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
#594 of 3798 Minivan Shopping
Apr 08, 2005 (7:31 pm)
The new car show opened in Louisville today. I promised Hansienna a review/comparison of the top minivans....so here it is Hans (the rest of ya can read it too)
Well, first off...let's talk about atmosphere.Breathtaking....ahh...new cars under one humongous roof as far as the eye could see. I quickly learned not to walk to close to the vendors, who were looking to catch your eye to sell you anything from gutter guards to at home oil changes."Would you like a chance to win a free trip to the destination of your choice?" "No thanks babe...have my own private jet" Also, to many green beans or green peas(whatever you guys in the business call them)that didn't know much about the vans. Three struggled with getting the stowable/fold flat seats up or down.
So, based on appearance, style, comfort, layout, fit and finish, quality ease of use and intangables...I rated as follows.
1) Honda Ody-though they had two models both were the high end trim levels(i.e Touring $38,000).Everything about it was first class. I especially made note of seat comfort and steering wheel ease of use as I have read some people have had problems with this. In the 4 minutes I sat in the drivers seat it felt pretty comfortable to me.Easy to reach steering wheel. Fit and finish very good.Very roomy and comfortable.Borrowed many styling cues from my MPV...so doesn't look like a Rainbow bread truck anymore. I liked the rubber tray mat in the rear storage area.
2) Mazda MPV- They had the exact same model and color that I bought 8 months ago...the LX in Cosmic Sand.Truely an out of this world beautiful vehicle.
Quality and fit and finish topnotch. Seating not as plush as Ody...more firm...but still very comfortable. Sportiest and most stylish of all the vans. Excellent visibility.
They need to redesign that gear shift though and put the wiper control shaft on the other side of the wheel. Otherwise controls and layout excellent.Fold flat rear seat easy to use. I feel the best value on the market.
3) Nissan Quest and Toyota Sienna tied- For some reason the Quest looks a lot nicer and was more comfortable than I remember, and the Sienna not quite as nice and comfortable as I remember. I like the style of the Quest, seat firm but comfortable. I do like the center console so many people say they do not.The Quest was shown in the base model S, while the Sienna was shown in the LE and the XLE. Sienna very comfortable, quality apparent throughout. If 2005 quality and reliability of the Quest has improved over the poor showing of the 2004...then a definite contender.
4)Chrysler Town&Country and Dodge Grand Caravan- Honestly...not as stylish or comfortable as I was hoping.Looked at the SXT for $32,000. Very nice overall, did not see any problem with fit or finish.Quality comparable. Liked the stow and go seating...very roomy. Paid paticular attention to second row seat comfort. It was a very firm seat(leather)though was not uncomfortable.Drivers and passenger seats were very comfortable. Interior just a bit bland for my tastes.
5) The Bunch from G.M. Nice. I kinda like the SUV/minivan look. Not as comfortable or as well laid out as others. Quality and fit and finish falls a bit short. The removable 3rd row and rear seating must be difficult to remove...as I asked a salesman how it work...he said"ya just pull it out"
6) Dodge Caravan SE 4cyl....bench seating and materials looked as if they pulled them out of old Holiday Inn motels.
7) Ford Freestar Limited-I kept looking at the sticker to make sure they didn't put it on the wrong car. $32,000 for this??? Am I on Candid Camera? It just seemed plain and not all that comfortable. Exterior styling pretty good. Interior was just plain and simple looking.I really didn't spend much time in it as I was not very impressed.
*******Sorry Kia Sedona, if you were there I didn't see you*********
Well, there you have it Hans/guys. These picks I have made are based on my own personal preferences. Are no way a reflection of your judgement/taste... or lack thereof. Good luck and happy hunting shoppers!
Apr 08, 2005 (11:49 pm)
I've been reading car magazine and websites and they all say that the Mazda MPV has a Ford Duratec V-6 200 hp. I recently went to the NY Auto Show and asked this question to the Corporate Mazda Salesperson. He stated Ford makes the Engine Block which is then sent to Japan and incorporated with Mazda parts.
Can anyone confirm this?
I know that Mazda is partly owned by Ford but I've had bad experiences with having a Ford, which is why I'm hesistant. I've always had Honda's and I've had great reliability and performance. At the same time, I don't want a monster minvan cause they handle alot different than a car would. What sells me to the Mazda MPV is the car-like drive, the warranty with the road side assistance, and the price incentives. I just want to know if anyone has had any reliability or long term problems with the 2004-2005 Mazda MPVs? Thanks.
#596 of 3798 Re: Ford Engine? [vintastic]
Apr 09, 2005 (7:06 am)
It's my understanding that Ford makes the engine...it's sent to Japan for assembly and is modified/tweaked to Mazda standards. So, I really think the salesperson saying it is incorporated with Mazda parts is quite a stretch.
The Ford Duratec 3.0 is suppose to be one of the best and most reliable Ford engines.Not as smooth or quiet as some of the other makes but does a very good job in my opinion.I've had my 2004 for 9 months. Had the rear hatch adjusted to eliminate some wind noise. Otherwise very satisfied.
#597 of 3798 Re: Minivan Shopping [jipster]
Apr 09, 2005 (8:53 am)
Excellent Review but apparently there was a better variety of minivans at the Salt Lake City Auto Show that I drove over to see.
The Odysseys were the only minivans that had electrical power so the seats would move and there was an EX cloth and another Ody with leather (I do not recall if it was EX-L-Nav-Res or Touring).
I did not see a KIA Sedona at the SLC auto show either.
