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Car and Vehicle Safety>2010 Caravan vs Town & Country?
Phineasmama 08:18 PM 02-25-2012
I know they have the same engines and transmisisons. Any difference as far as car seats and installs go? We only have 3 kids and I would probably have DD1 ride in the 3rd row because she can buckle/unbuckle herself. I would probably be using ProSports for the 2 older kids and a MA70, MA65 or CCO for the baby.
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daniele_ut 09:44 PM 02-25-2012
I have a 2010 Grand Caravan SXT. The only real differences between it and the T&C are the exterior trim, interior trim and some options. The seats are exactly the same, though you may be able to get leather on the T&C. There is only one top tether in the 3rd row center, and then one on each captains chair.

We also have 3 kids and right now I have DS1 in the 3rd row in an old style Parkway. DD, who just turned 4 is FF in the passenger side captains chair in a RA50 and DS2 is behind the driver in a KF30. I have to take the headrest off the captains chair for the FF RA59, but it installs really solidly there, both seatbelt and LATCH. The KF installs in about 30 second flat with LATCH, haven't tried seatbelt yet. I do have a CCO, but I haven't had a need to install it in the van yet. I can try it out if you need me to, though.

We have had ours since October and I really like driving it. We bought it with about 33000 miles on it.
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Emi's Mommy 09:56 PM 02-25-2012
A Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country and Volkswagen Routan are all the same vehicle. The only differences are in options, price and name badges.
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Phineasmama 08:47 AM 02-26-2012
Hmmm...I would REALLY like to get leather seats this time. That's good to know about the top tethers! Sounds like it would work just fine then since I would put DD in the middle of the 3rd row
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Phineasmama 09:11 AM 02-26-2012
They have a 2009 Routan with leather seats (drool) but it has 90K miles on it This dealership has a really good selection of low mileage newer vans in our price range though, I'm really happy about that! We're just waiting till Monday to see if we get approved for financing and how much more (if any) we have to put down after DH's car trade in.
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tarynsmum 07:04 PM 02-26-2012
We just got a 2011 T&C at Christmas time. So far I'm really happy with it. I haven't had any installation issues (though I admit I don't play with the 3rd row a lot since we only have the 2 kids). We have black cloth interior. It cleans really nicely, but I still really wish it was black leather. However, we got an absolute crazy deal on it, so I can't complain too much about it.
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luckyclov 07:37 PM 02-26-2012
The (redesigned) Grand Caravan, Town & Country (2008-2010, 2011+) and the VW Routan are all pretty much the same vehicle.

I used to have an '09 Grand Caravan. The captains chairs never posed much of any child seat issue, RF, FF, or booster. The 3rd row, however, was a bit more challenging, especially with FF seats and boosters (and seatbelted kids/teens/small adults), due to the seat slope/angle and seatbelt "geometry". The shoulder belts (outboard) are set reallllly forward.

My two biggest issues with the vehicle were the horrible gas mileage - 13/14 MPG city - and the 3rd row. Loved all the cargo and storage space.

There is a part # for a top tether anchor retrofit kit for the 3rd row. Jourdysmom has a thread with all the specifics.

Just as a sidenote, when I un-installed DS2's Marathon 70 (RF) from the captains chair, there was a dime sized hole in the seat back fabric and another area that was *thisclose* to becoming a full-on hole. And the plastic headrest notch thingie (the headrest would no longer lock in place) on the back of the other captains chair broke when I installed DD's Frontier 85. I suspect this will happen with any "taller" harnessed seat install. IIRC, it was around $30 when I called for a replacement price.
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Phineasmama 09:13 PM 02-26-2012
I wish I could get a 2011 version but I don't think that's gonna happen since they are several thousand more than the 2010s. I heard they made several improvements in the 2011 vs the 08-'10.

I might also look at a Mazda 5 because I am kind of concerned about gas mileage, but I would have to see it IRL to know if it would be feasible to use the 3rd row for DD all the time and not be a huge pain in the butt

