Last post on Mar 31, 2013 at 4:37 PM
You are in the Vans & Minivans
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Sienna, Dodge Caravan, Chevrolet Venture, Mazda MPV, Kia Sedona, Honda Odyssey, Chevrolet Uplander, Nissan Quest, Hyundai Entourage, Van
#1130 of 3798 Re: Venture?
Oct 04, 2005 (2:20 pm)
I am currently driving a horrible car as far as safety is concerned. Although we did get rear-ended by some nut going 55mph and no one got hurt and my car faired rather well (the car behind me did not). Another valid reason to get rid of my car, its got a bit of a dingy, lol. That was 5 years ago, still runs good. The car has 150,000 miles on it, with only a handfull of repairs. Which is another thing that scares the heck out of me when I read all these forums about any of the newer model cars they all seem to have problems. My car has had the heating switch replaced, the normal maintenance things (belts, fluids, brakes, etc.)
I am looking at the frontal offset crash results and see that some of the Hondas did not do so hot (95-98) and that in the Rear Crash tests the 05-06 models received a marginal and an acceptable for restraint (there first year, because prior to that they scored either marginal or poor). Frontal driver side 5 star for 99-06 and 4 stars 95-97. Frontal passenger 5 stars 99-06 and 4 stars 95-97. Side front 5 stars 00-06 with a safety concern noted in year 05 that the drivers side door came open during the crash that could increases the likelihood of occupant ejection. Side Rear 5 stars years 00-06. Rollover 4 Stars.
Toyotas did Good in Offset crash (98-06), but for rear crash they scored a POOR for the 05-06 models. MARGINAL for restraint in the 01-03,05-06, GOOD to ACCEPTABLE in the year 04, and POOR in 1999-98. As far as frontal crash ratings the Sienna got 5 stars for driver yrs 98-04 and 4 stars for driver 05-06, passenger got 5 stars for all years. Side crash frontal got 4 stars for yrs 99-03 and 5 stars for 04-06. Rollover rating was 4 star 01-06.
The Ventures offset crash for all years is POOR. The restraints are GOOD for 2001-2004, and POOR for years 98-00. Rear crash is only available for the uplander and its results are POOR. As far as frontal crash ratings the venture got 4 stars for driver, 4 stars for passenger (98-00 got 3 stars). Side front got 5 stars, side rear got 5 stars yrs 99-00 and 4 stars 01-05.
I am seeing similar results on all these models for these tests (dodge, mazda, etc.)
So basically depending on how you get hit by another mini van (or vehicle of like size and shape) you will get different results in all these vans. Hmm..
As far as reliability is concerned (J.D. Power)
Toyotas got good marks for their short term 90 day dependability. The other years either got 3 or 4's for long term dependability. Ok, so overall they have good long term dependability (which I like, because frankly my car rates the same can you beleive that, lol). I have seen posts about sludge problems however, what year does anyone know???
Honda has some good years and some not so good years. Hmm..
Chevy... well what can we say about these vehicles. They consistently got 3 out of 5's for all the years listed,lol.
One big difference I noticed between these vans was that the GM line and Ford line were more plush and frankly more comfortable. The toyota's and honda's were very unplush and really cheap looking (im not sure that is the term I am looking for). I think you get my drift....
Still thinking.. lol.
#1131 of 3798 Re: GM Triplets [sc00bs]
Oct 04, 2005 (2:22 pm)
Yes, the tests are only comparable between similar sized vehicles. It's an excellent measure of what it's like to off-set crash a concrete barrier at 40mph. Certainly not real-world worthy in other circumstances but it's the stick used to measure by the IIHS. As they put it, it's a test of the structural integrity of the vehicle. Not a guarantee of what will happen in an accident, as the variables would be so many the outcome could be totally different. It's also an excellent way for the manufacturers to design a vehicle to get top-rated scores in this area. I'm sure if someone tried, they could make a really unsafe vehicle pass this test with flying colors. I drive a truck right now that doesn't have the best rating but I haven't lost much sleep over it.
#1132 of 3798 Re: GM Triplets [sebring95]
Oct 04, 2005 (2:37 pm)
" I drive a truck right now that doesn't have the best rating but I haven't lost much sleep over it.'
I think most newer cars would fair better than most older cars, with I am sure a few exceptions. Newer cars typically have more safety features than older cars (gesh, my car doesn't even have air bags, lol). Literally speaking ANYTHING would be safer than my car, lol. Sigh... decisions, decisions..
#1133 of 3798 American vans vs Japanese
Oct 04, 2005 (8:32 pm)
To the person who is looking for a minivan for he 2 kids. I completly believe in a minivan or something that has a third row in it for a child that has Autism. I have 3 kids and I know from "personal experience" that the extra space for that child is a goddsend for everyone. As far as the type of minivan I have done TONS of research on vans and SUV's as well as having both, not trying to sound like an expert because far from it but just an extra opionion. If you are looking for comfort and something that is not as expensive I would definatly go with an American model- I had a Ford Windstar for 6 years and even though my 96 was in the shop constantly after less than 30,000 ,miles it was so comfy. I am looking for a van again after having a SUV -too flippin expensive for gas anyway I am looking at Toyota and Honda vans just because I have had my fill with American cars and all the darn problems. I have had friends that have gone with Dodge and even though they don't have best reputation they can last.... Hope all goes well
#1134 of 3798 EACH minivan has advantages...and lacks something contained on another one
Oct 05, 2005 (8:22 pm)
I have had some bad experience with American brands and foreign brands. Toyota has been consistently a little more reliable than the others I have owned...but it usually costs more for service at a Toyota (or any foreign brand) dealership .
