1993 Dodge Grand Caravan SE 3.3 from North America
A real workhorse, Dodge is king of minivans!
Alternator at 300k (I think it was the original one).
Previous owner replaced the transmission at 260000.
A few other minor things expected from a 20 year old van with over 300k on it; paint peeling on the roof, rear wiper doesn't work (common Caravan problem) and power trunk release doesn't work; have to use the key to open it, not a big deal.
Still gets good gas mileage, and rides very well on the highway.
I am not much of a Dodge guy, but have to admit they make the best minivans on the market. In Canada it has been the best selling minivan for 25 years in a row, for a reason.
I bought this van last year for my small business, as an alternative to a gas guzzling, full size work van.
Remove the seats in the Grand Caravan and you have loads of cargo space; 8 ft by 4 ft by 4 ft approximately?
Also the roof rack is very useful, and strong enough to hold aluminum ladders, etc.
I really like these minivans, and they are comfortable to drive; they kind of drive more like a car than a van or truck.
Visibility is good too; very few blind spots.
Things like power windows and interior lights are really well made too; good build quality throughout. If buying a Caravan, get one with the Dodge 3.3 or 3.8 engine, as they run for a very long time.
Avoid vans with the Mitsubishi made 3.0 engine; it's not terrible, but tends to burn/leak oil after 300k.
These vans can be purchased for really cheap too, there are plenty around. Just be careful, as people tend to not maintain their minivans; a lot of owners are young families who cannot afford oil changes, etc.
Mine had high km and was used as a work truck by the previous owner, so I got it for $600 cash.
Paid for itself many times since. Have put about 30000k on it.
I only had to replace an alternator, which was cheap, as are all parts for this van, and took less than an hour to change.
This van saves me a lot of money. It's not the coolest ride, but it allows me to own a sweet 80's Monte Carlo as a weekend ride. I highly recommend the Dodge Caravan as a cheap, reliable, durable van that gets the job done!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 9th March, 2013
11th Mar 2013, 14:21
I agree with most everything. It does not haul 4by8 sheets of plywood. You have to stand them up on one side.
My engine is also a 3.3. I have 296,000 with the original transmission. They never need a tuneup.
I bought mine with 138,000, and have never done anything but plugs and alternator, and several fuel pumps.
These vans are coming back in style. The new ones have no personality. Very comfortable.
I have an Astro van. It's scary when it is windy. This van holds up very well in the wind. Wonderful heater and A/C. Same temperature in the front and back.
I thought I should get rid of it, but I love it too much.
Special note. Keep the side door sliding parts lubricated.
6th Aug 2013, 20:56
Update from the original poster: The van has now passed the 340000 km mark! Still running super strong and using almost no oil.
Had to buy some tires for the front recently, but they are a common size and I got 2 almost new tires for $30 each.