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It is intended as an inexpensive people mover ... not a stylish car like a 'vette! You want style, you pay for it.

I was coming up the road today and had a Toyota pickup on my tail ... stylish but downright ugly with about 20 led headlights staring at my rearview mirror. Quite dazzling. The tailgate does a job ... it keeps stuff in the back! The current version of the GC has a much more functional tailgate than say Gen 3 which was more sloped.

The engine has enough power and speed that I could, if I so desired, leave a lot of cars standing at traffic lights. The torque in 1st gear is a little high so I can spin the wheels from a standstill! It does 100kph without complaints on the highway.

Design issues that are more significant ... stow away seats are potential knuckle busters trying to get them up and down. A nuisance. The spare tire ... awkward, but how often do you need it. Turning circle is a little long making it more difficult to get in and out of tight parking rows. Single stalk controls ... As used by many cars ... a nuisance trying to figure out what to turn/push to do the appropriate window wipers/washers! Car electronics menus etc are not as straight forward as maybe they could be. My DGC is mostly softer plastics interior. But it's not being pretentious to make it seem like leather!

Reliability ... I'm on my second brake job in 2 years ... because mine sits outside in the winter and with covid hasn't had many miles, so the discs had rust patches and I replaced them with inferior quality discs the first time. Yes, there are things I don't like ... the turning circle is a little larger than I'd prefer. The hideaway seats are a pain but they do a job.

I also have, in England, a Mazda Bongo (aka Ford Freda) ... now you want a rust bucket ? But people spend a lot of money to repair sills and arches on these because the vehicle is practical. Rust is a problem with all cars, but looking after them is critical whether it's a quality car or a cheap car. It's a crap shoot. I have a 3rd gen DGC which was great until rust took over in some parts .... like the front strut towers and the back part of the sills. My 2017 is in much better shape. I had a ScubyDoo Forester which was great for about 5 years and then rust broke loose and overtook the car.

The questions are "Does the car meet your needs?" and "Can you afford it for its predicted lifespan?"

The DGC meets my needs ... I needed a people and personal stuff hauler that was comfortable to drive. In the 5 years I've owned it (bought at 1 year old) it has done an admirable job. It has cost me remarkably little, and no more than any other more "higher quality" cars I've owned.

The first Hyundai and Kia cars I saw were both in the care of tow trucks!
 

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For me and my 2017 DGC (with very basic options):

DESIGN: I like its design / shape. If I wanted an SUV face, I'd buy the Kia van. They have the ugly SUV grill.

POWERTRAIN: The 3.6L V6 Pentastar engine gets the job done. Being a van, I don't expect it to be a V8 power house or a zip zip sports car. Instead of 6 speed auto tranny, wish my year had the 8 speed tranny. Hoping future transmissions are better, Especially for towing and forcing it to tow in the Lower Speed gear. Forcing engine higher RPMs is always best for towing.

RELIABILITY: My 2017 van only needed 1 x rear brake caliper replacement and its plastic oil assembly replacement. Currently have the Dorman Oil assembly and it should work great for many future years. My van got a flat tire last spring but that could happen to any vehicle.

VALUE: This vehicle is very inexpensive compared to others in its class, This is a good thing... To keep buying costs lower, I purposely bought a SXT model without power sliding doors, without backup camera, without DVD player. We purposely picked our van with fold down seats, PW, PL,PS,PB, no rear heater and with tinted widows. Keep it simple and it keeps it buying costs lower. smile.

Tail lights being like a tooth brush shape? Possibly. But I like their shape. They work and being LED, they are better than halogen bulbs. Radio being poor quality? Not too sure. Radio / CD Player is the lowest priority on my list. I often drive hours and hours without sound pollution. And I don't use its U-Connect / Cell phone feature either.

Rust? My 2017 DGC has NO rust. Especially rust at that depth. What year of van was that taken from?

Yes. My DGC is NOT perfect. Since buying, I had to upgrade its rear suspension (with Timbren SES with 1/2" spacer), installed D-Rings on its inner rear hatch door and "manual spliced in" a brake controller (for towing loaded trailers over 2,000 lbs). Since many folks tow with these vans, you'd think the factory would have an integrated Brake Controller system. After owning 5 different vans, my 2017 DGC SXT has the best match for my needs. If it came in AWD version, I'd buy another future replacement - without hesitation. Especially for my unique needs.... Wish it had a better transmission (for higher weight load towing demands) as well.

