1997 Dodge Caravan Minivan Review | Edmunds.com

1997 Dodge Caravan Minivan

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Dodge Caravan Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 150 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 1997 Dodge Caravan

  • Info is not yet available.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Huge interior, slick styling, optional rear driver's side door, easy-out seats

  • Cons

    Not the most reliable vehicle on the road.

  • What's New for 1997

    Traction control is a new option, so long as you get LE or ES trim, and an enhanced accident response system will automatically unlock the doors and illuminate the interior when an airbag deploys. Appearance and equipment refinements complete the modest changes to this best-in-class minivan.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (29 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


R.i.p. beastie

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Vehicle: 1996 Dodge Caravan

I was surprised at the number of bad reviews on here. Granted, this vehicle isn't perfect, but it is a tank. My dad hit a deer at 45 mph head on, and she didn't even need repairs. A/C hasn't worked since 2004 and you had to kick under the glove compartment to turn on the heater but it ran. Forever. I bought it with a bad tranny, replaced it, and have needed only oil changes all the way up until her death at 283,841. It might not be the prettiest, sportiest, or most exciting car on the road but it goes. Forever.




Loved this minivan

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Vehicle: 1996 Dodge Caravan

My uncle loved his 1996 Dodge Caravan and gave it to me when he bought a brand new one the year before last. This minivan has been great. It drives itself and has been as reliable as any older car would be. I regularly got 27 mpg and the seats are really comfortable. This car was old enough to have personality, but if you don't mind windsheild wipers turning themselves on now and again and the loud knocking noise coming from the glove box, then this could be the car for you. Ours, unfortunately, just hit the end of it's road. But while I was reading reviews about new vans, I thought I'd write a good review for our old one.




1996 es minivan

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Vehicle: 1996 Dodge Caravan

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.




Worst trade ever

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Vehicle: 1996 Dodge Caravan

My brother, mother and I have all driven this thing at one point and we all hate it. The repairs done to this thing are too numerous to post. The transmission went out on it for a second time and I resolved never to buy another Dodge. I won't even look at things made by or associated with that company. When I see anything made by them no matter how cool,new and shiny I think about how this van was a leper in disguise. Everything thing on this van broke: gauges, hub assembly, wiper motor, electronics. Even the paint job was toast. There is truth behind all of those Dodge jokes on Married with Children. My Dad's a mechanic and even with free labor this rust bucket wasn't worth it.




Caravan 3.8l le/es 4-dr has

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Vehicle: 1996 Dodge Caravan

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.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Keeps on going by dadman

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Vehicle: 1996 Dodge Caravan

I bought this van used in 1999 with 108,000 miles on it. It now has 210,000 miles on the same 3.0 V6 engine. It now smoke some at startup (worn valve guide seals) but Maxlife Valvoline oil has stopped that. The engine is from Mistubishi and it is as strong as when I got it. No electrical problems, great exhaust system, suspension is wearing, durable interior and great to drive. Now for the trans and a/c. Tranny was rebuilt at 120,000 miles for $1800. Ask for a upgraded rebuild kit not a factory kit. Worth the money. Torque converter started acting up at 190,000.A/C new compressor installed at purchase. The system needs recharging every year. Invest in own recharge kit (cheap).



Full 1997 Dodge Caravan Review

What's New for 1997

Traction control is a new option, so long as you get LE or ES trim, and an enhanced accident response system will automatically unlock the doors and illuminate the interior when an airbag deploys. Appearance and equipment refinements complete the modest changes to this best-in-class minivan.

Talk About The 1997 Caravan

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 16
  • cty
/
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs