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Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan 2005+



  • xgridxgrid Posts: 7
    Hi, we bought a t&c Lx model two weeks ago. The muffler makes a loud sounds like a performance muffler though not as pleasant. It sounds more like a loud puttering noise and as you step on the accelerator it sounds and feels like the machine is back firing.

    We have taken it to the dealer twice who claims it normal due to the re-design of the muffler to accomadate the stow-n-go seats. Is this normal? The mini-van has only 70 miles on it , mainly from driving back and forth to the dealer. He even started up another van on the lot which made similiar sounds. As to the backfiring , he stated that it should go away after 1000 miles, if not to bring it and they would check it. I'm afraid to drive it around for a 1000 miles , for fear of having no recourse other than to keep the vehicle.

    Do I have any other resources that I could look at to see if this is normal? Even if it is normal for this year, a new van shouldn't sound like its back firing on acceleration. Is there a number for chrysler that I can call to find out if there have been any other reports of loud muffler noises and if there is service bulletin that I can take to the dealer?

    My other truck is a toyota 4runner that is as quiet as a mouse even under heavy acceleration. I just find it hard to swallow that a new vehicle would make so much noise and that chryler would consider that normal (as per dealer). This is our first american made car and I fear it might be the last if we can't find a solution for the problem.

    ksenn- did you get any responses back from your dealer?

    Thanks for anyone taking the time to respond.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Aren't all the third row seats split 60/40 when you get a 2005 GC SXT with stow and go seating?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    I don't know about the muffler noises, but your engine shouldn't be backfiring. If the dealer can't do better than guessing that it'll go away in 1,000 miles, I'd contact DC and complain to corporate customer service.

    Steve, Host
  • woosailorwoosailor Posts: 3
    I regret that when we rented a GC for a trip from Ohio to New Orleans I did not think to try out the passenger seats. We are days away from replacing our '96 T/C which could not be more comfortable with a 2005 T/C. My biggest concern is new stow and go seat comfort. Has anyone had a chance to sit back there?
    We could sit in our '96 for hours on end with little or no fatigue but I am afraid that the trade for convenience MAY have sacrificed some comfort. We traveled 600 miles in an '00 and I thought that I could tell a slightly less comfortable seat.
    Would really appreciate someone's long trip test experience ( for adults). Were the seats as comfortable as in years past? TIA
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I would like to hear comments as well. So far, all I have seen in Edmunds are a few comments that people sat in them in the dealers lot and thought they were not very comfortable. However, I wonder if this is just a first impression, and that the stow and go seats are actually comfortable for long distances. Most car seats that are firmer than your easy chair at home tend to turn out to be comfortable for long hauls as they provide good support, and I would think this may be the case with the stow and go seats, but I haven't seen anyone post anything concerning long trip comfort.
  • sopecreeksopecreek Posts: 203
    The Edmund follow-up test report on the Limited version is just out.
    It says the seats were very comfortable during the 800 mile
    trip. The only gripes were the well-known shortage of legroom in the rear seats, so tall people suffer.
    I'm quite satisfied with the overall results of the report.
    Does anyone think current rebates ($1000 + $1000 with Chrysler financing) will get better toward the end of the year?
  • sopecreeksopecreek Posts: 203
    The carmax in Atlanta has no-haggle price posted about $2000 below the Carsdirect or the Edmund TMV price (for the new 2005 Limited.) I'm just clueless how this can be...
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    I missed that - I guess I'll have to start reading the banners instead of just skimming the text!

    Here's the link.

    Steve, Host
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Post 245 mentioned that the second row seats can slide fore and aft. Can you check with the Edmunds reviewer and find out if they knew about that and if moving the second row back would add leg room that they didn't know was there? Looks like they had no complaints on seat comfort on a long ride and gave generally good marks.

    Since current DC vans are labeled 2005 model year, it may mean there won't be any end of summer bargains, unless you are looking for a leftover 2004 model (No stow and go in those, however, and the supply is probably dwindling). If there are any 2004's around, you might really find a bargain.

