2006 Dodge Grand Caravan SE 4dr Ext Minivan (3.3L 6cyl 4A)
The seats are positioned to view the road easily. The seat sits upright, which helps me keep alert and on task. This vehicle is easy to enter and exit, which is my daily favorite thing about owning these vans. Even though the kids are gone, all ten, I still love it's versatility. I haul almost anything, inside or on top. I enjoy road trips, very similar to my college days, only with an air mattress in the rear. It towed my tent trailer for camping, and my utility trailer for neighborhood garbage runs and home improvement projects. It's a joy to pick up friends for church activities, take neighbors to senior events or grocery shopping. These Vans were made for me to share!
I grew up on MoPar station wagons of the ‘50s & ‘60s and bought of the very first Grand Voyagers in ‘87; put 100k on that one and got a ‘91 and put over 100k on it. Had some tranny work under warranty on both but loved ‘em. I bought this well-kept 2006 EXT in July 2015 with 110k on it after I’d put 250k on a Chevy Venture and am now approaching 150k. I’ve had the following Annoyances: both sliding door locks failed within a week of each other. I replaced them myself for $35 each by watching YouTube videos. Rear lift gate struts weak when cold; cheap to replace and easy install. Front sway bar bushings worn out; $15 Moogs which I’ll install someday. Very noisy power steering pump after running at speed for more than 15 minutes; I’ve expected it to fail for the last 15-20k but it just keeps whining along. The a/c compressor is also getting noisy. Each will be shop-replaced when it finally fails. For a US-built minivan, I don’t consider this abnormal; all my other vehicles are Toyotas so I know the tradeoffs. The underlying design and performance of the MoPar minivans is as good or better than Honda’s and Toyota’s versions and of course these MoPars depreciate much faster, making them much cheaper to buy used. I’m an educated consumer who helped a used car dealer evaluate and buy hundreds of cars at wholesale after I retired from practicing law. The reputation of MoPar minivans among used car dealer professionals isn’t bad, though they do build some bad ones. I treat mine as my covered pickup truck and jack of all trades and likely will run it another 100k. A friend who does not keep her cars very well has one of these with 260k on its original powertrain and counting. Oddly enough given all the hooha over these trannies, most all of the dozens and dozens I drove in my used car days were like butttaah. Honda’s minivan trannies were viewed as worrisome by the wholesale buyers once over about 120k, FWIW.
This is our third Dodge/Chrysler minivan (over a 23 year span) and this one will always be my favorite. It's a shame they don't make 'em like this anymore. The seats are super comfortable. The Stow & Go seating is amazing. The sound system is high quality and better than some of the newer vehicles. We've moved our oldest kids in and out of college hauling everything in the minivan (without ever having to rent a uhaul). We've traveled ( 5 people) all across the country comfortably with plenty of room for luggage, water skis - you name it. We've hauled washers & dryers, furniture, etc. One of the few issues we've had is with the automatic doors - we've had to have them repaired twice when the lock buttons were stuck (had the actuators were replaced). Other than the replacing the actuators, the maintenance & repairs costs were lower than average. It will be sad day when it's time to part with my van.
I bought my caravan 4 years ago with 116k miles , only replaced a strut , an alternator brakes and tires. Still runs like new , cold a/c and seems It will pass the 300k mile mark easy. I am the second owner , parts are cheap , I work at LKQ , a low mile engine cost about $650 a tranny $350.00 , I seen other ford , Nissan , Toyota and chevy minivans give up with a lot less miles than mine, The vast majority of caravans that we have in our yards are because they are totaled in a major wreck. The other brands land here because they break down and parts are very expensive.