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Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager

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Comments

  • We recently bought a 2001 T&C LXi and are considering getting a mopar hitch and a 4-bike rear rack. We have used conventional rear racks for 30 years and are fed up expending care and time trying to cushion the bikes from each other and ending up with scratched bikes despite all our effort. Does anyone know about mopar rear bike racks? Is it relatively quick and easy to mount the racks and then the bikes on them?
  • In reading numerous posts at several Chrysler minivan sights it seems there are two major problems which keep reoccuring, transmission failures and serpentine belt longevity. I understand that the new 3.5 engine is rumored to come with a revised/redesigned transmission and a transmission cooler as part of the standard equipment with this new motor. Also, does anyone know if the serpentine belt design has changed with the 3.5? It seems that two of the most significant past problems with Chrysler vans might be addressed with the new motor. As a potential nearterm buyer of a new Chrysler van I would very much like to hear whether either of these problems has in fact been addressed with the 3.5. Comments from any qualified Chrysler service technicians would be greatly appreciated.
  • rhznrhzn Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 t&c lxi awd. the vibration occurs between 2000 and 2250rpm. its extremely annoying almost to the extent as to drive one crazy. my service writer drove another one and said that the noise was worse than mine. What do we do?
  • aps5aps5 Posts: 43
    I thought I could live with it, but this vibration is getting worse. I had the van in for the never-worked seat heater and mentioned it, and they said the frame is missing a bushing, which they will replace.

    I had a loaner Dodge R/T and it had similar resonance, for a bigger rpm range.

    The problem is, at 67.5 mph to about 70 mph the resonance is now louder and surges in an out, like a droning propeller aircraft (if anyone is a pilot or flies in smaller planes, you know what I mean). I am finding it more and more annoying. I will print all the posts that rolfe collected and try my service guys, but they told me they sell "alot" of these vans and I am the first to complain.

    Anyone know a national customer service number?

    Andy
  • With respect to post #607. I'd be surprised if the 3.5l suffers this problem since its design is significantly different than the 3.3 or 3.8. I'm assuming this is the same 3.5 that was introduced in the 300M (Overhead cam and is mounted longitudinally in Chrysler FWD vehicles, not transversely)

    For what its worth, my father has had his 300M for better than a year and a half and its been rock solid. Motor and all.
    -- BKS
  • rolfe2rolfe2 Posts: 81
    This is an update on the annoying resonance exhibited in my 2001 GC ES AWD at 2100 rpm.

    I took my van to my dealer, along with copies of over 50 posts on this subject from this conference. My service tech read them, then called the "Star Center" in Detroit, whom he referred to as "the engineers" to whom dealerships escalate problems. The purpose of this post is to relate to you what the service tech passed on to me.

    First of all, he reported that his contact at the Star Center was well aware of the problem, and could describe it "to a 'T'", including mention of vibration in the accelerator pedal. Engineering believes the problem is related to the driveline in the AWD vehicles because if the driveline is disconnected, essentially rendering an AWD vehicle to FWD status, the noise disappears. Furthermore, my tech says that the AWD mechanism/driveline was entirely redesigned for 2001, implying that there could be unresolved problems with it.

    He also said that the "engineers" would be meeting with the "designers" to discuss this problem on Friday. My tech believes that a solution will be found -- "they have to fix it." Such a solution, in his speculation, might involve dampers (metal blobs, etc.) placed strategically under the vehicle (doesn't sound too elegant to me!). He is empathic that the problem is being actively worked, but that they don't yet know the cause.

    The engineer my tech spoke with said that DC will not reimburse any dealership that "throws parts" at this problem. Their advice is for dealerships to await some kind of resolution from engineering, and not to work on this problem directly. To the best of my tech's knowledge, no written communication has flowed from engineering to the dealerships on this issue (if there were, I'd have asked for a copy.)

    BTW, my tech faxed approximately 10 of the posts I had brought in to him to the Star Center, to emphasize the widespread interest in this problem. I made the point that if a half-dozen or so owners are complaining about this problem in Edmunds, there are potentially hundreds more 'silent' readers who come to this conference prior to making a buying decision.

    The advice my tech gave me to pass on was that those with this problem should contact the "Tech Advisor" at their dealership and request that he/she submit a "mechanical report", including the VIN, to the Star Center. The Tech Advisor is apparently someone to whom the techs go for assistance when they need additional resources; he said every dealership has one.

