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4.0 vs 3.8L engine- is 4.0 that much beter?

wp746911wp746911 Posts: 24
edited May 2014 in Chrysler
I am looking at getting a new t&c minivan. The 3.3L/4 auto is out of the question-underpowered 4-speed=no thank you.

The 3.8L 6 speed seems reasonable- I like the 6 speed and the power is reasonable. Plus the motor is well proven.

However, when I look at the 4.0L I feel like I am missing out. A more powerful engine that is MORE fuel efficient? Am I missing something? Why is this not on more versions rather than the top of the line?

I am currently looking at a T&C limited (msrp 35k, offered at 26k!!!). This thing is very nice- has loads of nice options, but I just wish it had a 4.0L. To get the 4.0L I have to step up to the limited (msrp 37k base- the ones I see are generally 40k base- not sure what the offer would be but they would have to be around 30k). I just wish they wouldn't only offer the top of the line engine in the top of the line van.

I know the dodge has more options, but my wife really doesnt like the dodge look.

Comments

  • Hello there,
    I About 3 weeks about we traded in our 2005 T&C Limited (with the 3.8L motor) for a 2008 T&C Limited (with the 4.0L motor). This is our third T&C Limited in the past 12 years, and all have worked very well without needing too much to be happy. The only major things that I can comment on about on our second T&C was the power steering pump setup had issues, but was always covered under warranty.

    Back to your question... The 4.0L motor is a DREAM on the highway. It makes the van feel like you are driving with a V8 motor under the hood. It is very smooth in stop and go of local streets. I did drive a 2009 with a 3.8L and the 6 speed, and there is still a big difference. This 4.0L is so smooth that my wife is complaining less about her back pain (she is in a wheelchair & paralyzed from the waist down). I just feather the gas peddle and I am at local cruising speed.

    When I purchased it there was 24 miles on the odometer, and so far I have about put about 1700 miles onto the van. My son loves the MyGIG setup with the SiriusTV (Disney, Nick, Cartoon Network) & DVD player in the rear. The wife loves that she can watch movies in the front if we are parked along with the swivel & go heated chairs (makes it easy for her to enjoy the drive-in movie theater). The 4.0L motor, 6 speed with auto-stick, sun roof, closing button for the tail gate, MyGig, NAV, the new keyfobs with remote start, and opening side-door windows are my favorites for the van.

    Tips when buying:
    Get one with a dark interior. The light color tan that we have is always in need of extra cleaning, including the seat leather. I am going to need to purchase seat covers as even our jeans are rubbing off onto the seats.

    Try to get the dealer to include window tinting, the sun really creates a good Greenhouse effect in this van due to all of the window space.

    Good luck, and I hope that it serves you well. Take advantage of the employee pricing, rebates, and the lifetime warranty on the drive-train.
    Tom
  • wp746911wp746911 Posts: 24
    so you were able to get a limited with the 4.0L option? My dealer told me they don't do that but the website shows it as an option- I just can't find any locally (Houston) that has that. So I'm not sure if the lack of 4.0 is a deal breaker or not yet...
  • Yes, and they had lots more of those vans over here at the dealer I go to.

    They said just about the only option I didn't get was the tow hitch in the rear. Something I need to call UHaul to get a price on.

