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Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan 2005+

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Comments

  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    Yeah, that was a hint :-)

    Gotta write 'em to get 'em.

    Steve, Host
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    aren't you clever. This is pre-emptive information gathering. When I make my offer, I'll be sure to post it.
  • timnehtimneh Posts: 4
    I own a 2000 DC and was thrilled when I saw the adds for the 2005 Stow 'n Go, but was so disappointed with the quality of the interior. I looked at both the TC and DC and there were large misplaced/broken pieces of plastic in every van I saw.

    The middle and rear seating felt odd, too. The angle of the seats felt like I was ready for "take off" and were uncomfortable.

    The stow 'n go is a great feature, but not at the expense of quality and comfort.
  • mrblonde49mrblonde49 Posts: 626
    I looked at both the TC and DC and there were large misplaced/broken pieces of plastic in every van I saw. <<

    Can you elaborate?

    I looked at a few 2005's while I had my oil changed and I didn't see anything like that
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    I've driven two 2005 GC SXT's and looked very closely at several. I find it suspect that you saw "large broken or misplaced" pieces of plastic in "every van you saw". I can saw that second row seats are slightly smaller than the previous design (an observation reiterated by a recent C & D review) but they were nonetheless reasonably comfortable. The back seat does have a slight reclining feel but was comfortable.
  • timnehtimneh Posts: 4
    I've looked at one 2005 DC SE Plus, four 2005 DC SXT's, and one 2005 T&C. On the T&C, the lower side panel on one of the middle seats was half attached and the plastic cover that goes over one of the hinges (where the back of the seat meets the bottom of the seat) was laying on the floor.

    Two of the DC SXT's had poorly installed carpet in the rear where the seats fold down - around the edge where it meets the side wall, the carpet was rumpled (don't know how to explain it - the carpet wasn't flat). On one DC SXT, there was a broken piece of plastic that belonged "somewhere" other than the middle of the floor. On yet another SXT, there was a black plastic part (with a part number on it) about four inces square with four tabs on it laying on the floor.

    I'm on my third van from Chrysler/Dodge and I enjoyed them all and had no problems. The only reason I looked into the new vans was because of the new stow 'n go. I was expecting better quality.
  • timnehtimneh Posts: 4
    See no. 211 for response.
  • mrblonde49mrblonde49 Posts: 626
    Sounds like it's more a dealer prep issue than anything else.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    I have driven a 2005 GC SXT after very closely examining the interior and sitting in all seats. I also very closely examined a 2005 T&C Touring with leather interior. I have looked inside many more new 2005 GC and T&C with "Stow-N-Go" and did not see any loose pieces or ill-fitting carpet.
        mrblonde49 suggests the problems with loose pieces of plastic and ill-fitting carpet could be a dealer prep issue.
        I would add that over-aggressive customers could have loosened or pulled apart components. One good reason to buy a new vehicle very quickly after it arrives at the dealership before damage can be done by inconsiderate car shoppers.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Dodge is already tossing rebates on the Grand Caravan w/ Stow N Go. Either that or I misread the ad.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    Rebates have been around since 4/1 for various Caravan/T&C models in my zip code (Incentives & Rebates).

    I'm not sure which models have the Stow n Go available, but I think it's standard on the SXT, and there's a $1,000 rebate on it.

