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Chrysler Town & Country/Dodge Caravan Real World MPG

ClairesClaires Chicago areaMember Posts: 1,222
Share your mileage numbers with other T&C owners here.

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Comments

  • gregmangregman Member Posts: 24
    Have only driven wife's 05 T&C LX once or twice in mixed driving, but not long enough or far enough for a meaningful number. Digital readout averaged about 22mpg.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    2002 T&C LX with 3.3L V6 got 28.2 MPG on a long, round trip. OVERALL average for ALL driving, idling, starting, etc. was 22.3 MPG.
    The Chrysler T&C, Dodge Caravan and Grand Caravan provide the MOST minivan for the actual cost. ;)
  • gregmangregman Member Posts: 24
    Apparently T&C drivers are not all that concerned about mileage, or just don't check. In six weeks only 2 replies!
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    Excellent comment. I think T&C owners general are not very concerned about mileage and also don't spend much time reading in the Town Hall or Consumer Reports where T&C are inaccurately portrayed as not having the mythical quality and reliability of the Odyssey and Sienna.
    I regret buying my new 2006 Sienna LE as it is NOT as good overall as the 2002 T&C LX that I owned before buying the Sienna.
    The Sienna has more power and gets better gas mileage than the T&C but it is NOT as quiet on the highway and has very poor radio reception.
    I rate the T&C and GC as a "BEST BUY" even though the Odyssey has more comfortable seats but costs too much.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaMember Posts: 1,222
    I think T&C owners general are not very concerned about mileage and also don't spend much time reading in the Town Hall or Consumer Reports where T&C are inaccurately portrayed as not having the mythical quality and reliability of the Odyssey and Sienna.

    Could be. One thought behind this topic is that mileage may be a purchase consideration, especially as gas prices continue to increase. As for the other considerations you mention, the Minivan Shopping, Odyssey vs. Dodge/Chrysler Minivans, and Odyssey vs. Sienna discussions are good places to discuss them.

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  • miagarfuncklemiagarfunckle Member Posts: 51
    Can I get a mileage check. Can all those Grand Caravan and Caravan owners out there to post how many miles they have on the van. Just checking durability.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    We've got 120,000 on our 1998 and 70,000 on our 2003. Between the two, the only significant repair has been a transmission at 109,000 on our 1998.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • hcookhcook Member Posts: 2
    I know this is a 2005+ forum, but our 94 Dodge Caravan has over 191K (closer every day to 191.5K) on it. Gas mileage is not so good, tranny is a little tired, but 3.3L is still strong.
  • 1997montez341997montez34 NJ, USAMember Posts: 202
    We have a '05 with 25K. Very pleased so far. Lease is up in November. Getting another one without question.
  • afetsafets Member Posts: 2
    Have 05GC SXT, all options but leather and towing, since Apr04, 33856mi (mostly hwy) no problems. Oil change every 3k or so. Replaced air filter with K&N and saw small increase in gas mileage (24hwy – 19+city). Only problem was at pickup, dealer had to adjust passenger sliding door to stop wind noise. Very please with overall performance, ride, handling and interior versatility. Feel made good choice for function over price. Previous was 99 Montana and had many warranty repair items.
  • chuckgchuckg Member Posts: 69
    I purchased a 2005 DGC Special Edition in September of '04 for my wife. It has every option except navigation and it now has about 19,000 miles. The only problems I've had were a brake sensor and an oxygen sensor went bad, both repaired under warranty.

    The van looks and drives like new. My wife's favorite options are the Stow 'N Go, she really likes the outside temperature gauge, and the leather seats of all things. Oh, and she really likes all the electronics. I didn't think girls were supposed to like things like this. :surprise: Color me wrong.

    I would purchase another one of these things, no problem. My wife would insist. Got to keep the girls happy.
  • aaron_taaron_t Member Posts: 301
    2005 T&C Touring leased May 2005
    22k miles
    One dealer visit for AC line recall
    Love it, but looking forward to the 2008 model.
  • miagarfuncklemiagarfunckle Member Posts: 51
    Well I checked my gas mileage on my DGC 05 with my wife going no more then 3-4 miles one way with the a/c on and 105+ temps and the other trips about a mile in each direction. The tank lasted 13 days and came in at exactly 13mpg. That is the worst but look at the driving that she does. I forgot she idles in the parking lot for about 10 minutes everyday with the a/c on waiting to go into the school to get my daughter.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    13 MPG? Geez, that's even worse than I guessed. The counterpoint to this I guess is that I managed to drive from southern New Hampshire to northern New Jersey and back on a single tank of gas this weekend. The trip was almost exactly 470 miles and consumed 18.3 gallons of gas (same gas station, same gas pump, same setting). I was actually trying for 500 miles on the tank, however, on the way down I had to deal with exceedingly heavy traffic (due to rain, construction and end of Summer vacationers) between Worcester, MA and the CT state line (took almost two hours to go 25 miles), and then literally 80 miles of uninterrupted bumper to bumper/stop-and-go traffic (due to the same reasons plus a few accidents thrown in for good measure) between New Haven, CT and the NJ state line.

