Purchased from local dealer with 50k. At this writing (8/11/03) now has 116k Have been happy overall. Some of the reliability issues other raters mentioned have also plagued me on occasion. Luckily, I'm a shade tree mechanic and not scared to tackle the unknown without prints or a tech manual. Have replaced starter, several rotors, brake booster (what a pain!), idler pulley (snapped off while driving), Front and rear AC expansion valve/dryer.Also have intermittent wiper gremlin where pulse wipe quits. Even with all this, my wife loves it and I'd probably get another one if I weren't tiring of the design.
Bought the car in 2005 with 162,000 miles. The van is very powerful, quick, and fuel efficient. The exterior styling is timeless and aggressive, something you don't see in minivans. I have a 3.8 Liter ES. The paint is slowly peeling off on the pillars and the pin striping is coming off. The car rusts very fast everywhere. The stereo buttons are very hard to press, and plastics are coming loose. The ABS stopped working at 169,000, power steering pump leaks a little, and AC has a leak. Year by year there are more leaks and a lot more rust. Gas mileage is excellent for a 3.8 liter engine, average 23 MPG.
It's funny, people have transmission problems because they just drive. You "must" change the transmission fluids at 30,000 miles, just like oil changes at 3000. I've had zero probelms with mine; now at 160,000 miles! It runs and drives like the day it was new, seriously! So if you like roomy, cadillac feel and excellent fuel economy, buy a Caravan. They are a hidden secret most people don't realize how nice they are to drive and haul just about anything around in. I've had passengers say how comfortable the seats are, you can remove the back seats for extra leg room, what more could you ask for. The perfect van for our family has been the Dodge Caravan "We own TWO!!!
We bought the 1996 Grand Caravan 2 years ago. when we bought it, it's only got 65K miles on it. Now it got 81K miles on it. Transmission and water pump failed twice. Electrical problem, make me crazy sometime. We keep losing money for it every for like 11 months. We are afraid to buy a Dodge again.