Sienna vs Grand Caravan/Town & Country

2

Comments

  • mojdodyrmojdodyr Member Posts: 23
    It is Desert Sand Mica - beige.
    As far as 6k off of a DCX - that is true, but by the middle of the summer they will be going 10k below MSRP.
    And as far as stereo controls - I don't really care that much. What I care a lot is a mp3 player and CD changer - you can put 6 cd's with mp3 songs and would never have to replace them (well, at least for a while) thus eliminating the need of having CD's laying all over the place (well - yes, I am disorganized).
    I would never buy another car without mp3 player in it. And as far as cassette player goes - get real - those are things of the past. ;)
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    An excellent reason why I would prefer the GC SXT stereo system instead of the 6 CD changer with MP3 of my Sienna. I have many excellent quality cassettes that I would like to listen to while driving my minivan.
    I think Toyota is ripping us off by not including the separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger in the Sienna CE and LE. DaimlerChrysler offers it in all long wheel base Grand Caravan and T&C.
  • rorrrorr Member Posts: 3,630
    "An excellent reason why I would prefer the GC SXT stereo system instead of the 6 CD changer with MP3 of my Sienna. I have many excellent quality cassettes that I would like to listen to while driving my minivan."

    Why not burn your cassettes to a CD? Or even convert them to MP3 files; you could probably get 10 cassettes onto a single MP3 CD.
  • neile457neile457 Member Posts: 65
    Which one should I get? I can get both for under $7500- The Sienna is loaded with leather and everything, but the Caravan has everything I need with the exception of rear tinted windows (which I can add). What would be more reliable and cheaper to own in the long run? Looking at signing tommorrow.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Member Posts: 1,168
    Just buy an iPod!!!!
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    BUY the Caravan. The Sienna is more expensive but less user friendly than DC minivans. ;)
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    ANOTHER BIG HOAX started by Consumer Reports and others of the "Hate American brands" crowd.

    My friend is LESS pleased with his 2006 Sienna than I am. The Toyota dealer told him his 2006 Sienna LE now has a trade-in value of only :cry: $ 19,000. :cry:

    Looks like I better like my Sienna as the resale value is not very good.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    Answers to your inquiry:

    1. I do NOT like the gated shifter on the dash as well as the traditional shifter on the steering column.

    2. I do NOT like the wiper controls on one stalk on the right side of steering wheel and much prefer the DC method of front wipers on left stalk and rear wiper/washer 3 buttons on the dash.

    3. DC has a better set up for cruise control but I am not pleased that DC deleted the lighting for all but one button on the driver's door.

    4. Lighting was better on my 2002 T&C LX than 2006 GC SXT. Sienna has lights at bottom of front doors and on rear jamb by each sliding side door...so lighting is probably better in the Sienna than the 2006 GC SXT.

    5. I would prefer stereo of 2006 GC SXT to my Sienan 6 CD in dash changer with AUX input for MP3.

    6. I don't use the fold down arm rests but my wife likes the Sienna arm rests better than those in DC minivans.

    7. The Sienna sun visors are as long as the 2002 T&C were with the extenders. The 2006 GC SXT has NO extenders.

    8. I can't tell any difference in braking between my 2002 T&C LX with 4 wheel disc ABS and the Sienna with 4 wheel ABS with drum brakes on the rear. Both very good. I like the Sienna steering wheel feel better than either my 02 T&C or the 2006 GC SXT.

    9. The folding 3rd row seats of Sienna are not as well designed for folding as the GC SXT (or Honda Odyssey). However, the Sienna has the air intake for rear heater/air conditioner much higher on the right rear of cargo area than the DC which means I could load more items in the Sienna than the GC (or Ody) without blocking the air intake for the rear unit.

    10. Additional: The Sienna has a MUCH more comfortable driver seat than the 2006 GC SXT... and the 06 GC SXT driver seat is MUCH more comfortable than my 02 T&C. The 06 GC SXT power seat is more quickly adjusted in any direction than that in the 06 Sienna...but the Sienna has an adjustable lumbar support.