As you can tell, I never regretted buying our 2017 DCG way back in fall 2017. Just wish it had a few more factory inclusions - like rear hatch inner door D-Rings, stronger rear suspension (without their expensive towing shocks), integrated brake controller wiring and better/stronger transmission. And, wish it came in AWD version as well. Especially for winter months and steep boat ramps...
 

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I got a good chuckle out of this one right from the beginning (especially love anything in paratheses).

I do agree about the antenna, very outdated.

But I disagree about the performance. I have not ever been outrun by another minivan. I routinely get on I5 in Downtown Seattle and really nail it, and pass everyone in sight. I have to go from 0mph and get on the entrance ramp and cross 5 lanes of traffic to make the next exit which is in the fast lane. And, I do it with ease.

One of my other cars is a 1997 Ford Thunderbird Sport; See here: @ Rainy day . While I am not saying my van is as fast as that, it does move. Surprisingly well too. Only mod I have on the van is a K&N filter.

As far as the aesthetics are concerned, that is obviously subjective. The "toothbrush" taillights look fine to me.
 

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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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I wish I had seen this post before I bought mine,it's impossible to get some part from the dealer like2006 radiator supports,you can get a chevy or toyota part that's 20 to 30 years old I know had 1989 g20& 1994 toyota
 

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I was coming up the road today and had a Toyota pickup on my tail ... stylish but downright ugly with about 20 led headlights staring at my rearview mirror. Quite dazzling.
So, that's what was behind me a few nights back. Totally awful, distracting, looked like someone's face or a Halloween jack-o-lantern. :)

I do agree about the antenna, very outdated.
I don't even notice it. All the distractions on the dash get more of my attention, but that distracting, accident unavoidance busyness, is considered "up to date". :)

Tail lights being like a tooth brush shape? Possibly. But I like their shape.
Rust? My 2017 DGC has NO rust. Especially rust at that depth. What year of van was that taken from?
Those are nice tail lights, better than what's on the T&C, IMO.
I think that was a picture of a Sienna. :) One doesn't see many older Sienna and Odyssey vans on the roads here. Where have all those flowers gone*? Gone to junk yards everyone.

Imports rule here, so why is Dodge Grand Caravan among South Florida's longest-owned vehicles?

Everybody has an opinion.

Relaxing: *Where Have All the Flowers Gone
 
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I wish I had seen this post before I bought mine,it's impossible to get some part from the dealer like2006 radiator supports,you can get a chevy or toyota part that's 20 to 30 years old I know had 1989 g20& 1994 toyota
Sure, you can get a bumper for an '06 GM. Try to get Atlas (4.2/3.5L) timing parts from them. Not going to happen. They discontinued all production of engine parts that have not had an application leave the factory in 5 years. I'd much rather have stuff from a company that I can buy engine parts from than one I can only get body panels from. I guess it's rather fitting that I've always said "Chevy makes some pretty pieces of crap."
 
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To the OP, you hit every nail on the head, cheap transportation, yes they got flaws but they also made millions o them and they are everywhere.

For me the T&C is an absolute stellar value for what you get when you buy them used. Particularly the limited models with real napa leather, all sorts of electronic featuers, and at prices that you blow you away. I paid 8500$ for mine with 135k miles, rust free car, I absolutely love it. Likewise a similar car from say Honda would have cost me about 20-25k and I will likely still be throwing money at it because lets face it after 100k things need to be changed. Not a bad car, and for the price I can overlook all of its flaws.
 

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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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View attachment 68662
Gee, I'd better get rid of my 192,000 mile GC that hasn't rusted yet and still has a running motor.. Dagnabbed thing refuses to burn oil like it should and will only lay a strip of rubber for 50 ft. It's not costing me enough on maintenance either. Haven't had to spend $2000 to replace timing belts like on a Honda or replace front end parts like on a Toyota; stupid brakes went 185,000 miles before wearing out. Tires get 65,000 miles despite never having had a wheel alignment, and that's extremely disturbing to me. This darn thing just refuses to live up to expectations.
Can you please direct me to a van that will be a little less dependable? I'm bored with this GC.
 

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The OP joined November 14th and was last seen on November 14th. Is that a hit-and-run? :)
 

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I finally read the post and I thought that most of it was about how the van looks. That’s not a valid reason to tell people not to buy one. The van I have has been reliable. We had a few issues, but not enough to call it unreliable. It’s also quite fast. The lights on the back are fine, but I don’t like the brake lights visibility from the side. I often wonder if the one time I got rear ended was due to that reason. I sometimes wish we had bought the Town and Country because the turn signal lights are separate from the brake lights. That wasn’t a bit enough reason to not buy the Caravan though. The original post just fails to give any good reasons to not buy one.
 