    In my opinion it is not unusual to be able to beat Edmunds TMV prices, especially when you are looking at "mass market" high volume vehicles like the DC vans.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    Please Contact us for editorial comments and questions, mistakes, etc.

    Or send a letter to the editor.


    Steve, Host
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    TMV pricing is usually on the low side for Chrysler minivans but appears to be exaggerated for the Honda or used.
         A person can pay much less for a used Chrysler minivan than new, buy a complete extended warranty, and have much lower cost of ownership than it would be with either the Odyssey or Sienna. Chrysler minivans also have many nice features not available on either the Odyssey or Sienna.
         After reading Town Hall forums for some time, I feel that Chrysler minivans are now more reliable than either the Odyssey or Sienna. Is this accurate, scientific data? Probably not but would still be more accurate than reliability predictions found in Consumer Reports.
  • ohvanohvan Posts: 26
    I can't speak to the reliability of the Honda, but I can say that I'm dissappointed in the reliability of my 2003 T&C. I'm trying to trade my 2003 T&C in on a 2004 Honda Odyssey today. They are offering pretty good deals (near invoice or even below) on the Odyssey now before the new model arrives next month. The problem is my 2003 T&C Ex which MSRP'd at $28,500 18 months ago is now only worth about $14,000 to $16,000 trade in value.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Chrysler vans normally have BIG discounts in addition to factory rebates.
         Read in the Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems forum in this Town Hall if you think a Honda Odyssey will be any more reliable.
  • ohvanohvan Posts: 26
    No, I didn't pay MSRP. But it was the "value priced" EX version so the rebates weren't as big as those on the Limited or LXs. I believe I paid invoice less a $1000.00 rebate. It was close to $26,000. I did receive a decent trade on a my old van. It was about $1000 more than the other offers. In 2003 I compared the T&C Ex with a similarly equiped Honda. The Honda was about $2,500 more than the T&C.
  • astroguyastroguy Posts: 6
    Have an interest in these models and just test drove the SE Plus. I am confused and have a few questions on a few of the features.

    - Not sure what is base feature for air conditioning for each, as well as the upgrade options, esp for SE Plus. Reading the Popular Equipment Group 2 implies that base AC works only in front, and that this EG2 is needed for rear AC (and heat). 3-Zone temp control also mentioned as option. Literature in Dodge brochure, Edmunds, etc. is generally not consistent (or complete), so I'd appreciate if someone can clear this up for me.

    - Both SE Plus and SXT have auto delay off headlights, according to Edmunds. I'd like to make sure I understand what this feature does.

    - Edmunds mentions that SXT has Dusk Sensing Headlamps. What does this mean? Do the headlights come on automatically at dusk? Can the headlights be manually controlled at night? SXT has fog lights as well and am wondering if they are under full manual control.

    - Are all interior lights manually controllable, e.g., is there a switch that will deactivate interior lights from going on when door/liftgate is opened?

    My questions concerning lights are not trivial to me. I am into astronomy, and if I am entering or leaving an observing area during the night (or turning on car to get warm), all interior and exterior lights must be off.

    Thank you.

  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    1) A/C in the SE Plus appears to be just dual-zone - that is one zone for both front passengers and another one for the rear. In the 3-zone, which is an available option on the SE Plus, the front passengers will have an option to have different temperatures from each other. So if you need A/C and for your wife (sitting in the front seat) is too cold, you can set A/C for you and steam for your wife.

    In the SXT, I think, the 3-zone comes standard, and you can add optional 'Automatic' controls, so you set a temperature, for example 62 F, and the system will maintain this temperature. 'Set it and forget it'.

    2) Headlamps off-time delay is a feature when you turn off the engine, the headlights remains lighted for about half a minute, so it illuminates your way to your home or where ever you go. Then it turns off by itself.

    3) Dusk sensing headlamps is exactly what you described - it senses the darkness outside, and turns automatically on/off the headlamps. You don't have to control it manually.

