Performance is as expected from a minivan. frequent annoying problems are the major drawback. Breaks are soft, with below average stopping power. I love the space, the captain seats, and the dual air conditioning, with front, and back ducts.
Cheap to buy, lots of features that you have to pay $$ for in other brands. However, all that is probably offset by the poor reliability, and frequent need for repair.
Better fuel economy, more reliability for God's sake. Visiting the dealer twice a year for repairs is not only costly, but also annoying, and time consuming. This vehicle gives no warning of impending trouble.
Well, I finally had to put some significant dollars into my van, but much less than any new car I might purchase. Runs like a new one with a factory rebuilt tranny (old transmission had trouble with low gear, but otherwise ran great). Have run Mobile One synthetic oil in the van since it was new, and the oil added 10% to my gas mileage (20-24 MPG with the 3.8L V6). Change oil and filter once a year (20-25K miles). Will keep this van until the wheels fall off! Very happy with the purchase and performance of this vehicle.
AWD, power everything, mileage, storage space, comfort.
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.
Sold our 1988 Grand Caravan & bought this despite a miserable reputation. Overall pretty good, but lots of "little" problems. Grab handles fall off, fuel gauge swings erraticly and "dings" randomly. Check engine light goes on but mechanic cannot locate problem. Wipers don't always work.Rubber door gaskets have long since disappeared. Still have it after 8 years because: it has more passenger room than Suburbans, the cloth seats look almost new (raised 3 boys & more dogs) The ride is fairly smooth. (the standard suspension is WAY too soft.) Infinity stereo is greatand van still looks good. Wife wants a big SUV. Kids grown, getting a Ducati & a Mini instead!
Good interior room, tinted privacy glass, great Infinity stereo. Reasonably good power (3.3L) smooth ride.
How about better small parts? Cup holders, storage compartments, grab handles, visor clips, ALL Broken.
We've just traded in our 97 Caravan for a smaller car, since gas prices has gone up the roof ! But it was a blast to drive. Power was not a problem on city or highway, and quite comfortable for all three rows of seats. Wished the headlights were brighter at night, but they've already addressed this issue on later models. I liked the removable seats instead of fold-down ones, it helps with gas mileage if you're not using the 3rd row often, and the 3rd row bench can be slided to the middle, making it a 5-seater van with plenty of cargo space.