    My own plan is to wait a couple of weeks and then contact my tech again for an update. He plans to follow up with his engineering contact and is expecting my call.

    All this seems like good news to me. However, I'm well aware that this does not address any issues with noise experienced by FWD owners. However, I continue to hold the belief that all 2001 GC's and T&C's have a natural frequency associated with 2100 rpm, and that the AWD just exacerbates it to the level of being a problem. I acknowledge that in some FWDs it may be up to the level of unacceptability. For FWD owners, I only hope that an eventual solution will apply to them as well. But my tech was emphatic that engineering regards this as an AWD phenomenon currently.

    (I guess if you own an FWD and are convinced that your problem is the same, you should attempt to communicate that to DC.)

    A disclaimer: obviously, I don't speak for DC. Please verify any information I've provided before acting upon it. Your mileage may vary.

    --rolfe.
  • Thanks, Rolfe, for your diligence in keeping the forum informed of your progress in sorting out the 2100 noise problem. I'm sure others appreciate it as well.
  • I AM one of those silent (sometimes) readers that is just waiting to see what is going to come out of the complaints regarding the DC and TC AWD's. My husband and I are waiting to see if the new 3.5 V6's in the new Limiteds expected out this spring resolve this annoying resonance/vibration problem. I will not purchase a DC or TC AWD at this point... so I hope Chrysler IS listening. I've done all my research and am waiting to see how the safety ratings and this AWD issue pan out!

    Thanks so much for all your research! We all appreciate it... owners and possible owners alike!

    Maria
  • You're doing great work for us. After they fix this thing (and I would think they will as the engineering challenge doesn't seem that difficult), let me know when you are in Seattle. I will drive you in my T&C to a great brewpub and treat you to a few.

    I must be lucky as the noise level in ours is pretty tolerable. My wife thinks it has gotten quieter. Maybe, as the primary driver, she is used to it. We did a 200-mile trip to a neat plant nursery this weekend to pick up some blueberry plants. Both freeway and two-lane winding blacktop adventures. I, who rarely has the opportunity to drive the T&C, noticed the rumble occasionally--and I am certain that my consciousness of the sound is fomented by hanging out here.

    The vehicle, by the way, still performs superbly--excellent handling, supportive seats, very quiet, nice audio system, and great dashboard graphics. Reminds me of my boss's Infiniti--but we accommodated seven blueberry plants, a tobaggin, a snow disc, the inevitable storage bin, a 3yr old and a 1yr old easily inside.

    Only negatives so far with the T&C:
    1. A puny backup light. A real contrast to the much improved headlight illumination. I would have thought that raising the reverse lights up the tree would have helped too.
    2. Tape deck takes too long to rewind a 90min cassette.
    3. Slight body gap on passenger side sliding door to the rear; no water leaks just 1/32nd of light at a certain angle. Maybe all minivans have that, I am new to them.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    "A puny backup light. A real contrast to the much improved headlight illumination. I would have thought that raising the reverse lights up the tree would have helped too."

    You may want to switch to 55 watt halogen backup bulbs. That's what I did. I believe the standard ones are only 10 or 15 watts, and these halogen bulbs are unbelievably brighter. Your headlamps are 55 watts, after all! :-) The only thing that you have to watch out for is not to leave the van in reverse for more than 1 minute or so (I doubt this is a problem for most people) since the halogen bulbs generate more heat than the other incandescent bulbs, and that could cause problems with the wiring/lenses.

    These are the bulbs that I bought. For those of you Canucks out there, they can be found at Canadian Tire as well.
    http://www.designtech-intl.com/merchant.ihtml?id=7&step=2

    Hope this helps!

    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • As a potential buyer of T&C/GC ES (FWD), I really apprecaiate all your research and keeping this forum informed.
  • aps5aps5 Posts: 43
    Let me add my thanks for the diligent work you've done. I do think there will be a resolution. It is amazing to me that this company would have full time engineers and designers, yet it takes laymen like us about 5 minutes to find this defect. Who are these designers? Did they ever drive the vehicle? It makes you wonder, is anyone competent at what they do?

    Andy
  • Well - I read along in several different categories and the information provided by Rolfe has certainly been some of the more enlightening.

    I will be in the market for a minivan within the next 12 months and the T&C is at the top of our list. I've had three Hondas thus far but the Odyssey just doesn't have the amenities and comfort we are looking for in a vehicle that we spend no less than 2hrs in when we travel.

