I had this car (model 2004) for 5 years and drove 64k miles on it (56-110k). The car probably had some prior frontal damage before I bought it, which may have propagated into some of the maintenance issues I ran into. We had to replace a number of things (radiator, alternator/battery, window motor, rotors, tail light, etc) and had the check-engine light on for most of the time, due to some emission codes which could never be figured despite a few tries by the local dealer and another garage. But the great thing about owning a Dodge in the US is that spare parts are easy and quick to get and we probably only lost a couple of days when we would have needed to use the car. Overall likable car.
The seats in this model are great and make traveling long distances pretty nice. Iīve also driven the newer Grand Caravans for rentals and I must say I like the old seats better. This is/was a great travel car for the extended family, and even though it was "just" the short version, we often went on trips with 7 people and luggage without problems.
I loved the versatile seating options: On family camping trips I would have the split bench as a 3-seat second row and stuff the immense back space with gear. Once we went 5 people camping with 5 bikes after I threw together a roof rack from 2x4s and some plywood.
I also bought a separate 3-seater bench to seat 8 people when I had visitors.
Overall the major comments are regarding reliability. When I got rid of the car it was leaking four different fluids (oil, transmission, power steering, coolant), and probably does not have a whole lot more to go, which is sad. Perhaps this all goes back to the alleged frontal damage. I wondered sometimes if the water pump was failing rooting some of the problems, but the garage disagreed so I never had it replaced.
It is a bother not to be able to roll down windows on the sliding doors. Has been implemented on newer models. Yay.
Fuel consumption is ok on the open road, but soars in traffic. I would be keen on seeing available diesel versions in the US.
This is our second Plymouth/Dodge van.
We bought both new.
The 98 was great. This van will not align without changing the toe-in to make up for the left veering.
The front right side of the axle, is at the factory limit of degrees forward of ideal, the the front left side axle is at the factory limit for back of ideal. Consequently, when aligned, properly, the car is 3 or 4 degrees out of straight and veers left, a lot.
The dealership kept it running straight when it was under warranty.
It left the factory, driving straight.
Both had to set the toe-in off to do this.
Once the warranty was out, we took it to a reputable automotive garage, where they told us the truth, only by setting the toe-in out, can you get the car to drive straight. Two other garages confirmed this.
Consequently, the tires wear much faster than they should.
My favorite feature is, this Caravan made me realize, Chrysler has management that puts immediate sales ahead of customer loyalty and repeat business.
Their motto is not, "Quality is job one, it is, get it out, quick, and get it sold, and make sure the dealerships play along.
Dodge did us a favor.
Prove to us you have changed your ways.
When last I checked, you still had the loosest engine tolerances in the industry.
I am overjoyed today as I just traded in my mini-van (at a loss of 4500) for another vehicle. I had the van for 2 years and in that time had the brakes replaced twice and now the power steering was going out on it. Spark plugs had to be replaced twice and the vehicle just did not drive very well at all. The cloth interior was not very kid friendly. The mileage was okay. I was also concerned about the vehicle breaking down. The seatbelts never fit my children"s booster seats very securely.
Roomy vehicle for the money. Ok on gas mileage
Bulid a more reliable vehicle. Spark plugs and brakes twice in 2 years? I have never had these problems with any other vehicle. Better child restraint system.
So far I am totally satisfied with my van. The only problem I have had thus far was about 2.5 months after I bought the car it started cutting off on me so I took it in and they said that it was my spark plugs I donít know why after that short period of time that a new car would have that problem but it did it was fixed of course with no charge to me and the tires I think I have cheap tires but I can buy new one but all in all I love my mini van it seats all 6 of us comfortably
My favorite feature is the fact I can take out the seats it has helped me move big thing where otherwise I would have had to pay someone to deliver to me
Improvements which they have done is to make it easier to remove those heavy seats now they have the minivan where the seats go under instead of having to take the seats out of the car that would be the only improvement I would want on my van