    You might want to call across the state some since the dealers can transfer sock around. Maybe it is worth a trip to Austin or San Antonio.
  • We just bought a 2009 T&C Touring with the 4.0L engine. I believe that the 4.0L engine is only available with the Touring model if you get the new 25th anniversary edition packaging (28M in our case). This new package is just starting to get into the dealerships. This was the perfect package for us, we got all the items that we wanted without having to go with the Limited, and we saved a few thousand dollars. (We also got the security package which has the backup camera, sensors, bluetooth, blind spot monitoring, etc). They have a $1525 package discount on the anniversary packaging, and then you also get the DVD credit ($1400?), the employee pricing, $1500 customer cash, 0% for 36 months, and then whatever else you can bargain. It really is a heck of a deal right now. This is our 4th Chrysler/Dodge minivan, and this one is the quietest, most powerful, and smoothest that we have owned. Our most recent T&C was a 2005 Touring with the luxury package, and we really loved that van too, but this one is even better (so far). We have not had it long enough to get a good mileage number, but we are going on a long trip next week and hope to get over 25 mpg.
  • Please report back the numbers that you get. I didn't crunch numbers or anything, I just used the on board computer on a small 3 hour highway trip. Now I didn't realize it was possible to reset that computer otherwise I would have done so on the highway. However between the local and then the highway driving I was getting an average of a little over 18mpg. Now I also had to vary the throttle a lot due to engine break in procedures, but I was rather happy with how long the gas lasted on the highway.
    Tom
  • wp746911wp746911 Posts: 24
    thanks for info- yeah that is what I was figuring out- you have to get the 25th anniv. package to get the 4.0. One dealer I talked to was clueless, the other had several nice 4.0L packages available but wouldn't budge below 31k for a 35kmsrp van whereas the 3.8L 25th anniv. van with msrp 35k can be had for 26k at a different dealer. It's annoying- when I buy a car I like to get the best powertrain out there. I like how honda/toyota does there vans with little/no powertrain variation. I hate this game chrysler is playing iwth 3 engines and 2 trannys. I think the base should be the 3.8L, with the touring and limited having the 4.0L...
  • $31K for a $35K MSRP? You gotta be kidding! The employee pricing already knocks off around $4K. Then you have the $1500 customer cash, and another $1400 or so for the DVD credit (assuming the van has the DVD system in it). That's $7K already. And from what I've seen on the web forums, you should be able to get a total of $8K to $10K off the list depending on how hard you want to bargain. I am in the Chicago area, and in my case I got mine for $9,000 off the MSRP, and I am not a real hard bargainer. I only really wanted the 25th anniversary packaging (28M) and the Security package, but this van also had the navigation and the backseat TV. We'll use the navigation, but we'll never use the backseat TV since our kids are 19-23 and they don't watch Nickelodeon, Disney or Cartoon Network. No grandkids on the horizon yet either.

    Your dealer must be the only Chrysler dealer in the country that is not dealing? Hard to imagine.
  • wp746911wp746911 Posts: 24
    lol yeah I'm not really sure. I live in houston so they have LOTS of competition. Unfortunately, very very few people get 4.0L in the touring around the houston area. I was pumped when I found this dealer but then they quoted me the poor price. I flatly told them I was getting quotes of 26.5k for a similar (within a few hundred) msrp vehicle (no 4.0 but with nav- the 4.0 is more important). The dude sounded shocked, supposedly 'looked into a few things' then called me back and said he didn't think they could go that low. Obviously they can b/c we've seen it many times on this forum. I dunno, I've about given up on the chryslers. I really want the 4.0L but don't want to have to get the limited to get it ($$) and evidently in the 4th largest city in the US I can't find a dealer that has the options I want that can offer a competitive price...
  • If you can wait just a little, the 25th anniversary editions only started rolling out to dealers a few weeks ago. I know the one we bought was delivered March 24th so it was on the lot for under 2 weeks. It looks like the Chicago area has a lot more of them than the Houston area. It must be because Houston is a lot farther from Windsor, Ontario than Chicago is. :-) They really are a nice van. Like you, I really wanted the 4.0L engine but did not want to pay for all the stuff that comes in the Limited. The 4.0L engine really makes the van move out smartly, maybe not like my Cadillac CTS, but pretty good for a minivan. I also love the IPOD interface, the 30GB hard drive, and Sirius. No shortage of entertainment options.

    Anyway, good luck to you. Maybe the truck for Houston is on its way.....
  • wp746911wp746911 Posts: 24
    unfortunately i think the 25th aniv. edition has already hit houston- that s the touring with the 5,000 msrp option package with leather, dvd, etc right? I've found many many dealers that have them -but to get the 4.0L either they are black (i'm sorry if you buy a BLACK vehicle in houston, tx you need some psychiatric help) or they are at that dealer that won't go below 30k... I wonder if I could special order it and get it dropped shipped and still save the big $$?
  • Yes, that's the option package (28M). We got the color we wanted (light blue) and there is no way we would get the black either and we're up here in Chicago. So none of the other dealers were willing to work with you to try and get one for you that you like at a price that you like? I would have thought with all the issues at Chrysler, the dealers would be falling over each other trying to sell a minivan to anyone. The dealer that I worked with was doing just about anything to not let me walk out the door.

    Is it Baytown that you are working with? The web site says that they have one in Clearwater Blue which is the color that we bought. List price $35,355? Employee Price $31,439? Then you would also get $1,500 customer cash? And also a discount of around $1,500 for the free DVD. Can a dealer decide to not give you those advertised discounts?

    I am very confused.
  • Oh, it looks like the one they have is the 28L package, which does not seem to be exactly what I got (28M). On the 28M, it had a package discount listed on the sticker of $1525 and it was called "25th anniversary edition bonus savings". On mine, the dealer gave me another $1400 off for the dual dvd discount, and then the $1500 customer cash. On the 28L, there is also a package discount of $1525 but it is called "Dual DVD Ent Grp Discount".

