Have had "Bonnie" now for 5 years. #1 thing about the van - value. Bought new and Chysler was giving these away at the time so I thought I'd take one since we needed the "family vehicle" for kids sports etc. etc. As noted on Edmunds reliability rating, our SXT 3.3L did in fact have
the water pump go at 45k. The rack and pinion steering was replaced within the first year of ownership. Aside from regular maintenance, that's about it. Currently 71k on the odometer. Will admit, for a lower hp'ed V6, not real good on gas. 21mpg all around I'm guessing, lil' better on the hwy but nowhere near the sticker 26 mpg. Very comfortable ride IMHO. American made (Fenton, MO) which is hard to find today.
Cheap price from the get-go considering the utility of the thing. Shorter size fits nicely in our packed garage. Nice having it inside, shutting garage door and still having room to lift tailgate. Longer version wouldn't work in this regard.
Gas mileage, gas mileage, gas mileage needs to improve. Has the right features for the pricepoint overall but with prices at the pump being what they are these days, newer vans need to improve in this regard.
2006 Dodge Caravan Minivan SE 4dr Minivan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
so i got the base SE when it was new for a good price--very basic, meaning roll your own windows down, no keyless entry etc.. power was so-so for regular town driving and terrible on the highway, noisy and no pickup!so car was ok for about 50k then we saw oil leaking all over our driveway! it neede towing to a garage and a 3K repair (crankshaft). luckily we had an extended warranty--but we still paid almost 500 dollars and had a
rental car for a week.
after this experience and not being so thrilled w/ the car we just traded it for a preowned Odyssey (ironically of the same year). what a difference! the odyssey so far is awesome, i would advise anyone to avoid any all caravans...
actually none! this vehicle SE was so basic-- well the AC always worked
This car should be called the Dodge Random; everything simply works randomly. Doors, windows, locks, engine - you never know from day to day when things will work. Expensive repairs to make them work are only temporary. Scary to roll a window down not knowing if you will ever get it up, or even if the van will start. Many many problems with this van - please do not invest your money here!
My wife and I purchased our Caravan in 2008, and have had largely no problems with it. Then I came across the location of the spare tire. Putting the spare under the van under the front seats is the most asinine place I've ever seen for a spare tire. I was changing the tire in my driveway, on a nice day, and found it to be a most aggravating experience. I can only imagine how a person is supposed to do this while stopped on the side of the road in inclement weather. I am a licensed professional engineer, and I work on my cars. I am no novice. This system was designed by an imbecile, and he/she ought to be fired. I will never again by a car without checking where the spare is.
I've had this van as a work vehicle through my company for the past two years, and it's been a good little trooper. I neither baby my vehicles nor treat them especially rough, and though the fuel mileage isn't what I would like it to be, it's been very reliable and I enjoy driving it. It holds a LOT of cargo, has Stow-n-Go seating for passengers should I need to carry them, and handles better than I ever expected a minivan would. The 3.3L V6 is quiet and has decent torque, laboring only in 100-degree heat when the air is running full blast and you're trying to get up to freeway speed. It's comfortable too, though the seats need better hip and thigh support.
It's a perfect cargo hauler that is easy to drive and much easier to maneuver than a full-size cargo van. Comfortable interior that has held up very well over time. Good power from the V6/4spd auto. Excellent paint and structural strength - no squeaks or rattles even at 100k!
The same engine that I praise for its power and peaceful demeanor is also woefully fuel-inefficient. Chrysler needs to make major investments in its powertrains, because they can do better. A hybrid powertrain mated to the four-cylinder engine and a CVT would be wonderful in a cargo van like this!