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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign

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  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Well, even though I'm sitting here at minus one point...I'll give hans another point for the excellent point he made about the MPV having the second highest overall score.

    There was an article in Confusers Report about the saftey feature-vehicle stability control.The artilce was all over how great this feature was.Stated that results of a NHTSA study found that cars and SUV's with vsc were involved in 56% fewer fatal single vehicle crashes than comparable models without vsc.In Confusion Reports test, vsc "kept vehicles in line and under control in at-the-limit handling."
    Now, it doesn't explain what "at the limit handling means". Nor that if this feature prevents accidents how can they find that it prevented a given % less than vehicles without vsc.It would seem if you were going a given speed and turning at a given angle...nothing would help.I can see it helping within a certain range.
    Anybody out there with this option ever use it in a real life situation?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,420
    Anybody out there with this option ever use it in a real life situation?

    Yes, but I think it was in an XC 90 discussion here.

    One point for stability control. Add an extra point if you can turn it off. Stability Control: Either Save My Life or Stay Out of the Way (Inside Line)

    Steve, Host
    (pointless since my first MV was a 4 banger Voyager, which was traded on the supposedly unreliable Quest)

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • denver5357denver5357 Posts: 319
    "You dont get that in a Race Minivan."

    I gotta say, your posts are making me laugh. I want to see "race Minivan" as a new category in Consumer Reports.
  • craigmricraigmri Posts: 243
    Jip,

    You get another point for awarding points....This is getting fun now!

    Craig
    '04 Sedona EX
    Wannabe
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    "I can understand paying MSRP for an Odyssey EX or a Sienna XLE even though many Honda and Toyota dealers sell them with a nice discount..."

    WHY? WHY? WHY? Just because these vans are 'good enough' or 'good values' even at full MSRP, does that make it okay for somebody to overpay significantly above the going rate? Makes no sense to me, sorry.

    If you want one of these vans, negotiate your best price just as if you were buying any vehicle or any other expensive purchase. Don't just leave $2,000 on the table (I'm making up that number) because you think the van is a good enough value at full MSRP.
  • To buy ANY car (non-exotic) at full MSRP is just foolish. There is so much competition out there that buyers really do have control over the process. There must be at least 10-15 Honda dealers within 50 miles of my home. Same with Toyota. And every new vehicle on the market is basically a decent product...there are no Yugos anymore.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,420
    It's just supply and demand. The MINI is still getting MSRP all over the US (or more); little supply and plenty of demand. Checking Edmunds for the True Market Value (TMV) in your zip code will give you the target number to beat.

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
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  • Steve, the MINI is not quite what I had in mind, but I see your point. I just don't think that one need pay MSRP for any "mainstream" product. One could argue that the MINI is a niche vehicle with limited appeal and an even more limited dealer base. When MINI dealers dot the landscape like Honda, Toyota, Dodge, Ford, GM, etc, they will not sell for MSRP. Probably why they will never have that many dealers.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,420
    True.

    The '99 Odyssey would have been a better example - new, lot of demand, limited supply, and priced right at MSRP (not many were though, at first!).

    I can't think of another non-niche vehicle that would fit that criteria in 2005 off-hand.

    Cars are commodities, and you should be able to purchase most any model a bit cheaper than TMV if you're willing to do the legwork and wear the dealers down.

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • davenowdavenow Posts: 171
    ...agree...
    although...be very carefull it may sometimes backfire and reverse itself and your stuck without anyplace to negotiate for your van... It almost happened to me (maybe it did in a few places for me but i did not let it bother me :))
  • nwngnwng Posts: 664
    I paid $2k+ under msrp on my 05 ody. If the hondas are selling at msrp, i would have go for a sedona or mpv and I will drive the van myself instead of my wife who is hell bent on getting the ody. I cannot justified spending big bucks for a car so my kids can trashed it, no matter how nice the vehicle looks and feels IN THE FIRST 3 MONTHS!
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Well the Ody may be on top for this MY with the features you've listed. I almost bought one but was leary of the VCM. When I test drove one, the ECO light kept blinking on and off, making me concerned about long term reliability. I plan on towing a small RV with my DCX SXT..the trailer on the back causing havoc with the VCM concerned me. One minute I'm going up a hill with RV, ECO light off, going down it's on, the RV activates VCM going over some bumgs?? Too new of technology for me. Plus the DCX has better tow rating.

    As far as resale value down the road...I live in Detroit, and got the DCX employee discount on top of rebates and financing. Honda dealers here wouldn't except anything less than MSRP. For a comparably equiped Minivan (minus stability control but with knee bags for front passengers) it worked out to $9,000. If you invest that savings for 4 or 5 years, add it to resale value of the DCX, resale is a mute point.

