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Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan 2005+

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Comments

  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    This is likely a good move on their part. It will at least get the attention of the buying public and get the less informed buyer in the door who might dismiss the DC offerings as too expensive relative to Ody and Sienna(even though they are not more expensive if you consider the large rebates currently in effect on the 2004's).

    Net result will be less rebates, but out the door prices will not be significantly different.

    I am glad to see they are not abandoning their short wheel base versions and also are giving customers the choice if they don't want to pay for the stow and go seats in the long wheel base versions. DC will have the bases covered from the stripped down 4 cylinder short wheel base versions to the fully loaded T&C, and it appears that you will be able to get a reasonably priced long wheel base version that does include the stow and go seats.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    it'll be competitive with the Sienna, Quest and upcoming 2005 Odyssey.
  • except for T&Cs according to newspaper reports. Infact the prices are being raised slightly for other models. DC Canada feel the prices are already competitive enough up here! Hopefully, out of the door prices will not be significantly different north of the border too.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I guess DCX wants to throw on less rebates in the US.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,695
    I stopped by my neighborhood Dodge dealer in the Twin Cities today. I asked the first sales rep I saw when the '05 vans were due in. He said "four to six months." I told him I had read that they would be available in March. He asked the sales manager, who said they have two '05 Caravans in stock, a SE and a SXT. I didn't look at them because I want the Stow 'n Go feature. The sales manager checked the computer and said their first GCs were due to be shipped from the factory in mid-February, to arrive in early March. I asked the sales manager if he knew how the spare tire would be handled, e.g. run-flats. He said "that's a good question!". Anyone know the answer to that one? I hope Chrysler did the smart thing and put a temp spare into the side of the trunk, behind a panel. I think there would be enough room, and even if it would stick out a bit I'd prefer that to expensive and hard-to-replace run-flats.
  • boredbored Posts: 300
    Wow, so they're producing these things, are shipping on trucks, and they will not be sold until March? Wow, I've seen these things leave the dealer with private plates already. Maybe living here in Detroit is a good thing, huh?

    And yes, these were the new Stow 'n Go vans.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,695
    Well, you know it takes awhile to ship stuff to the Frozen Tundra of Minnesota. I always seem to get my C/D and CR mags several days after people in other parts of the country, for example. I suppose people who live close to the minivan factories will get theirs first. They took my name and promised to call me when the first units arrive. I'll get to see one no later than mid-March, when our local auto show will be held.
  • svevarsvevar Posts: 160
    The spare tire is located between the front seats on Stow 'n Go equipped vans. I'm not sure where it will be on the standard wheelbase models.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    I see by the web sites of a few local Dodge dealers that they have a few 2005 Caravans and Grand Caravans in stock. Anyone gotten a chance to see and try out some Grand Caravans with the stow and go seating option, or are they all being kept under wraps until a formal introduction?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,695
    I'd also love to hear how the Grand vans drive with the "sandwich" construction--are they much quieter? Another thing I am curious about, which I will check at our local auto show in about a month, is how comfortable the rear seat is. Has anyone else noticed the seemingly steep angle of the seat cushion compared to other cars? It really seems to jut up in the air. Probably because of the design, whereby the seat is attached to the floor at its rear edge and swings into the storage bay in a circular arc. Personally I like a seat cushion that is high in front, but I wonder how it will be for kids.

    I am puzzled why there isn't more talk about this van. Compare the traffic on this board to the Sienna board, for example. The new DC vans seem to trump the competition in several areas, yet there doesn't seem to be much excitement about them.

    Another thing I am somewhat curious about is if their is much difference between the '04 and '05 short wheelbase vans, e.g., do they have the same sandwich construction as the big vans but without the Stow 'n Go? If there is little difference, I could be tempted to get a '04 holdover since there should be really big discounts on those once the '05s start arriving en masse.
  • I don't see any big talks of 7" Voice-activated Navigation system, Laser Cruise Control, Front and Rear Parking Assist Sonar Sensors, HID and Adaptive Front headlights?
    What about Hybrid or SmartAccess Keys?
    I guess Chrysler will always be way, way, behind Toyota and Honda.
    Who cares about boring seat configurations and boring little primative NAV screens and boring same-old-same-old dvd player. Let's talk about something new and exciting.
  • I can't believe I just looked at the T&C website.
    That thing's interior is so ugly. Will the 2005 interior be any better looking or just as ugly?
  • Yes, it's sad to see these '05 DCX vans not generating much interest here. If Toyota or Honda had these new features added, it would have been a totally different story.

