Toyota Sienna Forum - siennachat.com banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all

I need some help with a decision because my wife and I are looking at vans again. We currently have a 2008 Sienna LE with the 3.5 ,8 pass seating, 65,400 mi, and Toyota Platinum 8 yr/125,000 bumper to bumper warranty. My wife is looking at getting into a 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan Crew with 29,021 mi,3.6 v6, 7 pass seating, and 3 year 36,000 bumper to bumper with additional 100,000 mi powertrain warranty. I know the obvious differences of losing 8 to 7 pass seating , Dodge has a approx 20 more hp, fuel economy is the same, and less miles and age on the dodge, what I want help with is maybe the lesser unknowns like troubles with the Grand Caravan. I know that our toyota is a reliable van , and I don't want to give that up for something of lesser quality. My wife prefers the looks of the the Grand Caravan being a younger mom she feels its a sportier mom look! Please help us in making the best decision. Oh b.t.w. we have three kids one in booster, one in toddler, and one in rear face car seat. Thanks

Jesse
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
184 Posts
The Grand caravans are without a doubt great minivans, especially those Pentastar V6's. One great advantage is the Stow-N-Go seating, you can't get away from that, and they all have heavy duty brakes so no more brake problems/premature brake wear! The only problem I know of so far is about the ticking rear head, which any minivan that has that problem can go to the dealer and they will replace it, they only affected 1% of the minivans and they were resolved with a new head mid 2012. If you want to know more info on the Grand caravan crew then I advise you to go to Chryslerminivan.net and go to the 5th gen forum and start a new post. I am a member of that forum and always hang around there. These are without a doubt great minivans and you won't regret it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,821 Posts
Younger is generally a wise choice, and the Chrysler products have certainly come a very long way from when we (gladly) walked away from our Dodge Grand Caravan Sport. If it's in good shape and fits your needs, go for it. I would, however, add an extended bumper-to-bumper warranty as there are still too many complaints about the little-but-costly stuff that goes wrong with them.

Stow-N-Go is a mixed bag, IMHO. If you regularly reconfigure for max cargo room, they are a terrific idea. From a comfort standpoint, they are the pits. We rented one for a 10 day trip, and I thought my kids were going to mutiny on me. It wasn't until I spent a little time in one that I understood. But even our Sienna second row seats are a step behind what Honda offers. Our Odyssey had the best captains chairs of the 4 vans we've owned.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
184 Posts
Also the Pentastar V6 (3.6L V6) is rated wards 10 best engines, Chrysler has done extensive testing and these engines have proven themselves. If these vans were unreliable then you wouldn't see one every turn you make right? That does say something, people who say the caravans won't last 3 yrs are talking total BS. I even own one and its proven itself after all these years, and don't worry the tranny issues were a thing of the 90's. Head on over to Chryslerminivan.net for more info, you can find me there, many great people on that site.
Chrysler would be doomed if this engine failed, as it's in almost all their products, does say something doesn't it!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
142 Posts
Just a heads up the transmissions on those are AWFUL. Please test drive it on the highway loaded with people and you will find out. It's a weird transmission and you can't downshift straight to 5th gear. You have to downshift to whats called 4 prime then it shifts up into 5th.... Unless you aren't actually giving it load and downshift it manually. It's an awful design and an awful car. I hate chrysler products, owned 2 and both were horrible. Bought one new, was dead by 110k miles. Kept up on maintenance and everything! Second bought used with 35k miles, was near dead by 110k again! Had to trade it in before it was worthless.

Anyways, that being said, you have a good van that still is low miles. You have a great warranty. Utilize it until the warranty is about to run out then get something newer. No reason to spend the money!!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
184 Posts
Watch out....its a Chrapler! The engine may be great, but everything else falls apart or will need replaced multiple times.
Really? Just because it's a Chrysler product its deemed crap???I'm sorry if you had bad experience with your Chrysler product, but I and many other people I know have Chrysler products and have had good experiences. Those tranny problems are a thing of the past (90's)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
184 Posts
Just a heads up the transmissions on those are AWFUL. Please test drive it on the highway loaded with people and you will find out. It's a weird transmission and you can't downshift straight to 5th gear. You have to downshift to whats called 4 prime then it shifts up into 5th.... Unless you aren't actually giving it load and downshift it manually. It's an awful design and an awful car. I hate chrysler products, owned 2 and both were horrible. Bought one new, was dead by 110k miles. Kept up on maintenance and everything! Second bought used with 35k miles, was near dead by 110k again! Had to trade it in before it was worthless.

Anyways, that being said, you have a good van that still is low miles. You have a great warranty. Utilize it until the warranty is about to run out then get something newer. No reason to spend the money!!
Dead by 110,000 miles??? You got to be joking, my Caravan has over 110,000 miles and is not dead and has lots of life left in her. That's your problem if you like Chrysler products or not, but you do not know what you are missing with the new engines. The 62TE (6 speed's) are a hit and miss on the Chrysler minivans, some of the things that I know about them are the shuddering when backing up. http://forum.chryslerminivan.net/showthread.php/24461-Van-shudders-when-I-back-up-hill. They also fixed the brake problems by making HD brakes as standard.

