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Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan 2005+

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  • How do u like the Stow n Go seats?? Are they low to ground beneath van??.. Concerned...
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I love them. Not as thick or comfortable as the pull out seats, but they aren't bad. Van doesn't seem to set any lower. Gobs of storage space with both seats up.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    you can't slide the seats together to make a bench like my old Chevy!!! So Lucy has to lay on the floor :(

     

    I on the other hand LOVE EM!!! They were the deciding factor over Honda (plus a $9000 advantage when you factor in rebates and supplier discount).
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Dodge web site lists a Grand Caravan SE with "J" package that includes 60/40 Split 3rd row and has a standard 2nd row bench. There is an optional 2nd-Row Buckets with rear 60/40 Split Bench Seating for $745 or optional Dlx Bench Seats w/2 Child, Rear 60/40 Stow'N Go for $225.

         None of the Window Stickers for the 2005 GC SE minivans in Dodge dealer inventory listings show a 2005 GC SE with this configuration...nor does Edmunds.

         This is a Grand Caravan SE and is not to be confused with the Grand Caravan SE Plus.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Just FYI guys....

     

    I picked up the 3rd storage bin/table combo. I'm a huge camper and table will come in handy, and the bin will protect the hole when I throw firewood etc...in there!

     

    One comment....I thought it was a bit pricey$$$ $250 total, but the table is very well constructed with metal braces etc...
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    For those of you that don't have a front center console. Pep Boys is selling them to fit Chrysler type mini vans for around $45.00. They have a big center storage compartment, with a sliding lockable lid. A place to put four drinking cups, two for front and two for the second row.Slots front and back for tissues, pens & etc. Also has a open storage bin on top for coins,pins, ect. It can be screwed to the floor if you want, or just sit between the seats. It come in a two tone grey and black. Great price and very nice console. Costs way less than factory console.
  • After a lot of research and test-driving 5 different minivans, I ended up buying an '05 T & C Touring with no options. That seemed like the best value to me. I test-drove a Dodge SXT, but that seemed noisier inside to me than the Chrysler, but I can't prove it. I looked hard at at Toyota Sienna XLE, and it did have a smoother, more responsive engine,but I couldn't see that the Sienna was worth the extra $5-6,000. The $3500. rebates made the difference for me.
  • I've had my new '05 T & C Touring for 4 days now, and I'm pleasantly surprised how well everything works. Cars are sure much improved over cars of yesteryear. I have only one complaint with the vehicle, and that's the transmission, which tends to shift too soon under light throttle. (my typical driving pattern) This makes the car seem less powerful than it really is. It goes into 2nd gear at only 10 mph. The big problem is it goes into 3rd gear at 25, then in just 2 seconds, it slides into 4th gear at only 28 mph. Then it lugs and grunts briefly until speed gets above 30. With more leadfoot driving, the shift points seem more appropriate. I heard about how the computers in today's cars learn your driving patterns and make adjustments to the transmission and throttle with time. There may be some truth to this.The first couple days, the car seemed slightly hesitant getting off the line, but the past 2 days, it's much better in that regard. Have the rest of you had problems like mine, or is it a non-issue? I doubt if a dealer will help me, or can they?
  • It is an adaptive transmission. There is nothing wrong with early up-shifts under light throttle on level roads. Think of the better fuel economy you're getting. As you stated, it will shift later with spirited driving, so there's nothing wrong with your transmission.
  • I have the same tranny in my '05 DGC SXT. Put the boot to the throttle. Break it in a bit and it will feel fine. The engine will gain power through the break-in process as well.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I have about 2300 on my new DGC SXT....had oil changed once etc...even though dealer says new cars don't have break in etc...

     

    Any other suggestions? What is considered broken in??? Thanks!!!
  • I have about the same mileage on mine. Have you noticed a increase in power? I definitely feel more power now that it's got some miles on it. I am waiting until 3K for the 1st oil change.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Has everyone read the manual on how they want you to break in your engine on the 2005? It also takes a different grade oil.
  • kfdmedkfdmed Posts: 130
    I see where 5W-20 is the required oil but where does it mention how to break in your engine? In general I think the owners manual is average at best. The manuals for my two GM cars are much more detailed and have more illustrations.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    "I see where 5W-20 is the required oil but where does it mention how to break in your engine? In general I think the owners manual is average at best."

