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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign

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Comments

  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    That's exactly what I did recently.

    I didn't say that everyone should do as I do, it's a free country, you can do what you want with your money or with your borrowed money or with your lease payments.

    Just makes me wonder how there could be all that much more value in a luxury minivan costing $10K-$15K more than the Grand Caravan SE I just bought.
  • Well, you might be surprised the price people will pay for things like:

    50-70 more horsepower
    More Comfortable, heated, leather seating
    More engine refinement
    Sunroof
    Lighted steering wheel controls for stereo/NAV/Cruise Control
    8-passenger seating (vs. 7)
    Vehicle Stability Assist (otherwise known as ESC or VSC)
    Standard 6 Airbags
    Power Doors
    Remote Roll-Down Windows
    A newer design
    CD Changer
    Automatic Temperature Control w/3 zones
    Active Noise Cancellation
    Power Adjustable Pedals
    Homelink Remote System
    Nicer Alloy Wheels
    Better handling (at expense of firmer ride - its a personal preference)
    Different Styling (also a personal preference, but something people DO pay more for in some cases)

    I would guess that your Caravan SE has few of these features, unless yours is heavily optioned.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,225
    I don't think "value" has much to do with it. If I wanted value I would have bought used. I enjoy nicer vehicles/features and will pay for them. In fact, I don't think these are really all that well equipped and really aren't "luxury" vans. They're still lacking true luxury car features (and the price tags that go with them). I don't think if someone's having trouble paying for something like this they should be piling on the options....but that's not really my case. In fact, my Ody at $30K was cheaper than the vehicle it replaced.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    The reason why I have found myself looking at minivans with stickers hitting $40,000 is probably because to get seven passenger seating in a luxury SUV would cost far more and/or require significant trade offs in space, fuel economy, and features.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Although I think the Grand Caravan SE is an outstanding bargain, for just a little bit more a person can get a Grand Caravan SXT and have power sliding doors both sides, the larger 3.8L engine, cast wheels, and other "goodies".
    I have priced GC SE, GC SXT, T&C LX and T&C Touring and for me, the MOST Value is the GC SXT with the T&C Touring 2nd best.
    I feel the Odyssey EX (cloth) would be THE BEST MINIVAN for my wife and I but the GC SXT would have more of the features we want for thousands $$$$$ less.
    The 2006 Sienna LE is a BIG disappointment after reading the glowing reports about OHC engines and sarcastic comments about inferior DC transmissions in CR, Edmunds, MT, and other places. The 06 Sienna LE is NOT as quiet at highway speeds, the radio is not as good, it does not have the separately controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger that was on my less expensive T&C LX, and the sun reflects off the shiny surfaces of the Sienna dash.
    The Sienna has a much more comfortable driver's seat, has more power, gets better gas mileage, and has more than twice the cargo space behind the 3rd row than my 02 T&C LX had. I would probably love my Sienna if I had not owned that T&C LX.
    IF I were to get T-boned in a wreck, I may change my feelings since the Sienna (and Odyssey) have side air curtains standard equipment in every vehicle...while they are an expensive option not included on most DC minivans.
  • You didn't mention:

    Cost of ownership
    Resale value

    Also, not sure what the reliability differences are -- but assume Honda is better. Less hassle.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Also, not sure what the reliability differences are -- but assume Honda is better. Less hassle. I don't think that's a given, based on the Honda problems and solutions on Edmunds. For a Minivan that sells half as many units, it easily has twice the problems.
  • For a Minivan that sells half as many units, it easily has twice the problems.

    Oh, so you must have the average problem count for each of the hundreds of thousands of Odysseys and millions of Dodge/Chrysler minivans. Mind sharing those statistics?

    As we ALL know (and has been pointed out by the host on different boards - it is, after all, common sense) not every post is a reported problem. Even I have posted on the Odyssey boards, giving solutions and opinions.

    Just a sampling from the Odyssey "Problems" Board

    Post #793 - Shopper asking about used pricing. Not a problem.

