This van has been awesome. I have 300,000 miles on it and am aiming for 400,000. I have only had to replace the fuel pump and water pump and that was only in the last 100,000 miles. Only on the 2nd battery and of course with those miles a couple of sets of tires. Drives like the day I got it. I can't say enough about how awesome and reliable it has been. For a van I am also happy with the 22mpg I get.
This is my third Chrysler Product. I had a 94 Grand Caravan. Great engine but poor transmission that required rebuild at 90k miles but the car lasted as a whole until 180k miles with routine maintenance and was still drivable when I donated it to charity. I then had a 2001, where they added a transmission cooler and fixed the transmission issues. The 3.3 Liter (and it's cousin the 3.8) are now powerful engines especially if moving a nearly 5,000 lb car, but it's not meant to be fast. Good torque and the O.H.V engine design keep things simple, and costs down for repairs. This simpler engine has been around for a very long time, and it's fairly easy to service. But at 180 HP for such a heavy car, it' s very slow. I now bought my Mom a 2006 Town and Country, the upscale version of the Dodge Grand Caravan. I feel that in the used car marketplace, the Town and Country is priced nearly identical to the Dodge Grand Caravan but in initial purchase, they are 10k to 15k more in price for not much more in features. I think that if you are buying it without power sliding doors (less that can break) and without a lot of fancy electronics there is less that can break. The best feature of this car is the stow-and-go. You can convert it to a errand car for trips to Home Depot very easily. Another thing not often mentioned is that if you have large dogs, like German Shepherd, or Mastiff, this car's ability to put the rear 60/40 bench seat down and put a dog carrier in the back, is a great way to carry large pets, especially with a lower step in height. Did you ever try to help a 12 year old arthritic dog into a cross over or SUV and help lift such a heavy dog into the tall load floor? For me, my Minivan is my go to car for long trips, or for trips to get paint, or sheetrock. The cost of not renting a truck is very handy. I think it's a fantastic practical car. It's not particularly fast, but it's a well known design and it's been around forever. I had to replace the water pump at 60k miles. I strongly recommend any new owner change the transmission fluid at 60k miles and again at 120k. You need ATF+4 and make sure Chrysler does it, not some cheapo oil change, as this car is very sensitive to having the correct transmission fluid. Stay on top of your fluid changes for the tranny with these cars. I have over 100k miles and I mostly had little annoying problems, like door switches and window regulators, but not major break downs. Basic upkeep of new tires, brakes, frequent oil changes. I recommend changing the PCV and EGR valve at the 75,000 mile tuneup, as these parts are not expensive, and can keep car running smoother longer. Overall, it's one of the lowest cost-of-entry in the used car marketplace and cheaper than a Honda or Toyota Sienna while offering all the same value. I like this older body style compared to squared off new version. I also like the fact that they kept the same engine and transmission around for a long time, unlike Kia that went for a well known 3.8 DOHC engine to a 3.4 Liter with variable valve timing in only 10 years. To me, keeping the same basic engine and transmission around for 3 decades helps keep costs down both during purchase and repair time. Overall, not a fancy car, but a very practical car. I recommend.
My girlfriend and I have a total of 4 children together and needed a vehicle that could safely haul them around especially on long trips. I am an auto mechanic so I took my time researching and checking out several different brands. I found our 06 T & C at a Chrysler dealer with 58K miles. My girlfriend loves the power doors and rear hatch and with multiple DVD players we had installed, it is perfect. The Stow & Go works well for food, cases of soda and loads of DVDs and plenty of room in the rear for 2 strollers and luggage. The only problem we have had was the left sliding door stopped working. I made the repair in about 45 minutes and it has been working ever since.
I'm still in 'pick-up withdrawal.' Bought to replace my pick-up. For the most part, quite OK; like my pkup with a cap. However am reluctant to get inside 'dirty.' Turning radius is excellent and drive is smooth. Had a couple of problems, sorta expected with 7 yr old car and 96K, but local dealership is very good and restored to top running condition. Am preparing for a 4K trip out West with two other couples. Luggage travel box on top rails, etc. Will decide if it is as good as I think.
The base T&C is well equipped. Best vehicle for the price 16.8k (tax, lic) out the door. Similar priced Honda or Toyota, would cost up to 10K more. Saved the money and purchased an extended warranty. My wife and I love the comfort, ride, and overall feel of the vehicle. The remote entry, tinted glass, smart airbag in the front seat, grocery hooks, hidden pullout drawer, lumbar support, car mats, sliding door warning, are all pluses for the base model. Many of these things are optional on other brands and would have cost me another 1K. My first Chrysler, (had 3 Honda’s prior) and so far I am very impressed. If you don’t mind negotiating, you can really come out a winner!