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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign

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  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    It depends on what you want and are looking for in a minivan...as well as how much you are wanting to spend. The MPV will save you close to 6 thousand over a similarlly equipped Ody.You can easily get the MPV at invoice minus rebate. You want a bigger van with more elbow room, better resale if not keeping it long....go Ody. Ody has stability control...which really shouldn't come into play if you drive halfway sensibly... comes standard on Ody .Both handle well, though smaller MPV is easier to manuver and park...fits better inside garage.Ride is softer in Ody, though noise a bit more pronounced.I like them MPV styling the most...2005 Ody borrowed many exterior features from MPV...so it does look a lot nicer than the earlier models. Fit, finish and overall quality of both are excellent. From what I've read Ody's going for MSRP to around $700 over invoice depending on what part of country you are living in.Mazda has one extra year of warranty coverage...bumper to bumper. Mazda has the better advertising slogan in my opinion..."ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM" sung to a Jamican tune.
  • etaeta Posts: 33
    Good summary although I don't agree with the "[VSC] ... shouldn't come into play if you drive halfway sensibly" comment.

    Sure, you can greatly reduce the odds of an accident / evasive steering situation by driving sensibly but you can't control what other people do.

    I've never caused an accident myself and I've probably avoided a number of bad situations because of defensive driving. But, I've still been in 2 (relatively minor) accidents which were caused by other people and 1 serious one (I was a passenger in a Golf where the driver overcorrected after going onto the shoulder and ended up rolling the car about 5x at about 80 mph).

    I've also had numerous occasions where something has fallen off of a truck in front of me, or I rounded a corner to find my lane half blocked by a huge piece of tire or a traffic cone that someone driving a rented Ryder truck knocked over etc. :).

    The recent concensus seems to indicate that VSC could end up saving almost as many lives as seatbelts (I guess you could just as easily have also applied the above comment to seatbelts or airbags).

    And, there are reports that VSC helps with cornering in snow -- its a lot harder to spin out apparently.

    Just my .02 :).

    ETA
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Oh, I would definitely get VSC on my next vehicle. It is good insurance. I would like to know more about how it was field tested if anyone out there knows of any good web sites.
    Also, might VSC be the cause of an accident if it doesn't allow enough correction to evade a truck tire or similar object in the road. Seatbelts and airbags are not like VSC.VSC is suppose to prevent the accidents that you would have needed the seatbelt and airbag for.And, is VSC suppose to prevent rollover at any speed? It would seem that at 80mph any vehicle would roll.Speed(to much of it)is a factor in the majority of accidents.I think the vast majority of time VSC would come into play when the driver is going to fast for road conditions and takes a turn to quickly. I do hope it is as good as advertised.
  • etaeta Posts: 33
    > And, is VSC suppose to prevent rollover at any speed? It would seem that at 80mph any vehicle would roll.

    Agreed -- VSC can only do so much.

    I suspect VSC *might* have prevented the rollover that I was involved in because it would have prevented the series of overcorrections which led to the car swerving and ultimately flipping over.

    But, as you say, if you head into a hairpin turn at 70mph, basic physics is going to take over at that point.

    ETA
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,273
    Stability Control, are you ready for it? may have some field reports. I remember reading about one owner's experience about six months ago in the XC 90 discussion, but that's the only one here I can recall off-hand.

    Steve, Host

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  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I say if you're going to buy a "MINI"Van....get a big one!!!! I always had short wheelbase Caravans for company cars from work, but the added space for the Ody or Sienna or Domestics is great for homedepot runs, camping, hauling!!!
  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Posts: 421
    Question. We don't have VSC on any of our vechicles. My Wife has been hit from behind in our car twice and I have hit someone from behind twice on wet roads. How would VSC have prevented these kind of accidents. (Let me add that the cars that I had the accidents in were older cars that didn't have ABS or Electronic Brake Distribution.) I think the technology is great, but I have a problem with cars driving themselves. (I like to be in control) I have avoided many of accidents with defensive driving and being watchful of other drivers and anticipate their move. Most of the time for me I have avoided accidents buy applying the brakes.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,273

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  • 00boxsters00boxsters Posts: 202
    We (4) have a 2nd house in South Florida and want to keep an economic, reliable vehicle there at all times. Since we will have visitors who will fly, we will need to drive them about to dinner and the airport.