    I'm still confused. Maybe when the vans start piling up on their lots, they will be more willing to deal with you.

    Good luck.
  • wp746911wp746911 Posts: 24
    Hmm I never saw the one over in baytown. I flipped through about 10-15 dealers stock and didn't see that... I visited one dealer that had some good vans (but no 4.0L)-they gave me a good quote. I called a second that had 4.0L but gave me bad offers over the phone. I haven't pressed the first one to see if they can special order one-maybe I should try looking around again? Its not super easy to look through all the stock since every dealer has things listed using slightly different formats. I think those packages have to be basically the same?
  • It looks to me like the 28L package is very similar to the 28M packaging. The 28M is the newer 25th anniversary packaging so it has some nicer leather seats, 17" wheels with mineral gray painted accents, and a few other things. Also, a big difference that I can see is that the 25th anniversary (28M) would still be eligible for an additional $1400 DVD credit, whereas the 28L package would not since the 28L package already has a discount provided for the DVD.

    http://blogs.internetautoguide.com/6487934/auto-news/chrysler-debuts-25th-annive- rsary-town-country-and-dodge-grand-caravan-editions/index.html
  • The DVD vs the DVD ENT package I think might be the difference of getting a setup with just DVD usage, as opposed to DVD + SiriusTV. You might want to ask about that.
    Tom
  • wp746911wp746911 Posts: 24
    Customer Preferred Package 28M $ 5,240
    17" x 6.5" Aluminum Wheels
    25th Anniversary Edition Group
    Leather-Trimmed Bucket Seats
    8-Way Power Driver and Front-Passenger Seats
    Heated Front Seats
    Heated 2nd-Row Seats
    2nd- and 3rd-Row Manual Window Shades
    Premium Sliding Front Console with Cupholders
    Dual Screen DVD Entertainment System
    2nd-Row Overhead 9" Video Screen
    3rd-Row Overhead 9" Video Screen
    Additional Single Disc DVD Player
    Wireless Headphones (IR)
    Video Remote Control
    uconnect tunes
    Hard Disc Drive
    ParkView(R) Rear Back-up Camera
    Electronic Vehicle Information Center
    Tire Pressure Monitoring Display
    Remote Start System
    P225/65R17 BSW A/S Touring Tires
    25th Anniv. Edition Bonus Savings $ -1,525



    Customer Preferred Package 28L $ 5,045
    Leather Interior Group
    Leather-Trimmed Bucket Seats
    8-Way Power Driver and Front-Passenger Seats
    Heated Front Seats
    Heated 2nd-Row Seats
    2nd- and 3rd-Row Manual Window Shades
    Premium Sliding Front Console with Cupholders
    Dual Screen DVD Entertainment System
    2nd-Row Overhead 9" Video Screen
    Additional Single Disc DVD Player
    Wireless Headphones (IR)
    Video Remote Control
    uconnect tunes
    Hard Disc Drive
    ParkView(R) Rear Back-up Camera
    Electronic Vehicle Information Center
    Tire Pressure Monitoring Display
    Remote Start System
    Medium Slate Seats
    Dual DVD Entertainment Grp Discount $ -1,525

    17" x 6.5" Aluminum Wheels and touring tires seem to be the biggest difference. It appears the 25M is acutally about $200 more expenive though...
  • Recently picked up an 09 Touring with the 4.0 engine...replacing a 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan with the 3.8 5spd AOD. Power seems near identical, with the exception of the 6 spd auto in the 4.0 shifts earlier and seems more buzzy than the 3.8 5spd version. Although the sticker says the 4.0 will return better MPG...that hasn't happened yet. The 3.8 delivered near 26 MPG on the road...the 4.0 struggles to get to 23 MPG. Maybe it will pick up with more mileage on the vehicle...but I don't see it happening.
  • We have a 2009 4.0L 25th Anniversary Touring. I definitely have to throw in my vote that the 4.0L is great!

    We didn't see higher MPG from our van until we had a couple thousand miles behind it. Cruising on the highway in Florida we can easily get high-20's at 70mph.

    Remember that the new vans are larger and heavier than the old vans. You need extra power to make up the difference.

    As I've pointed out elsewhere, they're quick vans with the 4.0L, doing 0-60 in about 7.8 seconds, which is typically better than Siennas and Odysseys can do.
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