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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign

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Comments

  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    Buy the Dodge. You'll get a lot of bang for your buck and it's a decent vehicle. It doesn't have stability control like the Honda does, but people have been driving vehicles for over 100 years without stability control, and most of them survived just fine.

    Buy the Dodge...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I agree. In this situation the Dodge is a much, much better value.

    Remember - early Odysseys had transmission issues, so you're not necessarily buying reliability in this case.

    An 05 Dodge with 66k left on the warranty, 3 years newer with far fewer miles, plus more equipment.

    Having said all that, shop around. I've seen 06 Dodge SXTs for as little as $15k.

    The extra equipment and the warranty are probably worth the extra amount in this case.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    Depends on what he's gonna take for it. There's a $6,000 difference from your target price range there and that extra $6,000 also buys a lot of Odyssey if that's why you have your heart set on. But in all honesty, most folks (as proven by sales data....) would prefer the bargain. The Ody was the first minivan that really met all my needs/wants so that's what I went with. But unless handling and certain performance/features are your issue, that '05 Caravan will likely tickle 90% of your fancy.
  • True, but when comparing the Honda and Dodge, I'd probably have to get something with 20k more miles or spend more than what I'd spend on the Dodge. I saw an 05 Odyssey w/ a salvage sell for $19k on ebay. The Big Three just depreciate so much faster than the Odyssey.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    So true, in this case quick depreciation works to your advantage.

    And with an extended warranty, you can keep it for a long time, so the amount of $$$ you get for it down the road will be far less significant than getting a good deal now.
  • I'm much less concerned about depreciation at the end as I'm looking to get something to drive until the wheels literally fall off. With a Dodge, it's more likely to happen sooner than with a Honda though. ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well, it's a couple of years newer, keep that in mind. Also has far fewer miles.
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    Actually I had a friend that got 300,000 mile out of a mid 90's Dodge Caravan. I think the engine can do it, it's more some of the other items.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The big ticket item most likely to go would likely be the transmission, but with the 100k warranty, you're good for a while.

    If it turns sour and doesn't feel like it will hold up for the long haul, you can still sell it with 5k miles left on that warranty, so you have a "plan B".
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I had originally set my heart out on a used Odyssey. In the price range I was looking(around $11-12k), it looks like I'd have to settle on around an '02 with over 100k miles on it.

    I have a co-worker that has asked about my interest in an '05 Grand Caravan with virtually every option out there, including navigation, DVD, etc. It only has 34k miles and has a 100k mile extended warranty. He's asking $18k for it.

    I'm torn-I know my wife would love the stow and go. I'd certainly love buying something that has more bells and whistles that I wouldn't get buying an Odyssey, but I'll also get a vehicle that only has 1/3 to 1/4 of the miles I'd have to get along with the warranty to boot. Buying an Odyssey of similar mileage/options would cost a LOT more.

    What would you do?


    I have a 2005 DGC and it's been trouble free going on three years. I think 18 is a little high, but maybe not if it has leather, navigation, DVD and warranty.

    Stow-N-Go is a very nice feature. It can hold a whole lot of stuff, including a small television you can plug into one of your outlets. blankets and pillows if you go camping.

    I keep one passenger middle seat stowed most of the time so the dog has a place to set, or if I want to haul something big and already set up, like a bassinet. The side door is much better to load stuff like that, than using the tailgate.

    Don't be fooled about those middle seats being uncomfortable. Maybe if your 230 lbs., but not for the average person. I have made two trips from Arizona to Ohio in it and my brother sat in them both times.(2,000 miles one way) He never complained about them. They are firmer and narrower, but far from being uncomfortable.

    The advantage having to be able to stow those seats and have all that storage room, makes those seats a real bargain. I like the idea that they have arm rests on them too and the seats can lean back. Something you can't get on some bench seats.

    I think you'd be happy with the Dodge. With the 100,000 warranty, you have little to worry about.
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    I disagree on the comfort level of the Stow n Go. Those things are the hardest, most uncomfortable seats I've ever sat in. If it's kids riding in them most of the time, however you'll be fine.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I disagree on the comfort level of the Stow n Go. Those things are the hardest, most uncomfortable seats I've ever sat in. If it's kids riding in them most of the time, however you'll be fine.

    Well my brother isn't any kid and a 4,000 mile round trip is a long time to sit in them and he hasn't complained. Now if you don't lift the head rest up, you'll complain. I have had others set in them for short trips of less than 60 miles and they never complained either. Maybe you have a more than tender rear end.
  • Several friends and I took an 800 mile trip in an '05 Chrysler van and had no complaints or problems with the seats at all. It should be a good value, especially with the extended warranty. My friend has had no problems with hers except a very hard to locate rattle that the dealer did finally cure. It has about 35K on it.
  • hause7hause7 Posts: 153
    We had those seats in our previous 05 Town&country, they were very uncomfortable, especially when compared to the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna's rear seats. i am 5' 11" and 175 pounds, so i would say the average peron, and they sucked to me and had a cheap feel to them, one of our stow n' go seats got stuck in the well, had to take a trip to the dealer to get it out, it was quite funny explaining to the dealer what was wrong.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I guess different strokes for different folks. People use to complain about German seats being so firm/hard, but they're considered some of the best seats for long hauls and in the industry. A friend of mine works for GM and they marvel at VW's seats because ALL VW/Audis use the same basic seat structure and whether you get a Beetle or an A8, they're design for comfort from day one. GM has DOZENs of seat designs with every division doing their own thing, never sharing knowledge etc...

    I've been in my Stow N Go seats to Toronto a few times, with no complaints after a 5 hour drive. My elderly parents have been in them for hours and I asked what they thought. They had no issues. You can't beat em for ease of use and flexibility. I love not taking seats in and out for camping trips or big Home Depot runs. It'll be interesting to see when or if others bring out anything like them. It would take a commitment to a specific minivan chassis for Honda for example because the Oddy, Ridge, Pilot and MDX all share same architecture. Will they come up with a better mousetrap, compromise "comfort" or stick with what they have?
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    Marine2 I'm 6'1" and weigh about 200 pounds. I've been known to ride a horse all day, so my butt's fairly tough. Actually it was probably the back support which lacked more than anything.

    Hey I think the rest of the minivan is a good value and the stow N go's are handy. They had to make some sacrifices is eat comfort to make the seats work. If you sat a Chrysler next to all it's major competitors and sat in the second row seats, you'd note the difference. That's what I did when I was shopping.
  • We take our '06 T&C Limited on long trips, 4 generous sized adults, so someone has to sit in the stow n go seat at least for a little while. Husband is 6', 250, so it's not his favorite seat, but if we stick a DVD in the player, he forgets all about it. He doesn't complain, but he would rather sit up front, of course! To me, the stow n go convenience outweighs the neglible difference in seats. No van is perfect, you just have to put your top wants and deal breakers on a piece of paper, and go from there. I drove the Honda, with him in the backseat, and it was nice, but any seat over the long haul is going to tire butts, no matter how ample or flat. My dogs couldn't lay flat up near us, so that was our deal breaker on the other vans. Everyone is different, but I think all the vans offer good, different things. It's just what you want out of your van.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    We had those seats in our previous 05 Town&country, they were very uncomfortable, especially when compared to the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna's rear seats. i am 5' 11" and 175 pounds, so i would say the average peron, and they sucked to me and had a cheap feel to them, one of our stow n' go seats got stuck in the well, had to take a trip to the dealer to get it out, it was quite funny explaining to the dealer what was wrong.

    If your going to compare the middle stow-n-go seats to the Ody or Sienna for softness, of course the stow-n-go will come in last. That's a given. They are firmer, but they are far from being uncomfortable. But those of us that bought the Chrysler/Dodge, mainly for the convenience of stowing the seats instead of removing them when we needed the room and loved the large storage bins, did so knowing they wouldn't be as comfortable, but also knowing they had big advantages over the Ody and Sienna for those of us that use our vans for more than people haulers. If all your going to do is haul people and don't need to worry about storage, Chrysler's stow-n-go is not for you. But there are many people like myself that hate having your van or truck messed up with toys, tools, jump cables, blankets, etc. That like the idea of going into a store, buying something, stowing it out of sight in those bins and then leaving it to go to another store. Not worrying someone will look in and see it laying on the floor.

    I love the idea we can go to some place like park and swap and if I see something I like, I don't have to go home and take out my seats and go back and load it.

    About a year ago, I went into Sears to get a bassinet for our daughter. They only had the floor model left and I took it. I dropped the middle passenger seat and slid it in the side door, standing up. Did the same thing with an air compressor. I would have had to pick it up to get it in the rear hatch. I only had to bend the handle down and slide it in the side door. No heavy lifting.

    So yes, you give up a little softness in the middle seats for the convenience of stow-n-go. To me it was a no brainer. I got rid of a truck because of the stow-n-go seats and have never been sorry.

