This is our third Dodge/Chrysler minivan (over a 23 year span) and this one will always be my favorite. It's a shame they don't make 'em like this anymore. The seats are super comfortable. The Stow & Go seating is amazing. The sound system is high quality and better than some of the newer vehicles. We've moved our oldest kids in and out of college hauling everything in the minivan (without ever having to rent a uhaul). We've traveled ( 5 people) all across the country comfortably with plenty of room for luggage, water skis - you name it. We've hauled washers & dryers, furniture, etc. One of the few issues we've had is with the automatic doors - we've had to have them repaired twice when the lock buttons were stuck (had the actuators were replaced). Other than the replacing the actuators, the maintenance & repairs costs were lower than average. It will be sad day when it's time to part with my van.
I bought my caravan 4 years ago with 116k miles , only replaced a strut , an alternator brakes and tires. Still runs like new , cold a/c and seems It will pass the 300k mile mark easy. I am the second owner , parts are cheap , I work at LKQ , a low mile engine cost about $650 a tranny $350.00 , I seen other ford , Nissan , Toyota and chevy minivans give up with a lot less miles than mine, The vast majority of caravans that we have in our yards are because they are totaled in a major wreck. The other brands land here because they break down and parts are very expensive.
This van is really not that terrible. It does have it's faults. I am going to list the issues we currently have as of 120k miles: 2 broken locks, door trim has fallen off, terrible squeaking noise, A/C broke 3 times, heating won't work, cup holder has fallen off the seat, rear windshield wiper won't work, and the van "screams" when it goes through puddles. The suspension is way too bouncy and harsh for my liking. When you go over a bump, it feels like a roller coaster. The van has slowly died over it's time and is starting to fall apart. We are planning on getting a Nissan Rogue, Jeep Patriot, Ford Escape, etc for the next car. The workmanship of this vehicle is not really that great. It truly isn't a terrible van, it just has a few significant faults.
2006 Dodge Grand Caravan SE 4dr Ext Minivan (3.3L 6cyl 4A)
The 2006 Grand Caravan was my third Grand Caravan, so I can't say that there is no appeal to the vehicle. When Grand Caravans are in their first couple of years of service they are a joy. They are relatively inexpensive when compared to a Honda Odyssey. The seats fold flat to provide an unparalleled cargo area. This baby hauls sheets of plywood or drywall with the tailgate closed. It lugs around a large family too. Chrysler's design is just not up to the challenge of doing these chores over and over year in and year out. Chrysler designed the vehicle to warn drivers when the sliding doors open by activating the flashers and to protect parents from forgetful children who file out and leave the door open with the cabin light on. The power to all lights and accessories turns off after 15 minutes, protecting the battery from discharge (best family feature ever).
As others have reported, the Grand Caravan has a poor power steering design. In cold weather in particular it is prone to clogging and starving the power steering pump. Mine failed at 30,000 miles. The whining pump noise returned at 100,000 miles whenever the temperature outside was in the single digits. The air bag system failed at 11,000 miles and again at 50,000. The passenger sliding door developed a rattle at about the 60,000 mile mark and the door lock solenoid failed. Grand Caravans develop lots of rattles as they age and the suspension needs rebuilding. There were a steady stream of failures that ended when the coolant leaked out just months after replacing the radiator, water pump and hoses causing the engine to overheat and throw a rod. After less than nine years and 129,000 miles the vehicle had to be recycled. The cost of ownership worked out to $290.00 per month to own the Grand Caravan when I reviewed my repair expenses. This vehicle is likely to nickel, dime and thousand dollar you to death.