Last post on Oct 26, 2013 at 11:52 AM
You are in the Chrysler/Plymouth Voyager, Dodge Caravan
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Chrysler Voyager, Dodge Caravan, Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Grand Voyager, Van
#1136 of 2391 Fellow 2001 Caravan/Voyager owners
Jun 01, 2001 (8:05 am)
Currently, I am helping my Sister and Brother in law to pick their next new vehicle. I am the family's 'Car Guru' therefore, everyone wants my help when it comes to a new car purchase.
My sister really wants a new mini van this time as their current vehicle, a '99 Honda Accord LX sedan' is getting short in space since my nearly year old Nephew's arrival. The Accord is not a very accomodating vehicle for parents with babies...trunk space is minimal and the car seat literally takes up the rear seat room.
They have budgeted around $20K for a new car and as far as minivans go, the Chrysler products are the lowest priced minivans in the market making them a heck of a value. Most other vans from Toyota, Honda, Ford, Mazda retail at much higher price points. The GM minivans have good powertrains but their safety scores are extremely dissapointed. We had bad experiences with Ford products, so the windstar is out of question. The Toyota and Honda vans are very nice, but very expensive and for what I have been reading here in Town Hall, they do have their share of problems.
This leaves us with the Chrysler Voyager/Dodge Caravan. Last weekend we went to a Chrysler dealer and test drove a 'base' 2001 Voyager with the 2.4L engine and the 3-speed automatic. The van was silver (very beautiful vehicle by the way, not bad looking for a basic version)and had manual cranking windows and a basic AM/FM radio and A/C. Basically this is all they want if the settle for the Voyager.
I drove it myself, I enjoyed the quality of the ride and the general presentation of the cabin. Room and comfort are unbeatable at this price. The steering seemed a bit on the 'Vague' side or too overassisted and the engine while it haul the van, was sluggish off line.
I understand that most Voyager/Caravan buyers opt for the 3.3L V6 but I would like to receive feedback from owners of the 2.4L 4-Cyl engine. Is it a good reliable powerplant? Any known issues with it? The salesperson told me the engine is a Mitsubishi powerplant. Is this the case?
My sister doesn't really care about the extra punch of the V6 and I know she'll be a happy camper with the base engine.
Another area of concern is the 3-speed automatic. Is it more reliable than the infamous Chrysler 4-speed automatic? Alsp, any feedback on this would be appreciated.
We were also waiting for the NHTSA safety test results before making a final decision. By coincedence, these were made public yesterday and while not as good as the competition, I think the vans still feared pretty well.
The $2000 cash rebate or the $1000 rebate and special 5.9% deals are very tempting and hard to pass. These will expire on 7/3/01, so time is of an essence to make a final decision on this purchase.
Overall, we all liked the van, but would like to hear comments from 2.4L Voyager owners that 'Have been there and done that".
Appreciate everyone's input as we are looking to get it this weekend.
#1137 of 2391 Agree with drew and cgaydos
Jun 01, 2001 (8:06 am)
A person can be struck by a careless driver. I completed a defensive driving course years ago and was impressed with the many preventive items that may not be recognized by most people without the benefit of attending an excellent defensive driving course.
For me, a 5 star rating is NOT as important as having comfort items in a 4 star rated vehicle. My insurance company (USAA) gives me a nice discount based on safety RECORD of the Grand Caravan line of quality vehicles. Apparently USAA is more impressed with performance in the real world than the carefully controlled, deliberate crashes which determine the number of stars a vehicle will be awarded for a deliberate crash.
#1138 of 2391 teo: 2.4L 4 cyl vs 3.3L V6
Jun 01, 2001 (8:15 am)
We test drove a Caravan a few years ago with the 2.4L 4 cyl and then drove a Grand Caravan SE with 3.3L V6. I was amazed at how much quieter, smoother riding, etc. the GC with 3.3L was over the 2.4L Caravan.
