Last post on Mar 31, 2013 at 5:37 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
#2604 of 3798 Re: Odyssey is THE best minivan...but Honda dealers are greedy and arrogant [hansienna]
Aug 27, 2006 (5:00 pm)
I have recently rented a Toyota Sienna, and have sat in a Honda Odyssey. I have also ridden in the Chrysler minivans. I strongly disagree. The Odyssey does not have comfortable seats. They are very poorly designed since they have excessive "flexion" positioning. The Honda dealer acknowledged that this is a major problem with all Hondas, actually. When you sit in a Honda Odyssey, the bottom cushion is excessively tipped so that considerable pressure is put on the L4 and L5 vertabrae discs. This is also the case for the Toyota Sienna. It is like "sitting in a well" as someone else described it. In addition, the rear seats on these vehicles are severely compromised by the "Stow-N-Go" or "Magic Seat" concepts. These vans sit so low to the ground that they routinely scrape bottom as well. The steering on the Toyota Sienna had such a fast turning ratio that it constantly required attention trying to keep it straight on the highway. Honda Odysseys have had a lot of transmission problems as do the Chryslers, and the Toyota recalls are mounting. The new media is not stating the true situation.
After carefully researching the numerous vans out there, we purchased a 2006 Chevy Uplander with the 3900 engine. It is not poorly executed at all. In fact, we have had NO problems with it (the average is 2 complaints per vehicle, so we are well ahead of the game). The fit and finish is excellent, and the 3900 engine with variable valve timing is quiet, smooth, has plenty of low end torque, and does not give an annoying moan every time you accelerate like the Toyota Sienna. The dash display is excellent and easy to read, unlike the Honda Odyssey which is frequently blocked by the steering wheel, and the distracting bright blue illumination in the Toyota Sienna. All of the controls are well placed, unlike the Honda Odyssey which has severe ergonomic problems with the dash controls. The A/C can freeze the rear passengers out on the hottest 105 degree day in Tucson AZ. The seats in the back are very comfortable for adults, not just kids. The SUV concept is great, giving an SUV-like ride with plenty of height for good viewing. It can carry a full spare tire if desired, unlike the others. The interior detailing is impressive, with fine stitching on the leather that covers the doors. The seats can be positioned to be back-friendly, so our vertebrae are happy. The front end looks nice, in our opinion, and many others have commented on this as well. These vehicles are being produced at a rate of 1 a minute over two shifts (over 100,000 a year), so you will see more of them. And this is a good thing, because they are excellent vehicles.
#2605 of 3798 Re: 2006 Chevy Uplander with 3900 V6 engine? [technical1]
Aug 27, 2006 (9:47 pm)
Glad you like the Uplander as GM has not had much success selling their "Crossover" vehicles that are just slightly warmed over versions of the former minivan offerings from GM. Our neighbor had a Pontiac Montana and says it was a piece of junk and did not carry much more cargo than the PT Cruiser that replaced the Montana.
According to Edmunds pricing, the 3900 engine was NOT offered in the 2006 Uplander but became available in the 2007 model. Does Edmunds pricing need an update for 2006 Uplander?
Did GM make a change in seating for the 2007 models? The rear seats were NOT comfortable for adults and were very hard to access compared to the rear seats of the Odyssey, Sienna, and DC minivans when I sat in the Uplander at the Annual Auto Show this year.
I have NEVER had any difficulty keeping my 2006 Sienna LE on the road...even with heavy crosswinds on I-15 in southern Utah, southern Nevada, and the Mojave desert of southern California nor did I have any difficulty with my 2002 T&C LX on the same highway.
#2606 of 3798 Buying help please
Aug 27, 2006 (10:15 pm)
Hi. I am new so I appologise if I make any errors. Desperately would like advice and recomm. as we are about to buy a minivan for the first time and I am torn between the choices - Ody., Sienna,DTC,DGC and Uplander?
I have read through as many reviews and threads as I could lately but have a "high needs" 6mth old,4 & 8yr old and husband works 2 jobs so time is limited.
With 3 kids and large dog space and convience are required with dvd and comfort paramount as long drives to family are frequent. Reliability is also a must!!. Need to be able to tow small loads occasionally and have bike rack on back for bikes also. Would like as many features for value as poss.
