2001-07 Chrysler Voyager, Dodge Caravan, and Chrysler Town & Country
2002 Dodge Grand Caravan review with all wheel drive
Features of the 2001 Chrysler minivans
- Drastic increases in power of V-6 engines
- Powered tailgate
- Removable centre console with power outlet
- Powered, dual sliding side doors, featuring an industry-first, inside-the-door motor
- Industry-first power sliding door obstacle detection system when opening and closing
- Three-zone automatic temperature control system
- Powerful, new 104kW (140 bhp) 2.5-litre common rail, direct injection turbo diesel engine. (104 kW @ 4,000 rpm / 312 Nm @ 1,800 rpm)
- Side air bags
- Front seat belt pretensioners
- Universal child seat anchors (ISOFIX)
- Quad head lamps incorporated in distinctive Chrysler front-end style
Unfortunately, Chrysler engineers were raided by a small team of overzealous cost-cutters. Some cuts, which may only apply to lower trim levels, included switch backlighting, the left flood interior light on the tailgate door, and the intensely useful windshield de-icers.
Models: Chrysler Voyager, Dodge Caravan, Town & Country
With what may be the only four cylinder minivan in the United States, they started at 2.4 liters, and finished with the 230 hp 3.5 V6, with two other engines (3.3 and 3.8) between. The Mitsubishi 3.0 V6 was finally dropped. (Dimensions and more details on the engines).
As in the past, there were two basic models - standard and extended wheelbase - with both front wheel drive and all wheel drive options. Since Chrysler no longer aspired to be a near-luxury brand, the Town & Country was no longer a premium model; a new Limited version had the “luxury” features. The Dodge Caravan included SE, Sport, and ES models. The ES included an AutoStick overridable automatic transmission.
2001 Dodge and Chrysler minivan safety
Some of the safety improvements included:
- A body structure upgraded to enhance real world safety performance
- Optional side (head and thorax) air bags provided side-impact protection for the driver and front seat passenger. Side air bags featured "blow through" seams.
- Air bags with dual stage inflators which provided appropriate restraint from the severity of an impact, reducing the potential for injury in a low-speed collision
- A redesigned steering column, with a stamped steel bracket at the forward end of the column, which absorbed and managed energy from an impact
- Front seat belt pretensioners that eliminated slack from the seat belt system in a collision and constant force retractors which managed peak loads
- A-, B-, C- and D-pillar covers molded from a derivative of polypropylene that deforms and absorbs loads on impact. Covers were offset from the body structure and included concealed ribs for energy absorption
- Molded, impact-absorbing polyurethane foam bonded to the headliner and roof side rails for additional protection
- Energy-absorbing front door armrests tuned to "give" in a side-impact collision
- Child seat anchors - much better than the seat belts for holding a child seat
Driving Improvements for the 2001 Chrysler minivans
- Headlamps provided an 80% improvement in lighting
- Brake rotors and calipers were larger and improved
- Engine and accessory changes increased the power and torque of the 3.3- and 3.8-liter engines while also improving engine sound quality and overall noise level
- 3.3-liter engine power increased by 15 percent to 180 horsepower from 158 horsepower; torque increased 2.5 percent to 210 ft.-lb. @ 4000 rpm from 205 ft.-lb. @ 4000 rpm
- 3.8-liter engine power increased by nearly 20 percent to 215 horsepower @ 5000 rpm from 180 horsepower @ 5000 rpm; torque increased 2 percent to 245 ft.-lb. @ 4000 rpm from 240 ft.-lb. @ 4000 rpm
- An additional two degrees of caster in the front suspension and a 30 percent more powerful, more precise steering gear improved steering returnability and precision feel
- A 20 percent increase in torsional stiffness of the body structure
- Increased area for windshield wiper defroster grid and a 42 percent increase in power provided more effective wiper de-icing
- A low-effort, low-travel paddle bar switch mounted on the back surface of the liftgate light bar triggered a solenoid that released the liftgate latch
- Aluminum steering knuckles reduced vehicle weight 12 pounds (5.5 kg) while maintaining durability
- A state-of-the-art electrical architecture utilized electronic relays to provide integrated self diagnostics as well as circuit protection
Noise, Vibration, and Harshness Reduction
- Rear suspension attachment locations on the body structure were eight times as stiff, which reduced road noise
- Molded foam gaskets between outside mirrors and the body prevented wind noise
- Molded gaskets sealed the inside and outside door handles to curtail noise entry
- Acoustic materials that supplied sound dissipation and absorption were applied to the concealed side of the headliner, on the dash panel, under the carpet and over rear wheel houses
- A thicker underhood silencer pad reduced engine noise in the passenger compartment
- Improved molded liners for the seat striker pockets reduced floor pan noise transmission
- The front strut, control arm, and engine mounts and isolators were redesigned to reduce road noise and minimize shake
- A toe board crossmember and instrument braces were added to minimize shake
- The roof rack cross bows were refined through wind tunnel testing in order to minimize wind noise and eliminate rumble
Jerry Olsen wrote that 4-wheel disc brakes were available on both the short wheelbase and Grand Caravan Sport models. It seemed to be part of the "Sport Touring Group" and was a long awaited option. The "Trailer Tow Group" also seemed to include the brakes, but only on the Grands.