    To be fair, Chrysler has won little or no praise for some of the most innovative minivan firsts including: power liftgate, dual sliding doors, windshield de-icer and hiding the sliding door track under the rear window. The latter two are now copied by Toyota in their '04 models (perhaps the only other manufacturer???).
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    I don't think the interior is ugly, though I do think I prefer the previous generation DC interior styling over the current.

    I would bet once the vans go on display at the dealers, we will see a lot more postings-especially about comfort levels of the second and third rows.

    Most of the HondaToyotaNissan zealots hanging out at Edmunds will not acknowledge that DC can do anything right. All you will hear is that "DC has crappy transmissions and old pushrod engines", while the transmissions have been long fixed and the DC 3.3 and 3.8 engines are smooth and quiet as butter and don't have to rev high to get good torque.
  • This topic might gain some more momentum once Edmunds has it listed in their new car or future car categories. I can only find the 04 vans, and none listed as a future vehicle. I haven't looked at the manufacturer's site yet either.

    Perhaps andrew has it right. No major bells and whistles other than the folding seats. For me, it's the folding second and third row seats that will put the caravan back on my radar screen.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,695
    I don't see any big talks of 7" Voice-activated Navigation system, Laser Cruise Control, Front and Rear Parking Assist Sonar Sensors, HID and Adaptive Front headlights?
    What about Hybrid or SmartAccess Keys?


    I wasn't aware any automaker offered a hybrid minivan. Which minivans offer SmartAccess?

    Yes, all the electronics are fun, but how many were initially developed by Toyota? I can get sonar parking assist on a Freestar; that doesn't make it a great van. I think Chysler should be congratulated for being the first to figure out how to stow the middle seats completely in the floor. Toyota, Nissan, GM, and Ford just redesigned their vans and none of them could figure that trick out (maybe none of their engineers' kids owned an Erector set).
  • You can now build and price a 2005 T&C on the Chrysler website. Carmax in Atlanta, GA has three on the lot.
  • Was about to buy a Quest when I found out through these postings how close the 2005 Caravan was to the market (weeks, not late fall as led to believe in other post sites).

    I'm interested in pulling a boat with my minivan and need 3500 # towing capacity. Does anyone know how high a trim level you have to go up to for being able to obtain this option or how much it costs? Is it like Freestar with only 2000# out of the chute, later to try to get 3500#? Sienna doesn't even list the trailer hitch as an accessory or in an option package on their web site so hard to understand cost. I know you can get it on that vehicle, but how how up you have to go in trim level I'm not sure. Nissan stands out in this way as the only minivan I have found that can be had for $25000 MSRP with a hitch installed. Maybe Chrysler/Dodge will meet or beat them now. At that $25000 price point I would hope the Grand Caravan could be had with a CD player, side curtain airbags, reading lights in all three rows, and rear air conditioning. This is where Freestar fell on its face. They will be lucky to unload what they have built already at Ford.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Well, I've got good news and bad news. First the good news; for 2004 (I am unsure what difference in towing capacity the 2005's will have), certain Grand Caravans can be optioned to pull up to 3800 pounds. The bad news is that only the two most expensive versions can be so equipped. According to the DC web site, the following is true:

    Grand Caravan SE -- 1800 lbs. -- $24,975 base
    Grand Caravan eX -- 1800 lbs. -- $27,225 base
    Grand Caravan SXT -- 1800 lbs. -- $30,335 base
    Grand Caravan SXT AWD -- 3800 lbs. -- $32,660 base
    Grand Caravan Anniv. Ed. -- 3800 lbs. -- $33,050 base

    FWIW, I cannot tell if there is any REAL difference (other than the SXT AWD of course) in the drive train in any of the vans other than the SE, which has only a 3.3 liter mill as opposed to the 3.8 in all of the rest. Could it be that the only real difference is marketing? I don't know, I suggest you ask a dealer and see if he/she really knows, or if they feed you a line of horse hockey.