Honestly at this point anything is going to be better than DH's '06 Charger that we're trading in. It needs like $1000 worth of work and we've put SO much money into it in the last several years it's ridiculous. I hate that piece of crap.
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Rosey 09:59 PM 02-26-2012
I have a redesigned grand caravan and love it. Ive installed Radians, new and old britax, and CCO second and third row without issues. I also get 18mpg city and 23 highway. My sister has a grand caravan too and hers has leather. Mine his dark interior which is really nice. I can't say enough good things. I bought it with 45K miles on it, and have 66K on it now 15 months later without any issues.
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Phineasmama 07:27 AM 02-27-2012
Originally Posted by Rosey:
I have a redesigned grand caravan and love it. Ive installed Radians, new and old britax, and CCO second and third row without issues. I also get 18mpg city and 23 highway. My sister has a grand caravan too and hers has leather. Mine his dark interior which is really nice. I can't say enough good things. I bought it with 45K miles on it, and have 66K on it now 15 months later without any issues.
Awesome!! Can I ask what year yours is and what style? Like is it an SXT or Crew or??
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luckyclov 09:04 AM 02-27-2012
They do not hold their value well, so keep that in mind. I traded in my 2009 (SXT) last year and took $13,500 for a trade (17,000 miles). Bring all your car seats with you, boosters, borrow some older, potentially 5-stepping kids, and go to town with installations and placements, now and future-wise, all seating positions. I didn't do that and it bit me in the butt later. I got mine (traded in my Mazda 5) when I was pregnant with #3, so I never "sampled" the 3rd row with seats/kids until AFTER I owned the vehicle and baby #3 arrived. Big mistake.

And be especially considerate of the brakes and what kind of shape they're in. Get them checked out if you can. This may have been corrected in MY 2010 and on, but my '09 went through 2 sets of brake pads and 1 set of rotors. It was such a known issue to the 2008-2009 MYs that Chrysler actually did a "courtesy" extension on the warranty and replaced pads with varying deductible charge (based on mileage, IIRC).

I would have probably kept the vehicle had it not been for the MPG and the 3rd row. Or if my needs in the 3rd row were different then what they are.

I totally miss using the floor compartments (where the capt chairs go in stow n go mode) to store all of my stuff (bags, projectiles, umbrellas, headrests). Loved those things.

ETA: Here's the thread with the TTA retrofit info: http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=179305
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tarynsmum 10:11 AM 02-27-2012
Originally Posted by clov878:
The (redesigned) Grand Caravan, Town & Country (2008-2010, 2011+) and the VW Routan are all pretty much the same vehicle.

I used to have an '09 Grand Caravan. The captains chairs never posed much of any child seat issue, RF, FF, or booster. The 3rd row, however, was a bit more challenging, especially with FF seats and boosters (and seatbelted kids/teens/small adults), due to the seat slope/angle and seatbelt "geometry". The shoulder belts (outboard) are set reallllly forward.

My two biggest issues with the vehicle were the horrible gas mileage - 13/14 MPG city - and the 3rd row. Loved all the cargo and storage space.
Holy crap, that's crappy mileage! I generally drive straight city miles (stop and go, traffic, etc) to and from work every day. Then, I'm at about 18.5 (I love the gauge feature that keeps track of mileage - I have it on all the time). When we went on vacation a last month, we had a tank of straight highway miles, and our average was 23.1 I believe. Not as good as a car, or a Mazda 5, but I love my van so far (I've always wanted a van).

I can't wait until spring so that I can play with the 3rd row some more with a variety of seats.
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Phineasmama 11:35 AM 02-27-2012
EEEEEEEE! I just talked to the finance manager today and we got approved for a loan! We were waiting for the approval before we test drove anything (yeah our credit sucks) so I'm really excited. They have a huge inventory and he is going to look through and give us a couple options for what will work. He did mention a Nissan Quest so now I have to research that too.

I will most definitely be taking the car seats with! Lots of them They'll probably think I'm a nutcase but I'm cool with that.

And I have like 50 bajillion seats so I'm sure we can figure something out.
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luckyclov 12:05 PM 02-27-2012
Originally Posted by tarynsmum:
Holy crap, that's crappy mileage! I generally drive straight city miles (stop and go, traffic, etc) to and from work every day. Then, I'm at about 18.5 (I love the gauge feature that keeps track of mileage - I have it on all the time).
It was awful. Awful, awful, awful. I go through 2 tanks a week. DH's ginormous truck got better MPG. I'm a verrrrry conservative driver, too. It was in and out of the dealership (3 different dealerships) numerous times. Each time they told me there was nothing wrong and it was me. Well, bullcrap. My Sienna is rated 19-24 MPG and I get between 21.8-22 MPG with the same stop and go, sit and wait city driving. So I *know* it wasn't my driving.
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Phineasmama 02:37 PM 02-27-2012
Man...that really sucks about the gas mileage They only have one Ody and it's a 2008 for $22000 I will ask him about it, maybe they can bring the price down since it was likely a trade in.

