I'm amazed the media, Edmund's included, doesn't rate this vehicle higher in its class. I reviewed minivans extensively when I found out that my wife was pregnant with our third child. After reading a few website reviews I was strongly leaning to Toy/Honda. Claimed reliability issues, build quality and a "warped bumper cover" had me running scared from the Dodge/Chrysler. I tested the Toy & Honda units & was not impressed. Then I rented a T&C for a weekend road trip. I was entirely impressed. I don't know why this product line gets the bad rap it does. Stow & Go alone sold me on the Dodge. I see Dodge units with over 200k miles all the time. Drive one before you buy a Toy or Honda.
The rear brakes on my 2010 Caravan do not release properly and the brakes wear down in less than 25,000 miles. It is in need of a second set of rotors, pads, and calipers on the rear AGAIN. Looking online, I find this a very common problem...I think because of the poor design. On almost all cars, the braking force goes 70% to the front, 30% to the rear. The 2010 Caravan is designed for 50/50 braking and that seems to be too much to the rear brakes. In addition, the rear calipers do not seem to release fully when the brakes are let off. Chrysler really needs to address this problem since it is causing premature brake failure.
Currently, there is a recall on 2008-2010 Dodge Grand Caravans. There is a problem with the Wireless Ignition Node, which can cause the key to shift from the on to accessory position and cause the engine and vehicle to lose power - thus increasing the likelihood of a crash. Unless this recall has been fixed, this van is not safe to drive. Right now the replacement parts are backordered, with a minimum wait time of 4 months. So if you are shopping in the used car market, make sure this recall has been fixed before you purchase. Dealerships DO NOT check to see if this recall has been fixed. Check specific VIN numbers at www.safercar.gov. I hope this saves someone the headache we are now suffering :( Besides the ignition being unsafe, we have enjoyed this van. It's very comfortable and roomy; it drives nice. My low rating is due to the recall and lack of parts to fix it.
After 1 year of driving 09' Dodge Grand Caravan SE, I was ready to move up to SXT trim. Base engine was too weak and 4-speed AT just couldn't get into right gear, especially at low speeds. This probably contributed to higher than expected fuel consumption as most of my driving is in the city. If you need to get from point A to point B, then base engine will do. But, if you are a spirited driver like me, skip all the engine choices and just go with 4.0L. You will not regret it. Let me tell you: this car drives completely differently. The car accelerates effortlessly. Yes, upgrade to SXT trim will cost you more but with current incentives, the '10 SXT costs less than what I paid for '09 SE.
We're a growing family, and with another kid on the way decided it was time for us to pick up a minivan. Initially, we set out to buy a Toyota Sienna because of Toyota's reputation. But, we came off feeling a little disappointed with the entry-level Sienna: the interior was very lackluster, you have to upgrade to even get "stain resistant" seats, and the versatility of the interior wasn't what we expected. On a whim, we pulled into the Dodge dealership after a day of test-driving Siennas and a pre-owned Honda Odyssey. We were pleasantly surprised. To us, the entry Caravan's beat the Siennas. Opt for at least the 3.8 V6 though. We bought one and after 2 months are super- pleased w/it.