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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign

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  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Both of our little ones have learned how to hold on to their stuff very well while traveling."

    I'll second that. And once our 3 and 5 year olds figured out that Mom was not playing "fetch" anymore (and there were still PLENTY of other colors in the box), then it was no big deal anymore. Besides, with the amount of juice being consumed, everyone knows that it's not really that long until the next stop anyway....
  • sv651sv651 Posts: 7
    Simple question: If a resident of a no sales tax state purchases a car in a state w/ a sales tax, do they still have to pay the sales tax? Thanks! (Reason I ask is many websites selling other products don't charge a sales tax if they're shipping to a no sales tax state.)
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    No, sales tax would be charged based on the state the vehicle is registered in. Let the dealer know ahead of time; they should know how to handle sales (and sales tax) for out of state customers.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    The new car show opened in Louisville today. I promised Hansienna a review/comparison of the top minivans....so here it is Hans (the rest of ya can read it too)
    Well, first off...let's talk about atmosphere.Breathtaking....ahh...new cars under one humongous roof as far as the eye could see. I quickly learned not to walk to close to the vendors, who were looking to catch your eye to sell you anything from gutter guards to at home oil changes."Would you like a chance to win a free trip to the destination of your choice?" "No thanks babe...have my own private jet" Also, to many green beans or green peas(whatever you guys in the business call them)that didn't know much about the vans. Three struggled with getting the stowable/fold flat seats up or down.
    So, based on appearance, style, comfort, layout, fit and finish, quality ease of use and intangables...I rated as follows.
    1) Honda Ody-though they had two models both were the high end trim levels(i.e Touring $38,000).Everything about it was first class. I especially made note of seat comfort and steering wheel ease of use as I have read some people have had problems with this. In the 4 minutes I sat in the drivers seat it felt pretty comfortable to me.Easy to reach steering wheel. Fit and finish very good.Very roomy and comfortable.Borrowed many styling cues from my MPV...so doesn't look like a Rainbow bread truck anymore. I liked the rubber tray mat in the rear storage area.

    2) Mazda MPV- They had the exact same model and color that I bought 8 months ago...the LX in Cosmic Sand.Truely an out of this world beautiful vehicle.
    Quality and fit and finish topnotch. Seating not as plush as Ody...more firm...but still very comfortable. Sportiest and most stylish of all the vans. Excellent visibility.
    They need to redesign that gear shift though and put the wiper control shaft on the other side of the wheel. Otherwise controls and layout excellent.Fold flat rear seat easy to use. I feel the best value on the market.

    3) Nissan Quest and Toyota Sienna tied- For some reason the Quest looks a lot nicer and was more comfortable than I remember, and the Sienna not quite as nice and comfortable as I remember. I like the style of the Quest, seat firm but comfortable. I do like the center console so many people say they do not.The Quest was shown in the base model S, while the Sienna was shown in the LE and the XLE. Sienna very comfortable, quality apparent throughout. If 2005 quality and reliability of the Quest has improved over the poor showing of the 2004...then a definite contender.

    4)Chrysler Town&Country and Dodge Grand Caravan- Honestly...not as stylish or comfortable as I was hoping.Looked at the SXT for $32,000. Very nice overall, did not see any problem with fit or finish.Quality comparable. Liked the stow and go seating...very roomy. Paid paticular attention to second row seat comfort. It was a very firm seat(leather)though was not uncomfortable.Drivers and passenger seats were very comfortable. Interior just a bit bland for my tastes.

    5) The Bunch from G.M. Nice. I kinda like the SUV/minivan look. Not as comfortable or as well laid out as others. Quality and fit and finish falls a bit short. The removable 3rd row and rear seating must be difficult to remove...as I asked a salesman how it work...he said"ya just pull it out"

    6) Dodge Caravan SE 4cyl....bench seating and materials looked as if they pulled them out of old Holiday Inn motels.