    Go to pages 82-83. They give a detailed recomended way to break in your new engine.
  • kfdmedkfdmed Posts: 130
    Question ... So drive moderately and when cruising between 50-55 brief full throttle acceleration contributes to good break-in. Do you want to make the transmission downshift? I assume when you are cruising at 50-55 that the transmission will be in overdrive.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    That's the way I read it.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    "DaimlerChrysler Canada reports January Sales up 21.2 Percent
    Tuesday February 1, 5:37 pm ET

    - DaimlerChrysler minivans continue growth, Dodge Caravan sales up 48.6 percent - Jeep(R) Grand Cherokee posts sales of 906 units, up 73.9 percent - Chrysler Pacifica sets new sales record with 429 units, up 59.5 percent"

    "To date, Chrysler Group has sold more than 1.3 million minivans in Canada and over 10 million minivans worldwide. In Canada, DaimlerChrysler continues to be the leader of this segment, with 34.9 percent of the minivan market. Dodge Caravan was the best-selling minivan and second most popular selling vehicle in Canada for 2004."
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Auburn Hills, Mich., Jun 07, 2004 -Due to the popularity of Chrysler Group's 2005 Chrysler and Dodge Minivans with the Stow 'n Go TM seating and storage system, the company today announced plans to invest $113 million at its St. Louis (Missouri) South Assembly Plant to accommodate increased Stow 'n Go production. The investment will be put towards the tooling, facility and process changes needed to add flexibility, enabling the plant to build short-wheelbase, long-wheelbase and Stow 'n Go minivans on the same production line. Previously, Chrysler Group only manufactured Chrysler and Dodge minivans with Stow 'n Go at its Windsor (Ontario) Assembly Plant.

    "Today's announcement reinforces the company's commitment to our minivan heritage and our manufacturing facilities, creating greater flexibility in our product offerings and the way in which they are built every day," stated Frank Ewasyshyn, Chrysler Group Executive Vice President, Manufacturing. "We also show through our actions that supporting our existing plants in urban America is fundamental to achieving our long-term corporate objectives."

    Consumer reaction in early market research clinics for the 2005 Chrysler and Dodge minivans was a home run. Prior to launch, Chrysler Group conducted an extensive survey to gauge response to the exclusive Stow 'n Go seating and storage system, comparing it to every competitor in the market. Overall, Stow 'n Go scored six times higher than Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Where is the info to support "Stow and Go, 6 times higher than Honda, Toyota"? Just what is the "6 times higher"? (sales, depreciation, or some other item?).
    My 2002 T&C LX has much better space under the 2nd row seats for the feet of the 3rd row passengers than the 2005 T&Cs and GC's with Stow and Go. The 50/50 split 3rd row seat is also much more comfortable than the 60/40 split Stow and Go 3rd row...even sitting in the middle over the split.
    For me, the seats in the 2nd and 3rd rows of the 2005 Odyssey are more comfortable than those of the 2005 DC minivans while the driver and front passenger seats are equally comfortable.
    It appears that DC now offers the GC SE with 60/40 rear Stow and Go while retaining the bench seat 2nd row or traditional, optional 2nd row bucket seats. (Not to be confused with the GC SE Plus that has 2nd and 3rd row Stow and Go). Now DC needs to have the overhead console with compass/outside temperature and trip computer as an option on the GC SE.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    "Where is the info to support "Stow and Go, 6 times higher than Honda, Toyota"? Just what is the "6 times higher"? (sales, depreciation, or some other item?)."

    you'd have to ask Chrysler

    "For me, the seats in the 2nd and 3rd rows of the 2005 Odyssey are more comfortable than those of the 2005 DC minivans while the driver and front passenger seats are equally comfortable"