    Anyway, long story short, on that trip our 1998 DGC with the 3.8 engine managed very near 26 MPG. Not too shabby. ;)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • miagarfuncklemiagarfunckle Member Posts: 51
    I went on a 4000 mile trip and the van was loaded to the max witha lot of weight and had more on the way back. One part of the trip I got about 29 mpg all freeway at about 70mph with ac on. most of the time I would get 26-27. A few tanks I got only 21-22 highway because I had many mountain passes and traffic. Usually when my wife uses the Caravan for longer trips in each direction in Arizon I can manage 17-18 mpg in town. However she is under extremely harsh conditions so I change the oil every 3000k and also just cleaned my K&N air filter even though it only had about 18000 miles on it. A lot of dirt from Arizona had built up. I also check the tire pressure about once a week and use 5w-30 oil and not the cheap stuff. I think I am doing all I can to maximize the mileage. On the weekends and during the week when we all go somewhere we drive my 1996 Toyota Tercel which gets about 35 mpg overall with a/c running and about 38-40 without.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Member Posts: 1,168
    I get 19 mpg with my 2005 GC SXT towing my 3000lb Coleman tent trailer, 2 adults and 2 dogs and tons of gear, going 75 mph thru Canada. Without Trailer, I can get 25mpg easily. I'm very happy with my DCX Minivan...13k miles in 2 years, not a single issue or problem.
  • rogerlawsonrogerlawson Member Posts: 5
    I recently purchased a 2002 T&C Limited with about 51,000 miles when I bought it. When I picked it up the trip computer showed 16.7 mpg (this was in the Tampa area) so I was not optimistic. However, on the return trip to Vermont, it averaged 25.5-26.5 MPG mostly on the highway at 65-70 MPH withthe AC working full time (July in Florida, Georgia, Carolinas, etc.). The computed mileage at fill-up was comparable to that indicated on the trip computer. Since returning, we have been getting 19-20 in mixed driving, short trips (10-15 miles) + in town. On subsequent trips of about 200 miles, it shows 26.5 mpg.

    I'm a conservative driver and try to minimize hard accelleration and foolishly needless use of brakes (if you know you're going to have to stop in 200 yards/meters, get off the gas).

    The instantaneous MPG read out is educational. Much of the time it shows fabulous mileage, 50-99 MPG, but when going up hill especially when cold in lower gears, it can quickly drop into single digits.

    Here's a puzzler: If I take a trip to the top of a mountain and back, getting 9 MPG on the way up and 90 MPG on the way down, what is my average MPG? This is a simple math problem and not a trick question, though the answer is surprising to some. Answer to be provided in a subsequent message...

    Roger
  • genetuckgenetuck Member Posts: 11
    The answer I got was 18 mpg. That certainly is surprising to me, if it's correct. My experience with my 2006 SXT was that miles per gallon dropped drastically when 10% ethanol was mandated where I live in Texas. I would expect a two or three percent decline, but it turned out to be more than 10%. My computer mileage is usually about two mpg optimistic, compared to dividing the miles traveled by gasoline used. On a recent trip to Yellowstone National Park, I was surprised when I averaged about 24 mpg with a lot of luggage, etc. I saw no ethanol signs on the gas pumps in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming, so that may be the reason. I was getting about 24 mpg before they put ethanol in gas sold in this part of Texas.
  • rogerlawsonrogerlawson Member Posts: 5
    You answer is pretty close, but, the average is actually LESS than 18 mpg. Some folks average the to mpg rates (average of 90 and 9 mpg) which results in a wildly inaccurate overall average. The math is simple if one chooses an arithmetically convenient trip distance (though it makes no difference in the result). For example, try a round trip distance of 180 miles (90 each way). This reveals how city miles in mixed driving can dominate one's overall fuel economy...

    As far as I know, none of the gas here abouts has ethanol added, and I don't think I encountered any on my somewhat indirect trip from Tampa to Vermont. If (when?) I fill up with an ethanol blend, I'll report the observed mileage...

