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Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager

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Comments

  • veritasveritas Posts: 17
    I have also tried Internet Explorer in case it was something in my Opera browser that is causing the problem, but no luck.

    I simply cannot get to the reviews section. No mention of a section called "reviews" occurs on the home page I get (www.edmunds.com). All I see is the option for "road tests."If I click that I am taken here:

    http://www.edmunds.com/roadtests/?id=nav5B

    The main title says "Automotive Reviews."

    On that page I select "Long-Term Road Tests" and am taken here:

    http://www.edmunds.com/roadtests/longtermroadtests/

    On this page I select "2001 Dodge Grand Caravan" and am taken here:

    http://www.edmunds.com/roadtests/longtermroadtests/2001/dodge/grand/45220/

    And that is as far as I can go.

    I see no mention of a "Reviews" section until I come to the Town Hall Community page:

    http://townhall.edmunds.com/cgi-bin/townhall

    at which point I see the options "Home, New, Used, Reviews, etc." along the top to the right of the "Select Topic" item.

    But if I click on "Reviews" I get a "File Not Found" message with the suggestion that I only bookmark the Edmunds home page - which I did.

    I simply cannot find or get to any section that has the word "reviews" in its URL.

    I am open to suggestion.
  • rolfe2rolfe2 Posts: 81
    Hopefully someone else can give you better answers, but here's a start.

    1) I believe the 90/10 distribution is under non-slip conditions. It will dynamically change as needed under slip conditions.

    2) You said you were considering the AWD. I don't believe you can get the 'normal' or the 'touring' suspensions with AWD -- you get the load-leveling and height control suspension. To get touring (17" wheels not 16") you'd have to get it as an option (or in a package) on the plain ES model, although you could get traction control as an alternative to AWD.

    Just to make it more confusing, you can get the load-leveling and height control as an option on the plain ES. But you'll have to check whether you can combine that with the touring wheels (I don't know).

    A source for this is http://us.media.daimlerchrysler.com/special/minivan_2001/caravan_features_e.htm

    As far as handling is concerned, I can only tell you that my 2001 ES AWD rides a bit stiffly when unloaded. On the plus side, it corners very nicely (for a mini-van, anyway!).

    Except for the resonance I have at 2100 rpm, I can't say enough good things about the vehicle.

    Hope this helps a little.

    --rolfe.
  • dwgutwirdwgutwir Posts: 128
    I knew the split of the AWD was 90% front/10% rear under non-slip conditions, but nothing I've found disusses how much it will vary in slip conditions.

    As for the suspension, I think a more accurate question is how does the touring suspension differ from the suspension in the AWD model?

    Rolfe - did you compare a FWD with the touring suspension to the AWD before your purchased your van? I'm leaning to the AWD for the improved bad weather traction, but want the best handling I can get even if it means giving up the AWD.

    I was going to go for the load-leveling suspension regardless of which model (FWD or AWD) I eventually decided on.

    Now, if they'd only offer the 2nd row buckets with the integrated child seat and the 50/50 third row with leather I'd be all set. I also wish I could get both captains chairs with the built in kid seat. Does anyone know what DC doesn't? I don't want a second row bench - too much loss of flexibility.
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    "Now, if they'd only offer the 2nd row buckets with the integrated child seat and the 50/50 third row with leather I'd be all set."

    This is an option, at least on the limited.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    The AWD system employs a viscous coupling centre differential and thereotically transfer up to 100% of the power to either axle. You'll probably get about a 50/50 split on snow roads though, as needed. I have found this system to be generally effective.

    You have to be careful on split-mu partially snow covered uphill surfaces. I have been able to get stuck (when starting from a dead stop) on my sloped driveway when one side of the vehicle was on the snow, and the other side was on the plowed surface. Due to the front and rear open differentials, power was leaking to the side with the least resistance; wheels on the side with traction were not spinning at all. I had to back down the driveway and take a run up. I will admit that I tried to get stuck on purpose though ;-) Of course, the 2WD vehicles wouldn't have been able to make it up at all!


