Sienna vs Grand Caravan/Town & Country



  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJMember Posts: 10,384
    Usually when you see tranny problems in the Chrysler vans it is because they have the 3.8 engine rather than the 3.3. The engine simply overpowers the transmission. In my completely unscientific survey every person I've known who had a transmission issue had the bigger (well, bored out bigger) engine.

    My next door neighbor was tipped off to this years ago by a Chrysler mechanic. His current GC has over 220K on it. The one before that nearly hit 300K. He reminds me that he's never had a tranny issue while I did have one on my Odyssey. At least my tranny was replaced at no cost - even with a loaner. Whew!
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,989
    /T&C do have cassette players in addition to the CD player

    what's a cassette player?
  • caravan2caravan2 Member Posts: 198
    If this is correct... then does this means that when Siena goes with larger 3.5 engine, it might have transmission problems? :confuse:
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJMember Posts: 10,384
    Can't say as I know on that one - depends on if they supply it with a transmission up to the job. I would certainly expect that given Toyota's record they would do that but I don't have anything concrete in the way of proof.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    My son's 2002 GC Sport with 3.3L V6 went out at 60,000 miles so traded it in on a USED 2006 Sienna LE. I think his 2002 GC Sport had been abused before he bought it.
    Meanwhile, one daughter has a 1999 GC SE with 93,600 miles but did have to have the transmission serviced when some "O" ring failed. It cost her between $ 100 and $ 200 for the service.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJMember Posts: 10,384
    For $100 or $200 I'll live with a tranmission repair!
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • thewraiththewraith Member Posts: 4
    My wife and I have a '98 T&C SX that we just loved! It has been our primary "travel vehicle", and now has 152,000 miles on it. This past summer, we were in the market for a newer one. We looked at all 2005 models. We did exhaustive comparisons between the Toyota Sienna, Chrysler T&C, Honda Odissey and Kia Sedona. We quickly took the Honda out of the mix due to price. The Kia was "okay", but not as solid as the Toyota or T&C. We test drove both quite a bit, and talked to owners of both.
    We went with the '05 T&C Touring. The past experience with Chrysler was key, as well as the Stow & Go seating - I was tired of having to store the back seat from the old van!
    My wife wanted the power sliders on both sides, and the power lift gate. The van has all that, and we love it! :D

    P.S. The '98 is for sale... ;)
  • guestguest Member Posts: 770
    Enjoy your new van. Each has advantages. We had a 2002 T&C LX, got a new 2006 Sienna LE and gave the T&C to our daughter. WE have test driven the 1999, 2002, 2005, and 2006 Odysseys as well has driven our son's 2001 Ody EX many times before it got wrecked.
    The Odyssey is not as quiet as the Sienna or T&C and the T&C is slightly quieter than the T&C...but had twice the cargo space behind 3rd seat as did the 02 T&C. However, the new Siennas have the MOST cargo space behind 3rd row of any minivan but the T&C has the additional space under the floor between front and 2nd rows. :shades:
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,989

    Based on the specs listed on the manufacturer's webpages, the Sienna has 2" more legroom in row 1, 3" more in row 2 and 6" more in row 3 and as far as cargo space:
    Behind rows 1/2/3
    Sienna 148.9/94.5/43.6
    T&C 144.2/85.9/32.5

