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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign

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  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,233
    Having bought probably ten new Toyotas in the last 15 years (both business/personal) I can say putting the word “wish” and their “a-la-carte” system in the same sentence would be most correct. I’ve yet to get a Toyota exactly the way I wanted, even though the option combination was allegedly possible. My wife waited 5 months on her GX470 before they finally conceded it wasn’t going to happen the way she wanted. It’s a lot less a-la-carte than they’d have you believe because if they don’t feel like building that combination of features, they just won’t do it……sales literature be darned.

    Is the Honda system better? No, but if nothing else you know your choices right from the start…..“take it or leave it”. The domestics always get positive marks on option availability when shopping and I’ve generally always walked away with very close to what I was looking for.
  • yatesjoyatesjo Posts: 186
    When my wife worked for the MO conservation department she had to drive state vehicles and to do so took classes in defensive driving. As part of her test drives she takes each vehicle through emergency maneuvers she was taught in that class. She felt as confident or more in the Toyota than she felt in the Honda. I've never had a driving class in my life, so all I have is the seat of my pants.

    Combine that with the objective results like slalom and skid pad and I don't think there is any strong ground to say that the Honda is a safer handling vehicle. In DOT crash test ratings the Honda has an advantage though.

    The buying decision isn't as straightforward as you think. It starts with a go/no-go on if the van meets our minimum needs. After that it is a weighted decision based on price, utility, comfort, economy, driving preference.... etc. If the Honda dealers are willing to close the $1400 price gap or the Toyota dealers don't carry the van optioned to meet our minimum requirements, then it will be the Honda.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Honda is definitely dealing more right now.

    Like I said before, in May of 2007, the opposite was true. I'm not sure why that changed. Toyota's prices have been fairly consistent, actually. A new 2008 with the equipment I have costs about the same amount today.

    It's Honda that has brought prices down. Dramatically. About $2 grand on the EX I was shopping back then.

    That's good if you are shopping for an EX today. Terrible for resale values on 2007 EXs, for people who paid $27k, which is about what it was selling for a year ago.

    I guess I just got lucky. I wanted VSC, rear disc brakes, and power sliding doors on both sides. Alloys wheels and a CD changer, too. That meant LE pkg 3 for Sienna, or Ody EX for Honda. Both had what I wanted. I was able to find both in plentiful supply.

    Toyota has made it easier, as mentioned above VSC comes on all models, the alloys are standard on the LE, and there are fewer packages now. I do know what you mean about certain packages not being available in certain regions, that just didn't affect me here in the mid-Atlantic.
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    There hasn't been any depreciation hit on Ody discounts whatsoever. Depreciation isn't as simple as vehicle A sold for x new, and therefore will sell for y now. Depreciation has a lot to do with reputation, not just transaction price. I can't believe what low mileage Odys go for...I have no idea why people by them. For a very small amount more, you can have a new one. But people still are buying them used.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,233
    There hasn't been any depreciation hit on Ody discounts whatsoever....... I can't believe what low mileage Odys go for...I have no idea why people by them. For a very small amount more, you can have a new one. But people still are buying them used.

    Are they actually buying them for these high prices or is that just what you see people/dealers asking? I ask that because some real-world trade-in numbers I've seen for Ody's are significantly lower than what I would expect at this point. On the real-world trade-in value forum here at Edmunds, an '05 Ody Touring with 44k miles just was quoted at $18,000-$19,000. That's lower than what I would have expected. Edmunds trade-in value on it is $2,000-$3,000 above that. Edmunds lists my '05 EX-L with NAV/DVD and 34k miles at $21,000 trade, $23,000 on a private sale and $26,500 for a certified used. If anyone seriously would pay $23,000 for our Ody....as much as we love it I would have to say "FOR SALE"! and I'll go buy a new one.
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    Well, judging from a few in the neighborhood, I'd say people are still paying pretty good money. CarMax of course is a different beast, but my local one had an 07 EX-L with 20k that sold in 2 days for a 2 thousand more than I paid for my new one! (Some people are just...stupid).

    $19k's not bad for a 3 year old 44k vehicle...that's probably 58% or so...
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    I mean to respond...on my Buick comment, you sort of saw as perjorative, not me. I stand by the comparison, it does ride like a Buick. Some people (like you) may want that, some others may not.

    But I would say that the Odyssey is hardly nosiy or rough riding...just more so than the Sienna, which is indeed quiet, but also rather floaty and, in my mind, a little overly isolated. But if you want isolated, that's your car. But trust me...my kid sleeps fine in the Ody. And my parents drive an '06 DGC, so everytime they ride in my Ody, they can't believe how quiet it is!
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    NO way. ;) My wife always commented on how noisy my sister's 2001 Ody EX is after riding in our 02 T&C LX from the time the Ody was 2 years old (T&C 1 year old) to the time we got our 06 Sienna which is not quite as quiet as the 02 T&C.

    My nephew's 2005 Ody EX is also NOT as quiet as either the 02 T&C or 06 Sienna LE.
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    Well, all I can tell you is that its pretty obvious if you go right from the 06 DGC to the Ody, which they do all the time when they come to our house. I still drive theirs on occassion and its very noticeable. Its a different kind of noise--the DGC noise is up by the pillars, not as much "tire/road" noise. But it definitely is noisy.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    WHICH model GC do they own? I had read that the GC with "Stow'N Go" are not as quiet as the earlier ones without "Stow 'n Go" ...another reason we got our Sienna instead of a 2006 GC SXT.

