Registered: Feb 2002
Location: BFE, So. California
Originally posted by Scooter
I've had 2 Plymouth Voyagers, similar but cheaper than the Grand Caravan which were nice, but the transmissions went out oh, about 7 times between the two of them. So, that left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth and took a drive in the Ford Windstar. It's a decent van, and has been much more reliable than my old Voyagers. However, the new version of the Windstar is called the Freestar which does have a folding rear seat. Don't discount the idea of folding rear seats as not being important. Hauling them in and out is indeed a pain in the rear. All of the rear seats fold into the floor of the new Chrysler which would be very nice IMO (dunno how much cargo space you are losing though because of a possible taller floor). Even though I was upset with my Voyager minivans, the wife wanted a Sebring convertible. It's been a great car, however, I was getting scared when I saw the transmission bleeding at about 79,000 miles. A simple gasket replacement fixed that.
We've got a Plymouth Grand Voyager (99). Yes, the transmissions do go out on the Plymouths. However, Plymouth no longer makes the GV. They realized the issues with the transmission and the newer ones (IIRC) do not have this problem. We replaced our transmission at 36,800 miles, and are now at 64K and aren't having any problems currently. With a new 2005 model, this shouldn't be at issue. Look over the previous 2 years or so history of GV/GC and see if the transmissions have been giving people problems. That's usually a good indicator. I've heard that the electronics can go on these, but we haven't had any problems with ours.
As far as options, we've got front/back fan control and passenger/driver side temp control with the ac/heater unit. The back window vents are motorized, so you can open them from the driver's seat. We have the driver's side sliding door, which is pretty much standard these days, but if it isn't, make sure you get one. The automatic door/hatch opener seems like something electronic that will just go bad. With the new ones, I think the seats that slide into the floorboard could be really neat. Yes, you may lose some cargo space on the interior, but for groceries and the like, those can just go into the cavities and you really haven't lost anything. It does usually take the 2 of us to put the seats in, but once they are in the van, they're actually pretty easy to line up and latch.
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