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We're looking at the next generation vans from our '97. What changed and [hopefully] improved in the next generation vans from 2001 to 2006, specifically with the longer Grands? Should we get the van in the best condition or are there must-have features in later years worth a compromise? Folding and easily removable seats are of no value since we have access to a couple of full size vans.

Thanks,
Sixto
97 GC SE 3.3 226K miles
 

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Vaguely badass...
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I used to own a '99 GC SE Sport 3.8, I currently own a 2002 Caravan SE Sport 3.3, and have rented a 2005 Grand Caravan.

The 2005-2007 models brought the Stow'N'Go, but they kinda got cheap elsewhere - no more windshield wiper defrosters, for example. Not so cheap that I wouldn't consider one, but cheap just the same. That said - the week I spent in the '05 was quite good - no issues while loaded up with 4 adults, 2 kids, and gear.

On the upside, the 2001-2007 models don't seem to suffer from the "strut tower rot" that plagues the 1996-2000 models.

I can't think of any must-have features that would influence me one way or the other, so I think I'd go for "best condition for the money" option.
 

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I prefered the seat in 05 to the 03
 

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I used to own a '99 GC SE Sport 3.8, I currently own a 2002 Caravan SE Sport 3.3, and have rented a 2005 Grand Caravan.

The 2005-2007 models brought the Stow'N'Go, but they kinda got cheap elsewhere - no more windshield wiper defrosters, for example. Not so cheap that I wouldn't consider one, but cheap just the same. That said - the week I spent in the '05 was quite good - no issues while loaded up with 4 adults, 2 kids, and gear.

On the upside, the 2001-2007 models don't seem to suffer from the "strut tower rot" that plagues the 1996-2000 models.

I can't think of any must-have features that would influence me one way or the other, so I think I'd go for "best condition for the money" option.
They also rusted out a "lot" faster from 2001 on. I have seen it on my last 2 vans which was a 2004 and a 2007 that already has major paint bubbling along one of the rocker panels. They have a real bad habit of rusting badly along the front edge of the hood and the back hatch along the lower edges. I'm seeing the same paint bubbling on the 2007 on the hood front edge .This on a van that was always washed and waxed twice a year. I'll think twice about getting a Chrysler van again.
 

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The front edge of the hood on my 2002 is indeed rusting away - and that's about it. This on a 10 year old minivan with 411000 miles on it that has lived in the snow belt.

My '99 (and my previous '95) suffered from rust along the wheel arches in the rear and along the bottom of the sliding doors.
 

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The front edge of the hood on my 2002 is indeed rusting away - and that's about it. This on a 10 year old minivan with 411000 miles on it that has lived in the snow belt.

My '99 (and my previous '95) suffered from rust along the wheel arches in the rear and along the bottom of the sliding doors.
If mine was 10 years and it was starting to rust it wouldn't bother me , but at 5 and half years. I'm not happy. Had a 96 Voyager and i didnt see any rust on that until 8-9 years in . Didnt even have the strut tower rot on it . That was a much better van body integrity wise than the 2004 and 2007 I have had. Obviously they had a build issue where they couldn't keep the seams from splitting on the underside lip on the hood and hatch and they didnt fix it during that entire model run. I routinely see that era vans with the hood rusting out. Have seen a few where the metal is just gone up to 2 inches in from the front.
 

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I think the "corrosion warranty" is like 5 years or 100K whichever comes first . And they won't even look at it until it's rusted all the way thru the panel. That pretty much covers their butt from having to cover anything!!!
 
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