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
#3759 of 3798 Re: Cool Kia Concept [ateixeira]
Jan 16, 2011 (4:58 pm)
The KV7 doesn't do anything for me. And while gullwing doors make a cool looking concept car at the show in the real world they would make getting in or out of the vehicle in a tight parking spot impossible. I've concluded that those big sliding doors are the van's biggest advantage over other vehicles.
#3760 of 3798 Re: Cool Kia Concept [yatesjo]
Jan 19, 2011 (9:32 am)
Yeah, no doubt the gullwings would not make production, but I do like the unique, boxy shape.
#3761 of 3798 Quest - First Impressions
Feb 01, 2011 (9:43 am)
Nissan Quest - interior of this seems more SUV and less minivan. Strange. All seats fold forward. This means you keep the well behind the 3rd row all the time, but the 3rd row itself is tiny, not adult-sized like competitors.
Floor is higher, too. Folding the 2nd row leaves holes and gaps, an odd arrangement, but easy to use at least.
Cargo floor is not nearly as long as 4'x8' fitting competitors. Cup holders cannot accommodate mugs, not even one.
Materials were a mixed bag, soft but still cheap looking. Peach fuzz headliner and visors scream cheap. Vinyl arm rests also but the angles all adjust (nice). Some double-stitching looks nice.
Little storage. Way behind competitors there.
Overall a B-, could have been better with a little more thoughtful design.
Grand Caravan got upgraded, too, but it went from being Rubber-Maid cheap to being merely cheap. The new Quest and Ody are still nicer. The Sienna materials are on par, but the design is better. Don't like all the vinyl - seems like even "leather" seats are 99% vinyl with a tiny leather insert in the middle. The top-of-the-line Town & Country had a nicer suede-like material, at least. No 8 seat model and for me that's a priority.
Finally checked out an Ody. I like the inside a lot better than the outside. Opposite of Nissan - they had TONS of storage. Bigger bins and more of them, cooled even. Cup holder fit mugs as most do. 3rd row window is disappointingly small, especially given they make a big deal about the styling being functional. Probably best in class materials, but not by much.
Kia - went to check that out as well, and the good news is the modern V6 and a 6 speed automatic are now standard, sort of like Dodge did. This beats Honda's 5 speed only if you're poor strategy, and Toyota's standard 4 cylinder. I think in the low price segments the Kia makes a lot of sense. The 3rd row window is HUUUUUUGE, 2 times bigger than Honda's, making Honda's claims about the styling being there to improve visibility a bunch of hogwash. Seriously, Kia's panoramic view simply puts Honda to shame.
Funny thing is, each van has its flaws. There is no perfect van, still, even in this mature segment.
* Honda needs better styling, AWD, bigger 3rd window, 6 speed standard.
* Toyota needs to go back to the old 8 seater and nicer materials from the 04-10 Sienna.
* Kia needs a styling update to go along with the new powertrain. AWD too and 8 seats.
* Nissan needs a longer cargo floor and an adult-sized 3rd row, plus AWD and 8 seats.
* Dodge needs to double the recent improvements to interior material quality, AWD, 8 seats.
Basically a very competitive segment, with each van having certain advantages, and no clear leader at all.
#3762 of 3798 Re: Quest - First Impressions [ateixeira]
Feb 01, 2011 (10:11 am)
Good review Juice. Seems to me that no obvious segment leader plays nicely into Chrysler/Dodge's hands. They had a lot to lose, and might just hang on okay, especially given the content for the money on the Dodge side...
#3763 of 3798 Re: Quest - First Impressions [tifighter]
Feb 01, 2011 (1:14 pm)
Yeah, but I wasn't a fan of the lower end Dodges they had there. The top-of-the-line Town & Country were nice, but then you're at $40k.
Honestly I felt like Kia played the value card the best, but I'd like to see a fresh design, perhaps based on their recent, cool concept.
#3765 of 3798 Re: Comparison for 2011 Vans [melanie]
Feb 09, 2011 (8:45 am)
Interesting, and not the first time the SE has beat the Ody in a comparo.
I still like the 8th seat in the Ody better, so it would be a tough call. I just wish Honda put the 6EAT in the vans under $40 grand. It costs you 0.7 seconds to 60, from tied for first to worst in class, ouch.
Quest has 40 fewer cubes of storage, wow, that's a lot to give up.
Still no perfect van, I say.
They should have included a Kia since it has the new engine. Testing a Dodge and a Chrysler seems very redundant.
Apr 05, 2011 (12:55 pm)
I just want to share our recent experience with picking out our new van. With two little children (a 2 years old, and a new born infant), we are looking for a minivan to replace my wife's 2003 BMW 325i.
We started looking into the market since around Oct 2010. At that time, Sienna was our first and only choice (nothing wrong with domestics but we decided to go for imports based on past experience so far). We were focusing on the LE and SE as we thought the limited is just too much $$ for a minivan. We hesitated due to its poor interior and bad driving experience. The dashboard and door panels are made of very low grade plastics with no padding at all. I am okay with that for an entry level vehicle like Echo, but spending close to 40k, I expect something better. Integrated radio antenna should also be standard for all models, instead of only available in the limited model. These little details may not show the overall quality of the vehicle. However, we left with the impression that they are cutting corners in many ways, I guess to improve on the exterior look and six speed tranny. The test drive experience was not satisfying as well. The engine is powerful. The ride is quiet and smooth but the steering is just too loose, with no feeling of the road at all, to a point that we don't feel comfortable/ confident. We realize we are testing a van, not a performance vehicle. However, there must be something better in the market, so we decided to wait a few months for the 2011 Odyssey and Quest.
The Quest came out in 2011 and we were really excited as we had experience with Nissan Elgrand in the asia market. It is advertised as the "king of the minivan" over there, and I think it is the best van in the world today. Unfortunately, Quest is a trimmed down version of the Elgrand. The front and rear exterior is modified as well but the general interior layout is pretty much the same. The test drive was very impressive for us. The quality of the interior material is outstanding. You feel like driving an Infiniti. The ride is as smooth and quiet as the Sienna while the steering is much more "precise". Only drawback are the CVT transmission and the bland exterior. If they import Elgrand straight from Japan without modifying the exterior, we would have made our offer.
So at this point, you probably know we have ended up with the Odyssey. We only have our Odyssey EX-L for a few weeks but so far we are loving it. Touring is nice but EX-L seems to offer the most for the buck. The interior quality is fine (not as great as Quest but far better than Sienna). The exterior is quite subjective, depends on who you speak to, my folks think it is ugly and too aggressive but we got a few compliments in the parking lot (mostly in the 30's and 40's) Personally I think the lighting bolt looks alright. I wasn't so sure about our decision before the delivery. However, once I received the van and have the time to look at the details. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of many little things. And that's the reason why I registered with Edmund and submit my first post to share the experience and my appreciation towards this amazing van.
The only issue we have so far is with the width of the vehicle, it is definitely wider than most vans. It probably won't fit in those "small car only" parking spots in busy shopping malls. Other than that, we just hope we won't have to go through the tranny issue and the TPMS error that some people here experienced.