Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager



  • retiredagent1retiredagent1 Member Posts: 13
    I am in the market for a 2001 T&C & need all the help I can get, could you give me a couple of those DC sites including the $500 savings? Thanks in advance.
  • hersbirdhersbird Member Posts: 323
    While chrysler owners won't come here to discuss a van they can go out and enjoy now you can bet they'll come here when any problems start surfacing. So then it will seem like a lot of problems reported compared to the total number of posts. It just shows when theres nothing bad to say about the chryslers the average owner is not likely to say anything at all.
  • gcintendergcintender Member Posts: 36
    ...come on, don't be such a tease. Give up that info (and the URL) on the $500.00 savings you mentioned in #219. I need more ammo to get the under-invoice deal on the Grand Caravan I'll be ordering.
  • brianinohbrianinoh Member Posts: 20
    scanner--There is a fair share of trolls on all sides of the aisle.

    carleton--You should work for one of the presidential campaigns (assuming you do not already).
  • crunchcrunch Member Posts: 84
    Yes, I was impressed that the GC was quieter than my 300m, but not amused.

    I don't know of any website for the $500 coupon, As a current DC owner, I got mine in the mail from my dealer.
  • sac3sac3 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks, Crunch, for your review in #214. Wish some other new owners would let us know how much they paid and how they like their new T&C.

    We started looking for a minivan early this summer, and were leaning to the Odyssey. However, we decided to hold off and wait to see the new T&C. We did the test drive and were impressed, and are now leaning to the T&C. After waiting all these months, my wife wants to get it now (she's tired of hauling our baby in and out of a 10 year old 2 door Nissan Sentra). However, I've read that a new 3.5L engine will be available in March that is more efficient and boosts the horses to 230. Is it worth the wait? Anyone know anything more about the new engine? We tend to keep our cars for a long time, and I can't bear the thought of dropping $35K (with taxes)on a new car only to be driving around with an outdated engine within a few months.

    Buy now, buy later?

    Second Question: One salesman told me that even if you don't intend to tow anything, its worth it to get the tow package for the bigger radiator and the oil pan cooler in hotter climates such as Sacramento. Should I bite?
  • carleton1carleton1 Member Posts: 560
    I think both major parties chose the wrong candidate. John McCain and Bill Bradley would have been preferable. Bush appeared more like JFK ("Presidential") and Gore more like Nixon ("Shifty") in the first debate. (BTW,I voted for Nixon each time he ran...). And NO, I am not working for any campaign.
  • cesarpcesarp Member Posts: 47
    I was also waiting for the 3.5L engine on a '01. However, earlier this year Chrysler had a sweet deal on the 00's models (0.09% financing for 60 months + dealer incentives) that was too good to pass up. We purchased a 00 T&C Limited AWD and haven't been disappointed. It has the 3.8L and power is more than adequate. Traffic merging is a breeze, the newer 3.8L should be even better.

    I do endorse the tow package since it does have a factory tranny and oil cooler as well as a larger radiator. The most benefit of this package is the factory tranny cooler. If you want to added later it'll be a big pain. I believe the tow package may also offer 4 wheel disc which used to be available only on AWD vehicles. Hope this helps.
  • crunchcrunch Member Posts: 84
    I didn't wait for the 3.5 for two important reasons.
    1.(and most important) my wife wanted the van NOW and
    2. I don't think that the 3.5 will be better for towing.
    Torque is the key for towing and the 3.8 has 245 lb.ft at 4000 rpm and 215 hp at 5000 rpm. The current 3.5 in the 300M has 250 lb. ft at 3950 rpm and 250 hp at 6400 rpm. The dodge version in the Intrepid is 248 lb ft at 3950 rpm and 242 hp at 6400 rpm so.....
    the 3.8 gives very nearly the same torque within 50 rpms of the 3.5 but you really need to rev the 3.5 to see the extra horse power. I know the 3.5 very well since I've been driving one for over two years now in the 300M. Its a great engine but I think that its better suited for a performance car, not a utility vehicle. OR said differently, if the 3.5 were available today, I would still opt for the 3.8 because we do frequent light towing with the van.