    I'm waiting for the 3.5l engine as well and am very curious to see how they mount it. Keep in mind that in all FWD applications this motor is NOT mounted transversely as is the 3.3 and 3.8. This makes me all so curious as to how they'll mate it to the AWD driveline. Assuming they offer it in such a configuration.

    Again - thanks to Rolfe and all current owners. Please continue to post experiences and how you think the vans are holding up. I've loved Chrysler styling for some time but have naturally been concerned about the quality. Here's to hoping 2001 is a noticeable step in the right direction.

    -- BKS
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    Rolfe,

    Try reading the email that I sent you. You have to know where to look.
  • I'm considering a 2001 GCS with 60 miles on it bought from a dealer. Price seems almost too good to be true - asking $21,000 with CD player, child seat, etc but I'm not sure what pkg (haven't seen it yet, supposed to be in today). Anyone have an opinion on this deal? The car was being sold from dealer who was getting rid of 40 GCS's - should I be suspicious of a dealer selling a 2001 with 60 miles on it? The used car guy does have a favorable rep for getting good deals.
  • aps5aps5 Posts: 43
    Drew or others - anyone know which of the two bulb choices on Drew's link above would work for the 2001 T&C or GC van?

    thanks

    Andy
  • jasdmwjasdmw Posts: 118
    I am the owner of a 1996 Plymouth Voyager LE with the 3.3LV6. Since day 1 it has had a high pitch whining noise at about 80 KM/HR and 120 KM/Hr. Four years after I bought the van, I finally had a tech explain the problem. It might relate to the one some of you are having.

    Seems the gears (I believe called planetary) which convert the longitudinal power of the engine to lateral power out to the wheels were designed with a specific pitch. Seems the selection was not the best. At the speeds I mentioned, they make an audible whine. The "fix" DC implemented for the '97 model year and up was to increase the insulation on the drivers side of the interior! Never mind about addressing the real issue, they bandaided it. This explaination came to me from a Chrysler master mechanic who had recently left a large dealer to work at a smaller independant garage where I'd had some routine maintenance work done

    In numerous letters to Chrysler, I received answers ranging from you're nuts to go pound salt (paraphrasing of course). I decided at that time this would be my last DC vehicle. I was just perusing the site to see if anything had changed in the 5 years I've had the van. Appears all is normal.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    I seem to recall that it's the 3156 style bulb that you should be looking for. Check the owner's manual to verify. It should indicate which bulb is required for the backup lamps.


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • I would imagine that this is a Canadian bought van... I live in Washington State, just South of the Canadian border by a couple of hours and we have TONS of Canadian "barely used" 2001 SUV's, vans, etc... to choose from. Many of the dealers ( including my relative in Oregon) buy a lot of their inventory from Canada... since the exchange rate is so much in our favor!

    In the case of Hondas... Honda will not honor the factory warranty in the USA if you have a car/van that originated in Canada...

    If you do have a Canadian vehicle the price is probably just a result of the dealer being able to get it at such a low cost. There is a dealer near me that gets 100% of his inventory from Canada.. Odysseys mostly... and offers them at less than all the Honda dealers, etc..

    Good luck!
  • I just spoke with a local Chrysler dealer yesterday and asked when this supposed new 3.5 V6 version of the Ltd. is to appear on the lots. The manager I spoke with said he didn't know anything about the 3.5 V6 on the LTD's... He thought I was talking about the new EX T&C coming out next month. To my knowledge.. those are coming out in a 3.8 V6.. not a 3.5. I'm only interested in the Ltd's and the LXI's... Does anyone know any specifics about the LTD 3.5??? WHen is it to come out?

    I am hoping that they offer this POSSIBLE new version with a split bench option in the 3rd row. If not.. we'll buy the 25U package on the LXI with all the goodies. I really like the seats and overall look of the interior of the LTD. better...

    My relative who owns a Chrysler/Dodge dealership is trying to help me in purchasing my new minivan... but I really am not wanting to do anything until they get this AWD issue straightened out. I am STILL waiting for the Safety tests just to make sure there isn't some major issue with that either.

    Just FYI.. anyone who is shopping.. There is a 1500.00 rebate on the Dodge/Chrysler products and some low financing options too... My relative just filled me in on the details. I think you have to purchase before 2/28 though. That would rule me out since I'm still waiting! :o)

    If anyone has any info. on this 3.5 I would greatly appreciate being enlightened!

