Anyone have experience with dodge or chysler minivans?

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lexirunner's picture
Joined: 05/10/06
Posts: 460
Anyone have experience with dodge or chysler minivans?

Well... With three kids, it's about that time. I never saw myself driving one around, but right now it's probably all that is going to work for us. SO!

Right now I drive a Ford Escape and we can squeeze all three kids in the back, but it's REALLY tight. My boys tend to be loud and noisy in the car, and I cringe thinking about putting a baby between them. We're on a really limited budget right now for a new car because we just got the Ford last year and owe a LOT more than it's worth. I found two minivans that fall into our price range. Both 2006 with 80,000 miles. One is a Chrysler town and country, and the other is a Dodge Grand Caravan. I know toyota/honda/kia are the desired choices for minivans, but we just can't afford that right now. I'm really only concerned that it will be reliable and safe, which both cars got great safety ratings, but not so great reliability. It only needs to last a couple years. Once I'm done with school and the boys are older, we can upgrade to something newer/nicer.

Does anyone have experience with either of these types of cars and did you love/hate it?

Kayla1981's picture
Joined: 01/04/07
Posts: 1529

My husband has been researching minivan choices (insert my gag reflex here). From his research, he would tell you to go with the Chrysler. We are getting a minivan too but I'll be kicking and screaming all the way to the dealership!

sometimes's picture
Joined: 07/08/08
Posts: 900

I don't own a minivan, YET, but I wanted to say that I always hear once you have one you tend to fall in love with them. I can imagine the extra room is niiiice.

brookie13's picture
Joined: 01/07/08
Posts: 166

I've owned two dodge caravans. A 1998 and a 2006 (which is a grand caravan) I've had the '06 for a year and a half. I traded the 1998 in for it.. There was nothing wrong with the old one, just getting up in kms. I wanted the stow and go seats so we upgraded. I LOVE my van. I'm 26 so I never thought I'd be a mini van mom so young, but in all honesty, I wouldn't trade my van in for the flashiest car.

My dad and uncle are VERY car savvy. My dad will only drive dodge caravans. He just last week traded his 2004 in for a 2010. my uncle owns a used car lot and told me specifically to buy a dodge.
My sister in law just traded her Honda van in for a grand caravan as well. Actually everyone I know that drives a van ( lots in my family/ friends) drives Dodges. My aunt had a Toyota van and had nothing but problems.

To me, the stow and go seats are totally worth it. We bought DS a new bed the other day. Instead of having to remove each seat individually to pick it up, we just took out the kids car seats and folded the seats into the floor. When the seats are up, I keep a change of clothes, grocery bags, a few toys all under in the floor, so my van doesn't look like a disaster zone. The grand caravan has extra trunk space and a few extra features, if you can afford it I'd recommend it.

With this third baby, I plan to have the back row seats up with my two older kids seats back there and the baby in the seat behind the passenger. I will keep the seat behind the driver stowed in the floor so I can climb in and buckle everyone in, sit in there to nurse if out, have room for groceries.. It will provide a ton of room.

I never thought I'd be so excited about having a van, but I just love it

newmommie25's picture
Joined: 09/20/07
Posts: 123

I have the 2010 dodge grand caravan. I really didnt like the wood paneling on the town and country so that made the difference on which one we bought.

My biggest complaint is that there is only 1 latch system in the 3rd row. I was told there were 2 and I should have checked but I didnt and it annoys me. Other than that I love it. Space wise it is awesome. We have the stow and go option so there is extra room there too. I swore I would never drive a minivan because I love my jeep but it is soooo much easier to get the kids in and out of and so much better for trips.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538


We have also been looking at mini vans, and something I have noticed is the number of car seats you can actually get into them. Especially forward facing car seats. The Anchor for the back tether strap is sometimes in an inconvenient spot, and most new ones only have 3, so if all your kids will be in forward facing seats at the same time it is definitely something to consider. For example, the new dodge caravan has anchors for both middle captains chairs, and one in the back, however if you have to climb in to buckle a kid in the back, then you would want to fold one of the front seats forward, but you cant if it has a car seat on it.

Just something to think about Smile

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

We have a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan-- and it has been a reliable, good car for us. We bought it new back in the day and right now it only has about 72K miles on it-- but we've haven't had any big troubles with it.

Though, if you owe a lot on the new car you bought, I'd be inclined to keep it and make it work rather than taking on more debt (but I'm super anti-debt Dave Ramsey kind of nutty....) Perhaps smaller carseats? I just bought a Diono/Radian to make 3 seats fit across the back of our minivan.....

Good luck with your decision. I'm all about used cars!

Lorah's picture
Joined: 11/06/05
Posts: 201

I had a Dodge Caravan for 5 years and we loved it!! We now have a Pontiac. I'm going to get a newer one in a few years. I could imagine not having a van, its roomier and way easier with more kids.