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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign



  • tpa2tpa2 Posts: 9
    We drove the Kia tonight. I have a couple of issues with it though. Like a major one is that the nice Kia with all the bells and whistles was 30,000.00 A lot more than I've ever seen advertised. The EX a step down was 26,900 and the LX was 23,something. I really want the power doors. Just seems like something I would appreciate when dropping off kids at school and such. To get that we are looking at the high end model. Not the great deal I keep hearing about. Do those prices seem high? What about the 20,000.00 I keep hearing about?

    Maybe I will have to compromise on the side curtain airbags and go used Toyota. Are they safe? For the kids in the back?

    I want a safe minivan for under 22,000.00 with some bells and whistles. Power doors, a dvd package. Most of all safe. Can this be done?

  • cpsdarrencpsdarren Posts: 265
    Go to . Enter your zip code. They will give you a guaranteed quote on the model of your choice with the options that are available in your area.

    This price isn't necessarily a great price, but you should never pay more. If local dealers won't beat the price, then buy through You'll have the last laugh when delivers your new car through one of those local dealers. Most likely, when you email or visit local dealers, they will beat the price by a good margin. Of course, they will try to get you to pay more, add options or move up to a higher trim level for more money. It's all part of the game.

    You can also try buying services like Sam's Club, Costco, local credit unions, and many others.

    If you need things like power doors, entertainment system and other extras, a new van probably won't meet your price constraints. I thought you were looking more for a low cost entry model with side curtain airbags, sorry.
  • tpa2tpa2 Posts: 9
    Well I don't know what I am looking for. I feel overwhelmed. 20,000.00 is a lot of money for me so I want something I will be happy with. I think I should go test drive the Toyotas and Hondas. Looks like a slightly used 2006 Toyota CE is lower in price than the Kia and you still get the airbags. Just can't find one close by.

    Thanks so much for all your help. Looks like I just need to get out the and drive a few more vans.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    My sister recently bought a nice used 2005 GC SE with 23,000 miles for $ 14,500. It has 2 built in child seats in the 2nd row bench seat, 60/40 split fold into the floor 3rd row seat, separately controlled temperature for driver, front passenger, and rear passengers, power windows, power rear vent windows.
    She had 170,000 on a used 1986 Caravan SE when it was sold 5 or 6 years ago...and it had no problems all those years except the 4 cyl had too little power.
    Many people I know have purchased 3 or 4 DC minivans since they came out 26 years ago. Complete satisfaction keep them buying DC minivans when they need a newer vehicle. :shades:
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Yeah, but the Toyota CE is a stripped down model and does not have any power features/DVD player either..

    You really should look at a used Dodge Caravan SXT with airbags, power doors, and a DVD player.. You should be able to find a used one for close to your price point (new ones in my area with DVD, leather, power doors, etc, are going for about 23-24K).

    Otherwise, you will have to find a used 2002-2003 Toyota or Honda with power doors, DVD, etc...
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Do those prices seem high?

    Those prices are MSRP...which is the asking price. Knock 2 or 3 thousand off MSRP and you will be close to invoice price...what a good negotiator tries to get a vehicle for. How are your negotiation skills? You should be able to get a new 2006 Kia LX for around $22,000. No help on the Kia Sedona Prices Paid board for LX's.

    I think a new or one year old Dodge Grand Caravan would fit your requirements as well.

    I would definitely take my time, do your homework on what the vehicles you are interested in are going for...and most importantly, buy something you really like and will enjoy, since you say you'll be driving this van for the next ten years.

    The Toyota vans are very safe, but there are a lot of people who highly recommend the side curtain airbags.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    the Toyota CE is a stripped down model and does not have any power features...

    The 2006 CE is hardly a stripped down model. Some standard equipment on the CE: 5 speed auto. trans (same engine and transmission as in the higher priced models), front side and curtain airbags, antilock brakes, tire pressure monitor, front and rear a/c, tilt/telescope steering wheel, second row bucket seats, power windows, power locks, power mirror, remote keyless entry, cd player, rear defogger wiper
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Wow, your right. I think I was comparing it to the 05 model which did not have side airbags..

    CE's in my area are going for under $22K..

    So are Odyssey LX's and Hyundai Entourage's...

    Granted this is before tax, tag, and title but it looks like there are quite a few options for $22-23K. You won't be able to get power doors and a DVD player for that price on a new van however..
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    The wife and I almost bought the Sienna CE in May of 2004, when it was a hot seller and going close for sticker.(in our area)

    To get the "safety package" on the CE was an additional $2,700 I believe. Safety package included side and curtain airbags, 4 wheel disc antilock brakes, vehicle stability control and a few other things.