They can't be crap when the Pentastar is one of ward's 10 best engines, and JD power and association award; http://forum.chryslerminivan.net/showthread.php/38417-latest-JD-Power-amp-Associates-lists-2013-T-amp-C-as-minivan-award-recipient

your an admin and you talk so much crap? Why are you an admin anyways, since you don't try to make things civil and just make it worse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Chrapler minivans suffer from poor quality control and Chrapler refuses to do anything about it. The motors may be good, but that can be debatable, how do you explain the water pump problem (I had to replace 2 of them in less than 75K (both dealer replacements) that have plagued these vehicles. Then there are these...

Rear AC evaporator - poor design/quality control
Tie rod/ front end problems - poor design/ quality control
Power sliding doors - poor design/ quality control
Power door locks - poor design/quality control
Brakes -poor quality control
Early Body rust -poor design/quality control

All of these things add up.

My brother had an early Rev 4 Caravan, he did not get an extended waraantee, performed repairs himself if he could (not a mechanic but handy with cars). He had no motor problems yet he calculated that he spent 40% of his NEW purchase price on repairs. Many items he repaired more than one time because of failures. Again poor quality control.

Until Chrapler starts building minivans that hold up I will tell people to run not walk away from them. Lets see how those 11 -13 model years hold up. If history is a judge, not very well.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
We had a 2008 Chrysler T&C and a 2011 Dodge Caravan C/V. Honestly I have not liked either one. the were work vehicles, so liking them was sort of irrelevant. The quality of the interior materials felt inferior to me. The seats on the 2008 gave me back aches. The curve of the roof made the head room unacceptable. The 2011 has a little better seats and they fixed the head room issue with the newer design. The interior starts falling apart on both vans after a couple years of use, and no, we don't have kids. Mechanically, nether van had any issues. We ran them both to 120,000 miles with just regular maintenance. Both vans needed new struts/shocks and end links at around 80k miles, but that is not shocking. Both needed brake work at 50k miles and 100k miles. Again, not unexpected. The 2008 transmission was beginning to make the sounds of an imminent failure when we dropped it off and picked up the 2011. The 2011 is running strong. Damn thing eats tires every 15k miles. The interior has lots of little issues, but nothing that would keep it from running. It was also recalled for a key issue.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
184 Posts
Chrapler minivans suffer from poor quality control and Chrapler refuses to do anything about it. The motors may be good, but that can be debatable, how do you explain the water pump problem (I had to replace 2 of them in less than 75K (both dealer replacements) that have plagued these vehicles. Then there are these...

Rear AC evaporator - poor design/quality control
Tie rod/ front end problems - poor design/ quality control
Power sliding doors - poor design/ quality control
Power door locks - poor design/quality control
Brakes -poor quality control
Early Body rust -poor design/quality control

All of these things add up.

My brother had an early Rev 4 Caravan, he did not get an extended waraantee, performed repairs himself if he could (not a mechanic but handy with cars). He had no motor problems yet he calculated that he spent 40% of his NEW purchase price on repairs. Many items he repaired more than one time because of failures. Again poor quality control.

Until Chrapler starts building minivans that hold up I will tell people to run not walk away from them. Lets see how those 11 -13 model years hold up. If history is a judge, not very well.....
WoW my 04 Caravan has no where close to half those issues your 06 had. The A/C thing was recalled and expected, Power sliding doors-expected with all the years of use(and simple and cheap to fix), Brakes are great on these vans, so are door locks, Front end problems? Like what exactly. As to body rust, what do you expect on a 7 year vehicle that I assume you never undercoated on a yerly basis. On my 04 Caravan I do have some rust but on the lip of the hood (Visor covers that up), a bit on the drivers door, and a bit on the rockers (their is a way to stop/slow the rust on those), and I live in the rust belt and never done undercoating before. I still find these 4th gen minivans reliable. The 2011+ Chrysler/Dodge minivans will hold up well, and I'm pretty confident in the pentastar since they put it in the Ram 1500, plus they've done extensive testing on them and they are proven just like the 3.3/3.8 V6 engines .
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
184 Posts
Remember that the 2008 was a redesign, so you'd have more problems because of new software/computers etc... Thats why it's not good to buy the first year of redesign/introduction no matter what the brand. By 2009 most of the bugs were worked out and they weren't bad like the 2008's. Explains the crap loads of problems with our early build 2011 Sienna.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
184 Posts
We didn't have nearly that many problems with ours. We drove it pretty hard too. We got it in June or July of 2008 and did 120k miles in 2.5 years. The wife preferred the 2008 to the 2011. She bases that on how many cubbies she can hide lipstick in.
How do you like the 2011 with the pentastar 3.6 VS the 2008 with the 3.3? It must be a better,more fun drive and better refinement/fit and finish right? These vans are made to be driven pretty hard as well, cause look around their are so many of them, doubt a Toyota or Honda can withstand all that abuse. If these vans were crap than why did Chrysler sell over 13 million vans in nearly 30 years since they introduced the van in 1984, gotta say something right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
How do you like the 2011 with the pentastar 3.6 VS the 2008 with the 3.3? It must be a better,more fun drive and better refinement/fit and finish right? These vans are made to be driven pretty hard as well, cause look around their are so many of them, doubt a Toyota or Honda can withstand all that abuse. If these vans were crap than why did Chrysler sell over 13 million vans in nearly 30 years since they introduced the van in 1984, gotta say something right?
First off, they sold that many because they beat everyone to the market. Secondly, they are cheaper. They use cheaper materials so the end cost is less. The engine in the newer models is better. Acceleration to get on the highway was much improved. However it is also very noisy. The engine makes way to much noise for the power it is creating. Thirdly, I would pick a honda or toyota van over a Chrysler product every time. Reality check: Do you keep vehicles for a long time?? I don't. I haven't had a vehicle with more than 50k (other than the work vans) in a long time. Once the Chryslers are over 80k miles the reliability seems to fade fast . If you want to drive 150k miles....... I wouldn't even consider a Chrysler. And me personally, the Sienna is a much more comfortable van that I feel more comfortable trusting the safety of my daughter to.

