31 answers

Dodge Grand Caravan Vs. Toyota Sienna

I am looking into buying a van this month. This will be the first mini-van that I have owned. I'm debating between the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Toyota Sienna. I would like to get opinions on each and personal experience (good and bad!) that you have. Thanks!

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Neither in my opinion. We bought a Honda Odyssy and loved it. I felt the door opening for the Sienna was too small. I kept bumping my head. The Dodge felt cramped in the 3rd row. IMHO Look at all vans, get in them as if you had the kids getting loaded into their car seats etc. it will help
Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Sienna - no question! It's a Toyota...who in their right mind would buy a Chrysler over a Toyota unless you've got tons of money to waste on repairing the Chrysler all the time....

We had a Dodge Caravan and had a number of problems. It just seemed like there was always something going wrong. We then bought a Ford Windstar and had even more problems with that one. We bought a used Toyota Sienna in 2003 and have never had a problem with it. It has a 190,000 miles on it and has gone to Florida and back twice, Texas, Colorado, the east coast and Chicago on a nearly monthly basis. I should have put my foot down when my husband wanted to get something other than a Toyota. Before kids, I had a Corolla and Tercel and loved both.

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Neither in my opinion. We bought a Honda Odyssy and loved it. I felt the door opening for the Sienna was too small. I kept bumping my head. The Dodge felt cramped in the 3rd row. IMHO Look at all vans, get in them as if you had the kids getting loaded into their car seats etc. it will help
Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

We had a dodge minivan and we had to unexpectedly donate it at only 110K miles because the transmision was going on it. When we brought it in to our mechanic he said he was surprised that it lasted that long as those are notorious for the transmission being really bad. He said they usually had to be replaced around 80K! We bought the Honda Odyssey and we love it. We compared the Odyssey and the Sienna and to me there was no comparison. The Odyssey has more features for less money and will last as long as Toyota.

1 mom found this helpful

We had a Dodge Caravan and had a number of problems. It just seemed like there was always something going wrong. We then bought a Ford Windstar and had even more problems with that one. We bought a used Toyota Sienna in 2003 and have never had a problem with it. It has a 190,000 miles on it and has gone to Florida and back twice, Texas, Colorado, the east coast and Chicago on a nearly monthly basis. I should have put my foot down when my husband wanted to get something other than a Toyota. Before kids, I had a Corolla and Tercel and loved both.

I have a Dodge Grand Caravan, which is my 3rd van (the first two were Ford Windstars). I would highly recommend it! I absolutely love it! The option of the seats all folding down into the floor is ingenious!

I don't have any opinion on the Toyota Sienna except to say that with all the recalls that Toyota has been having (albeit not with their vans) I think I'd shy away from them.

Besides, Dodge invented the minivan and is an American company!

I've owned both, the quality is much higher in the Sienna! Sienna is also a much quieter riding van, Caravan was very noisy, especially on the interstate.

I have liked the Dodge Caravans and the Chrysler T&C, BUT! The 2008 T&C is NOT for Minnesota! The wipers rest below the windshield so the defrost doesn't melt the ice off the wipers!!!

Check ALL accessories...I didn't, and have to manually adjust rearview mirrors...outside. I thought the doohicky that does that while you're in the driver's seat was a standard item and had been for YEARS! Believe me, I'm trading as soon as I possibly can. Wish me luck on Monday! :)

Go with the advice of the others, too...check online on all comments. The stow and go isn't worth the wipers freezing up...not to me, anyway. I'm starting to research vehicles, myself... :)

Love my Honda Odyssey. Automatic slidding doors are a wonderful thing. Sooo much space.
Seems like Toyota is going through some problems at the moment, maybe not with the Sienna, but not sure I would trust them right now. Although you could probably get a good deal.

We bought an 8 passenger 2008 Sienna 1 1/2 yrs ago and LOVE it! We owned a Windstar for 7 yrs prior to this. We didn't even consider the Caravan because of the problems our close friends had with the transmission. They had to replace their transmission 3 times and one of those times was on a long trip to Disney World.

I love, love, love my Sienna! It's so much roomier than our old Windstar. We have 5 children and we all fit comfortably in it. Our oldest child is 14 yrs old, he's 6 ft tall and weighs 235 lbs. He fits very comfortably in the far back seat and it's very easy to lift the side seats to get in.

Hope this info helps!

Honda Odyssey!!!! We had a Sienna for a few days and took it back and went with the Sienna. We have had it for almost 3 years and we love it! With Toyota's problems right now, I wouldn't buy from them at all.

