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.
I had a few Dodge cars, all had head gasket problems that I had to pay to fix. For awhile I avoided Dodge. I liked the sport caravan so after talking to a dealer they assured me engine problems were solved. I leased for 3 years to be sure problems were really gone. After lease I purchased. During the lease time the air bag light kept coming on. I took it to the dealer at least 7 or more times for repair. Whatever they did kept the light off for a few days or up to a month. After warranty was over the light came on again. Then I took it to a non dealer repair center. They showed me the problem was the passenger airbag needed replacement They said no way would dealer not know about this.
I have owned two minivans. The first a 96 and now this one. Dodge/Chrysler will never see one penny from me ever again! Both vehicles I owned from them have required repair for items that are clearly a result of poor design. The 96 had the well known transmission problems that so many experienced and now my 02 is having front end problems (sway bar, pwr steering). I can understand that vehicles will have problems. However, why they will never see my money again is that they do not admit to an obvious problem and then stand behind it in terms of repair. It is actually insulting to be treated by a company as if mine is the only one showing these issues yet others share similar stories.
We purchased this car to provide room for our growing family. It was a good price and offered decent features. However, in one year, the car was in the shop three different times to fix problems with sensors and the transmission. It is unreliable and beware the time when your warranty runs out. I'm afraid we will have to dig into our pockets too much before it is paid off. My suggestion, find a minivan that has proven reliability.