2014 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 3.6L Penastar from North America
Nice ride but suspected long term reliability is poor...
This 3.6L motor is worrisome. So far the oil cooler and transmission lines have had leak issues. Seals on the oil cooler had to be replaced. This requires removal of the plenum, fuel rail components, and lower intake manifold. This motor produces 283 horsepower, however parts replacement is more difficult than on previous Grand Caravans. See below:
Performance is excellent and this vehicle will fly from 0-60 mph and beyond. The 6 speed automatic transmission seems smooth, but I notice some rumbling into reverse. I expect this vehicle to be much more problematic than its predecessors, ie. the earlier 3.3L and the 3.8L motors.
What is more comfortable than an automobile or a pickup truck? The mini-van. Carries people or a 4x8 sheet of plywood.
Braking on this 2014 (143,000 miles) is greatly improved and I am shocked at how well the brakes have held up. To date, after 53K miles I have not changed the brakes or had to turn brake rotors in the 53K miles I have owned the vehicle. Very little brake wear or brake rotor warping. On my 2010 I had to turn rotors every 15-20K miles. I have not experienced brake fade due to overheating. Further, the motor does not over-heat. Earlier motors (3.3 and 3.8) were amazing. Again it's about maintenance. In my opinion, replacing your OEM radiator at 150K miles is a MUST. A radiator is a wear item like brakes. Finally, let me say a word about heater hose assemblies... replace them with brass connectors and 5/8 inch heater hoses. A brass "Y" at the heater core junction will last a million miles. The ABS plastic heater hose assemblies cannot be trusted and are over-priced. In recent years they have been developed for one purpose: to take your money.
So far no problems with the ignition node (ignition switch) glitching of previous models (2008-2010s). This is a serious and EXPENSIVE problem on earlier models (2010). Recently the front passenger window was hyper sensitive when raising the window and would go back down approximately 2 inches. This was a source of aggravation to my wife and I. Problem solved when I disconnected the battery for a day and on reset the problem has not reappeared. The vehicle ride is smooth and no unusual steering or suspension problems are noted.
Body Hardware: The driver's left side seat plastic cover broke and the seat control switch had to be replaced as it too fell apart. This has been a problem on all 5 Dodge Grand Caravans I have owned.
On this 3.6L, to change spark plugs the plenum must be removed, turning this into a 3 hour job on the first go around. Do not over-tighten the plenum. Do not break the tangs on the spark plug connector clips. If you break a tang or lose one, try using an insulated wire to twist tie the connection or purchase a replacement pigtail connector at the spark plugs. The worst problem I can see is the development of oil leaks at the base of the oil cooler.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 24th November, 2019
1st Dec 2019, 04:13
Nice review with useful detail.
19th Jul 2020, 19:54
I am the owner of this vehicle. The vehicle now has 167,000 miles. Longer term reliability is even MORE suspect. Other issues include the starter replaced recently, motor mounts (replace as needed). The starter is the size of a water bottle (just not big enough to last). They are cheap enough from Ebay but a pain to replace. Another issue is timing chain tensioner noise. I have come to believe after 5 Dodge mini-vans that Chrysler intentionally has random P0420 codes activate on these higher mileage vehicles. They all throw codes around 150-160K miles. My advice is to consider disconnecting the battery over-night for a reset.
Oil leaks from rear valve cover. Mileage however is consistent with 25 mpg on the highway. Acceleration on these 287 hp vehicles gives them some punch as needed. This vehicle has been used mostly highway miles and like ALL Chrysler mini-vans it won't overheat when idling in 90 degree plus weather. Assuming your coolant system is intact and maintained. I idle the vehicle ALL day without it rising past the half way point on the gauge. Don't try that with a Chevrolet 3.4L.