    I hope this helps.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • ed12ed12 Posts: 100
    I went to the Chrysler website and all I see is pricing for the 2004.

    BTw, I checked out a 2005 Caravan SXT. The Stow and Go is terrific. The comfort of the seats in the second and third row is about as good as my 2002 T&C. A brillant piece of engineering.
  • I visited a local central Wisconsin Chrysler dealer who got about 10 of new ones in on Thursday today. I had been waiting to make a buy decision until I had seen this vehicle since it was so close to market. Here is what my impressions were on the new 2005 Chrysler:
    *Out of sight sticker shock. The unit I looked at had $31,000+ list (Tour edition), but no side curtain protection at that price. Had most of the other bells and whistles. Sliding side doors seemed very well done - as good as the Honda in my book.
    *The rear and front stowing seats was very thought out in many ways. They accomplish the stowing front seats by raising the step in floor height about 1 inch. The inside dimensions are not compromised. A look under the chassis shows lots of tubes and pipes routing their way around the sunk in depressions to receive the seats.
    *The rest of the car is hardly touched beyond these areas. On the outside, they are nearly indistiguishable.
    *The head rests, although not required to be removed to tuck the seats are extremely small and have little padding when compared to Quest and Ody. In fact, a poorly belted rear seat person will be badly injured by the exposed metal posts when extended, should an accident occur with front impact.
    *The floor where the seats stow were sturdy under my 190 lbs, but my wife and I wonder about their durability from being walked on relentlessly, places for grime to hide. The front seat must be positioned a certain amount forward to allow the cover to be lifted up to set the seat in the well. It folded extremely flat - improved over Quest concept.
    *Third row 60/40 split was really easy to fold and this is a huge advantage over Freestar and comparable to Sienna. Gives lots of seating options for family of 6.
    *The leg room in the third row is better than the Freestar, but worse than Ody and Quest. You cannot stick your toes under the second row seat when in the third row seat. Quest fabric cover at least gets the toes under the second row seat to gain some foot space.
    *This vehicle is better than Freestar in many respects, but in the end, we signed for an Ody LX today at $2000 less than MSRP when equipped the way we want it, which would have been several thousand less than the Chrysler to get the 3500 lb towing. Gave up the side curtain protection that the Quest has standard and the Sienna offers as an option. Just couldn't get past the Quest noisy fan when on high and less than solid fits on several other components.
  • Went to the local Dodge/Chrysler dealership today to see the new TC. Wow was I impressed! Did anyone else notice that the dashboard has a better feel to it compared to the 04s and before??
  • I received an e-mail for DC confirming that they have dropped the All-Wheel Drive option for all of their new 2005 vans. They seem to be justifing it by stating that only 3% of customers purchased AWD on 2004 vans.

    I personally believe that DC dealers not ordering AWD vans in sufficient numbers in mid-range equipped models was also a big part of the problem.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I personally like the new Town & Country and Grand Caravan over the Freestar and Relay. The only things that kept me from buying a Grand Caravan in 2002 were the non-flat folding third row seats and the previous reliability track record.
  • jglackinjglackin Posts: 164
    whats done is done, but i feel badly that your salesperson didn't seem to do a very good job presenting the vehicle to you. The '05 Touring is closer in equipment to the EX Ody. It has huge advantages over the LX (at least a dozen I can list w/o effort), so it should have more value at time of sale.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    a silver 05 Town & Country Touring at the stoplight with dealer tags.
  • pb17pb17 Posts: 33
    Any rumors about new generation engines for the minivan? Will DC go to overhead cams? How about a 5 speed tranny? Nothing wrong with pushrods though. Mpg is becoming more of an issue as gas prices ratchet up.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,695
    Same drivetrains in the '05 vans as were in the '04s--except no AWD of course.
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