    The 2nd row Stow 'N Go seats are NOT as comfortable as 2nd row of Sienna (or Ody). There is NO toe space under 2nd row DC Stow 'N Go seats for 3rd row passengers. The Sienna (and Ody) have nice toe space under 2nd row seats.

    SUMMARY: The Sienna interior looks nicer, the powertrain feels more refined and the Sienna 3.3L is powerful than the 3.8L V6 in 06 GC SXT...BUT the GC SXT offers more nice, practical features than the Sienna (and Odyssey) for LESS money since DC gives nice discounts, rebates, and incentives.

    Sienna or DC minivan: MUCH different so if you like one, you probably will not like the other one. :shades:
  • samnoesamnoe Member Posts: 731
    Hans, I'm with you in most aspects. I agree about the cassette player, I would also miss it, and don't see why a manufacturer can't offer it OPTIONAL - whoever don't need'em, don't take'm! I also hate the gated shifter, especially since it's gated PLUS going downwards - unlike sedans which is flat. I think if you want a dashboard-mounted shifter, the design of the (OLD?) Kia Sedona or Honda Odyssey is way better.

    However, I want to point out to you regarding #7 about the sun visor; True, the '05-06 GC has no extenders, but they can be adjusted, i.e. you can manually move the visor to the left or to the right, to block out the sun. It took me a while until figured it out, but once I did, I had no need for an extender anymore. Try for yourself and see what I'm talking about.

    I would still like a "secondary" visor, though, like many other vehicles have, in order to block the sun from front and from the side at the same time.

    Sienna also lacks lighted controls for door & window controls, but I think the controls itself has a better layout in the DGC, it's more logical and practical - but perhaps not as "SAFE".

    I also think that the 3rd row seat is much easier and more practical to stow into floor on the DGC.

    SUMMARY: I'm waiting for the next redesign of Sienna. I hope they fix and improve the few shortcomings, and I don't mind to pay a little extra for the "perfect" van.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    Many of us preferred the pre-Stow 'N Go GC and T&C to the 2005/06 models but did NOT like the cheaper door panels and lack of nice options on the 2005 GC SE. :cry:
    DC should have copied the excellent Odyssey 2nd row seating for NON Stow 'N Go GC SE and the Caravan/ SWB T&C...made in Fenton, MO. Just put the nicer front door panels, 6 speaker AM/FM/CD/Cassette stereo, overhead console, 50/50 fold and tumble 3rd row seating, and cast wheels from the Caravan SXT as an option for the GC SE.
    It was much easier to remove groceries and other items from the cargo area of my 2002 T&C LX than it from my 2006 Sienna LE. Many of us consider passenger comfort more important than the additional storage with Stow 'N Go.
  • sc00bssc00bs Member Posts: 87
    You said: DC should have copied the excellent Odyssey 2nd row seating for NON Stow 'N Go GC SE and the Caravan/ SWB T&C...

    I say: I do not care for the 2nd row of stow and go. I most certainly do not care for the cheesy plastic cover for the seat well (or whatever you would call the large hole that the seats go into). I just test drove some used 05's and EVERY SINGLE one of the latches on the second row to lift the covers up on were broken and would need to be fixed. No thanks.

    I am sorry to hear that you are disappointed with the Sienna purchase. It is really amazing how small things can make such a HUGE difference.

    Personally I found that both the seats in the Grand Caravan and the Sienna were comfortable. I was most surprised by the GC because from the looks of them they most certainly did not look comfortable at all (we test drove a very basic model).

    Just out of curiosity, what kind of reliablity did you see out of your old T&C??? My neighbor has an older model Caravan and she said she would buy another (but in Grand style) without blinking an eye.

    What made it easier to remove groceries from the T&C than the Sienna???