    The Odyssey's biggest defect is that it is too noisy on the road while Chrysler minivans have been praised for being quiet on the highway.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,233
    There's a lot of "what ifs" to the noise issue. Road type, weather, etc. will make a big difference. My mother has owned several T&C's, latest is an '04 and I've been in more rental Caravans than I can count. IMHO, the Ody (in stock form) is more noisy in certain situations. The difference is that Ody has a lot of road/tire noise and the Chrysler vans have more wind/engine noise. This is not comparing the newest Chrysler vans as I've yet to have cockpit time in them. Tire noise is the killer on the Ody and those OEM Michelins are horrible, especially if you drive a lot of concrete roads. On Asphault they're not nearly as bad. I ditched the OEM Michelin's awhile back for a better touring tire and the road noise was drastically reduced on concrete highways. Still more noisy than other vehicles, particularly going over bumps. But for me, the Ody was still the best choice even with a little more noise. Never had anyone really complain, grandkids sleep fine, I can talk to folks in the 3rd row.
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    Yeah they have an 06 SXT with Stow n Go.

    Of course, their application is different--they rarely carry people, just things (besides our toddler). My dad does use the stow n go frequently and hauls stuff around. He calls the DGC his work truck, and he says that if he was buying a passenger vehicle, he'd get what I have, but for his application, the DGC works great. I think that makes sense.

    Yeah, the Ody noise is tire related, the DGC is wind and engine.
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    That's good to know that when you switched out of the OEM Michelins that helped. I agree with your assessment. Cement roads are the worst for the Honda. Don't notice much over bumps however. Love the van other then that one issue. Will research tires closely when I wear the current ones out.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I've seen close-to-new pricing for both the Ody and Sienna, also.

    To be fair, you would only expect the drop in resale values to happen once these new 2008s hit the used car market, so it's perhaps too soon to tell.
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    I suppose, but for Honda 2007s were heavily discounted, too.

    I would also note that I have not seen abnormal depreciation on the previous-gen Accord, either, which starting in early 2006 started to get big discounts on new models.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My timing was bad, I suppose. 2007s were not being discounted much in May of 07. Toyota had much better pricing at the time.
  • We are looking for any advice on what we should purchase. We have looked at a 2004 Nissan Quest V6, with 38,000 miles for $14,999, and a 2006 Dodge Caravan 4 cylinder with 21,000 miles for $10,998 we are a family of six with four kids ages 3 weeks, 3, 6, 7 years old. Please help us!!!
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    I'm no expert on the Chrysler 4 cylinder, but if you feel it has adequate power why not buy the Chrysler? Nearly 1/2 the miles of the Nissan and 26% less in price. Mileage will probably be about the same between the two. You can check Consumer Reports, but I don't think the Nissans score any better in reliability.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    The 2006 Caravan 4 cylinder engine would NOT have satisfactory power. :cry:
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    If you're trying to go 0-75mph on a short uphill ramp, then it may be inadequate, but for an in-town driver with a light foot, it may be perfectly fine.

    I'd suggest driving it on your daily commute (merging, passing, etc) to get an idea of how it will perform. Load it with people on your test drive, if that is a typical setup for you.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The 4 cylinder Dodge is the short-wheelbase, I believe. The long-wheelbase models came standard with the V6. Double-check but I'm pretty sure about that.

    There is no way I'd get a shorty minivan with a family that size. You definitely need the stretched one.

    I'd keep looking.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Good call, I wasn't even thinking about that (too small for the family).

    Great deals should still be available on LWB Dodge vans, and they would have the more adequate 3.3L 180hp engine; still slow compared to the Nissan, but not dangerously so.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Agree 100 %. We could take our daughter, son-in-law, and kids ages 10 and 7 with all luggage in our 2002 T&C LX....but we are not as crowded now they are 13 and 10 years old since our 2006 Sienna LE has more than double the cargo space the T&C LX had.

    The plain, shorter Caravan would not have enough cargo space for a couple with 4 children and the 4 cylinder engine would be overworked. :cry:
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    We purchased a base 2006 Dodge Caravan in Sept. 2006 with the 4 cylinder engine. With 29,000+ miles, no problems to report. Acceleration is leisurely at best. However, with the size of your family I suggest you look at a 2006 or 2007 Grand Caravan. There are lots around for under $15,000 or $16,000 with low mileage. All come with either a 3.3 or 3.8 V6. Good luck.
  • dvsuttondvsutton Posts: 48
    Hard to swallow? You bet it is. I paid more for the imports and got less in the way of quality and reliability. The truth comes out. Imports are Overrated and under performing.
  • dvsuttondvsutton Posts: 48
    You must of got the one bad Chrysler. All I can say is you wouldn't be surprised by all of the people I see show up in the waiting room at Honda with red faces from yelling at the top of their lungs at Honda service advisiors who cannot, or will not, fix their Hondas. Here is a tip. Getting your Honda in for service, get there eary. It fills up fast and there are never enough chairs or rentals.
  • dvsuttondvsutton Posts: 48
    Sliding door fell off of my wifes Honda Oyssey minivan onto my sons foot. Looks like Honda needs to address its quality issues with a recall, wait...Honda only has service bullitens not recalls to keep fooling the media, on the door issue.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sure it did.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,018
    A reporter with a large national newspaper is interested in talking with owners who had considered purchasing a Chrysler Town & Country or Dodge Caravan. If you had considered one of these vehicles and purchased another one instead, please contact Chintan Talati at ctalati@edmunds.com no later than Friday, May 9.

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,018
    A reporter from a large local newspaper is looking to speak to recent minivan buyers and minivan shoppers that ended up purchasing an SUV or crossover. If you’re interested in speaking to the reporter, please contact Jonathan Wahl at jwahl@edmunds.com with your daytime contact information no later than July 3 2008.

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

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