Stay away from both! The Honda Odyssey is the BEST! I have had 2 Dodge Caravans and both were awful and full of issues (transmission on BOTH!). I have a friend that had a Toyota Sienna and she was in the shop all the time for one thing or another, and another friend that had a Kia minivan which seemed to be breaking before our very eyes, LOL!! EVERYONE I know that has a Honda Odyssey LOVES it and has had them forever with little to no problems, while ours kept breaking down or in the shop. I gave up on minivans after having the 2 Dodge Caravan lemons and then a Oldsmobile Silhouette (which was always having electrical problems). We have a Subaru Outback Wagon that we ADORE and have over 100,000 miles on it now with no major issues, just regular service issues. Sometimes minivans aren't always the best bet for families...

How about a KIA Sedona? I had one and simply LOVED it! Never had an issue, it retained it's value well when I traded it in, got decent mileage for a mini van and was VERY affordable!

Sienna - no question! It's a Toyota...who in their right mind would buy a Chrysler over a Toyota unless you've got tons of money to waste on repairing the Chrysler all the time....

We just got a Honda Odyssey and love it! It's very comparable to the Sienna. If you need all wheel drive, the Sienna is a great choice. If you don't need AWD, check into the Odyssey. I didn't want to get a van, but really do enjoy mine now.

my husband is a car guy and he enjoys the dodge grand caravan. he has never driven a toyota sienna, but he "buys american" and depending on where you live you might not be able to easily get to a place that would do work on toyotas. that is an issue for us as we live an hour from the nearest toyota place and only 5 minutes or 20 minutes from a repair shop for our dodge (that, and my husband used to be a mechanic so he knows how to work on dodges and fords LOL so thats probably most of our prejudice for dodge. LOL.
anyway,
i like the dodge myself, i think they look better. but my reasons are mostly cosmetic. LOL
drive them both. and i mean, stress free, calmly, tell the dude riding with you to shut his trap so you can focus. really pay attention. we once drove 2 cars that were VERY similar and we definatly knew which one gave a better ride. but you gotta focus. ;)

We have a 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan and LOVE it - we didn't get the top model, but the one right below that, so we have electric driver's seat, electric side mirrirs, satalite radio we also have the power doors and liftgate - that is a blessing with you are trying to get two little kids and groceries into the car, just push the remote and it opens right up!! We did not get the dvd/tv system, and I am glad, our kids do great looking outside, playing with toys and "reading"! My kids are close in age to yours - it is great to have the two carseats in the middle right next to the sliding doors on each side, and then you can have the way back seat up or down for more passengers or for LOTS of storage space if shopping or going on long trips. Don't get the swivel seats, but the regular stow and go - that way you cna fold them down if you need to - the swivels would be good for tweens and teens, but not little kids/car seats I think!

The ONLY issue we have had in the year we've owned it was a "whistling windsheild" which it had right fomr the beginning - they fixed it for free - it just needed to be glued back in, basically.

We have had a Dodge Grand Caravan since 2000, it had been a lease vehicle with 25,000 miles on it..An all wheel drive and we love it..still have it. It has 165,000 miles on it and we have had no problems with it except for one little sensor in the transmission a few years ago that kept it from shifting into high gear and that was fixable for not a whole arm and leg. Other than that...no problems...it is still running on the original battery and we live in North Dakota with cold winters! Oh yes, it seats 7 so it is great for families. Altho we are now thinking of downsizing and are looking at the Chevy Equinox or a Hyandia. We will still keep our van as a spare and btw I also have a Mazda van (1990 era) that runs great with only 1 water pump replaced and a few belts and it has almost 200,000 miles!!

We bought a Sienna a little over a year ago. I was not looking forward to having a minivan at all! I had driven several Caravans at a previous job I had and hated them. My husband was convinced that we needed a van for when we had our 2nd baby so there would still be room for us to haul around his mom and sister. I have only owned Toyotas so that is what we looked at. The first thing I noticed when we test drove the Sienna is that it drove more like a car than the Caravans I had driven. I also think it feels more roomy. We got pilot seats in the middle row and I love that we can move one to the center so our baby is in the middle of the vehicle (and with two carseats the in-laws are waaay in the back LOL). The pilot seats are easy to move and I like how easy it is to fold down the rear seats. I also love that the front passenger seat can be folded forward to make a makeshift changing table. I think the Caravan may have more bells and whistles but I was more concerned with dependability. The first Toyota (a 1985 Camary) I owned I bought four years old. I drove it for over ten years before I had any problems with it. Once they figured out what was wrong with it (a very obscure problem) my parents and brother drove it for about five more years until my brother totalled it. My second Toyota was a 1996 Tercel. I drove it for ten years and only had one major mechanical issue with it ( an O2 sensor). I would still be driving it but our daughter's front facing carseat wouldn't fit in the tiny backseat. We got a very decent trade in with it when we bought the van. Yes there have been recalls on some Toyotas but not the Sienna. And Toyota is not the only car that has had a gas pedal recall in the last five years. As far as quality I definately see better quality and dependability in our Sienna and in the Caravans I drove at work. It seemed that once our fleet of Caravans hit about five years old we had one in the shop every week.

