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Sienna vs Grand Caravan/Town & Country



  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Thanks. I had not looked closely at other DaimlerChrysler vehicles but obviously need to check them out.
    Too bad DC lets CR and other "experts" convince them to change to stupid ideas originating with the Toyota-Honda clique. :sick:
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    But the question is WHY?
    The 3.3L with downgraded ratings to 215 HP and 222 lb-ft Torque is more than sufficient for my needs (as was the lower 180 HP and 210 lb-ft Torque of 02 T&C LX).
    I test drove a 2006 GC SXT when I tried to trade off my Sienna on a GC and it did NOT have the power going up a relatively steep hill as did the Sienna (on 85 octane fuel).
    The Sienna is quieter at low speeds but it is NOT as quiet at highway speeds as the T&C was and had much more wind noise. :cry:
  • I test drove a 2006 GC SXT when I tried to trade off my Sienna on a GC and it did NOT have the power going up a relatively steep hill as did the Sienna (on 85 octane fuel).

    That's because the 06 DGC SXT, 3.8L V6 is only 205 HP (Not sure about the torque rating). When DamilerChrysler came out with the redesign back in 2001, the 3.8L engine was rated at 215 HP and 245 lbs of torque. That changed sometime in 2003 or 2004, I believe, to the current rating.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    06 GC SXT 240 lb-ft Torque is MORE than 06 Sienna LE 222 lb-ft Torque. By comparison, the GC 3.8L torque dropped only 5 lb-ft from 245 while the Sienna dropped 20 lb ft from 242.
    I think the Sienna better performance going up that particular hill was more a function of the 5 speed AT having the right gear ratio for that hill compared to the 4 speed AT of the GC since the GC has 18 MORE lb-ft Torque than the Sienna. ;)
    Driving I-15 thru Utah, southern Nevada, and Mojave Desert of southern California, the 06 Sienna downshifted more frequently than my 02 T&C LX even though the Sienna has MORE HP and MORE Torque than my 02 T&C LX with 3.3L V6. A 5 speed AT does have disadvantages.
    I would prefer a 2006 GC SXT to my 2006 Sienna LE and I could have purchased a GC SXT for less money than the Sienna. :cry:
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    But the question is WHY? -- The 3.3L with downgraded ratings to 215 HP and 222 lb-ft Torque is more than sufficient for my needs (as was the lower 180 HP and 210 lb-ft Torque of 02 T&C LX).

    Here is WHY:

    Compared to all minivans today, the Sienna has the least horsepower. Most of them have in the 240 hp range, except for the Ford and Mercury which have 202 hp but offers approx. 260 lb.-ft. of torque.

    It may be sufficient for you, but not for the media... and in general, the 3.3L engine is going, and being replaced by the newer 3.5L across the line.
  • caravan2caravan2 Posts: 198
    I like GC Grand Caravan/SXT. Only thing that is stopping me buying is Stability control. And I still don't understand why third row middle seat does not have shoulder belt.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Probably because younger children should NOT wear a shoulder belt. ;)
    Very few large people ride in the 3rd row of ANY minivan...and only the Odyssey, Sienna, and DC minivans have 3rd rows that are comfortable for adults or large children. :shades:
  • Hi,
    We moved to northern Michigan, UP from a much warmer country recently and are looking for minivan. We are a family of seven and have a big dog. We live in a small place and there is no big choice of used cars. Could you help us make a decision between Toyota Sienna XLE (year 2000, 56000 miles, dealer is asking $13000) and Dodge Grand Caravan sport 4WD (year 2001, 72000 miles, dealer is asking $9250). What are the potential problems with both vehicles? Does the 4WD of Dodge outweigh the reliability of Toyota? Does it make sense to buy extended warranty (~$1500 for 4 years) on any of the vehicles?
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    We own a 2006 Toyota Sienna LE after owning a 2002 Chrysler T&C LX ( a fairly well equipped clone of the 2002 Grand Caravan Sport).
    My son traded in his FWD 2002 Grand Caravan Sport on a used 2006 Sienna LE a few months ago after replacing the transmission on his 2002 GC Sport. :sick:
    I liked our 02 T&C LX better than the 06 Sienna LE BUT in your situation, I recommend the 2000 Sienna XLE even though it is much smaller than the GC Sport and costs more.
    Too many Grand Caravans and T&C were ABUSED when used as rental or fleet vehicles while there is a very low possiblity the Sienna XLE was used as a rental or fleet vehicle.
    If buying NEW, I would buy a GC SXT and not the Sienna XLE (or LE). ;)
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    I would go with the Sienna. However, you should try to get a powertrain warranty. Toyota's V6 had an oil sludge problem up until recently. If you can't be sure that the oil was changed regularly on the vehicle, you could have problems. Also, I would get a set of 4 snow tires and steel rims for the winter driving up in Michigan. Good luck.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Given the choice of the two vehicles you're looking at I would pick the DGC hands down. The DGC is both larger and far more capable in the slippery stuff with its AWD system. As a general rule the Generation 3 minivans from DC have proven to be quite reliable. The most significant problem area for the Gen3s was the transmission and by the 2000 model year (the first year that the new ATF+4 transmission fluid was used from the factory) the transmission problems were mostly eradicated. Do some still fail? Yup. If you check around you'll find that virtually every minivan on the market suffers from a higher failure rate than other vehicle types; that goes for Toyota and Honda too (especially Honda).