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • dwgutwirdwgutwir Posts: 128
    cgaydos - you are partly correct (if my information is correct). The configuration available on the Ltd T&C is second row buckets with the integrated child seat and a third row bench with armrest. We want the 50/50 split seat for increased flexibility for people/cargo hauling.
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    I just looked it up, and you're right. The option you want, "Intermediate Quad Command roller bucket seats with 1 child seat and rear deluxe 50/50 split 3-passenger bench", is available only on the high-end LX (2K package) and low-end LXi (2R package).

    However, there's a good chance you can talk the dealer into a swap as long as you stay within the trim line. For example, you could buy a Limited with the quad-child and full bench, and swap the rear bench with a split-bench Limited. Depends on the dealer ... I did a similar swap with mine (traded the split bench for the sliding full bench) before inking the deal, and the dealer had no problem with it. However, I've heard other dealers won't agree to this.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    Tues., May 22nd: "Road Rage: What's up with that??"

    image
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Yesterday, I sat in a 1994 Grand Caravan SE of my niece. Both the driver and front passenger seats are MORE comfortable than our 1999 GC SE. The place to rest feet in each seat is also more comfortable. There is much better access to the engine compartment for service. The windshield wipers are in tandem and not the goofy flip-flop of 1996 and later DC minivans that GM made popular with their "dust-buster" disasters.
    Why do auto manufacturers abandon a winning style?
    In my opinion, DC would have been MUCH smarter to have refined the pre-1996 design by making the window glass flush and made an evolution instead of the radical change for 1996. DC could have added 2nd sliding door, etc to the more overall practical design they had. DC could also make more profit per vehicle without wasting money on a complete re-design by adding the nice features to an existing winning style.
    GM made a radical design change with 1990 Impala and killed off one of their popular sedans.
    Ford lost sales with radical change of Taurus a few years ago.
    DC designs become less appealing to me each change starting with 1996 and now 2001. Thus, our very lovely 1999 GC SE will probably be our first and last DC minivan and based on 26 months and 27,414 miles with zero problems, it will probably last us a VERY long time. No other maker has the many nice features of DC and now DC took off the Trip Computer on all but GC ES and T&C LXi and Limited.
  • becwarbecwar Posts: 9
    We had a squeeking steering problem. If you turned the wheel, you could hear something squeeking from underneath the van. You could also feel it through the steering wheel.

    Here is an excerpt from the invoice from the local Dodge dealer:
    ------------------
    "Customer states when turning steering wheel can hear a squeeking noise from front end"

    CAUSE: FT Sway Links (N/C)
    Link-Sway Eliminator (N/C)

    Replace right sway bar end link.
    ------------------

    Fixed under warranty along with a wheel alignment. It worked, the squeeking noise was gone.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    It pointed out the glaring errors in Edmund's report. I highly recommend all Town Hall readers take the time to read it.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    See what DaimlerChrysler thinks of our Dodge Grand Caravan introduction

    Steve
    Host
    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    "DC designs become less appealing to me each change starting with 1996 and now 2001." I disagree with your assessment of the pre-1996 versus later DC minivans. I just went from a '94 T&C to a '01 T&C Ltd. The '94 was basically the '85 K-car-based design with lots and lots of kludgy retrofits.

    Seats? One of the '94's good points, but even then the "power" seats had a manual control for the seatback that made it hard to find a comfortable position.

    Wipers? A major design flaw in the '94's -- hard to keep the windshield clean with the wiper fluid that kept spraying off the wipers. And once you turned the wipers off wiper fluid keeps streaming UP the windshield blocking your view. The '01s also have a nice feature ... the wiper heater.

    Better engine compartment access? Maybe ... but how do you like the rubber padding at the top of the compartment that is always falling off in the '94s? Hey, isn't that a cool place to put the jack, next to the engine? ... guaranteed to be heated to 140 degrees F or higher if you have a flat on the road. And just try changing oil without getting it all over the lower surfaces around the engine. The '01's engine compartment shows real design planning; the '94s were nothing but a pile of kludgey retrofits.

