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I write on this forum today because I believe it is necessary for the members to hear what I have to say, as well as steer prospective buyers away from this vehicle. Below, I will lay out objective reasons that the Grand Caravan (here forth referred to as “GC” ) is a frankly abhorrent vehicle that shouldn’t have made it past the drawing board.



DESIGN



The GC is poorly designed for many reasons. In particular, the back is horrible to look at and I cringe whenever I have the misfortune of being behind one. The taillights have a strong resemblance to a toothbrush, which makes for a very unattractive look. I've inserted some images at the bottom of the post to show this. The bottom lip of the rear is very low to the ground and makes for a disturbingly unpleasant sight. Further, the GC was one of the only vehicles still produced in 2021 that had antennas. This further goes to show how lazy Dodge and Stellantis were with this vehicle. The newest design is almost 10 years old and looks every bit of it. The fact that they not only allowed this design in the first place, but kept producing it until 2021 is insulting.



POWERTRAIN



The 3.6L V6 Pentastar engine is slow, unreliable (more on this later), and poorly designed. This engine is extremely inefficient. It is also one of the slowest engines in its class. For being so slow and underpowered, it is extremely loud at high RPMs. Good luck getting on the highway with this engine, you’ll be annoying everyone behind and around you attempting to merge and speed up. Further, the engine’s poor torque and horsepower causes it to struggle going up hills. Personally I have been behind many GCs that have gone excruciatingly slow trying to get up hills. This engine also outputs emissions far above standards set in many states. Your choice to drive this vehicle directly impacts the climate disaster plaguing our planet.



RELIABILITY



I shouldn’t even have to say this, but the GC is extremely unreliable. Dodge and Stellantis know this, but continued to sell these vehicles and enjoy revenue from many costly repairs down the line. I won’t go into why it is unreliable, because there are many many reasons for this. If you need proof, simply look around this forum. You will see countless topics telling stories of breakdowns and issues with GCs. For those of you who feel that this is normal, go to the Sienna or Odyssey forums. There are very few issue threads, while this site is mostly threads describing the issues owners are having. On top of this, the DOT has gotten many complaints of fatal frame rusting on relatively new vehicles. Any sensible buyer should realize that while this vehicle may be cheap, it will prove to be a costly investment in the long run.



VALUE



This vehicle is very inexpensive compared to others in its class, but there is a reason for this. Unlike its competitors, it has a terrible reliability track record. Further, the materials it is made from are cheap and sourced from cheap overseas suppliers. Inside the cabin, you will find mostly hard plastics. On the outside, the materials used to construct the frame easily rust. The pillars and panels holding the GC together are prone to cracks and structural wear. In addition, this vehicle has very little features compared to competing vehicles. It has no radar and camera based safety suite. Further, its infotainment system was designed over ten years ago and remains largely unchanged.



I hope that this post will steer prospective buyers away and encourage existing owners to cut their losses and scrap their GC. I know the administrators of these forums may delete this post and ban me, but I will consider this successful if I can prevent the purchase of even one GC.


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The 3.6L V6 Pentastar engine is slow
It is also one of the slowest engines in its class.
dodge: 3.6 L 283 hp Pentastar V6
honda: 3.5 L 280 hp J35Y6 V6
toyota: 2.5 L 186 hp A25A-FXS I4 (up to 243 if equipped with hybrid options)
kia: 3.5 290 hp Smartstream G3.5 GDi V6

looks like kia beat it by 7. that's a shame.
 

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2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
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Slow? 🤔
 
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2015 Town and Country touring
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So take your whining and your money and go buy whatever you decide is so much better then such a clearly inferior product...according to wikipedia:

"Dodge Caravan

Since their introduction in late 1983, over 14.6 million Chrysler minivans have been sold worldwide "

Clearly your on to something. Thanks for the enlightenment.....:rolleyes:
 

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538 RWHP, LS motor, RX7 body
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Lot's of topics posted here in this forum of weaknesses:

  • Brakes too small for longevity, frequent rotor warpage
  • Oil cooler of poor design
  • poorly designed Y- heater pipes
  • Transmission issues
  • Sliding door lock issues
  • Engine Rocker-roller, cam issues
  • Over reaching computer integrated and controlled functions
  • Voltage regulator directed by PCM, with record of fatal failure
  • Fuel pump controlled by TIPM- with record of fatal failure
  • oil pump electronically controlled, rather than simple RPM variable
  • MANY electrical gremlins
  • High target temp thermostat- baseline tuning temp with lower margin for safety
  • History of blown head gasket despite being a normally aspirated street car.
  • Soft cosmetic lug nuts
  • runs too hot in the summer, and too cold in the winter
 

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Sigh... poster seems to be a consumer reports zealot.