    Heat seems to be the biggest bane of minivan transmissions and so the first thing I would do to any recent minivan purchase would be to put a transmission cooler on it (assuming the original owner didn't order the Trailer Towing option).

    Regarding an extended warranty, I wouldn't bother. Put that $1,500 in an interest bearing account and "Self Insure". That way, even if the van suffers a failure beyond the end of the warranty (assuming the warranty company is still in business), you can still use the money.

    FWIW, we have a Gen3 DGC with the same basic engine and transmission as the 2000 AWD you are looking at and it is fast approaching 130,000 miles. Ours is a 1998 and the original transmission lasted 109,000 miles and cost me $2,600 to put a factory remanufactured (much better than a typical "rebuild") unit in. Other than that, I've put in a starter, a battery tray and a door switch that controls the interior lights. Said another way, my total cash out of pocket for unscheduled maintenance for 130,000 miles has been less than $3,000. Not too shabby.

    Regarding being cautioned about buying a used rental hack, I suspect that few if any AWD equipped T&Cs and DGCs ever saw any rental fleet duty so you can rest easy there. That said, make sure you have an experienced mechanic who is familiar with these vehicles give it a good once over before you buy it.

    Best Regards,
  • DO NOT buy a Chrysler product minivan. My 2001 T&C Limited has been trouble from it's first day. I'm on my 3rd transmission in two years, I've replaced the A/C condenser and what else I don't know (over $1,000), had front engine seals redone due to oil leaks, valve cover gaskets, water soaked carpets on passenger side (dealer had to install some kind of hose extension from the firewall, but I had to pay!! for the design flaw to be fixed). AND the electric sliding doors have never worked in the winter and now rarely work in any weather. In short, I've spent at least $6,000 on this piece of junk in the last two years. It has 117,000 miles on it. My wife drives it a lot, but drives like a grandma so it's not from abuse. We change oil and filters religiously. The product is just JUNK. No two ways about it. Get the Toyota. that's my next purchase.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    DO NOT BUY A SIENNA. I bought a NEW 2006 Sienna LE and it is NOT as good as my used 2002 T&C LX that cost much less. :sick:
    It appears that you got your 2001 T&C as a USED vehicle. If so, you have no idea how the first owner drove or maintained it. :confuse:
    NEVER buy a USED Grand Caravan or T&C that was first sold to a fleet or rental agency where it got abused. :sick:
  • caravan2caravan2 Posts: 198
    Sienna is better then the gc/t&c for quite a few reasons.
    First of all, the gc/t&c does not have stabilty
    control :cry: .Plus the gc/t&c has the most crapyyest interior have ever seen :cry: ( besides the mazda mpv).
    Even though the gc/t&c is cheaper the sienna has all those features that the gc/t&c does not have and more. For example,standert mp3 players on all modles,stabilitycontrol,etc..... :) .The only good
    part for the gc/t&c is the stow and go.And if you do not like the sienna go with the oddesy.And if you do not like the oddesy go with the kia sedona or the entorage.And if you do not like the those go with the gm twins.My werst recomendations are the mazda mpvand the gc/t&c :sick: .
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    The Sienna has a VERY POORLY designed dash with curved shiny surface on the center part which causes glare from the sunshine...unless you live where it is cloudy all the time. :shades: Why didn't the jerks who write glowing reports about the Sienna notice this design blunder? :confuse:
    I agree: The GC/T&C interior does NOT look as elegant as the Sienna and the GC /T&C does not have the over-hyped MP3 player connection BUT the GC/T&C do have cassette players in addition to the CD player. The GC/T&C have power liftgate optional in much lower priced vehicles and have both side power sliding doors in more vehicles than the Sienna. The GC / T&C have MORE comfortable seats in every place but the driver's seat and have separately controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger in most models.
    BTW, Stability control is NOT standard on most Siennas. :shades:
    I have owned a 2002 T&C LX and a NEW 2006 Sienna LE. The T&C was by far the most desireable minivan. ;)
  • Yes it was used. I bought it from the dealer from whom the original owner bought it new. While I don't know how they drove it, I know it wasn't a rental. My point is, there are definite engineering flaws in the Chrysler, particularly with the transmission. Ours is the Limited model so it is very nice inside and rides smooth and quiet. But I can't put up with all the mechanical nonsense anymore.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    There are NO engineering flaws in the Chrysler or in the Chrysler transmission.
    Chrysler transmission problems have been caused by un-informed people putting the wrong transmission fluid into the Chrysler automatic transmissions. Many Chrysler minivans were ABUSED by the fleet or rental users before being purchased by a private individual although yours was not a rental.
    Did you ask the salesman why the first owner got rid of it? :confuse:
    If you are having mechanical problems, trade it off just like I plan to trade off my 2006 Sienna LE since I do NOT like it as well as my 2002 T&C LX. :shades:
  • avery1avery1 Posts: 372
    Nonsense! My brother has purchased two Chrysler minivans new. The transmission went out in the first one at 65,000. He believed the salesman's story about those problems being in the past and bought a second one. The tranny went out on this one at 72,000 miles. He replaced it with a rebuilt one and within a year and a half that one went out. I would never buy a Chrysler minivan without a warranty that would run as long as I planned on keeping the car.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Where did he have the transmission serviced? Is he sure the correct transmission fluid was used if serviced? :confuse:
  • avery1avery1 Posts: 372
    It was always serviced at the dealer.
This discussion has been closed.