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2013 Crew Pros/Cons
By tomsouthmd on
2013 Dodge Grand Caravan Crew 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
The 2013 Grand Caravan is my third dodge van; I traded in a 2007 SXT. When ordering I had to move up to the Crew to get some options that were included on the 2007 SXT such as the power driver’s seat, leather steering wheel, and garage door opener. I added the driver convenience group to get, along with other options, bluetooth.
The ride is good, handling ok for a minivan, seats are an improvement over the 2007 and the 3.6 liter engine is a significant power upgrade. The tow capacity is up to 3,600 lbs and the stow ‘n go seats still provide the most versatility compared to other minivans. The transmission needs work (see below). Recommendation – take a good highway test drive before buying.
I love the many features included with the radio package such as the backup camera, touch screen and hard drive which now has over 1000 of my favorite tunes loaded.
The remote start option is great, particularly in the cold because in additional to starting the engine the system turns on the driver’s seat and steering wheel warmers.
The van has a 6 speed so you would think smoother shifting when compared with the 4 speed 2007 - not! The problem, downshifts at highway speeds. When cruising at 70 mph in 6th gear and starting up a hill, it takes awhile before the transmission decides to shift. Then, instead of coming out of lockup or shifting into 5th , it goes directly to 4th, rpms almost double, the engine roars, the van lurches, then, in just seconds, it decides oops, I should really be in 5th and the rpms drop. This drives me crazy. My van has the latest M38 module program so Chrysler and my dealer say sorry and we are at the mercy of software engineers. The Edmunds was kind, saying only “unrefined powertrain.”
I have about 13,000 miles on my 2013 Caravan SE. After about 6K of smooth shifting, the transmission started clunking when going from Park to Drive or Reverse to Drive. After two trips to the dealership for oil changes and road tests for the transmission questions, I get the same answer. They say all Caravans shift this way. Not a real good answer as far as I'm concerned. I would like to hear from other Caravan owners.
I have been driving the damn thing for a month and I still can not get used to the transmission. The engine is o.k. but the transmission will not do what I espect it will do...accelerate. It sort of stalls at 60km and if you give it some gas, it does nothing then boom...it goes crazy. You can also feel it downshift. All of this for what? Gas economy? Dad also drives it...a mini van for women only? Then why the horsepower? It's a scam, a good engine witn a tranny for old people. A bi-polar van!Next time, I will buy something that is not built in Ontario.I wil buy something from Korea or Germany or Japan or Italy like a nice Fiat mini van.