    7) Ford Freestar Limited-I kept looking at the sticker to make sure they didn't put it on the wrong car. $32,000 for this??? Am I on Candid Camera? It just seemed plain and not all that comfortable. Exterior styling pretty good. Interior was just plain and simple looking.I really didn't spend much time in it as I was not very impressed.
    *******Sorry Kia Sedona, if you were there I didn't see you*********

    Well, there you have it Hans/guys. These picks I have made are based on my own personal preferences. Are no way a reflection of your judgement/taste... or lack thereof. Good luck and happy hunting shoppers!
  • I've been reading car magazine and websites and they all say that the Mazda MPV has a Ford Duratec V-6 200 hp. I recently went to the NY Auto Show and asked this question to the Corporate Mazda Salesperson. He stated Ford makes the Engine Block which is then sent to Japan and incorporated with Mazda parts.
    Can anyone confirm this?
    I know that Mazda is partly owned by Ford but I've had bad experiences with having a Ford, which is why I'm hesistant. I've always had Honda's and I've had great reliability and performance. At the same time, I don't want a monster minvan cause they handle alot different than a car would. What sells me to the Mazda MPV is the car-like drive, the warranty with the road side assistance, and the price incentives. I just want to know if anyone has had any reliability or long term problems with the 2004-2005 Mazda MPVs? Thanks.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    It's my understanding that Ford makes the engine...it's sent to Japan for assembly and is modified/tweaked to Mazda standards. So, I really think the salesperson saying it is incorporated with Mazda parts is quite a stretch.
    The Ford Duratec 3.0 is suppose to be one of the best and most reliable Ford engines.Not as smooth or quiet as some of the other makes but does a very good job in my opinion.I've had my 2004 for 9 months. Had the rear hatch adjusted to eliminate some wind noise. Otherwise very satisfied.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Excellent Review but apparently there was a better variety of minivans at the Salt Lake City Auto Show that I drove over to see.
    The Odysseys were the only minivans that had electrical power so the seats would move and there was an EX cloth and another Ody with leather (I do not recall if it was EX-L-Nav-Res or Touring).
    I did not see a KIA Sedona at the SLC auto show either.

    Here are the comments that Edmunds has concerning the Mazda MPV:

    "Pros Manageable size, lots of interior storage, decidedly unminivan looks, roll-down windows in the sliding doors.
    Cons Lacks the features, passenger/cargo space and power found in its competitors, noisy engine, clunky transmission."
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Yeah, they disconnected all the batteries in the cars at the Louisville auto show. I was interested in playing with the Ody lumbar support some to see what all the fuss was about with the seats being called uncomforable and painful for some. As well as some of the other gadgets and power sliding doors. Next time I'll bring a box cutter to cut off the electrical tape ,and a wrench ,and hook them suckers back up.
    I agree with the lack of features on the MPV. For those who are wanting all the gadgets/features/options of the Ody and others...may not be to interested in the MPV. The MPV comes in 2 models..the LX and the EX.4 major packages are available with about 8 different features. But, we didn't need nor desire a lot of the popular features. DVD ???Look out the window kids...it's called scenery. Navigation??? Getting a printout from Mapquest is easier.Would disagree with Edmunds assesment of noisy engine. It's noisier under heavy throttle than competiton, but not noisy Clunky transmission....that was probably before the TCM reflash. Mine shifts smooth as butter.
    It was hard to get a good look at some vehicles at the car show as it was fairly crowded and there were so many salesmen looking for a sale.But, to be able to compare all the minivans side by side in the same day was worth some of the hassle.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    A Caravan SXT has MSRP $22 ,840 (delivered) vs MPV LX MSRP $23,500 (delivered) with TMV $18,554 on Caravan vs $19,621 of MPV. These 2 are very closely priced with the Caravan having a lower price.
    Caravan has 180 HP @ 5000 RPM vs MPV 200 @ 6200 RPM.
    Caravan has 210 Lb-ft @ 4000 RPM vs MPV 200 Lb-ft @ 3000 RPM.
    Caravan EPA 19/26 vs MPV 18/25
    Caravan cargo 15.3 cu ft vs MPV 17.2 cu ft
    Caravan Maximum cargo 147 cu ft vs MPV 127 cu ft
    Caravan 189.1 inches long vs MPV 189.5 inches
    Caravan 4057 lbs vs MPV 3722 lbs.

