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Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan 2005+

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,794
    Per the Rules of the Road link above, "when posting about your experience with a dealership, you may post only the dealership name, city, and state. You may not post a salesperson's name, phone numbers, email addresses, links to dealer web sites, etc."

     

    If you have a buying experience to talk about, please post in the Chrysler Voyager/Dodge Caravan: Prices Paid & Buying Experience discussion.

     

    thanks,

     

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Are there any other website/chat areas for Dodge Caravans?

     

    I just purchased an 05 GC SXT with sunroof, power hatch and tow package - LOVE IT!
  • Congrats dennisctc! We have had our '05 DGC SXT for about 6 weeks adn love it so far. The power tailgate was a real selling point. Good luck and keep us updated.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,794
    Try a net search. Per the Rules of the Road link above, Edmunds "does not allow links to, or promotions of automotive sites that host or contain message boards, forums or chats."

     

    Thanks and congrats on the SXT,

     

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    YES. But they are not worth your time. Edmunds contains the most information even though there are former owners of DC minivans who love to trash DaimlerChrysler here in Edmunds.

         Based on my research, the 05 GC SXT has the most nice features for the least money. The Odyssey seats are more comfortable than my 02 T&C LX but an Odyssey costs more and lacks many nice features that are on my bottom of the line T&C LX.
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    I agree with that--although as the current owner of a 2003 Chrysler van, I know as well as you do that the 2005 Grand Caravan has some issues. Honda has also stepped up and equipped the Odyssey LX VERY well with most of the nice features for the same money as a Grand Caravan SXT. Odyssey LX for 2005 is only missing some cosmetic features (power doors, roof rack, alloys, etc.) but does have traction control, side curtain airbags for all 3 rows, 250 HP engine, sliding door roll down windows, passenger air bag cutoff sensor and most other goodies along with a better ride and more comfortable seats. As the owner of three Dodge/Chrysler minivans over the last 10 years, I've never bought into the Honda hype--until seeing the new generations from both.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    It depends on which features you are looking. You look on the Odysseys engine which make 250 hp, but the main thing that counts is torque at a lower RPM which the DC vans does better, and even though the Ody has more HP (at a very high RPM) it weights several hundred Lbs. more. But I agree that Hondas engines are more refined.

     

    The DC vans also have over the Odyssey 3rd row quarter window which do open; compass & outside temperature LCD which also serve as a trip computer which the Ody offer only in the top-of-the-line Limited; and if you need it stow n' go is a major revolution; power liftgate on lower-end models; overhead railing system; and they do have now the passenger airbag cutoff system, plus they added a knee airbag; Ride is certainly better in the DC vans but Ody has better handling.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Dodge GC SXT, also has traction control,passenger airbag weight sensor.(if seat is empty, airbag will not go off in an accident)Side airbags are extra. But most of those (cosmetic features) are things most mini van buyers like and Dodge GC has them as standard equiptment. Plus stow n go seating.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    For me DC minivan comfort and convenience features are more important than sliding door roll down windows, lazy susan in the floor, OHC engine, etc. I prefer the rear opening side rear windows of a DC minivan to the roll down windows in the Odyssey sliding doors. Toyota was smart and has both on the Sienna.

        The Caravan SXT has separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger that is NOT on the Ody LX that costs $3,000 more. This nice feature is standard or optional on every DC minivan but the cheapest Caravan SE.

        One good Honda feature is the 2nd row seating that slides fore and aft which is available only on DC minivans with "Stow-N-Go". I would prefer having the 60/40 rear seating of the "Stow-N'Go" without the 2nd row seats that fold into the floor.

        After reliability and a good heater and air conditioner, the most important feature for me is the separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger which eliminates the Ody LX but is on the Caravan SXT that has MSRP $22,285 vs Ody LX $25,510.