    Also I noticed that Dodge has two different engines available which would you recommend??
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    Our 02 T&C has 3.3L and it was an excellent compromise between power and fuel economy. A friend who has owned DC minivans with 3.0, 3.3, and 3.8L liked each one better than the previous. He recently got a 2006 GC SXT to replace the 2000 GC LE that was nearing 100,000 miles. My sister had a 1986 Caravan SE with little 4 cyl engine and sold it at 170,000 miles with no problems. They recently got a nice, used 2005 GC SE that has 23,000 miles.
    Groceries are easier to remove from the NON Stow 'N Go than the current DC minivans, Sienna (or Odyssey) because the floor is at the level of the bumper instead of being 10 inches lower in the well. However, the old style seating left only half the storage behind the 3rd row. We will enjoy that extra storage on our 1380 mile trip to Disneyland Resort later this month.
    BTW, the cover for the 2nd row well of Stow 'N Go has been greatly improved for the 2006 models over the 2005. :shades:
  • sc00bssc00bs Member Posts: 87
    Just out of curiosity what did they pay for their used 05 model??

    By the way have a great time in Disneyland you lucky duck (or mouse, lol). Sigh... someday.. someday :)
  • marine2marine2 Member Posts: 1,155
    $25,000 is about what I paid for my 2005 DGC last year. It has alloy wheels,traction control, 4 wheel disc brakes, CD & Cassette with six speakers, with radio controls on the steering wheel, 8way power driver's seat, power sliding doors on both sides, power tail gate, battery saver, carpeted floor mats front and back, three zone A/C, tire pressure monitor, keyless entry with alarm and starter kill. It also gives me paint protection that is put on twice a year for five years. I got it all for zero percent financing.

    I did pay $1,325.00 extra for the 7/70 extended warranty to go along with the 3/36,000 bumper to bumper and 7/70 power train warranty. I figure if just the a/c compressor goes out in seven years, it will almost pay for it's self. Plus with roadside service, AAA would cost me almost $800.00 for seven years. With all the power equipment on these vans, an extended warranty makes sense. Especially if your going to keep it for over five years.

    I have had my van now for 17 months. I took it in last week on a recall for a hose that could be crimped. That is the only thing I have had it in for except regular maintenance.

    My brother has a 1999 Plymouth minivan. He has only had to replace the brake shoes and a freeze plug in all these years.

    While I admit the inside of the Toyota is much nicer, I love the looks of the outside of my van and the main reason I bought it, was for the stow-and go seats and all that extra storage it gives me. I use it all the time and have had no problems with the latch on either bin breaking off. Now that my Mom has to use an electric wheel chair or scooter, I can get them both in my van with no problems at all. (see my web sight) http://www.carspace.com/marine2/[email protected]@

    I have never been happier with any vehicle I have ever owned. This is my first minivan.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    Talked to her during the weekend holiday: $ 14,500.
    Rental GC SE had power rear vent windows (NOT available for regular buyers) as special order for rentals. Hers has Stow 'N Go 3rd seat, 2 built in child seats 2nd row bench seat, the popular equipment group with Triple Zone Temp, PDL, PW, PM, tachometer, and sound insulation.
    MSRP was about $ 24,900 and there was a $ 2,500 cash incentive, plus $ 1,000 if financed thru Chrysler. A private sale would have been about $ 20,800 NEW so she paid about $ 6,100 less with 23,000 miles on odometer.
    I prefer buying NEW and having the first trouble free miles for myself. :shades:
  • sc00bssc00bs Member Posts: 87
    Thanks Hansienna.

    I just got our newspaper and they have tons of the same vans as you describe here. They have some with 8yr/80,000 powertrain and 3mo/3,000 maxcare warr for 13,988. A couple of dealerships have them at 12,999 but they are not as plush as the others at the higher price.

    I would prefer buying new also but just can't afford them, lol.

    Our local toyota dealership has a 98 Sienna XLE (loaded) with 54,000 miles on it that they are asking 12,900 for. Over edmunds but negotiable.

