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Cory Wolfe

2008 Chrysler/Dodge Van Impressions

35 posts in this topic

I was able to check out a Caravan as well as a Town & Country last week. For a more extensive review commenting on it's minivan values, see Empowah's thoughts on it, here.

Starting off, I found the design to be decent; lacking, but not a complete turn off as certain other minivans are. The front ends are much more upright than the previous generation and is squared off. Proportionally, the Caravan's fascia is more even, and certainly better looking, than the T&C's with its large grill. The headlights of both are more horizontal and angular, as well as being the most unique from each other, than before. The midsection of the body and greenhouse is probably the classiest aspect of their designs. Aft of the sliding doors, it takes a turn for the worse and is quite frumpy. The rear end can be best described as looking similar to a dog dragging its ass on the ground. There's not much appeal in it. As well, the taillights are as uninteresting as they come. Unlike the previous gen, the taillights are very slightly differentiated between models. It has the overall feel that they didn't even put forth much effort into the design beyond modernizing it.

Moving inside the Caravan (I wasn't able to check out the T&C's interior), the first thing you notice is the rather cheap aura it gives off. The plastics are all hard and roughly grained, but well assembled. The controls appeared to be of higher quality than in past Chryslers. The audio and climate controls were pleasing to the eye and operated with fluidity. Ergonomically, everything but the dash mounted shifter checked out. It's located beyond the steering wheel, about even with the gauge cluster hood. I found that I had to learn forward to reach it, unlike other vans' dash mounted shifters. It was very unnatural to use for me. Looks-wise, the dash lacked. The center stack, while functional, was an eye-sore harking back to the tall-boxy interiors of the '70s and '80s. To match, the door panels were very square in design, with few differing angles. The most attractive area was the gauge cluster. To say the least, it wasn't the most pleasant place to be, but I'm sure you could find worse.

One thing that can be said of these vans is that they are highly innovative. While the swivel 'n' go seating offered limited foot room only children could use comfortably, it is a great idea that will most likely be popular with moms everywhere. The same could be said for the mirror that opens out of the ceiling console. It's a nifty feature that allows you to keep an eye on the rear passengers. Also in the ceiling console was LED reading lights and the cool blue accent lighting. The latter isn't noticeable in the day time, but I imagine at night it would quite a sight. In the rear, you can find a hook-ups for all your electronics to keep the passengers entertained. Returning to the outside, the mirrors had what appeared to be LED blinkers. Oddly, they weren't found on the T&C, just the Caravan.

Overall, I would say these vans will continue to be quite popular. These vans are not very offensive and should appeal to any mom looking for a safe, kid friendly buy.

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I saw three GCs yesterday at the local Dodge dealer. Unfortunately I couldn't get in, so I couldn't get as detailed with my interior impressions as you have.

I tend to like the front fascia. The rear does leave much to be desired though.

From what I could see inside, I still hate the center stack, and the rear passenger seats' backrests look too low to be comfortable.

Nice pics though. I'm almost ashamed to say that the A/V inputs made me happy. :thumbsup:

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..... and the rear passenger seats' backrests look too low to be comfortable.

I'm pretty sure you are supposed to raise them up when people are sitting back there, as seen in this pic:

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I believe they go down into the seat so that you can see better out the back window when nobody is sitting in the very back.

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I agree that the Caravan's front end is the more attractive of the two...Something about the T&C's headlight shape/detailing looks like it has eyes that are looking in opposite directions...but it doesn't look bad and I imagine that oddity is noticeable only from a direct front view.

Nice photos...too bad you couldn't get inside the T&C's interior...I'd like to see real-world photos of it.

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The rear end can be best described as looking similar to a dog dragging its ass on the ground.

:lol::lol:

Now that you mention it...

The LED reading lights do look pretty cool, though. Upscale.

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I agree that the Caravan's front end is the more attractive of the two...Something about the T&C's headlight shape/detailing looks like it has eyes that are looking in opposite directions...but it doesn't look bad and I imagine that oddity is noticeable only from a direct front view.

Actually, I thought the front of the T&C looked better straight on than at other angles. The Caravan's looks good from any angle. Sort of reminds me of a Mazda MPV, though.
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I think YOUR pictures are more flattering for the exterior of the vans than the actual press release photos.

LOL

Whatever you did they don't look bad at all in your pics.

The dash and front area still has too much "Japanese flavor" ( :wink: ) styling for me...

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swivel and go ought to be renamed.....

SIT AND SPIN

Great insight, as usual reg!

:rolleyes:

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I think YOUR pictures are more flattering for the exterior of the vans than the actual press release photos.

LOL

Whatever you did they don't look bad at all in your pics.

Thanks. I must agree... :P Edited by blackviper8891
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Nice shirt. :D

i was going to say "where's waldo?" on a different pic where your shirt looked darker (red).
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Chrysler always has the most innovative minivans but this new generation sure is ugly.

While the interior is very easy going the miles of plastic is unseemly.

But as unattractive as I feel they are I hope they continue to beat the pants off of Toyota and Honda!

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i followed a new one for a few miles today. what a lumpy looking brick. the rear view especially is quite dumpy. thick and fat.

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i followed a new one for a few miles today. what a lumpy looking brick. the rear view especially is quite dumpy. But not as dumpy as my Aztek...I'm just bitching because it's not a Ford....how about that awesome Focus? Isn't it pretty?

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i followed a new one for a few miles today. what a lumpy looking brick. the rear view especially is quite dumpy. thick and fat.

Hahaha

More like you RACED one.

And while it was AHEAD OF YOU, it made you feel angry.

Hence your post....

:AH-HA_wink:

LOL!!!!!!!!

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i followed a new one for a few miles today. what a lumpy looking brick. the rear view especially is quite dumpy. thick and fat.

Is it just me or does the owner of an Aztec calling ANYTHING a "lumpy looking brick" or describing the rear view of ANY other vehicle as "dumpy" sound just a tad bit.... Absurd..?

:stupid:

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Earth to reg, come in reg.......

LOL

Edited by CMG
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Is it just me or does the owner of an Aztec calling ANYTHING a "lumpy looking brick" or describing the rear view of ANY other vehicle as "dumpy" sound just a tad bit.... Absurd..?

:stupid:

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Earth to reg, come in reg.......

LOL

I refer you to Chris' quote that resides in my sig.

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I refer you to Chris' quote that resides in my sig.

Hahahaha

Never noticed, pretty danged accurate though!

:AH-HA_wink:

:lol:

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:lol: ....Reg...gotta love him...
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i followed a new one for a few miles today. what a lumpy looking brick. the rear view especially is quite dumpy. thick and fat.

Your not allowed to criticize Chrysler on a GM fan site!! Are you crazy?
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people will likely say the same thing when they follow one on the road for the first time. i don't need to defend what i said, i'll just be waiting until others get the exact same reaction after seeing one.....cuz it will be a common reaction

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still kinda looks like this

or a scaled down savana/express

Edited by regfootball
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Just followed a new Chrysler van this morning.... gosh that thing looks like it was dragging it's ass.

My impression was that someone over at Chrysler saw the CSVs from GM and said "Hey! We should try something like that"

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