate to give up the Dual Zone (now Triple Zone) Temperature Control and Trip Computer of a DC minivan. Would be nice to combine the best features of all minivans.
  • dwgutwirdwgutwir Posts: 60
    Thanks for the link (and the help), dave210.

    I did find the option when I built my own yesterday (a LTD AWD in Steel Blue). Now all I have to do is convince the wife she want's leather since it means heated seats.I figure if we've decided to buy a minivan it might as well be as nice a ride as it can be.

    It must be a recent addition (or change) to how they equip the LTD. When I tried this a couple of weeks ago, the option wasn't there. This is true of doing a build with Edmunds' TMV pricing guide too. The brochure from the dealer (admittedly these get out of date pretty quickly) doens't show this either.
  • dwgutwirdwgutwir Posts: 60
    Has any one installed Chrysler's video system in their '01 T&C or Grand Caravan. We're thinking about putting one in for our two sons for those long car trips.

    What are your likes/dislikes about the system?
    Can the VCP (which I believe mounts between the second row seats) be removed (similar to the regular moveable console)?
    What did the dealer charge for the unit?

    As an alternate, has anyone installed an aftermarket unit from Rosen or BackSeat Theater?

    Thanks again.
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    Couple with children..with the sliding doors it is much easier to put the carseat back on the seat than other type of vehicles. "something more exciting"? please provide us a few examples. I think most of us in here do have other cars in our garage besides the minivan and if we need to have more excitement we can always climb into those cars but I don't think our children and their stuff will fit in it. By the way, the stereo system in my T&C ltd is much better than some of the exciting cars out there.
  • pgs_28pgs_28 Posts: 34
    I read with great interest Chrysler's response to the test vehicle results and must admit he made some very good points. However, I have a $50,000 Canadian T&C LTD that has a 2100 RPM vibration. If they admit to the problem and promise to fix it then I would recommend that everyone purchase this vehicle. It really is spectacular. And if he can't or won't admit and offer a fix then I wonder if the gentleman would come back on here and offer me my money back. Now that would be Customer Service!!!!!!! Sir, you know you can reach me via my email address. Most of us just want an OFFICIAL word from Chrysler that they are investigating the problem. Keeping secrets or not communicating KILLS customer loyalty more than anything.
    Thx
  • burtronixburtronix Posts: 1
    Micga,

    You've obviously swallowed the auto advertisements hook-line-&-fisherman. Remember the one where some guys in a gym are listening to an announcement about headlights on the mini van in the parking lot - & nobody went to turn them off? I would have jumped up waving my keys & offered to trade even-up for my SUV: "Give me the practical low-cost great-handling comfortable vehicle. You take my fuel-hog high-insurance lumbering breakdown-prone money-pit."

    I got rid of the SUV for all of those reasons, & now I'm a PROUD (not to mention richer, safer, more comfortable, & less inconvenienced) owner of a mini van. I'm about to trade my first one in on a second.

    Since you are so easily persuaded by advertisements, take a line from a popular soft-drink ad: "Image is Nothing". If you want excitement, take up skydiving.
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    There is a $500 rebate, as per Edmunds, but only in the SF bay area.
  • ingramwd2ingramwd2 Posts: 15
    We have this unit installed on our T&C LTD (1 month old).

    Likes:
    Color-keyed to your interior; vehicle warranty not affected; Very good A/V quality (IMO better than Rosen or Audiovox).

    Dislikes:
    None so far. Wish it were a DVD system though!

    VCP Center Console: can be mounted between front or middle row bucket seats and cannot be removed according to dealer. But the user manual says it can be removed just like the regular Center Console by disconnecting the cables. I tried but couldn't. There is no detailed instructions on how to remove it.

