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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign

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Comments

  • strstr Posts: 64
    Are the double strollers really that huge? I am ordering the dreamer design ditto double jogging stroller next week and I have to be able to get more stuff into the back of our Envoy than just a stroller. We are looking at a Sienna XLE and a Montana SV6 and I am hoping that this double stroller will fit into them without having to fold down the seat. Mine will be carried in the back of which ever vehicle we have at all times because I walk and run every evening with my children. I am not about to haul that thing in every time we need to put something else in the back. I have not looked at the Sienna XLE in person yet but just seeing them around you would think they would fit a stroller and groceries or whatever in the back. I know the SV6 doesn't have much space in the back but don't these strollers fold flat? How much space are we talking about here?
  • 1997montez341997montez34 Posts: 201
    I'm sure that all those Canadian-made Crown Victorias and Impalas qualify as "domestic" when thew US government does their purchasing.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Hey why didn't I think of that? Good diea! Although with three kids (one a baby), double stroller, and groceries, my wife will have to do some major thinking every time she puts them in the van ;)
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Hey why didn't I think of that? Good diea! Although with three kids (one a baby), double stroller, and groceries, my wife will have to do some major thinking every time she puts them in the van

    Still no problem with the Dodge/Chrysler. They have a well behind the rear seat for groceries and you have space for three kids to sit, plus being able to put in a stroller that is not folded. She wouldn't have to pick it up at all. Just tilt it back and wheel it in the side door. Stow-n-Go is perfect for a family to carry things. That's the beauty of Stow-N-Go, veratility to carry the things you need without breaking your back lifting it, taking out those heavy seats. and still have room under the seats to hide all kinds of stuff you don't want sitting out.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    I totally agree, but see here's our problem--we LOVE the versatility of the DGC but hate the interior and dislike the exterior color (except for red); and we LOVE everything about the Quest (almost) but HATE the lack of 3rd row split. We're torn between emotions and reasons ;)
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    If you like the Quest that much, you should buy it. But I have found after the newness wears off, you start to realize what you like or dislike about your van. You need to weigh your priorities with what you want and how your going to use it.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Agree. Buy the Quest if you prefer it. It is also a very good minivan. :)
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    for your thoughts. I'll let you know what I end up getting. I'm pretty sure if I can get a base Quest for $20K we'll go for it. We decided it's probably worth saving the $2K forgoing the nice features of the DGC. That's 10% reduction in spending if you think of it that way.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    For what it is worth, an office coworker of mine bought a "base" Grand Caravan SE with Stow and Go option earlier this spring for a bit less than $20K+TTL. I believe the rebates now are as good or better than they were when he bought.

    The center garbage can console that Nissan puts in their Quest will keep me from ever considering it as a good choice, despite whatever other good features it may have.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    In addition to hideous center console, the name Quest sounds just like the telephone company headquartered in Denver Colorado called Qwest. Another reason to buy the Odyssey or Grand Caravan. :blush:
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I think she has made her mind up to get the Quest. It's a pretty good looking van. Although I think she won't like getting that stroller in and out of it to much. But you have to get what you think you'll be happy with.
  • masshoosiermasshoosier Posts: 70
    .........the Ody(00' LX, 100k) was totalled.....all 5 of us were in it.....little shoulder pain for me..everyone else fine, gotta love the safety on these machines (60 mph hour blow to the passenger front quarter).

    Now comes shopping time, I got $11,300 from the insurance....paid 24k after taxes for it....not bad. In those 100k I only had to pay out $114.00 for mechanical repairs(brakes excluded of course). I love the Odyssey...but thinking of maybe picking up an 00' or 01' MPV in the 70k mile range......seems that for $8-9k I can get one. Maybe not an ES.....but...something cloth with a power pkg. on it. Any MPVer's out there....do theses vans chug past the 150k mark pretty easily????