    EPA numbers too?? I've been reading on Ody website about dismal gas mileage? I know I got 24 mpg on first 2 tanks on trip back home to PA for xmas. Not bad
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    First, ECO light is NOT an indicator of if the VCM has engaged or not. It is similar in operation to the various "ECO" lights which have been used by serveral manufacturers over the years. It is simply a measure of throttle opening compared to vehicle speed.

    Second, VCM only engages if there is very little load on the engine. If the engine is experiencing load (ie. pulling a small RV), then it is likely the VCM wouldn't ever engage.

    That being said, one huge point against the Ody for towing is the cost of the trailer towing package which runs several hundred dollars. You'll need more than a simple receiver hitch and wiring harness for the Ody.

    Good luck with your DCX.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Honda dealers are quoting $1200 for just the hardware - hitch, tran cooler etc...and that's NOT installed!!! I was quoted $2000 approx!!!! and then it's more an "aftermarket" solution and doesn't include adjustable self-leveling suspension and some other minor items!!

    DCX charged $600, factory installed with oil, tranny, steering cooler, HD battery/alternator, and self leveling suspension. I had to pay another $300 for brake controller and class III hitch.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Any Honda dealer quoting those kind of numbers is trying to rip you off.

    The MSRP for all towing items required are as follows:

    Trailer Hitch : $299 MSRP
    Wiring Harness: $149 MSRP
    ATF Cooler: $249 MSRP
    Power Steering Fluid Cooler: $166.70 MSRP
    Air Duct: $59 MSRP
    Hitch Ball: $14 MSRP

    That is a total of $916.7 Retail. The parts are available for a bit over $700 from H and A Accessories. These are all Honda parts, not aftermarket parts. No, they do not include self-leveling suspension or a brake controller. Anyone who would pay $2000 for this ought to have their head examined. The dealer who had the gonads to ASK for $2000 ought to have their head examined.

    If I were in the market for a tow vehicle, the Ody would be pretty far down my list of prefered vehicles. But, since such a minor, minor percentage of minivan owners DO tow, I don't know how relavent this criteria is. I do know that the Sienna is much better equipped for towing than the Ody (oil/tranny/power steering coolers, and HD battery/alternator are standard equipment on all Siennas; all they need is the installation of a hitch; although I would really recommend self-leveling suspension on ANY minivan used for towing).

    Happy towing with your DCX.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    BUT I do with my nice Ford F-150 pickup that was built to tow. I would also tow smaller items with my Blazer LT that is a truck based vehicle with 4 WD and the larger 4.3L V6 that has more Torque than any minivan.
    Front wheel drive minivans are just not built to do any serious towing. FWD (or AWD) minivans excel at transporting passengers in quiet, smooth comfort.
  • craigmricraigmri Posts: 243
    We tow our 18' Rinker boat all the time with our '04 Sedona. Goes up wet boat ramps with no sweat. Total Hitch package price from dealer? $300

    Kia Installs the oil and transmission coolers in the factory as standard on all Sedona's.

    Craig
    '04 Sedona EX
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I've towed my small popup (Tent trailer) with a number of minivans without issue! I think they're ideal for me....I get tons of enclosed space (vs SUV or Truck), high sitting position, low step-in and good gas mileage...for the 5-6 times/year I take it camping!!

    What shocked me when looking for a Minivan - I checked out a new Magnum with HEMI. You'd think a framed car with HEMI would tow almost as much as a truck...but it's only rated at 2000 lbs? Not sure why...any suggestions?
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Anybody out there with this option ever use it in a real life situation?

    I have it on my BMW (RWD etc..). It can be amazing even at slower speeds. A few years ago I was heading home on a snowy night, few inches on the ground, icy roads. I was taking exit ramp with circular exit and my rear end started sliding out of control (I only had on the Michelin SP summer tires). All at once the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control is BMW's name for it) kicked it. It was as if spikes sprung out from the rear tires, my back end clawed at the payment, took control and I was amazed!!!!!

    VSC is priceless as a feature on ANY vehicle.

    I just can't wait for BMW to come out with their People Mover in a few years....good bye DCX, Honda or anyone else's Minivan!!! :)
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    "I just can't wait for BMW to come out with their People Mover in a few years....good bye DCX, Honda or anyone else's Minivan!!! :) "

    You would far more likely to become more chummy with the dealer service folks based on the many black circles in CR.