    Thanks!
    Maria
  • I read this on rec.autos.makers.chryler this morning:

    "All work has stopped on the 3.5L for the minivan. It has been placed on hold (cancelled ?). With slow sales it was not a cost effective option."
  • I learned of Chrysler's new EX minivan from Edmunds and from Chrysler's own website. It is essentially a reconfigured van built to compete with Odyssey. It is mid priced but with the options that most people want. I frankly cannot see why anyone would pay for an LX with these options or an LXi after seeing how the EX is equipped and its price. I read that it was to be available in March. All the dealers and even Chrysler's "product specialist" (called us to see if we got a brochure after visiting their website) knew nothing about it. One dealer was so rude and acted like we were nuts. Has anyone heard of this? Is it true that some roll-outs might only be available in certain parts of the country initially? Thanks.
  • I haven't read much here about the DC EX which I believe comes out in March. The dealers here (MA)know nothing about it nor does the "product specialist" from Chrysler who called us to see if we received a brochure after visiting the website. They seem like the only way to go seeing the pricing and the standard features. Am I missing something about them? Anyone have any news on them? Thanks.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    You sure are patient! It will pay off in the end, of course, when the IIHS offset crash tests are released probably sometime in March or perhaps late February :-)


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • cweeks... thanks for the update. My relative who owns the Chrysler/Dodge dealership read to me off of his "Restrictions" list? It said that the 3.5L RS (Chrysler & Dodge) "East-West" engine would be coming out on a date "to be determined". I'll have him ck up on the statement you read. Can you give me the link again.. your address shown must have an error.. it won't go through.

    EX... audreyj2... If you read back a few pages you'll find that the EX topic was discussed and I believe that someone even posted all of the options that it will come with... The basics I know is that is DUE in March... It has limited color choices, no leather option, 3.8 V6, power liftgate, removable center console and more. It is being produced to compete mainly with the Honda Odyssey and will have a sticker of around 26-27K. It is basically a dressed up LX in the TC.. or a dressed up Sport in the DC.. Try to go back in the last month or so and see if you can find the topic headings relating to the EX.. we did discuss it here.

    Dale... Yes.. I'm hoping my patience pays off in the end. If what cweeks says about the 3.5 V6 being temporarily halted is true.. I'll be bummed. I was really hoping that they would offer the Limited type luxury with a split bench to make my new purchase just perfect! After talking with my relative/dealer I also know that they are Very aware of the AWD issue and are working on it such as Rolfe has enlightened us about. Apparently a company in Oregon did the prototype for Dodge/Chrysler for their new AWD and then Dodge/Chrysler chose to go with a different manufacturer. My relative is friends with one of the actual designers of the AWD prototype and he told me that his friend got under one of the 2001 T&C's and couldn't believe what Chrysler had gone with for their AWD...??? Interesting... not sure what to make of that one?

    Anyway, I did give my relative all my options, color choices, etc.. so he has my "wish list" to work with now. :o)

    I hope you're right about the safety tests coming out this month or in March... do you know something we don't know????? :o)

    Maria
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    You just explained why they don't want to acknowledge its pending arrival - precisely because they have more-expensive vans on the lots, now, with similar equipment. With computers, next month's model is always better performing, more lavishly equipped, and lower in price - and there are constant clearances on yesterday's model. The resale value is also abysmal.

    Automakers don't like that business model - cutting prices invariably deflates resale, forces rebates and incentives on current models, and alienates buyers who paid more yesterday than current buyers do.

    The other issue is no doubt an inventory-control issue - DaimlerChrysler doesn't want more inventory building up than it already has - so you may see the supplies of the newer models kept much tighter than of the older ones. It seems more willing to close plants and reduce production, than keep pumping them out and selling at a loss, than it was under its U.S. management.
  • Just checked out carpoint.msn.com and used their pricing service for the Town & Country Limited. It lists the 3.5 as an option for the fwd only and indicates it comes with an engine oil cooler, H.D. transmission cooler, and H.D. radiator. There was no price listed for this option but they must have gotten their info from Chrysler in order to be so detailed.
  • babyangels, the reference I gave you was one character short of being correct. :-) The correct reference is rec.autos.makers.chrysler . But understand that this is not a web page you can simply view with IE/Netscape browser. It is a newsgroup. If you are not familiar with newsgroups and how to access them it will probably be more trouble than it is worth to look up the message I quoted. I quoted it in its entirety so there's really nothing else to see there anyway.
  • Chrysler's website has been updated to show the EX model and its content.

