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Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan 2005+



  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    I was in the same boat. Let me tell you from my experience: All I wanted was "rear backup sensor", which is very important to me. Of course I also needed power seats, trip computer, the 3.8L engine (more power than the 3.3L), and some other stuff.

    Problem in the Town Country is that you need to get leather in order to get some of the above features, and I HATE leather. So I went with the Dodge SXT with premium package and I was all set, plus I got it for about $1,300 cheaper.

    So it comes down to leather choice: If you need the leather, and you take the luxury group with the T&C, yes, it will cost you more but get some more stuff (but NOT more isolation - they are both equal quiet and your dealer don't know what he is talking about). You'll get on the T&C auto dimming mirrors inside and out; I think the vehicle information center with tire pressure monitor, and some upscale materials (I mean aluminum or wood), better stereo, Automatic headlamps (which also turns on when wipers is engaged - of course you can turn it off if you don't like it), and appearance - T&C looks better than Caravan in the front, grille, headlamps, fog lamps, bodyside cladding, and rear chrome piece on the liftgate.

    If you don't want leather, Dodge Caravan is the way to go as I did. If you take the leather with the Caravan SXT, it will not be much cheaper than T&C, and you loose some stuff.

    But Dodge is definitely the cheaper if money is the object here. They are both the same with only different packages. Both have the same noise isolation.
  • How does the back-up sensor work? My understanding is it beeps if there is something within 5-6 feet of it. But in most parking lots that will be the case, especially if you pull forward. Do you really listen to the sensor or do you end up ignoring it because it goes off often? Thanks.
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    Great info. Thanks. The TC dealer says he will beat the DGC, which is $900 less, so it is definatley a hard decision.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    I like the way it works in the DC vans. It have warning lamps in the rear of the van (which you watch while looking in the rearview mirror), the closer you get to an object more and more lights comes on - if the object is on the right side then the lamps on the right side is more than those on the left side - and vice versa. When reaching about 12 inches near the object and all lamps are already on, then you hear a some beeps, and the beeps get closer to each other until you hear a continuously beep, which means you're almost touching the object, than you know it's time for a real stop.
  • My wife just bought a slightly used '05 T&C to replace her '93 Grand Voyager at 147k miles. The GV was leaking oil from every gasket, but otherwise still running OK.

    The one option the TC does not have that she wants is a trunk lid release button on the dash. Does anyone know of an aftermarket version?
  • Yes, but only with the power tailgate.
  • I'm looking at short wheelbase vans - specifically the Caravan SXT and T&C Signature Series.


    Is there anything to pick between them? It doesn't appear you can get the 3.8. Is there an equivilent of the Sport package - larger wheels and tirs, stiffer suspension - for the SWB versions?


    I want a well appointed one for business, other things like power doors make no difference, in fact for me they are a negative.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    I have not seen any short wheel base T&C with a tachometer that is standard in the Caravan SXT. Neither one has the optional 3.8L V6 and I am not impressed with the Signature series for either.

         You can price one with options here at Edmunds New Cars to see exactly the available options or you could go to either Dodge or Chrysler web site and do the same. Edmunds usually has more up to date and easier to use data than either Dodge or Chrysler.

         The Dodge Caravan SXT or Grand Caravan SXT has better content for less money than the Chrysler T&C clone.
  • artsarts Posts: 5
    I purchased a 2005 GC SXT last June. I notice that it has a rear anti-sway bar installed. According to my reading of the specifications, the only way to get a rear sway bar is with the Touring Suspension which only comes with the Premium Package. I did not buy the Premium Package according to my window sticker. My question is, "How did I get the rear anti-sway bar, is it stock or somehow did I get the Touring Suspension?
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Do you feel any difference in handling with the sway bar? I have the touring suspension in my new Dodge Grand Caravan, but unfortunately the '03 Town & Country I drive at work handles better than mine, and have less body lean in turns! Let alone the ride is much more settled and smooth.