    Steve, Host
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    The Grand Caravan SXT and Grand Caravan SE PLUS have "Stow-N-Go" as standard equipment.
         The Caravan SE, Caravan SXT, and Grand Caravan SE do NOT have "Stow-N-Go" even as an option.
         The GC SXT has the 3.8L V6 standard. The GC SE PLUS, the GC SE, and Caravan SXT have the 3.3L V6 standard while the Caravan SE has the 2.4 L 4 cylinder engine. There are NO optional engines on any Caravan or Grand Caravan model.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Chrysler has added confusion by offering a short wheel base Town & Country (which is a re-incarnation of the Chrysler Voyager). It has a 3.3L V6 standard and does not offer "Stow-N-Go".
         All long wheel base Town & Country have "Stow-N-Go" standard. The LX has a 3.3L V6 standard, the Touring and Limited models have 3.8L V6 engines standard. There are NO optional engines on any Chrysler Town & Country.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    The Chrysler short wheel base is a clone with the 3.3L V6 priced and equipped in between the Caravan SE with the 2.4L 4 cyl engine and the Caravan SXT that has the 3.3L V6 as the only engine. None have "Stow-N-Go" seating even as an option.
         There is NO Chrysler clone of the Grand Caravan SE that does NOT have "Stow-N-Go".
         The Chrysler Town & Country LX is the clone of the Grand Caravan SE PLUS and each has "Stow-N-Go" with the 3.3L V6 as the only engine.
         The Chrysler Touring is a more expensive clone of the Grand Caravan SXT. ($27,070 vs $26,315 MSRP). I can not find any content difference between these 2 models. The T&C Touring and GC SXT offer MORE value than the GC SE PLUS or T&C LX if a person wants "Stow-N-Go".
         One could add options to the Grand Caravan SXT to bring it up to the same level as the Town & Country Limited both in content and in price.
         I personally prefer the policy of Honda and Toyota having the same engine size and transmission in EVERY Odyssey or Sienna.
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    I think several valid points have been made. Part of this IS a dealer prep issue. My family owned a dealership and a vehicle with loose or broken pieces would not have made it to the front lot. Another explanation I'll offer--having recently tested another model--is that several trim pieces ARE used to cover access holes. Two round pieces can be removed as part of the overhead rail system.
  • ysoldeysolde Posts: 1
    I just had to post my two cents worth. I traded in a 97 T&C LX for an 05 T&C Limited. I've put 800 miles on it and the entire family loves it. There were no broken parts, nothing is out of alignment on the outside, the inside is all in perfect condition. DC really thought of everything on this van. All of the little things that were a "problem" with my old T&C have been fixed (more engine access, no door arm rests to come off, etc.). I love the seats and the added safety features. We're taking a driving vacation in a few weeks. I'll let you know how it handles on a 2000 mile drive!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    "All of the little things that were a "problem" with my old T&C have been fixed..."

    Hmmm, interesting, we have both a 1998 GC Sport with a 3.8 as well as a 2003 (not even 12 months old yet) GC ES, and while I can say that in general I like the 2003 better, there are plenty of things on the 1998 that I prefer.

    Things such as the door locks; I like to drive with my elbow up on the window sill, and the 1998 has recessed door locks that are below the surface of the sill even when unlocked, while the 2003 has a little pop up button that is positioned to dig into the meat of my forearm even when locked. Grrr, by itself hot a big thing, however, very annoying. What are the door locks like on the 2005?

    I also prefer the feel of the engine, the older van seems to be much more responsive off of the line compared to the new one (in spite of the extra horse power of the new one). That said; the new one seems to be a bit quicker accelerating up to freeway speeds.

    When you said, "...no door arm rests to come off." What did that mean? Were the door arm rests different between the 1997 and the 1998? We've got over 80K on the old one and haven't had an arm rest come off or fail in any other fashion.

    Keep us posted with your adjusting to your new toy. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Extra weight + top of the line 03 GC ES vs could account for quicker off the line in 1998 Sport (which was mid-level GC). Didn't the 98 GC some as Base, SE, Sport, LE, and ES?
         The 97 T&C LX owned by ysolde probably had the 3.3L V6 while the 2005 T&C Limited will have the more powerful 3.8L V6. Additionally, the LX is the entry level T&C while the Limited is top of the line (as was your 03 GC ES in 2003).
         Each of you is a good example of another satisfied repeat buyer of a DC minivan.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    According to the "Book" the three vans in question have the following specs:

    ------------------Model--------------- Weight - Horse Power --- Torque --
    2005 Grand Caravan SXT ------ 4,252 -- [email protected],000 -- [email protected],000
    2003 Grand Caravan ES ------- 4,238 -- [email protected],000 -- [email protected],000
    1998 Grand Caravan Sport ---- 3,949 -- [email protected],400 -- [email protected],250