    Post #794 - Owner wrecked their van, asking about body shop repairs. Not a problem.

    Post #803 - Owner doesn't like the folding tray table, prefers a console. Is this a "problem" with the car? Nope, its how it was made. It would be like me saying "I don't like the Caravan's steering wheel design. Not a problem with the vehicle.

    Post #805 - A Response to Post #803, explaining the merits of a table vs. console in a van. Not a problem.

    These aren't ALL the posts from 793-811 (the most current) that ARE NOT problems, but only a few. Most are responses to other people, some aren't even related to the board!

    Also, not everyone who posts on a particular board currently OWNS that particular vehicle. I'm on a minivan board, know what my family has in the garage? Three Accord Sedans, a 96, an 05, and my new 06.

    We had a 2000 Odyssey for 5 1/2 years, and all of its problems could be summed up in two words...

    Squeaky seat.

    Do I think that it is "Given" that Hondas are more reliable than Dodge's? Well, that depends on what data you look at, but Consumer Reports (which is pretty widely read best I can tell) says that the Odyssey is better than the Chrysler products (Consumer Reports stated that they could not recommend the DCX vans because its reliability had once again dropped below average). Is the Odyssey perfect though? Certainly not.

    We have had 2 Chryslers, both of which we had for less than a year, mainly because between the two of them, they spent 7 months in a repair shop (transmissions, suspension rebuilds, rattles galore). My father's last Chrysler was a Sebring Convertible; he hated it so badly after a year that he sold it, and all he took such a hit in resale that he could only go to a Civic EX, but he was oh-so-happy to do so just to dump the Chrysler. The reason he got rid of the Sebring? It had over 35,000 miles on it and the warranty would expire at 36k. He couldn't afford to do all the work once the warranty expired.

    Hopefully Chrysler has come a long LONG LONG way in reliability, because they were at the bottom of the pool back when we had them.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Of course, my GC SE does not have most of those items, though it does have Stow and Go second row seating (not available on any other brand) and an three zone, though not automatic, climate control system. As far as a few of the other items, like active noise cancellation, Honda only added that to their top of the line unit that had the system to run on three cylinders as it was too noisy without it. Obviously my Caravan does not need that feature, it is a very silent vehicle as is, with an admittedly old tech engine and drive train that has been refined to amazing smoothness and quietness.

    My only point was it still amazes me that there is a market for vans loaded with all these bells an whistles driving the cost to $30-$40K.

    Like I stated before, buy what you want, just remember you are buying a depreciating asset and your $30-40K vehicle will quickly turn into a vehicle valued at very little, even if it is a Honda or Toyota. On the other hand, I will never lose more than $20K on my GC SE, and the $5K-10K money I saved and invested will likely appreciate in value.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "On the other hand, I will never lose more than $20K on my GC SE, and the $5K-10K money I saved and invested will likely appreciate in value."

    Yep.

    Of course, you could have bought a 2-year old GC coming off lease in which you could be saying you'd never lose more than $14k. If the question was purely economics, did it really make sense to buy new?

    Sure, you might say you want the peace of mind of buying new, or the features on a new GC (stow and go) that may not have been available on a used GC.

    Doesn't that same logic apply to a person looking at a Honda/Toyota? Maybe they want the "peace of mind" of one of those vehicles? Maybe they want some of the features available only on a Honda/Toyota?

    Why should it amaze you at the market for vans running $30k-$40k? The world isn't made up of 5 billion badgerfans running around (or even rorrs, thank goodness). Just because YOU think that's too much for a minivan is irrelevant. Are you also amazed at the market for $35-$45k SUV's with less cargo/passenger room, and higer operating costs than vans? I'm not. I realize that most folks have different priorties than me; and that for those folks, a $45k SUV (or a $20k DGC) makes PERFECT sense.

