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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign



  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    Repair "reputation" doesn't effect selling prices nearly as much as you'd think. If so, you'd see a huge price break on those '03/'04 Ford lemon SD's which were so bad they hit the US Today....

    I think the Dodge is just a better and obviously more desirable vehicle, hence the price. Same reason the Honda still brings top-dollar even though they have a shady transmission history. More people are willing to pay for certain things... I paid for the performance/handling/features of the Ody and could care less about reliability. If I was shopping for a used bargain...Dodge Caravan hands down. I wouldn't even shop the Ford (I've had rentals and that was enough...).
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    The Caravan SXT has SEPARATELY controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger Plus heating vents under the front seats for the 2nd row passengers. As with all minivans, there is just one fan for the front heater or A/C. :shades:
    My more expensive Sienna LE does NOT have the luxury car feature of separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger that is standard equipment on the Caravan SXT or that was on my 2002 T&C LX....and my wife and I will have to get rid of our 2006 Sienna LE to get a minivan with this feature.
  • Why would you buy a vehicle from a company that's given up on it's own products? The Mercury has already been discontinued, and the Ford Freefall (star) will cease to be built shortly after the new year.
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    You've hit a nerve here :) Ford and GM gave up a long time ago on the Minivan market, DCX is at least trying to stay competitive and the 2008 redo better be a home run. Look at Ford for example, They had almost 5 years to at least copy the 1999 Honda Ody, and a name change, new instrument panel and fold in floor rear seat is all they could do?????? I wouldn't even say they copied the Ody, they did the very least they could, counting on rebates and financing to sell Minivans, NOT the product itself. Same for GM and their 10 year old chasis and features!!
  • A Chevrolet Astro might fit your need. They stopped building them in 2004, but, you might find a good used one. They don't fair well in crash test, but, are built on a proven platform. The two back rows are bench seats. We used to put all three of ours on the second row and fold the back of the third row, or remove the third row bench. However, to remove the bench seats from this van, you'll need to strong guys as they are very very heavy. We had a 1999 AWD Astro and my wife really liked it. We had no problems with it and traded it at 110,000 miles.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I've been in these in auto shows, and I don't really see what's wrong with them, especially if you are in the market for a used one. They can be quite the bargain. You have the fold flat third row, it's ok in the safety department, and CR has the reliability pegged at average.

    Then again, I've never driven one so I couldn't draw final conclusions, but I wouldn't just write it off.

    I'd say give it a shot, especially if you're going used. :)
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 366
    I went to look at a Spectra 5 today & stumbled on this new mini- mini van called a Kia Ronda, the dealer had just gotten in.

    I was stunned by it's good exterior & interior looks, it's safety features and the price. :shades:
    It is a quite compact, about the size of a Ford Escape, but seemed very spacious inside much more than the Escape. The seats were very comfortable with a great interiour layout. Safety wise it come standard with traction control, ABS, Electronic Stabity control, 6 air bags. With a 2.4L engine it was rated at 22 city & 29 highway and price in the mid $18K range.
    It is not on Kia's website & seems to be all but invisible to Google. Does anyone know anything about this rig or was I dreaming?
  • Have you read the discusions in the Freestar forum? Of course they are "bargins". They are vehicles being discontinued because no one will buy one.
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 366
    Saturday I stumbled upon a rather nice looking mini-minivan at the Kia dealer they had just received. Kia is calling its new player the Ronda. The very spacious interior layout was looked great, power is a 2.4L engine, & it had a full suite of safety features including 6 airbags, ABS, traction control, & dynamic stability control all for a little over $18K. My inital impression was very positive.

    I had not heard of this model & apparently the is very little info on the US model (tried Goggle). After some hunting I discovered that this car is marketed as the "Carens" in the UK. It is available there with a 2.0 gas or diesel engine. UK reviews, while not bad, are lukewarm when compared to the Mazda5 and the comparable Renault and Vauxal models. Hard not to envy the European's wide selection choices of efficient vehicles! Time will tell how well it can compete in the US.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Isn't the Kia Ronda really a small station wagon instead of a mini-minivan? :confuse:
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    Kia Rondo (Carens in other markets) is a mini-MPV, the closest competitor is the Mazda5. The Rondo will officially start selling early next year in NA market, although Kia took some dealers by surprise by shipping units to the lot last month.