    Decisions decisions...
  • penizzlepenizzle Member Posts: 104
    Overall, i think the sienna has the best quality and is the most family usefull esdpecially with small kids. The trim and set up in the Caravan is old and mostly plastic cheap stuff while the Sienna has a newer completely diferent set up and the trim looks much nicer. The smaller V6 in the sienna is smoother and a lot less noisy thatn the engines in the Caravans, especially the Caravans 3.3 V6. Also, the stow and go in the Caravan is clever but when the storage bin doors are closed, there are a lot of crack and crevaces. If a kid in the van spills something, it may get in those crevaces and will be a pain to clean up. and the carpet doest even look good with the storage bins unless there are mats over it. Just a couple of things. The Caravan is somewhat peppy but i still would buy the Sienna over the caravan
  • aaron_taaron_t Member Posts: 301
    I don't think most people would argue with you that the Sienna is better than T&C. The question is, how much is one willing to pay for a Sienna vs. an equally equipped T&C? Is the Sienna worth $3k, $7k, $10k more? Everyone has to decide for themselves.
  • avery1avery1 Member Posts: 373
    I just bought a new van a couple of months ago. I have a Dodge dealer in town and went there after getting a quote on a Sienna (LE w/package 3) to check out the offerings and get a quote. I was hoping to give them and Detroit (Yes I know some "domestic" cars have more "foreign" parts than the Toyotas and Hondas). My brother bought a new Dodge van 5 years ago and had the transmission go out twice, once under warranty and once not under warranty so I thought if I could get one with an extended warranty for the same price as a Toyota or Honda I might consider it. The quote was more w/o the extended warranty even though I told them I was on my way to buy the Sienna. I love my new Sienna.
  • aaron_taaron_t Member Posts: 301
    Interesting. Not comparable trim levels/equipment maybe? MSRP's are pretty close between Hon/Toy/DCX. One should be able to get at least $6k off MSRP a DCX van right now with the employee discount program and rebates.

    I have over 19k miles on my 2005 T&C Touring now without any signs of transmission problems. I have a 40k mile lease so I will replace this van with hopefully the 2008 DCX redesign. Anyway, enjoy your new van.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    Sienna is NOT better than the Grand Caravan/Town & Country. I bought a NEW 2006 Sienna LE and after driving 5,500 miles I still do NOT like it overall as well as my 2002 T&C LX. :cry:

    I was duped into buying the Sienna LE by the false, misleading CR reviews of the Grand Caravan/Town & Country and the Sienna more comfortable driver's seat, more attractive instrument cluster and more luxurious appearing interior...and overlooked the ugly exterior styling of the Sienna and the atrocious windshield wipers/washers control and "one knob does all" stereo control.

    The 2006 Sienna does NOT have a good trade-in value or I would have traded it off and got a new 2006 Grand Caravan SXT by now.
  • penizzlepenizzle Member Posts: 104
    Of course that is you opinion, but i JUST THINK THE INSIDE OF THE cARAVAN IS JUST MESSED UP. tHE STOW AND GOW MAKES EVERYTHING LOOK LESS ORGANIZED WITH THE DOORS IN THE FLOOR. i SOMEWHAT LIKE THE CARAVAN, BUT I JUST LOVE THE sIENNA.

    Let me know when you start having transmission problems. :P
    Just kidding. I think they fixed those. Also, when I refer to the Sienna, i'm talking about the older ones like my 1999. 91000 miles on it. Only problem we have ever had is a starter. I dont know much about the new Sienna,, but we love our 99'. We drove a DC and were impressed with the look outside and the peppyness, but nothing else.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    Agree that the Sienna interior is MORE elegant than the Grand Caravan and the PERCEIVED Reliability is better. We looked at Sienna's before the new, larger 2004 models arrived but for us the Sienna was too small, too expensive, and I personally think both style Siennas have some of the ugliest exterior styling. :mad:
    I know many people whose Grand Caravans have gone over 100,000 miles with almost NO repairs...just routine maintenance and replacing things like tires, windshield wiper blades, brake pads, etc.
    My sister's 1986 Caravan had 170,000 miles on it when they sold it to a friend who loved it. Although she and her husband have a 2003 Camry, they recently bought a nice, used 2005 Grand Caravan SE and love it. :shades:
  • penizzlepenizzle Member Posts: 104
    I agree with everything you said, especially the exterior. I think the extrior on the DGC is much better looking thatn on any of the Siennas, although i somewhat like the grill on the new 06 and 07 Siennas. I looked and some pics. of the new DC that is coming out. The interior and exterior is almost a copy of the new Kia Sedona. I did some research on the tranny problems because a friend of ours might want to sell us her used 96. The four speed trannys which came out in late 89 and 90 were the ones having problems. Before that, there were 3 speed autos which hardly never failed. They even had a stickshift. I would do anything to have one of those on my Sienna! :P Aroun 2000 i think that Chrysler realized that they need to fix the four speeds.
  • jimlockeyjimlockey Member Posts: 265
    I owned a new 04 Sienna for one year and got rid of it. Out of 40 plus new cars I've only done this twice. The first was a new VW Rabit.

