26th Jan 2015, 21:27
Any car can be babied through its entire life if you check and replace everything every other week. Buy a Honda, Subaru, Toyota, Nissan, etc and you won't experience problems till well over 200k miles. I don't think I've ever even checked the transmission fluid in my Honda. The proper term for the transmission is "notorious unreliability", not "picky." Buy foreign or at least not a Chrysler, and you'll go years longer with half the maintenance.
27th Jan 2015, 09:57
I strongly disagree. "Buy foreign everything" is an awful mentality to have, no wonder our North American economy is in the toilet. I have always preferred to, if given a choice, buy a locally made product.
If foreign cars were that much better, I could see some logic in this, but in my experience and many others, they are not; in some cases, they're less reliable and more expensive for parts/repairs than North American models.
My company uses only full size GMC/Ford work trucks/vans; they are far from "North American junk", some in the fleet are over 20 years old and over 300k of hard mileage. Very low maintenance, operating cost and purchase price, perfect for a business owner.
Dodge Caravans are also a great buy for a family/work van. Like the original poster said, they have an undeserved bad reputation. They are still the #1 selling minivan in North America every year for a reason. I have owned a few and really liked the interior space, comfort, good gas mileage, low cost, etc... Never had any issues with any of them other than regular fluid changes, tires, new wiper blades, etc...
I also see countless numbers of old neglected beat up 90s Caravans on the road everyday; usually an indicator of a good model.
People just tend to not take very good care of minivans in general. All makes/models/brands of minivan will develop transmission problems if you overload them constantly and/or drive them like sports cars, when they are actually lighter duty vehicles.
14th May 2015, 20:15
Maybe I should rephrase. Don't buy Chrysler. Chryslers are notorious for a whole slew of problems, that range from crappy engine design, to notoriously faulty transmissions that are worth of a class action suit, to body problems where your rusted shock towers will send your car into a nosedive into the pavement. Chryslers are crap. Sure you can keep driving your Voyager forever after you replace the engine, transmission, various motors, and patch the fist sized holes in the body, but these are ALL things you can most likely avoid with a foreign car or Ford. All of the problems that you see in Chryslers at 100k miles, I haven't seen in my Honda or Subaru till over 200k miles. So not all American cars are bad, but only a few Chryslers qualify as reliable in the market today.