    Post 597 has Edmund's comments on MPV so here are Edmund's comments on the Caravan (not to confuse with GC):
    "Pros Surprisingly agile handling, quiet ride in V6 models, low price.
    Cons Some cheap interior bits, reliability record not as strong as some competitors', limited availability of major safety features."

    Why does the heavier Caravan SXT get better gas mileage with a 4 speed AT while the MPV has a 5 speed AT?

    Would be nice to combine the best features of the 2: Magic Seat of MPV LX and separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger of Caravan SXT.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    I have the SXT at $24,700 (delivered) and the MPV $23,800(delivered)per Consumer Guide Car Magazine.
    I think the SE I saw at the car show listed for a little over $19,000.Don't recall seeing the SXT. Dodge did have around 3 or 4 Caravans and Dodge Caravans though.
    The MPV LX also has antilock 4- wheel disc brakes and steering wheel radio controls standard to the SXT which has heated mirrors and the dual zone manual
    climate controls(opening and closing a vent by hand?) which the MPV does not have standard. The MPV also comes with a 4year/48k mile warranty with roadside assistance(if ever needed) to the 3 year warranty of the Dodge.
    Other publications testing the mpg of the MPV have gotten better mileage than EPA. Most people who own Honda Odys report nothing near EPA on mpg....go figure? Consumer Guide does have the Caravan as a Best Buy.
    A good comparison though in two vans similar in price and features.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Manual dual zone indicates the desired relative temperature is set by a slider control as contrasted to Automatic Dual Zone where a desired temperature (such as 70 F for driver and 66 F for passenger) is set by setting the exact temperature with push buttons. The Automatic system then adds the amount of heat from the heater to compensate for the cold air produced by the air conditioning system to maintain the set temperature. In Manual system, the amount of heated vs cooled air remains at the mixture set by the slider controls rather than automatically adding heated air in the amount needed to maintain the set temperature.
    With manual dual zone (or manual triple zone as in my 2002 T&C LX), the HVAC does not automatically cycle the heater to maintain a set temperature.
    In my 2002 T&C LX, the cooled air from the rear blower enters from 4 vents in the ceiling but when the temperature slider is moved to hot, the heated air comes from vents in front of the right rear wheel well. If the slider is for no heat, the air comes from the ceiling vents when the rear blower is turned on even if the A/C is not turned on.
  • mrblonde49mrblonde49 Posts: 626
    Dodge has 7/70 powertrain warranty, too
  • w2323w2323 Posts: 60
    The quest was totally redesigned recently, it used to have this really old van look to it now looks great. The Mazda MPV will be put to pasture later this year for what I think is called a Mazda 5 or some other number. I think the MPV brand was tarnished somewhat. Low power noisey and other problems that I have seen in the forums.

    My brother had one (MPV) and at around 20k it needed the engine replaced. Under warranty but pain in butt. Dealership was trying to lie to him about it. Granted you have one and its probally been fine.
  • bluewolfbluewolf Posts: 101
    I've pretty much narrowed it to these two vans. I don't want to spend much over $20k and with current incentives that's realistic with these two. Caravan has 0% apr for 60 mos and $1k back... MPV gets $3k back if I get my own financing, or $4k back if I use Mazda Credit's higher rate.

    I've always like the MPV. It's as close to 'cool' as a minivan can get IMO, and more fun to drive than the Dodge. I know a couple very happy MPV owners, but nobody with a Caravan. I'm a bit hesitant to get into another Chrysler product to be honest.

    Also like the fold flat rear seat of the MPV. Caravan SXT doesn't have that.

    Anything else about the Caravan that may sway my decision back that way?

    Thanks.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Caravan has 0% apr for 60 mos and $1k back...

    I know a couple very happy MPV owners, but nobody with a Caravan. I'm a bit hesitant to get into another Chrysler product to be honest.

    Also like the fold flat rear seat of the MPV. Caravan SXT doesn't have that.


    First of all, I got 0% financing and over $2,500 off on my 2005 Dodge GC.

    Second of all, the rear seat not only folds flat in the Dodge GC SXT, it also reverses to face out if you want to sit on the tailgate.