    Can't comment on US pricing, but we paid CAD 2093 (approx. USD 1350). Remember someone mentioned having it installed for USD 1500.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Today I was told that a Trip Computer is available on 2001 Sport. I said it is only on the ES and not even on the EX. T&C LXi and Limited have it but no other Chrysler van. So we sat in a 2001 AWD Sport. Surprise to the salesman: NO Trip Computer. Virtually the same thing happened a few months ago at Chrysler dealership.
    The EX is a great vehicle but I would NOT trade my 1999 GC SE with compass/outside temp/ Trip Computer and lesser 3.3L V6 for the 3.8L and all the extra goodies of the 2001 EX. Chrysler will lose this customer if they do not bring back the complete overhead console data on the 1999 GC SE (that I have)on more models of reasonable pricing. The seats of 2001 SE are MORE comfortable than seats of our 1999.
    Meanwhile, no one else has all the nice features we have on our lowly GC SE so we will be keeping this excellent, zero problem minivan longer than we had anticipated.
  • micgamicga Posts: 56
    Thank you all for your posts. I apoligize if I came off in a negative way. As far as whether or not I am slumming here, the anger is no. I like reading many different Edmunds message boards. I enjoy learning about many different subjects. I have a couple of friends who recently bought mini vans because they "Had a child" It was almost like a knee jerk reaction after having the child. I was just wondering if there was anything I am missing. After reading your posts, I realized that there are areas that I failed to consider. As far as "falling for advertisments", in my thinking, the apparent knee jerk ration to buy a mini van immediately after starting a family is "buying into advertising" more than anything. I am sure your mini vans are very nice and if your happy, than that is all that matters. I personally would NEVER even consider a minivan....image aside.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    It'd be interesting to see whether they could retrofit a trip computer in the overhead consol of an EX or similarly equipped Chrysler van. I mean, if that was the deciding factor, the dealer may be willing to try. I know for a fact that the consol is pre wired and ready to go with a trip computer, it's just the buttons and other need necessities aren't there to actually work it. It probably wouldn't be hard for them, and it's always worth a shot to try or just ask for that matter. Plus, you could always hope for next year. They'll probably be doing a lot of equipment/pricing changes for the 2002 model year and somehting like that would be a likely option. Also, the GC SE didn't get the option of an overhead consol with trip computer till 99 so maybe they'll add it back to the Sport in 02.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Mechanical options like Cruise, Power Door Locks, etc. never did work properly for friends when they were added later.
    Based on what you wrote, we were VERY lucky to get our 1999 GC SE since that was THE BEST YEAR to buy an SE. There were very few GC at the dealership on March 20, 1999 when we got ours and one was a base with same Bright White color. We did not realize that our GC had so many nice features until we had it a few days as our 1991 Astro CL had just A/C, PDL, Tilt,middle row captain's seats...NO power windows, no rear air, no rear heater and no luggage rack. The Odyssey LX we ordered was also quite spartan.
    Now that we know more about nice options, we would have purchased a GC SE with nicest Sport option having the 3.8L V6 and nicer seats. Hope Chrysler listens and offers the 3.8L V6, Trip Computer, etc. on more than only the ES.
  • brian3240brian3240 Posts: 6
    What was the "response" mentioned in item #1051.
    Is it available as a numbered item here?

    Thanks
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,281
    Here's a link to DaimlerChrysler's Response to Edmunds' Dodge Grand Caravan Long-Term Road Test.

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • aps5aps5 Posts: 43
    I am posting some problems: we are now at our fifth visit to Chrysler, initially for never functioning seat heater but now the 4th visit for low brake pedal. The first visit: "it's a normal brake pedal". The second: brakes were bled of air and pedal travel returned to normal. The third: low pedal resulted in a new master cylinder, which fixed problem for 10 days. Now: they have the van for approx 6 days and are replacing the abs module or some such thing. Our extended warranty is paying for the $30/day Hyundai rental, but I am seriously thinking about invoking lemon laws.
    We have had Mercedes and Subarus and 5 visits to the shop in the first 5 months would have been unthinkable. Does anyone think we should start with the certified lemon law letter to DC? Thanks.
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    In some (most?) states, 4 visits for one problem is enough to invoke the lemon laws. This could be a dealership problem, but by invoking the lemon laws you get the regional people involved and that should help.

    BTW, this sort of thing is not unheard of for Mercedes ... I have several anecdotal stories of Mercedes new car problems that simply could not be fixed.
  • wingsneckwingsneck Posts: 3
    I'm interested in purchasing this van and was wondering what people were getting for deals out there? - please let me know what options you added and the price you paid out the door.

    Also, Has anyone with a 2001 Grand Caravan had any transmission problems? I've read some of the boards on Edmunds regarding the transmission problems in the 2000 and earlier models and was wondering if they've been cleared up. It seems that the tranmissions have gone with as low as 35-40k miles, which is making me a bit weary of buying a Dodge.

    Thanks!
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    First on the transmission problems, from everything I've seen (usenet, Edmunds' town hall, Consumer Reports reliability data, JD Powers initial quality index, and the statement of mechanic who until recently worked at a Dodge dealership) the transmission was dramatically improved starting the in 1998 model year. It used to be that a percentage of these (about 15%, according to the mechanic) failed in the first 30k miles, and few went beyond 60k without repair. Now the number is less than 1% before 60k, according to the same source. Check out recent discussions in the Chrysler T&C and Dodge Grand Caravan news groups.

    As to prices, CarsDirect.com is usually a good starting point. Currently there is a low demand-to-supply ratio on these vehicles, which means unpublished factory-to-dealer incentives. Carsdirect.com's price in Mass. for a base GC ES AWD is $28,314, or about $300 above (the pre-advertising fee) invoice after the $2000 rebate. This should be your worst-case price. If you can find a dealer with lots of ES' in stock you should be able to go $1000 or more under (pre-advertising fee) invoice.
  • wingsneckwingsneck Posts: 3
    I was in Orlando at Disney with my family in April and rented a Dodge Grand Caravan. It really knocked my socks off in terms of comfort, feel and handling. I was leaning toward the Honda before this. Aside from the fact that the Dodge Grand Caravan doesn't have the third row fold away seat, I think this car blows the Odessey away. If the transmission issues have been resolved, then the Caravan is my car hands down. Thanks again!
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