2001 Dodge Caravan, Chrysler Voyager, etc. Interior
The rear liftgate and dual sliding rear door were powered from controls on the overhead console. The motors for the rear sliding doors were actually inside the doors themselves. The doors also had a manual override and an obstacle detection system that protected them from accidental damage while opening and closing.
The removable centre console may be latched into place either between the front (on automatic transmission vehicles) or the middle-row seats. Docking into brackets attached to the floor, the console provided power through an outlet designed into its front compartment. When the console was removed, the bracket functioned as a storage tray, complete with a rubber liner.
The centre console included two separate storage compartments with lockable hinged latching lids. The rear compartment was illuminated and had a large open storage area, complete with removable bin. A tissue and map holder were molded into the underside of the rear lid.
The front compartment featured a removable bracket holder for a cellular telephone and a power outlet for the phone's battery charger. Power was always supplied to the front mounting location to allow overnight charging of battery-powered equipment. A pen/pencil holder was molded into the telephone holder. When mounted between intermediate seats, the console was powered when the ignition was on.
Since the removable centre console may also be located between the middle row seats, cup holders previously located on the inboard seat assembly were moved to the outboard sides of the seat risers. When the seat was tipped forward for rear seat access, the cup holder remained in place as the seat rotated around it, to prevent spills.
A rear cargo organizer, mounted on the floor behind the rear seat, represented another MPV first and was available in Europe as an accessory. When open, the cargo organizer formed a storage bin with two folding dividers that were spaced to accommodate up to six full-size paper grocery bags. The organizer may also be used with the existing seat-back mounted grocery bag hooks to carry plastic grocery bags. Both features allowed owners to transport groceries without spillage. The rear cargo organizer may be positioned at floor level or raised to a mid-level position.
In the raised position with storage compartments closed, the organizer aligned with the surface of the folded down rear seat back to create a continuous-load floor, allowing the user to carry 4' x 8' sheets of plywood. Also, while in the raised position, other items including pushchairs and golf clubs may be stored beneath in the closed storage compartments.
Front seat tracks were extended by 10 mm to provide more leg room for tall drivers.
The instrument panel was visually detached from the door trim panels. The instrument panel featured a message centre and had a deeper soft-touch pad area, extending farther forward to the base of the windshield.
A new molded front seatback panel included an integral assist handle and two shopping bag holders on both driver and passenger front seats. All models added a vinyl map pocket on the left side while luxury editions and premium models with leather trim added an umbrella holder on the right side. Re-contoured inboard armrests provided more walk-through space when folded upright.
The face of the centre console (the dashboard panel, not the removable center console) was canted upward for better visibility. Relocated front door switch modules provided easier access as they were closer to the occupants and angled farther inboard. Memory push-button switches were repositioned for easier access.
The new centre console form was continuous from top to floor. Dual air flow outlets at the top of the centre console provided a consistent appearance while a fixed centre vent directed air to the rear seats and also included the automatic temperature control sensor. Surface-integrated ventilation controls, audio controls, new centre console module, and an MPV first four-disc CD player followed the contour of the centre stack to maximize a built-in appearance.
The redesigned overhead console featured a single door that held two pairs of sunglasses. The overhead rear climate control module, which included separate rear-area temperature controls, was relocated from the driver's side to the centre, providing access for both centre row passengers.
International: Chrysler Voyager
The Chrysler Voyager was sold in more than 70 countries. First introduced in 1988, the international Voyager entered European production in Graz, Austria, in 1991. Over 400,000 were sold outside North America. However, Chrysler only had a little over 12 percent of the European market, selling 50,000 per year in a 400,000 minivan market. In other markets, including Africa, Asia, and South America, Chrysler sold only 10,000 minivans per year.
Production for the international version of the redesigned Chrysler Voyager began in January 2001 in Graz, Austria. International Voyagers included a short wheelbase version, along with the usual diesel and standard transmission versions not available in the US.
Marie H. wrote that the front wheel drive Chrysler Voyager was exported to Brazil, using U.S. style Town & Country alloy wheels.
R. Batchelor noted that the 2003 minivans no longer had the windshield wiper defroster, a very helpful and important feature in winter. Geoff Gariepy noted that his 2003 Grand Caravan did have it. However, we do know that it was gone by 2004.
