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My friend is in desperate need of a mini-van and she wants my help locating one for her and her kids. I know very little about these vehicles since I've never owned one or considered one.

In a nutshell any particular year/make/model recommended, or to avoid? Mainly concerned about engine, transmission and electrical.

I'd like to try to find a 2004+ model year for Dodge it sounds. Like to keep price under $8000. No high mileage vehicles.

Dodge Caravans (I see different V6 engines)


Chevy? (not interested in GM, she's got lots of issues with GM vehicles right now)

Can't rule out Honda/Toyota if funds allow. I see some early 2000 model Honda Odyssey vans, any insights?

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We had 3 Dodge vans, all had the 3.3 liter engine. All 3 were pretty bullet proof, milage was 23-24 mpg. The first 2 were traded for new vans, the third was given to my daughter. She drove it till it had 160000 miles on it and traded for a dodge van, that 3.3 used no oil at all. The 4th van we bought was a Chrysler with the 3.3 liter E.There isn;t anything I can say good about this van, brakes, gravel gets stuck between the rotor and shield, door locks take turns not working,a lot of weird noise that can;t be located, the in the floor seats are hard to tip up or down. the mpg is 20-21.

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I have a 2010 town and country, i bought it with 1600 miles on it in March of 2011. I have 36000 on it now. It has the 4.0 in it and runs great. Nice ride, I know you are not looking for that new but honestly other than a noise when the wind blows it has no issues. I looked at a ton of toyota, honda, and dodge and went with the TC. Good luck

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At sometime in the past there were transmission problems with some chrysler minivans. I forget the details and it might have been quite a while ago. Any of the pros might be able to remember or look it up.

Probably ancient history but burned some friends of mine.

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Late 90's on he caravan trannies but still get. Couple of the later models every once ns a while.

They Japanese options are the way to go except there's the added maintenance of the timing belt. Maintaining a domestic (in my opinion the caravan is the better choice of the three) will cost more but you never have to worry about the timing belt. The 3.3 has a history of broken rocker shaft mounts and an occasional head gasket but a pretty solid engine overall. The 3.8 is pretty tough as well. If you want the a/c to work every summer expect to shell out over a thousand dollars on at least 3 occassions.

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I know you are looking for newer than 2000 but I will add to look over any Chrysler for rust around the rear wheel well, gas cap and on the rear brake lines.

I owned 3 of these (A 98, 99 and 2000) all got into the higher milage (150k plus) but all three had at least one transmission job. The motors are strong though which is nice.

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