    The only potential problem with the weight of the 1998 is that we have one of the rare 3.8 liter Sport models, which probably weighs a few pounds more than the 3,949 listed for the base 3.3 engine. I say rare 3.8 because when we went into the dealership to buy the 1998, they didn&#146;t have any vans that met our requirements and the only way to order a &#147;Sport&#148; model was to pay $200 over and above extra cost for the 29N package which (oh darn!) was having the 3.3 (which was in short supply at the time) upgraded to the 3.8. Anyway, I digress, my guess as to why the 1998 feels so much more responsive than the 2003 is a combination of the weight (a tank of gas and some groceries) and more torque available at a lower RPM than the newer engine. That said, once those squirrels get wound up, the new mill does seem to pull stronger. Thirty five HP more? Maybe, maybe not.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • pdodson20pdodson20 Posts: 2
    Wife and I were pretty excited about the 05 and the cool Stow and Go seats. We were ready to buy an 05. Just on a whim decided to try an 05 directly next to 04. I was amazed at rear seating comfort difference between them. The 04 is hands down alot more comfortable. So if you plan to hall any kind of adults or grown children I would highly recommend the 04. Just bought one tonight. Amazingly we got it for $11,000 off of MSRP. That is straight out with no trade. I don't believe I would have come even close to as good of deal with an 05.
  • mrblonde49mrblonde49 Posts: 626
    Great value. We, too couldn't pass up the deal we got on our '04 T&C Touring Platinum - $9K off sticker a little over 3 months ago (when the '05's were just hitting the lots (but stashed in the back).

    And it's been 100% flawless in the 3500 miles since
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Could you post the model and exact purchasing price? Thanks!
  • russlarussla Posts: 74
    I spent a good part of SAT looking at the DGC with stow and go and the deeply discounted 04's (loaded SXT's)

    05's I didn't like either the buckets or the third row, granted I will rarely, if ever, sit there, so maybe my kids could have lived with it, but I didn't like them, There was a variety of problems with some of the stock of the 05's as some were perfect, some the 2nd row seats wouldn't fold into the floor, (they just jammed against the back of the front seats) and yes, there were a couple where the flimsy trim on the 2nd row buckets had come off completely from the seat frame, or just the front part. My take is that customers are checking these seats out, and maybe not taking as much care as a new owner would. So broken pieces are a reality. but anything broke when bought will be fixed. (so the new owner could break it themselves :-) I really like the idea of a fold flat third row, but I wouldn't take the 2nd row to get the third. You really do have to have the first row seats pretty far forward to move them, so as tall and my wife and I are, moving them would be part of the routine to stash the seats.

    04's, the seats are more comfortable, the 2nd row reclines, there is the foot room someone mentioned earlier. The split rearmost bench is reasonable, when folded closed and then folded forward (w/o the headreast) one drawback was that the Annivesary Edition didn't come with heated leather,

    We ended up buying the 04 sxt anniversary edition (the leather, and video were the big swing votes)

    Enjoy your van!
  • swfeatureswfeature Posts: 6
    I will be purchasing a minivan in the next few weeks and I have settled (I think) on a Grand Caravan SXT which includes Stow and Go, power everything and split rear seats. The best price I have been able to find is $22,850 (before tax and MV fees) on a 2005. I am wondering if anyone has done significantly better than that. The same dealer is also offering a 2004 GC SXT (no stow and go) with 6K miles on it for about $19K. I have noticed several folks comment on the comfort issue with the stow and go seats. Has the comfort been a problem for many of you who own the 2005?
  • edkleinedklein Posts: 34
    When you're checking out those seats in the 2005, make sure you put the headrest up. In it's default position fully collapsed, it is definitely uncomfortable. After adjusting them to a proper height, I found the seats to be quite comfortable, myself.

    I had heard about people talking about the poor seats before I went to see them at the car show and at first was ready to agree with them. But, fixing the headrests makes a world of difference.
  • krash24krash24 Posts: 2
    We just bought a 2005 SXT with a Power Liftgate as the only option. The window sticker has a base of $26,315 plus $400 for liftgate and $680 for destination for a total of $27,395 on the sticker. Edmunds says the sticker should be $27,585, I'm not sure why there is a difference. We negotiated to $25,132. There is a $1000 cash rebate, a $1000 trade-in rebate (we did have a trade), and a $1000 rebate if you finance with Chrysler Financial for a total of $3000 in rebates. Edmunds says my trade is worth about $1700 and they gave me $1750. That brought us to $20,382. Add in $1457.01 for taxes, a $53.52 Document Fee, and $80 for title and transfer, and we financed $21972.53 total. We haven't had it a week yet, but we love it. We couldn't find an SE with the options we required (3-zone a/c, roof rack, and 2nd row bucket seats) that didn't have more options that brought it near the SXT price range. And the SE's don't have stow&go (unless you get the SE PLUS which is an expensive option). So, for us, the SXT was the way to go, and we love the power liftgate (even though we didn't need/want it).
  • nicometonicometo Posts: 3
    Hello all, just wanted to post my observations after having our 05 T&C Limited for about 6 weeks.