    By the way, I feel that in the DC vans, the horn is not easy to operate. You have to push the horn (steering wheel) very firmly, with more effort than other vehicles, and avoids me to give sometimes a last second warning to other drivers. I don't know - my Windstar's horn has been much more easy to use. It's a minor issue unless it's a second before an emergency and you can't warn the other driver.
  • artsarts Posts: 5
    I can't say if there is any difference because the rear sway bar came on the car new - I have not driven one without the rear sway bar. Actually, my question is: How did I get the rear sway bar if I don't have the Touring Suspension?
  • We're deciding between a 2005 GC SXT and the 2005 Odyssey LX. Took a test drive with the GC SXT today, and as we were on the autobahn (I'm US military stationed in Germany) a drumming in our ears started at about 65-70 mph. It was much like the drumming in your ears you get in the driver/front passenger seat when someone opens only a back window in a sedan, just more subdued. I checked that all windows were closed, but that wasn't the problem. Is this possibly a problem with the roof rack cross-bar, or the exhaust? It doesn't seem to be possible that it was the engine. Has anyone else experienced this?

    We drive a 96 Merc Villager, which was great for 9 years, but has recently had an expensive transmission repair and other annoying problems (air conditioning that can’t hold a charge, etc.), and we also would like something a bit bigger. My wife’s overall impression was that the 2005 GC SXT was cheaply built in comparison to our Villager, the GC engine was rougher and felt weak, and the Villager drove like a car while the GC SXT drove like a boat. We liked the Stow-n-Go, but the show-stopper for us was the resonance/ear drumming at our normal autobahn cruising speed from 70-80 mph. Does the SXT we drove have a quirk, or is this normal?
  • I have read other posts about noises in the vehicles equipped with stow n go. They mostly talked about exhaust noises, as the routing of piping and muffler placement have changed to accomendate the new floor pan design.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    NOT heard in the 2005 GC SXT that I drove mid February this year.

          Does your Villager (Nissan Quest) have a luggage rack and cross bars? Most owners of DC minivans are impressed with the lack of wind noise common to most other minivans.
  • We have the luggage rack with crossbars on the Villager. We do hear wind noise, especially over 70mph, but it does not include the ear drumming. IMO, the Villager motor/transmission was as quiet as the Dodge GC SXT, but the Dodge was quieter in general with wind noise...with the exception of the resonating ear pressure. The only thing I can think of is that a door seal wasn't working right, or a mid-window wasn't sealed, or maybe even something with the way the interior vents work when back is on and front isn't. This didn't seem to be anything motor or even exhaust related. It was something to with the aerodynamics of this particular vehicle. This one was probably a fluke.

    Anyone else experience anything like this with a DGC SXT?
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    No, I don't experianced anything of these with my 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT. I do have some minor rattles which I hope the dealer will take care of at the first oil change. Otherwise it is very quiet.


    Today was the second snow here in upstate NY, and my wipers wiped the ice all over the windshield - CRAP! I need the windshield wiper de-icer back SO BAD! Chrysler! DO YOU HEAR ME? I'M SCREAMING! Please give it back - I will pay you for that even an additional 200 bucks!
  • But were you driving 70-80 MPH?
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Yes, I have driven 70-75 mph. Would you try to test drive another van? Just to make sure the one you tested was not defective.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Chrysler Town & Country's Stow 'n Go™ seating and storage system was named Popular Science's "Best of What's New" in the Auto Tech Category for innovative technology. Stow 'n Go™ allows both the second- and third-row seats to be easily folded into the floor, converting the Town & Country from 7-passenger seating to 161 cubic feet of cargo space. Stow 'n Go™ seating and storage system is the latest of more than 50 minivan and industry firsts that Chrysler Group has developed for its market leading minivans.


    (Source: Chrysler's web site).
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    YES, I was driving 75 MPH and no wind drumming and no wind noise. Just whisper quiet inside.

         However, I think there would have been road noise if I had been driving on the rough cement roads of Oklahoma. Oklahoma has the worst roads for causing noise of any of the 33 states I have driven in.
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