    IMHO The towing package is worth every penny. In addition to extra cooling and full size spare and bigger battery,you get the load leveling suspension too.

    Hope that wasn't to long winded...
  • gcintendergcintender Member Posts: 36
    ...thanks for the info about the $500.00 coupon. I'm a current DC owner too, but my van is a 1987. I guess they gave up on me after all this time! I haven't heard from my dealer in a dog's age (maybe two dog's ages!).

    That won't stop me from bugging the dealers about it anyway. Maybe if I whine about it enough they'll give me a coupon.
  • hersbirdhersbird Member Posts: 323
    The 3.5 in the 300M is also geared more for high speed crusing rather then low end pulling. I wonder what the plan is for the gearing on the van with the 3.5? Is it going to be the same as a 3.8 van or will it be lower (numerically higher) to take advantage of the 3.5's ability to rev higher. If say the 3.5 could cruise as comfortably, efficiantly, and quitely at 3000RPM as the 3.8 does at 2000RPM then chrysler could give the 3.5 up to a 50% lower final drive gear which would give up to a 50% low end torque advantage. Also is the 3.5 lighter then the 3.8 as it is aluminum? There could be more advantage there as well, especially in handling if you could get some weight off the front tires of the van. Just a few more things to consider, the test will be side by side when the 3.5 is actually out, it should be interesting.
  • rolfe2rolfe2 Member Posts: 81
    I also elected to buy now rather than wait for the 3.5L engine.

    According to, the differences between the 3.5 (in the T&C, not the 300M)and 3.8 are even closer than Crunch mentioned: 3.5: 230 bhp @6,400 RPM, 250 lb-ft @4,000 RPM; 3.8: 215 bhp @5,000 RPM, 245 lb-ft @4,000 RPM.

    So only about a 2% torque difference. And who knows what the 3.5L's bhp is reduced to at 5,000 RPM. Also, the above mentions 89 octane "preferred" for the 3.5L, so I would assume the better performance is with that gasoline, and the differences on 87 octane might be even less.

    They don't mention any gearing differences.

    Both engines are 17/23 mpg, so there appears to be no fuel efficiency difference.

    Also, 6,400 RPM is not where I need maximum horsepower on a minivan.

    Finally, the skeptic in me says that the 3.5L might not happen, like the adjustable pedals, because the 3.5 and 3.8 aren't more differentiated.
  • emaleemale Member Posts: 1,380
    also heard that a new tranny is coming with the 3.5l. can't really verify it but a chrysler tech told me he had heard the same thing. but once again couldn't really verify it. as for weight, the all aluminum 3.5l should weigh less than the cast iron block 3.8l. however, it also has four valve per cylinder heads so...i'm not sure.
  • emaleemale Member Posts: 1,380
    the horsepower numbers of the new 3.8l are also based on mid-grade fuel. saw that in the brochure...
  • gditulliogditullio Member Posts: 14
    We got ours in the Dodge Magazine "Exclusively for Owners" Our coupon also states that you to be eligible for the $500 off, the customer must currently own a Dodge,Chrysler,Plymouth or Jeep vehicle and most provide documentation to the dealer that the vehicle was bought or leased as a new and unused vehicle prior to October 2000 and is still owned/leased by the same person.
  • jfz219jfz219 Member Posts: 63
    I bought the 2001 T&C Limited with the 3.8. I have leased the 1996 and 1998 LXis with the same engine. The 1996 was more than adequate. The 1998 with the power increase to 180 hp was better, but not an impressive change. Both versions were loud at higher rpms.

    The new engine has a completely different intake manifold. The torque seems better because the engine is so much quieter above 3000 rpms. This engine really moves and has produced good gas mileage out of the box. Expect 21-24 mpg on the road after 1000 mile breakin.