    4) Yes, all interior lights are manually controlable. Each lamp has a separate on/off switch, plus the driver has a main switch which controls all interior lights at the same time, and there are 3 settings, (A) Always on (even while driving - but I think that the front lights turns off if you go above a certain speed - not sure about it); (B) Always off (even you open a door); and (C) Automatic (usually off, comes on when opening a door, or unlocking the car with your remote, or taking the keys out of the ignition, and turning off after about 30 seconds).

    The liftgate lamp is also controlled by the drivers switch. I'm not sure about the front door lamps.

    Hope this helps.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    For about $200 more, the GC SXT has MANY more nice features such as Power Sliding Doors on both sides, Cast Wheels, 3.8L V6 engine....IF you purchase the GC SE Plus with Popular Equipment Group and 8 way power driver seat.
         The GC SXT also costs about $800 less than the clone Chrysler Town & Country Touring.
         It is almost always less expensive to buy a model that has all your desired features as standard equipment than to buy a lesser model and buy those features as options.
         I do NOT think the "Stow-N-Go" seats are worth the $2995 cost on the GC SE Plus. If you want "Stow-N-Go" buy the GC SXT with no extra options.
  • samnoe,

    Thank you for the feedback.

  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    My next door neighbor bought his wife a new T&C last week. He said it cost him $40,000. I said "what?!!!!". He said he had to pay MSRP for it, "because it was an '05". According to Edmunds, he should have been able to buy it for about $3000 below MSRP, including a $1000 factory rebate. Does this mean that if you don't know about the rebate they don't give it to you? I hope not.
  • edkleinedklein Posts: 34
    If you go in to the dealership uniformed, you're going to end up paying whatever the dealer wants.

    I'm surprised they didn't try to hit him for MSRP+
  • acenjacenj Posts: 58
    Well, I was allset to pickup a ford freestar for 26K (list 38K but not relavent since its overpriced to begin with). It had everything (limited version). leather, mem seats, trizone, etc. etc. just no navigation and no sunroof.

    Drove it and was not impressed with all the plastic and lack of refinement.

    Same dealer has a chrysler dealership next door, sat in the Chrysler limited. WOW. the interior seemed very very nice. only issue i ahve is the 2nd row & 3rd row seats look like they are steeply angled towards the nose, almost like they are taking off. I'm 6ft and had no thigh support as the seats were just too low. Anyone else feel this??? I'm thinking of getting a touring (don't like the chrome ont eh limited wheels) loaded up. any thoughts?

    anyone have any mileage numbers on the 6? FYI - the dealer told me there's 2500 rebate if you finace through chrysler.

  • jtheronjtheron Posts: 24
    We have a 2004 T&C Touring Platinum with the 3.8 V6, we really like it, best car/van/truck we have ever owned. Wife just got back from a trip - non interstate driving and the trip computer said she got a little over 25 mpg, if interstate and 70-75 mph then we have been getting about 24 mpg, still new and not broken in with under 5000 miles, hope mpg will improve with time
    We looked at buying a 2005 T&C but did not like the new stow n go seats so we bought the 2004 models that were discounted. I rode in a decked out Ford van and was NOT impressed I thought it was miles behind the T&C vans
    Good Luck
  • williswillis Posts: 1
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Question to (2004 ? and) 2005 Chrysler/Dodge minivan owners:

    How do you like the remote controls integrated into the key? Is it more convenient than a fob, or while using the key you have to watch not to press a control accidently?
  • cbwilshacbwilsha Posts: 70
    I prefer separate key and remote myself. However, I just received my factory ordered T&C yesterday so not a lot of experience yet.

    The buttons on the remote are disabled when the key is in the ignition so you don't have to worry about activating them. See page 20 of your owners manual.