    Roger
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Here's a puzzler: If I take a trip to the top of a mountain and back, getting 9 MPG on the way up and 90 MPG on the way down, what is my average MPG? This is a simple math problem and not a trick question, though the answer is surprising to some. Answer to be provided in a subsequent message...

    According to my calculations the answer is 16.363636...

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • rogerlawsonrogerlawson Member Posts: 5
    According to my calculations the answer is 16.363636...

    Precisely! Most folks are surprised how much intervals at lower mpg (higher consumption) can dominate the overall mileage...

    Roger
  • genetuckgenetuck Member Posts: 11
    Now I'm embarassad. I dug through the wastebasket and discovered that I used 90 mpg and 10 mpg instead of 90 and 9.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    My sister's 1986 Caravan had 170,000 miles when they sold it and got a Ford Explorer so they could pull a big trailer. She recently paid $ 14,500 for a nice used 2005 GC SE that had 23,000 miles on it.
    A co-worker bought a 1990 Plymouth Grand Voyager used from his preacher in 1991 when it had 10,000 miles on it. It had 110,000 miles when I last saw him in 1996. He preferred it over his wife's Cadillac Sedan De Ville for long trips.
    My daughter's 1999 GC SE now has 92,000 miles on it. A friend recently traded his 2000 GC LE in on a 2006 GC SXT when it had just over 90,000 miles ( His 4th DaimlerChrysler minivan).
    My son recently traded his 2002 GC Sport in on a 2006 Sienna LE because he had to replace the transmission and the GC was now making "rubbing" noises when turning corners. I don't know how many miles it had when he traded it in. ( He got it used when it had 11,000 miles on it if I recall correctly).
  • ttwebttweb Member Posts: 17
    I have a 2002 T&C LXI All Wheel Drive. It is rated at 17-22 on the sticker. Mixed driving with a fair amount of stop and go and some 10 mile freeway stretches, I will get 17-18 mpg. On long freeway runs at 75 MPH I will get 21 MPG. I know at 65 MPH I would exceed the sticker ratings.
    I have had the same results over since I bought the van with 29,000 miles. I now have 73,000 on it. Over those miles I have probably spent about $1200 in non-maintenance repairs.
    Tom
  • jimlockeyjimlockey Member Posts: 265
    I averaged 17 mpg on all three of my Dodges, but with ethanol being added it is going to kill mpg on mini vans.

    I say, add a diesel engine, and the mini's will grow in numbers...
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    "I averaged 17 mpg on all three of my Dodges, but with ethanol being added it is going to kill mpg on mini vans."

    Timely comment. I drove our 1998 DGC Sport 3.8 from southern New Hampshire (where I filled up with E10) to Charlotte, North Carolina yesterday for a total of 912 miles. Along the way I filled up in the Scranton, Pennsylvania area with E10 and again in central Virginia where I found 100% gasoline (E0?). I had the cruise control set at 71 for the entire trip and the following are the OBC readings for each stop:

    Mileage -- Miles --- E/T -- MPG -- Fuel
    127,641-- Trip Start
    127,961 -- 319.1 -- 4:49 -- 22.4 -- E10
    128,259 -- 298.2 -- 4:28 -- 23.3 -- E10
    128,554 -- 294.8 -- 4:19 -- 26.0 -- Gasoline

    Interesting huh? I'm thinking that E10 should only impact mileage by 5 to 7 percent, however, that ain't what I saw yesterday. My return trip is today (and probably tomorrow) and my plan is to fill up as soon as I get back to Virginia and then again just before I leave that state. It'll be educational. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • scruffyrubiconscruffyrubicon Member Posts: 5
    I just traded out of a 06 Jeep Liberty CRD and into an 06 T&C. You don't want a diesel in the Mini-van until DC straightens it out. There were sensors on the vehicle that the service dept was suppose to check at every service appt. but they didn't even know they existed. Check the Libert CRD forums here for more complaints. Don't get me wrong here, I think the vehicle itself was good, they just need to train their service folks better. There just weren't enough of the small diesels out there for them to care.
  • paulwoopaulwoo Member Posts: 5
    My 2003 T&C has 96,000 miles and gets about 21MPG combined. I used to get 18MPG before I put Bosch Platinum IR Fusion spark plugs in this is about 15% increase for me. I do live in a hilly area of Southern California and I definitely notice smoother acceleration. It took me 20 minutes and $10 each plug.
    Bosch offers “notice the difference or you get a full refund”. I’m keeping mine.
    Next week I'm changing my oil to a Mobil 1 synthetic oil to see if I can increase it more. ;)
  • vex321vex321 Member Posts: 16
    Hey guys
    Picked up an 08 T&C Touring 3.8L a few days ago.
    I currently have around 200 highway city mixed miles and getting 12.9 MPG

    I think my car stated 16/24 or something.

