Ford and Dodge test drives

Discussion in 'The Coffee Shop ~ Chit Chat' started by Caddiac, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. Caddiac

    Caddiac Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Took a little trip where I had to drive a Ford E-series 15 passenger van and a Dodge Caravan. So I thought I would share my opinion on these two vehicles.

    Ford E Series Van I nicked named "The Pig" because of the slop in the steering wheel among other notable characteristics. The air conditioner could cause heat stroke if you spent much time at idle on a hot day. There was an odd sound that reminded me of the tapping valves on a buddies old late 60's Econoline van. I don't think it was the engine but I am not sure of what else it could have been. The carpet seemed to show the wear rather quickly for a van designed to carry a large number of passengers. The was not step or running board to make access easy. God have mercy on the mechanic that has to work on it. The engine compartment is pretty tight. On the positive note, it did not break down.

    The Dodge Caravan had an impressive air conditioner and very nice entertainment center. Too bad they were installed in an under powered POS with a transmission and cruise control unit that do not cooperate in the mountains. The van did get decent mileage: 20 ~ 22 all around. Unfortunately, even at today's high gas prices, the transmission overhaul at 40K (if it gets that far) will cost more than the money saved on gas. Overall the Dodge performed very well as long as you sat in it with the ac on and played with the entertainment center. As for maintenance access, the Dodge is a cut above the Ford. The engine and transmission looked tiny in the engine compartment. Hey, that explains why it can't pull an old lady off a toilet. Like the Ford, the Dodge did not break down. Though, admittedly, I half expected the transmission to tank on me before we got home.
  2. Enkeiavalanche

    Enkeiavalanche Loving the Outdoors Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    Had a Caravan one time as a Co van we called it the Crappavan... Trans mounts every 6 months, Trans every 2 years..and so on...
  3. 98Hotrod98

    98Hotrod98 Rockstar 100 Posts

    Never owned a caravan but we did rent one for 7 days last year for a road trip. I know exactly what you mean about the trans. The motor seems to have plenty of power for a such a vehicle but the trans felt like it was about to fail at every hill. Interior wise, we were completely happy with the caravan.
  4. Caddiac

    Caddiac Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I owned a Town & Country LXI when my daughter was born. It had leather interior the works. Very good looking, mechanically. unreliable POS. You could pull the seats and slide 4x8 sheets of plywood in the back. If you were lucky, it would not breakdown on you before you got home.
  5. murdog94

    murdog94 Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    I drove a fully loaded Uhaul E-450, we had a loaded weight with trailer just over 19K lbs. it had the V-10, and 5spd auto. I drove it from Ga to MN. I got a best tank of 7mpg and worst tank of 5.5mpg. And the 5th gear was never used i dont think. It didnt have as bad of steering as you mentioned Caddi.
    I will in its defense say that the Ford E-series hasnt been updated much since 1978 litterally. Though im not a van type of guy so i stick with a truck or a car.. lol
  6. stephan

    stephan Rockstar 4 Years 5000 Posts

    Hey Caddie, do they issue barf bags with those Fords & Dodges? Inquiring minds want to know.
  7. Jimmeh

    Jimmeh Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Personally, I don't think it's a fair comparison with a mini van vs. a heavy duty work van since it's kind of like comparing organic fuji apples to organic cow manure. Of course the E-Series is going to have slop: it's based off of a pickup, and last I checked all the Ford pickups have horrible slop (no offense to any Ford owners, I also own one, lol).
  8. Caddiac

    Caddiac Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    No barf bags. Both had power windows LOL

    Not comparing them to each other. I just commented on the performance and handling of the two. For what it was designed to do, the Ford is tolerable as long as you were on the highway. The Chrysler is best sitting in the drive way or if you are going somewhere that does not have hills or mountains.
  9. stephan

    stephan Rockstar 4 Years 5000 Posts

    And if the power windows don't work??????
  10. Caddiac

    Caddiac Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Aim for the badge!

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