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Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager

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  • BKSuttonBKSutton Posts: 23
    Wife and I test drove a Limited about 1.5 months ago (live in SE Pennsylvania) and discovered to our pleasure that it had the 50/50 split rear seat in lieu of the bench. No-cost option from Chrysler; not some kind of dealer swap out

    -- BKS
  • The crash test results are finally posted on the NHTSA web site for 2001 Chrysler/Dodge minivans. Check it out! http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/ncap/cars/2001Vans.html
  • ed12ed12 Posts: 100
    Does anyone know why Options such as traction control, automatic climate control, power liftgate and split third row are not available on the standard wheelbase Chrysler minivans?

    Ed
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    And they indicate only one thing: How does the vehicle perform in specific test conditions? Still better to stay alert, drive defensively, and AVOID the accident.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    With option group 25K. Caravan Sport option 25K also lists 50/50 split 3rd seat.
    Automatic climate control is part of the Three Zone Temperature Control WITH rear air conditioner. Since there is no rear air available with short wheelbase, there is no Three Zone and no Automatic Climate Control. Can't understand why Traction Control and power liftgate not available.
  • fsteinke1fsteinke1 Posts: 1
    If you have a lot of problems with your new veichle....I think the name of the place to contact is Consumer law center....(On your Computer)They handle the whole thing and it doesn't cost you anything...When I bought my 99 T&C all wheel drive in Aug 98.. I had to take back to dealership 4 times...I contacted them...They said a veichle should not have to go back that many times in short period..I setteled with chrysler...And Chrysler paid there fee;s I would recommend them highly...Any Questions EM me....Fsteil12@aol.com....
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Yes, avoiding the accident is always better of course, but unfortunately you can't always avoid the person running a red light and smashing into you, just as you wrote in the Odyssey topic :-)

    Drive carefully!

    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    Improved a lot relative to 1996-2000, but still disappointing in that it falls short of others in this class. Nice to see it did so well in the side crashes, especially for the rear seat, as that's where the really precious cargo goes! But looking at the raw scores it's clear that the Chrysler was outperformed by other minivans even on the side tests.

    It'll be interesting to see how it does in the offset crash and European crash tests, which should give a better overall picture.

    carleton1 -- crash test scores are also important for good drivers. Ever heard of someone being hit while stopped? You can reduce your risk of accident through defensive driving but cannot eliminate the risk.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Currently, I am helping my Sister and Brother in law to pick their next new vehicle. I am the family's 'Car Guru' therefore, everyone wants my help when it comes to a new car purchase.

    My sister really wants a new mini van this time as their current vehicle, a '99 Honda Accord LX sedan' is getting short in space since my nearly year old Nephew's arrival. The Accord is not a very accomodating vehicle for parents with babies...trunk space is minimal and the car seat literally takes up the rear seat room.

    They have budgeted around $20K for a new car and as far as minivans go, the Chrysler products are the lowest priced minivans in the market making them a heck of a value. Most other vans from Toyota, Honda, Ford, Mazda retail at much higher price points. The GM minivans have good powertrains but their safety scores are extremely dissapointed. We had bad experiences with Ford products, so the windstar is out of question. The Toyota and Honda vans are very nice, but very expensive and for what I have been reading here in Town Hall, they do have their share of problems.

    This leaves us with the Chrysler Voyager/Dodge Caravan. Last weekend we went to a Chrysler dealer and test drove a 'base' 2001 Voyager with the 2.4L engine and the 3-speed automatic. The van was silver (very beautiful vehicle by the way, not bad looking for a basic version)and had manual cranking windows and a basic AM/FM radio and A/C. Basically this is all they want if the settle for the Voyager.

    I drove it myself, I enjoyed the quality of the ride and the general presentation of the cabin. Room and comfort are unbeatable at this price. The steering seemed a bit on the 'Vague' side or too overassisted and the engine while it haul the van, was sluggish off line.

    I understand that most Voyager/Caravan buyers opt for the 3.3L V6 but I would like to receive feedback from owners of the 2.4L 4-Cyl engine. Is it a good reliable powerplant? Any known issues with it? The salesperson told me the engine is a Mitsubishi powerplant. Is this the case?

    My sister doesn't really care about the extra punch of the V6 and I know she'll be a happy camper with the base engine.

    Another area of concern is the 3-speed automatic. Is it more reliable than the infamous Chrysler 4-speed automatic? Alsp, any feedback on this would be appreciated.

    We were also waiting for the NHTSA safety test results before making a final decision. By coincedence, these were made public yesterday and while not as good as the competition, I think the vans still feared pretty well.

