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Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan 2005+

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Comments

  • ahzooahzoo Posts: 7
    Hi everyone,

    I've been lurking here for a couple of months and have found the forum invaluable in my research on minivans.

    I had narrowed it down to the Ody LX, the Sienna LE, the T&C Touring or the GC SXT. Mr. "ahzoo" and I started test driving last Saturday and finished today with the Ody, The T&C and a third drive in the GC.

    Here's what I think I need in a minivan: Good power and pickup (Esp. for freeway merging), side curtain airbags (Are they really necessary? Maybe just for peace of mind.), room for at least seven passengers and "stuff" (we have three kids), cargo space (I'm the family handyperson, build a little furniture and have been known to haul large garage/estate sale "finds"),. I decided recently that rear parking assist (a beeper) would be a good idea since most bumpers are made of fiberglass covered tissue paper (although I don't make a habit of backing into things).

    Here are my test drive impressions:

    The 2005 Sienna:
    I hated the way the automatic transmission shifted. I tend to accelerate quickly and the Sienna tranny wasn't keeping up with me. Although the van seemed to be keeping up speed, the tachometer needle was going too high and I was aware of waiting for the van to finish shifting. My husband also noticed it, but it didn't bother him as much as it did me. After the test drive, I mentioned this to the salesperson and got the following response (to the effect of): "It's an intelligent transmission that will eventually adapt itself to your style of driving." Hmmm. I did a little research and gathered that VW had claimed that kind of technology, but haven't seen an indication that Toyota is using it. Some folks on the forums here have said that Toyota is aware of it being a problem.

    The 2005 Ody:
    My husband really liked it and thought it handled well and had a solid feel. I liked the way it handled and accelerated. I didn't like the fact that you can't manually override the power sliding doors. The cloth fabric was pretty cheesy looking; I don't think it would hold up to abuse from my tribe. I keep hearing that the interior space is larger than the GC, but it didn't feel like it sitting in the middle row. Overall, it seemed like a good van, although I have noticed a number of complaints about doors and build quality on the Ody forum. 'Not sure that the roll down windows in the cargo area are a good thing.

    The T&C Touring:
    'Not sure where they found the demo since it didn't have Stow and Go. It had a 3.3L engine and the pickup was surprisingly good considering that.

    The GC SXT:
    Solid feel, smooth acceleration, good pickup, good visibility. Stow and Go seats (woo-hoo!) Offered more standard features at a lower price than the Ody LX and, particularly the Sienna LE. 7 year/70,000 mile powertrain warranty.

    I finally decided to do some negotiating with a salesperson at the Dodge dealership. Here is the deal I have on paper ('haven't signed anything yet and the dealership is now closed until Monday.):

    2005 Grand Caravan SXT with added options (Side Curtain Airbags, Power Liftgate, Rear Parking Assist and Power Adjustable Pedals, which I said I wouldn't pay for since I don't need them: $22,299 + TTL. Does this sound like a good deal to anyone else?
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    2005 Grand Caravan SXT with added options (Side Curtain Airbags, Power Liftgate, Rear Parking Assist and Power Adjustable Pedals, which I said I wouldn't pay for since I don't need them: $22,299 + TTL. Does this sound like a good deal to anyone else?

    That's a fantastic price. I paid over $23,000 +TTL, for my Dodge and didn't get adjustable pedals, rear parking assist or side airbags. My sticker was around $27,500. Did get 0% financing though.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I finally decided to do some negotiating with a salesperson at the Dodge dealership. Here is the deal I have on paper ('haven't signed anything yet and the dealership is now closed until Monday.):

    2005 Grand Caravan SXT with added options (Side Curtain Airbags, Power Liftgate, Rear Parking Assist and Power Adjustable Pedals, which I said I wouldn't pay for since I don't need them: $22,299 + TTL. Does this sound like a good deal to anyone else?


    Sounds like a very good price. I bought my 2005 GC SXT (power liftgate, sunroof and tow package) for $19,500 but that was with DCX employee pricing. I'd say good deal. I'm very happy with mine, the "Stow N Go" seats clinched it for me!!
  • ahzooahzoo Posts: 7
    Thanks for the feedback, marine2!

    I had come up with a TMV of $21,130, so I will go through all the numbers once again. Although I was very pleasant, I had the feeling the salesman was irked by the end of the negotiations. (When I walked away for a few minutes, he said to my husband, "Well. Your wife has really done her homework.")

    I wouldn't have had the same level of confidence if I hadn't found so much information in these forums and with the Edmunds pricing.

    The salesperson tried to get me to leave a deposit and I refused. He said I have to come in Monday morning (end of the rebate period) to get the deal. They have the van on the lot at one of their stores across town. I am thinking of e-mailing that $22,299 figure to some othe dealers to see if they can do better. And if they can, I will take that number back to him. I don't really see why I need to rush to make the transaction on Monday morning, rather than Monday afternoon.

    I don't want to be a "grinder," but if another dealer offers to sell the van for less.....? If no one will go lower on that price, then I know I've made a good deal.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Where were you when I needed you? :cry:
  • ahzooahzoo Posts: 7
    I went through the numbers again and actually I do think I did OK. I'm going in tommorrow and keeping my fingers crossed that it will be a straight forward deal from here. :)
  • ahzooahzoo Posts: 7
    by the dealer would be inferior to having it factory installed? I'm guessing "no."

    We have a '95 GC and the dealer tried a common trick (in '95) of having a virtually useless aftermarket ABS system installed. Fortunately, with the help of the NHTSA, we caught them on it and traded the van they sold us for one with factory ABS. (Overall, it was a very unpleasant experience.)

