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Discussion Starter #1
I was looking to get my wife a new Caravan, not alot of changes for 2014 guess I will wait and see what 2015 brings seems like the Caravan family is really low in the ratings actually in 5th place out of 6. looks like the Toyota Sienna is ranking high, any thoughts on these new mini vans, I really would like to see chrysler kick it up a notch so they can get back in the top ratings any thoughts on the new 2014 Dodge caravan

Chet
 

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Vaguely badass...
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5th out of 6th based on whose rankings? :huh:

Toyota and Honda will always rank high, because they are Toyota and Honda. Get past that brand hype and look at actual usability.

Other than lack of funds, there's nothing stopping me from choosing a new Grand Caravan or T&C over any other minivan today.
 

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Living in RV heaven. You think cars are bad!
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Chet, our oldest son as well as some friends of ours have Siennas and they are an excellent piece of machinery. Both couples are well pleased with their vans. I also have a couple friends who have fairly new Grand Caravans and they also are very satisfied. Our newest van in our household is a 2002 and I haven't spent enough time in either the newest GC's or the Siennas to make an educated comparison.
 

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One of my old roommates has a Sienna and said she gets about 20mpg out of it. Now, I don't know if that's typical for a 2004 model or not, but my 99 Grand Caravan with over 200,000 miles still gets 23 mpg. I'll take a Mopar over a rice burner any day. Just my .02.
 

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Since the refresh in 2011, the difference is night and day. IMHO, the Caravan and T&C FEEL better to me and my sensabilities, plus the pentastar V6 is phenomenal. The historical trans trouble of the Honda give me pause. They are sealed, panless, and are supposed to be lubed for life. Junk to work on. Drive both and see what you think for yourself. This coming from the owner of a 280K mile T&C when I traded it in. Never even put a trans in it. In fact, aside from struts and brakes, never really had to repair anything at all.
 

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I'm extremely pleased with my 2002 T&C with only 70,000+ miles. Don't drive it that much except for Home Depot runs and family outings. No problems in 8 years except intermittent stalling around two years ago. The problem was cured with a new (remanufactured) ECM. I can offer some anecdotal information. A friend of mine used to be Honda fan until he started having trouble with his 2004 Odessy. There were continuing transmission, radio, and auto liftgate problems. He traded it in on a Hyundai van that he claimed was a "super deal." Now he says the Hyundai is worse than the Honda. He drove my T&C and said it felt more solid and handled better than his Honda. Generally Hondas and Toyotas are good vans, but I think you get more for your money with Mopar. Also, the powertrains seem to hold up better.
 

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PCRMike said:
The historical trans trouble of the Honda give me pause. They are sealed, panless, and are supposed to be lubed for life. Junk to work on. Drive both and see what you think for yourself. This coming from the owner of a 280K mile T&C when I traded it in. Never even put a trans in it. In fact, aside from struts and brakes, never really had to repair anything at all.
Neighbor down the street has a 2000 Honda Oddity. A few years back he had to have the transmission replaced to the tune of $5,000. Van only had ~100K miles. So, yeah, Honda's are all that reliable, though you'd never hear a Honda owner admit to it. Still loves his Honda's...... Yet if it were a Chrysler, GM or Ford, he would have been saying "never again"....... Can't figure that type out.......

We had a '00 T&C Ltd AWD 3.8L for five years. Loved that van. Never had a transmission problem, but did have to replace the Nivomat shocks ($$$$) and the flexplate. Otherwise it was normal maintenance, though it did eat front brake pads.

Wife would love to get a new T&C, but we don't have the funds at the moment. I just don't see where the Honyota's are that significantly better.......
 

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Discussion Starter #8
what is the scoop on the Pennstar v6, is it available in the 2014 Caravans and what engine size is preferred, we have the 06 now and has the 3.3 engine no issues so far other than a set of spark plugs at 70k and a water pump recently. is the Pennstar a better choice over the 3.3

CHet
 

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"Better" is a matter of opinion. More power, combined with a 6-speed automatic gives better performance and MPG than the old 3.3/4-speed combo. Whether that is actually better in real life (I found shifting of the 6-speed to be a bit squirrely), is up to you.

Pentastar 3.6L has been the only available engine in the minivans starting with the 2011 model year, if I recall. If you like the old 3.3, you'll want to stick with 2010 and older models.
 
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