    And how about the '94's great rear A/C, down the left side of the car? The kids on the left have frozen legs while the kids on the right are in a sauna. And forget dual zone heating ... in '94 the DC minivan even had no option to do both defrost and heat at the same time. Hey, whaddaya want, a clear windshield or warm feet?

    If you think the '98's 100 lb rear bench is a pain to move, try it in the '94 without the wheels! Or just try locking in the captains chairs in the rear without jumping on them several times.

    Ride, handling? No comparison. Road noise on the '94 is extensive, while the '01 is very quiet.

    I could continue, but you get the point....
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    First off, I would like to say I'd take my 1988 Grand Voyager over both my 96 LXi and 01 LTD in a heart beat if I needed to haul a lot of stuff, because Chrysler sacrificed the cargo space and leg room for a new design in 96. I for one was glad when they got rid of the boxy boring wood paneled van like my 88, and I love the designs of my 96 and 01, but because of the way the back of the 96-01 vans curves in, I was unable to fit my bicycle in my trunk with my 96 and now 01. My 88 was perfect for hauling things because the boxy opening had now curvaceous intrusions as in the 96-01 vans. The only thing I noticed with the new 96 van was that it had more shoulder room, taller side glass, an annoying "arrow dynamic" windshield that is impossible to totally clean, better features comfort, etc., and ugly gold wheels that the LXi vans once adorned. Granted, I liked the van, but going from a van that could hold and do anything (okay maybe not that big piece of plywood), to a van that couldn't hold my bike yet could recall two seating positions took a while to get used to. Plus with the addition of the second sliding door, the rear air compressor was moved to the right rear side of the trunk, also impairing anyway of fitting wide objects such as my bike.
    But, as you know, I liked my 96 enough to get a 01. At least this time it wasn't hard to get used to the change since there wasn't much of any. To me it wasn't really a redesign in my eyes even thought I know it was internally and all. It got more luxury features, nicer wheels (chrome), but kept the same general shape that I had finally gotten used to even if this one still can't hold the same type of objects as my 88 GV LE. I also feel they've shrunken the middle seat leg room with each redesign, but maybe it's just me. I know though that the vans have gone from 192 inches to 199 inches to 200 inches, so I don't know exactly where they are putting the extra room.
    Anyway, back to what I really wanted to say...with the way the Chrysler option packages change very other minute, I wouldn't be surprised if they added the trip computer to one of the new models (probably EX) sometime soon. Granted the GC SE didn't get a trip computer option till I believe 99. Keep your fingers crossed.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Steve: Appreciate you posting the link for easy reference of Town Hall readers.
    cgaydos: Many excellent points I had overlooked!
    dave210: WOW...you move up in quality. I looked at a very appealing Sterling Silver Satin Glow LXi today...but had the 3.3L. Which engines did you have? Swampcollie feels the 3.8L in his 99 GC Sport is quite superior over the 3.3 and 3.0 in earlier DC minivans. My sister had great praise for everything about her 86 Caravan SE...except for the anemic 4 cyl engine.
    We love our zero problem 99 GC SE but after sitting in my niece's 94 GC SE and later a ride in her mother's NEW 2001 Odyssey EX, the driver's seat of our 99 GC SE seemed quite uncomfortable today. Our GC engine accessibility is much worse and cargo area appears less.
    However, we can not adequately praise the Dual Zone Temperature Control and Trip Computer of our 99 GC. Odyssey has nice features but I would not trade our 99 GC SE's comfort features for my sister's NEW 2001 Odyssey EX utilitarian features. If I had to pay MSRP, the Ody EX at $26,860 is more attractive than our GC SE at $27,490 and appears to retain value more for trade-in at a later date.
    If we would get a new DC minivan, it looks like the T&C LXi is the lowest priced DC minivan that has ALL the features we feel one should get in a DC minivan. I also feel the Chrysler versions are more attractive than the Dodge clone.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    carleton1, you're welcome :-)

    dave210, I guess it wasn't stylish enough, but my '89 short Voyager had a terrific body style for hauling the kind of stuff I like to haul (maybe "style" is the wrong choice of word ). My brother's '00 Caravan is definitely more comfortable than my old one was though.