    If it were you????? say....11k to spend????? what van...what year, what milege???? ......please share your opinion
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Yes masshoosier... I am an MPVer. Sorry, to hear of your accident & glad everyone is o.k. Could you describe in more detail the circumstances of your accident? Were you sitting at a light..traveling on hwy etc.
    I have a 2004 MPV...which has the 200 hp Ford Duratec engine in it(beginning with the 2002 model) I believe the 2000 & 2001 models have the 160hp engines.
    From what I have read the engines are extremely reliable and easily get over 150k.
    Recent reliability scores from Consumer Reports(gag) show excellent reliability ratings for the 2000 and 2001.For 11k you may be able to get a 2002 model.
    I like the MPV because it is a true minivan. It is smaller in size, but has enough room to seat 7 comfortably. Rides and handles more like a car...easier to park and manuver.Compare to 1999-2002 Dodge Caravan, 1998-2000 Grand Caravan and 1998-1999 Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    Why wouldn't you buy another Odyssey if you loved it - especially since it saved everyone's life? I would tend to buy the same again if I had paid so little in repairs, and no one was injured after a 60 mph blow. If you are getting $11k from the insurance, take that and apply it to an Odyssey LX, and you would only have to finance about $11k which would be a very low payment. And being new, you would have peace and mind about having a new car warranty. Glad to hear everyone is ok. Whose fault was it?
  • I would recommend that you lean strongly towards either the Honda or the Toyota. My wife and I still refer to our former Dodge Caravan as the Crap-A-Van. I am still not impressed with Chrysler Products for reliability reasons. We bought our Odyssey a few years ago and is has been very reliable. We've taken trips to California, Colorado, etc. The Toyota Sienna looks very nice also (and is supposedly just as reliable). The seats may be a little more comfortable in the Toyota. Just my 2 cents -
  • masshoosiermasshoosier Posts: 70
    Love the input.....nice to hear stuff from others that isn't along the lines of..."My so-and-so has one and they think its wooonnnnderrful"...

    irg-ours, better half was driving...me on passanger, one child in the middle(2nd mid seat was out) and 2 kids in 3rd row.

    jipster-we were crossing(north) 4 lanes of a stretch of local U.S. highway. We had crossed the 2 east bound lanes(median separated the other two) and was hit by a car in the right lane coming down the westbound side(right hand lane). The road we were on comes at this highway from an angle rather than a standard +...... just lost them between the blind and my head. The other driver admitted that they saw us crossing but didn't slow because they figured we were going to turn into the immediate left lane.
    The hit came right around the front right tire, spun us 360 degrees and in the middle of that managed to smack the car with passanger slider area of the van as well. The front part of the frame was shoved over about about a foot and the engine just seemed to be all but hanging by a thread in there. Front air bags didn't go off though........should of they???...

    once again...thanks...keep chiming in.........your opinions are important!
  • strstr Posts: 64
    That's a very interesting name you have for your former van. What was it you didn't like about it? On a lot of these forums people write that they really like the Caravan. I don't know anything about the Caravans, just wondering why you disliked it so much.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Thanks for the update. Sounds like the Ody absorbed the impact very well. The front air bags don't go off unless you have substantial impact to the very front of the car.Probably would have caused the side airbags to go off in a vehicle equipped with them.

    FYI- The MPV rates 5 stars in side impact and front impact collisions. Most all minivans rate very high in saftey ratings now. A few in late 90's early 2000 weren't that good on side impact collisions(not that you're planning on having any more...but still good to know)

    Good luck with your next van purchase.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    After closely comparing one son's 2001 Ody EX and another son's 2002 GC Sport, we bought a used 2002 T&C LX clone of the GC Sport. The DC minivans are quieter with more nice features for less money than the Ody. So far, none of the 3 have had any problems.
    The GC Sport and T&C LX get better gas mileage than the Odyssey.
    It is quite absurd to compare an old Caravan with a much newer Odyssey but apparently you still need to bad mouth the best selling minivan. :blush:
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I guess if you want to go by inside looks, Honda and Toyota are the vans to buy. But if you want a van that is not only people friendly, but can do everything you ever thought a van could do, and in many cases, do it better, the Chrysler/DGC are the best on the market.

    They not only are quiet with a smooth ride. Have the best sliding doors on the market. Have a great sound system and A/C. But have the best versatility and storage space of any van on the market, bar none.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    The only real advantage Chrysler has over Sienna and Odyssey are the fold flat second row seats. That does come at a price, as the seat cushions are not as substantial. For some those tradeoffs are worth it. For others, who have child seats, the fold flat second row is somewhat useless. IMO, both Toyota and Honda are the vans to beat in terms of ease to use, best features, best powertrains, and best overall quality and resale. I like a lot of things about the DC vans, I simply don't think they are the best anymore. Still very competitive though, and should be more so when they update their powertrains and intereior design.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    The only real advantage Chrysler has over Sienna and Odyssey are the fold flat second row seats.