    I consider the 04 Toyota Sienna to be the worse vehicle I have ever owned.

    On windy days on the open highway it was a problem to control and while driving on not so even roads it was all over the road. I felt like it was a danger to drive.....

    I only had the Sienna in the mountains one time. Driving from Cloudcroff, NM to White Sands, NM the transmission got very hot and you could smell it inside the car. There was a Toyota dealer in Almagordo, NM. He said it was nothing to worry about. I didn't buy that because I have been driving in the mountains since I was 19 years old and have never had a transmission heat up like that before. Oh, by the way I'm 73 now.

    The only good thing I can say about the Sienna was the gas mileage. I averaged 20 MPG for the year we owned it. Comparing the Sienna to three Dodge mini vans owned the Dodges where great to driveand great to owned, but the mileage was only 16 to 17 MPG. Wouldn't it be nice if Chysler would put a diesel in their mini van. Hey Chysler, did you hear that?????

    Jimmy
  • penizzlepenizzle Member Posts: 104
    if i was in the auto biz, I would cram a hybrid in the Sienna or any van for that matter
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    Absolutely NOT. .....but my 1970 Dodge Sportsman van was the worst vehicle I have ever owned.
    My friend got rid of his Rabbit after one year and says Volvo is the only other brand as bad as Volkswagen. My first 1964 Volkswagen bug was a good vehicle but the 1976 Volkswagen Bus was NOT. My Ford has been a much better vehicle for me than Volkswagen and all 6 Toyotas have been plain and boring but have been reliable. ;)
    My 2002 Chrysler T&C LX had an OVERALL AVERAGE of 22.3 MPG and got 28.2 MPG on a long round trip to the same place that my Sienna got 29.0 MPG. We will be making the same long round trip next month. I wonder if the Sienna will get the same good road mileage again. :shades:
  • samnoesamnoe Member Posts: 731
    As I mentioned somewhere above, there are so many differences between the 2 vans, and everybody likes something else. I also dislike the exterior of the Sienna (and sorry, but I especially HATE the grill - if you can call that grill), but I am certain that the designer at Toyota did not design an ugly vehicle on purpose... probably to his tastes the Sienna looks beautiful...

    The interior of the Sienna is perhaps nicer than the old, outdated DGC interior, but it's still far from the best. I think that GM has right now the best interior design for minivans - I'm not talking QUALITY - I'm talking DESIGN. It's pleasant, everything where it's expected to be, and nice, clean layout. Heck, I even think that the Freestar's interior (on the Limited) is better designed than the DGC and Sienna, albeit the quality sucks.

    I recently rented a 2006 T&C, and it drove better than my 2005 DGC, and it feeled much tighter overall. My 2005 is full of rattles.

    The pickup ("acceleration") in MY 2005 is quicker than other DGC vans. For some reason the pedal is looser than on other vans, and once you touch it, it MOVES... My friend's Sienna is soooo slow compared.

