1996 Dodge Caravan Reviews - Page 3 of 12

1996 Dodge Caravan 3.0 V6 from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 3.0 V6 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired55000 miles
Most recent distance121000 miles
Previous carDodge Shadow

Summary:

I would buy this vehicle again in a heartbeat

Faults:

Timing belt at 80,000

Radiator at 98,000

Water pump at 118,000

Clock spring (recall item) at 100,000.

General Comments:

Overall, this vehicle has been excellent. Handled an accident very well and easy to maintain. The Caravan has been very reliable on long trips and continues to run strong, even after almost 10 years and 121,000 miles.

The V6 has been fairly fuel efficient and powerful (much better than a 4 cylinder). One complaint about maintenance: the air filter is very hard to get to and can take 30-45 minutes to change by yourself.

I highly recommend a Caravan to anyone with a few kids. Gives you room and comfort.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th January, 2005

7th Jul 2007, 22:50

I am following up on my own comment above. The van now has 164,000 miles and is still running strong. Had to replace the motor mounts at 148,000 miles and all the heater hoses at the same time. Finally getting ready to sell it, but she's served really well and I'll miss her dearly. I highly recommend a Caravan!

1996 Dodge Caravan SE 3.3 from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 3.3 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired70000 miles
Most recent distance127000 miles

Summary:

Horrible!

Faults:

We have had to replace the transmission every 2 years, which make a total of 3 times.

The parking brake doesn't work.

The automated windows in the back don't always open or close, especially in warm or hot weather.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th November, 2004

1996 Dodge Caravan SE 6 cylinder from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 6 cylinder Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 0 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
2.2 / 10
Distance when acquired40000 miles
Most recent distance80000 miles
Previous carToyota Corolla

Summary:

Full of design flaws and short lifespan parts

Faults:

Built-in child seat safety belts locked and could not be pulled out anymore.

Resistor set for cool/heat ventilation burned out. This resitor set is cooled by the incoming air stream. If it burns out you get burned rubber smelling smoke from the vents. If you switch to inside air only, the resistors don't get cooled anymore. This seems a strange design-flaw.

The inside A/C evaporator leaked and needed a $1000 replacement right after we bought the van at 40k miles. The mechanic said this is common for this van.

The A/C compressor failed shortly after, another $1000.

At 80k miles the serpentine belt made a loud screeching noise. Replacement incl. the belt tensioner was $300.

A week later the water pump leaked, a $700 repair.

Windshield wiper comes on with blinker sometimes or for no reason.

Paint peels off the steering wheel.

Sky fabric fell off, cost $100 to replace in a cheapo shop, which does only sky fabrics.

Driver side powerwindow motor fell apart, a $400 repair.

General Comments:

Suspension seems very hard. I feel every little bump. Seems to come from the rear steel spring suspension, something usually only seen in trucks.

Rear seats are much too heavy to take out and put back in. Need 2 very strong people, my wife can't help me with that.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th October, 2004

1996 Dodge Caravan SE 3.0 litre from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1995
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 3.0 litre Automatic
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
2.4 / 10
Distance when acquired45000 kilometres
Most recent distance125000 kilometres
Previous carHonda Civic

Summary:

Dodge, get more credit, you're gonna need it

Faults:

Where do I start? For those not too sure, for mileage 100000 miles = 160000km.

Broken glove box, from day one.

Front turn signal bulbs burn out every month or so.

Taillight stays on even after vehicle turned off.

Door ajar warning goes off on bumpy roads.

Replaced many serpentine belts, too many to remember. The one time I had the dealer do it they forgot to put the a/c belt back on, another 1/2 day wasted and lucky me they did it free of charge!

Replaced 2 tensioner pulleys, one at 90000km, the other at 120000km, conveniently while on holidays.

Replaced 2 timing belts, one as per Dodge recommendations at 96000km, the other as per holidays, the serpentine belt shredded and found a new home in the timing belt.

Replaced valve cover gaskets.

Replaced shocks and struts at 80000km, dealer did this and now the ride is worse than ever.

Replaced hub and bearing today at 125000km.

Could not replace the 3 stupid sparkplugs on the firewall side.

May be insignificant, but we are on the 3rd windshield, funny my Honda at 80000km is still on the original. Makes you wonder.

All expected replacements happened far too early in the vehicles life, tires, brakes, my sanity.

General Comments:

I cannot stress enough, do not buy one of these. Heed the warnings you are reading. This vehicle will cost you thousands in repairs. Hmmmmm, Odyssey costs a few thousand more and doesn't break down every month. Lessons have been learned.

Also, do not contact Dodge. They will not help you. I described all of my heartache to them and asked for a free air freshener to call it even, they sympathized with my plight, but would not even extend that simple gesture. Once your warranty is over, they DO NOT care.

I do not understand how anyone in their right, or not right, mind could engineer something as crappy as this vehicle. If this piece of garbage was supposed to be revolutionary and the best in its class, what does that say about the standards we have as consumers? Imagine if everything you ever bought behaved as a Dodge. The handles on your frying pans would fall off, your TV tube would blow every month or so. My God, have I ever been ripped off.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th October, 2004

18th Feb 2005, 17:34

I had a 1995 Dodge Caravan and it had one flaw, the transmission. It never gave ma any trouble and I have never had a more comfortable car. I have never needed to change a bulb on this van and the rest of the work I did was just maintenance. You can't expect parts to last forever. I love it so much a bought a second one of the same vintage.

Average review marks: 5.0 / 10, based on 46 reviews