    Since buying my Ody(or if I did buy the Sienna), I have never been back to the dealer as I do my own PM. That combined with the great handling of the Ody(a BMW should handle well as well based on its history, but reliability??) is priceless and peace of mind.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    I read an interesting article a month or two ago in Car & Driver related to VSC. It basically said that auto industry and insurance analysts expect that VSC (and similar stability control systems) will ultimately save more lives than ABS and airbags combined. They put VSC right up there with seat belts as the most effective safety equipment innovations of the last 50 years. This is based on real world results comparing frequency and severity of accidents of VSC equiped vehicles to their non-VSC counterparts.
  • nwngnwng Posts: 664
    i think your sedona is body on frame, that's why it can tow with ease.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Tests alter 'Consumer Reports' picks
    By James R. Healey, USA TODAY

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2005-03-07-crsmallcar-usat_x.htm

    This report has it all in the recommended vehicle models.

    Honda 5
    BMW 1
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I'm not sure what issue of CR you're referring to, but the latest - April CR (auto issue) has many red circles, very few black circles for BMWs. In 8 years of ownership, I have taken my BMW back once for poor radio reception. For PM, they pick up and deliver back the vehicle, even now after the 3 years of free maintenance is gone.

    I've had 2 DCX van and 2 Ventures as company cars, I can't think of any issues - ANY! with these vehicles...all base models with wimpy engines, racking up 75k miles on each. I don't put much faith in CR and their black circles!!!

    Handling...LOL, it's night and day - RWD vs. FWD!!!!

    And lets talk safety features.....items on my 5 year old BMW, that were std in 2000 are just beginning to show up on Hondas...VCS, head airbags, side airbags etc.. It'll take Detroit another 5 years to catch up!!!
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Look at the bottom row where the check marks usually appear for recommended vehicles. Only the 3 series are acceptable. For the details, look at the more proliferation of black circles on all the BMW models compared to the mostly/all red circles in Japanese cars like Honda and Toyota. If you don't see/get it, color blindness may be an issue.

    In handling, you have to compare apples to apples not oranges. In the FWD minivan world, Ody is KING in handling. BMW is still dreaming on FWD far less for a minivan - the mini-Cooper is a Morris/Austin carryover- so it is a no-brainer. BMW would not make a minivan because it knows the manhood/insecurity issues of its owners.

    BMW appeals to those with manhood issues like SUV vs minivan owners. There are some men(and women) who won't be caught dead in a minivan due to ego/manhood issues.

    As I have said before, my uncle said a foreign luxury car (like BMW, Benz, etc) is like a man having a faithful, committed, no-trouble wife (similar to a Japanese car) who decides to have a mistress (similar to a BMW) who is very demanding and of high maintenance(i.e. wants flowers, jewelry, etc frequently). He also takes on the (often younger) mistress (i.e. BMW) because he feels good being seen with her/it and his ego is uplifted.

    If one likes the higher probability of wasting time on car repairs, the buy the European models. If you want much better peace of mind to avoid frequent car repairs, then go for Japanese.

    The recommended CR models for highest reliability are Japanese followed by American; European is trailing badly. The choice is yours.

    Of course, manhood issues do prevail for some folks.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Your uncle wasn't fooling around on your Aunt Mildred now was he? Is that where that anology came from? Poor Aunt Mildey. ;-)

    I have a minivan AND a Buick(still fairly young I might add)...so much for my manhood issues.;-)
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Jipster,

    He bought only Japanese for peace of mind.
    So he was not fooling around. :)

    All men(you and I included, you would be lying if you say no!) get temptations/itches of all kinds during their lives. SOme take the bait to do so and face the consequences; others see the longer term effects and make wiser decisions.

    You and I are comfortable with our manhood - that's why we drive minivans. I also drive a 10yr old Lincoln Continental as well. I don't need a European luxury vehicle to lift me up.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,420
    Sometimes a minivan is just a minivan.

    On that note, is anyone shopping?

    Steve, Host

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  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    I shopped and looked closely at minivans at the Salt Lake City Auto Show. However, my 2002 T&C LX is like new with 4 years / 70,000 miles remaining on powertrain warranty and 4 years 45,000 miles remaining on DC "Added Care" additional warranty that covers almost everything else. I do not plan to buy a new minivan in the near future.
    The Odyssey EX is MY minivan of choice with Caravan SXT or GC SXT 2nd choice with Toyota Sienna LE 3rd choice.
    I recently drove a 2005 Odyssey EX-L-Nav-Res and it was as quiet and smooth riding as my 2002 T&C LX on the freeway but was quieter accelerating and had better leg and foot room for the driver. All seats of the Odyssey EX are more comfortable for me than my 2002 T&C LX. Same for the 2005 GC since Odyssey has better foot and leg space for all seats than the new DC minivans.
    The Sienna driver, front passenger, and 3rd row passenger seats are as comfortable as those of the Odyssey BUT the 2nd row seats of the Sienna are NOT comfortable for me.
    The Odyssey 3rd row seats also fold more easily into the floor than either the DC minivans or Sienna.
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