Used 1996 Dodge Caravan Minivan Consumer Reviews
Bought this van new. Pretty much one problem every time we drive it! Great design, but very very poor build quality! So far, the tranny went out at 60,000, A/C at 62,000, coolant multiple times, etc etc. It's been in the shop more than it has been on the road. Would NOT recommend anyone buy this van!!
I was surprised at the number of bad reviews on here. Granted, this vehicle isn't perfect, but it is a tank. My dad hit a deer at 45 mph head on, and she didn't even need repairs. A/C hasn't worked since 2004 and you had to kick under the glove compartment to turn on the heater but it ran. Forever. I bought it with a bad tranny, replaced it, and have needed only oil changes all the way up until her death at 283,841. It might not be the prettiest, sportiest, or most exciting car on the road but it goes. Forever.
Bought for dbl sliding doors and integrated child seats which no other minivan had in 1996. Mechanical features like 3 speed trans, 14" wheels, no std ABS, no power windows except on high end models were below adequate. But, for intended use of kids to school and games <6,000 mi/yr it was doable. Vehicle has been maintenance nightmare: transmission $1,200@ 40K, electrical and engine problems, locks failed, rear door gas struts failed, ... Not only does it need many parts, they are expensive (ex fuel injectors, fuel pump) and this is before they were Mercedes parts. Will never buy another Chrysler no matter how long they increase the warranty.
My uncle loved his 1996 Dodge Caravan and gave it to me when he bought a brand new one the year before last. This minivan has been great. It drives itself and has been as reliable as any older car would be. I regularly got 27 mpg and the seats are really comfortable. This car was old enough to have personality, but if you don't mind windsheild wipers turning themselves on now and again and the loud knocking noise coming from the glove box, then this could be the car for you. Ours, unfortunately, just hit the end of it's road. But while I was reading reviews about new vans, I thought I'd write a good review for our old one.
I bought this van used in 1999 with 108,000 miles on it. It now has 210,000 miles on the same 3.0 V6 engine. It now smoke some at startup (worn valve guide seals) but Maxlife Valvoline oil has stopped that. The engine is from Mistubishi and it is as strong as when I got it. No electrical problems, great exhaust system, suspension is wearing, durable interior and great to drive. Now for the trans and a/c. Tranny was rebuilt at 120,000 miles for $1800. Ask for a upgraded rebuild kit not a factory kit. Worth the money. Torque converter started acting up at 190,000.A/C new compressor installed at purchase. The system needs recharging every year. Invest in own recharge kit (cheap).