My sister had an 86 Caravan with a 4 cyl engine 3 speed AT and loved it...except for the lethargic performance. However, she lives at higher altitude (4400 feet elevation) which may have reduced the performance of the engine. The 2001 4 cyl probably has much more power than did the 4 cyl in 1986. They got it used with 11,000 miles and sold it with 170,000 miles and zero problems. The 3rd owner was still enjoying it the last I heard.
However, a Caravan or Voyager with 4 cyl, few options and $2000 cash rebate is an excellent value. A 2001 Odyssey LX at $24,340 MSRP offers many more features....but the $6000 or so dollars less for a Caravan indicates why DC sell so many base Caravan and Voyager.
BTW, we got a loaded 99 GC SE for $4900 off MSRP. At $22,590 our GC SE is a terrific vehicle. By comparison, discounts on Caravan were not very much in March 1999 so the small price difference swayed us to the loaded GC SE.
#1139 of 2391 Carleton Thanks for your Input
Jun 01, 2001 (8:25 am)
The 2001 Caravan/Voyager 2.4L 4-Cyl is rated at around 150HP. It is lethargic off the line but once it moves, it moves. We live in Florida at sea level, so it shouldn't be a problem.
Any Other feedback from current (Or prospective) 2001 Caravan/Voyager oweners with the 2.4L 4-cyl engine?
Jun 01, 2001 (9:00 am)
Regarding reliability, as has been pointed out in various posts in Edmunds, the reliability of the 4-speed auto SEEMS to have been dramatically improved starting in MY 1998. However, prior to that it was generally accepted in the mechanic community that the 3-speed was the way to go if you wanted to avoid transmission trouble.
Regarding the expiring rebate ... don't sweat the deadline. You can count on the incentive being extended, or even sweetened. Recent press articles indicate that slow minivan sales continued through May, so additional incentives are expected.
Don't forget that there is a $500 published factory-to-dealer incentive on these minivans, and there also seem to be unpublished factory-to-dealer incentives as well.
#1141 of 2391 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan AWD ES prices paid
May 31, 2001 (8:38 am)
I'm interested in purchasing this van and was wondering what people were getting for deals out there? - please let me know what options you added and the price you paid out the door.
Also, Has anyone with a 2001 Grand Caravan had any transmission problems? I've read some of the boards on Edmunds regarding the transmission problems in the 2000 and earlier models and was wondering if they've been cleared up. It seems that the tranmissions have gone with as low as 35-40k miles, which is making me a bit weary of buying a Dodge.
May 31, 2001 (9:08 am)
First on the transmission problems, from everything I've seen (usenet, Edmunds' town hall, Consumer Reports reliability data, JD Powers initial quality index, and the statement of mechanic who until recently worked at a Dodge dealership) the transmission was dramatically improved starting the in 1998 model year. It used to be that a percentage of these (about 15%, according to the mechanic) failed in the first 30k miles, and few went beyond 60k without repair. Now the number is less than 1% before 60k, according to the same source. Check out recent discussions in the Chrysler T&C and Dodge Grand Caravan news groups.
As to prices, CarsDirect.com is usually a good starting point. Currently there is a low demand-to-supply ratio on these vehicles, which means unpublished factory-to-dealer incentives. Carsdirect.com's price in Mass. for a base GC ES AWD is $28,314, or about $300 above (the pre-advertising fee) invoice after the $2000 rebate. This should be your worst-case price. If you can find a dealer with lots of ES' in stock you should be able to go $1000 or more under (pre-advertising fee) invoice.
#1144 of 2391 cgaydos - thanks for the info.....
May 31, 2001 (10:16 am)
I was in Orlando at Disney with my family in April and rented a Dodge Grand Caravan. It really knocked my socks off in terms of comfort, feel and handling. I was leaning toward the Honda before this. Aside from the fact that the Dodge Grand Caravan doesn't have the third row fold away seat, I think this car blows the Odessey away. If the transmission issues have been resolved, then the Caravan is my car hands down. Thanks again!
#1145 of 2391 Base Caravan/Voyager Seats
Jun 03, 2001 (7:19 pm)
Recline? Fold Forward? Can't seem to find a base on the lot here. 2.4/3speed would be fine, but I don't want those upright-only seats like I've seen in older base model DC's.