Must have rear-ended a slow accelerating GC and saw the tail-lamps up close and if it weren't for rusted out frame would have been severely injured.

Referring to my tagline, they had a bug day....
 

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The average person will go on a forum like this to ask for help when something breaks or is having issue(s), haven't heard of many people going around posting "Hey my caravan's head gasket hasn't failed yet" or "hey my transmission is still going strong". And even for the threads there are like this, I know there will be way more threads about people taking about failures or asking for help then people talking about their vehicles not having issues. With how many of these vans were built and sold, it's no wonder there are countless threads about failures, because there are hundreds of thousands of these vans on the roads, which also means there will be plenty failures.

And at the end of the day, nothing is ever "perfect", not one vehicle on the road is 100% reliable, and no vehicle is going to last forever. Yes, some are built better and will last much longer then others, but as you use things, they wear out, bend, break, rip, are exposed to the outside elements, and everything else you can think of.

On the up side, even if these vans are imperfect which they really are, this community is full of wonderful people like Jeepman, Sieneil, LEVY, and so so many more who want to help and share their knowledge and experience. They don't get paid to do this, they spend their own time and share their experiences and offer solutions to others. When someone makes a thread asking for help, you will almost always get a reply and usually you will get a bunch of replies of people trying to help.

So even if you bought the most unreliable and ugly vehicle in the world to your eyes, this community will have your back and offer you solutions and help you fix your problems.
 

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yeah they have a few issues and a few things could have been done better but I’ve yet to see a perfect van.
Now if SAAB ever made a van…..
No! Bad idea! So glad GM bankrupted them before they could see that. 😝 Saabs are packed way too tightly. Doing a starter on a 9-3 involves stripping much of the front of the car off and takes about an hour with shortcuts. Then imagine how often you'd have to open up those little underpowered turbo engines if you're always hauling a whole family around. Many need rebuilds in the 200k range as it is. Just... no. Saab's wheelhouse was light compact sports cars, not heavy people haulers. One reason why the Trollblazer never took off like GM hoped.
 
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Clearly a troll. 1 post, joined just now and has a username that is very targeted.

About the competition, yes the Sienna is more reliable, but you pay the Toyota tax. They are 3x the price in the same condition. I was able to do more then 20 000km of roadtrips including all expenses (food, attractions, camper conversion, maintenance and more recently completely unnecessary upgrade to improve driver QoL) and I still am not even close to the price of a similarly used Sienna. If that means that I have to change a thermostat or a door actuator here and there, I can do it! I was able to experience so much more with this DGC then if I acquired a much more expensive car and I had no more money for the trips.

Hondas on the other hand have had even worst issues then the Grand Caravan with their transmissions... which is the very reason I stayed away... and they are pricier then the Toyotas!

He has a point in rust. As DGC owners, we have to rustproof the van. If you do that then it doesn't become as big of an issue.
 

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We have a pair of 2015s, a 2016, and a 2018 currently in my family. They're quick, reliable, ride great, handle decent, and get respectable fuel economy.

My 2018 is over 100k currently. It's needed cooler lines and brakes.

One 2015 is over 430k miles. It's needed cooler lines a few times, 5 sets of brakes, a radiator, and a few suspension rebuilds. It's seen tons of SNG driving, heavy loads, and has towed a 3k lb trailer most of it's life.

The other 2015 is over 535k miles. It needed an oil cooler around 70k thanks to a quick lube. Brakes, suspension, cooler lines. It sees hard family use, is driven hard, and still keeps truckin.