    And both vehicles are the same length, width and height, so I'd say the Sienna wins by far for people space and even for cargo space. But if you're using it mostly as a cargo van and must have the stow-n-go, then get the T&C, but the passengers would probably rather have the extra space inside the Sienna.
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Member Posts: 338
    It took some real deep thought about both (they both have their ups and downs) but we ended up with a T&C Limited. The stow and go was the clincher. We have retired racing Greyhounds so I needed the stow and go. The interior of the Sienna is hands down one of the most beautiful I have seen and at night the interior lighing is drop dead beautiful. However, the T&C is not far behind. I would have liked the AWD but I have a truck with 4WD and my wife has a Subaru with AWD so it was not a must. The 4k rebate did not hurt either. I did get the extended warranty due to the transmissions issues but from all I have been reading it seems that they have been solved. I traded in a Windstar SEL that while not great it was dependable but when I went to put the middle seats in I remembered why I opted for the T&C. Both ride nice and OHV or not, the 3.8 is as smooth as the Sienna. The Honda did not even enter the picture. The interior is what I would call "industrial". I saw some pictures of the 2008 T&C and did not like either the exterior or interior. I am not a big fan of the Aspen and that is what the front end looks like. The interior was "OK". So, I got the T&C and they paid me 4k to buy it. This is my first Chrysler ever so we will just have to see what we will see.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    If you go and read the consumer ratings for the Sienna, I can't help but wonder how dumb someone has to be to buy a car that they don't like so obviously. Seems to me a buyer spending over $30k would do a little more research.

    Either that, or a couple of trolls have made some bogus reviews on the Sienna. (I'm a Honda owner, so not Toyota biased).

    Here's someone who rated it 2.5:

    Comments: Handles like it is three times as heavy as it is, underpowered, interior could use some refinement. Overall unpleased.
    Favorite Features: Nothing special about the Sienna.
    Suggested Improvements: More power and fuel economy, improved handling, upgrade interior.

    These are things that should be evident from a test drive (except maybe fuel economy).

    I think it's a bogus review.
  • steliovsteliov Member Posts: 1
    We just purchased our first Sienna, a 2006 LE, so too early to tell. But after suffering with a 2000 GC and multiple transmission replacements, even a Yugo minivan would be an improvement. I've gotten more than 150 k out of every other vehicle I've ever owned. Not so with the GC. First tran went out at 48k. Chrysler's rebuild version went out at 111k. And that's not to mention probs with steering, breaks, AC and so on. The tran on my brother's GC died at just over 60k. If only we had heeded the warnings! Buyer beware!
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Member Posts: 338
    I did this with some trepidation myself but I did get the extended coverage. This is a "third" vehicle for us. I have a suzuki XL-7 limited that I love and my wife has a Subaru Impreza outback sport that she loves. This is mostly for the dogs and trips with them. We are taking a trip to Jekyle Island Georgia in a few weeks and will put about 1.5k on the van. We will then see what it is made of. So far the navigation system has worked well. We did a test run to a friends house in Maryland and it took us right to the door. I did 7 years, 75K since I do not look at more than 10K a year on it. It seems everyone one, even Honda and Toyota, has problems. With my windstar it was the transmission gaskets. They would start to leak every 30 to 35k along with the power doors not closing properly. We have several people in our Greyhound Adoption Group that have the T&C and are happy with them so we have taken the jump. I did test the Toyota, XLE Limted AWD and was impressed but for the money the T&C came out ahead, especially with the with the stow and go. Just have to see. Good luck with yours and I hope we both enjoy our selections.
  • 97xpresso97xpresso Member Posts: 249
    If you were able to keep a Windstar on the road, you should have no problem with your 07 T&C. I can't even find an ad in Sundays paper for any Ford or GM minivan. Like you said, "everyone has problems", but my 2001 Caravan has been trouble-free. They paid you $4K to buy it, and you gave them some back for your 7/75000, you should be able to enjoy this vehicle for many years to come.
  • seatigerseatiger Member Posts: 9
    I have a 1999 Chrysler Voyager (mexican version) with the 3.3L and 41TE transaxle. It's approaching 65,000 miles without a problem except for the fan relay module which I changed (US$ 100).

    What impresses me is the very light payload this van is rated for, on the glove box there it is a label which especifies the maximum payload for the van is 454 kgs. (1000 lbs.), which means my 200 lbs. body uses 1/5th of the maximum payload, so I must be carrying light stuff and forget about carrying 7 adults since I will go way past the maximum payload of the van, and maybe placing stress on the transmission which is designed for light cars like the Dodge Stratus.

    Any thoughts of this?
    (I might be 200 lbs. but I'm fit huh? i'm 6'3" :D )
  • mtnbrflmtnbrfl Member Posts: 7
    That is because both GM and Ford have discontinued their minivan lines. DCX is the only "domestic" left.