    Steve
    Host
    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • bostnwhalrbostnwhalr Posts: 128
    If the Chrysler minivans are so great, why the $2,000 rebates and $6,000+ discounts in the Boston Globe? I agree they are great vans, but obviously the competition is fierce and making significant inroads.

    Frankly, I'd be pretty angry if I had bought one of the early 2001 minivans back in September with no or minimal rebate. Now they carry huge rebates (expect the EX I know). That penalizes the "early adopters" of Chrysler's new minivan with reduced resale value. Notice, Toyota and Honda have no rebates on their vans. I'd bet that resale value will be better in the long run.

    Summer's coming. What is Chrysler going to do, up the rebates again, like they did with the 2000 models last year? Just wondering.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    Here I'll just list the new main features my three vans have had at their introductions and their MSRP's (although not the price I actually paid for the most part)

    88 Grand Voyager LE (MSRP $20,870)-top of the line at the time and waited 3 months on order so we could get the new rear air conditioning, power drivers seat, overhead consol with compass and temperature, 3.0 Mitsubishi V6, luxury cloth.

    96 Town and Country LXi (MSRP $30,890)- leather seats, dual zone air, dual power seats, memory driver's seat and mirrors, trip computer plus compass and temperature readout, 3.8 Chrysler V6, tacky (my opinion) gold wheels.

    01 Town and Country Limited (MSRP $36,240)-heated seats, triple zone automatic air, 4 disc CD changer, homelink garage door opener, power doors and lift, nice (my opinion) chrome wheels, and larger Chrysler 3.8 V6.
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    Where have you been for the past 20 years? ALL MANUFACTURERS offer end of model year rebates on all but the highest demand vehicles, I.E hard to get models. This allows them to move dealer stock and encourage buyers not to wait for the 2002 models which will probably not have any rebates. DUH!!!!!
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    "If the Chrysler minivans are so great, why the $2,000 rebates and $6,000+ discounts in the Boston Globe?"

    Well, first of all part of what makes the Chrysler minivans attractive is the discounts. Odyssey EX or T&C EX? Price independent, the Odyssey is probably the winner. Consider price, and either you save many thousands on the T&C or you get a high end LXi for the same price as the Odyssey. Either way, the Chrysler competes BECAUSE of price.

    In addition, there are many reasons why DC needs to offer rebates (and hidden factory-to-dealer incentives) to make the Chrysler attractive.

    1. High supply. More DC's are manufactured than any other minivan. Someone recently posted the stats ... roughly 4 times as many as the Odyssey, for example.
    2. Still no crash test results. Many minivan buyers, a significant minority, won't consider a minivan without stellar crash test results. They were due in March, have slipped to May. Expect the crash test results to affect demand, one way or the other.
    3. Reliability reputation. As many have posted here, the reliability of the DC minivans have improved dramatically in recent years, but they were stinkers for so long that it will take a lot of years of solid reliability to change their image.
    4. Pricing/recession. 2001 prices were set assuming continued economic growth. The slowdown has really hit the high end car market, especially minivans and SUVs.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Look at Odyssey forums to see the obscenely high profit items many dealers "loaded" onto the Odysseys to include charges above MSRP. Now there are many who are buying Odysseys at BELOW MSRP and do not have to buy all of those high profit add on items of little value.
    Most buyers of DC minivans do NOT pay MSRP. Reason: Sales VOLUME. Same reason WalMart can sell for less than the old "Mom and Pop" corner grocery store.
  • dwgutwirdwgutwir Posts: 128
    Did you're neighbor get the dealer to do a seat swap with another vehicle for the LTD?

