2002 Dodge Grand Caravan Reviews

2002 Dodge Grand Caravan SE 3.3 V6 from North America

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 3.3 V6 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired141000 miles
Most recent distance166100 miles
Previous carFord F150

Summary:

Reliable, some issues, but overall well worth it

Faults:

Complete tune up and replace PCV valve, sway bar links, at 127,000 miles (previous owner was my mother).

Front pads and rotors at 131,000 miles.

Adjust rear brake drums at 133,000 miles.

--------------------

I inherited this car from my mother at 141,000 miles.

158,000 miles - Front left caliper seized, killing brake pads and rotors, and I actually lost all pressure and brake fluid at this time. Replaced the caliper on driver's side, and pads and rotors on both sides.

158,152 miles - Replaced front tires with used touring tires, great feel and ride to these tires.

Transmission began to slip around 139,000. Fluid flush did not help. Wound up being stuck in Limp mode quite often until I found out how to change the vehicle speed sensor myself; it is quite easy, and most people thought the transmission was gone and done. Not so, $20 sensor and tranny shifts like new again. I didn't even replace the sensor until it failed totally at about 164,000 miles, so needless to say, the transmission wasn't treated well for that period of time.

Replaced original battery at 164,000 miles while replacing speed sensor. It still held a good charge, but when I removed it to get better access to sensor, it was leaking battery acid!

I was in two accidents within a 3 week time period... One a person pulled out taking a left and hit my rear passenger side fender and tire, just scratched and banged up the car, no injuries to either of us.

Also, at night, hit a deer going 50 MPH on the front left side of the car, it then side swiped my car and warped my door shut. Insurance replaced headlight lens, fender and door. Again, car absorbed shock like a beast, and I was totally safe.

General Comments:

My mom bought this car brand new in 2002 with seven miles on the odometer. She actually felt she got a lemon - lots of problems while under warranty. Lost power steering and had to get towed, countless recalls, window motors failing, etc. Just a headache of a vehicle.

However, at around 100,000 miles, the car seemed to level out and only had fairly standard work done to it. She had a a major tune up done at 127,000 miles by original dealer, for the first time.

I wasn't looking forward to having the car when I got it, based on the problems that she had with it, but to my surprise, it has been nothing but reliable. I've put nearly 25,000 miles on it over the past year, and have spent only $450 in fixing it (I do most of the work myself).

It has plenty of power with the 3.3 V6, and the transmission has never failed, either. It does need rear shocks and has a bit of a stiff ride, especially when full with seven passengers. During the summer, I empty out all seats and load up lawnmowers, furniture, help people move, etc..

Overall, dollar for dollar and mile for mile, this is the best car I have ever owned - even if it is a minivan! Not to mention, the paint is still pretty shiny, and it doesn't really look like a ten year old American car.

I am sure it will need some attention, for most of the components are original (belts, hoses, water pump, alternator, etc...), which is great for the year and miles. I plan on doing some preventative maintenance very soon to assure this car will last until at least 200,000 miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 7th February, 2011

2002 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport 3.3L V6 180 HP from North America

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 3.3L V6 180 HP Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired203213 kilometres
Most recent distance270548 kilometres
Previous carFord Explorer

Summary:

Great reliable simple minivan, just change the oil regularly and go!

Faults:

During my ownership of the car, nothing has gone wrong with the car except for regular wearable parts:

Brakes done at 245 000 km.

Tires replaced at 263 000 km (after over 90 k).

Tie rod replaced at 215 000 km (right) and 263 000 km (left).

Ball joints replaced at 215 000 km.

Oil changes, alignment etc are part of regular maintenance.

General Comments:

Car has been great. Very reliable and dependable. The only thing that's uncertain is the transmission, which is still original and could go any time. It's a great car though, and even if the tranny goes, I'd still have it changed for about 1500. Emission test done this past July indicated engine burns as a brand new car with no CO or 0.01.

It handles great on the highway and is very comfortable even for long distance travel. The only thing I don't like, and I'm sure a lot of people are going to agree with me on this one, especially if they've owned both the 3.0L and 3.3L - the 3.3L is not as well coupled with the transmission, so the car feels "heavier" on the road, meaning you have to push on the gas pedal to make something going. The Mitsubishi 3.0L engine was a lot more responsive. But overall I'm very happy with the car, I average between 9.5 L/100km on the highway to roughly 13 L/100km in the city. Usually within the 11-12 L/100km range, which is reasonable for car its size. DO NOT believe the government rating of 8.4L/100km on the highway! It's ludicrous and impossible to achieve in real life driving.

This is my fourth Dodge Caravan, and I've always been happy with all of them, all of them being very reliable and requiring little to none maintenance.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th November, 2009

21st Nov 2012, 19:50

UPDATE - My Grand Caravan is over 10 years old now, I've owned it for 6.5 years now, and it's been great to me. It's been good to me and very reliable. The only thing that bothers me is that the front brakes are prone to premature wear, no matter what parts you get. I'd always get premium parts, and even then I'd be lucky to get 30k out of the front brakes.

The van is now at 322 000 km, and overall I've been very satisfied, but I'm starting to look for a newer vehicle.

Average review marks: 6.0 / 10, based on 21 reviews