    1. Gas mileage is rather low. Around town, we are only getting 13-14. We finally took our first long trip (about 1,000 miles round trip), and noticed we averaged about 22-23. I have contacted our dealer about this and wondered when we would be seeing better gas mileage. He said since this is a cast iron engine, it will take to about 10,000 miles to see improved gas mileage.

    2. The front passenger seats are extremely uncomfortable. On this long trip I constantly had to keep "re-arranging" myself to get comfortable again. Granted I'm a bit larger than average (6'2 about 220), but still this was pretty bad. The leather seats really need/should be a bit more "cushy" especially since this is a $33,000 + vehicle.

    3. The compartments in the track are quite cheap. If you pull one out, it is easy to break, so use caution.

    4. The GPS navigation system is pretty cool, and a nice "time-passer" when you are bored staring at the road. However, there are some major limitations to it when trying to find something. First, it doesn't list rest area's. Not sure if this is important to anyone else, but it would sure be nice to know when the next rest area is so we can have the three kids plan accordingly. Also, none of the POI, we chose would show up, such as fast food restaurants, and gas stations. One thing that was nice, is is gave an estimate time of arrival to our destination. Not sure how it computes it, but it was off by about 10 minutes. You will notice (if you use it) the voice that tells you when to turn is kind of cool at first, but very annoying after awhile, so we just turned it off.

    5. We did not get the option for the screens for the 6 disk DVD changer. To us, that option is simply ridiculously over priced. It's a $1200 option for 1 7 " screen, 2 wireless head phones and 1 remote control. I didn't really price out any other vans with this option, so not sure if this is a standard price.

    6. Passing on a two lane, 55 MPH highway takes a lot out of the engine. He really has to work hard to get from 50 to 70 MPH in a few seconds.

    7. The cruise control is not very sensitive. If you set it at 72, and want to either coast or accelerate, it sometimes takes 5-6 times to get it right where you want it. Usually hitting the coast of accell button will change your speed by about 5 MPH. Also, when going down a slight hill, the speed will go up about 5-6 MPH, which could be just enough to get caught in a Wisconsin speed trap, so use caution there. I realize some of this has to do with the weight, but we just had an 02 Durango, and never had any of these speed control issues.

    Overall though, we are fairly pleased with the van. It has a lot of room, and the stow and go seats are very, nice.

    Hope this helps any potential buyers.

    Also, we did not compare any other vehicles before choosing the Chrysler due to some personal family concerns that I really don't need to disclose here...
  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Posts: 421
    What size engine do you have? How did the "stow & go" seats feel?
  • nicometonicometo Posts: 3
    v6, 3.8 L.

    The stow and go seats are actually fairly comfortable, however I have not spent much time in them. I heard no complaints from my 10 and 12 year old which were sitting in the 3rd row together. They had plenty of space, and seemed to be quite comfortable.

    BTW, we really do like our van, even though what I posted may have seemed a bit negative. I was simply pointing out the flaws we have noticed thus far.
  • olizerolizer Posts: 38
    I went to the Five Star showroom to try the Stow and Go seats. The second and third row seats seemed uncomfortable to me. The cloth front driver's seat was much more comfortable that the leather one. By the way I'm 6' 2" and 200 pounds.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Most vehicles have the same issue when cruise control is engaged, When going down hill you'll always be faster by about 5 MPH, and uphill slower by 3-4 MPH, until engine kicks in all the way.

    Cruise control is always just approx. the speed you set it. If you are afraid to get cought for speeding, set it for 5 MPH lower than you want.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    My son's 2002 GC Sport with 3.3L V6 keeps the speed right on the set speed. If going downhill, the transmission automatically downshifts to maintain the set speed in addition to downshifting while going uphill.
        I sat in a NEW 2005 GC SXT with cloth and a T&C Touring with leather. ALL the seats were comfortable for me.
        I did notice the "Stow-N-Go" seats are more firm than the seats in my son's 2002 GC Sport. Since I prefer a more firm seat, the 2005 seating is more comfortable.
  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Posts: 421
    We have a 2001 GC EX and our cruise control is always accurate too. I'm not sure about how it does on hills though, because I always disengage it when going up or down hill.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    Just got back from a 1,700+ mile road trip last night between southern New Hampshire and the Detroit area via western Massachusetts and upstate New York (both of which has plenty of hills). I drove our 2003 Grand Caravan ES (3.8 liter mill) and kept it on cruise control for as much of the time as possible, and I don't think that the speed varied by more than 1 mph either way regardless of the steepness of the grade.