    What state are you in? Maybe I'll get lucky and can visit the same dealer.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    No, it was an actual option on their Limited van with second row child bucket seat and 50/50 rear seat. You can see it's an option if you go to Chrysler.com and build your own T&C LTD. Towards the end it asks for general options or something and it offers the 50/50 and child seat for $200 something I think. I also went to the Chrysler dealer by me to get an oil change and they had MANY Limited vans on the lot with the 50/50 and child seat option. Only a few had the full bench. Hope this helps
  • dwgutwirdwgutwir Posts: 128
    dave210 - Since your neighbor's vehicle is a Limited, I assume it's a leather interior.

    Thanks, and sorry for beating a dead horse
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    I wonder if we can buy the 50/50 3rd row from the parts department.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    Yes, my neighbor's Limited has leather/sued seats with the 50/50 rear seat and middle child bucket seat option. I though have the full bench on my Limited, which I like better for myself since I can still keep the seat in place while still being able to slide it forward, where the 50/50 seat is either flipped forward (making it unable to sit on) or in the upright position with no sliding capabilities. After have a sliding rear bench in the 88 and 96, I'm just content with my full bench in the 01. Plus the dog has a place to sit on those trips to Grandma's, where she (the dog) wouldn't if we had the 50/50. BTW, here is a link showing you that there is indeed this option including a child seat and a 50/50 rear.


    Seats -Buckets w/1 Child/Split Bench - Add $125.00

    http://www.chrysler.com/PriceEquip/step4

  • micgamicga Posts: 56
    I can't believe that anyone would buy a minivan, esp a dodge! I know, I know, you need the room. However, it seems that as soon as many couples have a child, it is minivan city. Can anyone explain why a minivan is a good choice besides the cargo space? Which, by the way, you can get comparable room in somthing much more exciting. Please, what is the thought process??
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    "Which, by the way, you can get comparable room in something much more exciting." -- micga

    I'd be interested in what motivates this post. I see you've been posting in the BMW 3-Series and Toyota Celica groups. Are you "slumming" here?

    The only vehicles with comparable interior room are the largest SUVs (Expedition, Navigator, Suburban, Yukon XL). If you need more room you need a full-sized van. The top minivans in sales (Honda, DC, Ford, Toyota) all ride and handle much better than the largest SUVs, use far less fuel, are less susceptible to accidents (the largest SUVs are 3 times more likely to be in single car accidents, which is a pretty good indication of how well they handle), are crashworthy without endangering the lives of everyone NOT in an SUV or Pickup, cost far less than the largest SUVs, are more reliable (okay, Ford Windstar excepted), easier to park, easier for kids to climb into, easier to configure the interior to match changing needs, have more kid-appropriate conveniences (i.e. automatic doors), and fit into normal garages. They can't, of course, go off road, but the largest SUVs don't rate very well off road anyway.

    On the other hand, the large SUVs are "cool." They are, in marketing-speak, "lifestyle" vehicles, while minivans are "lifestage" vehicles. We all know how uncool it is to admit you are in a parenting stage.

    Hmmm. Rational vs. Cool. Hmmm. You're right, I'll trade my minivan in tomorrow for an Expedition. No, wait, I gotta have an Excursion. That'll impress the chicks.
  • bostnwhalrbostnwhalr Posts: 128
    Sorry to ruffle your feathers Haynelden, but you really don't have to be obnoxious about it with the "DUH" comments. Of course I know about model year closeouts. However, since the Chrysler vans are in their first year of production, the $2,000 rebates seem pretty steep to me recession or no recession. As a consumer, I'm not complaining.

    The discounts do make the Chrysler vans a heck of a value and an attractive alternative to the Odyssey. I'm just trying to point out that people who bought earlier in the model year missed out on these discounts and that would likely affect THEIR resale value. Contrast this with the Toyota Sienna. Still no rebates on a vehicle that has been in production since 1998. Probably less sales volume I guess combined with the Toyota name.

    As for the 2002 models with no rebates, guess again. Unless they go the way of the EX model with lots of features for an attractive price, they'll be slapping $1,000 rebates from the get-go like they have done in previous years. It's always hard to end rebates once you start them.

