If you don't take care of your Dodge eC Caravan you may not have the luck I've had, but for the money I spent this is my best car in 52 years of driving. I bought the van new on December 31, 2001, for $16,600 (if I remember correctly). The Dodge new-car discount/rebate of about $600 did not apply, but in almost 16 years with it I've probably saved $2000 in gasoline at 28-32 highway-miles per gallon over what I would have spent on a 6-cylinder model. I use it only for vacation and business trips, sleeping in the back of the van with the seats removed, and I've probably also saved close to $20,000 on motels. I regret not having cruise control, but in the eastern U.S. cruise is not as efficient as it used to be because there is so much traffic. Until ethanol became ubiquitous in gasoline I was consistently getting 31 to 32 mpg, but with ethanol that drops to 28 most of the time (a 16-percent drop in fuel efficiency for a 10-percent infusion of corn liquor--not the most environmentally sound decision, and decidedly counter-productive in the quest for energy independence). On the rare occasions when I've run through a tank of gas in local traffic the mileage has been about 23 to 24 mpg. I've followed the maintenance manual religiously, changing the oil every 4000 miles until I switched to synthetic, and now I let it go 6000, but I've had no emergency repairs to make. Because I let it sit through the winter I had a problem with mice hibernating in the ventilation system, but that's no fault of the car. The only other trouble I ever had was getting the steering wheel to unlock when I parked on a precipitous hill, but with a little manhandling I was able to get it to release enough to pull into drive and go on my way. I have no rust issues because I never drive it in the winter, save for one 600-mile trek through a freak October snowstorm. Despite having only summer tires (albeit brand-new ones) I plugged right along with my front-wheel drive through that heavy, wet snowfall while trailer trucks and SUVs were off the road on both sides. Speaking of tires, I'm only on my second set, and as of today (September 13, 2017) the van has 126,000 miles on it. Next week it goes in to get the timing belt replaced: I wasn't sure until calling my mechanic today that it had a timing belt instead of a timing chain, and I don't think the manual mentioned that; at least the maintenance schedule didn't say anything about it. I've babied the van from Day One, and no children have been allowed to trash it, or abuse the doors, so perhaps your experience may vary, but as for me I regret that there is no new eC model available to replace this one when (and if) it dies.
Now, September 15, 2018, my wife has just taken over the 2002, which now has 132,660 miles on it. The check-engine light came on days after she took it over, late last month, probably to signal that the catalytic converter needs changing, but we haven't had it diagnosed. That happened once before, when mice chewed a hole in a little hose somewhere in the emissions system.
Meanwhile, I have bought a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan to replace my 2002. If Dodge had continued making the 4-cylinder EC Model I would have bought a new one of those, but I'm reluctantly giving the 6-cylinder model a try. I have yet to drive more than 12 miles at a time with it, but if the gas mileage dissatisfies me, I'll go elsewhere.
My family has had the 2002 dodge caravan since 2004 and its been the best car we've had. It is so safe and thats what Ive loved!! its been in a car accident with the front all dented in, its been hit by the side and had 2 deer hit it and its still kickin'
You will never find a more safe and reliable car in my book. I have over 225,000 miles on it and it still runs and drives great Too!!
Bought used with 50k miles. good fuel economy, few repairs, just the usual minor repairs. except trans. rebuild. have owned a 92, 96, 02, 04 and 06 caravan. so far, the three old ones all needed trans. repair 70k-100k. but considering other costs are very reasonable, not a big problem. since i paid just $6200 for this van and have put 40k miles on it, it's been a dream. good ride. seats could be a bit more supportive. have a 06 caravan too. it has too firm a ride, but does have more supportive seats. i am a big caravan fan. my old 96 had a four cyl 2.4 L would get 20-21 mpg in town but be prepared. caravan are cheap to buy, cheap to maintain. but they will need transmission repairs.
ride, nice view of the road, plenty of room. dependable
dodge, can you build a van that does not need a trans. repair?
I bought the van with 130000 miles on. Had to replace AC compressor, fix a electric window motor and buy the missing middle seat. Put on big tires to bring it off the ground. We took it on several long distance camping trips. Love the smooth ride. Fuel economy is not too bad on long distances, depending on driving style. Cruise control useless in higher altitudes (we live in CO). Small transmission fluid leak. No engine problems whatsoever. We also own a 95 Plymouth van in Europe which comes with a 4cyl. turbo diesel engine. Wish I could have that engine in it! Powerful and very economic (up to 30 miles)
Smooth quiet ride, Sound system, Can get parts everywhere in the country.