  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Just came back from vacation and had a rental Grand Caravan with the remote in the key. It didn't bother me to have it that way at all, though it took me a little getting used to, as my 1996 Caravan is separate, so I fumbled a few times for a separate remote, but it worked fine.
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    My 2001 T & C LTD have the seperate unit. That's a lot of things to be put inside your pocket if you have a couple of cars. I would much prefer to have one built-in with the key.
  • mrblonde49mrblonde49 Posts: 626
    My 2001 T & C LTD have the seperate unit. That's a lot of things to be put inside your pocket if you have a couple of cars. I would much prefer to have one built-in with the key. <<

    Agreed. Much better this way. Both our cars have it (T&C, 9-3
  • I like having the remote as part of the key. It's less to carry. I don't recall activating a button when I was just using the key to unlock a door or start the car.
  • Have any of you kept track of your gas mileage? My van has 2500 miles on it and if I calculated right I only got about 16 MPG in my last tankful. I have been running the A/C on high and much of the driving was local - but some of it was highway too. I'm checking again with this tankful. I would appreciate it if other SXT owners could replay with their mileage experince.

  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Can someone confirm if the Grand Caravan SE (not plus) is available with power drivers seat?

    And how about the overhead compass/outside temp. info?

    I tried to check it at, but no info there.

    Thanks for your prompt answer.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    No...according to the 2005 Dodge Caravan and Grand Caravan brochure published 1/04. Power driver's seat is NOT available in either the GC SE or GC SE Plus.
         Overhead compass/outside temp/Trip computer is NOT available in the plain Grand Caravan SE but is standard on the Grand Caravan SXT and is included in Grand Caravan SE Plus Popular Equipment Group that costs $1465.
         The short wheel base regular Caravan SXT Popular Equipment Group at $1365 includes the 8 way Power Driver Seat and complete overhead console with all items.
         The short wheel base Town & Country (the former Voyager) does NOT include a tachometer.
         THE SXT is the best model to buy whether it is Caravan or Grand Caravan....unless one wants a cheaper model with only the most basic features. The GC SXT has the same feature content as the T&C Touring at about $700 lower price.
  • Steve will recognize me from the Quest Town Hall. I rather like the Quest. It is better equipped for the same money, and in 2005 this will be even more so. I want side curtain air bags AND a sunroof, but in the DGC you have to choose one or the other. The DGC looks rather plain and common after all these years, and the interior seems a bit dark and grey.But it may have the advantage of not being a brand new model with problems still to be resolved, and the new seats which fold right into the floor will be great, as we have to transport 2 adults, 2 greyhounds,and lots of stuff. However, I will be driving from Canada to Mexico to stay for the winter from now on, and the Daimler Chrysler warranty on a van bought and registered in Canada is (I have it in writing from them) honoured in the US and in Mexico. Nissan Canada advise me on a telephone enquiry that the Canadian warranty is accepted only in Canada and in the US. I do not want to be in Mexico without warranty coverage, even though there are both DC and Nissan dealers in the place I will be. It is 2 to 3 days drive from the US border, so going back to the US for service is out of the question. Tell me, if anyone can, why I should be happy with a Grand Cravan SXT after all. Most van comparison articles compare the Quest, and Odyssey and Sienna to each other, but little seems to have been said about the DGC versus the "imports", which are not all imported anyway. Doug
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    If you like Nissan and have good experience, buy the Quest. Warranty work on either the Quest or GC SXT is NOT very likely to be needed. BUY the vehicle that you like the best and do not worry about a possible need for warranty work.
         I had very bad experience with a 1970 Dodge van and said I would never own another Chrysler product. Now some 30 years after getting rid of it, I recently bought a pre-owned (used) 2002 Chrysler T&C that has gone just under 27,000 miles.
         One son got a new 2001 Ody EX in 2001 and and another son got a used 2002 GC Sport in Spring 2003 for about half the money. The GC Sport is quieter, smoother riding, has more nice features than the Ody even though the Ody "Magic Seat" and more flexible 2nd row seating give the Ody that advantage.
  • On Saturday we went for test drives of the Quest and the DGC SXT with leather. To our surprise we preferred the ride and handling of the DGC as well as the seats system, and so despite the enviable new look of the Quest, and in part because of the uncertainty of warranty coverage while in Mexico with Nissan, we have ordered a black DGC SXT with Premium Group and Khaki leather seats, and we have accepted the fact that we will look like the 10 million others who have bought Chrysler vans! Doug
  • Have been tossing the idea of purchasing a GC SXT 2004 loaded. We are currently car payment free and have nothing to put down... would prefer to sell one vehicle person to person instead of trading in... The price tag was around $30,000, not mentioning taxes, transfers etc...