    Speaking of the EX model, anyone know why Chrysler decided to use the "EX" designation for their new "Odyssey" fighter? That seems to be an unusual designation since it is not used on any other vehicle at DaimlerChrysler (they of course use the LX designation for the Concorde and Sebring. I know it matches the Odyssey EX model name which is pretty bold.
    Micga,
    As for why a minivan? Plenty of reasons but compared to what, an SUV? Well then:

    Better handling and ride
    More passenger room
    Better gas mileage
    Cheaper initial purchase (most of the time)

    Many people buy SUVs that otherwise would be better served by a minivan, yet they care about what others think. Maybe minivan buyers are more practical and don't care what other's think.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    When I was young, we had Impala 2 door hardtops as they were comfortable for me and then for us after we got married. However, it was not very easy to place child (and then the 2nd child) into the child seat and attach the safety straps with a 2 door so when eldest daughter was 7 and 2nd daughter was 4, we got a NEW Volvo station wagon as primary car (had a VW Super Beetle as my work car).
    Later tried VW Busses (used 1965 and 1977) but VW reliability was so dismal we could not afford the exorbitant maintenance costs so we went back to 1980 Chevrolet Impala 4 door sedan in 1979. Got 1981 Chevy C-10 for me to use as a work vehicle. In 1991 we got a NEW Chevy Astro CL.
    Now the children are raised, married and on their own, we traded the Astro in on a NEW GC SE as for us the minivan is THE most comfortable vehicle at a reasonable price. 1999 GC SE averages 27 MPG on 1400 mile trips to Disneyland and we can take a daughter, her husband and 2 children in comfort. Overall mileage of GC SE with 3.3L V6 is 23.5 in 27,444 miles. Sure beats the fuel economy of ANY SUV with comparable room.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Discounts on NEW Sienna are in the $1500 on CE to $2500 on loaded XLE at dealers in this area. Odyssey discount was $180 for my sister on their NEW Ody EX picked up 2 days ago. The Odyssey seats are more comfortable for me than are the seats in our GC SE...except for 3rd seat where the outer hinges of Magic Seat poke me in the back. The cargo space of Odyssey is VERY nice and seems about twice as much behind 3rd seat as in our GC SE. However, I would hate to give up the Dual Zone (now Triple Zone) Temperature Control and Trip Computer of a DC minivan. Would be nice to combine the best features of all minivans.
  • dwgutwirdwgutwir Posts: 128
    Thanks for the link (and the help), dave210.

    I did find the option when I built my own yesterday (a LTD AWD in Steel Blue). Now all I have to do is convince the wife she want's leather since it means heated seats.I figure if we've decided to buy a minivan it might as well be as nice a ride as it can be.

    It must be a recent addition (or change) to how they equip the LTD. When I tried this a couple of weeks ago, the option wasn't there. This is true of doing a build with Edmunds' TMV pricing guide too. The brochure from the dealer (admittedly these get out of date pretty quickly) doens't show this either.
  • dwgutwirdwgutwir Posts: 128
    Has any one installed Chrysler's video system in their '01 T&C or Grand Caravan. We're thinking about putting one in for our two sons for those long car trips.

    What are your likes/dislikes about the system?
    Can the VCP (which I believe mounts between the second row seats) be removed (similar to the regular moveable console)?
    What did the dealer charge for the unit?

    As an alternate, has anyone installed an aftermarket unit from Rosen or BackSeat Theater?

    Thanks again.
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    Couple with children..with the sliding doors it is much easier to put the carseat back on the seat than other type of vehicles. "something more exciting"? please provide us a few examples. I think most of us in here do have other cars in our garage besides the minivan and if we need to have more excitement we can always climb into those cars but I don't think our children and their stuff will fit in it. By the way, the stereo system in my T&C ltd is much better than some of the exciting cars out there.
  • pgs_28pgs_28 Posts: 34
    I read with great interest Chrysler's response to the test vehicle results and must admit he made some very good points. However, I have a $50,000 Canadian T&C LTD that has a 2100 RPM vibration. If they admit to the problem and promise to fix it then I would recommend that everyone purchase this vehicle. It really is spectacular. And if he can't or won't admit and offer a fix then I wonder if the gentleman would come back on here and offer me my money back. Now that would be Customer Service!!!!!!! Sir, you know you can reach me via my email address. Most of us just want an OFFICIAL word from Chrysler that they are investigating the problem. Keeping secrets or not communicating KILLS customer loyalty more than anything.
    Thx
  • burtronixburtronix Posts: 1
    Micga,

