1997 Dodge Caravan Reviews - Page 7 of 12

1997 Dodge Caravan SE from North America

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.8 / 10
Distance when acquired60000 miles
Most recent distance94000 miles
Previous carFord Taurus

Summary:

JUNK

Faults:

I have replaced the front brakes once a year. Twice I have replaced the rotors, This last time I replaced the calipers on the front and the back cylinders, but the pads were still like new have never replaced the back pads. This last repair cost just under $700.00.

Timing belt went, $190.00 plus tax, to replace it.

The front seat has a mind of its own as driving down the road it will slide all the way back (I am very short).

Just had the clock spring replaced thank goodness for the recall.

Now I am leaking oil.

General Comments:

I still have over 2 years left to pay for this junk.

I am sure by the time I pay this off I will have to replace trans. & motor.

I do like the way it drives, except when going up hill in summer I have to turn the a/c off in order to make it up the hill.

The seats are comfortable (except when I go flying back every once in awhile.)

I have a daycare out of my home and do take children on short trips, I am dreading the day I break down with 5 or 6 kids in it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th May, 2003

1997 Dodge Caravan Sport 3.8 from North America

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 3.8 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired101000 miles
Most recent distance118000 miles
Previous carHonda Accord

Summary:

Good choice even if you don't like domestic cars (like myself)

Faults:

Other than a couple nails in the tires, nothing has gone wrong with the car. It eats oil like crazy and it sounds like one of the pulleys makes a screeching noise, but a mechanic told me it's nothing serious.

General Comments:

I highly recommend the Dodge Caravan Sport. It's fully functional with seating up to 7 passengers. I have 2 toddlers in car seats and the fold-down seats are great! I am constantly making use of the dual sliding doors.

I have owned my van for 3 months with no problems. It's functional, roomy, looks good with tinted windows and my kids love it. I do wish it had more room in the trunk area. You can only put a few things in there.

My Caravan gets 21 mpg, city and highway. It's always consistent which allows me to budget my gas expenses accurately. I traded in my Honda Accord for this van and I'm very glad I did!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th May, 2003

19th Mar 2004, 20:08

What is the gas mileage like? How long have you had it now?

1997 Dodge Caravan 4 cylinder from North America

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 4 cylinder Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.5 / 10
Distance when acquired25000 miles
Most recent distance99000 miles

Summary:

The money pit on wheels

Faults:

Multiple brake jobs required. Brake calipers "froze" twice, requiring the rotors to be replaced.

Just bought a new transmission at 99,000 miles. I never felt it was geared well, it always shifted between gears when climbing hills. Definitely underpowered for climbing hills.

An oil leak at around 40,000 miles turned out to be a crack in the head gasket.

Compared to my old '97 Nissan Quest, the Caravan has a lot less power, yet used just about as much gas. The trade off wasn't worth it.

General Comments:

The interior upholstery has held up very well.

It was inexpensive to purchase used, but has not been a bargain when you factor the constant maintenance required.

It does handle pretty well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st March, 2003

1997 Dodge Caravan LX 3.8 liter from North America

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 3.8 liter Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.2 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance90000 miles
Previous carHonda Accord

Summary:

Unreliable after 70,000 miles

Faults:

Transmission rebuilt at 70,000 miles.

A/C evaporator coil failed at 75,000 miles.

Driver side window failed to open.

Fuel gage failed.

Sliding door needed adjustment.

General Comments:

Everyone I've talked to that had this model Caravan has had to have the transmission rebuilt and A/C evaporator replaced. Its reputation for poor reliability severely affects the resale value.

On the plus side, the 3.8 engine is reliable, and it was easy on tires. Performance was excellent and the ride comfortable. It was actually a good value for the first 70,000 miles, then some expensive repairs started to come every month, so I traded it in.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th March, 2003

12th Jul 2004, 07:47

1997 Dodge Caravan.

Had Trans and A/C replaced~~Also watch fan motor relay as

EVERY Dodge will need this at about 50 m miles. (Your van will run hot when you are stopped-it costs about $75.00 for the part-at the dealer)

Anyone have an A/C that is cold, but fan won't blow~~Fan motor checked out OK and air is cold, just won't blow.

Average review marks: 5.6 / 10, based on 47 reviews