    At least with the Parking Assist, it would be obvious immediately if it isn't working properly.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    "...The 2005 Ody:
    I didn't like the fact that you can't manually override the power sliding doors..."


    Just a comment: since you're talking about the LX model, they don't offer power doors as far as I remember. Either I'm mistaking or you're talking about the EX version.

    Your deal seems very good. I guess you're talking about the PREMIUM package you got, which includes automatic temperature control (which, BTW, is useless IMO), adjustable pedals, rear parking assist (Fantastic IMO) and power liftgate and sport suspension. I paid more for my van without the side curtain airbags.
  • ahzooahzoo Posts: 7
    Yes, you're right about the LX. I had forgotten that the demo was an EX with 6,000 miles that the salesperson said she might be able to sell for the price of an LX. My brain is a little fried at this point. ;)

    I was looking for the Premium Package (ANF) with the addition of side curtain airbags. The dealer wasn't able to find one in stock that didn't also include leather and a DVD player. Vans with side curtain airbags seemed to be in short supply, period. The closest (apparently) they could get was the SXT with power liftgate, the curtain airbags and power adjustable pedals and their service department will install the rear park assist. I will ask tomorrow why they happened to have such an odd combination of features on the van (did someone order it and back out, or was it ordered/sold and returned because of a problem?).

    What is your experience with the automatic temperature control? I thought that might be an advantage to getting the Premium Package (and the touring suspension).

    Thanks for your feedback!
  • 1997montez341997montez34 Posts: 201
    That's a very good price. I love my GC SXT and am very glad I went with the Dodge over the other vans I drove.
  • ctdriverctdriver Posts: 5
    That's a great price. I'm looking for a similar SXT here in Connecticut.Few with the side curtain air bags. Found a linien gold on one dealer's on line inventory with the bags, power lift gate, 6 disc cd player and pedals. List for $29175. TMV with the $2500 rebate at 24,675 plus tax. Would also like the rear parking assist- have it on our 03 Explorer- but those don't seem to be available. Looked two weeks ago for that combination. Dealer said he could order one but it would take 12 weeks.
    Almost bought a Nissan Quest SL with it-parking assist and side air curtains but had second thoughts about buying another minivan. Also Quest does not have split third row seat. However after this weekend decided to reconsider buying a van.
    Will see if dealer can install the rear assist. Keep us posted on how well the dealer installed item works.
  • aidens_dadaidens_dad Posts: 2
    All seats slope a little, so your butt's a bit lower than your knees. On the stow and go seats it seemed much more pronounced.

    But, since no one else seems to have noticed at all I can only assume we're seeing things ...feeling things.

    We're just going to have to bring a carseat to the dealer and see what happens.

    Thanks for the comments.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    "All seats slope a little, so your butt's a bit lower than your knees. On the stow and go seats it seemed much more pronounced."


    I see what you mean. I took my level out and tried it on the front and middle seats.
    They both seem to have the same amount of slope to them. Check it out.
  • mrl859mrl859 Posts: 168
    The eight way power right front seat is now four way. The seat is now fixed at a very high position. Anyone have a solution?????
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I wanted to let everyone know the deal I got on a new T & C '05 Touring model. Here's a breakdown of all options:

    Leather Package
    DVD Entertainment
    Side curtain air bags
    Sirius satellite
    In Dash 6 CD player
    Power ajustable pedals
    removable cenetr front seat console

    ALL FOR $23,735

    I am just trying to determine if this is drive out or if it will include tax, tag and title. Either way it is KILLER deal. I just couldn't justify a Sienna with the same options.

    :D
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    You make me feel like I got robbed on my 2005 DGC. Good going, that was a fantastic deal.
  • njeraldnjerald Posts: 688
    Bad switch more than likely. Remove and check continuity between pins as it shows in the Service Manual.

    You don't have the service manuals? Buy them on EBAY or from Chrysler or take your van to the dealer.

    If it isn't the switch or a connection, I hope you are under warranty. The power seat track is not a repairable item and is only serviced by replacement!!!!!!!
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Thanks!! As long as your comfortable with your deal...then be happy. To be honest, I have no idea how this dealer is doing this deal. I am going in tomorrow morning to buy the car and am sort of ready for the "catch". I got quotes from about 5 other dealers and they ALL laughed and said if that is the deal I got, then go for it. They said there was no way to match the price. :shades:
  • mrl859mrl859 Posts: 168
    You misunderstand. Chrysler removed that function. The gears and associated pieces aren't on there. This is the design. The problem is it sucks. Just wondering if anyone has modified one to a lower position or actually re-engineered it to move up and down.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    I test drove an SXT Grand Caravan yesterday. My overall impression was good. My biggest complaint is the seat position is too high for me. I'm 5-8, even at its lowest position I had a hard time reaching the gas pedal. My wife is shorter so it'll be more difficult for her. Adjustable pedals now seem to be a must have for us, as well as the side airbags. The second row head room is very limited even for a short person like me. The van has a comfortable ride and handles ok. The engine is generally quiet but gets quite loud under full throttle acceleration. In comparison, the Odyssey is barely audible, and the Chevy Uplander is even louder than the caravan. Power seems to be lacking a bit as the engine frequently revs to redline to keep up moderate speeds.

    Pricewise, the dealer wouldn't go lower than invoice minus rebates. Judging by the outrageous deals I see on these boards, apparantly one can do better than that. We'll see what real offers we'll get when we buy in a month.
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