    I really hope that Toyota will upgrade the Sienna on 2007. I know the new 3.5L engine is coming with approx. 260 hp, along with the 6-speed tranny (which was terrible in the Camry first, but they're working hard to fix those problems), and I pray that the pickup should not be as sluggish as the current Siennas... and they should also improve braking...
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    The Sienna has more power, better gas mileage, more attractive interior, 60/40 split fold into the floor 3rd row seating, and a more comfortable driver's seat.
    The T&C was quieter, better stereo, more attractive exterior styling, less wind noise, more comfortable front passenger, 2nd and 3rd row seating, triple zone temperature (driver, front passenger, and rear passengers can have separate temperatures while Sienna driver and front passenger get same temperature but rear passengers can have a different temperature than driver and front passenger), a quieter and more powerful fan for front heating/air conditioning.
    Sadly, the Toyota Sienna resale value is NOT very good or I would have traded it off on a new 2006 GC SXT or T&C Touring by now.
  • samnoesamnoe Member Posts: 731
    Hans,

    I recently rode in a new Chrysler 300 sedan. I tried to compare the controls to the minivan. It has changed a lot. And probably for the future, all DCX vans will have the so-called "unfriendly" controls, which has one knob to control the bass, treble, L/R and F/R controls. Most other cars already does the same. So although if you like the current gen. DCX minivan audio controls over the Sienna, this may not be the case in ther future!

    One of the things I LOVED in the 300 sedan, was the LARGE, comfortable interior door handles. The door opens so easily and is a pleasure to use, compared to the tiny handles from the minivans which is a pain. I hope that the newer minivans also gets larger door handles.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    Thanks. I had not looked closely at other DaimlerChrysler vehicles but obviously need to check them out.
    Too bad DC lets CR and other "experts" convince them to change to stupid ideas originating with the Toyota-Honda clique. :sick:
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    But the question is WHY?
    The 3.3L with downgraded ratings to 215 HP and 222 lb-ft Torque is more than sufficient for my needs (as was the lower 180 HP and 210 lb-ft Torque of 02 T&C LX).
    I test drove a 2006 GC SXT when I tried to trade off my Sienna on a GC and it did NOT have the power going up a relatively steep hill as did the Sienna (on 85 octane fuel).
    The Sienna is quieter at low speeds but it is NOT as quiet at highway speeds as the T&C was and had much more wind noise. :cry:
  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Member Posts: 421
    I test drove a 2006 GC SXT when I tried to trade off my Sienna on a GC and it did NOT have the power going up a relatively steep hill as did the Sienna (on 85 octane fuel).

    That's because the 06 DGC SXT, 3.8L V6 is only 205 HP (Not sure about the torque rating). When DamilerChrysler came out with the redesign back in 2001, the 3.8L engine was rated at 215 HP and 245 lbs of torque. That changed sometime in 2003 or 2004, I believe, to the current rating.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    06 GC SXT 240 lb-ft Torque is MORE than 06 Sienna LE 222 lb-ft Torque. By comparison, the GC 3.8L torque dropped only 5 lb-ft from 245 while the Sienna dropped 20 lb ft from 242.
    I think the Sienna better performance going up that particular hill was more a function of the 5 speed AT having the right gear ratio for that hill compared to the 4 speed AT of the GC since the GC has 18 MORE lb-ft Torque than the Sienna. ;)
    Driving I-15 thru Utah, southern Nevada, and Mojave Desert of southern California, the 06 Sienna downshifted more frequently than my 02 T&C LX even though the Sienna has MORE HP and MORE Torque than my 02 T&C LX with 3.3L V6. A 5 speed AT does have disadvantages.
    I would prefer a 2006 GC SXT to my 2006 Sienna LE and I could have purchased a GC SXT for less money than the Sienna. :cry:
  • samnoesamnoe Member Posts: 731
    But the question is WHY? -- The 3.3L with downgraded ratings to 215 HP and 222 lb-ft Torque is more than sufficient for my needs (as was the lower 180 HP and 210 lb-ft Torque of 02 T&C LX).

    Here is WHY:

    Compared to all minivans today, the Sienna has the least horsepower. Most of them have in the 240 hp range, except for the Ford and Mercury which have 202 hp but offers approx. 260 lb.-ft. of torque.