    As for the rest of the stats, I drove (my wife flew due to work pressures) 1,727 miles in 31 hours flat, averaging 55.7 mph for the entire trip. That said, at least 3 hours was spent either tooling around the Niagara and Detroit areas or else in heavy construction/accident/border crossing related traffic. While in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, I kept the CC set at about 75 mph, and while in Canada (speed limit 62, however, traffic was moving at speeds of well over 80) and Michigan (speed limit 70, however, traffic was moving at nearly 90) I kept the CC set somewhere north of 80.

    For all of that, I managed 22.3 mpg, which in my book ain't too shabby. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    On our 96 Caravan, the cruise will accelerate by 3 MPH per punch of the button. I don't know if many people are aware of this and thus push it several times and then get to a higher speed than they want. Do the newer DC vans do it this way also?

    My Taurus blips up 1 mph per punch of the button. This finer increment makes it a bit easier to get to where you want, but neither the van or the car overspeeds much on downhill grades, that I have noticed. Maybe the downhill grades are very steep in your area, which could account for overspeed that I normally do not encounter.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I wonder if the people who are trying out the stow and go seats in the showroom and pronouncing them "not very comfortable" maybe are not giving them a full chance. These seats are designed with a ultra high density foam, like that used in tempurpedic matresses. I believe this foam takes a while to conform to a body's shape and thus maybe feels too firm initially, but provides even, though still firm, support once you have sat in it for a while?

    The above is not based on any observations on my part, as I have not tried stow and go seats even for a short term, but I will consider them in a few years when we decide to replace our '96.

    Any comments from people who have sat in the stow and go seats, either second or third row, for an extended ride?
  • russlarussla Posts: 74
    Was the big comfort killer for me.

    I sat in the third row, (yes I adjusted the head rest) and didn't like it, I was immediately unimpressed with the 2nd row because it doesn't recline, (so for long trips, that's a immediate comfort disqualification for me.) Whether the firmer foam would eventually suit me is not relevant,it is incompatible with my carseat requirements. I would have look at the stow and go much closer had it reclined. (2nd row)

    Kind Regards
  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Posts: 421
    So neither the 2nd or 3rd row seats recline? I never did take notice to that feature when I sat in one. I didn't like them because for an adult, the seats were small, when compared to our van. I am 5' 7 and in our van, I can sit in either row without having to move the head rest up and all rows recline. Our 10 yrs old son sits in the second row in our van without having to raise the head rest, but in the 2005's it would have to be raised some.
  • 05tcltd05tcltd Posts: 1
    Not sure how you came to your conclusions, but you must not have looked very closely. Have an '05 T&C ltd, and this was a major factor in our decision to purchase it (over sienna xle ltd). The fact is that the 2nd row seats AND both sides of split third row bench recline fully. The 2nd row seats each have a black lever on the sliding door side, and the 3rd row bench has pull straps on both sides. Additionally, the 2nd row seats move fore and aft. These easy adjustments added to the great stow and go design make the rear seats versatile and comfortable for all passengers.