    That is a big advantage. For those that have car seats, you still have the third row seats to connect them to. That gives a family with kids the advantage of stowing one or two of the middle seats and putting in a stroller set up, or even a wagon in the middle. And they still have room to stow toys, diaper bag, purse or anything else not to big, out of sight. And they still have the rear storage bin for groceries.

    As for their modern power train, it doesn't run that much faster,(less than a second in the quarter mile) and only a little over one mile per gallon in mileage. So I don't see a big advantage there.

    As for Toyota and Honda are the vans to beat in terms of ease to use, I think Chrysler has done that quite easily. No van on the market is easier to use,(no matter what your using it for) than the Chrysler/Dodge.

    They do have the advantage of resale value. But lose some of that advantage with the higher selling price.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Odyssey has the most power, largest navigation screen, and most comfortable seats but lacks the overhead console and automatic locking doors.
    Sienna has an overhead console with a complete trip computer but lacks separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger unless one spends over $30,000 and the 2nd row seats are uncomfortable.
    Grand Caravan/Town & Country has Stow'N Go for 2nd and 3rd row, separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger in all but cheapest models but the trip computer now lacks the current gas mileage feature that is on my 2002 T&C LX.
    DC minivans have greatest depreciation because there are too many stripper models built for rental and fleets that do not have the 7 year 70,000 mile DC powertrain warranty. Used car managers rip off the buyer with a trade in saying "Why should I buy your GC SXT for $xx,xxx dollars when I can get a GC SE at auction for $7,000 less than Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book value". "The prospective buyer does not care if your minivan has all the extra features because all they are looking at is that both are long wheel base models".
    With the Odyssey or Sienna there are NO specially built stripper models to deflate the value of the nicer, well equipped models. ;)
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Hansienna, I tend to agree with you on that. I think Chrysler tends to put out a model that every segment of the car buying society can afford. Where Toyota and Honda do not try and reach these people. I have never seen a Honda or Toyota van used by a plumber, electrician or a delivery truck. You won't find a mostly stripped down model that sells for under $20,000. They seem to go for the more affluent van buyer.

    I think you can also see that in many of these posts when it comes time to fix their van. It seems to me, many Dodge/Chrysler owners are more apt to try and fix their van on their own, rather than take it to the dealer as many Honda/Toyota owners are. Again, that's only my opinion.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    Sorry, for me (my use) the second row seats on the DC vans just wasn't that big of a selling point. And I didn't like how they felt in terms of how comfortable they are. They also don't seem as safe, although they probably are just as good. Just a fear of a parent. Initially it seemed like a good idea, but then it wore off. We have already used the van with the split folding rear seats to great advantage (a crib, and a big Home Depot trip) and didn't need the second row to fold away. Actually the second row seats of the Sienna fold and tumble extremely easily, and this does give you a lot of room, just not as much as the DC. But my 5 yeard old can do it, can't say whether the DC seats are as easy. And the second row seats are quite comfortable. And if you need seating for 8, the Sienna offers that, not DC. And DC doesn't offer AWD anymore, Sienna does.

    The Sienna 3.3 feels more powerful than the DC 3.8, and a lot more so than the 3.3 of the DC. Probably helps too having a 5 speend auto. A slick powertrain versus an old one - I do see a real advantage here. The DC often gets called "coarse" in the media, the Sienna gets called a Lexus. I know which one I prefer. But I understand this is not important for others, it is for me.

    When I compare my Sienna to a DC, I do not see one area where the DC is easier to use (I would say both are pretty similar overall). My power doors, all 3 of them couldn't be easier to use. Doubtful that the DC buttons are any easier. Storage - the Sienna is loaded with useful little cubicles of storage. In the front seat area alone, I have 7 cupholders, 2 glove compartments, 3 other in dash storage centers, a center console that can be moved and mounted into the middle row if needed, an overhead display that is extremely useful and simple to use, 3 zone automatic climate control that is so easy to use, a 10 speaker (with sub) surround sound system that is very nice, with audio controls on the wheel, etc, etc. (and separate audio for back seat). These features were all standard on my xle for $26k. The DC vans (SXT, no options) that I looked at were similarly featured, for about $24k but they definitely lacked some of the nice features we have in the Sienna. Overall I liked the DC vans, don't get me wrong, and I recommend them to people shopping for a van. But they just weren't on par with the Sienna and Odyssey. And yes, the resale wouldn't be as good. And that does make a difference when one is leasing or needs to resell every so often. A used Sienna LE '05 with about 16k miles around here sells for about $23k, a used Dodge SXT '05 with about the same mileage sells for $19k. That diffference is made up and then some.