    Thirdly, Here is one person who loves his new Dodge van with stow-n-go seats. You have more storage space than any van on the market and with one seat stowed, it is the fastest van to get kids in and out of. With the ability to fold flat the middle seats, you'll never be caught short having to go home and taking the seats out to load something you bought while you were out and not expecting to buy or carry. Your always ready no matter what comes up. Finally, you'll never have to leave a bunch of stuff laying on the floor or seats, cluttering up your van. You can stow it all and your van will always look neat.
  • charlotte7charlotte7 Posts: 144
    The MPV is actually not going away this year. I believe that it is getting a total redesign in the next couple of years, though.

    Mazda is introducing the Mazda5 this summer, but it's like a mini-minivan, not a fullsize replacement for the MPV. The 5 is what they are calling a "space wagon" in Europe.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    This is only a one van sample...but my sisters 1998 Grand Caravan engine blew up on their way to Florida last week. They had recently made several 1000's $ in repairs. Bought themselves a big ol Dodge Durango.
    Sounds to me you've pretty much made up your mine to go with the MPV. I have a 2004 MPV LX and it is the perfect minivan for our family of 4. We have all the room we need, and then some when we want to take the grandparents somewhere....or go on a trip. The styling of interior and exterior, and overall quality is ahead of that of the Caravan and Grand Caravan in my opinion. The rear seat of the MPV also reverses out to tailgate.
    If you are like marine2 and do a lot of stowing and going...the Dodge Caravan may be a better choice.
  • mrblonde49mrblonde49 Posts: 626
    marine2 - he was talking about the regular Caravan, not the Grand Caravan. No Stow and Go available on those.

    Bluewolf - My guess is that you could get a similarly equipped Caravan for less. but you'd give up the fold flat 3rd seat

    And though you're concerned about buying a Chrysler product, in the current 2005 Consumer Report Auto issue, the Caravan has average reliability, while the MPV rates as poor - looks like a transmission problem is the culprit of you read through it (half black circle for 2004 models)
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    The MPV "transmission problem" was a programming glitch in some of the 2003-early 2004 models. Easily corrected with reflashing the transmission control module.Nothing like the problems Chrysler has had with their transmissions...or Honda for that matter.Up until the 2005 issue of Consumer Reports the MPV had the highest reliability rating of ALL minivans(per Consumer Reports)
  • mrblonde49mrblonde49 Posts: 626
    I'm just posting facts.

    From the 2005 Consumer Reports MPV report:
    Reliability has declined, so we can't recommend the MPV.
    Predicted Reliability: poor
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I know a couple very happy MPV owners, but nobody with a Caravan.

    Having had 2 Caravans as company vehicles...each with over 70k miles and no major issues (and I never baby my company vehicles!!)....I was HAPPY enough to buy one as my own personal Minivan..a GC SXT with "Stow n Go", tow package, sunroof, power hatch/doors......I'm Very Happy.

    Ohh and with rebates, financing and a good friend's DCX employee discount...out the door for $19,000

    Personally, I like the looks of the MPV etc....but a short wheelbase minvan is too mini for me.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    No doubt about it dennisctc. People buy what they are familiar and comfortable with. My sister blew her engine in her Grand Caravan...didn't stop her from buying another Dodge(Durango). So, overall she is still comfortable with Dodge products...which are reasonable priced. You can get a very well loaded Caravan, MPV or Sedona for around $20,000 out the door. Use that extra 5 grand to invest in oil futures.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    "I'm just posting facts"

    Seems you are posting the "facts" only when it is convienent for you to do so.You have several posts(CT&C,D.G.C post #511 and Minivan shopping post #415) which you speak of Consumer Report being biased. And now you are quoting from C.R as if it were gospel. If Consumer Reports is biased as you say...why are you quoting them???
    Knowing the facts goes a long way in determining the predicted reliability of a vehicile.(specifically that the transmission "issue" of the MPV has been resolved at production and has not affected any vehicles post March 2004) C.R did not take this into consideration. Bookmark this post...I'll bet you dimes to doughnuts the 2006 Consumer Report Car Review has the 2005 MPV as one of the most reliable AND highly recommended.(in the reincarnated form of the new Mazda 5)
  • mrblonde49mrblonde49 Posts: 626
    Seems you are posting the "facts" only when it is convienent for you to do so.You have several posts(CT&C,D.G.C post #511 and Minivan shopping post #415) which you speak of Consumer Report being biased. And now you are quoting from C.R as if it were gospel. If Consumer Reports is biased as you say...why are you quoting them??? "

    In those posts, I mentioned a possible Honda bias, as shown by them listing the Brand new Odyssey as reliable, while listing vehicles that were relased half a year earlier as "NEW".