    If I understood the site correctly - it looks like it is a 1-stop-shopping approach. Buy that model and don't expect to have any *factory* options to put on it. Very similar to buying an Odyssey.
    -- BKS
  • Does anyone know whether the EX has an option for a Trailer/Towing Pkg. and the related heavy duty radiator, etc.?
  • Rolfe, I'd like a copy of your history doc on the noise issue. How can I get one?
  • rolfe2rolfe2 Posts: 81
    curtfaulk- if you're OK with this, update your Edmunds profile (even temporarily) to include your email address, and I'll send you a zip file of the doc (now over 60 posts). I'll next check tonight sometime.

    --rolfe.
  • Rolfe-I too would appreciate your collection of posts re:the T&C noise issue. Thanks-Striker5
  • rolfe2rolfe2 Posts: 81
    striker5 and curtfaulk -- make sure you checked Public in your Edmunds profile for your email address -- I can't access it yet.

    --rolfe.
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    Meanwhile, guess who just won Motor Week's 2001 Drivers' Choice Awards for Best Minivan, Best Family Sedan, and Best Crossover Vehicle.


    http://www.mpt.org/motorweek/driverschoice.shtml


    .

  • abealiabeali Posts: 13
    Just wanted to report on my first 1000 mile experience with my 2001 Dodge GC, ES, 3.8L, FWD ... I hope prospective buyers find this helpful.

    I am thrilled that I didn't have to take this car back to the dealer for any mechanical or body problems in the first 1K miles. I've never had a car, foreign or domestic, that escaped this fate except for this GC.

    I do not have any 2100 RPM vibration or noise on this FWD unit.

    I am thrilled with driving this silk-smooth vehicle, and my wife and I are constantly fighting over who will drive when we are together.

    I am extremely impressed by the quality of the ride and the rich features. The configuration, space, comfort, 3-zone climate control, heated seats, sound system, video system, etc. makes this vehicle a keeper for the next 10 years.

    There are two annoyances:

    1. The release handle for the hand brake!!! The guy that decided on the location for this handle should be fired; better yet he should be punished by having to reach for it 100 times WAAAAYYY down there under the steering column! I can't imagine such a well thought out vehicle with such a big lapse of attention ... especially with that handle having been so conveniently placed on the 98 model.

    2. For some very weird reason, we get an annoyingly "crackly" reception on AM 1070 radio station in the Los Angeles basin. This is a very powerful news station I have listened to for years and never had any reception problems with except in the GC. I met the video system installer at the dealer for some upgrades to my installation, and he went through a couple of other GCs on the lot ... both had the same problem. He then tested his own car and my other car: no reception problem. Real weird! He couldn't even think of a reason ... If anyone knows why this is, I would appreciate a note.

    Other than this last bit of whining, this GC has been a blast to have and drive ...
  • The radio reception in my T & C Ltd is weird (couldn't think of another word) also. Some stations I couldn't pick up in my other car is crystal clear in the T&C. At the same time, some stations supposed to be clear but static in the T&C. Anyway, the quality of the systems is unbelievably rich when listening to CDs (don't have any tapes to test the cass. deck)
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    Has anyone else received or taken advantage of this offer?
  • Just wanted to second the opinions expressed by Abeali. We used to own a 96 Chrysler T&C LXI, which we traded in for a 2001 GC ES, fully loaded, silver with blue leather. The GC is a real pleasure to drive. Have about 3500 miles on the car so far, problem free, first time with any of our new cars. Plently of pep, car cruises effortlessly at 80 mph on the highway, solid as a rock. Handles very well. We are very pleased. Only complaint is location of parking brake handle, which could cause a dislocated shoulder
    by reaching for it. I am not a minivan person (this is my wife's car) but I would buy this car again in a heartbeat. Big improvment over the 96 T&C.
  • rrtkerrtke Posts: 11
    I am in the market for a 2001 Town & Country Limited with all-wheel drive.

    The only options I am planning to add are the 4cd changer and heated seats.

    What has been the going market price for such a vehicle?

