"I had to quickly replace my totalled Taurus Station Wagon last year, and didn't spend much time comparison shopping because I needed a car and was also injured from the accident. Since this is such a popular car, I figured it would be serviceable after owning a station wagon. It was also a good value as a pre-owned car with moderate mileage.
While it has been extremely mechanically reliable, this basic model is the most uncomfortable and inconvenient car I have ever owned. Not only does it not have power windows (which knew about and normally could live with), the manual windows are HARD to roll down, and I can't reach the passenger side front window handle unless I park and physically get out of the driver's seat.
The rear hatch is only operable by unlocking with the key, so I always have to remove it from the ignition, or bring it outside to the car in order to place something in or remove something from the trunk. It's so inconvenient - what a pain. I haven't had a car without a hatch release button in my entire life - who would design it this way?
The cargo door is also heavy and difficult to close, and removing or tipping the back seat to increase cargo room is a fullon wrestling match. I often just end up using the passenger area for cargo because the trunk is so difficult to deal with. Totally defeats the point of having a van or station wagon.
The sliding doors on the sides are hard, too - a challenge for my kids to close by themselves.
The passenger area has no areas for storage of small items that kids have. Their stuff is always falling out of the cupholders and rolling around the car.
The climate control doesn't work well throughout the car. I have to roast or freeze in the front seat in order to provide a somewhat comfortable temperature for my rear seat passengers. The car is too long to have vents just in the dashboard.
It does handle well in the snow, but sudden stopping on wet pavement is worse than I expected. That's probably a function of the bulk of the car.
The paint and body are much more easily damaged than any car I've ever owned. I use this car the same way I used my station wagon, but that car never suffered huge deep scratches from shrub twigs at the edges of my driveway as this Grand Caravan does. In addition, when there was an obscene amount of snow last winter, there were tall snow banks everywhere, and I backed into them twice while turning in my driveway. At essentially 0 mph the snow banks caused fist-size dents in the rear bumper.
By the way, the reason I backed into the banks is that there is absolutely no way to see what is directly behind the car below the level of the rear window. I understand this comes with owning a van, but I can't get over the difficulty of backing out of parking spaces, etc. It's the same length as the station wagon, but it feels like backing up a cruise ship with a blindfold on.
I'm not entirely surprised by the insane amount of gas it eats, but it's REALLY bad. I mostly drive around in town, and estimate my mpg is about 10.
I cannot wait to ditch this clunky, depressing shoebox for something more user friendly."
"Not a bad vehicle but living in snow country this vehicle leaves a lot to be desired! It's fine when the roads have been plowed but if there's any snow-pack it just doesn't want to start going without slipping & sliding on the drive wheels! Next vehicle will be AWD!!"