    What does that have to do with what we are discussing? The Caravan short wheelbase and MPV have been out for years...

    The original poster was comparing the base Caravan and the MPV, and specifically mentioned being leery of buying Chrysler based on reliability. I simply stated what the most commonly used source for auto reliability (CR) had to say in their latest issue regarding this subject.

    If you take this as some sort of affront to you or you van, in that you'd go so far as to look up old posts of mine to try to prove some sort of contridiction, I guess that's your own issue...
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Everyone has a different experience and each experience is valid. People are entitled to their opinions. Agree to disagree and move on. If you don't like what someone has to say - read on.
  • We are considering a 2005 Toyota Sienna LE. We have had a 4 wheel drive Jeep Grand Cherokee for 8 years. It is a rear wheel drive vehicle but can be put into 4 wheel drive when needed. We have used this feature for snow and ice mainly, altho' it has been handy to go across a field at a concert once or twice :) We assumed we would need to get the AWD on the van but the salesman that we have talked to insisted that we really didn't need anything more than the front wheel drive on this van for snow and ice.

    I have a front wheel drive car that is very good in snow and ice. But I have always felt like the four wheel drive was more reliable. However, I really HATE the feel of the Jeep 4 wheel drive driving if there is no snow on the ground.

    My question is basically this: Do you think that the Front Wheel Drive in the Toyota Sienna is as good for getting thru snow and ice as the All Wheel Drive would be. We live in Tennessee so we don't have much snow, but we also have very little snow removal by the city when we do have snow.

    Any help or information would be appreciated.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    All Wheel Drive is made for ice, snow, mud...slippery conditions. So no, FWD is not as good in snow and ice as AWD. Since you live in an area where you get little snow...traction control (helps limit tire slip in acceleration on slippery surfaces) would be about all you would need...if needed at all.
    Just about all vehicles manufactured now come with front wheel drive. Front wheel drive is standard on just about all cars...it isn't considered an option.
    FWD Sienna LE should do fine in limited amount of snow Tennessee gets. But,if peace of mind is important and money isnt a real issue....go for the AWD.May help....won't hurt.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Just about all vehicles manufactured now come with front wheel drive. Front wheel drive is standard on just about all cars...it isn't considered an option.

    That is beginning to change. The Ford LTD is and has been front wheel drive. Chrysler is planning to come out with a line of rear wheel cars and although GM has postponed theirs a couple of years, they are too.

    cars.com: 2005 Chrysler Buying Guide | Chrysler Prices... A new rear-wheel-drive 300 sedan went on sale as a 2005 model and ... Such sharing could escalate in the wake of Chrysler's new rear-drive models. ...
    www.cars.com/go/crp/makes.jsp?year=2005& make=Chrysler&full=y&aff=national - 47k - Cached - Similar pages

    GM pulls plug on '08 line of cars - 03/21/05... GM's new rear-wheel drive passenger cars by at least a year, Phillippi said. ... "The Chrysler 300C is a watershed car like the 1986 Ford Taurus," said ...
    www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/ 0503/21/A01-123402.htm - 32k - Cached - Similar pages
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    NOT a good deal. Pay a little more and get a NEW Sedona for less than twice the amount quoted. There are big rebates and discounts on almost every new vehicle these days. ;)
  • bluewolfbluewolf Posts: 101
    Drove the MPV, it was okay. Noisy engine was kindof a bummer. It has enough room for us, but after researching crash tests from NHTSA & IIHS the MPV is pretty weak in side impact and doesn't offer side curtain airbags at all.

    I hate the way Dodge makes you *pay* for safety features - ABS is extra, side airbags is extra, gimme a break. That's one thing the european car makers are cool about. Even the base model VW has all the safety features and is loaded with airbags & ABS.

    Having looked at safety ratings, if I go with a van, it'll likely be the Nissan Quest.
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