    In real life, look at the hp and torque curve from 2000 to 4000 rpms. This new version of the 3.8 will not disappoint.
  • hersbirdhersbird Member Posts: 323
    The coupons are not specifically printed out to an individual, I delivered many of them today and as it was not first class mail, many went in the trash if the customer had moved from the address where you bought you last chrysler product. I really doubt you need the coupon but you do need to be the original owner or leaser of a new chrysler product (or Dodge/Plymouth) bought before year 2000 and still in the possession of that car. The $500 is good toward the purchase or lease of a 2001 Caravan, stratus, voyager, sebring, or Town and country. And is in addition to any other rebates and incentives.

    3.5 vs 3.8 - I really doubt chrysler will make two completely different motors that end up performing almost identical. The true test will come when the 3.5 is out. The above web site lists the same gearing for 3.5 and 3.8 motors (the 3.3 actually gets the best pulling gears). I think if they do use identical transmissions and rear end ratios then they are not taking advantage of the 3.5 potential. They are making it into something with a very high top speed which is useless as it will electronically governed. I wonder if there would be a new transmission, it can't use the 300m transmission as it is normal, not transverse like the caravan. Maybe they would just be changing the ratios to use the 3.5 power curves better.
  • scannerscanner Member Posts: 295
    You don't need any special paperwork as long as you're a owner. Just make sure the dealer includes it in the purchase.
  • blukensblukens Member Posts: 8
    Hello all..

    My wife and I were horribly disappointed in out test drive yesterday of a new Caravan (2001). I have not seen any comments about our experience.

    As soon as I closed the driver's door, my left knee was pressed painfully by the plastic bulge that contains the window and lock controls. There was no position I could put the seat that would eliminate the painful plastic rim from hitting my knee. It was rounded a bit, but still very uncomfortable.

    We drove a 2000 model, and it's driver door was very nice, concave and padded. Our 1991 is not perfect, but I am amazed that the ergonomic engineers at DC missed this one.

    We also noticed that the center dash console extends all the way to the floor. Our 1991 Caravan has a 6 or 7 inch space between it and the floor, a nice place to stretch your right leg occasionally on long trips.

    We are both over 6 feet tall, and the limited head room was also a problem.

    We have been looking forward to this van for months and had planned on buying one soon. I hope DC takes a quick look at fitting me in.

  • maximamaxima Member Posts: 19
    whats so bad about honda 3.5?
  • howie99mnhowie99mn Member Posts: 20
    My local Dodge dealer is selling 2001 Grand Caravan Sport for $21960 +tax+tags only. Some sort of special fleet deal. Anyway, the new car handles much better than the previous one. It's much more solid and you don't notice any body roll during corners on the freeway off ramp. Braking seems much improved. You no longer feel like you a learch forward on hard brakes. In comparsion, the toyota siena has tons of body roll in corners, but in comparison is more powerful and quieter. I did not notice a probelm with controls at all. In fact the interior seem alot richer than previous model which I felt looked a little on the cheep side. Not really any faults. I did hear some noise comming from the back. Possibly the spare moving around. But overall a nice car and comparble to Toytota Sienna. Oh yah. The engine is much more peppier. The 3.3 is now ok for the Grand, while in previous version you needed to upgrade to the 3.8 for decent performance on the grand.

    This is just my opinion. You are free to disagree.
  • caracciolocaracciolo Member Posts: 5
  • alingaling Member Posts: 598
    Whoa! You may want to turn off the caps lock key in your next message. Using Caps in Internet chat forums means that you're shouting at everyone. I know that you're (understandably) upset, but I'm sure that's not what you intended ;-)

    Townhall Community Leader/Vans Conference
  • kcanne1kcanne1 Member Posts: 1
    As a newcomer to this I did appreciate your capital letters used to show your concern about the late delivery of your van.We just ordered ours yesterday and I hope ours doesn't get delayed like yours.
  • rolfe2rolfe2 Member Posts: 81
    caracciola, Here is my experience as a reference.

    9/20 ordered Grand Caravan ES AWD at dealership;
    9/26 'C' status (sub firm);
    9/28 'D1' status (gateline schedule) est. build date 10/5; VIN assigned;
    10/5 'E' status (frame);
    10/6 'KZ' status (released by plant, invoiced);
    10/11 railcar assigned.

