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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign

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Comments

  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Chrysler transmissions WAS their weakest point. If ones buys a 2001-2005, there should be no problem. Most of the problems before that was with the tranny fluid Chrysler was using in their transmissions. It is no longer a problem, as they changed fuids in their 2001s.
  • Chrysler transmissions WAS their weakest point. If ones buys a 2001-2005, there should be no problem. Most of the problems before that was with the tranny fluid Chrysler was using in their transmissions. It is no longer a problem, as they changed fuids in their 2001s.




    Exactly. If you are buying a 2000 or earlier model, then you have to worry about the transmission reliability. If new or only a few years old, you don't
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Surprise, surprise. The minivan that has outsold the others by a HUGE majority would have more transmission repairs even with same percentage failure rate. There just aren't very many Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, MPV, Sedona, etc. that were sold in comparison to Chrysler brands.
    One would expect more minivans with bad transmissions when there were so many more produced.
    Toyota has changed the name of their minivan twice in less time than the Caravan has been in production. Honda and Mazda just started making minivans and Mitsubishi quit. Ford has dropped the Aerostar and Windstar and now call their minivan by yet another name. Chevrolet had the FWD Lumina APV, Venture, and now Uplander. The Astro/Safari are the ONLY minivans in addition to the Caravan, Voyager, and Town & Country that have been in production for many years and they were TRUCKS with heavier duty transmissions.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,921
    Maybe you should move the cut off to 2001 - my brother's '00 Caravan transmission died last month. It did have 110,000 miles on it and some of those miles were towing a pop-up.

    Steve, Host
  • I think I had it right. I said if you had a 2000 or earlier, you had to worry...
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,921
    That fits better with my singular point of reference :-).

    Steve, Host
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    While I think both the Honda and Toyota van's are as nice looking inside as anyone could expect. They are better suited for someone that is hauling mostly people If that's what your going to do, buy one of them. They are really to nice to be hauling much else of anything in them. I couldn't see myself loading either of them up with drywall, lumber, furniture or most anything else. And to get anything more than about four feet long, you would have to take out the middle seats. I can't even see dropping the middle seat backs down and loading anything half way heavy on top of them the way they are built.

    The Dodge/Chrysler mini vans are not as nice looking inside. But if you want to carry anything more than people, this is the van to buy. Stow and go seats, make it extreamly easy to haul anything that will fit in a van. If you keep the seats up, you have gobs of room to store things in the covered wells the seats would normally fit in.

    So it really comes down to what you are going to use the van for and maybe price.
  • ok, i need help. i am a single mom of three who desparately needs to buy a car. however, the qualities in need in a car seem to be impossible to be had. i need enough space to fit my kids and a friend or two, a car that will perform somewhat well enough driving in snow (our best friends live in the sierras and we travel there half a dozen times a year), a good reliability record (trying to survive on one income isn't easy), safety (of course) and i've got about 20 grand maximum to spend.

    i've been researching edwards.com and i have a book written with all the notes i've taken but i still don't know what to do and i'm simply running out of spare time to look (working full-time). i would LOVE some advise from you guys...what would YOU buy?
    thanks a bunch if you reply.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I think I would buy a late model Toyota mini van if I were a single mom. Your really not going to haul things like I posted above so that leaves Dodge/Chrysler out. Toyota has a superb record for reliability and being front wheel drive, it should do well in the snow.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Agreed.

    That's why I see many of the DGCs being used by tradesmen and similar wannabees to take their equipment and materials around to their job sites. For most of us who are not into the "trades" field, the need to remove the second row seats is very rare. In my past 12+ years of minivan ownership, I can only remember about 5 times when I needed to remove the second row seats.

    You can buy the DGCs very cheaply and if one does not care for refinement, great handling and an engaging driving experience, then the DGC is a great choice for these tradesmen.
  • I understand what you mean about one income. Back in late 2002 my Wife was layed off her job. We went from two incomes to just one. (Man what a challenge that was). My 86 Lincoln Town car needed to be replaced in 2003. (We do have a 98 Sunfire but need two vechicles. We have a family of six). We only had $20,000 to spend and bought a used 2001 DGC EX in Sep. 2003 for just under $16,000 with only 37K. We have over 57K now with no engine or trans. problems. Our van has been pretty reliable compared to some of the things I have been reading here on Edmunds. The only problem that we had, that I felt shouldn't have, was right after purchase, we needed to replace both front window regulators. This was done under warranty. Our van is not as luxurious as the T&C, Ody. or Sienna, but it is beautiful, simple, meets all of our needs and has been very reliable. My advice would be to keep an open mind about all makes and models. Check the problem forms, any recalls and TSB's. This way you know what to avoid and what potential problems you might run into in the future. Remember to never buy the first new year model of any vechicle. (If you do, make sure it is at least two years old. That way most if not all the problems can be worked out before you purchased).
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I am sure many tradesmen buy the Dodge for use taking their equipment around to job sites. On the other hand, I traded in a truck and bought the Dodge. Owning a home, I have found myself buying things to fix it up, buying new furniture and etc. I also haul things to the landfilll. I feel I can still do most of that with the Dodge stow-n-go, without many problems. It's also nice to know if I go to a store or swap meet and see something I like, I can drop all the seats down without having to go back home and pull out the middle seats and then having to drive back. Of course if your second vehicle is a truck, or you only use your van to haul kids or people, any van will do. The only reason I got rid of my 2001 truck was because of stow-n-go. It gives me the best of both worlds.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    My 2002 T&C LX has MANY nice features that are NOT included in one son's 2001 Ody EX such as separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger, heating coils in the base of the windshield, lighted controls on the doors, quality stereo, overhead console with outside temp/compass and trip computer, automatic locking doors and it gets better gas mileage than the Ody EX.
    The Ody EX does have the Magic Seat that folds into the floor, power sliding doors, and the more flexible 2nd row seating that are not on my T&C LX.
    The 2002 T&C LX is more refined and quieter on the highway than the 2001 Ody EX.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    "My 2002 T&C LX has MANY nice features that are NOT included in one son's 2001 Ody EX such as separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger, heating coils in the base of the windshield, lighted controls on the doors, quality stereo, overhead console with outside temp/compass and trip computer, automatic locking doors and it gets better gas mileage than the Ody EX."