Dealer service is more important to me than the label on the vehicle. There are more things to consider than purchase price alone.
#1135 of 3798 Re: GM Triplets [sc00bs]
Oct 10, 2005 (9:30 am)
Given your budget, if you go with a minivan, my first choice would be a Dodge model. Better reliabilty and safety than the GM vans. GM has never built a truly competitive mini van, whereas Dodge/Chrysler invented the segment, and still make very good models today.
I just checked on autotrader.com and put in models from 1999 to 2003, and they would be within your price range I believe. If possible, buy one with under 50k miles. Or a newer one with more miles, but probably it would have been mostly highway miles, for like a salesman or something.
If possible, I would also recommend buying from a dealership that sells Dodge (or whatever brand you end up with) new too. They usually only keep really good used cars which is what you want. ANother avenue to check with is Enterprise rental cars. I usually rent from Hertz for work, but occasionally I will rent from Enterprise, and I've asked them whether their rental cars are good buys (I got to know one of the guys who seemed honest). Unlike some comanies, he said the oil is always changes on their vehicles, and they perform maintenance that is recommended by the manufacturer. He also recommended buying upper end vehicles that are less likely to be abused by people - usually the budget models are abused. I don't see too many people renting minivans and beating the heck out of them. I do see it with a Grand Am. Anyway, this might be a way to go too. Tell them what you want, and what you are willing to pay. Always negotiate. Most of the rental companies that are good usually sell their vehicles after a very short time.
In general, I would avoid buying a vehicle from a 3rd party person unless you know that person, or the vehicle is very inexpensive.
One more option to consider is leasing. Less than ideal long term, but you might be able to get a vehicle like the Mazda 5 (which has room for 6, and 3 rows) which stickers for around $20k, and lease it for about the same as a loan of $8k (unless you are paying cash). At the end of the lease, you could buy this vehicle for less, or start over. If you kept it, at least you would know the history of the vehicle. Also with Mazda, they have a 4 year warranty, so if you are on a budget, you won't have any car repair surprises. I just paid off a '95 Explorer, and last week alone I spent about $800 on repairs, with another $400 looming. And the vehicle is worth about $2k. Pretty soon a new car would be cheaper!
As far as minivans go, the Toyota and Hondas are not over rated. I have a '05 Sienna and it is great. However when your budget is less, everything seems overrated. I think Honda and Toyota's make lousy used car deals, simply because they hold their value so well. Dodge vans are pretty good too, and don't hold their value well, so they make good used vehicles IMO. The Mazda vans would be good used buys too. But check out the new Mazda 5. A different kind of mini van. And you would save money on gas too. One thing about minivans. They don't get very good gas mileage. Not as bad as my Explorer, but not that much better either. But they sure have a lot of utility, and it sounds like you need the additional space. Good luck with your search. Ask more quesitons if you need to. irg
#1136 of 3798 Re: GM Triplets [irg]
Oct 10, 2005 (10:06 am)
If one wants the reliability of a Honda for about $8000, consider a 1998 Honda Odyssey van. It is not as big as the 1999 and later models (it is more like a station wagon) but does have the disappearing 3rd seat. The Isuzu Oasis is essentially the same vehicle.
#1138 of 3798 Re: Mini Van Confusion [sc00bs]
Oct 19, 2005 (4:18 pm)
I'll offer what I can. Generally, dealers like insurance agents claim Kelly's is not relevant. Well it is on the street where you get a better deal anyway. Remember dealers do NOTHING to trades except to clean them. Many states demand the seller of a car whether private or dealer warranty the car for of thirty days. So when the dealer touts their thirty-day warranty their giving you nothing that don't have by right. You can save more buying off the street, but many are not totally comfortable with this. An alternative to a dealer or a private sale is to try Enterprise Rental. These cars cost more than a street sale, but they are warranted for a full year. Many are still under manufacturers warranty and this enables you to buy an extended warranty at a reasonable price. I have dealt with Enterprise and they were great! They were polite and honest and responsive and were not at all like the scuzzy dealers. They offer a variety of American minivans and they really backed their cars. After I purchased a Dodge Grand Caravan from them I noticed a scratch on the windshield right at eye level. This was not a warranty issue, but they replaced the windshield as a courtesy anyway. You can find their sales department on the web and check it out from home.
#1139 of 3798 Mazda MPV Back On Top!
Nov 10, 2005 (12:10 pm)
That's great news for you minivan shoppers out there.
As I predicted last year, the MPV would return to recommended zoom zoom status, as well as show improved reliability.The transmission programming glitch issue has been resolved. In the "Rating the 2006 Models" issue of this months Consumer Reports Buying Guide...the MPV is rated 3rd highest.It tied the Honda Ody in reliability, accident avoidance and overall mpg.The price as tested was about the same...but a fully loaded ES can be had for $7,000 less than an Ody and what CR reported.
So all together now...Let's rejoice and sing the Mazda theme song together. ZOOOOM ZOOOM ZOOM... ZOOOM ZOOM ZOOM..ZOOOMAAH ZOOOM ZOOM...EVERYBODY ZOOM ZOOM etc.