    I've been able to enter my railcar number into Norfolk Southern Railroad's tracking system and see that the railcar is in Detroit today. Sooner or later, I'm expecting NS to hand it off to BNSF on which I should be able to track it by VIN to the west coast on their web site.

    Knowing your railcar number as you do, go to and their Quik Trak system and find out where it is. If you do, you'll probably know more than your dealer does about its whereabouts.

    Good luck,
  • rolfe2rolfe2 Member Posts: 81
    caracciola, I see from your 'profile' that you currently own a Dodge; so do I. My understanding is that there is a "customer loyalty" discount or rebate to existing Dodge owners of $500. I have conflicting info from Chrysler -- one source said I need to be an original owner, and the other said I only need to be a current owner (I'm both). Offer good until 12/31.

    I mention this because this seems to be a pretty secret offering -- I can't find it on any Dodge or Chrysler web site, and my dealer doesn't seem to know about it. Yours may have little incentive (read 'none') in mentioning it.

  • scannerscanner Member Posts: 295
    See the November issue of Car And Driver magazine for details.
  • hersbirdhersbird Member Posts: 323
    The small print I saw said you must have been the original owner or leasor and purcahsed it new as in unused condition. You must also still own it.
  • crunchcrunch Member Posts: 84
    I was advised by my dealer that there are NO hitches for the 2001 GC. Expected earliest arrival in Texas is 15 Nov from Dodge. Seems that the 2001 redesign altered the rear bumper just enough that the 2000 hitches won't fit unless the bumper is altered. I checked with a reputable local hitch dealer that confirmed this info. After-market hitches probably won't be available for another 60 to 90 days.
    If you need to tow right away, better check this out with your dealer before you buy.
  • asktoknowasktoknow Member Posts: 1
    After two weeks, no problems. See my thought process on choosing the car in the Odyssey vs. Town & Country postings around late September.

    If you're in Jersey, though, stay away from Teterboro Chrysler. A lot of misleading attempts to convince you that you don't know what you're talking about when it doesn't fit their profit maximization.
  • amychrisamychris Member Posts: 1
    Just read your post in the Odyssey vs. T/C board. We have a deposit on an EX Ody w/ Nav as of a couple of weeks ago, due in Nov '00. Out of curiosity, we test drove the 2001 T/C Limited today and were suprised. We really liked it...two family members have '00 Ody's and we've driven them quite a few times (can't take test drives at the dealer). The T/C is smoother, quieter, has more features, has better accelleration, shifts smother, etc...we also loved the 3-zone climate! My wife and I are extremely critical of cars and couldn't believe we liked it so much (we were really just killing a couple of hours today).

    Here's the problem - we've always owned Honda's and have never bought an American car. We've owned more Honda's/Acuras than I can count over the years as well as some Nissans, a Volvo and a Mercedes... We've always been very happy with Honda and I know from experience that if there's ever a problem, Honda stands by their cars. I also know that Chrysler has had their problems. My sister bought an early '96 T/C which was the first year of that body and had a lot of trouble over a four year period. The extent of "weird" problems was unbelievable and Chrysler didn't do much of anything to help her out. I guess we're just leary of reliability. I've heard that the 98-2000's were better though.

    I'm also wondering how much Daimler-Benz has to do with Chrysler these days. I know from experience that Mercedes is very customer service focused. If they've had any influence over the design of the 2001 T/C and/or customer service support for Chrysler vehicles, I'd feel more comfortable with a decision to buy a T/C.

    It sounds like we're now in the same dilema you were in several weeks ago. If Chrysler's reputation for reliability was as good as Honda's, I'd have bought one today.

    Just looking for some thoughts...thanks in advance for any help.
  • ed12ed12 Member Posts: 100

    I do not have any idea how the 2001 T&C van will do as far as reliabilty, but two days ago I spoke to the service manager at a dealership that sells Chrysler and Honda. I asked him if recent Chrysler products are closing the gap with Hondas reliabilty. He said there is now very little difference between quality in the two product lines.