    You've obviously swallowed the auto advertisements hook-line-&-fisherman. Remember the one where some guys in a gym are listening to an announcement about headlights on the mini van in the parking lot - & nobody went to turn them off? I would have jumped up waving my keys & offered to trade even-up for my SUV: "Give me the practical low-cost great-handling comfortable vehicle. You take my fuel-hog high-insurance lumbering breakdown-prone money-pit."

    I got rid of the SUV for all of those reasons, & now I'm a PROUD (not to mention richer, safer, more comfortable, & less inconvenienced) owner of a mini van. I'm about to trade my first one in on a second.

    Since you are so easily persuaded by advertisements, take a line from a popular soft-drink ad: "Image is Nothing". If you want excitement, take up skydiving.
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    There is a $500 rebate, as per Edmunds, but only in the SF bay area.
  • ingramwd2ingramwd2 Posts: 15
    We have this unit installed on our T&C LTD (1 month old).

    Likes:
    Color-keyed to your interior; vehicle warranty not affected; Very good A/V quality (IMO better than Rosen or Audiovox).

    Dislikes:
    None so far. Wish it were a DVD system though!

    VCP Center Console: can be mounted between front or middle row bucket seats and cannot be removed according to dealer. But the user manual says it can be removed just like the regular Center Console by disconnecting the cables. I tried but couldn't. There is no detailed instructions on how to remove it.

    Can't comment on US pricing, but we paid CAD 2093 (approx. USD 1350). Remember someone mentioned having it installed for USD 1500.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Today I was told that a Trip Computer is available on 2001 Sport. I said it is only on the ES and not even on the EX. T&C LXi and Limited have it but no other Chrysler van. So we sat in a 2001 AWD Sport. Surprise to the salesman: NO Trip Computer. Virtually the same thing happened a few months ago at Chrysler dealership.
    The EX is a great vehicle but I would NOT trade my 1999 GC SE with compass/outside temp/ Trip Computer and lesser 3.3L V6 for the 3.8L and all the extra goodies of the 2001 EX. Chrysler will lose this customer if they do not bring back the complete overhead console data on the 1999 GC SE (that I have)on more models of reasonable pricing. The seats of 2001 SE are MORE comfortable than seats of our 1999.
    Meanwhile, no one else has all the nice features we have on our lowly GC SE so we will be keeping this excellent, zero problem minivan longer than we had anticipated.
  • micgamicga Posts: 56
    Thank you all for your posts. I apoligize if I came off in a negative way. As far as whether or not I am slumming here, the anger is no. I like reading many different Edmunds message boards. I enjoy learning about many different subjects. I have a couple of friends who recently bought mini vans because they "Had a child" It was almost like a knee jerk reaction after having the child. I was just wondering if there was anything I am missing. After reading your posts, I realized that there are areas that I failed to consider. As far as "falling for advertisments", in my thinking, the apparent knee jerk ration to buy a mini van immediately after starting a family is "buying into advertising" more than anything. I am sure your mini vans are very nice and if your happy, than that is all that matters. I personally would NEVER even consider a minivan....image aside.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    It'd be interesting to see whether they could retrofit a trip computer in the overhead consol of an EX or similarly equipped Chrysler van. I mean, if that was the deciding factor, the dealer may be willing to try. I know for a fact that the consol is pre wired and ready to go with a trip computer, it's just the buttons and other need necessities aren't there to actually work it. It probably wouldn't be hard for them, and it's always worth a shot to try or just ask for that matter. Plus, you could always hope for next year. They'll probably be doing a lot of equipment/pricing changes for the 2002 model year and somehting like that would be a likely option. Also, the GC SE didn't get the option of an overhead consol with trip computer till 99 so maybe they'll add it back to the Sport in 02.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Mechanical options like Cruise, Power Door Locks, etc. never did work properly for friends when they were added later.
    Based on what you wrote, we were VERY lucky to get our 1999 GC SE since that was THE BEST YEAR to buy an SE. There were very few GC at the dealership on March 20, 1999 when we got ours and one was a base with same Bright White color. We did not realize that our GC had so many nice features until we had it a few days as our 1991 Astro CL had just A/C, PDL, Tilt,middle row captain's seats...NO power windows, no rear air, no rear heater and no luggage rack. The Odyssey LX we ordered was also quite spartan.
    Now that we know more about nice options, we would have purchased a GC SE with nicest Sport option having the 3.8L V6 and nicer seats. Hope Chrysler listens and offers the 3.8L V6, Trip Computer, etc. on more than only the ES.
  • brian3240brian3240 Posts: 6
    What was the "response" mentioned in item #1051.
    Is it available as a numbered item here?