    The $2000 cash rebate or the $1000 rebate and special 5.9% deals are very tempting and hard to pass. These will expire on 7/3/01, so time is of an essence to make a final decision on this purchase.

    Overall, we all liked the van, but would like to hear comments from 2.4L Voyager owners that 'Have been there and done that".

    Appreciate everyone's input as we are looking to get it this weekend.

    Cheers!
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    A person can be struck by a careless driver. I completed a defensive driving course years ago and was impressed with the many preventive items that may not be recognized by most people without the benefit of attending an excellent defensive driving course.
    For me, a 5 star rating is NOT as important as having comfort items in a 4 star rated vehicle. My insurance company (USAA) gives me a nice discount based on safety RECORD of the Grand Caravan line of quality vehicles. Apparently USAA is more impressed with performance in the real world than the carefully controlled, deliberate crashes which determine the number of stars a vehicle will be awarded for a deliberate crash.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    We test drove a Caravan a few years ago with the 2.4L 4 cyl and then drove a Grand Caravan SE with 3.3L V6. I was amazed at how much quieter, smoother riding, etc. the GC with 3.3L was over the 2.4L Caravan.
    My sister had an 86 Caravan with a 4 cyl engine 3 speed AT and loved it...except for the lethargic performance. However, she lives at higher altitude (4400 feet elevation) which may have reduced the performance of the engine. The 2001 4 cyl probably has much more power than did the 4 cyl in 1986. They got it used with 11,000 miles and sold it with 170,000 miles and zero problems. The 3rd owner was still enjoying it the last I heard.
    However, a Caravan or Voyager with 4 cyl, few options and $2000 cash rebate is an excellent value. A 2001 Odyssey LX at $24,340 MSRP offers many more features....but the $6000 or so dollars less for a Caravan indicates why DC sell so many base Caravan and Voyager.
    BTW, we got a loaded 99 GC SE for $4900 off MSRP. At $22,590 our GC SE is a terrific vehicle. By comparison, discounts on Caravan were not very much in March 1999 so the small price difference swayed us to the loaded GC SE.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    The 2001 Caravan/Voyager 2.4L 4-Cyl is rated at around 150HP. It is lethargic off the line but once it moves, it moves. We live in Florida at sea level, so it shouldn't be a problem.

    Any Other feedback from current (Or prospective) 2001 Caravan/Voyager oweners with the 2.4L 4-cyl engine?
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    Regarding reliability, as has been pointed out in various posts in Edmunds, the reliability of the 4-speed auto SEEMS to have been dramatically improved starting in MY 1998. However, prior to that it was generally accepted in the mechanic community that the 3-speed was the way to go if you wanted to avoid transmission trouble.

    Regarding the expiring rebate ... don't sweat the deadline. You can count on the incentive being extended, or even sweetened. Recent press articles indicate that slow minivan sales continued through May, so additional incentives are expected.

    Don't forget that there is a $500 published factory-to-dealer incentive on these minivans, and there also seem to be unpublished factory-to-dealer incentives as well.
  • mrnimmomrnimmo Posts: 271
    Recline? Fold Forward? Can't seem to find a base on the lot here. 2.4/3speed would be fine, but I don't want those upright-only seats like I've seen in older base model DC's.
  • mrnimmomrnimmo Posts: 271
    I meant the rear seats.
  • pranpranpranpran Posts: 1
    Buying a new Caravan. Mostly use by self 1/2 highway and 1/2 city. Is the 3.3 xk (now have 3.8 with my 96 town and country and do not want less power but Chrysler says new engine configuration would not sacrifice power. I do not do towing. Any opinions if 3.3 is xk? Does this create a possible problem for the transmission?
  • I had a 96 Plymouth Voyager with the 3.3L, while not the same as your T&C, I can relate to the power gains in 96' vs. 2001 models.....My 96 3.3 was 150 hp. I now have a 01 GC with 3.3L (180) hp. A noticable improvement matched with a new Tranny. While I personally do like more displacement (3.8L, I believe is 215 hp), the 3.3L gets up and goes and holds it own on highway usage. If towing, I'd get the 3.8L just for the added power. I tow but use my Ford Powerstroke diesel for that and can't see pulling something over 1,000 lbs with a front wheel drive only minivan. If not, towing, you'll probably not notice any power loss compared to your 96' 3.8L due to improved hp and new tranny.

