After driving the new van for 2 weeks as of today, I figured I’d give a quick little write up on it.
She’s a 1992 Dodge Caravan with a 3.0 V6 mated to the A670 3-speed auto with 70,543 miles currently. She has two small spots of rust and typical paint peel of the era, but is in excellent shape her age. She’s a pretty basic model, lacking power options and coming with the 14" wheels stock. I’ve upgraded to 15" lace wheels off a Lebaron, with brand new Douglas All-Season tires.
This van accels at being a comfy cruiser. The suspension and big sidewalls soak up bumps with ease, the interior is comfortable and quiet, and the 3.0 is happy to plug along on the road.
This van exhibits more roll when cornering than my van or our previous Sport Wagon, nothing extreme, but noticeable. Most of this is due to it being a base model, so it lacks the bigger sway bar up front and lacks a rear bar. The 15" wheel upgrade has made this slightly less noticeable, while making the steering more responsive.
Let’s face it, 141 hp in a minivan isn’t going to be fast. It has enough torque down low that merging on the highway or pulling out in traffic aren’t an issue. The gearing on the 3-speed seems better than I’m used to, which makes it quicker than I ever remember my van being with the same combo.
So far I’ve averaged 22 mpg on my first tank and 24+ mpg since then. The first tank had a lot of interstate at 80 mph, to which the 3.0/3-speed is wound tight, so the terrible mileage makes sense. The rest has been mixed driving, some interstate, some 55 mph hwy, some stop and go city.
My best mileage was on our trip to Richland Center last weekend, cruising at 58 mph most of the trip I pulled 26.8 mpg.
Honestly I enjoy the hell out of it, even it’s lack of performance is quite charming. I find myself spending more time cruising and spending very little time trying to screw off, which is a nice change of pace.
I can’t wait to get the couple rust spots fixed and get her repainted. After that I hope she serves us for many years to come.