    We first thought of an Accord/Camry due to their value, relative space and no fuss reliability. We need more seats however for the above visitor scenario.

    I do not want to spend more than I have too. AWD is not necessary. A 'stripper' is fine since the vehicle will not be in use for more than 8 to 12 weeks a year for the next couple of years.

    Any suggestions or thoughts are appreciated.
  • greener1greener1 Posts: 37
    don't know what u want to spend, but i would try for a new base Dodge Caravan, advertised in south florida for $13,995 or maybe $13,995, don't remember which price i saw, plus tax, no trade, dont let them try to sell u a bunch of unneeded things, like extended warranty, etc., base van holds 7 passengers and luggage in back, has air, automatic, ps, pb, stereo cassette radio, very reliable, good gas mileage, i am not a salesman, did this myself a few years back, 1999, used for 5 years, and still sold it for just under half price of new, pretty cheap i thought, area i vacation in is miramar fl., i think maroone is local chrysler dealer there, plus others and they all advertise a base price van in miami herald every day or week,
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Good suggestion Greener1.

    I've had 3 base Caravans since 1996 as company cars...never a single problem and ran up about 80k miles on each one before getting the next.

    I have a 2005 GC SXT with "Stow 'n Go' now as my personal vehicle and very happy with it.

    With all the rebates, financing etc...they're hard to beat.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Just remember the base Caravan SE has a 4 cyl engine and not much more luggage space behind 3rd row than a KIA Sedona but will burn much less fuel than the Sedona.
    Dodge uses the base Caravan SE as a price leader to get people in the door. Most switch to either a Caravan SXT that is much nicer or a Grand Caravan to get more leg room for 2nd and 3rd row passengers plus more luggage space.
    Most Americans will not buy something that is cheaper than their neighbor's vehicle which is the main reason the base Caravan SE and KIA Sedona do not sell in much higher numbers.
  • 00boxsters00boxsters Posts: 202
    Great suggestions and feedback everyone. We go to the Bonita Springs area so I will check into Maroone. I am a bit leery about chrysler and their quality rep though.

    I checked the invoice on a 2005 Dodge and they are listed as 17,250!
  • greener1greener1 Posts: 37
    the couple were looking for something reliable and economical, these base vans are a 4 cyl. with the SAME horsepower as the 6 cyl. 3.3 engine, the only differnece is in torque, if u haul a boat, etc., u might notice it a little bit, i have driven my 1999 4 cyl base a lot of miles with no problems, in fact one does not even know there is a 4 cyl in there, very responsive, easy to pass, etc., as i said earlier, for the dollar one cannot beat the reliability and cost of the base van IF they are looking for something reasonable, and a couple miles per gallon more than the 3.3, with gas at the price it is now, if one wants to show off a little, get the DC limited at TWICE the price new, and worth almost the same at the end of 6-7 years
  • craigmricraigmri Posts: 243
    But Steve....I dont see the Oddly Van on this list?

    Top minivans

    Minivans that received top rating in federal crash tests:
    1. Nissan Quest
    2. Dodge Grand Caravan
    3. Kia Sedona
    4. Mazda MPV
    5. Chrysler Town & Country*
    *Long-wheel base model
    Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    Must be a conspiracy!

    Craig
    '04 Sedona EX
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,273
    It's there. I think you must still be looking at the other article I posted in the Sedona, Quest and MPV boards, which just talked about the latest round of crash tests.

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
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  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Probably just too new, and will be tested soon
  • 97xpresso97xpresso Posts: 249
    I agree that if it is going to be used as "vacation home" vehicle, the 4 cyl. base Caravan would be an excellent choice. That being said, you can't compare the 180 HP 3.3 to the 150 HP 2.4, except that the gas milage is almost identical.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    With a vehicle that you are only going to use 8-12 weeks of the year, I would think a late model used minivan would make much more economic sense.