    Is this normal? should it get better?
    Im on my 2nd tank of gas and it doesnt seem to get any better...

    Other 08 owners , show your MPG please~
  • colorado13colorado13 Member Posts: 5
    I cannot speak for the 2008, but I recently purchased a 2007 T&C with the same engine.

    My first tank was horrible at 12.75 and I was rather upset and quite worried.

    Each refill improved a little and I have now refilled about twenty-five times.

    My last two refills have averaged a tad over 20 mpg.

    I am not sure how typical this is.
  • bear17bear17 Member Posts: 5
    I bought a 2008 Town and Country Touring with the 3.8 L. 6 speed Auto in Oct. We have almost 3000 miles on it now and it is getting around 19 MPG driving both city and Hwy. It should get a little over 20 we hope when it breaks in better.
  • hans6hans6 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 GC, 3.3 ,6 cyl. After changing plugs to Bosch 4-prong, highway fuel efficiency was 27 -29 MPG. When temp drops to below 30 F fuel mileage drops to 20-22 MPG. Is this normal? I maintained tire pressure to 36 PSI.
  • andrewss60randrewss60r Member Posts: 2
    Our 03 3.8L Caravan gets about 17mpg in normal city driving. However, if the trips are short and there is lots of idling, the MPGs will easily go below 14.

    If I'm really determined, I can make a 15 mile cross town trip and average about 20MPGs. But that type of driving ticks a lot of other drivers off. :)

    On the highway at 55-60 mph driving like a grandma it is easy to get 26-28 mpg.

    Driving at 75-80, it is virtually impossible to get more than 22mpg.

    Driving through Montana and Wyoming at 85-95 mph, the average was 19mpg for about 800 miles.

    Conservative driving really ads MPGs. Having AC off and looking ahead really helps increase fuel economy.
  • vangonebuyvangonebuy Member Posts: 4
    I dont know where you live,
    But if they use ethanol in winter.
    It is not unexpected.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Your van sounds like almost an exact mirror of our two 3.8 liter DGC from a mileage perspective. Last summer when I was taking it real easy, I managed to milk just over 500 miles from a single tank of gas (which worked out to just over 28 mpg).

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,130
    Okay, the first trip I take with the '98 DGC to Anchorage, I am going to drive five under the SL at 60 and see what I get on a tank. Aside from one, maybe two roadside stops (for breaks), it is essentially 100% highway for 350 miles. I tend to get 19 during the summer under normal local driving conditions, so I would not expect more than 21 on a trip to Anchorage. I am curious, though... :D
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Hmmm, at a steady 60 mph, even in winter temperatures, our 1998 FWD 3.8 DGC will easily get 22 or better. Keep us posted. ;)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,130
    The AWD system on these vans is, I am convinced, highly parasitic when it comes to fuel economy. :(
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Ah yes, I was trying to remember if your van was AWD, that would indeed make a difference. :(

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • jim314jim314 Member Posts: 491
    The mpg always drops in winter because of several factors having nothing to do with the addition of ethanol in the gasoline. E10 does have slightly lower energy content than E0, but this is probably a minor contribution. Isn't ethanol added to gasoline at about 6% even in the summer?

    The winter factors are:

    (1) Increased aerodynamic drag due to air being denser when it is colder.
    (2) Decreased traction on wet, snowy, or icy roads lowers efficiency of power transmission.
    (3) Traffic snarls in winter increase the time of trips, and cause more braking
    (4) Longer warm-up time in cold weather. Engine uses more fuel during warm-up
    (5) More idling to keep heater on for occupants remaining in the vehicle when someone goes into a convenience store
  • jim314jim314 Member Posts: 491
    Here's a puzzler: If I take a trip to the top of a mountain and back, getting 9 MPG on the way up and 90 MPG on the way down, what is my average MPG? This is a simple math problem and not a trick question, though the answer is surprising to some. Answer to be provided in a subsequent message...

    The reason why there is any problem at all with this sort of calculation is that in the US we express fuel use as

    distance travelled / volume of fuel consumed (or mpg),

    rather than

    volume fuel consumed / distance travelled

    gpm = gal / mi, or we could use gal / 100 mi to avoid dealing with small decimal fractions. To get gal / 100 mi = 100 / mpg. So 25 mpg would be 100 /25 = 4.0 gal / 100 mi.