        DC minivans are quieter with a smoother ride than the Odyssey. Honda needs to copy DC method for building a quiet van. DC already copied the 2004 Sienna 60/40 split 3rd row seat that folds into the floor after Toyota improved on the Magic Seat" that Honda introduced with the 1999 Odyssey.
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    I think we will need another car manufacturer to copy all the goodies from each of the minivans. I have a 2001 T&C Ltd and have no problem since day one. I would like to have a rowdownable second row windows like those in the Japanese Minis but I also prefer the manual/ auto sliding door and rear lift that DC Vans have...I think I read something about the rear liftgate of the Sienna cannot be manually closed so you really cannot force to shut it if you your luggage sticks out a little bit.
  • kfdmedkfdmed Posts: 130
    Can anyone explain to me why this option is nearly impossible to find on any GC/TC. I have searched dealer inventory in my area and cannot find one. Is it even available on a loaded up model? Looks like a Honda or Toyota for me. I wanted to consider a domestic but side/head airbags is a requirement. GM no. GC/TC cant find with option. The ford I wont consider.
  • Can anyone explain to me why this option is nearly impossible to find on any GC/TC. I have searched dealer inventory in my area and cannot find one. Is it even available on a loaded up model? Looks like a Honda or Toyota for me. I wanted to consider a domestic but side/head airbags is a requirement. GM no. GC/TC cant find with option. The ford I wont consider. << The airbags are standard on the T&C Limited. Other than that, they are hard to find on lots.
  • kfdmedkfdmed Posts: 130
    Thanks mrblonde49. I think the limited may be out of my price range even with the incentives.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I called the Dodge dealer and they had only one on the lot. They do not come standard as the Honda's do, but they can be ordered as an extra.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    DC has almost all of the nice features offered on any minivan.

         None of the DC "Stow-N-Go" minivans at the Auto Show had cloth seats. The leather seats are NOT as comfortable for me in these minivans as was the cloth seat 2005 GC SXT "Stow-N-Go" which I drove a year ago.

         Interestingly, when all minivans are closely compared using 10 items most important for my needs, the 2005 GC SXT scores 82...the highest of any minivan with Ody EX, Caravan SXT, and my 02 T&C LX getting 81. Sienna LE scored 80.
  • kfdmedkfdmed Posts: 130
    And what are those 10 features? I thought I would go with either the Sienna or Ody but with the incentives on GC its hard to justify the price difference. I am well aware of the resale differences but I like the up front savings. I see an awful lot of used Ody in the paper that dont seem to be selling. Way overpriced.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    10 items of most importance to me are: front seat comfort and leg room, 2nd row seats, 3rd row seats, dual zone temp for front seats, cargo space, additional cargo space (total + ease of access), complete overhead console with compass/outside temp and trip computer, power, fuel economy, advertised cost.

         I can easily see why the Odyssey or Sienna would score higher than DC for some people who prefer Honda or Toyota, want 8 passenger seating, or who had a bad experience with a Chrysler minivan when they had a virtual monopoly on minivans.

         After owning a 1970 Dodge van, it took over 30 years for me to even consider a Chrysler product. I am now a very satisfied owner of a 2002 T&C LX, which based on actual mileage it has delivered, would rank THE highest of any minivan with a score of 84. No reason for me to sell it or trade it on a new 2005 Odyssey EX after very closely comparing all new minivans last weekend.
  • I am currently in the process of surveying the van market, so my info is fresh and up to date. I have owned 6 minivans over the last 20 years ('86 DC, '88 Astro, '93 DGC, '96 DGC, '98 DGC, "04 DGC) so I do have some experience in this area.

      For most of those years, the foreign-made mini-vans were all too small for me (Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mazda), particularly for the money. A lot less space for a lot more money never made sense. It seems like those companies finally understood that and the 2004 models finally offered space that rivaled the Chrysler extended models.

      I bought the 2004 model with the understanding that Chrysler wasn't going to come out with a seat stowing feature any time soon. The dealer snookered me....two months later, the 2005s came out early (in March '05). I have been steaming ever since, especially since I asked the salesmen specifically about that option. Now I am trying to scramble to get some value out of my 2004 GC SXT before it becomes a relic.

      My discontent led me to check out other manufacturers. While their prices are still high in their top of the line models, they have made incredible progress in the mini-van market and certainly closed the space to cost ration considerably.

      I have checked them all out and here are my opinions:

     

    Chrysler mini-vans: still probably the most competitive BUT only because their incentives are the best in the market. Their interior styling and comfort factors are slipping. The extended SXT or equivalent models offer the best value for space-cost ratio.

     

    Nissan Quest: Wow, was this a surprise. The old Quest was blah...the new Quest model is rah, rah! The 2004 models had lots of quality issues so I don't recommend them. BUT they solved those issues with the 2005 model and then some. The are actually bigger than the GC models and their interior styling is exceptional. Very comfortable and extremely well enginnered (wider side openings for ease of entrance)...plus their pricing at the SL model trim package level is very competitive with Chrysler. If they had offered me a decent number on my 2004 GC SXT trade, I would have bought one.

