1988 Dodge Grand Caravan SE 3.0L V6 from North America
It has many flaws, but it'll also take some abuse
Fuel Pump went out at around 80k miles.
The engine blew at around 110k miles.
Gone through 6 batteries so far.
Driver's side CV joint replaced at 156k miles.
Blown head gasket.
1/2 original lights have been replaced.
Fuel lines deteriorated at about 148k.
Master brake cylinder.
Tail gate shocks are bad.
E-brake no longer working.
MAP sensor went out at 154k miles.
A/C compressor doesn't work.
Windshield replaced (hit by gravel)
Lube lost in driver/passenger windows.
Power steering leaks.
Bad oil pan gasket.
Seat belts no longer retract properly.
Other miscellaneous things.
This is my first and only vehicle I've had. It was purchased brand new in 1987 and used by my dad and was used to tow quite a lot of weight (5,000+ lbs) across the country in a U-Haul trailer. It has had numerous problems with it and has, on multiple occasions, left our family stranded. It received a rebuilt Jasper engine after the crank seal blew in the old engine... ultimately destroying that engine.
However, this thing is built like a rock and has survived two moderate crashes with out much mechanical damage or harm to passengers.
The handling and performance of this thing are...crap, to say the least. The highest speed I have ever achieved is 90 mph after about 2 miles. of flooring it.
The 3-speed automatic tranny is a reliable one, but not geared very well which results in very poor acceleration.
The fuel economy of this thing is just awful. Tree huggers everywhere gripe about how SUVs are destroying the earth, etc. etc., but I manage to achieve a whopping 12 mpg average... try to beat that with a Cherokee.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 16th June, 2005
21st May 2006, 17:43
Dude, the towing capacity for the Grand Caravans is 3500lbs. No wonder you had so many problems. Also, minivans aren't supposed to be fast or agile. If you want something that can get up and move and haul a lot, go with like a Jeep Grand Wagoneer with the 360 V8.
28th Jan 2015, 20:23
Agreed. No wonder that engine blew up and all those mechanical parts started failing prematurely. I'm amazed that the transmission didn't fail as well. Having said that, it is a Torqueflite. Even in the 80's, they were amazingly durable transmissions.
29th Jan 2015, 17:28
The reviewer pointed out that the transmission is reliable, so it makes sense that that didn't have any issues. A heavy duty truck like this should be able to tow 5000 lbs without trouble and also have better performance than that when flooring it. I think the reviewer makes a lot of legitimate points.