    The latter system is what is used in Europe except they use metric units: L / 100 km.

    To do the "puzzler" we average the equivalent gpm (or gal/100mi) values and then convert that back to mpg by taking reciprocal of the result.

    Ave mpg = 1 / ((1 / 9 + 1 / 90) / 2) = 16.36 mpg

    If the distances for the two different mpg values are not the same, then the calculation is a weighted average where the weighting factors are the fraction of the total distance.

    Ave mpg = 1 / (f1 / mpg1 + f2 / mpg2)

    Where f1 = d1 / (d1 + d2) and f2 = d2 / (d1 + d2).

    This more general formula works when the distances are equal or unequal.

    This is the formula for calculationg the combined mpg from the city and highway mpg values. Consider a vehicle which gets 22 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. The USDOT assumes that 55 % of the driving is city and 45 % highway. So the formula for combined mpg for 22/30 city highway is

    Combined mpg = 1 / (0.55/22 + 0.45/30) = 25.0 mpg

    The general formula is

    Combined pmg = 1 / (0.55 / mpgcity + 0.45 / mpghwy)
  • srs_49srs_49 Member Posts: 1,394
    We've had our 2007 DGC, 3.8L for 2,222 miles now. Overall mileage has been 20.8 mpg, varying from 19.7 mpg to 22.2 mpg (using tank fill ups). Best I've ever seen on the real-time gas mileage display has been 25.4 mpg. That was at a steady 65 mph on relatively flat ground.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Last summer on 100% gasoline on a warm (but not overly hot) day I managed to get the display up to the low thirties on flat level ground at about 67 mph, and I managed to hold that for the most of the day. I had to make two international border crossings (Port Huron/Sarnia and Queenston/Lewiston), and had to deal with long queues at both customs as well as the toll booths. In addition, I had to deal with a ~10 mile construction related backup near Hamilton that took over an hour to navigate. Even still, I managed to make it just over 504 miles on a single tank with the OBC showing 28.2 as I pulled in to fill-up in Albany, NY.

    FWIW, that was in our older 1998 3.8 liter DGC Sport van that had 145,000 miles on it at the time.

    Basically I told you that as a way of suggesting that during the summer you might could well get better mileage than what you're seeing now. ;)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • srs_49srs_49 Member Posts: 1,394
    I don't expect to ever see the kind of mileage you reported, but I'll take it if I can get it ;) !

    I'm OK with 24-25 mpg on the highway. I think that's good for a 4200 lb, 3.8L vehicle. I wasn't expecting anything better.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Please understand that that single tank was the exception rather than the rule, in fact, I'd never even gotten to 26 mpg for a full tank prior to that (although I did get to 25.9 one time), I was just using it as an example of what can be achieved with careful driving. As a general rule, both of our 3.8 liter DGCs slot in at about 23-25 mpg when moving with the traffic in the high sixty/low seventy mph range in the summer, and maybe 1.5 mpg lower than that for the winter.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • colorado13colorado13 Member Posts: 5
    Have a 2007 T&C Limited with 3.8.

    First tank of gas came out at 12.75 mpg.

    Since then I have driven 12,000 miles.

    Over all mileage is 21.00 mpg.

    Best on the road was 28.44, 27.38, and 26.54.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    That sounds about right. How many miles did you get from a single tank?

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • colorado13colorado13 Member Posts: 5
    Distance driven on each tank varied widely but most miles driven on single tank was 420. That fill up took 18.4 gallons resulting in 22.8 mpg.

    Filled up 40 times.

    Purchased 575.6 gallons at average $3.03 per gallon to drive 12,087 miles at total cost of 1,743.58 with overall 21.00 mpg.
  • motoringmamamotoringmama Member Posts: 35
    I have a '01 Grand Caravan 3.8 L engine. I keep the oil changed regularly, and have my tires inflated correctly. I am a conservative driver, and rarely drive over 55. I live and drive in the city'suburbs only, but I can't seem to get this vehicle to get any better than 18 mpg. Worse if I drive with the a/c on and worse in the Winter. Is this normal or does my van have something wrong with it? What experience do other driver's with this type of vehicle and engine size have? And lastly, is there anything else I can do to improve the mileage. The van seems to run fine, but lags a little at 1500rpms.
    Thanks for any insight into this situation because the gas prices are KILLING me!
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