    I have been trying to become a very informed buyer before even going to the carlot...have been to this site and

    I have the tvm price which was about 20,000 or so invoice. Is it unreasonable to offer 20,000 even though MSRP is over 30,000?

    ((We have already obtained financing as first time buyers we were sitting ducks for high APR with having little credit and no down payment))

    My wife and I have also considered a new 2004 Chevy Venture as I get a GM discount. The features really don't even come close...but the price is definately better!!! Should we inform the dealer of this? Would they be able to match a GM Discount?

    Should we have insurance information available before we even go to the carlot arranged through our insurance company? Just in case?

    Thanks ahead and all advice is greatly welcome!!
  • Also, sorry, but is this a good time to purchase? When will the 2006's become 'it' and 2005 be deeply discounted? Is there more rebates/incentives toward the end of the year? Chevy right now is offering some good deals I guess...

    Thanks again!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
  • Just a comment. You can get the Grand Caravan equipped with both a sunroof and side curtain airbags, just not so equipped direct from Chrysler (as stated in their brochure). We just purchased an SXT with side curtain airbags, and after inquiring from several sources, were told that a sunroof could be installed aftermarket. It's more pricey that way (about $1100 vs. factory cost of $895), but installs in the same roof frame slot as the manufacturer would use.

    I asked why the factory won't install both. Did you ever ask people who don't know directions, but tell you anyway? One dealer told me that installing a sunroof would require them to cut out support beams that impeded vehicle stability and safety. I thought about this, and realized that it was unlikely that the van is crafted with two different roof designs (one for sunroof, one without), so I dismissed this.

    It was speculated that the side curtain bags would not work with a sunroof. I asked a national after-market installer in Dallas, American Sunroof. They said that the side curtain airbags are not affected, that they pull them out, install the wiring, etc as needed for the sunroof, then reintall them and this does not affect their safe operation. They also said that, yes, they do cut a beam or two in the roof, but then reinstall different beams that more than make up for the lost beams. The person to whom I spoke sounded very knowledgable, which may account for nothing, but I believe him.

    FYI, my dealer wanted to charge me $1800 to install an aftermarket sunroof. I found out who they used, and they quoted me $1095. What an incredible markup! This capped a very difficult sales experience, so it didn't surprise me. Be wary!!
  • Agree with edklein. The can charge you anything you are willing to pay. My dealer told me I wasn't eligible for the $500 Chrysler loyalty incentive, even though we were standing next to my Jeep Wrangler at the time. Another common practice: waiting until you are personally invested in the purchase and sitting with the finance person before they show you dealer price additions like document processing ($50+), dealer additions, advertising surcharges (yes, they try to charge you to send you mail. Unbelievable.)

    Always walk in with invoice costs for the vehicle and options / option packages, and always know all the dealer adds and charges up front. And, of course, always be prepared to walk out the door.
  • It's a $3500 rebate through September 30 if you go with "regular financing" - higher rates, but not sure how high, or $2000 if you want 0% for 36 months, 0.9% for 48 mos or 1.9% for 60 mos. $500 of this incentive is for current Chrysler owners.

    I'm 6' 1" and I thought the middle seats were fine (not great, but good enough). The rear seats are a bit tight, as I expected, but better than most.

    Mileage is 18/25 officially, about 19-21 combined in real world driving.
  • My opinion: by the 2005 GC SXT loaded. At least in TX, dealers have tons of them, and "fully loaded" seems a popular item (leather, DVD, side airbags, etc). Dealer MSRP for a fully loaded 05 GC SVT ranges from $31k to $33k, BUT invoice is $24.9 for the van plus destination, about $2600 for the leather group (pwr liftgate, htd pwr seats, leather, $532 for side airbags, $176 for 6 CD changer (sucks - get aftermarket). Plus, there is a $2k incentive PLUS 0%/36 mos or 0.9% 48 mos or 1.9% 60 mos financing.