The 2016 is over 435k miles. Cooler lines, suspension, brakes, radiator.

Oddly enough, when you take care of them, they have no issue going the long haul. Unfortunately, maintenance is a mind blowing concept to the average owner. Seems like we just found an "average owner".
 

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The OP reminds me of a member, "XXXXInILL" that was stirring things up in December, 2008. Last seen January 11, 2013. A Sienna person, I believe, but sure had a hate on for Chrysler Minivans. Maybe not the same person, but there are always people like that. Guess they never experienced a rusted out Tacoma.

When talking about rust, I was thinking the OP totally overlooked some much worse case scenarios. For example:
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Take your CRV in for an inspection, take a Taxi home. Some vehicles were condemned on the spot and Honda wasn't prepared to fix them. I know of a 2009 CRV that had both Dealership applied rust protection and a Dealership installed electronic corrosion protection system on it. It was inspected and condemned. So much for Dealership applied products generally speaking.

A local Krown shop here is busy corrosion protecting all brands of vehicles, including trucks. In this coastal environment and with winter salted roads, additional corrosion protection is a must, if long term Ownership is anticipated. Otherwise, expect rust concerns somewhere around 5 years of Ownership if used extensively during the winter and left sitting around with salt all over. That occasional drive during a winter rain storm helps get rid of heavy salt build up. Vehicles don't like sitting around unless properly stored.

The taillights on the Grand Caravans (not the Town and Country) were designed by a Dentist, apparently. :) Nicely done, I like the design. A Dentist knows what gets attention, like a good set of shiny white teeth, especially during a smile, brought on by an "off the wall" Post by a Sienna? Owner. :)
 

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I have had my 2019 DGC for almost two months now and just really don’t understand your comments.

Show me a production vehicle from the last 20 years that is not mostly plastic on the inside.

The design,,,I prefer the design of the 5th gens over the Toyota’s or the Honda’s. As for the rear of the van, I like it and I don’t see it much while driving.

Lack of features/options,,,except for wanting to be able to display the trans temp on the dash I am rather pleased how my DGC is equipped. I don’t like the U-Connect because I can do more with my iPhone without it connected. I guess for a person that has to have the latest tech and that has to have their vehicle do the driving and make decisions for them I can see where the DGC’s would not be attractive. Don’t get me wrong, I rented a Toyota Corolla back in the spring and I was rather impressed with the fuel mileage, and I really liked the adaptive cruise control system. Just because my DGC doesn’t have it doesn’t make it an inferior vehicle. Let’s see that Toyota haul 3600 lbs!

Reliability,,,I will keep this simple. Show me a production vehicle that has not had problems. Show me a vehicle that never wears out.

After I purchased my DGC and before I received it I joined this forum and started reading many posts about the problems folks are having with these vans. I almost regretted buying the van but I noticed the mileage when these troubles occurred and also noted the quantity of these vans produced and the quantity of posts on this forum. It appears to be a very small percentage that are having major problems. I could be wrong too,,,

I have a 1997 Jeep Cherokee with 325k miles on it. I had to replace the cylinder head when I bought it four years ago. Everything does not work on the vehicle but it will get me where I want to go. In the end that is all a vehicle needs to do.


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This 🤡 thinks the 3.6 makes the GC feel under-powered? I wonder how he'd feel in my 2005 with the 2.4L. The Pentastar-equipped van is a rocketship in comparison.
thought the same, just the 3.3 in mine feels fine for a minivan, and it's way way under the 3.6

i do think we'll all have to be moving to the new kia van, though, can't argue with that extra 7 horsepower :)
 

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... i do think we'll all have to be moving to the new kia van, though, can't argue with that extra 7 horsepower :)
Or tune the 3.6 on the cheap and gain 30+.

 

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thought the same, just the 3.3 in mine feels fine for a minivan, and it's way way under the 3.6

i do think we'll all have to be moving to the new kia van, though, can't argue with that extra 7 horsepower :)
I mean some simple porting and a CAI easily make up that difference...... My 2018 runs 0-60 in under 6.5 seconds after those 2 simple mods, easily beating out the Kia by a full 1.2 seconds.
 
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