happy honda odyssey owner here. 2 of my neighbors love theirs, too. superior crash test ratings, very good gas mileage... one neighbor with a 2003 model has 260K miles and still going strong.

Updated

happy honda odyssey owner here. 2 of my neighbors love theirs, too. superior crash test ratings, very good gas mileage... one neighbor with a 2003 model has 260K miles and still going strong.

I rented a van recently -- it looked like a small hearse -- didn't help that it was black. It was huge on the outside, but inside it was like you got into another car. Hardly room for five.

I'd get the smallest size mini-van you can with the best gas mileage. Gas mileage/fuel efficiency is becoming more important now as everyone makes a commitment to lower CO2 emissions. Personally, I don't care whether global climate change is human-caused or not, I can't stand to see melting glaciers and swimming polar bears.

I wonder what every happened to those station wagons they produced awhile back? They were huge with plenty of room for families.

Don't buy anything from Dodge/Chrysler!!
Toyotas just run better. There is a less-likely chance that you will have to ever get anything fixed on a Toyota.

Another happy Honda Odyssey owner here. I would stay away from Toyota until they get their quality control back on track and the Dodge Caravan has a horrible reputation (just look for reviews online). In your position, I would take a look at the reviews before settling on a model. I think even the Kia minivan gets better reviews than the Caravan.

Good luck!

I would also go with the Honda Odysey. Besides all the happy posters here, I've known people personally who are happy with theirs and would buy another. You can't buy any new Toyota anything anyway until they get their problem fixed.

We have the dodge grand caravan and it is great! We love the stow and go seating (we live about 3 1/2 hours from my fam, and during Christmases we spend with them, we hide santa presents in the cubbies the chairs go into for stow and go, very convienient!). There is plenty of room for the kids, plenty of room for us, lots of cup holders, etc.

I bought my Toyota Sienna 1 year ago and I love it!! I am one of those people who NEVER thought I would drive a minivan, I am more of a SUV person, but when we compared cost, space, gas mileage, a minivan made the most sense. This is also the 3rd Toyota I have owned and I have loved every one of them. My family also buys Toyotas. We drove the Dodge/Chrysler and it felt like you were in a card board box. I would strongly recommend the Toyota. Good luck on your search!

Another vote for the Sienna. We bought ours 2.5 yrs ago and love it! we have several neighbors who have the Honda and they love that too. When we were doing our search we asked around and people told us to stay away from Dodge/Chrysler and the top recommendations were Toyota and Honda. GL w/ your search!

We have a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan, we purchased it new and have had very few things go wrong. All of which my husband was able to repair on his own for very little money. It has 75,000 miles and is still going strong. We have 3 kids and we love the space, especially for traveling!!!

I just LOVE my 2006 Grand Caravan!! I will never go back to an SUV again!!

I have owned both back to back. Get the Toyota! I love the Sienna. Our Dodge was fine for awhile but seems like we had so many little problems with it. I was in several times for the brakes and air conditioner and electrical stuff. We drove the Caravan to 179,000 miles so I guess it did pretty good. The Sienna is very quiet and a smooth ride. The air system is great and the kids love the roll down back windows. We have owned other Toyotas and love the reliability and service.

Stay away from the Dodge Grand Caravan. We are working on our third transmission. Nothing but problems with it!!!

We are on our second Dodge Caravan and LOVE it! Our first was a 1997 hand-me-down from my parents, and we gave it to my in-laws when we bought a 2007 Grand Caravan SXT. I LOVE the automatic doors, fold & go seats, and built-in DVD player. It drives nicely and we haven't had any problems with it.

I am looking into buying a van this month. This will be the first mini-van that I have owned. I'm debating between the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Toyota Sienna. I would like to get opinions on each and personal experience (good and bad!) that you have. Thanks!

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