    It may be sufficient for you, but not for the media... and in general, the 3.3L engine is going, and being replaced by the newer 3.5L across the line.
  • caravan2caravan2 Member Posts: 198
    I like GC Grand Caravan/SXT. Only thing that is stopping me buying is Stability control. And I still don't understand why third row middle seat does not have shoulder belt.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    Probably because younger children should NOT wear a shoulder belt. ;)
    Very few large people ride in the 3rd row of ANY minivan...and only the Odyssey, Sienna, and DC minivans have 3rd rows that are comfortable for adults or large children. :shades:
  • anna_ranna_r Member Posts: 1
    Hi,
    We moved to northern Michigan, UP from a much warmer country recently and are looking for minivan. We are a family of seven and have a big dog. We live in a small place and there is no big choice of used cars. Could you help us make a decision between Toyota Sienna XLE (year 2000, 56000 miles, dealer is asking $13000) and Dodge Grand Caravan sport 4WD (year 2001, 72000 miles, dealer is asking $9250). What are the potential problems with both vehicles? Does the 4WD of Dodge outweigh the reliability of Toyota? Does it make sense to buy extended warranty (~$1500 for 4 years) on any of the vehicles?
  • guestguest Member Posts: 770
    We own a 2006 Toyota Sienna LE after owning a 2002 Chrysler T&C LX ( a fairly well equipped clone of the 2002 Grand Caravan Sport).
    My son traded in his FWD 2002 Grand Caravan Sport on a used 2006 Sienna LE a few months ago after replacing the transmission on his 2002 GC Sport. :sick:
    I liked our 02 T&C LX better than the 06 Sienna LE BUT in your situation, I recommend the 2000 Sienna XLE even though it is much smaller than the GC Sport and costs more.
    Too many Grand Caravans and T&C were ABUSED when used as rental or fleet vehicles while there is a very low possiblity the Sienna XLE was used as a rental or fleet vehicle.
    If buying NEW, I would buy a GC SXT and not the Sienna XLE (or LE). ;)
  • jpfjpf Member Posts: 496
    I would go with the Sienna. However, you should try to get a powertrain warranty. Toyota's V6 had an oil sludge problem up until recently. If you can't be sure that the oil was changed regularly on the vehicle, you could have problems. Also, I would get a set of 4 snow tires and steel rims for the winter driving up in Michigan. Good luck.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Given the choice of the two vehicles you're looking at I would pick the DGC hands down. The DGC is both larger and far more capable in the slippery stuff with its AWD system. As a general rule the Generation 3 minivans from DC have proven to be quite reliable. The most significant problem area for the Gen3s was the transmission and by the 2000 model year (the first year that the new ATF+4 transmission fluid was used from the factory) the transmission problems were mostly eradicated. Do some still fail? Yup. If you check around you'll find that virtually every minivan on the market suffers from a higher failure rate than other vehicle types; that goes for Toyota and Honda too (especially Honda).

    Heat seems to be the biggest bane of minivan transmissions and so the first thing I would do to any recent minivan purchase would be to put a transmission cooler on it (assuming the original owner didn't order the Trailer Towing option).

    Regarding an extended warranty, I wouldn't bother. Put that $1,500 in an interest bearing account and "Self Insure". That way, even if the van suffers a failure beyond the end of the warranty (assuming the warranty company is still in business), you can still use the money.

    FWIW, we have a Gen3 DGC with the same basic engine and transmission as the 2000 AWD you are looking at and it is fast approaching 130,000 miles. Ours is a 1998 and the original transmission lasted 109,000 miles and cost me $2,600 to put a factory remanufactured (much better than a typical "rebuild") unit in. Other than that, I've put in a starter, a battery tray and a door switch that controls the interior lights. Said another way, my total cash out of pocket for unscheduled maintenance for 130,000 miles has been less than $3,000. Not too shabby.

