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
#3767 of 3798 Re: amazing van [mrwhy300]
Apr 05, 2011 (4:27 pm)
It probably won't fit in those "small car only" parking spots in busy shopping malls.
That may be the understatement of the day. These "mini" vans measure out right there with full-size SUV's and not far off on weight either.
We just did all the testing of a bunch of vehicles as well...and decided on the Sienna Ltd. It is big money but has quite a few features not available in the others. I think it looks decent inside with the limited trim as well. The low end models with black trim look pretty bad. We're used to the hard plastic interior anyway after putting 100k miles on our '05 Ody. Steering takes some getting used to but like anything else, once you drive it awhile it feels better. My wife loves the steering particularly because it works....we had a lot of problems with the power steering pumps in our Ody....it was needing #4 when we traded. Either way you can't go wrong with either of those vans in my book.
#3768 of 3798 Re: amazing van [sebring95]
Apr 05, 2011 (4:37 pm)
Minivans are usually around 200-205" in length, that's still far shorter than a Suburban.
Think of it this way, you get Suburban space, for the size of a Tahoe. Even then not as wide.
#3770 of 3798 Re: amazing van [ateixeira]
Apr 05, 2011 (4:47 pm)
Well sure not a Suburban...which does have more space inside particularly for adults (we have several in the company fleet...I actually spend a lot of time in them). The vans measure up nearly identical to the Acadia. Either way...there "ain't" nothing mini about them.
#3771 of 3798 Buying first minivan and need advice
Aug 17, 2011 (9:09 am)
My husband and I hope to buy our first minivan in the next few weeks. We've looked at new and used vans. We've read reviews. We're totally lost. We had narrowed it down to the Toyota Sienna but Dodge/Chrysler is such a better deal that we're waffling on our decision. There are so many varying opinions on which vans are reliable and which are not. Is there any REAL information (not just opinions) on which vans (makes,years,certain options) are more or less reliable? Specifically, we want to know about Dodge/Chrysler vans reliability vs. Toyota. Also, how does safety compare for these vans. Are there certain years or models that we should stay away from? Our goal is to purchase a reliable, safe and comfortable minivan that will last a long, long time. Our target price is around $20,000 but we are willing to spend more (and certainly less) if it makes sense.
#3772 of 3798 Re: Buying first minivan and need advice [momneedsavan]
Aug 17, 2011 (9:50 am)
$20k is pretty tough to get into a reasonable mileage Honda/Toyota IMHO. We sold our '05 Odyssey with 100k miles back in Feb for $16k. Stupid money in my book...but I'm not complaining. You can get into a decent fairly new Chrysler for that coin though. We have had Caravans in the family over the years and most were very reliable. However my parents now have a 2007 that has been a disaster and most of the reliability ratings haven't looked that good for that generation. I would try to get into the newest generation of them and hope for the best.
Starting in '08 the Dodge/Chrysler have safety ratings on par with the Honda/Toyota crowd.
So if wer're talking 2008+ I would recommend shopping for the features/comfort/driving dynamics YOU like. We were very happy with Odyssey and besides my wife just getting tired of it, I would have assumed we kept it a lot longer. We just bought an '11 Sienna largely because she liked the color
#3773 of 3798 Re: Buying first minivan and need advice [sebring95]
Aug 17, 2011 (11:39 am)
Dodge just put in the Penastar V6, but at $20k you'd probably be looking at a used one. Kia also just dropped an upgraded engine in the Sedona.
Since you're concerned about reliability, consider a CPO model with a 100k warranty. Or maybe a base model Sedona with the 10/100 warranty, and sacrifice the goodies to buy new.
#3774 of 3798 Re: Buying first minivan and need advice [ateixeira]
Aug 17, 2011 (1:14 pm)
Thank you for the replies. A few more questions. Along with reliability, I am also concerned with lifespan. Could we expect to drive a Honda or Toyota for longer than a Dodge/Chrysler/Kia? What advice would you give for the most cost effective option for the long term? In other words, will spending more now, save us in the long run? I expect that we would keep the van until it was more costly to fix than it was worth.
#3775 of 3798 Re: Buying first minivan and need advice [momneedsavan]
Aug 17, 2011 (3:37 pm)
That generally used to be the case, but Kia's engine and trans are new, so reliability is unknown. But remember, you have the 10/100 powertrain warranty to address any teething issues.
Same with Dodge - they put in the Pentastar V6 and a new 6 speed trans as well.
Toyota is arguably using the most proven powertrain - the 2GR V6 has been reliable and used in the Sienna since 2007, plus other models longer than that. The 6 speed trans was new in the Sienna for 2011, but it's been fine so far.
Ody has been good also, especially post 2004 or so, with the improvements to the trans. 2003 and prior had trans issues to I'd avoid those, if you shop used.
#3776 of 3798 Re: Buying first minivan and need advice [momneedsavan]
Aug 17, 2011 (5:45 pm)
I really can't speak for the Kia's but IMHO I think they can all be reliable for a very long time. The big boost you get with the Honda/Toyota is resale which at some point doesn't add much to the equation if you're keeping it a very long time.
You can easily get into a 2010 Chrysler with sub-30k miles for $20k. A similiarly equipped Honda/Toyota will be $5,000 more easily. That pays for a lot of repairs many years down the road.
As I mentioned earlier, find something you like and go with it. Driving something that's super reliable that you end up hating is far more annoying than buying something that has a few problems but overall you like it.