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Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager

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  • I think people missed the point.

    Having driven a GC for almost 7 years ('96 LE and '03 ex) I dont know if I can ever go back to a passenger car.

    I can tell you that in Austria last year I drove a '02 Chrysler Voyager on the Autobahn at 180 kilometers (that's 110 mph) and it was smoothhhhhhh and quietttttt!!

    Please keep sharing the adventures/opinions of other mini van drivers (good and bad).

    Thx,

    Opa
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,153
    My brother has an '00 Caravan (can't ever remember the flavor). It's a nice ride - did a 14 hour road trip in it two summers ago. Our Quest is pushing 79,000 miles now and it's still comfy.

    But we're planning on adding a wagon to the fleet here in Boise. That'll be interesting since we've mostly only driven vans since '89.

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  • I'm looking for a used DC, and It's important to me that the rear seats be easy to remove and/or the middle seat back folds down. Does anyone know what year these features were implemented, or where I might find out?
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    All the seats are easy to remove but they are heavy, especially the last row. The middle seat backs don't fold down.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    If the middle seats are the quad seats, the seat backs do fold flat.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    Anyone out there purchased or even seen a Caravan SXT with ABS? I've seen some great deals advertised on SXTs recently, as low as $17,500, and the equipment on them is just about perfect for me except for lack of ABS. The Dodge web site does not mention ABS on the SXT. GCSes are being advertised close to $20k and those have ABS, but I've been thinking about getting a short-wheelbase van the next time (have a GCS now).
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,153
    Magic Minivan Moments

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  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    And I've only owned two, an 85 and a 96 (still have the 96). They'll probably be up to 13 million or so by the time the next one is purchased. Maybe I should enter and could own a new one at no cost!
  • mrnimmomrnimmo Posts: 271
    >"Our game plan is to take any vehicles in the line of Mercedes commercial vans in Europe that are appropriate for sale in the U.S. market," said Jim Schroer, Chrysler's executive vice president of global sales and marketing.

    This means not only the Vito, but any other vehicle "that make sense," he said.

    http://www.autonews.com/article.cms?articleId=41553

    So the next Dodge van might be a caravito... or a vitavan. Dodge styling with MB engines and trannies might be an irresistible combination.
  • mrnimmomrnimmo Posts: 271
    No comments?
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    This thread is not among the most active, in case you haven't noticed!
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    With all the rebates and special financing Chrysler is offering, I'm considering trading. My 2001 Voyager is about $5000 upside down, but my dealer is offering me a 2003 Voyager LX with quad seating, ABS, keyless, and roof rack (all things my current van does not have) for a payment the same as what I have now. I just have to figure out if I want to start over on a new loan or have mine paid off in only 3 more years. I would love the captain's chairs, though!
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    Today I traded my 2001 Voyager for a 2003 Voyager LX. It has quad captains, ABS and a few other things my 1st one did not have. Thanks to the interest rates they have today, I lowered my payment $25/mo--not bad considering I was about $5000 upside down on my trade!
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    I have noticed three things right away where Chrysler is attempting to save production costs with new vans. My 2001 Voyager had two lights on the inside of the rear hatch for illumination while my 2003 has only one. The 2001 had vents in the arm rests of the front doors to help direct air to the back, the 2003 does not. The third is one I noticed with the 2002 models. They took the name "CHRYSLER" of of the front doors and put it on the rear hatch. The name on the side was great as the new ones look much more generic on the sides. Oh well, I guess they have to save money somewhere. I noticed the 2003 says it gets 20 mpg on the sticker, where my 2001 advertised 18 mpg (which is about what it would get). I wonder how they squeezed out 2 more mpg?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    >>> I wonder how they squeezed out 2 more mpg? <<<

    Fewer parts = less weight = better mpg? ;-)
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,153
    Congrats on the new ride!