    Thanks
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    Here's a link to DaimlerChrysler's Response to Edmunds' Dodge Grand Caravan Long-Term Road Test.
  • aps5aps5 Posts: 43
    I am posting some problems: we are now at our fifth visit to Chrysler, initially for never functioning seat heater but now the 4th visit for low brake pedal. The first visit: "it's a normal brake pedal". The second: brakes were bled of air and pedal travel returned to normal. The third: low pedal resulted in a new master cylinder, which fixed problem for 10 days. Now: they have the van for approx 6 days and are replacing the abs module or some such thing. Our extended warranty is paying for the $30/day Hyundai rental, but I am seriously thinking about invoking lemon laws.
    We have had Mercedes and Subarus and 5 visits to the shop in the first 5 months would have been unthinkable. Does anyone think we should start with the certified lemon law letter to DC? Thanks.
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    In some (most?) states, 4 visits for one problem is enough to invoke the lemon laws. This could be a dealership problem, but by invoking the lemon laws you get the regional people involved and that should help.

    BTW, this sort of thing is not unheard of for Mercedes ... I have several anecdotal stories of Mercedes new car problems that simply could not be fixed.
  • wingsneckwingsneck Posts: 3
    I'm interested in purchasing this van and was wondering what people were getting for deals out there? - please let me know what options you added and the price you paid out the door.

    Also, Has anyone with a 2001 Grand Caravan had any transmission problems? I've read some of the boards on Edmunds regarding the transmission problems in the 2000 and earlier models and was wondering if they've been cleared up. It seems that the tranmissions have gone with as low as 35-40k miles, which is making me a bit weary of buying a Dodge.

    Thanks!
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    First on the transmission problems, from everything I've seen (usenet, Edmunds' town hall, Consumer Reports reliability data, JD Powers initial quality index, and the statement of mechanic who until recently worked at a Dodge dealership) the transmission was dramatically improved starting the in 1998 model year. It used to be that a percentage of these (about 15%, according to the mechanic) failed in the first 30k miles, and few went beyond 60k without repair. Now the number is less than 1% before 60k, according to the same source. Check out recent discussions in the Chrysler T&C and Dodge Grand Caravan news groups.

    As to prices, CarsDirect.com is usually a good starting point. Currently there is a low demand-to-supply ratio on these vehicles, which means unpublished factory-to-dealer incentives. Carsdirect.com's price in Mass. for a base GC ES AWD is $28,314, or about $300 above (the pre-advertising fee) invoice after the $2000 rebate. This should be your worst-case price. If you can find a dealer with lots of ES' in stock you should be able to go $1000 or more under (pre-advertising fee) invoice.
  • wingsneckwingsneck Posts: 3
    I was in Orlando at Disney with my family in April and rented a Dodge Grand Caravan. It really knocked my socks off in terms of comfort, feel and handling. I was leaning toward the Honda before this. Aside from the fact that the Dodge Grand Caravan doesn't have the third row fold away seat, I think this car blows the Odessey away. If the transmission issues have been resolved, then the Caravan is my car hands down. Thanks again!
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