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.

Driving:

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.

Handling:

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.

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Performance:

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.

Economy:

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.

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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.

Thoughts:

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.

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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.