2003 Dodge Caravan SXT 3.3 V6 from North America


Does what the label says



General Comments:

My family bought this minivan used, and it has become my daily driver. I am 17, in high school, and this van does exactly what the label says: carry lots of friends, stuff, or both, decent fuel economy, general solid performer.

It has pep when it needs it, and gets a respectable 21mpg on the highway. The four-speed transmission shifts fine, and doesn't hunt for gears too often. The handling is standard (i.e. don't take corners at 60km/h) for a minivan, and the ride is pretty smooth. It doesn't have the Stow and Go seats that later versions do, but removing the seats is not difficult (although the rear bench is pretty heavy).

The cargo room is great. I'm a musician, and I move gear around pretty frequently. The ease of loading makes my van great for gigs, etc.

I live in Canada, and the winters can get cold. It starts up every time, nice as you please, and just goes. No fuss, just reliable. I've put about 10,000 km on it, and in that time is has proven itself equal of everything I ask of it. Obviously I don't offroad with it; that would just be setting myself up for disappointment.

Another great thing about this van is the psychological aspect. People laugh because I drive a minivan, but I simply reply: "How many of you can drive six women around at one time?"

Great van, I'll drive it till it dies!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st December, 2010

2003 Dodge Caravan SE 3.3-liter V6 from North America


A great minivan at a bargain price


Cluster light bulbs -- two were bad when I bought the car and one failed five months later. Cheap, easy repair.

Left headlamp burned out -- another easy repair.

General Comments:

The interior is spacious and comfortable. Even though this van has the base trim with bench seats in the second and third rows, the seats provide good support for long drives. The third row that slides forward on rails to open up more cargo space is a nice touch.

The roll-out seats aren't quite as convenient as the fold-flat seats in some other minivans, but at least they're easy to remove and replace.

The van rides and handles very well and the V6 engine has plenty of punch. Gas mileage is a little lower than I expected, but still respectable at 17-18 mpg in mixed driving and the low to mid 20s on the highway. The 4-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly.

The interior is quiet, even with the heater fan on high. The loudest sound from the engine compartment is the A/C evaporator, which makes a slight hissing sound when the compressor cycles on and off.

The brakes stop the van well, but deposit a lot of dust on the wheels. The dust on the front rotors causes the brakes to squeak if too much of it builds up.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th January, 2008

13th Jan 2009, 08:23

I'm the original poster, back with another update.

The Caravan was involved in an accident the day after I posted my last update. My wife was driving when a teenager in a new Mustang thought he had enough room to cross a five-lane road directly in front of us. He was wrong. He got the ticket and we ended up with a totaled minivan.

After quite a bit of shopping, we ended up replacing the Dodge with a long-wheelbase 2005 Chrysler Town & Country. It cost more than we got on the insurance settlement, but we felt that it was worth spending the extra money to get a newer, lower-mileage vehicle with more room and the Stow 'N Go seats. I'm relieved to have found another good Chrysler-built minivan, and my wife likes the vehicle even better than she liked the Dodge.