Used 1996 Dodge Caravan ES Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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1996 Dodge Caravan - Consumer Reviews

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1996 ES Minivan
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By J. Johnson
on

Vehicle

1996 Dodge Caravan ES 3dr Minivan


Review

Purchased used in 1998 with 79,000 miles. Owned for 12+ years with only routine maintenance problems. Put snow tires on front ever winter with no problem handling in snow up to 8 inches deep. 3.8 L V6 engine has lots of oomph if needed to pass cars on highway. Love the cruising comfort with 4 captains seats. Just completed a round trip from MA to NC with no complaints. Averaged 23 mpg. Used around town also with 3rd row seat removed for extra cargo storage. Can fit up to 10 foot long pieces of lumber inside if needed. Enjoy the trip computer with built in compass.


Best Features

4 captain chairs; dual sliding side doors. Large rear hatch opening.


Worst Features

As with any vehicles, better gas mileage if possible. Around town was 17-18. We can put a man on the moon but why can't we get better mpg's figured out?


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Caravan 3.8L LE/ES 4-dr has been great
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By michaelrh
on

Vehicle

1996 Dodge Caravan ES 3dr Minivan


Review

Original owner, second mini-van. Short wheelbase w/3.8L engine can be a hot rod (at the expense of gas mileage.) Very comfortable for long drives, excellent visibility. Exterior styling is timeless -- I still think it is an attractive design 13 years later! One $200 transmission problem at 70,000 miles, but the car has not been particularly expensive to maintain.


Best Features

Can move second seat back 6" when don't need legroom in 3rd seat. Can put 3rd row seat in place of second for a wider seat.


Worst Features

Move front driver's seat back 4-6 inches--not enough leg room. Seats are heavy to remove. Better transmission gearing for 3.8: engine - too low, not good enough gad mileage.


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Grand Caravan- Good design, poor quality
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By stofman
on

Vehicle

1996 Dodge Caravan ES 3dr Minivan


Review

Bought this van new. Pretty much one problem every time we drive it! Great design, but very very poor build quality! So far, the tranny went out at 60,000, A/C at 62,000, coolant multiple times, etc etc. It's been in the shop more than it has been on the road. Would NOT recommend anyone buy this van!!


Best Features

Drives nice, high seating position.


Worst Features

Build it better! Good design, but terrible build quality. My first (and last) Chrysler product!


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Beware
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Help from Paradise
on

Vehicle

1996 Dodge Caravan ES 3dr Minivan


Review

Bought for dbl sliding doors and integrated child seats which no other minivan had in 1996. Mechanical features like 3 speed trans, 14" wheels, no std ABS, no power windows except on high end models were below adequate. But, for intended use of kids to school and games <6,000 mi/yr it was doable. Vehicle has been maintenance nightmare: transmission $1,200@ 40K, electrical and engine problems, locks failed, rear door gas struts failed, ... Not only does it need many parts, they are expensive (ex fuel injectors, fuel pump) and this is before they were Mercedes parts. Will never buy another Chrysler no matter how long they increase the warranty.


Best Features

integrated child seats


Worst Features

Reliability.


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Just give up on staying cool and its ok.
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By looseacl
on

Vehicle

1996 Dodge Caravan ES 3dr Minivan


Review

this was the second mini-van of three owned. Why do I do this to myself???? OK, the car is VERY functional--roomy, not bad handling (next vehicle is AWD), always got us where we were going. BUT! beware of A/C problems!!! I have put over $600 into AC repairs every single year! 3 major parts, each costs $600 and they go out in rotation. Taken it to dealers, AC shops, specialists ... same story every year ... and--the next version... the 2001 AWD, just blew it's first compressor. stop the insanity


Best Features

roominess, space for all our stuff and kids


Worst Features

fire the man who designed the AC


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