    Your biggest problem with a vehicle that is going to have little use is will be keeping the battery charged, and your reliability issues will likely stem more from the vehicle sitting unused for long periods, not the brand of vehicle.

    Actually when you look at the economics of it, you might be better off renting a vehicle every time you need it. Then no annual insurance payments, no annual license fees, etc, and the maintenance issues are gone as well.
  • davenowdavenow Posts: 171
    excellent points badgerfan! You score big!... at least someone here is trying to save a little bit of cashola!! :)
  • 00boxsters00boxsters Posts: 202
    Good point!

    A Dodge Caravan (6 cylinder) picked up and dropped off at the airport from Enterprise for one week is $320 (just checked on-line). *update* after April the price goes to $496/wk through December 05.**

    If it was used for 12 weeks and worst senerio with no coupons/deals thats $3840/yr. No maintainence and I think my AMEX card covers rental insurance. Drop off and pick up at the Fort Myers airport is a nice convience too (included in above price).

    If I did that for four years however I could nearly buy one? Certainly a used one. Availability of a Minivan every time may be an issue too from the rental company.

    (I use a cigarette lighter trickler charger now for my Boxster-S during the winter months and it works great for the battery.)
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,273
    Honest, the Odyssey (with SAB) is on the chart. All 5 stars, except the rollover (4), and the driver's side door came open during the test, so the 5 star rating got an asterisk.

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    List ONE feature/thing that really drives you crazy about your Minivan. AND NO wimpy "My minivan is soo perfect, it drives me nuts finding any faults" responses. No minivan is perfect....I can go to any of the chat forums and find many complaints.

    2005 DC SXT - Why in the @&#%^!@ aren't all the window switches lighted? DCX went thru the effort (designing a special switch and running power to it) to put an LED for the driver's window but NOT the rest of them?????
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Just ONE feature? I've got two items regarding our new Odyssey EX-L:

    1. I can understand the need for the lazy susan to not spin when the lid is closed (contents need to be secure while vehicle is in motion). And when you open up the BIG lid from the 2nd row area, then the lazy susan is unlocked and can turn freely. BUT, when you open up the little hatch in the big lid (accessed from the front row area), the lazy susan is NOT free to turn. If whatever it is you are hunting for through the little hatch is not immediately under your hand, you're out of luck. Design screwup IMO.

    2. There is a plastic cover over the guide rail for the 2nd row passenger seat (the guide rail which the seat slides on to go from the right hand to the center position). The plastic cover must be removed before the seat can be slid over. Okay, fine. But the plastic cover can't be removed unless the seat is first LIFTED UP COMPLETELY OFF of the guide rail. So to move the seat, one must first lift it completely up, remove the plastic cover, put the seat back down on the guide rail, and THEN slide it over. Needless to say, I think the plastic cover when find a new home in the trash can if I have to move the seat with any regularity.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,897
    Why not start a new discussion for this conversation? It's not really about minivan shopping, but more like, "what I don't like about my minivan."

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  • mrblonde49mrblonde49 Posts: 626
    The unlit switches are also my biggest gripe with my 04 T&C. Seems almost everything on the left hand side of the steering wheel is unlit
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Just read the Edmund's preview of the 2006 Sedona which is lighter, more powerful, and even the base LX comes standard with tri-zone climate control.
    To get tri-zone climate control in a Sienna, one has to pay well over $30,000.
  • Does anyone explain why the 2005 Sienna has a 4 star front driver side crash rating while the 2004 Sienna has a 5 star rating for the same:

    Head Injury Criterion: 473 (2005) vs. 370 (2005).
    Chest Deceleration 45 (2005) vs. 39 (2005)
    Femur Load 829/774 (2005) vs. 635/890 (2004)
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    You might want to re-post your question in the main Toyota Sienna discussion where the Sienna crowd and enthusiasts gather and talk.
  • daddyddaddyd Posts: 22
    Maybe the chrysler 300C would fall into that category....Mazda 3's are holding up fairly decent as well...
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