    Good luck with whatever you choose.

  • tugboat2tugboat2 Member Posts: 7
    I read somewhere (post?) that Chysler minivan engines tend to run slightly hotter because of cramp engine compartment with poor air flow. This tends to prematurely wear out seals and contributes to Chysler's infamous transmission trouble. Is this Malarkey? Does it make sense to order the car with the HD cooling package? Response from engineering types appreaciated.
  • emaleemale Member Posts: 1,380

    it has nothing to do with the engine compartment size. the seals on the 41te were rather poor up until about 96 when a newer type seal went into production. never hurts to have a tranny cooler. consistent high temperatures are the biggest threat to long term tranny durability.
  • indydriverindydriver Member Posts: 620
    Your predisposition to view Hondas favorably and DC's disfavorably will, over the long-term, result in you only being happy with Honda, regardless of the actual performance. So buy what you already like.
  • indydriverindydriver Member Posts: 620
    You had it right. Malarkey with a capital M.
  • carleton1carleton1 Member Posts: 560
    as not one owner of the many people I know that
    own DC minivans has had any problems. That magazine had often stated vehicles were "Not Recommended" since they were unreliable...yet we had no problems with many of them.
    I agree with indydriver: Buy the vehicle you
    like and trust if you can get one with the features you feel are important.
  • dodgeramdodgeram Member Posts: 202
    Amychris, I wouldn't be worried to much about the realiablility of the new vans, because they now come with a 5 year powertrain warranty which includes all axles, drivshafts, tranny, and motor. Plus a 5 year roadside assistance is also inculded. I think the new vans are going to be very reliable, I own a 97 gc ES, and it's been perfect and has 60,000 miles on it now.
  • hersbirdhersbird Member Posts: 323
    So your advice is to pick the van you don't actually perfer after a test drive, because you have had good experience with the company? Pay no attention to that company's ability to make a standout reliabile product in the catagory your are shopping. So if I were to prefer the Odyssey over the Chrysler (I know, far fetched but work with me here...) I should still go with the Chrysler because after the many Chrysler products I have owned (especially minivans) I have been treated well the few times I have needed service? Especially after my brother's experience with a certain Accord and less then helpful Honda dealer.
  • becwarbecwar Member Posts: 9

    Where do you see the documentation stating that the new Caravans have a 5 year powertrain warranty and 5 year road side assistance? According to the Dodge rep (their 1-800 line), that warranty expired for the 2001 awhile back and it was only for fleet vehicles (or something to that effect). They said it's still a 3 year/36,000 mile warranty for both.

    I just need this clarified. Our 2001 GC ES AWD just arrived on the dealer lot. We haven't taken delivery yet and I'd like to know this warranty info prior to signing the papers...
  • enetheneth Member Posts: 285
    At least in the U.S., the warranty remains 3 years/36,000 miles. I seem to remember seeing that they may have extended the warranties for Canada, but not in the U.S.
  • emaleemale Member Posts: 1,380
    becwar, eneth and dodgeram:

    the dc canadian powertrain warranty has just been increased to 5yr/100km(aprox 62k statute miles) on all 01 models and will be retroactive to those who purchased 01 models before the new warranty took affect. however, at least for now, it doesn't appear that dc will offer this particular warranty to the usa customers...why??
  • sac3sac3 Member Posts: 3
    We are having the same internal debate as you are having. We started early this summer looking at all minivans with an open mind. Had settled on an Odyssey, but held off to look at the 01 T&C. Were very impressed. While we are concerned with Chrysler's checkered history, our contacts with other recent Chrysler owners indicated reliability has improved significantly in the last couple of years. In the end, we are probably going to trade appliance-like Honda reliability for all the creature comforts and luxury of the T&C.

    My only question was whether it was worth waiting until the new 3.5L engine. Posts in this forum were to the contrary, suggesting there wasn't much difference in the engine.