    I think you are right. But I see the Dodge/Chrysler vans a lot different than the Honda and Toyota vans. All three will carry passengers fairly nicely. But I think the Dodge/Chrysler has a lot better advantage of carrying other things that I don't think many would want to put in their Honda/Toyota vans. Such as drywall, 2X4's,plywood, bags of cement, etc. Even if you take the middle seats out of those vans, they're really finished off to nice to want to haul anything more than baseball bats, gloves, socker balls,etc. I think a person really needs to think of all the things he would use his van for, before deciding what kind to get.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Stow 'n Go was a major factor for me in choosing the GC SXT over a Honda (just can't warm up to Toyota Styling). I had a Chevy Venture and was tired of taking the seats in and out, storing them someplace etc. I wonder if those paying close to sticker for a Honda/Toyota wonder about the price difference, putting that $$$ in the bank instead, when they talk about superior resale value down the road. My SXT was about $7k less than a Honda EX (rebates, supplier discount etc..)

    I do agree with Marine2 on the interior finish of the DCX vans vs. Japanese. Of all the Minivans out there, DCX's have the cheapest interior. One of the benefits though, I believe the interiors will be easier to keep clean, having reconditioned cars for years in college.

    As far as seat comfort in 2nd and 3rd?? Mostly the kids are back there, usually jumping around anyways.

    My complaints: I HATE the armrests....a molded piece of hard plastic, that my arm can't rest on for too long!! I'm sure it's a lot cheaper to produce vs. a padded, cloth cover one like in the Japanese version. Is there an aftermarket solution?????

    Here in Detroit, I'm hearing the Freestar is dead due to very poor sales. This is what happens when you don't even try to "follow" the competition!! Ford thinks "hey!! lets put a new name on the winstar, update the interior a bit and people will buy em"!!!!

    The next Gen DCX Minivans are being designed by Ralph Gilles (of Chrysler 300C fame). They're suppose to be radically different. Knowing Ralph, they will be!!! He once tricked out a DCX minivan for racing with a 300M engine, Viper brakes and wheels etc!!
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,153
    I bet you could find an upholstery shop that could rebuild your armrests. And Marine, tarps work great from keeping the 8 bushels of leaves or topsoil from ruining your interior (I used old blankets when I moved to handle the washer/dryer, frig, etc.).

    Nissan tried a radically different van and sales are disappointing. DC has a better track record with styling though (the PT Cruiser for example).

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  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    "And Marine, tarps work great from keeping the 8 bushels of leaves or topsoil from ruining your interior (I used old blankets when I moved to handle the washer/dryer, frig, etc.)."

    You can do that in any of the vans,(tarp). Did you move the washer/dryer, refridge in your Dodge? I think I hear you also have a Honda. I can't see hardly anyone putting those in a Honda or Toyota even with a pad down. You would diffently have to take the middle seats out if you did.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,153
    The '99 Quest. I hauled a side-by-side frig in it across town with the door shut (I threw away my middle bench the first year we owned it). I knew I was going to drive it forever, so a few dings and dirt don't bother me anyway.

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  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    ..."The next Gen DCX Minivans are being designed by Ralph Gilles (of Chrysler 300C fame). They're suppose to be radically different"...

    That scares me and would be the clincher for me to buy the Odyssey instead of a Grand Caravan.

    I do not like radical styling such as in the new Quest, Pontiac Aztek, Dodge Magnum, oval Taurus, AMC Pacer, AMC Gremlin, etc.

    Ford killed the Taurus with a radical styling and DC might do the same to their minivans if they make a radical styling change.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I'll agree with you on all those cars except the Dodge Magnum. I think that is sharp.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    There's been a number of concept Minivan out there, and it'll be similar to those only a little boxier. That's my understanding.
  • Well, if the guy who designed the 300 is in charge, it should turn out great. Even if some people aren't crazy about the styling, many, many people are, and the 300 is without question the biggest success story in American cars in the last 10 or more years, in terms of overall industry praise and sales
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    If boxier, they will have more useable interior space. The post 1995 DC minivans seem to have less useable interior space for their length than the extended ones up through 1995 and the seats have not been as comfortable for me as were those earlier models.
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