This is my second Dodge Caravan. I purchased the first one new in 1988, with the 2.5 4 cyl. and 5 speed. These engines are basically a Slant 6 with 2 cylinders removed....ergo....high durability. I lost the first one in a divorce and searched for a long time for a replacement. I finally found this '93 used, 6 years ago, with 81,000 original miles. I'm approaching 100,000 miles with no issues. It achieves the EPA fuel mileage rating of 20 city/30 hwy. My '88 got the same mpg and even after abuse by those who owned it after me, it still ran 200,000 miles before the trans axle went out. As expected, these are somewhat anemic on hills and I have to shift down often, from 5th OD. But, I am all about optimum mpg, over speed. These vans will cruise comfortably at 70 mph. Overall very pleased as this van is comfortable and can go anywhere. It came with A/C, CC, a full interior light pkg. and a nice after market CD radio. No issues in the 6 years that I've owned it.
Generally, this car has been a trooper. I got her from my parents in December of 2001, they bought her almost brand new as a program car in 1993. She took us on several 200+ mile trips to visit family, a pretty lengthy journey to Disneyworld, an even lengthier trip to Kentucky - and this was all mostly during her first 60,000. After that point, as I've heard was common with this particular model, the transmission gave out and we had to have a new one dropped in. Since owning it, I've had to have a new compressor installed, and she's having trouble with oil consumption and struts. But for her age, the fact she's still running is quite impressive.
Lots of space. The removable third seat was nice, although getting it in and out is such a pain (this was before the days of stow and go, though). A/C will freeze your ears off, and in sweltering Southern summers, that's a very good thing.
Dodge in general could be a great contender if they'd simply work harder on fuel economy and build quality. There's just no reason an automatic transmission should randomly give out at 60,000 (nor have all the necessary mounts in place, which our first tranny didn't).
Bought this van for handyman business. It has been a reliable mobile tool box since the purchase. Van now has 160+K Miles. It burns oil, but still hauls plywood and lumber w/out the cost of a V8 pick up.
My van has the 3.3 litre V6 engine with the 4 speed trans. with overdive. It's not a good tranny as you've read here. The rebuilder said it's similar to unit fitted in the old Dodge Omni and Horizon compacts from the 80's. Guess they had lots of spares. You can expect to replace it about every 40 000 miles. The engine is very good actually, I never had much trouble with it other than a head gasket being replaced once. The ABS system failed at around 150000 miles and it was under warranty for life, low cost repair.
Comfortable, easy to drive, looks good. My wife loved it despite problems with the tranny. The engine has been very reliable and performed well. All the other engineering has been very good including the plastic mouldings holding out.
Beef up the tranny, don't carry 7 people in it as rated,
What a great vehicle. I bought in '98 with about 45,000 miles and "commuted" from LA to Vancouver - up to 10 times a year! 2 long days of driving. I am tall, lowered the driver's seat 2 inches, took out the back seats and made a comfortable, almost queen size bed, good for a "micro motor home". Good fuel economy with the 3L engine. The a/c pump is about all I've had trouble with. Engine and tranny are great, after 13 years. Change brakes and tires, oil & tranny fluid - that's it. Thanks, Chrysler, for a great vehicle.
Good fuel economy, Easy to work on, Easy to drive, great vehicle.
hmmm- the 2003 looks like a nice replacement. Not sure about all the power locks and windows tho.