I have owned this van for about a year, and it has always been very reliable. I bought it used with about 90,000 miles on it, and it runs like it is still new. My average miles per gallon is between 22-26. What more can you ask for from a minivan? It has never let me down and I have only had to do routine matinence (brakes, tires, oil changes, etc.). I would purchace another one in the future.
Just traded in this van as a single owner after 165k miles. All in all a very solid van. We've taken it on many long distance trips and have never been left stranded. Major issues we dealt with over the years included a failing battery (very early on and covered by warranty), two replaced water pumps, and a failed radiator fan relay. I wouldn't say brakes were an "issue", but they (fronts) did need to be replaced about every 30k miles. I did some of the work myself and found the vehicle highly serviceable. Honda and the other imports may be considered more reliable, but replacement parts much more expensive. We promptly addressed any suspected issues and never had a major breakdown.
Strong engine for highway and mountain driving. Roomy. Paint finishes held extremely well as did cloth interior. Withstood a lot of abuse from a 6 person family.
Brakes seem to be the weak link with many Dodge models.
We bought the car with over 90,000 miles on the clock, and it now boasts over 220,000, and the engine has never been opened up, the transmission has never given us grief (though we service the tranny every 20K. We get a consistent 23.56 mpg and always use regular fuel, changing the 10w40 good quality oil every 3K miles. The only mechanical problems in ten years have been a malfunction in the aftermarket remote locking/alarm system, and a pesky serpentine belt that has left the scene of the crime twice in ten years. We're now looking at changing gaskets and hoses because it's a regular thing.
This is a motor vehicle, and I'm not feature-driven. It just doesn't break down, leaving us out in the middle of Nevada. I would have to say the comfort. The car's name is Mustafa....
I can't think of a way to improve a ten-year-old vehicle other than upgrade it, which Chrysler has already done.
I also needed a larger vehicle for a growing family. Looked at Ford and Mopar, and went with this because of recommendations. Has been a very good vehicle for 4 years. Bought it with 56K, and now have 165K on it. Had some normal mech maintenance, including valve job, gas tank fuel pump, serpentine idler bracket, etc. It is still fairly easy to work on, but then I got the Dodge shop manual. The book is worth it's weight in gold. Only thing I really don't like is the headlights. They become opaque and crystalized with age. $200 for a new one? I think not. It does everything. I haven't used my pickup for three years because I pull a trailer with the van, with loads of room inside.
I have the 3.3, so more power, but I knew that going in. My next two vans were GCs from 1997 and 1999 with AWD. That solved the traction issue on mud, snow, and ice.
This is the 2nd Caravan that we have had. The first left us for a new home with 215K. This one has 181K and is still trucking. It has a new transmission. The only thing that I don't care for with in comparing the '97 with the '89 was that you lost head room when they rounded it. I liked it better squared off. We get good gas mileage, about 26 highway, 22 around town. It has been a good, reliable car.
It handles well in all conditions, including snow.
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