Last post on Jan 26, 2012 at 8:39 AM
You are in the Vans & Minivans
What is this discussion about?
Dodge Caravan, Ford Explorer, GMC Envoy, Honda Odyssey, Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota Sienna, SUV, Van
#1821 of 1874 Re: confusion [inspectoring]
by steve_ HOST
Nov 25, 2009 (8:53 pm)
Tires help. When I was up north I drove minivans for ~12 years. They did fine with studded tires, but we didn't get lake effect snow either. Seems like studs are banned a lot back in that part of the world. Studs really helped out at the intersections in town, both to stop on the black ice and then to get moving again.
Ground clearance could be an issue if you insist on going out during one of those infamous two foot dumps of snow.
Then there's the AWD Sienna to toss in the mix.
#1822 of 1874 Re: confusion [steve_]
Nov 26, 2009 (8:23 am)
And that Sienna has extra ground clearance, too, a lot more than an Odyssey, for instance.
The only catch - you gotta get run-flat tires.
#1823 of 1874 Re: confusion [ateixeira]
by steve_ HOST
Nov 26, 2009 (9:24 am)
Run-flats would just about be a deal killer. Are people able to swap them out?
#1824 of 1874 Re: confusion [steve_]
Nov 26, 2009 (10:22 am)
You are right about the tires, steve, if folks would keep aware of wear and replace before they need replacing -- a front wheel vehicle with great tires will take you through a lot of trouble. A set of 4 snow tires for northern climates can offer additional security. Great tires on a fwd trumps awd on baldies everytime.
#1825 of 1874 Re: confusion [steve_]
Nov 26, 2009 (11:22 am)
Fortunately, yes. The Sienna's rims will fit standard 17" tires. You may want to get a donut and toss it in the 3rd row well, though.
Ody has odd rims (17.5" IIRC) that will not fit standard tires, but Honda doesn't offer their SH-AWD system on it anyway. Pilot it is, for Honda.
Nov 29, 2009 (1:33 pm)
have been there myself for the last couple of months, deciding whether or not to ditch my Ody for a cheaper SUV. Almost bought a 2003 MDX yesterday. When it came right down to it, nothing can touch the Odyssey for practicality, comfort and
cost to operate. Granted, I dont live in a snow area, but the thought of giving
up that much room, the sliding doors for the kids, the better mileage, being able
to run on 87, it just wasn't worth saving the money to buy a used car. If I were you,
I would be pick up a CPO 2009 Odyssey. You get teh benefit of the powerliftgate.
make sure if you do, the transmission judder has been addressed. good luck!
#1827 of 1874 Advice Needed MV or SUV
Jan 19, 2010 (1:05 pm)
Hello - I am a mother of 4 looking for my next vehicle. I currently drive an 03' Chrysler TC MV. I have four kids ages 7 and under and all are in car seats. I am packed to the gills. I am looking at both new MVs and SUVs. Any thoughts or suggestions out there. My biggest complaint in the MV is that there is no room to take a guest and not enough cargo room for week long travel. We have to pack the aisles and add a car top carrier. I hate to be crowded. I would really like some cargo room and the ability to bring a friend or sitter along comfortably. Gas mileage and reliability are important. I live in Indiana so snow is not a real issue. No towing or off-roading. I am NOT concerned with status - I want functionality and space. Any suggestions?
#1828 of 1874 Re: Advice Needed MV or SUV [cschafer]
Jan 19, 2010 (1:22 pm)
If you don't want to put cargo in the aisles, the primary thing is to avoid captain's chairs.
I suggest the van I chose - an 8 passenger Sienna. Get a 2010 model, because you get 3 adult-sized chairs. The middle one is a full 20" wide.
That lets you put 3 kids there, and just one in the back row. You can split fold the back row and get a big, L-shaped cargo area, for a lot of cargo.
You can also seat 6 children.
Here is a huge image:
Imagine you fold the 60 portion of the 3rd row, you'd have plenty of cargo space. The only catch is the 4th child would sit alone and next to cargo, so make sure it's secured to the tie-downs that are supplied.
#1829 of 1874 Re: Advice Needed MV or SUV [ateixeira]
Jan 19, 2010 (1:48 pm)
OK - so I love the layout however in looking at the model online I discovered a few more things that I would like to have......leather, heated seats, camera, dvd, etc. The 8-passenger Toyota is not available in any configuration that includes leather. Any other thoughts - I really do like the layout of the 8 seater. Thx.
#1830 of 1874 Re: Advice Needed MV or SUV [cschafer]
Jan 19, 2010 (2:09 pm)
Yes, good point, 8 passenger only comes with the CE and LE models. You could add aftermarket Katskins leather if you really had to, but other equipment would still be missing..
The Odyssey offers an 8 seat model, but the seat is more narrow, it's really just a bridge between the 2 others seats. I'm not sure if 3 child seats across would even fit, as the seats tend to be fairly wide.
Ody and Sienna are the only 2 minivans to offer 8 seats, IIRC.
Here's a pic of that van's interior:
I would test-fit your car seats first, to make sure they fit. It has fewer tether anchors, too, I've heard.
Toyota will launch a new Sienna soon, but the middle row looks more like the Ody's, with a narrow mother-in-law seat in the middle. Can't find a pic with the 8th seat, but it would go between these chairs: