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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign



  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    You'd probably pay as much to have airbags installed as for a new van completely. The vehicle's electrical and mechanical architecture probably wasn't designed for these 5-6 years ago. It almost impossible to do!
  • cpsdarrencpsdarren Posts: 265
    In addition, I'd be surprised if any legitimate shop would touch something like this due to liability.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    The Sienna 7 passenger right side bucket seat is MUCH MORE DIFFICULT to move to make a bench seat than either the Odyssey or MPV. :sick:
    The Odyssey has better designed 2nd row seating than the Sienna and also has a better 3rd row folding mechanism than the Sienna. ;)
  • elpablo123elpablo123 Posts: 14
    Thanks for the information. You are right, I went to a Honda dealer and they showed me how to move the right seat in the second row to the center, although it's not really centered but it's away from the door.

    I went to the Kia (Sedona) and the Nissan (Quest) dealers to check how they arrange the second row, but unfortunately the seats cannot be moved. In the Quest you cannot even open the windows for the 2nd and 3rd row. :-(

    Next stop will be to check the MPV, since some of you mentioned it here.

    Thank you for all the insightful information.
  • edhopperedhopper Posts: 7
    How many miles is too many? I am in the market for a 2002 -2003 Dodge Caravan. I've seen a few advertized with high mileage.
    I want to know if a 4 year old Caravan with 80k-100k is worth buying.
    For instance I would not buy a small 4cyl. car with over 100k. The engine will probably start having problems soon.
    So if I buy a 2002-2003 Caravan with 80k to 100k, would I just be asking for trouble?
    After all, that's 25k+ a year.
    This is info Caravan owners might know that doesn't show up in places like Edmunds or Kelly or
    I hope the forum members can help.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    No, unless you KNOW everything is in excellent condition. Any used vehicle with 80k to 100k miles might require some expensive repairs. :sick:
    The Caravan eC and SE had a 2.4L inline 4 cyl engine while the Sport had a 3.3L V6. The Grand Caravan came with a 3.3L V6 in the GC SE, GC Sport and GC eL. The 3.8L V6 was standard on the GC eX, GC LE, and GC SXT.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    You can only afford what you can afford. If you need a minivan and those are in your price range, sounds like you're going to be buying used. Anytime you buy used, it's a bit of a gamble. I personally would rather buy an '03 model with 100k miles than a '99 model with 50k miles. The '03 was likely driven a lot of highway miles and more likely to have be maintained propertly. The low mileage car is probably driven around town. Either way, maintenance records and condition should point you to a decent car. Have a mechanic check it out real good.

    Engines really aren't that problematic anymore if properly maintained. 200k miles is fairly common without much effort. Transmissions on the other hand are less reliable in all brands so there's a big gamble there no matter what. I'd still prefer the one with highway miles. A transmission can be rebuilt for $2,000 which isn't that much in the scheme of things.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    If this fits your budget, I guess it would be better to buy the high mileage Caravan than buy an older but lower mileage Caravan as the high mileage one would have had mostly highway miles while the low mileage one was probably tossed around the city.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Buy the high mileage newer one!! I once purchased a 79 Civic with very low miles, driven by an old lady just to church and back - NOT JOKING!! The Civic was my worst car - burning oil etc... City driving is the worst, while highway is the easiest on a car.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Honda's had not fully hit their stride in the 70s, either...Honda of the 70s was like Hyundai of the 90s...improving, but not there yet.

    I also agree with getting a high-mileage newer car vs the low-milage older one; My grandmother drove my 1996 for 110,000 miles or so before giving it to me for my 15th birthday. It only had one problem ever with her, and was fixed under warranty (o2 sensor). As for me, I've only had to replace two things (knock on the proverbial wood if you please) and have never been stranded, even though just yesterday I clicked to 161,000 miles.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    American Honda has posted its 4th record sales month in a row for April. Individual sales records were set for all their light trucks, including Ridgeline Pickup, Pilot and CR-V SUVs, and the Odyssey Minivan.

    Honda's Acura division also posted record car sales for the month, with individual records set for the TL and TSX sedans.

    Honda seems to be faring well lately!

    You can read more about the records here:
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    EXCEPT for the Acura division and the hybrid Accord and hybrid Civic. :sick:
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    You'll note I didn't say all individual models hit records, just that the Honda division as well as several light trucks and Acura sedans which hit individual sales records.

    It's no wonder the Accord Hybrid doesn't sell at record levels...when an Accord I-4s are achieving mid and upper 30s on the highway, for about $10k+ less than the hybrid.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Totally agree with you (although the hybrid Accord has a lot more power), but $10K is a lot of money and the l-4 is plenty quick enough.

    Just bought my first Honda (Odyssey EX-L) and I have to say it is a great minivan. Being my first minivan (and shamefully, I have to admit that I was a little against buying a minivan but my wife insisted), I cannot stay away from it. Since we bought it, I have only driven my SUV (Mazda Tribute) to work and back and find myself finding excuses to drive the Odyssey. It is a much smoother and luxurious ride than my Tribute (loaded V6 with all the options). I swear the Odyssey is faster and handles much better. It is definitely more quiet and is more comfortable. I love the Odyssey cockpit, all the controls are in the right places and easy to use (intuitive comes to mind). the power sliding doors are wonderful, and it is so much easier handling a car seat (we have a nine month old) in the van vs the Tribute, or our previous sedan (Nissan Altima).

    Anyone on the fence buying a minivan for fear of hurting your image, go drive the Odyssey! (I have to admit though, I also like the exterior of the 06 Sienna very much, especially the front end. It looks Lexus-like)...
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    You are right about the Hybrid's would be a good substitute for a TL if you want the TL for its engine, but the styling of the Acura is what most people go for (I love it too!).

    But for me, and many buyers, the 166 hp I-4 is more than enough power, and the low gas bills are just icing on the cake! (not to mention the $$ saved on initial purchase vs. the Hybrid).
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731

    That looks nice, kind of reminds me of the new Sedona (which isn't a bad thing), but it isn't the radical design some claimed was coming. Just a natural evolution of the DCX.
  • mrblonde49mrblonde49 Posts: 626
    That looks nice, kind of reminds me of the new Sedona (which isn't a bad thing), but it isn't the radical design some claimed was coming. Just a natural evolution of the DCX. "

    That does look nice.

    But I thought the radical part was going to be the 300-inspired front grill. Still have to see that...
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    Well, it's clear the sliding doors have roll-down windows. And the rear windows pop out too. I was surprised the Ody didn't have the rear poppers, but I suppose the FM Antenna being there nixed that. Is it just me, or that a shorty van and not a grand?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    It certainly looks like a SWB model.
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