In my last years of High School I bought a 1994 Dodge Caravan SE, yes I bought it, my parents did not believe in buying my brother and I cars. I bought the Caravan for one reason, I was going to college and I needed something to take all of my stuff. A 4X4 truck was impractical for me at the time so I went with value and low insurance cost.
I bought the van in 1997 with 60,000 miles on it, worked nights and weekends waiting tables to pay it off and save for college.
This van lived a hard life, I used it to pulled the family 19ft runabout, the 15ft popup camper and later in its life a 5X8 fully enclosed trailer containing my motorcycle. The van had never once let me down.
The 3.3L engine always ran smooth and never let me down, she was a pushrod set up which I prefer over OHC.
At 100,000 miles I found a leak in the rear cylinder bank head gaskets. It only leaked when the engine was cold, but since I live in the UP of Michigan it took some long drives before it would seal up. The head gaskets started leaking in winter, but lasted through spring and survived the 600 mile drive home. I later found that the supplier that supplied dodge with the 3.3l head gaskets supplied a bad batch and I was one of the lucky ones with the bad gasket. The dealer supplied me with new gaskets for free and I installed them over a spring break. Working on cars is way better then boozing with babes in Florida :-D.
The superior quality of the dodge 3.3l made disassembly and reassembly a snap. The Caravan was on the road again in just a short time.
At 150,000 miles the ABS stopped working, it only had front wheel ABS so I didn't find it a big loss.
The Caravan survived being hit by a delivery truck, twice by one guy in a Nissan pick-up, and survived a tree landing on top of it. This thing had some pretty major body work done over its life, but never seemed to mind, she was lovingly nick named Crash. I washed Crash regularly and waxed her twice a year and never had it rust or fade in any way. I changed the fluids religiously according to the owners manual.
Sadly after a good, long, hard life, in 2004 at 210,000 miles the four speed transmission quit on me. I was getting ready to make a big move to the west coast and taking the old girl didn't make financial sense. I sold her to a kid as is. It was a sad day, my wife worried for my wellbeing.
One thing is certain, my Caravan held up much better than any of my friends foreign cars both old and new. I didn't have half the problems my friends did with Toyotas, Hondas, and VWs. One thing you will never find me doing is padding Japan's, Korea's or some other trashy foreign car companies pockets. I am American, I am proud of America, and I drive American.
I would not hesitate to buy another Dodge Caravan, the best minivans on Earth.