    Additionally, the value of a '05 T&C LTD with all the options (stow and go, 6 disc, DVD, Nav, moonroof, bluetooth, etc) is far superior to the competition. Paid $32500 (including rebate) for our '05 vs. the high 30s for an '04 xle ltd ( provided you can even find one with a 6 disc DVD AND nav at that price).
  • russlarussla Posts: 74
    I played with them, stowed them and didn't get it to recline, so obviously the method I employed to discover the feature let me down.
  • car4youcar4you Posts: 36
    I am trying to decide between a Sienna and the TC. I was wondering if any has tried to install car seats in the second row? With the smaller seats do the car seats fit on them? Do the second row seat seat belts have automatically locking feature so you can secure a car seat without the tether anchors.
    Thanks
  • I have the 2005 Grand Caravan SXT. We were very easily able to install our convertible car seat rear-facing in the second row passenger side seat. It is a nice snug fit and since the seats move back and forth we were able to get exactly the right location so the passenger can have their seat all the way back without being obstructed by the child seat. Our convertible car seat is pretty large, it's an Evenflo Triumph. I recommend you place the 2nd row seat as far forward as possible without obstructing the front passenger, for ease of putting the baby in without being obstructed by the sliding door. The only thing I noticed about the seat was that in my 2001 Accord the baby's feet were not jammed into the seatback quite as far as they are in this seat. Perhaps I can recline the seatback a little to give my tall baby more legroom while she is still rearfacing. I did have to put a rolled up towel under the seat by her feet to achieve the proper angle, as the seat bottoms of these seats are angled such that your butt is much lower than your knees.

    I am very picky and I found the stow n go seats to be very comfortable, firm, and supportive. My only complaint is the low backs (necessary to fit as stow and go I'm sure). I did have to raise the headrest quite a bit to achieve comfort. Some people won't care about that since they don't rest their head in the headrest while traveling in the car (I do).

    I consider it an advantage, however, that the way the headrests fit low to the seat allows the seats to be stowed without removing the headrests. We also looked at a Honda and the 3rd row that stows requires the headrests to be removed and stored.
  • We probably didn't get the best deal we could have gotten, but by that time we were just ready to get the heck out of the dealership. We wanted an SE Plus with the package that has rear air conditioning, but they didn't have a single SE Plus on the lot. The salesman talked us into the SXT by saying he could get us into one for approximately the same price. Not quite, sticker 29015 we paid 27000 which is several hundred dollars higher than the SE plus with the options we wanted. However we did get above book value for our two trades (we were also buying a 2004 Stratus). My trade worth 11,500 we got 12,000 and my husband's worth 3,800 we got 5,200. The options we had were the rear air package (power pedals etc) and the tire pressure monitoring system (we didn't care about this but it was all he had and it was only a 70 dollar option).

    I have only driven it a couple of times (I drive the Stratus normally). However, here are my initial impressions after 1 week:

    1. The seats are very comfortable once you get the headrests where you want them.

    2. Although I feel like I am driving a small country when I am driving it sitting up so high, it handles very well. It really does have a car-like feel and good turning radius.

    3. I like the bigger engine in the SXT, it has excellent low end torque and nice pickup, even though we are somewhat babying it until it reaches 1000 miles (at the end of this week, with the miles my husband drives).

    4. Although I have heard horror stories about the transmissions in the older models, this one is extremely smooth...much smoother than the transmission in the Stratus. The Stratus is my first car with an automatic transmission and it feels very harsh to me since I am used to a manual transmission. The Van, however, has very smooth gear transitions and doesn't make the jolting when shifting the way my husband's old Stratus and the new one both do.

    5. Even a dummy like me can operate the stow n go seats quickly and efficiently. You just have to remember to have the front seats all the way forward when stowing the second row (we only did this to try it out since we have a baby seat installed in row 2). Third row is even easier to stow and unstow.

    6. LOVE the electric sliding doors and liftgate. Let me say it again, LOVE THEM. We were going to do without when we were looking at the SE plus, but I am very glad we got them. It is so much easier when carrying the baby to just flick the button on the remote rather than having to pull the handle and slide the door open. And the doors retract with only 2 pounds of pressure so we aren't worried about any little hands getting stuck in the door.

    7. Some of the instructions in the manual that tell you how to operate the features aren't completely accurate. We tried to follow the instructions to program our garage door opener, and we had no luck. We had to bring the Stratus back to have a mark on the seat removed (they had no luck so we are stuck with a flawed seat unless I force them to replace it, we haven't decided if we want to play hardball yet) and while there the dealer advised the instructions are wrong. All we have to do is hold the button we want to program and press our garage door opener remote pointed at the display to copy the programming.

    8. The stereo is nice even though it is factory standard. My 2001 Accord had a sucky stereo with no punch, although I do miss my 6 CD in dash changer. This stereo has some good punch. I have to keep the bass very low or it would blow my head off, especially when listening to radio which has a lot of bass anyway.