2001 minivans: specifications (mm/in.)
|Long Wheelbase||Short wheelbase||Comparison: 1984-1990 minivans|
|Wheelbase:||3030 (119.3)||2878 (113.3)||112” and 119”|
|Overall Length:||5094 (200.5)||4803 (189.1)||176” and 191”|
|Overall Width:||1997 (78.6)||1997 (78.6)||69”|
|Overall Height:||1748 (68.8)||1749 (68.9)||64”|
|Track -- front:||1600 (63.0)||1600 (63.0)|
|Track -- rear:||1626 (64.0)||1626 (64.0)|
|Power||180 - 215 hp||150 - 180 hp||102 hp - 106 hp (1984) - 150 hp (1990)|
2003 Dodge Caravan, Grand Caravan, Chrysler Voyager, and Chrysler Town & Country
In 2003, the eC model was discontinued. The SE Value Package had Remote Keyless Entry and AM/FM stereo radio with cassette and CD player optional. Grand Caravan SE models now offered three-zone manual air conditioning. The eL added the 3.8-liter V6 engine as an option. The Sport Caravan package was named Popular Equipment Package. The Grand Caravan Package H was named the Family package and Package K was name the Popular Equipment Package. The 3.8-liter V6 included the Grand Caravan Popular Equipment Package. ES added power liftgate, removable center console, Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC), auto dimming mirrors, AM/FM radio with cassette and CD, third-row lamps and grab handles, roof rack, steering wheel radio controls, 16-inch chrome "Ingot" aluminum wheels.
Power adjustable pedals were available in Chrysler Voyager LX, as well as the Dodge Caravan and the Chrysler Town & Country. With adjustable pedals, drivers had the ability to adjust their accelerator and brake pedals up to 2.75 inches (70 mm) rearward. Driver and passenger air bags with multi-stage inflators to deliver appropriate restraint for the severity of impact were featured. Supplemental side-impact air bags for front outboard occupants were available. The eC model was gone, leaving the LX with two option packages: Value and Popular Equipment packages. A fold/recline feature was added to second- and third-row seats on the Value Package.
All wheel drive was no longer available on the Town & Country LX. The eL had an optional 3.8 V6. The eX gained a standard driver-side power sliding door, steering wheel audio controls, Security Alarm, and leather-wrapped steering wheel. The LXi added power liftgate, Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC), auto-dimming mirrors, AM/FM radio with cassette and CD, third-row lamps and grab handles and roof rack. The Limited added heated front seats, AM/FM radio with cassette and six-disc CD changer and Quad Command seats with 50/50 rear bench. One-touch power sun roof with one of the largest openings in the segment (840 x 532 mm) was featured on the Towan & Country and the Grand Caravan. The Town & Country and Grand Caravan also contained a factory-installed DVD entertainment system. This new feature was abailable with or without a power sun roof. It was a flip-down seven-inch diagonal liquid crystal display (LCD) screen and an in-dash DVD unit that played both DVDs and CDs. The entertainment system came complete with a wireless remote control and two sets of minivan-first wireless headphones. Auxiliary input jacks allowed connections with video games, MP3 players, video cameras, etc. With 130-degree viewing capability, this screen offered comfortable viewing for all rear seat passenger positions.
2004 Dodge Caravan, Grand Caravan, and Town & Country changes
To celebrate 20 years of minivan leadership, Dodge offered a limited Anniversary edition model based on the Dodge Grand Caravan SXT. This special model will offer unique Anniversary edition badging, unique two-tone leather seating six-disc CD/DVD changer, 16-inch chrome wheels, embroidered anniversary edition floor mats, and a no extra charge Rear Seat Video entertainment system. Chrysler offered a limited edition Chrysler Town & Country Platinum series vehicle based on the Chrysler Town & Country Touring. The special model featured 16-inch chrome-clad platinum finish wheels, two-tone leather seating, Rear Seat Video entertainment system, six-disc CD/DVD changer, rear cargo organizer, chrome interior door handles, embroidered "Platinum" floor mats, body-color cladding, and Platinum Series badging as standard equipment.
Five versions Dodge Caravan were available for the 2004 model year, including two standard-wheelbase and three extended-wheelbase models. Standard-wheelbase models include Dodge Caravan SE and Dodge Caravan SXT. Extended-wheelbase models include Dodge Grand Caravan SE, Dodge Grand Caravan SXT, and Dodge Grand Caravan SXT All-Wheel Drive (AWD).
Chrysler brand offered seven minivan models: one standard-wheelbase model and six extended-wheelbase models. The standard-wheelbase model is Chrysler Town & Country, powered by a V6 engine. Extended wheelbase models included Chrysler Town & Country LX, Town & Country Touring, Town & Country Platinum series, Town & Country Limited, Town & Country All-Wheel Drive (AWD), and Town & Country Limited AWD.
New features for 2004 included a tire pressure monitor warning lamp, an integrated key/remote keyless/Sentry key design, and updated audio/entertainment packages.
For 2004, Chrysler discontinued its Voyager nameplate but continued to offer a standard wheel base Town & Country minivan with a V6 engine.