    I myself have a 2004 Sienna XLE with 70,000 miles and love it. The only issue is the drivers sliding door lock broke. We recently had new brake pads for the front installed and routine maintenance.

    At times the power does seem a little lacking. However that is solved with the new 3.5L engine.

  • 97xpresso97xpresso Member Posts: 249
    You can still buy a new Ford or GM minivan, but they will be discontinued. I just thought that they would advertise heavily to get rid of all the 07's they have and will build this year.
  • drbob1drbob1 Member Posts: 3
    I'm sorry, I don't agree with this. Our AWD 96 T&C needed a new transmission at 100k miles. We were second owners, from 20k miles, and babied it. It was serviced by a very knowledgeable and competent "5 Star" Chrysler dealer, so I'm doubting they used the wrong fluid.
  • nitric_acidnitric_acid Member Posts: 3
    My 3.3L 2000 T&C ate it's transmission at 80,000 miles and now our 2002 Voyager with the 2.4 L ate it's transmission at 56500 miles. I once drank the Kool-Aid and thought all of these reported transmission failures were hype, but two dead transmissions on two vehicles is enough for me. Even with the new "lifetime" warranty, another Chrysler probably is not going to show up in my driveway.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    Daughter's 99 GC SE now has 101,200 and NO problems since the "O" ring was replaced in the transmission.
    I know of ONLY 1 person that has had transmission problem with a Caravan/GC/T&C/Voyager/GV and their minivan was purchased USED.
    On the other hand, I know dozens of owners who LOVE their Chrysler minivan and are repeat buyers.'
    I will NOT buy another Sienna but don't dislike my 2006 LE enough to trade it in with the dismal trade-in value that Siennas retain.
  • siennamisiennami Member Posts: 116
    Be thankful you aren't trading in a 2006 Kia! There, I think you'd find the true definition of "dismal trade-in value"...... ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Actual resale depends on how good a deal you got originally, but Automotive Lease Guide gives the Sienna a 4 star rating on residuals, and lease companies actually use those numbers and bet their own money on these figures:

    FWIW, the Dodge Caravan gets their worst rating, just 1 star.

    I don't think it would be wise to bet on getting better resale from a new Dodge.

    Having said that, Dodge dealers wheel and deal aplenty, and you can get a good value to begin with. Plus you're likely to spend less up front, so you can factor the opportunity cost of having saved that money.

    I did look at used vans, and found that it just wasn't worth buying a used Sienna. New LE models were $23-24k, while used rental cars used by 355 Toyota were selling for $21k with 20k plus miles on them. Not worth it, especially for a rental that was beat on and had high miles for a year-old van.

    I saw new Dodges for as little as $22k, but used ones were the real bargain, $15-17k was not hard to find.

    So my personal shopping experience pretty much agreed with what ALG claims. As they say, YMMV.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Member Posts: 1,168
    ALG doesn't really describe how they come up with their ratings, that I could see. Most likely, like the others, they use MSRP values, not actual transaction prices for their comparison. That's about all they can do easily, as I doubt anyone publishes TPs. So, for example, I spent $19,000 in 2005 for my DCX van (most people at the time would have spent $24,000 but I had employee price), MSRP was about $28,000. Maybe it's worth about $18,000 now? That's not bad. What if I had spent the $32,000 on an Odyssey instead? It's now worth about $26,000 but I would have had to spend an extra $10,000 to drive an Ody, paying more in finance too etc...

    I don't lease, never will as it's worst than buying.

    Looks to me to be about equal losses at worst.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    I got RIPPED OFF buying a NEW 2006 Sienna LE because it depreciated about $ 10,000 after I had driven it less than 3,000 miles. A Toyota dealership used car manager said my mint condition 2006 Sienna LE had a value of $ 19,000 although I paid $ 29,280 for it. :sick:

    WHERE were NEW 2006 or 2007 Sienna LE's selling for $ 23-24K? :confuse:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    What package did yours have? sells Toyota at no-haggle prices. Their price for an LE package 3 back in May was $25,447. I got an e-price from 355 Toyota for $25,247. CarMax also has a Toyota store in MD and their price was also in the $25k range.