    9. What I don't like about the stow n go seats...very low backs, you have to adjust the headrest pretty high to be comfortable. Also, 3rd row passengers have no place for their feet because the bottom of the second row seats go right to the floor. There is no room under them for your toes. This is also a problem behind the driver seat in the second row. The only seat with a recess under it is the front passenger. To achieve enough footroom, the seats have to be far way from each other. We'll see how this works out on our trip to the beach in October with my in-laws. 4 adults and a baby seat.

    10. The wacky wiper design appears to be better because it seems to achieve more wiping space. It looked very weird when I saw it but it functions well.

    11. I like the annoying seat belt reminder bell. I am someone who fastens my belt immediately when sitting in the seat. My husband, however, is one of those people who could drive for miles and never realize he wasn't wearing his belt. Luckily, this has a bell that continues to sound when the driver is not wearing a seat belt. Hopefully this will cause him to wear his belt regularly when I am not around to remind him. I'll call it the nagging wife bell.

    12. When I saw that it had rear parking assist, I thought this was completely unnecessary...until I had to park it. You can't see the back of the vehicle and when you first start driving it you have no perception of the limits of the vehicle. Backing into our driveway (it goes down a hill so it's better to back in and drive straight out) is quite a challenge for me anyway. With this huge vehicle, I would have been sunk without the big side mirror (rock walls on both sides) and the rear parking assist to let me know when I am approaching the garage door. I can use the LED lights to park the same place every time. 2 dots gets me close enough but still leaves room for the liftgate to raise without hitting the door. I do however wish it was a little shorter so we could park it in the garage. The roof rack puts it just a hair too tall to fit under the garage door opener mechanism.

    Overall I like the vehicle and wish I could drive it without having to park the huge thing. I want it to drive and ride like the van but park like the Stratus. And God help me if I ever had to PARALLEL park it!
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,173
    My wife wants me to maybe look and trade our '01 Ford Escape XLT 4wd v6 for the GC SXT w/DVD. I want to wait and see what the New Ford Freestyle is going to be like. We drive from the Hershey, PA area down to the Philly area alot, but also we drive to TN (8.5 hours one way). She want to look at the GC SXT because of maybe having a 2nd child soon. The Escape is fine for now, but when we have the 2nd...we are gonna need the room. Gas Milage is the other big factor. I'm pushing 22 city / 28 hwy in the Escape right now. Has anyone heard of any changes in the '06 SXT as of yet??

    Odie
  • ksennksenn Posts: 2
    Im not sure if this is the proper place to post this, but I thought it would be the most likely place that people who had a 2005 GC would be at!

    We bought it three weeks ago and I didnt notice how LOUD the exhaust is on it? (Im always inside) It sounds like a big truck (kinda with a puttering). I told my husband (who really doesnt know much about cars) and he said he thought it was okay. But to me there is just too much noise coming from it.

    What does your exhaust/muffler sound like on yours???

    Im thinking about taking it back to the dealer to see if something is wrong, but dont want to look like a stupid girl!! It just seems too loud for a brand new car.

    Thanks in advance.
  • cbwilshacbwilsha Posts: 70
    Ksenn-Go with your instinct (and hearing) and take it back and describe to them just what you have here. That's what warranties are for to correct things without costing you anything except a little time.

    I have a 2005 T&C on order from the factory and have already received and reviewed the Factory Service Manual and I note there are listed 5 possible reasons for "Exhaust Noise". If you really want to impress them that you ain't no "stupid girl" tell them to look in their service manual in Chapter 11 (Exhaust System) Page 2, particularly if they try to give you a hard time. This Service Manual also covers Caravan and Grand Caravan.

    C.B.
  • nokidsnokids Posts: 2
    I have a 1998 T&C. It has had two problems that have been extremely irritating: 1) The steering wheel "clicks" on occasion when turned and 2) the driver's side B-column "snaps" when coming to a stop. Has anyone experienced these problems on a 2005 T&C?

    Problem one has never been solved [three trips to the dealer] and problem 2 was solved after I insisted that the dealer implement a TSB [that I had to pay $20 to obtain!].
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,173
    the clicking from your front tires is from the lug nuts not being torqued enough. It is very common on alloy wheels. I had that problem with my escape and that's how I found out. I was told for alloy (or cast aluminum) wheels always torque your lug nuts to 105 - 110 lbs.ft. Hope this helps.