    I like the Rondo, clean lines, comfortable, functional, spacious - winner!!
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    True. But just because nobody is buying one does not mean they are not necessarily bad minivans.

    Although I'd probably avoid getting a brand new one though as the depreciation on those will be STEEP! :)

    Strange... Haven't seen any marketing material on the Rondo, but maybe I'll stumble into it at NAIAS (if I go). Sounds like it has good proportions.
  • The Freestar is very reasonable. With all the discounts, you could get one similarly equipped compared to a Honda/Toyota for less, much less on the used market. Of course, the new Sedona is even less expensive and also very nice overall.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    We all know the Caravan/Grand Caravan is THE MOST POPULAR, BEST SELLING minivan.
    Which minivans are # 2, 3, and 4? :confuse:
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I would probably venture to guess that the Odyssey is #2, the Sienna is #3, and GM is at #4 with a boatload of fleet sales.. (Could be Kia, but who knows?)
  • We all know the Caravan/Grand Caravan is THE MOST POPULAR, BEST SELLING minivan, ONLY PURCHASED BY MILLIONAIRE GENIUSES. Which minivans are # 2, 3, and 4?

    What time period? For 1/6 - 6/6

    Dodge Caravan/Grand Carvan - 103,876
    Honda Odyssey - 72,941
    Chrysler Town & Country - 68,943
    Toyota Sienna - 67,404
    Chrysler Pacifica - 35,952
    Ford Freestar - 29,569
    Ford Freestyle - 28,634
    Kia Sedona - 26,215
    Chevrolet Uplander - 25,610
    Nissan Quest - 12,186
    Mercedes-Benz R-Class - 8,227
    Mazda5 - 7,806
    Mazda MPV - 5,939
    Buick Terraza - 5,339
    Mercury Monterrey - 1,811
    Hyundai Entourage - 1,194 (went on sale May 2006)

    Interesting that
    - Dodge is still #1
    - Dodge + Chrysler > Honda + Toyota
    - Dodge Caravan + Town & Country + Pacifica > Honda + Toyota + Ford
    - Pacifica + Freestyle (large crossovers) together are within 3,000 units of Honda. We all know the Caravan/Grand Caravan is THE MOST POPULAR, BEST SELLING minivan.
    Which minivans are # 2, 3, and 4?
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    THANKS for the numbers.
    Looks like GM is the BIGGEST LOSER while Honda and Toyota minivan sales increased significantly after they made the Odyssey and Sienna the same size as the long time sales leading Grand Caravan. :shades:

    They did another one. Honda wins. Though it seems the margin has a lot to do with the editors subjective feelings, if you read the scoring. Kia actually won in performance and destroyed them all on price. I was impressed that they had best braking. The age of the DCX products is showing - they are a good value but lack lots of features that everyone else has. The new design will very welcomed. Sienna also will welcome the bigger engine out soon. I think the Sedona/Entourage are a great value now. Almost bought a loaded Sedona last week that was being driven by the owner's wife (3K miles) but dealer didn't think he should go down more than a few hundred below invoice. They had 0% which was key. There are basicaly no loaded Sedonas left, and the 07's aren't out yet. We may look at the Entourage soon f they increase incentives. Our 04 T&C runs perfectly fine, one minor issue in almost 3 years (front sway bar) but I am starting to think that we should get the airbags, stability control, etc
  • Hi, We just purchased a 2001 Chrysler Town and Country Limited. I love it and got all the features I wanted. The problem is I didn't realize my son would get really (what's the word... well he freaks out that he can't get air and really wants the windows down. I feel for him. Problem is we're really tight on money and got this van at an amazing price. Is there anyway to get windows put into this van that will row down in the second row, even if I have to pay a couple thousand or get new doors - I'd do it. I really don't want to turn around and deal with selling it and getting something else but if I HAVE to then what other used minivans will have the 2nd row windows roll down - it would have to be used - can't afford new. Thanks!
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