1997 Dodge Caravan Review, Ironman5729, From Racine, WI
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| ||Model of the car:||Dodge Caravan |
| ||General comments:||People never cease to amaze me. I have traveled overseas, and have come to see how most cultures do not view major purchases requiring considerable drains on their resources as "disposable commodities". I love America, but our disposable culture, and our propensity for putting considerable sums of money into worthless and unreliable things is not our strongest suit. |
Come on now, folks. I know that most everyone is intelligent enough to read the non-proffit consumer magazines out there and to understand the reviews on long-term performance tests. I also have faith in the fact that most everyone has a basic grasp of statistical probabilities. Furthermore, I trully believe that most of us have an inkling of the concept of value and resale. I believe all this despite the fact that many people act in a contrary way to all this knowledge, and continue to support car companies making products that are utter pieces of garbage. I believe this, despite the fact that many folks seem to take no more time on research and consideration in purchasing a $25,000 vehicle than they do in purchasing a cheeseburger.
I realized all the detractions to a Chrysler when I purchased our van. The problem in '97 was that the Honda was too small then (the older model Odyssey was tiny compare to the Grand Caravan), and Toyota had not yet released the Cienna, and their van was just beyond my budget. So, I took a risk. All-in-all, I have been lucky, though the quality of the Chrysler has been far beneath that of the Japanese vehicles I have owned. I expected that based on the poorer fit-and-finish, and attention to detail that is the hallmark of American auto-makers.
Our Dodge Grand Caravan Sport has provided us with over 120,000 miles of service, so I shan't knock it totally. It is a good vehicle to transport a family in. Of course, it has also given us transmission leak problems, break problems, steering problems, a rear window that actually shattered in high winds, sheet metal on the sliding doors that will crumple like paper with the slightest application of pressure, and a driver's seat that is the equivalent of a medieval torture device for tall drivers, such as myself. All-in-all, though, I have not been out $3000 for a new transmission or engine, as I suspect many proud Caravan owners have, so I have been fortunate. Such is the nature of probabilites.
| ||What things have gone wrong with the car:||Value: This vehicle has the potential to be a tremendous drain of money for repairs, and expect the resale to be dismal, due to long-term reliability issues. Initial price is only part of a vehicle's value, and, even that, is poor when the Chrysler is compared against a comparably equiped Honda Odyssey with more interior room, more horse power, and HONDA QUALITY and RESALE.|
Other weaknesses: Poor dealership service, the driver's side seat, road and wind noise, failing power locks, poor breaks, the infameous Chrysler transmission, and ... Chrysler's incredibly poor quality and concern over customer satisfaction.
Please folks, get educated and quit supporting shoddy workmanship and companies that only want to take your money with no concern over you after they have it. Also realize that there is no such thing anymore as a true "American" vehicle. On the basis of parts and labor, the Honda Accord is the most American car on the road.
An educated consumer is a potent force against mediocrity.
Please realize that all vehicles do NOT have "problems". That is a false statement made by owners of brands of cars that DO all have problems. Value your hard-earned money.
| ||Previous car:||I have test driven Honda Odysseys and Toyota Ciennas. According to Consumer Reports, and feedback from buyers, these are both infinitely more reliable and valued vehicles, and are far better choices.|