Last post on Nov 16, 2010 at 5:38 PM
You are in the Chrysler Town & Country/Dodge Grand Caravan
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Chrysler Town and Country, Van
#1568 of 2160 Why is Chrysler abandoning the large share of its customer base?
Oct 03, 2003 (12:43 am)
My son has a nice 2002 Grand Caravan Sport with more nice features than can be had with a Honda Odyssey. Since he got it used, he paid MUCH less than did his brother for his 2001 Odyssey EX even though the Grand Caravan Sport has many more nice items than does the Odyssey. The ONLY advantage I see with the Odyssey is the Magic Seat which is of little value to either as they each have 3 children.
For 2004, there is only the base Grand Caravan SE, the Grand Caravan EX, and the expensive Grand Caravan SXT. The GC SE can not be purchased with many of the nice features of my son's GC Sport and the GC EX has a very limited number of options. The GC Sport was by far the most popular Grand Caravan model.
Chrysler has a similar situation but with a few more choices. Why did DC drop the GC Sport, GC EL, GC ES and the T&C EL and LXi?
Chrysler shot themselves in the foot when they dropped the Plymouth name and watered down the prestige of the Chrysler Town & Country by placing Town & Country on the old Plymouth Grand Voyager line. The T&C LX, EL, and EX are too plain for Chrysler to maintain the perception in customer's minds that "Town & Country" is a prestigious minivan.
That move also hurt Chrysler's image when the Pacifica was introduced as an alternative to Lexus and Acura SUVs. Chrysler is no longer considered to be an upscale brand.
Oct 03, 2003 (6:28 am)
As a current Expy owner (98 XLT) I can tell you that I wouldn't spend the money on the Lincoln Navigator. It's merely the difference between buying a "brand name" denim jean and a "generic". You get captain's chairs in the second row with the Navigator but so what? I think that's a detractor if your family is 5 or more or if you like sticking 5 people in your vehicle. So unless you are that enamored by some crome stripping and the Lincoln name stigma, I'd go with a stock XLT or Eddie Bauer.
If I wanted a really nice Expy, I'd go for the Eddie Bauer Edition with the fold down power third seat. Lots of used ones exist and dealers seem to be willing to go down a bit more on the MSRP because "it's not a Lincoln" (rolls eyes).
Also as far as the crash worthiness of the Expy/Navigator, I'm sure it's great but don't fool yourself into thinking that weight alone will save you. It's fine if you hit a Neon, but it works against you when you hit a brickwall. The F-150 is a good example. It has a great front and side impact rating, but only gets a marginal/poor offset crash rating. It put me off in buying it because of that.
Overall, we are very pleased with the Expy we have and expect it to go another two years.
Oct 03, 2003 (7:00 am)
Thanks for the input. We do need the Captain's chairs in the second row so that we can put 2 car seats in the second row and still allow for easy access to the back row for our 3rd child. We did test drive the Expy Eddie Bauer but my wife (whose car this will be) didn't like the intererior anywhere near as much as the Navigator - I liked it. She likes the extra bells, whistles and refinement. She would rather drive a luxury sedan (as would/do I) but can't because of the size of our family. She doesn't particualy like Big SUVs and pretty much hates minivans.
Oct 03, 2003 (7:08 am)
Yes, I understand that mom gets what mom wants jimbo. Same reason I can't talk my wife into a minivan - lol. Good luck with your purchase, let us know how it goes.
#1572 of 2160 Platinum Vans
Oct 03, 2003 (7:22 am)
"Limited I know adds the following over the Platinum:
Limited though has an optional DVD player in place of the standard one on the Platinum."
The only thing on the list I haven't seen in a Platinum series is AWD, suede accents, heated front leather seats and possibly digital rear climate control and drivers memory seat/power passenger seat.
Also what do you mean by "optional" DVD player vs. "standard" on the Platinum? Is it a different brand name - say Sony vs. Delphi or whatever? I was not aware that a different DVD player was available.
#1573 of 2160 Re: Platinum Vans
Oct 03, 2003 (8:12 am)
On the Platinum series, the DVD player is standard equipment where it's an $850 option on the Limited. Although, the Limited has the DVD navigation system standard, which would normally be a $2000 option.
In my area, they advertise "$10,000 off any LTD in stock!" about every week in the paper.
For me, I couldn't live without the memory seating, heated seats, or settle for manual climate control on a $37,000 van (i.e. Platinum series)
It's all in what you value. I've had automatic lights, memory seating, climate control, etc. on my previous cars, so now I'd never drop down unless money became an issue.
Although for me this is all a moot point since my wife now drives an Acura MDX, but I can't ignore 15 years of owning Chrysler minivans and not being able to say I like to keep up on them!
By the way, can someone tell Acura to add load-leveling suspension like on my old T&C? The navigation back-up camera is cool, but it would also be cool to not be weighted down in back when I have full loads.
#1574 of 2160 Help With AC Vents
Oct 03, 2003 (5:57 pm)
On my 2003 TC ex, the air blowing out of the three AC center vents on the dash I have noticed that very little air blows out of the center vent and most of the air blows out of the two vents on each side of the center one. Has anyone have this problem or is this normal?
Oct 06, 2003 (5:28 am)
It's like that on mine as well. I guess it's normal.
#1576 of 2160 2003 one year aniversary!
Oct 07, 2003 (5:52 pm)
Here is the 1 year update for our Silver 2003 T&C EX. We have over 16000 miles on the van - mostly city and a few medium road trips (less than 500 mi one way).
Reliability is perfect - read no problemos. We are very picky people and technically can pick out problems. There are none due to DCX engineering.
I have personally changed the oil/filter myself (don't trust the quicky places) every 4000-5000 miles.
I have only had to fill up the tires once - for whatever that's worth.
Gas Mileage: per onboard computer - 19 MPG city 23.5 MPG HWY
Likes: Still glad we opted for the 3.8 L engine. The EX fits all of our needs although the LTD's look better. Favorite features are the sliding powered doors. And I actually like the split rear bench. I feel that the foot room and quality of the third row seating is more important than a disappearing seat. Torquey, nimble and solid around town and on the highway. Quiet engine and tranny with seemless shifting. Nice stereo sound and comfy seats and ergo. Excellent brakes. Kid's love this way more than our old SUV.
Dislikes: Time for a 5 speed tranny DCX. Highway high speed accelleration/gearing (above 60+ mph) not up to my standards. Power is there - just not getting to the wheels efficiently.
Notes: I take issue with the $$$ UAW worker(s) who can't seem to completly push in/seat the fake wood facia to the center console, can't fully snap in the black plastic cable gaurd in the sliding door, and can't seem to fully screw in almost all of the door latching/guides on passenger side doors of the van. Some day I want to get reimbursed for the Torx set I had to buy. I also want to gripe again that DCX downfeatured the defrost wiper blades and removed switch LEDs from the 2003 model which is cheesy lame.
Would we buy this again? Yes. My wife loves it and it is her van.
Other cars we have owned all driven from new to to 90K+ mi:
Honda Civic, Honda Prelude, Acura Legend, Jeep "heap" Grand Cherokee
#1577 of 2160 hansienna At msg#1552.
Oct 08, 2003 (3:17 pm)
At that message, you have written that $5000 difference between Sienna LE and T&C EX. I hope you can give us more detailed info and tell us how you get that data. At current, I can get 2004 Sienna LE with package 7 at $26500 before tax, do you really can get T&C EX with CGS option at $21500 before tax? Or you just follows another resource but never check whether it is TRUE?