    Side question: Anyone know the info on the 136,000 van recall previously posted, I tried the link and it was not longer a top article......
  • fcas2004fcas2004 Posts: 15
    shelbydog25:
    As I understand the recall, it impacts non-remote-powered side doors only. The article I read in the NY Times indicated that this impacts roughly 1/3 of the Chrylser minivans.
  • bobb97bobb97 Posts: 1
    Any thoughts as to the acceptability and long term durability of the 2.4 liter 4 cyl. in the 2000 or 2001 Voyager? The 2001 seems smooth handling, quiet but a bit slow (we are in flat Florida which helps). Pricing is very favorable now (~17K plus tax with cruise, tilt, pwr locks and windows). A 2000 is less refined but 400 lb lighter. I am afraid of the 4speed automatic with the 6cyl.
    Currently own 4cyl, 3spd auto Acclaim and Shadow convert with no problems. Also 93 V6 Voyager, smoking a little and one tranny failure at 60K.
  • dkrabdkrab Posts: 77
    I have noted that there are several posts indicating that the 98 and newer transmissions seem to be much better. Well, I would not be so sure. Most who are familiar with the 4speed transmission problems are quite aware that they manifest themselves at 55k miles and up. There are not yet enough 98's out there with that many miles on them to know for sure the demons have been exorcised.

    If you like the DC van, get the extended warranty, period. I was told when I bought my 91 Grand Voyager 3.3L that the transmission problems were fixed. In spite of careful maintenance with only Mopar 7176 fluid, the transmission went out at 58k. Chrysler paid for it because of the 7/70 warranty. They put in a Mopar rebuilt unit, along with a new tranny computer (mounted on the firewall). I was told the rebuilt unit had all the latest updates. It has about 72k miles on it and has given no trouble at all so far.

    There is a fair chance that I won't have any trouble with this transmission, and there is a fair chance that the newest transmissions are better, but we are talking about a BIG expenditure here, and the Chrysler vans are no longer the only players in the minivan market.
    I will be buying a new minivan within the next 6-8 months. I will carefully look at what Chrysler is offering. But, they are in an uphill battle to win my business again, all things considered. It's not just the transmission, either. Ring job done at about 58K (7/70 warranty), a/c compressor at about 112K (not too out of the ordinary, but the price for the "variable displacement" compressor is enormous; aren't parts for domestics supposed to be less expensive?), Mopar struts don't last (replaced with Monroe, much much better), welds on the front door are breaking, oil leaks onto driveway, even after it's been "fixed" once already, inner tie rods worn out, starter replaced at about 65k (7/70 did NOT cover it), sliding door cannot be adjusted to be flush when closed (since new), tailgate lift struts mounting bolts broke, dropping the tailgate (recalled), fuel rail sprayed gas all over the top of the engine at about 95k (new part is "updated," but Chrysler refused to pay for replacement), serpentine belt tensioner broke, throwing the belt off and disabling power steering, paint peeled off (Chrysler paid for repainting panels one at a time, as they became "affected"), it's developing a knock in the engine (oil and filter changed like clockwork), windshield wiper mechanism bushings broke (but the wipers still worked), numerous other little things not worth mentioning.

    On the plus side, it still has the original alternator, power steering pump and rack, water pump, catalytic converter; it uses no oil (after ring job, anyway); I get a lot of miles out of tires (50K) and brake pads/shoes (40K front, 100K back; caught the tie rods before they could eat up the tires), interior upolstery has held up remarkably well, except for a few loose screws here and there, only replaced the battery twice. It always starts easily, and it has never left my wife stranded, even when the transmission failed (limp-home mode in 2nd gear).
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    Prior to '98, the DC minivan transmissions went out at an alarming rate starting from the get-go. According to one former Dodge mechanic, about 15% were replaced under the 3/36 warranty. The transmissions were a major reason that Consumer Reports put all three DC long-wheelbase minivan models on their short list of least reliable cars. And all sources indicate that the vast majority of transmissions failed well before 100k miles.

    Starting in MY1998, reports are better. Consumer Reports gives the DC long wheelbase minivans an "average reliability" starting that year. JD Powers initial quality rating improved dramatically. Edmunds reliability rating for 1998 was much higher than previous (the rating is not available yet for later model years). And the same former Dodge mechanic says that warranty tranmission repairs dropped to about 1% starting in 1998.