    Odie
  • spartanmannspartanmann Posts: 197
    This is a common problem. Tire places know that overtorquing can bust an alloy wheel and cost them a lot of bucks. They tend to treat them very gingerly.
  • swfeatureswfeature Posts: 6
    We purchased our GC SXT at the end of June and although we haven't driven it very much (we're city-slickers) so far I am quite happy with it. The only option beyond the standard SXT package that we chose was a split rear set (a must!) and the power lift gate - which I feel is a great feature. It's great to have when you are carrying grocery bags to or from the car so you don't have to set them down on wet pavement to open or close the door. The SXT comes with duel power sliding side doors - also great.

    I left the bill of sale in the glove box - so I will have to write later about the purchase price - but it was basically the (quote end quote) dealer invoice less $2300 in discounts. I had no trade in. I went to two dealerships and exchanged emails with two others . My sense was you can get a good deal on the 2005 if you are willing to shop around - so don't settle if you feel the dealer isn't being aggressive enough. In the very least, don't buy on your first visit. Wait a few days then go back and say you have been shopping and wonder if they are willing to do better than the last offer they gave you.

    My previous car was a 1999 Volvo XC wagon - which was great, but not as spacious as I would have preferred. With two young kids, it's amazing how quickly you can fill the cargo area (forget bikes!).

    The SXT's stow and go seats give you enough room for a ton of stuff - even if you are only folding the back seats. With the split third seat - you still seat five and have extra room beyond a wagon or SUV. This car cost about $13K less than the Volvo - nice.

    I have much experience driving minivans, since I rent one for out of town work and every time we go on vacation. I have rented Caravans, Windstars and Ventures and have liked them all. The Dodge's were always nice to drive and I prefer their contour seats (I am 5'9" and slender). I'm not sure if the seats would work as well for larger people.

    I have always liked minivans better than SUVs on a number of levels: Driving experience, comfort, safety, cargo space, passenger seating, gas mileage and of course, all of the politically correct reasons too. I understand that some people have image issues about owning a minivan. My advice - get over it. SUVs handle like trucks and you pay thousands of dollars more than they cost to make. Minivans drive like sedans and they are very reasonably priced.

    I will confess that I recently rented a Pacifica (it was the only family car left at the rental yard) and I was pleasantly surprised by how nicely that handled. It seemed more like a minivan than a truck.

    Okay - back to the point: the SXT drives really smoothly, handles like a sedan and (mine, at least) is quiet. Like an SUV - you sit high, so your view of the road is really good. I like the visibility from the driver's seat on the highway. The mirrors give you a wide view and you also can see cars behind you in the right lane by turning your head and looking through the rear passenger windows (not always true in SUVs). Seeing behind you while backing up is not great, but these days, half the sedans have such high rear ends - you can't see behind in them either.

    The engine has ample power for acceleration, though one gear is a little more sluggish in the low end than the others (can't remember if it was 2nd or 3rd). Still - getting on the highway is easily accomplished by stepping down hard on the gas pedal. This is a decent sized van, so I can only imagine what a bummer it would be if I had the smaller 6 cylinder.

    The rear seats are definitely better suited for kids than adults - something they had to forfeit to accomplish the stow and go.

    For us, it's not an issue as we don't take long road trips with lots of adults - but it is something that should be considered by anyone that is getting this vehicle for corporate use. Short trips are no problem for adults in the back - just raise the head rests as high as needed. The seats recline nicely. My kids have slept in them for the past two Sunday night drives back to the city after a weekend away.

    The stow and go feature is great. It basically gives you a passenger van and a cargo van in one vehicle. I won't miss pulling heavy seats out of a van ever again and the added room in the way back, even with the seats all up is an added bonus.

    The standard sound system is pretty good. I use my ipod with an itrip (so it broadcasts through an FM station on the radio) and lean it in the space between the cup holders in the dashboard. It hasn't been jostled out of there yet - so I don't have a need for the CD player.

    We thought about DVD - but you can get a really nice after market version installed by Best Buy for about $500 less than the factory one - so I decided to hold off for now.

    I like the styling of this van better than any other - especially the American choices - but that is a matter of taste. The roof rack is easy to use and easy to get to by standing on the door steps.

    I haven't figured out the gas mileage yet - but I will report that in a future letter.

    To sum up (after two weeks experience) - if you are considering the GC - I really like my SXT.
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