the company my wife works for uses dodge and chrysler vans for work. Just to throw out an example of chrysler..... one of her co-workers vans stalled in an intersection. Thats what the key recall was about. Another one had the engine pretty much fall out of it. Still don't know how, but it was sitting in the road with the passenger side of the engine sitting on the ground underneath. This is probably an isolated incident, but it still happens.

The only reason I can see to pick a Chrysler over a Honda or Toyota is cost. If you want more stuff for less money, get the chrysler. Remember, you get what you pay for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
... As to body rust, what do you expect on a 7 year vehicle that I assume you never undercoated on a yerly basis.
Hmm...My 2001 Corolla does not have a spec of rust on it, never has been undercoated and travels the same roads more often than what my Chrapler did. Poor materials and quality control plain and simple. That seems to be the real motto of a Chrapler

No matter how you look at it, Chrapler builds minivans with QC issues. People buy them (like myself) because they are "cheaper." However total cost (including repair costs, time off of work, lower sale price when selling or trading, it turns out they are a more expensive."

If you do the repairs yourself and enjoy working on a Chrapler then fine, they should tell you that when you look at it. Something like

"Warning....You are looking at a Chrapler, odds are you will be in the repair shop and have to get rid of it way before you would have expected. Purchase at your own risk!"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
...Once the Chryslers are over 80k miles the reliability seems to fade fast . If you want to drive 150k miles....... I wouldn't even consider a Chrysler.
That is the key point. I have not had a daily driver that I got rid of with less than 120K (miles) or was well over a decade old except....my Chrapler... didn't even make 7 years!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
184 Posts
Really, Chrysler minivans are crap? I'll let you know that I keep vehicles for a long time (until their ready for the graveyard), and my 04 3.3 currently has 182,000 kms (approx 111,000 miles) and the reliability is great. Infact I've seen these Chrysler vans go 2-300,000 miles with little maintenance. I know many people who do own these vans with high mileage.

Use cheaper materials??? The materials in the 2011+ caravans are really a step up from the 08-10's, even better than the current sienna's interiors. I find the 2011+ Toyota engines make a lot of noise too, I like the cheaper price and I have no problem with the depreciation because I don't plan on selling my van, and if I want say a 03 DGC sport with 100,000 miles,I can get it for $3,000, whereas a 2004 sienna with 115,000 miles go for say $8,000 which is outrageous for a van nearly 10 years old. Now with the STOW-N-GO you do lose a bit of comfort, which I understand. Point is the Chrysler vans are not as bad as they sound, in fact they are great vehicles to have and I know many people who own them and have had great experiences. Remember the tranny issues are a thing of the 90's and have vastly improved over the years, plus don't think that Chrysler is like who they were before, they are a much better company now. Planning on buying a new Wrangler and caravan for the 2014 model year.

Call me when your $40k sienna breaks down at the side of the road and will need $$$ to fix.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I think it's worth noting that the original poster of this thread hasn't made a single comment since opening the thread and you guys are still going on.
I think the truth is somewhere in the middle.
I met a courier a couple months ago (when we were van shopping) and he was driving a 2006-2007ish Grand Caravan. I asked him how many miles it had, he said it had over 400k miles and the only thing replaced so far was an alternator. I think GC's like most other modern vehicles will drive a very long time with decent maintenance.
Reliability is very subjective too. Some people are nit-picky and some people are fine unless the vehicle can't get from point A to point B.
The Wards 10 best list is not a reliability award as far as I can remember. Seems more like an engineering-oriented award. The Pentastar has impressed a lot of people in Jeeps and other vehicles with its power and efficiency. The 3.5 2gr-fe is no slouch either. There are some definite head problems with the 3.6 Chrysler. The Toyota VVT oil hose issues can't be ignored either.
At the end of the day, they're all boring minivans...
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top