    One advantage the DC vans had, but won't have much longer is the great warranty. I saw in the news that DC is stopping their 7/70 warranty after this year, to concentrate on "other things" whether it's incentives, or cheaper initial prices, not sure what their rationale is. My guess is the beancounters realized they would lose more with this warranty than what they would gain with it. That was a great warranty for the consumer, sort of what has helped Hyundai increase their market share (and better products of course).
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    I haven't seen many plumbers or work vans at the University where I work use Sienna's or Odyssey's either. I mostly see them using Ford Windstars. Probably because they buy them in bulk, and since can't Ford can't sell many of them to the general public, they have to unload them somehow. Toyota and Honda have been careful not to dilute their image of a quality car manufacturer. Both sell vans in the $22k range, but you're right, they don't go below that. I wouldn't say they appeal only to affluent buyers - I am certainly not one of them, but you can't be all things to all people either. Making a quality $15k van is probably not possible if you want to make any profit, or much of one. Many of the plumbing or heating vans I see are full size vans (had one at the house this weekend) that neither Toyota or Honda make. A good niche still for the American companies, and one I hope they continue to make. I will say though, on trips to NYC for work, I am seeing more and more Sienna taxi cabs. Basic CE type vans, but they work well for the job. A sign of things to come?
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    When I compare my Sienna to a DC, I do not see one area where the DC is easier to use (I would say both are pretty similar overall). My power doors, all 3 of them couldn't be easier to use. Doubtful that the DC buttons are any easier. Storage - the Sienna is loaded with useful little cubicles of storage. In the front seat area alone, I have 7 cupholders, 2 glove compartments, 3 other in dash storage centers, a center console that can be moved and mounted into the middle row if needed, an overhead display that is extremely useful and simple to use, 3 zone automatic climate control that is so easy to use, a 10 speaker (with sub) surround sound system that is very nice, with audio controls on the wheel, etc, etc. (and separate audio for back seat). These features were all standard on my xle for $26k.

    Wow, if you got a new van with all that for $26K, you did great. I congratulate you for making a great deal. You did much better than I.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    My wife and I considered the Chevy Uplander first because we have GM credit card points and our 02 Chevy Malibu has been great. But I really didn't care for its looks and hated the fact that side airbags (curtain or seat mounted ones) weren't available and there was no folding seat of any kind. It drove noisily and it also felt very cramped inside being so narrow. And it was pricy! The Uplander's fate was sealed after my wife test drove it. She complained that she had a hard time grabbing onto the steering wheel's fat spokes.

    My wife and I then went back and forth between the Quest and the DGC SXT. It came down to the price. We ended up buying an S model Nissan Quest for $650 under invoice (yes, you read right). After the 2K rebate, the price was $21751, and we paid a hair below $24K out of the door. The Quest we bought has standard side curtain airbags, traction control, 4 wheel disk ABS, power passenger side door, power liftgate, parking sonar assist, power rear flip out window, and of course the small stuff like floor mats, splash guards, microfilter, cargo cover and cargo organizer. To get those things in a Dodge Grand Caravan SXT, we would've paid about $23K, 1K more than the Nissan. We tried real hard in the beginning to get the DGC, but sort of gave up on it once we realized it wasn't gonna happen for $22K. The feature we miss the most in the Caravan is the 3rd row plit seating. We love the 2nd row stow-n-go as well, but the Quest's 2nd row almost folds flat although without the two storage wells. On the other hand, we love the Quest's vast head and leg room, big and comfy seats, and its modern querky looks inside and out ;) We also considered the base model Quest which doesn't have the power door and hatch and rear sonar but is $15K cheaper. Finally we decided it'd be worth paying the extra for the added convenience. BTW, the Dodge salesperson was very nice to work with. Happy motoring everybody :shades:
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I answered this once and noticed it's gone.

    You got a good deal on your Quest. I think you were smart paying a little more to get those extras. After the newness and looks wear off, you'd always wish you had them, and you were able to do that without it costing you an arm and a leg to do it.
  • 1997montez341997montez34 Posts: 201
    What package on the XLE did you get? $26K seems like a terrific price!
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