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
#3784 of 3798 Re: You CAN buy a new van for $20K (approx) [themanindbox]
Oct 14, 2011 (7:48 am)
It may not be exciting, but read your own post - that 2001 is still running while several newer vans bit the dust.
The 2004-2010 Sienna is a bit nicer, I feel like the 2011 model cut some costs (fewer soft-touch surfaces) and isn't as nice inside. You may want to look for a used one in that age range. The 3MZ engine (3.3l, 2004-2006) was good and the 2GR (3.5l, 2007+) even better. Also, the 5 speed auto used from 2004-2010 had fewer issues than the 6 speed in the new Siennas.
Check the doors if you buy one, that's the most common issue.
Newer Hondas and Dodges also seem to have fewer trans missues, too. If an option for a tow package is available, try to get it, because it adds coolers and heavy duty alternators, stuff that may help in the long run given your IT equipment loads may be heavy.
#3785 of 3798 option for a tow package
Nov 17, 2011 (11:20 pm)
I would take a tow package in my next Odyssey ; but go to an after-market trailer-cooler supplier and get them to replace the Honda installed one. Last year I had an after-market cooler added to my 2002; Honda dealer recommended after-market.
#3786 of 3798 Best minivan 4 kids in carseats
Nov 26, 2011 (8:49 pm)
I am looking for a used minivan as my 2000 Chrysler T&C has this annoying habit of dying at random times while I'm driving. Have spent way too much time and money trying to fix that problem and time to move on. I know my budget is under $15,000 and my biggest issues are space and safety. I have to be able to get inside to buckle three or four kids into carseats. LATCH would be helpful. Renting a 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan now and not liking the cramped interior at all! The back seat is so small! But obviously I'm looking for something older and more affordable. Have heard bad things about both Chrysler and Dodge. And had my own bad experience with Chrysler. Interested in opinions since I don't really have time to get out there and test drive. I REALLY want stow and go seats and quad seating. I would love for all the seats to be able to fold down for hauling. Would like to be able to fit a full sheet of plywood in when folded down. Anything else would be a bonus. Will try to buy private to keep costs down. Suggestions???
#3787 of 3798 Re: Best minivan 4 kids in carseats [apikalek]
Nov 26, 2011 (11:23 pm)
I would recommend the 2004 to 2010 Sienna in 8 passenger trim. Those years the Sienna had the most LATCH positions available- 2 in the third row and 3 in the second row (with 8 passenger option) for a total of 5. The power train is reliable and 2007 and after has the most potent engine in the market. Our 2008 LE hasn't had any problems yet, but weaknesses from what I gather are the door hardware and water leaks around the rear hatch. Unlike the Honda, the Sienna 8 passenger will truly hold 8 adults comfortably.
Stow-and-go 2nd row is a proprietary option for Chrysler so you aren't going to find it on anything but the Chrysler and Dodge models. Everyone except Nissan does stow the 3rd row in the floor. With the 2nd row removed the Sienna will comfortably hold a 4'x8' sheet flat on the floor in the rear.
#3788 of 3798 Re: Best minivan 4 kids in carseats [apikalek]
Nov 27, 2011 (6:06 am)
The two better options for you are the Sienna (as mentioned above) and the 2005+ Odyssey. Problem is....$15k doesn't buy you much in the Honda/Toyota world. We sold our '05 Ody last spring with 100k miles for more than that. In that price/age range, the Ody feels more roomy. As mentioned above if you want folding 2nd row seats the Dodge/Chrysler is the only game in town.
Since you mentioned wanting quad seats, you don't want the 8-pax version of the Sienna as recommended above. If anything the 8-pax versions just make it more difficult to get to the 3rd row when the 8th seat is installed. In the case of the Sienna, the 8-pax version also has smaller 2nd row buckets so it's not just a case of removing the 8th seat and having the same seats as the other models. If you really need 8-pax seating it's a great choice, but otherwise too many compromises in my book.
When you say the "back seat is so small" on your rental Grand Caravan, are you speaking of the 2nd row seats or 3rd row? The 2nd row seats in the Dodge/Chrysler are smaller which is part of the folding Sto-n-go seats. No free lunches!!
I think for your budget and needs...the Dodge/Chrysler really seem like the way to go. You can get into a much newer and lower mile model on that budget and still likely have warranty for awhile. The Dodge isn't as reliable per most published documents, but I don't believe the real-world difference is that huge. You're comparing your 12 year old model which most anything that old is going to have problems, even in the Honda/Toyota world.
#3789 of 3798 Re: Best minivan 4 kids in carseats [sebring95]
Nov 27, 2011 (10:13 pm)
I missed the part about wanting quad seats... probably because it is incompatible with wanting easy access to buckle four kids in car seats. The 8-pax option is much better if you have four kids in seats... I know because I have four kids from 7 months to 6 years.
If you do 4 kids in most vans it means you have to squeeze between two car seats in the captains chairs to get back to the 2 seats in the third row. With the Sienna 8-pax you put a car seats in the middle position and one out board position, then tumble forward the other side to give easy access to the 2 seats in the third row.
A quick search of Craigslist here says $15k gets 2006 & 2007 Sienna LE 8pax at dealers. A little footwork and haggling is sure to get more.
#3790 of 3798 Re: Best minivan 4 kids in carseats [apikalek]
Nov 28, 2011 (5:15 pm)
The extended version of the Chevy Uplander or Pontiac Montana SV6 may do, although the seats do not fold entirely in the floor. These vans have been problematic but if the warranty work has been done and avoid the power sliding doors, then you should find a decent low mileage van. I bought a 2007 SWB Chevy Uplander LT with 55k miles for under $12k (taxes included). Stick to a 2007 or 2008 model because they have the 3900 V6 with 240 HP and come with a 5 year 100k mile powertrain warranty. If you buy from a GM dealer ask them to do a search for the warranty work done on the van. Problem areas are head gasket, cross over pipe gasket, wheel bearings, and sway bar. My van had all this work already done. So far I'm averaging 21 to 24 MPG for combined highway-city driving. Good luck.
Feb 04, 2012 (9:56 am)
I am looking at 2 vans and hope to get it in a few days
2007 LE/28k miles with hub caps [wife hates it] gold color . 17,700 .I have to add dvd player and a gps to it. say 500$
2009 Nissan SL/35k - dvd player ,leather loaded 18,900.
which is a better option to last say 5yr/60k .
#3792 of 3798 Re: Used van [banditboy]
Feb 04, 2012 (10:39 am)
2010 LE/w 42k miles. 17,700
#3793 of 3798 Re: Used van [banditboy]
Feb 06, 2012 (12:35 pm)
Well, don't get any car your wife hates, because marriage counseling costs more than any car payment.