    Only problem, Chrysler got rid of most of those features on the 2005 Dodge GC. It still has the overhead console and great stereo and locking doors, but heating coils are gone. So are the lighted controls on the doors, lighted key ring and glove box light are gone too. One light instead of two on vanity mirrors and rear hatch. But they have a top notch radio with both CD and cassette and more sound deadening through out the van. Still I liked those things they did away with.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    DC also eliminated the "Instant Economy" feature of the trip computer which my 02 T&C LX has.
    Maybe DC minivans are falling behind the competition as suggested in another Town Hall forum.
    How much was the savings to DC when they eliminated the nice features you mentioned? Was it worth the number of customers they will lose to the Odyssey and Sienna and perhaps the new KIA Sedona that will also have many nice features that DC has eliminated?
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I think it was a mistake too. Even if those things cost another $100.00 to put on, the price difference Chrysler is selling their vans for against the Honda and Toyota, would make little difference to a buyer. Most would pay it to get those features.
  • navyairnavyair Posts: 202
    In your situation, I might not go with a used car. Unless you know someone with a dealership you trust or can get a certified used, I'd get something with a warantee...generally that is new or certified used by dealer. Your choice what model, lots of opinions voiced here.

    I had an Aerostar for years and it was a reliable van, unlike the Windstar that followed it. All of my friends who have Chryslers have had 1 or more transmissions, but accept that as a known weakness...I read all the posts, and my boss had a 2002 T&C that he replaced the tranny on last yr. Might be the exception rather than the rule, but he traded it on a Honda Pilot...his 3rd Chrysler van, his 5th tranny.

    I currently own a Kia Sedona van and the warantee cannot be beat. 5yr/60k bumper to bumper and 10 yr/100k powertrain. Have 35k on it and only a noisy a/c compressor repair. It runs great in the snow...minor complaint is that you need to wash your wheels if you get onto salty roads, as they seem to be unsealed alloys, and the salt will pit the magnesium. I solved that by getting separate wheels/snow tires for our extended winter here in Twin Cities, but that would be unreasonable for a quick trip to the mtns for the weekend. Drove up to NJ during a blizzard on the OEM tires (Hankooks) and it handled great.

    You can get into a base model for around $16k, and their fully loaded one for ~19K. Gas mileage is better than EPA estimate, but still not super thrifty, but you can buy a lot of gas for the $ you save, even at $2/gallon.

    Others will have their favorites. We are looking at perhaps adding a stretch Sedona (06 MY)to the stable, but probably not next yr.

    Happy hunting, and good luck finding something that fits your needs!
  • craigmricraigmri Posts: 243
    If Chrysler fixed the transmission problems in the 2001-2005 Model years they certainly didnt in the 2002 PT Cruisers. Both mine and another Engineer I work with both lost two transmissions EACH!! Thats four failed transmissions on two vehicles and our combined milege is 160,000 miles.

    Again, dont believe me....Go ask Aamco!!

    Craig
    '04 Sedona EX
  • allison5allison5 Posts: 130
    This forum is new to me,we are final stages of process of deciding on whether to get 05 Odyessy, Sedona, Pilot or Sequoia. Have ruled out every possible other vehicle we would get. We have 3 kids, and one 80lb dog. SOmeone just told us about Sedona, never really thought about that one before now, does anyone have opinions about this? I have hear many many complaints on back problems with Odyessy so this makes me nervous since I can't deal with seats that are not good. Just wanting to know what people think. I have driven a minivan for almost 10 years and their is a part of me that wants a SUV but most of them are hugh and gas guzzlers. THX in advance
  • on your part of the SUV, i just traded off my 2003 santa fe, reason, i owned a 1999 chrysler minivan before the santa fe, loved the seats in the van, but seats in santa fe were uncomfortable to me, van seats in my 1999 were terrific, i was spoiled, well i traded for a 2005 chrysler town and country lx dealer had for $21,900 after rebates and plus taxes, which was the same price i paid for my santa fe, the seats in the 2005 in my opinion are even better than my 1999 van, i must be in comfort while traveling, as we do a lot, we are retired, we love the stow and go seats, we can sleep in the back while traveling, and hauling large stuff we no longer need from home to our kids homes, and still have seats after we get there, and believe it or not, the van is quieter and rides nicer than the santa fe, not knocking the santa fe, was a good suv, just not good seats nor size for what we though we needed at time or purchase
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