Thankfully we don't have to drive very long distances. DH's work is about 5 miles away, my school is 6-7 miles away. All the places we usually go are less than 4 miles away. My chiropractor, super target...only 1/2 mile away!
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Rosey 03:15 PM 02-27-2012
Mine is a 2009 SXT version. I was only interested in the SXT for the power driver's seat and built in garage door opener. I had to have power sliding doors and captain chairs second row. I would have liked a power tailgate, but I'm living without that just fine. I was between this or a Mazda 5 and I'm so happy with my choice. I've used it to seat 7 people so many times. And we fit my sister, myself and DNi in a turbo third row with 2 rear facers second row.

I get great gas mileage so I suspect there was something wrong with the pp's van. My sister gets 1-2MPG less than me but she is a slam on the gas until it's time to break type of driver so that's understandable. I just went on a road trip and got 23mpg this weekend.

I wanted to get a newer van with lots of whistles over an older, higher mileage honda or toyota. That's my preferences and I suspect it all comes out in the wash as far as resale if you plan on keeping it for a few years. I would be deciding to resale a honda with 200K or a dodge with 100K---neither one will fetch me a large sum.

Have fun shopping!
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Phineasmama 03:25 PM 02-27-2012
Originally Posted by Rosey:
Mine is a 2009 SXT version. I was only interested in the SXT for the power driver's seat and built in garage door opener. I had to have power sliding doors and captain chairs second row. I would have liked a power tailgate, but I'm living without that just fine. I was between this or a Mazda 5 and I'm so happy with my choice. I've used it to seat 7 people so many times. And we fit my sister, myself and DNi in a turbo third row with 2 rear facers second row.

I get great gas mileage so I suspect there was something wrong with the pp's van. My sister gets 1-2MPG less than me but she is a slam on the gas until it's time to break type of driver so that's understandable. I just went on a road trip and got 23mpg this weekend.

I wanted to get a newer van with lots of whistles over an older, higher mileage honda or toyota. That's my preferences and I suspect it all comes out in the wash as far as resale if you plan on keeping it for a few years. I would be deciding to resale a honda with 200K or a dodge with 100K---neither one will fetch me a large sum.

Have fun shopping!
Thanks I really appreciate it! We are looking at a 2010 SXT or a T&C Touring, I would be sad to just have the base model too

We are definitely planning on keeping it for a while, at least 5 years or drive it till it dies lol!
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tarynsmum 03:34 PM 02-27-2012
Originally Posted by Rosey:
I wanted to get a newer van with lots of whistles over an older, higher mileage honda or toyota. That's my preferences and I suspect it all comes out in the wash as far as resale if you plan on keeping it for a few years. I would be deciding to resale a honda with 200K or a dodge with 100K---neither one will fetch me a large sum.
This is kind of where we ended up, too. We were looking at 04-07 Siennas with 65,000+ miles, had crossed out the Oddys of that generation because they aren't radian-friendly (and we're a Radian-centric family, lol). I didn't like how "stripped down" the Sedona looked, and there were literally NO used EX models in our area.

My other issue is that I really needed the telescoping pedals that the T&C/Caravan has (I think you have to get the Limited Sienna to get that) because my legs are so freakin short. I feel WAY more comfortable being farther away from the steering wheel now.

I decided that, even though the Sienna was the more 'popular' CSO choice, if I was going to have the van for the 4-5 years my loan would be for, I would end up in the same place I was in with my CR-V - a feeling of loathing for this sh*t bucket (lol). So we ended up with the 2011 T&C, which was a IIHS top pick, and had all "Good" ratings (same as the Sienna). And I got way more "features" than I would have gotten in the older Sienna - 2 brand new factory-installed DVD players, Sirius radio, that groovy touch-screen console with the buttons on the steering wheel (again, very short - it's hard for me to change the radio channels without leaning way over in most vehicles).

If we had 3+ kids, it would be a different discussion, because I would have to figure out what to do with an extra RFer, or a booster in the 3rd row that might be a challenge, or whatever. Maybe I'll grow to be annoyed with it. I've only had it 2 months, so there's no telling.

ETA: the only thing it didn't have that I wanted was built in Nav, because my Garmin is like 3 years old and all the streets are wrong, but I'll just buy a new Garmin :shrug:
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Phineasmama 03:39 PM 02-27-2012
Yeah, that's exactly where I'm at right now. If I get one of the two vans I mentioned I am getting something fairly new, very low mileage, all the COOL stuff including Sirius radio built in, DVD players, etc. I just can't see myself paying thousands more for an Ody or Sienna that is like 3-4 years older and has 3x the mileage already!
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Phineasmama 09:40 PM 02-28-2012
We ended up getting a 2010 Caravan We got a GREAT deal on it price wise, and it only has 15K miles, previous owners were old people who never went anywhere

I'm loving the stow n' go seating!!
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