Last post on Mar 31, 2013 at 4:37 PM
You are in the Vans & Minivans
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Toyota Sienna, Dodge Caravan, Chevrolet Venture, Mazda MPV, Kia Sedona, Honda Odyssey, Chevrolet Uplander, Nissan Quest, Hyundai Entourage, Van
#1 of 3798 mini van shopping
Jan 04, 2002 (11:17 am)
I'm new to the group and would like to thank all contributors for advice and input given to date.
I have been looking at the 2002 DC Grand Caravan Sport 2_K with added side air bags and touring group, the Honda Odyssey EX, and the Toyota Sienna XLE. All three are around the $35-36K in Canadian dollars, but DC currently has rebates on which would drop it down to $30K. Alternatively I could get a Chrysler Town and Country LXi for the same as the Odyssey and Sienna (after rebate). Any thoughts, suggestions would be appreciated. Also, Iv'e noticed a number of tools for coming up with prices for cars bought in the US (Edmunds, Consumer Report, Car Point, etc.) but hav'nt found anything to give me a starting price for Canadian cars. Any ideas?
Jan 04, 2002 (11:28 am)
Welcome to Town Hall. Be sure to read the model specific boards for the vans you are interested in, and check out the comparison topics too.
Getting Canadian prices for free is tough - there is a business that sells Canadian car price information whose name escapes me at the moment. I'll try to dig it up; meantime maybe someone else will jump in with the name.
SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
#3 of 3798 Dodge G. C.
Jan 04, 2002 (11:39 am)
Being a thrifty Canadian myself, let me save you a lot of time. The Dodge Grand Caravan is without a doubt the best in it's class. My wife and I spent weeks driving and comparing all the offerings (By the way, stay away from G.M.). We even rented two samples before buying. The Dodge is the best ride without question. No other minivan handles, rides, or is as solid as the Dodge. If you can, I highly recommend renting one for a weekend to see how it performs, you won't be disappointed. We took delivery of a 2002 G.C. Sport in Garnet Red last November with quite a few convenient options ($34,500 sticker; $32,200 plus tax). After 4,000 km including one trip to Nashville, we are convinced we made the right choice.
#4 of 3798 G.C. Prices
Jan 04, 2002 (11:44 am)
You can calculate accurate sticker prices on this web page. It also offers some good explainations of option packages. All in Canadian dollars.
#5 of 3798 Another opinion
Jan 04, 2002 (12:22 pm)
Gee, I would have said the opposite. Get a GM and stay away from DC vans!! DC vans tend to have major powertrain problems in a very short time (60/70K miles) whereas GM's will run forever. I've got the Olds Silhouette and love it. My wife appreciates the car-like ride and all the amenities keep us happy. Guess you really need to shop around and try the different minivans for yourself to determine which is best for you.
#6 of 3798 mini van shopping
Jan 05, 2002 (6:14 am)
I have rented a 2002 DC Grand Caravan for a week, and was happy with the ride and comfort, but am a bit concerned with the long term reliability. I've probably read to many articles and discussion groups because you will find dissatisfied Odyssey, Sienna, GM etc. owners too. Any thought on the 3.8 vs. 3.3 on the Grand Caravan? I'm interested in comparing fuel economy of these to the Odyssey and the Sienna, but would like to see actual road results and not the laboratory results which do not include wind resistance. Thanks again!
#7 of 3798 Kia Sedona
Jan 05, 2002 (6:47 am)
Another great option. Read the reviews on E-Opinions or Edmunds. Forget the Kia past as far as reliablity. Hyundai is behind them now and the Sedona is well concieved and designed...but not perfect. Im' a former Toyota Previa owner, so I expect alot. I am very pleased with this van, great power, 25mpg hwy, excellent stereo. Fully loaded every conceivable option I paid $22995. 10 year 100K warranty is hard to beat. Drive one and see for yourself.
Heres just one of many reviews.
#8 of 3798 To "Another Option"
Jan 05, 2002 (7:08 am)
Did not drive the Olds but tried the Chevy and Pontiac minivans. Both were rattle traps that wandered all over the road at highway speeds, road noise over rough surfaces turned both into rolling drums, you can't even hear the radio. I did discover why these vans are less expensive than most; they are not as well appointed or as well finished as the rest.
As far as D.C. tranny troubles, I know 6 people with the D.C. vans that have not had powertrain trouble well past 150,000 km. The only negative was one owner who frequently tows a 21 ft. boat. That repair was limited to seal replacement due to overheating. D.C. has addressed the question beginning in 2001 with a new design and an expanded warranty. This tranny is so smoothly you have to watch the tach. to know when it shifts.
#9 of 3798 I have the opposite experience of lucerjim
Jan 05, 2002 (7:15 am)
regarding DC transaxles. In my office three of us had DC vans. One guy had two. We are all in the maintenance biz ourselves, so we stick to factory service recommendations, or even better.
All of the vans but one needed a tranny rebuild. Mine didn't, but then I traded before the warranty expired after seeing what my co-workers experienced.
I know, a very small sample space out of the millions of vans, but after seeing people who properly maintain their vehicles lose their trannys was unnerving for me.
To be fair, my 1987 Buick LeSabre also required a tranny rebuild at 90K last October. Fluid and filter was changed every 30K. I was getting ready to change again when the car just wouldn't go when warmed up. So $1500 for a tranny rebuild. It too is very smooth now and should be good for at least another 90K.
A final thought, the DC 4speed auto transaxles are very smooth as was previously stated.
Jan 05, 2002 (9:18 pm)
Can't argue with your experience in testing the Pontiac Montana or Chevy Venture. All I can say is that my Olds Silhouette is very smooth and quiet inside. No problems hearing the radio. To each his own.