    Of course, if you're still in the 1% this is bad news (I'm sure that by writing all these "transmissions have improved" posts I'm jinxing my '01 T&C). And yes, dkrab is right that there is no guarantee the quality improvement will persist when the 98 and later MY minivans start hitting the range of 50k+ miles. And there are still a host of other problems with these minivans. But, the weight of evidence is that tranny quality improved in '98.
  • sewjsewj Posts: 1
    I need a vehicle for my work that requires storage space and takes about 35k miles a year well. I do not need a cargo van and want to by used probably between 1997-'98 models. I wanted to know which minivan is the most reliable when it comes to high mileage. Anyone have a suggestion.
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    If you're looking for the most reliable used minivan, circa 97-98, you're in the wrong discussion group. Your best bet is the Toyota Sienna. The only issue for you might be cargo room, as the Toyota is narrower by about half a foot than the largest minivans.

    If you insist on a larger interior than a Sienna then for 1997-8 you have to choose between the Chrysler/Plymouth/Dodge, Ford Windstar, and GMC/Chevy Astro. Not exactly star reliability performers. Of these I'd go with a '98 Chrysler and cross my fingers.
  • a2za2z Posts: 2
    We are selling our 1992 Grand Caravan LE. This was a very good van for us. Never had the Tranny problems everyone eludes to. But I have to say I am very diligent in the area of maintenance. I service my own vehicles even though I can afford for others to work on them. I don't trust the work people do today.

    My wife wanted a new van so we got another Grand Caravan in the Sport model. We got it with the following options: inferno red, side air bags, power right door, and the customer package 25H. This baby drives beautifully. Alot smoother than the 92.

    I got a great deal on it also. I shopped around quite a bit and used the Internet for my research. I went to Douglas County Dodge in Georgia. They advertised the AC sport in the paper with the 25H package for $20999, includes the $2000 rebate. This price applied to all their sports. If there was a sport with additional options on the lot, they just added the invoice pricing of the option to that price. They also had the ES for 27,999, includes the $2000 rebate.

    They only catch was they had a $399 documentation fee. I ended up paying $1400 under invoice without the $2000 rebate. We took the 3.9% financing. The total vehicle cost $23836 plus Tax, tag, and title.

    We shopped around quite a bit. Honda's are suppose to be more reliable but the exterior/ interior colors are blah. The interior "plushness" reminds me of a cheap 4 cyl car. There was significantly more wind and engine noise.

    We almost got the Winstar, but became spooked by their problems with the 3.8L head gaskets. It also had significantly more wind and engine noise.

    The Sienna and Quest appeared to be much smaller and did not drive as nice.

    The Gm vans had lousy crash test results.

    So here we are back in a Dodge. Here's to another 10 years of smooth sailing. fingers crossed, knock on wood. But to tell you the truth, if you read these boards all Manufacturer's Minivans have writeups about poor maintenance. Most people who are happy with their vehicles, don't post. So you end up with are the few people who had a problem with their car. All cars are susceptable to failure, they are mechanical.
  • dparis1dparis1 Posts: 45
    Everything is included in this price.
    Leather, heated seats,alarm,roof rack,package 29s,
    power liftgate,4 disc changer,
  • dparis1dparis1 Posts: 45
    Everything is included in this price.
    Leather, heated seats,alarm,roof rack,package 29s,
    power liftgate,4 disc changer
    This was the invoice price. ES's are hard to come by with all the options one may want. You can place an order for a 2002 but will lose out on the rebate or finance.
  • dwgutwirdwgutwir Posts: 60
    Well. my wife and I finally bit the bullet and bought a '01 T&C LXI.

    Here's what we got
    Patriot Blue w/Taupe interior (leather)
    29 U package
    side air bags
    heated seats
    4 disc cd changer
    roof rack
    power liftgate
    touring suspension
    3.8 liter motor

    The only thing I really wanted, but didn't get (my wife didn't care) was the load leveling suspension. We don't often carry heavy loads (the occasional Home Depot run), so it probably doesn't matter much.
    We wanted the tow package, but couldn't find one with all the other options we wanted. Its not likely we'll need to tow during the time we'll own the van anyway.

    We were looking at a couple of LTDs, but I couldn't justify the extra $1800 or so for a couple of extras that would have been nice (memoiry seats), but not really necessary. I know getting the LTD would have gotten me my load leveling suspension, but $1800 is still $1800.

    Price out the door (including the rebate) without taxes, tags and doc fees (they wouldn't budge) was $29240. Any opinions on how we did (I can accept some bad news)
  • tc3388tc3388 Posts: 1
    I have owned the T&C EX for few weeks, like it so far; but one thing is bothering me is that I felt the vibration in dashboard and steeling wheel when the two engine cooling fans were activated. I wonder if any EX owner has this problem? Thank you in advance.
  • dweiner2dweiner2 Posts: 1
    Can anyone tell what a reasonable price would be for the Canadian version of the2001 Caravan SE? I live in the Ottawa area market.

    Thanks.
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