    So for about the same price or less, you get a more versatile, functional van. If you DO decide to stick with the 04, there is no way in hell that they should charge MSRP. My guess: they will soon discount the 04's such as you want substantially. Good luck.
  • Does Dodge or anyone else have their Grand Caravan 05 owners manuals online? I have a loaner and I'm trying to figure out how to program the garage door opener, but they didn't give me the manual.

    Many thanks. - PDM
  • sri123sri123 Posts: 1
    Hi Xgrid,

    I have also bought a new GC and having the muffler noise issue. Visited 2 times to dealer, he says it is a design issue with Stow and go seating, but they won't give that word in writing. I have sent 2 complaints already to Customer support guys, they called and told me they are not taking any action as dealer report says it is normal characteristic for this power train.

    I am going to the dealer for the 3rd time today and trying to get a report that I can submit to crysler guys.

    I am pretty sure that this is not common with all vehicles, only with certain pieces. So I am planning to compare this vehicle with one or two more vehicles of my choise. Let me see the out come.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    2005 GC muffler noise or 2005 Odyssey wind noise?
  • I got the GC SXT for $19,995 (plus tax & license) today from Union Dodge in Garden Grove, CA.

    Basically the purchase price is $22,995 but Union Dodge gives you a $1500 rebate, PLUS another $1500 rebate if you got your loan through Chrysler. They charged me 6.99% for the loan, but since we're going to pay it off anyways the 6.99% doesn't really mean anything. I think it's a GREAT deal for a van that not only has more cargo space than current competitors (with the seats stowed), but at $19,995 you can't find a Japanese competitor with dual power sliding doors :D
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    2005 GC SXT at $19,995 is a MUCH BETTER BUY than a 2005 Odyssey EX at $28,510 although I would prefer the 5 speed AT of Odyssey and 255 HP 250 Ft Lbs Torque vs 4 speed AT of GC and 215 HP 245 Ft Lbs Torque.
         VALUE is the reason DaimlerChrysler minivans will continue to be best selling. At equal cost for a 2005 GC SXT or 2005 Ody EX, I would prefer the Ody EX but for $8,500 LESS the GC SXT is by far a better choice.
         Unfortunately, the "experts" (CR, NADA, KBB, Edmunds) never compute depreciation on the difference between price paid for purchase and price received for trade-in. They use the less accurate MSRP which is not as accurate.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    True Hans, but lets remember, what one person paid on a 2005 Caravan is not what another person might have paid. You can't assume everyone gets $5000 off a Town & Country and factor the depreciation from that.

    But I agree, it does make for some skewed numbers. Maybe the American companies should just lower the MSRP and then they wouldn't have to issue near invoice price deals or $2000 rebates.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    NEVER pay MSRP for an American brand vehicle (GM, Ford, Chrysler).
         That said, a 2005 Grand Caravan SXT @ MSRP $27,185 has comparable content to a 2005 Odyssey EX @ MSRP $28,510 and for $1,325 LESS. Each has some features NOT had on the other.
         When one can get if for $7,190 LESS than MSRP, the GC SXT is THE BEST BUY . The $8,515 LESS than a 2005 Odyssey EX will more than offset the higher depreciation rate of the GC SXT compared to the Ody EX.
         I like the Ody EX the best if cost were within a few thousand $$, but for $8515 less, it is easy to understand why many people continue to purchase DC minivans.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    Completely agree. Having owned 3 Chrysler minivans in the past, I understand you don't pay MSRP ever.

    But I'm just saying KBB and what not have to factor depreciation from something concrete, and MSRP is concrete. Joe Blow paying $24,500 for a Caravan and Susie Q paying $24,900 for the same Caravan isn't concrete.

    And now that I own an Acura MDX and not a Town & Country or Grand Voyager, I'm starting to realize why Honda has been able to get MSRP for their cars for sometimes 3 model years into their cycle. (I.E. 1999-2002 Odyssey, 2001-2003 Acura MDX, etc.)
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