    I also disagree with them having a cheap feel to them. The seats have a solid steel frame and the cloth is the same as the other seats, the arm rest are firm. There is nothing cheap about them. Even the cover over the bins are steel and solid. I think most people who own one will agree.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    and he hasn't complained... I have had others sit...

    Did you ever ask him/them? If I was a guest in someone else's vehicle I sure wouldn't be telling the owner that the seats suck...may find myself walking home. :)
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    The vast majority of people who have actually purchased and used them have no complaints, only the people who don't have them seem to complain about them. Solution, stop complaining and enjoy your vans. If you're in the market, shop and compare and buy what you like.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The vast majority of people who have actually purchased and used them have no complaints, only the people who don't have them seem to complain about them.

    That one should be obvious - I wouldn't buy something I felt was uncomfortable either; it may explain why nobody owning them think their Stow n Go seats are uncomfortable. To the owners, they are comfortable! :)
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Maybe just maybe, people should not just jump in them, say "they're hard" and dismiss them. They seem to be a sucess in the marketplace, Chrysler credits them with keeping sales up on their last gen minivans, and they've incorporated them into the next gen, so the majority of people must like them?
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    Well gosh why should we write anything on this board then? Opinions are going to differ and I believe it's good to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Maybe just maybe, people should not just jump in them, say "they're hard" and dismiss them.

    I REALLY don't think it would happen as much as you'd think. The seats in my sedan are VERY firm, but quite comfortable (they are fairly large captains chairs though). With 350k+ sold every year, people aren't dismissing that seat very quickly.

    I make it a point to sit in LOTS of vehicles when the auto show rolls in here in November. I'll have to try out the DCX SnG seats again. Last time they were just too small for me to get REALLY comfortable. They weren't "Gawd-Awful" as some people make 'em out to be, but they weren't as good as our 2000 model Odyssey's 2nd row for me (I'm 6'4" and always had plenty of room and comfort in our 2nd row). Sure, the seats didn't stow, but we did more people moving than cargo moving, so it didn't matter too much to us. We actually never took the seats out - we didn't move that much stuff!

    Nobody's questioning stow-n-go's practicality; it's a compromise that makes sense to a large number of people. For people who haul more rears than gear, a more comfortable seat is worth losing stow-n-go.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Yeah, but it'd be good to hear it from people who actually own the product . It'd be like me whining about how "squishy" Oddy seats are because I sat in them a few times when looking for a minivan over 2 years ago. I'd hardly be the best judge of them.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Allow me to play the devil's advocate here for a second.

    Chrysler did keep them, but they also offer different seats for Swivel-n-Go that appear to be more comfortable (thicker padding, higher off the ground). So at a minimum they hedged their bets.

    If Chrsyler thought the smaller Stow-n-Go seats were fine, they probably would have used the same design for Swivel-n-Go, yet they didn't.

    On the other hand, most of the times its kids in these seats, and if you have an infant seat or a booster for a toddler it really doesn't matter what is underneath, in fact a thinly padded seat might make it easier to secure a child safety seat, so it could be seen as an advantage.

    Simple conclusion - try them out. We are all shaped differently. I found they're a bit short for me, no thigh support, and too thinly padded. marine's brother is either too nice to complain or simply shaped differently than me, perhaps both. ;)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Yeah, but it'd be good to hear it from people who actually own the product. It'd be like me whining about how "squishy" Oddy seats are because I sat in them a few times when looking for a minivan over 2 years ago.

    Would you buy a van knowing it was uncomfortable?

    I'm afraid you won't find what you are looking for, unless some people had a change of heart (or change of backbone :)). Seat comfort isn't a problem that would "develop" like a burned-out bulb. It should be relatively static; it would be existent from the time of test-drive. Do ya kinda see what I'm trying to say?

    I'm not knocking you, really I'm not. Seat comfort is subjective, and there's no point in trying to convince someone that something is comfy to them or not, since everyone has a different idea of comfort. There are obviously loads of people who find the DCX seats perfectly suitable. The thing is, people that had a problem with the seats probably didn't BUY THE CAR which is why you aren't hearing complaints from owners. They wouldn't buy something they found uncomfortable in the first place.

    That's (the underlined part) all I'm trying to say.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Would you buy a van knowing it was uncomfortable?

    paging hansienna, paging hansienna, you're needed in the Minivan shopping forum.

    :D

    To be fair, I think it's just a matter of not taking a long enough test drive.

    BTW, he is VERY vocal about what he perceives as poor seat comfort. He is by far the most vocal Sienna critic here on Edmunds, one of the very few.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Ok, so there's an anomaly. :)

    Leave it to the 'Yota drivers! KIDDING! :P
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You got me! :D
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