    My experience has been Sienna CE's in general are very difficult to find. Someone on a budget, or who doesn't care for all the extra features, would be very happy with the base CE. :)
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I have sat in the 3rd row seat of many GC...with Stow 'N Go and without and the 3rd row seats reclined in every one.

    Well your right hansienna, if you pull strap #1 in back of the third row seat, it will tilt backwards as well as forwards. I am now a happy man. I can't complain of any of the seats in the Dodge minivans now. Not quite as soft as the others, but not uncomfortable at all.
  • tpa2tpa2 Posts: 9
    Bought a 2004 LE Sienna today. Love it. Very low miles. I had to compromise on the side curtain airbags. Bottom line. I couldn't afford it. I really wanted to stay right at or under 20,000.00 and this way I could. Maybe in a few years we will trade up for something with the side curtain bags. I feel good in the Toyota. For me, it just feels more substantial than the Kia. The used Toyota came with some nice options I could not have afforded on a new Kia van. SO I am happy.

    Thanks for all the help. I know where to look for advice next time we buy a car.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    IMHO you got a great minivan. The Toyota has great reliability, resale, and features. Congrats on your new van..
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Congrats on your new van tpa. The Sienna is a very nice, reliable and safe minivan. You did good. ;)
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Excellent. You got pretty much what you wanted at a price you wanted (except maybe the side airbags)
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Standard equipment on my 2006 Sienna LE as are side airbags.
    I doubt they will ever be needed and think I goofed buying the Sienna as there are more things I like on my 2002 Chrysler T&C LX than on the 2006 Sienna LE.
    The Odyssey and Sienna may have more safety features but the Chrysler minivans have more comfort and convenience items that make the minivan enjoyable to drive...and for a lower actual selling price. :shades:
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    True, DCX offers more convenience for the dollar, but after two car wrecks, neither of which I caused, I dont think I'll ever purchase a car w/o side and curtain airbags and ABS ever again... One wreck could've been avoided with ABS, I have to believe, because my brake-induced skid trying to avoid being creamed turned into a spin, and that spin put me in a guardrail.

    I've had 2 ABS-inducing panic stops so far in my new Accord, and wouldn't dare buy a car without that feature, and now that curtain bags are offered by nearly everyone, it seems like I'd be too cheap not to get them; you can bet they'll be standard, as well as VSA, on the revamped DCX vans. If they aren't, then Chrysler is no better than Ford IMO(the Fusion still has an ABS OPTION on its Fusion sedan...seems like it'd be easier to make that standard).
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    WHAT were you driving that had NO ABS? :confuse:
    ABS was standard in 1988 Chevy pickups and 1990 Chevy Astros. Many automobile insurance companies gave an insurance with ABS back in the late 80's and early 90's but not longer do because they don't believe ABS has any value to prevent wrecks.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    My 1996 Accord LX - it was optional at the time, and until 2002, actually. Luckily, Honda got smart and has made it standard on all its cars now...they were lacking back then!

    I know this is going to sound like I made this part up, but I was driving my 1996 today when a storm came through (it hasnt rained in awhile, so roads were SLICK)...I skidded to the point I had to pump my brakes to stop at a red light, and ended up having to back up b/c i was in the middle of the intersection. I wasn't speeding (30-35 in a 35 zone, with moderate rain; just keeping up with traffic), but the light changed, i hit the brakes, and nothing happened...Nothing was in front of me, thank the good Lord for that.

    I think I hate my new tires, too...Goodyear Integrity.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    I would not purchase a vehicle (for my family) that does not have side curtain airbags, and stability/traction control. Some of the studies and statistics that I have seen with regards to stability control really show that they are worth the money.

    I think Honda/Kia/Hyundai are on the right track with making these features standard on all models (base and higher)..
  • averigejoeaverigejoe Posts: 559
    Buy the Kia now, LX or EX, both are excellent values. Watch the ads in big city papers. Offer your local dealer a low price equal to or a little higher than the lowest prices in the big cities.
    If you only want to spend $10-15,000, look for a well maintained 2005 or 2004 Sedona with low miles and plenty of warranty left. You can buy them cheaply because lots of them were sold brand new for many (5-8) $thousands under invoice. You should be able to find many to choose from.
    Drive it for a year and then sell it privately after you locate a 2006 used or a new 2006 or 2007 which has huge rebates. You won't lose much money at all when you sell your used one if you buy it for a good price to begin with.
    That said, buying new cars is terribly wasteful unless you do get those huge discounts not available on competitors.
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