    Perhaps the prices were higher when you bought yours. I did get a $1250 rebate. The prices are actually slightly lower now:

    You may have been ripped off at the time of purchase by paying more than others did. Depends on what package you got, though. Did you get a rear DVD screen?

    If so, the dealer low-balled you. If not, your original price wasn't that great.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Employee discounts have to be considered seperately. You got a much better deal with that discount than you could have with any other brand, so naturally you did the right thing.

    To be honest I doubt a 2005 DCX is worth $18,000. That same dealer,, has a Dodge store, and used ones sell at this dealership (dealer retail) for under $15k.

    Just checked, they have an 06 Grand Caravan SXT for sale right now, 30k miles, $14,837.

    There's no way you could even get $18k from a private party sale, that's $3 grand more than a dealer's asking price. And yours is an 05, a year older.

    Let's say you could match the dealer, i.e. best case scenario. You still only paid $19k, so $4k depreciation is very reasonable. Congrats. :shades:

    The average consumer, without the employee discount, would have had $10,000 in depreciation. :(

    Again, now, sticking with the same dealership, a new Sienna LE passenger is $23,445 with package 2. The same dealer, again, is selling two 06 models used for $20,995 and $20,977. This is for package 1, with less equipment and about 50 fewer horsepower, too.

    They always have a supply of 1 year old used vans because they rent Siennas there. So there are rental cars. One has 27k miles, the other has 30k miles. Both are LE package 1.

    So beat up, very high-mile, used rental cars with less equipment only depreciated $2500.

    Forget ALG if you want, these are real-world prices from the same dealer. And they are no-haggle, this is the price you would pay, period.

    It was not worth it for me to buy used Siennas because as you can see in my region, they do not depreciate AT ALL!

    hansienna is being low-balled, his van is worth a lot more than he was offered.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    QUOTE: If so, the dealer low-balled you. If not, your original price wasn't that great.

    Probably a combination of both although the price I paid was considerably less than Edmund's TMV at the time. There was NO Toyota rebate on mine so the current $ 1,500 rebate cheated me out of $ 1,500 right off the top.

    Buyer beware: Don't EVER buy a NEW Sienna without a Toyota rebate of at least $ 1,500. :shades:
  • caravan2caravan2 Member Posts: 198
    I think for 2008 model, the price is lowered about $1,500 (you have to get a higher package upto 2007 model year that is included now standard in 2008).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Some say timing is everything.

    There is actually a $2000 rebate on 2007s in some regions right now, though I don't see any left over in the local dealer's inventory. They only have 2008s.

    They did lower the price a tad for 2008, and the new package, now called Extra Value Packages, cost a little less.

    Don't be fooled, though, they did cut some content.

    Basically, they added:

    * VSC is now standard on the CE and base LE models
    * Bluetooth is now included with the JBL stereo

    But they cut more than they added:

    * JBL is no longer standard on XLE, it's a costly option
    * tow prep package is deleted, now a $220 option
    * fog lights are gone from some models
    * DRLs are gone from some models

    My LE, the way it is, would have gained nothing at all. I already had VSC, and I didn't get the JBL so the 2008 model equivalent would add exactly nothing to my van.

    I would have lost the tow prep package and the DRLs, however.

    So for me the 2007 model is a better deal, especially when you factor the rebates, the prices are slightly lower for MORE content (DRL, tow prep pkg).

    Sadly, nothing is free in this world!
  • dhishidhishi Member Posts: 4
    Everywhere. I got my 2008 LE 8 passenger for $24K. Minivan prices are not where they used to be in the past. I guess supply & demand plus rising gas prices. More pple are getting SUVs as they get bigger and has similar features as minivans.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Better for us. Minivan prices make them a major bargain right now.
This discussion has been closed.