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
Apr 24, 2006 (6:22 am)
Never thought I would say this, but it looks like I will be replacing my much loved 2002 Nissan Altima SE for a minivan in the near future (next six months or so). My Altima has never had one problem outside of routine maintenance, reliability is very important to me (previously before the Altima I owned a VW Jetta VR6 that was in the shop every other month).
Here are the factors that I am focusing on:
- Fun to drive (performance/handling)
After doing a ton of research (and having driven some of the vans on the market), I have ruled out:
- The Nissan Quest (questionable reliability, horrible interior, questionable resale). Although they have redone the interior for 07, I doubt I will consider the 07.
- The Dodge/Chrysler vans (very loud engine, not happy with the interior layout/material, questionable safety, poor resale, do not like the exterior looks as much). I have had friends and family that have had reliability issues with their Caravan's over the past several years as well.
- Kia Sedona. Too be honest, I have not driven the 06 Sedona, and am very impressed with this van, but am very skeptical of buying the first year of a new redesign as significant as the Sedona. I also have questions about reliability and resale value. I will definitely drive the van, but doubt I will purchase for the above reasons. Warranty means nothing to me when my van is in the shop constantly.
- Honda Odyssey
- Toyota Sienna
I was leaning towards the Sienna until I spent some time recently in a friends 06 Odyssey. He let me take it for a spin and I was surprised at how amazing this van accelerates and handles. This van is nearly as quick as my Altima and handles much more like a sedan than a large van. The Sienna, while it had a very smooth ride, did not feel as responsive and quick. Edmunds claims the Odyssey accelerates from 0-60 in right around 7 seconds! That is fast for a van!
I also like the exterior styling of the Odyssey slightly better than the Sienna, but am still impressed with the Sienna's interior and overall-all value.
Gas mileage seems to be very close between the two, but I would sacrifice 2-3mpg for a van that is much more responsive to the road and accelerates more quickly in and out of traffic (a must where I live)..
My wife and I will definitely drive these vans back-to-back before we buy, and overall the prices are very close (the Odyssey is slightly more when comparing the cloth EX with a Sienna 8 passenger LE with stability control). I honestly like the way that Honda packages their options, with Toyota there are way too many different packages and it can be confusing.
I will definitely keep the forum posted on what happens. for now it is looking like the Odyssey and Sienna are at the top of my list with the Kia Sedona (and possibly the Hyundai Entourage) as a very outside option..
#2197 of 3798 Re: Buying Soon [dc_driver]
Apr 24, 2006 (7:10 am)
When I read your "factors to focus on" I figured you would go with the Ody. In my opinon the Ody outscores Sienna fairly well in the fun to drive and "looks"(exterior) department. Everything else on your list is equal.
"So, what do I have to do to put you in a Ody today?"
Are you ready for it?
#2198 of 3798 Re: Buying Soon [dc_driver]
Apr 24, 2006 (7:24 am)
That's about how our list of needs read, except you could hack reliability off the top (not a biggie for me, they're all pretty good these days....).
One thing I noticed (and you may as well) the Ody feels a little sluggish when green. The model I test drove was a dealer demo with about 4k miles on the clock and performed very nicely (considering it's a big hefty vehicle). When I took delivery of mine, I was a bit disappointed with the performance. After a thousand or so break-in miles, it felt the way I expected. I've noticed some folks on here say they couldn't really feel the performance difference in the Ody when test driving. Either they too were driving green motors, or perhaps left the parking brake on.
#2199 of 3798 Re: Buying Soon [dc_driver]
Apr 24, 2006 (8:09 am)
I was confused by your Town Hall name and erroneously thought you were a DaimlerChrysler driver.
Apparently the performance Sienna vs Odyssey varies from vehicle to vehicle since the Sienna we test drove and our 2006 Sienna LE definitely have faster acceleration than the 1999, 2002, or 2006 Odysseys I have test driven.
Our 2002 T&C LX with 3.3L V6 does not accelerate as fast as the Siennas or 2002 and 2006 Odysseys once the speed is 40 MPH or faster. DC acceleration compared to Sienna/Odyssey drops off even more as the speed climbs above 40 MPH.
#2200 of 3798 Re: Buying Soon [sebring95]
Apr 24, 2006 (9:36 am)
Having driven my friends it was already broken in and more and more transmissions these days adjust to your driving style. I have not driven an Odyssey off the dealers lot yet, but expect it to be a little slower than a broken in one.
As for reliability, I think the Honda and Toyota are probably dead even, but I am still worried about the Sedona. Five years ago I would NEVER have considered buying a Kia/Hyundai but they have come a long way fast.. Still, I am not a fan of buying a 1st year significant new model from any manufacturer.