     

    Toyota Sienna: Still the standard for quality excellence and Toyota finally made them big enough for the American appetite. However, Toyota's appetite for high prices continues to push them off my list for comparable features and options. I was a faithful Toyota buyer until the late 80s, early 90s....and haven't bought one since. I like their quality and long-term value but they still think they are $5-10K better than the competition...and that just isn't true anymore.

     

    Honda Odyssey: I will give them their own line out of respect for their value. They also have increased their size but their pricing still reflects their arrogance about the value difference of their product. The extra money you put into Toyota and Honda products is only worth it if you are going to drive the vehicle until it drops....like 250-300K miles. Most people don't do that and will be getting rid of it long before that. Sure they hold their value but to be honest, that is only true among Toyota and Honda faithfuls.

     

    GMC(brands), Ford, Mazda, Hyundai, Kia, etc mini-vans: All the other mini-vans fall into this catch-all category. Some are smaller and some are bigger but by comparison, they are either clunky, poorly designed, have cheap interiors or offer less reliability than those previously mentioned. I wouldn't recommend any of them for the money.
  • cwaynecwayne Posts: 81
    just purchased grand caravan sxt with power liftgate and sliding doors. sticker price, 28100, 2000 discount, 2000 rebate, 1300 over trade in price (re:edmunds)on trade in (no equity on trade in) and 0% financing on entire amount for 60 months.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,794
    Please post a report over in Chrysler Town & Country: Prices Paid & Buying Experience too. Thanks!

     

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I had complained in another posts that the new cars did not put out cool fresh air through the vents like some of the older ones, that had a door that you could open that would let cool outside air in.

     

    The fresh air coming from my Dodge Dakota was always about 20 degrees warmer than the outside air. But after buying this Dodge mini van, I see the problem was that the Dakota did not have a button on it to do away with re-cirulating air and give me direct outside air as the van and our Civic has. I was just blowing the air around that was already in the truck, with no way to change it but open up the windows or turn on the A/C.

     

    With all the little things Chrysler took off their cars, trucks and vans to save money, I am glad to see they added this to the vans at least. Don't know if the new Dakota has the re-circulating button now or not. Sure glad the van does though.
  • svevarsvevar Posts: 160
    Dealers are just reluctant to order it. You'll have to order one from the factory, or look elsewhere to find a van that has the curtains as standard.

     

      -- Mark
  • kfdmedkfdmed Posts: 130
    I have found you get the best deals on vehicles on the dealers lot. Do the side airbags provide any protection to kids in car/booster seats? Thats who will be back there 90% of the time. Maybe I dont require them after all.
  • Just bought a new GC SXT Special Edition to replace an 03 GC EX. It is great so far. These Special Editions are hard to find, at least in Denver. Went to a no haggle dealer and since it was the end of the month they were haggling. They knocked $2500 off MSRP of 32780 instead of their $1200 plus $3500 rebate. They also threw in an extra pair of head sets for the DVD and Permaplate coating on the paint, leather and carpet.
  • boatsboats Posts: 19
    Hi All - I'm seriously considering a GC SXT or the T&C touring with a tow package. I'm in Orange County, CA and I'm looking for a recommendation for a dealer with a good service dept. (who to avoid wouldn't hurt either). I really like the van for a number of reasons, but I'd like it even more if I knew the dealership was really good about warranty repairs and reasonable on basic maintenance costs. Any input would be appreciated.

     

    Thanks, Boats
  • dougkdougk Posts: 1
    We've been looking at the 2005 T&Cs but the front seats sit too high. I'm 6'2" and I'm staring at the top of the windshield frame when sitting in the passenger seat.

     

    Is there any way to lower it?
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I purchased a 2005 GC SXT with tow, power hatch and sunroof just before xmas. I live in Detroit though. Love it so far!!!

     

    One issue with purchase.....the tow package comes only with the 4 pin connection on the harness. I had to purchase a new harness with the 7 pin round (USCar style) connector...$130. I plan on towing a small Coleman Popup RV with it.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    In the DC SXT overhead console, there is a small green light, whenever I push any button on the overhead console my hands lights green from that lamp. Has anyone an idea what that lamp is for?
  • You know, that's a good question. We have the same light in our 2001 GC to which I can't find it mentioned anywhere in the owners manual.
  • It's a ambient light meant to softly illuminate your center console and cup holders at night. A nice touch if you ask me.
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