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
#3611 of 3798 Re: First Minivan [blueolive]
Mar 30, 2009 (5:52 am)
The first thing I would suggest is to read the various blogs on the Minivans you have some interest in. Although informative you must remember that these blogs are biased because people seem to complain more then the satisfied owners.
Looks like GM and Dodge minivans won't be in business much longer so that might not be a wise choice at this time. That leaves Honda, Toyota, Ford (Flex) and Hyundai
Price and value needs to be considered. I live in Wisconsin and ended up buying a 2008 Hyundai Entourage. I test drove all the vans and this one offered all the good stuff at a much lower price and a 10 year warranty ........ We have had twice the normal snow this year and had no problems driving through this stuff :=)
#3612 of 3798 Re: First Minivan [hjc1]
Mar 30, 2009 (5:58 am)
Don't forget Kia. I have an '08 Kia Sedona and simply LOVE it.
#3613 of 3798 Re: First Minivan [kbella3]
Mar 30, 2009 (5:07 pm)
OOOPPs forgot about sister company.......Both great cars :=)
#3614 of 3798 Re: First Minivan [hjc1]
Apr 03, 2009 (11:42 am)
They don't offer an 8 seater, though ("we need to transport eight people"), so cross the Sedona and Entourage off the list right away.
I don't think the Dodge/VW vans come in an 8 seater, either.
The only two 8-seater options are the Odyssey and the Sienna.
In the Ody I think you have to get the EX or higher, and then you get a little bridge that goes between the two captain's chairs in the middle row, so you can squeeze an 8th passenger between the other two.
To be honest, I wanted an 8 seater also, and for me the Sienna 8 passenger was the best by far, because the middle seat is adult-sized, about 20" wide.
What Toyota did was they set the outboard seats farther apart to make room for a real, adult-sized chair. You do give up the arm rests on the outer chairs, but the middle chair folds so you still have inner arm rests.
The catch is it's only on the CE and LE models, so you can't get a loaded up 8 seater. That should be OK, the LE packages offer plenty of equipment.
We're happy with ours. The engine is the most powerful in the minivan class and still returns very good MPG, and there's room for us, our 2 kids, and up to 4 friends plus cargo. Hard to beat combination.
Here is a big photo of the 2nd row, the middle seat can even be moved forward, for easy access to a toddler when needed:
Here is the Ody's 2nd row. As you can see, your back actually rests on the folded arm rests, not ideal but I suppose it works in a pinch for short distances:
http://media.photobucket.com/image/odyssey%202nd%20row/firemomof3_photo/2ndrowod- - - yssey.jpg
#3615 of 3798 Re: First Minivan [ateixeira]
Apr 03, 2009 (4:44 pm)
Of course, you might want to adjust the captain's chairs to line up with the middle seat in the Ody.
Having ridden in that middle row to dinner across town, I can say it isn't bad. Same seat cushion feeling (not a hard hump like some sedans) as the other captains chairs so your rear doesn't get numb!
#3616 of 3798 Re: First Minivan [ateixeira]
Apr 04, 2009 (1:40 am)
What's the quality (size, and comfort) of the outter capt. chairs with the Sienna LE 8 when compared to the Sienna LE 7?
I do know that the Sienna LE 8 is a better option if you're looking for a proper 8-seater when compared to the Odyssey EX; wife, & I are on the fence if we should get a 7, or 8 seat configuration.
#3617 of 3798 Re: First Minivan [fmichael]
Apr 04, 2009 (8:09 am)
If you are carrying eight passengers very often, I'd go with the Sienna. If you occasionally need the eighth seat, the Odyssey with the PlusOne seat is definitely the way to go; those armrests make a big different in seat comfort (the 8-pass Sienna doesn't have them in the second row).
#3618 of 3798 Re: First Minivan [fmichael]
Apr 10, 2009 (8:51 am)
grad - LOL, not my photo, that's the only one I could find.
I measured at one point and the outer chairs on the 8 pass. Sienna are 22" wide, while the center chair is 20" wide.
My office chair is less than 20" so I consider all 3 of those adult sized, even for long distances.
What you give up are the arm rests, but the middle chair would not fit between them if an armrest was there, so you can't have your cake and eat it.
All 3 chairs recline and are IMHO very comfortable. We took the van to Florida and drove for hours at a time. One very nice feature is that the front passenger chair folds flat, so you can recline the 2nd row and put your feet up on it. It's almost like a bed. I drove with my brother for 7 hours and we each took a 3.5 hour shift driving, the other half virtually lying down and watching a movie on the 12" DVD screen I had installed.
So 3.5 hours driving, 3.5 hours watching two movies.
Now that's a road trip.
Apr 20, 2009 (2:44 pm)
Lets say I agree that the Honda and the Toyota are the best vans. Don't they cost $10,000 more then the Dodge or even the Kia?
I say for the biggest bang for the buck you can't beat the dodge with the 3.8 or the 4.0 motor and I love those stow & go seats, its the only van that does that.
After the Dodge i'd say the Kia is the best buy for the money?
#3620 of 3798 Re: Honda vs Dodge [voiceofstl]
Apr 20, 2009 (3:00 pm)
I bought back in 2005 and as close as you could outfit them, the T&C was $5,500 less than the Odyssey we bought. The T&C was heavily discounted, employee pricing plus several thousand $$ rebates. Odyssey I negotiated $500 over invoice with no incentives (good deal at the time). We liked the Odyssey a lot better so it really wasn't a money thing, but I wanted to know really how much the difference was. Fast forward four years and 50k miles, KBB says private party value on the exact same vans is $17,000 for the Odyssey (EX-L with NAV and DVD) vs $11,000 for the T&C (Touring with NAV & DVD and extras). Based on how heavily Odyssey's were being discounted last year, I'd be surprised if there's more than $5,000 between them now and no way is there $10,000. But someone else can do that math.
Considering we're already a year longer than we would typically keep a vehicle (still very happy with it) I'd say we've done just fine on the bang-for-buck factor.