    Anyone have a sense of how pricing is going? Close to invoice?
  • indydriverindydriver Member Posts: 620
    Yes. Here's why. Amychris has owned a string of several Hondas and is a very satisfied Honda owner. If they buy an Ody and the transmission fails like so many others, and Honda takes care of it (as they seem to be doing), they will rationalize it as just an anomalie with an otherwise reliable brand. I.e., they will self-reinforce their buying decision because of their bias in favor of Honda. If they "take a chance" on buying DC, they will constantly be looking for little problems to fulfill their predisposition to view DC as unreliable. Enough problems and they will be able to say, "We knew we should have bought the Honda". Note: I am not picking on Amychris here but using their bias as an example of the human nature to reinforce and rationalize all buying decisions. But even worse, if they buy DC and go through the process above, we'll have to endure a Honda Troll of our own creation! FYI, before I am accused of being an HT, my driveway scorecard reads: Chrysler 3, Honda 0.
  • enetheneth Member Posts: 285

    I suspect (and this is not an attempt to troll) that it may have something to do with the website below. If this author's book is widely available in Canada, it could explain DaimlerChrysler's action:
  • hersbirdhersbird Member Posts: 323
    My point is drive both and pick the one that you like the most in your budget. Reliability of all the mini-van brands are so close to each other, sure one may have abouve average reliability but what is that 1 van in 100 better? 1 in a 1000? What we saw was many former Chrysler van owners go buy Honda expecting better then what they had with Chrysler, most got the same treatment they had before. Comparing corporate Honda's treatment of customers to Chryslers with regard to the Odyssey is unfair as I bet there is not one current generation Oddyssey off of factory warranty. Do you all really think Honda will be there giving free transmissions out at 70,000 miles? This is what customers are expecting Chrysler to do and if Honda will forever keep fixing vans for free out of warranty I'll be the next to go and buy one.

    indydriver- your right about the troll thing, god knows we need another one of them.

    Aminh96- your are just plain exagerating, how could you lose $20000? A fully loaded 2000 T&C limited AWD costs $28000 right now at the dealer brand new. Even if you paid that much for your 97 model the fact you only got $8000 trade in just shows a lack of car buying sense.
  • crabtree1crabtree1 Member Posts: 1
    I also have been trying to trade a Chrysler Town & Country Van 1997 in good condition but with 89000 miles and could only get $12,100 for it, but the new tag was way over 28000, more like 35000. Quite expensive for 3 years. Also the Chrysler dealer would not give me that much. Bummer! will trade for something else.
  • aminh96aminh96 Member Posts: 1

    #1. He is a Chrysler mechanic and one of my wife's patient.

    #2. I bought it on 03/1997 and paid $31K+.

    #3. I traded it in for $11500 at a MB dealer. The dealer showed me three different used car price books which showed the maximum priced I can get is $12K+ if the van is in excellent condition.

    #4. We were looking for an Acura MDX but did not want to pay MSRP and was leery of the fact that this is a first year SUV. We got a MB ML320 with M1 and M2 packages, Bose stereo, heated seats, sun roof, all weather floor mats and running board for $38K+

    #5. I have 3 vehicles.
  • vttomvttom Member Posts: 3
    Where can I learn about the $500 savings on the Grand Caravan you mentioned a few days ago? Thanks.
  • carleton1carleton1 Member Posts: 560
    Thanks for the quick, accurate response. The popularity of DC minivans with rental agencies has
    a chilling effect on trade-in for all of us. Too many rental vehicles are abused and trashed while in service as a rental. Most people just do not drive a rental responsibly as they would if they actually owned or leased the vehicle.
    However, the popularity of DC minivans for rentals indicates a lower total expense for the rental firm when purchase price, maintenance, and re-sale value are all considered. If rental firms could buy, rent, and re-sell Odyssey, Sienna, etc with the low overall cost of DC, we would be able to rent them as easily as the more popular DC.
    I will never again buy a used vehicle. I know I get a quality product with a factory warranty when I buy new...Grand Caravan, Odyssey, Sienna or whatever.
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