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If these were your only options, which would you choose

  • Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan

    Votes: 21 61.8%
  • Chrysler Town & Country

    Votes: 8 23.5%
  • Pontiac Montana

    Votes: 6 17.6%
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Discussion Starter #1
which minivan would you choose if you only had $8000.00 to spend, which limited your options to Chrysler Town & Country, Pontiac Montana, or Dodge Caravan? I know none of them are top of the line, but I've checked every dealership and reliable {read: doesn't have a nine pound file at the BBB} used car lot within 150 miles and these are the 3 that keep coming up.<br><br>
We need seating for 5-7, including 1 in a 5 pt. harness carseat and 1 in a high back booster, and a good majority of the time, a border collie in a 5 point sheepskin harness {the attatch to the seatbelt kind, not the doggie carseat kind} and we do frequent trips of 200 miles or more, soon to include frequent trips from Indiana to Oklahoma & back, and one big trip from Indiana to Savannah Georgia and back.<br><br>
any and all input needed/wanted/welcome
 

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We looked at vans (never did get one) and the Chrysler town and county and the Dodge caravan were the only ones Dh would look at for the price he said they are the best deal, he's an ASE mechanic and we had a Dodge minivan many years ago (same vehicles but chrysler has more bells and whistles standard)<br>
I kept wanting to look at toyotas, but he wouldn't budge, as the toyotas cost a lot more to fix (parts only seeing he's the mechanic)
 

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I have a Chevy Venture, which is a Pontiac Montana by a different name. I LOVE it! It has lasted a lot better than a lot of Chryslers and Dodges that are the same age. It's also wonderful for my kids. . . they can climb in and out of the van (well, my 3 year old can) and it's easy to lift my little one in and out.
 

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I picked the Caravan. I'd be nervous about the town and country b/c that is NOT a low-end vehicle new; it is the high end version of the Caravan. I don't know why they resell so low, but it can't be good. I'm not familiar with the Montana.
 

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I would definitely recommend the new Grand Caravan. It is very similar to the T&C, but with a more affordable price tag. I also think it will meet your room requirements because I actually test drove the Caravan last week with a few other adults and we all were able to fit in the van with a bit of room to spare--even with the table in place. I gave a quick review here: <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=827997&highlight=caravan" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...hlight=caravan</a><br><br>
HTH
 

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PLEASE consider safety!!!!!<br><br>
here is a link to the crash test ratings, the good ones, from IIHS.<br><a href="http://www.iihs.org/ratings/earliermodels.aspx?class=80" target="_blank">http://www.iihs.org/ratings/earliermodels.aspx?class=80</a><br>
The pontiac montana(transport) gets the WORST rating, a POOR. I would not buy one. If you have any other options, which you do, please don't get a Montana. I'm a car seat tech, and we always say that while carseats are important, remember that your automobile is your FIRST line of defense in an crash!!!!!<br><br>
As long as you get an 02 or newer, which you should be able to, given your price range, the T &C or Grand Caravan are both going to have much better ratings - an "acceptable" which unfortunately isn't "good", but it is WAY better than POOR, and about the best your going to do in your price range. A sienna would be better crash-wise, but they have such a high resale value, you'd be gettng an older, higher mileage one than a GC or T&C, for the same money, and I'm sure you want a vehicle that will last longer , be lower mileage, etc.<br><br>
Hope this helps!
 

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I was in a similar position 2 years ago, but I only had 6k. We picked the caravan. I agree w/ the pp that the T&C isn't low end. The ones I looked at had fairly obvious flaws--higher milage, previously a smoker's car, one rattled really loud when I drove it on the highway....<br><br>
The ratings on the pontiac rule it out for me.<br><br>
Our caravan is a '98. It had 80k miles on it when we bought it, now it has 100k.<br>
We've done some minor maintenance (muffler & alternator,) but nothing too bad.
 

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We own a Mercury Villager which I like, it drives really nice but it does have a bit of a sticky reverse.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
dh has put his foot down and said no more dodge products. he sat down with his checkbook and added it up, we put $5,000 and change into repairs for the Caravan we're getting rid of over the course of a year and barely put 33,000 miles on it.<br><br>
Ugh. I am so frustrated. I feel like I'll never find a van that we can afford that is safe and comfortable in. and I'm almost certain I'll never find one in time to go see Dh off to Iraq<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> :cry<br><br>
Some people have recommneded the Freestar, but I can't seem to find any of those in our price range either.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Kaitnbugsmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10358050"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">dh has put his foot down and said no more dodge products. he sat down with his checkbook and added it up, we put $5,000 and change into repairs for the Caravan we're getting rid of over the course of a year and barely put 33,000 miles on it.<br><br>
Ugh. I am so frustrated. I feel like I'll never find a van that we can afford that is safe and comfortable in. and I'm almost certain I'll never find one in time to go see Dh off to Iraq<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> :cry<br><br>
Some people have recommneded the Freestar, but I can't seem to find any of those in our price range either.</div>
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Well, the new Dodge Caravan's come with a lifetime warranty, so the powertrain (which includes the engine and transmission) are covered for as long as you own the vehicle. There's also a bumper-to-bumper lifetime warranty. See if that changes his mind.<br><a href="http://www.dodge.com/en/lifetime_powertrain_warranty/faq.html" target="_blank"><br>
http://www.dodge.com/en/lifetime_powertrain_warranty/faq.html</a>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>marybethorama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10355945"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The warranty sucks but it does have a good safety rating IIRC.<br><br>
We have a Caravan and we're happy with it.</div>
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Really? KIAs here have great warranties, and one of the reasons why we bought a Kia.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Iris' Mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10325326"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I picked the Caravan. I'd be nervous about the town and country b/c that is NOT a low-end vehicle new; it is the high end version of the Caravan. I don't know why they resell so low, but it can't be good. I'm not familiar with the Montana.</div>
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We traded our Town n Country for an Odyssey in March...the Town n Country is awful. Looks good, comfortable...but a P.O.S. under the hood.<br><br>
If you can swing an older Toyota or Honda with the $8k that's what I would do.
 
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