The other thing that scares me about the Kia is resale. I can almost guarantee that the same van one or two years from now will have a $2000-3000 rebate available. This will kill the resale of the first model year...
#2201 of 3798 Re: Kia Sedona resale? [dc_driver]
Apr 24, 2006 (10:07 am)
Kia has the same problem that DaimlerChrysler has...unless you compare resale with actual selling price of all minivans when they are new.
Compare the actual selling price of a 2006 Sedona EX with the price of a Sienna LE or Odyssey EX. ALWAYS get a discount, rebate, or Incentive when buying a Sedona, Caravan/Grand Caravan, or a Town & Country.
It is also a necessity to insist on a discount if you buy a new Sienna or Odyssey since they too can no longer be sold at MSRP unless someone is living in a cave and lets CR make their decisions.
#2202 of 3798 Re: Buying Soon [hansienna]
Apr 24, 2006 (10:08 am)
Haha, I could see where my name would be confusing I live in Northern VA
For the money, the T&C vans are a tremendous value. Stow-and-go will probably be standard on most vans in the future, and you are right the T&C vans that I have driven (one as recently as two months ago) were not nearly as quick as the Odyssey/Sienna that I have driven. For most people, it is more than adequate, but I really like having the extra push when trying to navigate the crazy freeways here. If you have ever driven around and thru the metro-DC area you probably know what I am talking about.
For those of you that are not familiar with what I am talking about, we have tons of freeways here and even though the speed limit is typically 55mph, almost everyone drives 70-80mph, even in the far right lanes. We have some of the most aggressive drivers in the world and everyone is always in a big rush. This can make merging on and off freeways tricky and requires you to have a vehicle that can accelerate very quickly from 20-70mph, and also from 55mph-80mph for passing.
That said, I felt that the Odyssey, off the line, to be slightly quicker than the Sienna (Edmunds claims the 06 Odyssey can hit zero to 60 in 7.1 seconds). Where I noticed the biggest difference is when passing (55-80mph). I have driven three Toyotas recently (4Runner, Highlander, Sienna) all had V6's and all seemed to hesitate (slightly) when I stomped on the gas peddle when trying to pass on the freeway. Granted, all seemed to accelerate more than adequately, but the hesitation was noticeable.
This is not a deal-breaker for me, and honestly I feel that the Sienna has more than enough power to handle traffic here. I think, quite possibly, the biggest deal-breaker for me could be the handling of the Honda vs the Toyota. To me, the Odyssey seemed to handle better and feel more responsive. But, my wife will have the ultimate say since she will be driving this vehicle about 70% more than me.
The only other thing that frustrates me with the Toyota are the crazy packages. I absolutely insist that my next minivan will have stability control in it. This makes the price between the Honda (EX/cloth) and Toyota (LE/8 passenger/) very similar and the EX has two power side doors as opposed to one. Price and feature wise, the vans are very close in price and will not make a big difference in either direction.
I have to say, this is a great forum and really appreciate peoples feedback. I now it sounds like I am leaning towards the Honda, but it is a very, very, close advantage. It will most likely come down to the very small things now (which van is easiest load car seats into, which van is easier to move seats around, seating comfort, etc).
#2203 of 3798 Re: Buying Soon [dc_driver]
Apr 24, 2006 (10:11 am)
The Odyssey 2nd row seats can be moved MUCH more easily than the Sienna 2nd row seats. My 2006 Sienna LE right 2nd row seat was installed INCORRECTLY at the factory. Neither Toyota nor Honda have quality control any better than Kia or DaimlerChrysler.
The Odyssey has better seating arrangement if you want to take 8 people in the van only on rare occasions since the 2nd row of the Odyssey has armrests for each of the outside bucket seats while the Sienna 8 passenger has NO armrests for any of the 3 seats of the 2nd row.
We bought the Sienna LE vs Odyssey EX vs GC SXT but I now wish we had purchased the GC SXT. The GC SXT has the cheapest looking interior but has more of the nice features we want than either the Sienna LE or Odyssey EX.
#2204 of 3798 Re: Kia Sedona resale? [hansienna]
Apr 24, 2006 (10:14 am)
Totally agree with you on the rebate issue
Lucky for me we have some pretty competitive Toyota and Honda dealers in the area. I get get Sienna's easily at 1000-12000 below factory invoive and can get very close to factory invoice pricing on the Odyssey. My trade-in will be a factor as well, but overall I think I should be able to get either van with the options that I want within about $500-600 of each other.
#2205 of 3798 Re: Which van? [dc_driver]
Apr 24, 2006 (10:18 am)
It appears that the Odyssey EX would be the BEST choice for you.