    With the $1500 rebate and $1000 factory to dealer incentives I figure now is a good time look.
  • Two weekends ago, we took delivery of our 2001 ltd. awd. We added the options of heated seats, 4-disc indash cd, tow package, integrated booster seat, and engine block heater. Our out the door price was $33,111.00. (We opted for the 2.9% financing and $1000.00 rebate. )

    Need more info, let me know.

    -Brian
  • I just send out emails/faxes to several dealers in our area asking for their best price on a 2001 T&C AWD Ltd...with tow package, front heated seats, and the 4disc cd changer as well..

    So far the best price I've gotten back is for 32,486.00.. this particular LTD also has running boards too. I actually have driven this particular one that has given me the best price. The next best price I have is 33K... both of these prices are after rebate.

    Of course... I get to pay the lovely 8.6% sales tax on top of that! Yikes!

    We can't make up our minds about the LTD vs. the LXI... we included a request for pricing on a maxed out LXI... AWD as well... the best price I have on that so far is 31,000... One of the dealers has a used one with 4,000 miles on it... actually it is a demo... It is a FWD however... the price on it w/ 4K is 27K... at least that's the sticker... It is tempting... however not the color of my choice. This one is green and we like the Patriot or Steel blue... We can't find any with the navy leather either... all are taupe.

    What's stopping us? Dale (our host) knows! The safety tests still.. I'm getting restless though. My husband hated the way the LXI felt in the back 50/50 split bench in the middle... however we like the versatility of the 50 split bench vs. the standard bench in the LTD. The LTD is definitely a more comfortable bench however! Wouldn't want to be the one in middle of the rear split bench in the LXI...especially on a long trip! Ouch!

    Still concerned a bit about the AWD issues too... one of the dealers when I asked about any info on the vibration/noise at 2100rpms said that it was related to the transfer case... according to Chrsyler engineers... "they are working on it". Hmm.... I hope so! :o)

    Good luck with your purchase... let us know how you did! :o)
  • rrtkerrtke Posts: 11
    Thanks Brian and babyangels. I'll keep you posted.
  • Maria:
    Go with the AWD, the functionality is worth the extra cost. Two Fridays ago the Seattle area (as you know) got hit with 8-11 inches of snow which is a big deal for us.

    Our LXi performed great up and down hills. Very stable handling--as good as my SUV with part-time 4wd. I also used the occasion to learn the characteristics of the antilock brakes and to reprogram my old pump-the-brakes behavior. They worked fine.

    I cannot imagine having an adult in the middle of the split rear bench for more than a five-mile jaunt. The hinges hurt. Older kids, sure. So beware. But a split bench has sure been handy to remove for hauling stuff.
  • Hi Geoduck!

    I was hoping you'd respond to my concerns regarding the LXI vs. the LTD... I think you've talked me into it... I just needed to hear someone else who had the LXI tell me how great the convenience of the back 50/50 split bench was for storage... :o)

    We already have 2 kids... and are planning on one more... so the back 50/50 split bench would be great for one more little body and then we could still take out the other half for more storage capacity. My husband is really wondering how we'll get any more "stuff" in the minivan vs. our current Explorer... I'm not sure about that either. We are always VERY packed whenever we travel anywhere.. bags, toys, food, etc... We would definitely have to invest in one of the storage carriers for above the car. I put my Sit and Stand Stroller in the back of an LXI this wkend and found it took up the entire back of the minivan on the floor... width wise... I'd have to put groceries on top of it I guess... or on the floor by the kids?

    Regarding the AWD vs. the FWD... thank you for that input too... Most of the dealers are trying to talk us out of it. These are dealers who could have sold me the AWD in the color I wanted as well... so not like they just couldn't give me what I wanted... I have always liked the "beefier" drive of the AWD vs. the FWD.. slightly noticeable.. but enough to make me feel better after driving an SUV primarily for the last 8 years.

    My husband still wants to consider the Suburban for the storage capacity... I just don't like the "truck" driving feel and the massive overall size of the monster... Do like the looks better though! The minivan has never really impressed me looks wise.. on the outside that is. Anyhow... thanks for the advice on the AWD... I'll probably shoot for the LXI AWD I found locally.. in Patriot Blue...

    Do I remember correctly that you got the STeel Blue w/ navy leather??? We can't find the navy leather anywhere... How do you like it.. if you do have that? The entire inside is dark.. wondered if it was too dark?