    Regarding being cautioned about buying a used rental hack, I suspect that few if any AWD equipped T&Cs and DGCs ever saw any rental fleet duty so you can rest easy there. That said, make sure you have an experienced mechanic who is familiar with these vehicles give it a good once over before you buy it.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • rsmartinrsmartin Member Posts: 4
    DO NOT buy a Chrysler product minivan. My 2001 T&C Limited has been trouble from it's first day. I'm on my 3rd transmission in two years, I've replaced the A/C condenser and what else I don't know (over $1,000), had front engine seals redone due to oil leaks, valve cover gaskets, water soaked carpets on passenger side (dealer had to install some kind of hose extension from the firewall, but I had to pay!! for the design flaw to be fixed). AND the electric sliding doors have never worked in the winter and now rarely work in any weather. In short, I've spent at least $6,000 on this piece of junk in the last two years. It has 117,000 miles on it. My wife drives it a lot, but drives like a grandma so it's not from abuse. We change oil and filters religiously. The product is just JUNK. No two ways about it. Get the Toyota. that's my next purchase.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    DO NOT BUY A SIENNA. I bought a NEW 2006 Sienna LE and it is NOT as good as my used 2002 T&C LX that cost much less. :sick:
    It appears that you got your 2001 T&C as a USED vehicle. If so, you have no idea how the first owner drove or maintained it. :confuse:
    NEVER buy a USED Grand Caravan or T&C that was first sold to a fleet or rental agency where it got abused. :sick:
  • caravan2caravan2 Member Posts: 198
    Sienna is better then the gc/t&c for quite a few reasons.
    First of all, the gc/t&c does not have stabilty
    control :cry: .Plus the gc/t&c has the most crapyyest interior have ever seen :cry: ( besides the mazda mpv).
    Even though the gc/t&c is cheaper the sienna has all those features that the gc/t&c does not have and more. For example,standert mp3 players on all modles,stabilitycontrol,etc..... :) .The only good
    part for the gc/t&c is the stow and go.And if you do not like the sienna go with the oddesy.And if you do not like the oddesy go with the kia sedona or the entorage.And if you do not like the those go with the gm twins.My werst recomendations are the mazda mpvand the gc/t&c :sick: .
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    The Sienna has a VERY POORLY designed dash with curved shiny surface on the center part which causes glare from the sunshine...unless you live where it is cloudy all the time. :shades: Why didn't the jerks who write glowing reports about the Sienna notice this design blunder? :confuse:
    I agree: The GC/T&C interior does NOT look as elegant as the Sienna and the GC /T&C does not have the over-hyped MP3 player connection BUT the GC/T&C do have cassette players in addition to the CD player. The GC/T&C have power liftgate optional in much lower priced vehicles and have both side power sliding doors in more vehicles than the Sienna. The GC / T&C have MORE comfortable seats in every place but the driver's seat and have separately controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger in most models.
    BTW, Stability control is NOT standard on most Siennas. :shades:
    I have owned a 2002 T&C LX and a NEW 2006 Sienna LE. The T&C was by far the most desireable minivan. ;)
  • rsmartinrsmartin Member Posts: 4
    Yes it was used. I bought it from the dealer from whom the original owner bought it new. While I don't know how they drove it, I know it wasn't a rental. My point is, there are definite engineering flaws in the Chrysler, particularly with the transmission. Ours is the Limited model so it is very nice inside and rides smooth and quiet. But I can't put up with all the mechanical nonsense anymore.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    There are NO engineering flaws in the Chrysler or in the Chrysler transmission.
    Chrysler transmission problems have been caused by un-informed people putting the wrong transmission fluid into the Chrysler automatic transmissions. Many Chrysler minivans were ABUSED by the fleet or rental users before being purchased by a private individual although yours was not a rental.
    Did you ask the salesman why the first owner got rid of it? :confuse:
    If you are having mechanical problems, trade it off just like I plan to trade off my 2006 Sienna LE since I do NOT like it as well as my 2002 T&C LX. :shades:
  • avery1avery1 Member Posts: 373
    Nonsense! My brother has purchased two Chrysler minivans new. The transmission went out in the first one at 65,000. He believed the salesman's story about those problems being in the past and bought a second one. The tranny went out on this one at 72,000 miles. He replaced it with a rebuilt one and within a year and a half that one went out. I would never buy a Chrysler minivan without a warranty that would run as long as I planned on keeping the car.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    Where did he have the transmission serviced? Is he sure the correct transmission fluid was used if serviced? :confuse:
  • avery1avery1 Member Posts: 373
    It was always serviced at the dealer.
This discussion has been closed.