    Personally, I simply would NOT buy a van without certain safety features - but I'm not going to sit here and act 'amazed' at the number of folks who rather save a few $k and/or opt for convenience items (stow and go) and place their family at a higher than necessary risk.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Yes, I realize that buying a late model used one is more economical than buying new. Since I keep them ten years minimum, by buying a new one I know what the maintenance history of the vehicle is throughout my ownership, as I am in charge of it.

    And yes, I am even more amazed at anyone paying $45K for an SUV.

    I guess we have beat this subject to death, so buy whatever you want and enjoy it, just don't get yourself into economic duress because of it.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "I guess we have beat this subject to death, so buy whatever you want and enjoy it, just don't get yourself into economic duress because of it."

    Agreed. :)

    Life's too short for ANY of us to sit here, in our own little bubble, and attempt to pass some sort of judgement on somebody else's buying decision. And yes, I know that isn't your intent. But I also know that's something that we ALL indulge in from time to time (rorr most certainly included).

    As far as I'm concerned, the whole purpose of this thread SHOULD be simply informing folks interested in a minivan purchase about what the various differences are between the players in this market, on as much of a subjective basis as reasonable, and let THEM set their own priorities for making a decision.

    I'm going to make a conscious decision to try and NOT 'talk' somebody into an Ody purchase, because their wants/needs/situation are probably NOT the same as mine. After all, this isn't a football game; neither one of us gets more 'points' for convincing someone that an Ody (or DGC) is the BEST van for them. And I don't need to have my purchase validated by someone else's approval of my choice.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Oh, so you must have the average problem count for each of the hundreds of thousands of Odysseys and millions of Dodge/Chrysler minivans. Mind sharing those statistics?

    As we ALL know (and has been pointed out by the host on different boards - it is, after all, common sense) not every post is a reported problem. Even I have posted on the Odyssey boards, giving solutions and opinions.

    Just a sampling from the Odyssey "Problems" Board

    Post #793 - Shopper asking about used pricing. Not a problem.

    Post #794 - Owner wrecked their van, asking about body shop repairs. Not a problem.

    Post #803 - Owner doesn't like the folding tray table, prefers a console. Is this a "problem" with the car? Nope, its how it was made. It would be like me saying "I don't like the Caravan's steering wheel design. Not a problem with the vehicle.

    Post #805 - A Response to Post #803, explaining the merits of a table vs. console in a van. Not a problem.

    These aren't ALL the posts from 793-811 (the most current) that ARE NOT problems, but only a few. Most are responses to other people, some aren't even related to the board!

    Also, not everyone who posts on a particular board currently OWNS that particular vehicle. I'm on a minivan board, know what my family has in the garage? Three Accord Sedans, a 96, an 05, and my new 06.

    We had a 2000 Odyssey for 5 1/2 years, and all of its problems could be summed up in two words...

    Squeaky seat.

    Do I think that it is "Given" that Hondas are more reliable than Dodge's? Well, that depends on what data you look at, but Consumer Reports (which is pretty widely read best I can tell) says that the Odyssey is better than the Chrysler products (Consumer Reports stated that they could not recommend the DCX vans because its reliability had once again dropped below average). Is the Odyssey perfect though? Certainly not.

    We have had 2 Chryslers, both of which we had for less than a year, mainly because between the two of them, they spent 7 months in a repair shop (transmissions, suspension rebuilds, rattles galore). My father's last Chrysler was a Sebring Convertible; he hated it so badly after a year that he sold it, and all he took such a hit in resale that he could only go to a Civic EX, but he was oh-so-happy to do so just to dump the Chrysler. The reason he got rid of the Sebring? It had over 35,000 miles on it and the warranty would expire at 36k. He couldn't afford to do all the work once the warranty expired.

    Hopefully Chrysler has come a long LONG LONG way in reliability, because they were at the bottom of the pool back when we had them.


    You can pick and quibble specific posts all day long if you want. There are posts like those in the DCX area too but I won't play that game. The Oddy even has specific areas to address problems. And you may tout all your problems with your DCX products but it works boths ways...Honda has their share of replacing engines/trannys and problems too!