    Thanks!
    Maria
  • Maria:
    Our's is Patriot Blue with the light-colored leather (a must) interior. We wanted a real color--almost got the garnet/maroon, but saw a PT Cruiser with Patriot Blue and was sold on that color instantly. The navy interior was way too dark for the northwest.

    We store our stoller vertically in the vehicle's rear by fitting it into a tight box. Then you got room for grocery bags that tie nicely into those spiffy handle clips.

    But if we pop out one of the rear splits, then I can fit a single baby jogger upright by removing the rear wheels (which is quite easy and fast).

    Three kids will max out your interior storage options indeed. We have a Thule box on our other car and it is great and secure. The roof rack on the T&C is seriously sturdy, holding 150 lbs--I think this functionality dates back to the original T&C in the late 40's which was distinguished by its custom chrome roof rack. (Neat history is another bonus of owning a T&C--take that Odyssey owners!)

    I can certainly see the rationale for a Suburbian. It's big. I may be wrong, but it seems like fewer and fewer downtown parking garages will accomodate vehicles that tall and the width may also be a challenge. They are nice looking for sure.
  • Wow... so we may end up with duplicate T&C's, eh? My husband thought that the Steel Blue was a dark midnight/navy blue vs. the greyish blue that it truly is... he liked the patriot blue better too... It is a sportier color! :o) (which is indeed important to my husband who is not relishing the idea of being seen in mini van)

    I wish I could stand my stroller up in the back of the LX I.. that would save room.. however mine is so long... the length of a twin stroller, so it is too tall to stand up. Mostly I carry the stroller and occasionally groceries.. I am an avid homegrocer.com (now webvan) patron! IT saves me so much time and hassle to not have to drag both of the kids to the store. The prices are quite competitive too... I constantly compare with our local QFC's.

    I would tend to agree with you regarding the navy interior... It just seems really dark in the photos of my pamphlet, etc... Floors, dash, seats, everything all so dark.. seemed kinda depressing. We get enough dark days around here... I'll go for the lighter/Taupe leather instead.

    Regarding the Suburban... the gas mileage was the biggest concern.. but honestly I don't do a lot of traveling. I live on the plateau in Issaquah and rarely leave it (as all our Dr's, hairstylists, dentists, schools, etc..) are all on the plateau. I never go to Seattle.. mostly Bellevue on occasion for Bell. Square. The times I travel are mostly to Oregon to my parents/grandparents homes. The frequency of long trips are few... and lots of times I go by myself with the kids to my parents while my husband stays behind for work. I just think I would enjoy the minivan more for the conveniences offered (especially that auto liftgate!) vs. the overall massive storage capacity of the Suburban.

    Anyhow... any other comments in general about your LXI? Do you have the entertainment system? I think your little one was fairly young, right? We have a 4yr old and 1.2 year old... The 4 year old would sure enjoy that tv/vcr on the 6-7 hr trips to Nana and Papa's house! I think I would join them in the back seat too!!! Poor husband! :o)

    Anyway.. long-winded as usual here... thanks for the info and feedback. I'll let you know how it all ends up! :o)
    Maria
  • I purchased a T&C LTD last weekend, after what my wife will tell you was an exhaustive search. Tested the other makes of vans, but really loved all the extras with the DC product. We love the van so far, except now I hear the 2100 rpm vibration. We have a FWD. I can't hear the vibration when sitting in the driver's seat, but if I sit on the bench seat in the back on the passenger side, the noise is LOUD! Rolfe, I would appreciate a copy of your information on the research, etc... you have done. I plan to talk to the dealer about this and want all the ammunition I can get.
    Hey, I don't sit in the back much, so I still love my LTD and would recommend it to anyone considering a minivan.
  • We are looking into buying our first Caravan, and I'm trying to decide whether to take advantage of a really good deal on a Grand Caravan with about 14,000 miles (great condition) s. a new 2001 Caravan ES. Do you think the new Caravan's are worth the extra $5000 I would pay? Don't have kids (just two dogs). Don't live where it snows alot. Mostly concerned about whether the crash test rating (especially side rear occupant -- only "Average") has really improved. Seems like most of the improvements in the 2001 models are at the higher end models, and are more aesthetic or convenience options. Not really interested in a power lift gate, etc. But I may be interested in towing a pretty light (<1,000 lfs) trailer. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!!
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