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  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    Maybe. I did notice last night a piece at the base of the windshield that I do not remember my 2001 Voyager having. It is a curved piece of black plasticy material near the windshield wipers that--IMO--works to help push air over the van to maybe lower drag and raise mileage. I don't know. Maybe the fact that my last van was dark green and my new van is white means I just did not notice it before.
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    Just got back from a week in Florida in my new 2003 Voyager LX. It did wonderfully. I took out half of the split rear bench and had tons of space. The captain's chairs meant no fighting between my 2 and 4 year old boys at all! Chrysler must have changed the suspension or something between 2001 and 2003 because my new van seemed much more stable on the road. At highway speeds a passing semi in the other direction had no affect on my van. It rained almost the whole way down and the van seemed to hold the road real well. I had one pretty hard braking incident on the way down in the rain and I could feel slight pulses in the brake pedal from the ABS doing its job. Overall, I'm very pleased!
  • tollelegetollelege Posts: 10
    I have a 97 Voyager with 3.0 liter V6 nearing 100K miles. I can't find any recommendations on changing the timing belt vis-a-vis mileage. I have the official Chrysler shop manual and the procedure looks pretty ugly. I would assume that since it is a chain, it is a little more robust than a belt. What's the concensus on if and when it should be changed. Thanks.
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    "I would assume that since it is a chain..." You answered your own question. You don't have a timing belt--you have a timing chain. Generally speaking, you don't change timing chains. They pretty much run forever. There may be a chain pretensioner or something may need replacing periodically, but timing chains do not. Have you called your local Chrysler dealer to see what they say on the subject?
  • We just bought a 2002 Caravan SE with just over 35,000 km. We had tested it out in the city but live 110 km outside of the city. On the way home on the highway, we noticed that it pulled left too much. We took it back to the dealership and they aligned the front end. It was out 3 degree.
    This did not fix the problem, we have had it in 3 times and they have rotated the tires, re-adjusted the alignment etc but it still wants to wander. Strange thing is, it does not only wander to the left but also to the right. You have to constantly correct the steering yet the head mechanic says it is the way the Caravan handles. The dealership allowed us to try another Caravan, same model. year and mileage and it was much better.
    Anyone had this problem and know what it might be? The dealership has promised to fix it but we need to figure it what to fix !
    You can email us at candlemaker@telus.net if you have any info. Thanks for the help.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Well, after almost 5 years and 75,000 miles, my wife has decided to trade in our 1998 GC Sport with the 3.8 liter mill for a 2003 GC ES. We are placing the order this afternoon, and the dealership tells us that it should be in by mid June. Interestingly enough, our GC Sport cost us something like $27,000 five years ago, and with the $3,500 rebate our new ES (with Supplemental side air bags, Security alarm, Adjustable pedals, Rear seat DVD video system, Leather seats, Heated front seats, Wireless headphones, Rear cargo organizer and Tire pressure monitoring system) is going to cost just a hair over $30,000 (the dealer is selling it to us at invoice).

    If all of that isn't good enough, Dodge is now offering a free portable DVD player with the purchase of any new 2003 Caravan. All you need to do is perform a "Build your own Caravan" on the Dodge web site, and you will be presented with the option of filling out a form for an eCertificate for the free player.

    I was trying to talk my wife into either the BMW 525iT 5-Speed wagon or a new Chrysler Pacifica, but she wanted the space and utility of the Caravan, so that's what we are doing. :-/

    Regarding our experience with our current van, it has 75,000 miles on it, and is as fast, rattle free and tight as the day we bought it. That and the fact that it has only seen the inside of a dealership twice since it was purchased (30K and 60K service) has proven to us that this is a great vehicle. Other than those two scheduled services, the only things that the van has needed has been normal oil changes (I use Mobil 1 and change every 7,500 miles), wiper blades (annually), front brake pads and rotors at 30K miles and again at 65K miles (I do them myself, and I do use a torque wrench, which seems to eliminate any problem of warping the rotors), and tires at 48K miles.

    I'll keep y'all posted on the new van.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    Mine is at almost 50k, and I agree with your overall assessment that this is a great vehicle for the price. We plan to running it for another couple of years before looking at alternatives.

    Did you look at the new Sienna at all? I would love to hear your thoughts on that if you did.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Interestingly enough, our dealership is a Dodge/Nissan/Toyota dealership, however, they did not have any Siennas at all to look at (the only had a couple of low-end Caravans in stock as well). Looking at the brochure seemed to be enough for Mrs. Shipo, being an extremely visual person (former clothing designer, current development and production manager for a division of Liz Claiborne), she did not like the look of the front end of the Sienna at all. I of course looked at the "Specs" and it seems that these two vans are remarkably similar in size, utility and performance, with a slight overall edge to the Toyota. Assuming, that is, that you like the look.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    ...just like in my household, what the lady wants the lady gets.

    Thanks for the reply though.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    What is the difference between the "Climate Group III" of the GC eX and the "Climate Group IV" of the GC ES?

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    We are picking up our new GC ES today, so I will post a little later this weekend with our impressions on the differences between that and our (soon to be) former 1998 GC Sport.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    Plus, if you have the time, how about a "wrap-up" on your old 98 GCS? I have to hang onto my 99 GCS for a bit longer, so far at 51K, and doing okay I guess.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,153
    It has been a bit quiet in here. My brother was out visiting earlier this month in their '00 Caravan (I never can remember the model but it's spiffier than my base Quest).

    I've spent ~20 hours in it over the last couple of years, and it's a nice ride. Drives good too. He's up to ~60,000 miles including the 5,500 mile recent road trip out here and back, and nary a problem.

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