    The Oddy is as far from perfect as the DCX vans!

    I'm on my 3rd trouble free DCX van, the previous 2 were company vehicles that I totally abused up to 80k miles without issues!! I have many friends that have been Caravan owners since you were in diapers.
  • You can pick and quibble specific posts all day long if you want. There are posts like those in the DCX area too but I won't play that game. The Oddy even has specific areas to address problems. And you may tout all your problems with your DCX van but it works boths ways...Honda has their share of replacing engines/trannys and problems too!

    The Oddy is as far from perfect as the DCX vans!


    I hope you mean "as are the DCX vans (meaning both are far from perfect)". If so, I agree whole-heartedly. I'll even give you a list of things that I think should be different on the Odyssey, if that would help you realize that I'm not a worshipper at the Honda Temple.

    I'm on my 3rd trouble free DCX van, the previous 2 were company vehicles that I totally abused up to 80k miles without issues!! I have many friends that have been Caravan owners since you were in diapers.

    Bringing up my relative youth again, I see...

    You'll notice I was not the one saying Honda was perfect, and that Dodge was bad. The only thing I said derogotory about Dodge I paraphrased from Consumer Reports. I don't believe that it's a fair assessment to make a general statement that all Hondas are better than Dodges, I don't necessarily agree with that.

    I just find fault with the "post-counting dead-horse" that has been beaten, bloodied, had surgery, only to finally die. Now it has been resurrected, and I surely don't think we all need to beat the horse again. Let it run free.

    You can pick and quibble specific posts all day long if you want. There are posts like those in the DCX area too but I won't play that game.

    Um, you are the one who said the proverbial "play-ball" of that 'game' by mentioning counting posts to determine reliability.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "You can pick and quibble specific posts all day long if you want. There are posts like those in the DCX area too but I won't play that game."

    Yes.

    Except thegraduate wasn't the one making statements like "that sells half as many units, it easily has twice the problems." The ONLY thing he was doing was pointing out you can't look at post count to determine the number of problems; which is what it APPEARED you were doing. Might is also be possible that someone dropping $30k+ on a minivan MIGHT be a bit less forgiving of misc. small issues (and therefore more prone to complain) than someone dropping $20k on a minivan (who may have the same or similar issues but NOT complain)?

    "The Oddy even has specific areas to address problems."

    Yep. Virtually ANY vehicle model with problems has them in specific areas. That doesn't mean that every example of that model WILL have those problems.

    "The Oddy is as far from perfect as the DCX vans!"

    No way to tell that from a message board.

    "I'm on my 3rd trouble free DCX van, the previous 2 were company vehicles that I totally abused up to 80k miles without issues!!"

    If you have a good history with DCX, you should stick with DCX. What happened after 80k miles? Personally, I expect (EXPECT) to get twice that mileage out of our Ody.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    No way to tell that from a message board.

    Sure you can. Just look at the "2007 Toyota Camry Woes" board. Most of that board is dedicated to transmission shifting issues. You see a pattern of problems develop over a period of time...and 9 times out of 10 they end up in Consumer Reports reliability surveys as a "problem". :P
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Odyssey board a few years back have people posting about problematic transmissions? Or was it a year ago? I can't remember....
  • Transmissions were a weak point in the 1999-2001 Odyssey's, so I've heard. Our 2000 model was faultless, but that doesn't mean everyone's was.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    I have read and re-read my 2006 Sienna brochure and can find NO power liftgate as standard or even as an option on ANY Sienna including the XLE and Limited.
    However, a person can get the Power folding/adjustable 60/40 Split and Stow 3rd Row seat in the Limited ONLY. It is included in Limited PKG # 3. No mention of a power lift gate in any Sienna. :sick:
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    My son never had any transmission problems with his 2001 Odyssey EX which he no longer has because it was totalled when a careless driver who had too much to drink was talking on the cell phone and ran into the Odyssey.
    Guess what? He replaced it with a 2006 Odyssey EX-L which he, his wife, and 3 children love. :shades:
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