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So, in your perfect world what do you own GCEnlightenment ? We had (3) Ford E-series, (6) GMC Safari's and (4) Dodge B vans.
Fords had 200-300k miles, one (me) owner vans not great on gas mileage. In short, all one owner vans no major issues. But for the 1997 GM, transmission at 43k needed replacement...
Far as our DGC no issues but the paint defects from corrosion on aluminum hoods. To be fair Ford has same issues too.
 

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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".
It is not. They are being told at point-of-sale they don't have to maintain them beyond oil changes. I'm not an original owner so not in a position to make legal issue, but I would chuckle to hear about Chrysler getting sued for deceiving owners about the proper care of their vehicle.
 

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Generally the care required is more than most people do, like check this, check that per oil change or every so many months per the Owner's Manual.

Some service intervals are debatable as to "normal" vs "severe".

Some are shorter than they need be based on engine hours rather than miles.

Some are longer than several are comfortable with like lifetime transmission fluid.
 

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It always amuses me when people are so presumptuous. If I bought a vehicle for looks I don’t know that I would buy any minivan. When I bought my first grand Caravan, I was only looking at Japanese imports and was grossly unimpressed with the value. For the price, I spent nearly half what I would have spent on a Toyota with nearly twice the mileage. in my search however, I realized how much more comfortable the grand Caravan is for folks with long legs, like myself… Where I was physically incapable of sitting in the Honda.

I will confess, the Korean imports are not even on my radar…but that’s a personal choice.

One thing I have come to love about grand caravans, in general, is their parts availability. The design has been minimally changed in the last decade plus. As a person who is not well studied on newer, technology vehicles, but has a handful of tools. I am also very thankful for the cornucopia of YouTube University videos.
 

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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.

DESIGN

... Further, the GC was one of the only vehicles still produced in 2021 that had antennas.
HURRAY ! It has a REAL antenna. Those with a Ham radio license can swap out the AM/FM antenna for a nice 2M or 10M whip antenna type and be stealth-like. Ever see some other Ham radio owner vehicles looking like porcupines? This helps negate that look.

Keeping the AM/FM antenna is a huge plus. A person has the ability to add a signal booster to it as well. Any of the major truck travel centers offers these boosters.

Having a 4th gen van with the AM/FM antenna whip has options. Seeing it in later generations keeps the hopes up when upgrading to a newer model.
 
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Add this to the picky list:
Very picky about oil filter being perfect -- put in an oil filter that has a O-ring being slightly off, or filter media too tight, and you get potential oiling problems.
 

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Generally the care required is more than most people do, like check this, check that per oil change or every so many months per the Owner's Manual.

Some service intervals are debatable as to "normal" vs "severe".

Some are shorter than they need be based on engine hours rather than miles.

Some are longer than several are comfortable with like lifetime transmission fluid.
Lifetime transmission fluid doesn't exist (unless your definition of "lifetime" is 130k miles)
 

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Add this to the picky list:
Very picky about oil filter being perfect -- put in an oil filter that has a O-ring being slightly off, or filter media too tight, and you get potential oiling problems.
Can't see those problems with my 2016 3.6L housing / cover.

The O ring is to be lubricated and placed in its proper groove. Can't get much simpler than that. Lubricating the top and bottom of the filter (contact areas) won't hurt either.

The body of the filter can vary 1/16"+/- in length which is compensated for by the compressible retainer spring in the cover. Diameter shouldn't be a problem because there are sufficient clearances there. Some filters have a core that rotates within the filter body. If concerned, go with one of those filters.

Have you experienced those problems or where did you see them talked about? I would like to know more.
 

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Can't see those problems with my 2016 3.6L housing / cover.

The O ring is to be lubricated and placed in its proper groove. Can't get much simpler than that. Lubricating the top and bottom of the filter (contact areas) won't hurt either.

The body of the filter can vary 1/16"+/- in length which is compensated for by the compressible retainer spring in the cover. Diameter shouldn't be a problem because there are sufficient clearances there. Some filters have a core that rotates within the filter body. If concerned, go with one of those filters.

Have you experienced those problems or where did you see them talked about? I would like to know more.
P06DD - What to do next? The o-ring on the nipple, not the housing cap.

Seems there are lot's of reported issues with CEL codes caused by whether the oil filter was OE or not. Granted there are 2 major styles of oil cooler (pre and post 2014), and the confusion of the similar but different looking filters.
 
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