Plan on having for a long time but dont want to get burnt on resale value just in case (as have with current cars )
Any advise would be greatly appreciated as going to start test drives over next couple of days. Have a few offers for prices at or around invoice on Ody and Sienna but yet to see if can get down lower or best trade as too not have too much neg. value on current car .
Thankyou in advance .
#2607 of 3798 Re: Buying help please [aus_nic]
Aug 28, 2006 (5:09 am)
BUY what you and your husband like the best. All vehicles are now reliable but you could get a lemon of any brand. Read in Problems Forums here in the Town Hall and you can find dissatisfied owners of EVERY brand.
I think the Odyssey is the best minivan but costs too much and many Odyssey dealers are smug and arrogant.
I felt the Uplander had THE LEAST comfortable 3rd row seating and also has the least cargo capacity.
The Sienna is tied with the Odyssey for the best "perceived" reliability but I do NOT like my 2006 Sienna LE after driving a lower priced 2002 Chrysler T&C LX. The Sienna is noisier on the highway but does get slightly better gas mileage than did the T&C.
I had to have the driver's side power window replaced in my T&C but all it cost was the $ 100 deductible on the Extended Warranty the first owner bought. My daughter is driving a 1999 GC that has 90,000 miles and it has no problems. My sister just got a nice used 2005 Grand Caravan because her 1986 Caravan went 170,000 miles with no problems.
I plan to trade my 2006 Sienna on a 2006 GC or T&C if a DaimlerChrysler dealer will give me the Trade-In quoted in Edmund's or KBB since I just do NOT like the Sienna as well as my former T&C.
#2608 of 3798 Re: Buying help please [aus_nic]
Aug 28, 2006 (5:52 am)
The Ody and Sienna matchup well in most of the criteria you described. Since you say comfort is "paramount", and the Sienna has a quieter and more comfortable ride...I would go with the Sienna if I were you. A new Sienna currently comes with a $1,000 rebate.
Maybe Hans can give you a good deal on his slightly used LE?
#2609 of 3798 Re: Buying help please [jipster]
Aug 28, 2006 (6:55 am)
"Since you say comfort is "paramount", and the Sienna has a quieter and more comfortable ride...I would go with the Sienna."
Another thing to consider (if you intend some occasional light towing) is that a 'tow package' (consisting of transmission cooler, PS cooler, wiring, etc.) is standard equipment on the Sienna but optional on the Odyssey.
#2610 of 3798 Re: Buying help please [aus_nic]
Aug 28, 2006 (9:37 am)
Need to be able to tow small loads occasionally and have bike rack on back for bikes also. Would like as many features for value as poss.
I have a DCX GC SXT with tow package....if you're thinking of towing a small RV etc, you cant' beat it. It's factory installed with MANY extras not available on others - auto leveling shocks, HD tranny cooler, engine cooler, and steering cooler and HD battery and wiring...I think it's about $400!! You do need to add your own hitch ($100). But you get a tow rating of 3800lbs.
Well worth it if you go with DCX van.
#2611 of 3798 Re: Buying help please [aus_nic]
Aug 28, 2006 (10:24 pm)
Thankyou all for your input. Ultimately I will drive them all and see which fits better. We did rent a sienna back at easter for a week to do the 1200 mi. round trip to family and while it was pretty good I recall it driving a bit like a bus (prob because I am used to Mit. Eclipse for 3 yrs now ) but it seemed to handle well? Spent most of time in 2nd row with baby though and didn't think it was very comfortable/roomy-also didnt like that rear power adapter was behind upper edge of 3rd row seat as was very hard for kids to keep gameboy/dvd pluged in . I did like hard seat back and fold down on pass. front seat for changing baby on though. But of course I am not sure what model this was so I will give them a shot but right now the price with the options I want is bit ridiculous .
I am taking a good look at DGC sxt spec.edt. & spring sp. edt. now and they seem better priced with options I want-wont have tow pakage though but is rated for 1800lbs without? Not sure about long term reliabily and resale but as you say you take that gamble with any car . Will try to go test some out tomorrow and see how I go? Thanks again .
#2613 of 3798 Re: Buying help please [aus_nic]
Aug 28, 2006 (10:59 pm)
was amazed that the sienna doesn't have a movable gas pedal. Both the odyssey and the T&C do. How is it that they could miss such a fundamental detail? I am short and it's a deal-braker for me (unless of course I want to look like one of those grandmas who hug the wheel :]).