Here are the comments that Edmunds has concerning the Mazda MPV:
"Pros Manageable size, lots of interior storage, decidedly unminivan looks, roll-down windows in the sliding doors.
Cons Lacks the features, passenger/cargo space and power found in its competitors, noisy engine, clunky transmission."
#598 of 3798 Re: Minivan Shopping [hansienna]
Apr 09, 2005 (9:24 am)
Yeah, they disconnected all the batteries in the cars at the Louisville auto show. I was interested in playing with the Ody lumbar support some to see what all the fuss was about with the seats being called uncomforable and painful for some. As well as some of the other gadgets and power sliding doors. Next time I'll bring a box cutter to cut off the electrical tape ,and a wrench ,and hook them suckers back up.
I agree with the lack of features on the MPV. For those who are wanting all the gadgets/features/options of the Ody and others...may not be to interested in the MPV. The MPV comes in 2 models..the LX and the EX.4 major packages are available with about 8 different features. But, we didn't need nor desire a lot of the popular features. DVD ???Look out the window kids...it's called scenery. Navigation??? Getting a printout from Mapquest is easier.Would disagree with Edmunds assesment of noisy engine. It's noisier under heavy throttle than competiton, but not noisy Clunky transmission....that was probably before the TCM reflash. Mine shifts smooth as butter.
It was hard to get a good look at some vehicles at the car show as it was fairly crowded and there were so many salesmen looking for a sale.But, to be able to compare all the minivans side by side in the same day was worth some of the hassle.
#599 of 3798 Caravan SXT / MPV LX comparison
Apr 09, 2005 (4:31 pm)
A Caravan SXT has MSRP $22 ,840 (delivered) vs MPV LX MSRP $23,500 (delivered) with TMV $18,554 on Caravan vs $19,621 of MPV. These 2 are very closely priced with the Caravan having a lower price.
Caravan has 180 HP 5000 RPM vs MPV 200 6200 RPM.
Caravan has 210 Lb-ft 4000 RPM vs MPV 200 Lb-ft 3000 RPM.
Caravan EPA 19/26 vs MPV 18/25
Caravan cargo 15.3 cu ft vs MPV 17.2 cu ft
Caravan Maximum cargo 147 cu ft vs MPV 127 cu ft
Caravan 189.1 inches long vs MPV 189.5 inches
Caravan 4057 lbs vs MPV 3722 lbs.
Post 597 has Edmund's comments on MPV so here are Edmund's comments on the Caravan (not to confuse with GC):
"Pros Surprisingly agile handling, quiet ride in V6 models, low price.
Cons Some cheap interior bits, reliability record not as strong as some competitors', limited availability of major safety features."
Why does the heavier Caravan SXT get better gas mileage with a 4 speed AT while the MPV has a 5 speed AT?
Would be nice to combine the best features of the 2: Magic Seat of MPV LX and separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger of Caravan SXT.
#600 of 3798 SXT VS MPV
Apr 10, 2005 (11:18 am)
I have the SXT at $24,700 (delivered) and the MPV $23,800(delivered)per Consumer Guide Car Magazine.
I think the SE I saw at the car show listed for a little over $19,000.Don't recall seeing the SXT. Dodge did have around 3 or 4 Caravans and Dodge Caravans though.
The MPV LX also has antilock 4- wheel disc brakes and steering wheel radio controls standard to the SXT which has heated mirrors and the dual zone manual
climate controls(opening and closing a vent by hand?) which the MPV does not have standard. The MPV also comes with a 4year/48k mile warranty with roadside assistance(if ever needed) to the 3 year warranty of the Dodge.
Other publications testing the mpg of the MPV have gotten better mileage than EPA. Most people who own Honda Odys report nothing near EPA on mpg....go figure? Consumer Guide does have the Caravan as a Best Buy.
A good comparison though in two vans similar in price and features.
#601 of 3798 Re:Manual dual zone vs automatic dual zone [jipster]
Apr 10, 2005 (5:08 pm)
Manual dual zone indicates the desired relative temperature is set by a slider control as contrasted to Automatic Dual Zone where a desired temperature (such as 70 F for driver and 66 F for passenger) is set by setting the exact temperature with push buttons. The Automatic system then adds the amount of heat from the heater to compensate for the cold air produced by the air conditioning system to maintain the set temperature. In Manual system, the amount of heated vs cooled air remains at the mixture set by the slider controls rather than automatically adding heated air in the amount needed to maintain the set temperature.
With manual dual zone (or manual triple zone as in my 2002 T&C LX), the HVAC does not automatically cycle the heater to maintain a set temperature.
In my 2002 T&C LX, the cooled air from the rear blower enters from 4 vents in the ceiling but when the temperature slider is moved to hot, the heated air comes from vents in front of the right rear wheel well. If the slider is for no heat, the air comes from the ceiling vents when the rear blower is turned on even if the A/C is not turned on.
#602 of 3798 Re: SXT VS MPV [jipster]
Apr 11, 2005 (6:12 am)
Dodge has 7/70 powertrain warranty, too
#603 of 3798 Re: Minivan Shopping [jipster]
Apr 14, 2005 (5:25 am)
The quest was totally redesigned recently, it used to have this really old van look to it now looks great. The Mazda MPV will be put to pasture later this year for what I think is called a Mazda 5 or some other number. I think the MPV brand was tarnished somewhat. Low power noisey and other problems that I have seen in the forums.
My brother had one (MPV) and at around 20k it needed the engine replaced. Under warranty but pain in butt. Dealership was trying to lie to him about it. Granted you have one and its probally been fine.