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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign

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  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    I'm sure the MPV is a capable van, but a little small for us. For those who don't know, it's the 1st van with the fold flat seat. ...I'm correct jipster, aren't I?
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Original Odyssey? or the 1999 larger GC sized Odyssey? The MPV was a small SUV for many years and Mazda changed to having the MPV become a small minivan just before the SUV became the "in" vehicle. :cry:
    I have driven a KIA Sedona and was impressed with the smooth ride and low price. However, it lacks many nice features of the DC minivans that I could not do without after buying my used 2002 T&C last summer after comparing one son's 2001 Ody EX purchased new and another son's used 2002 GC Sport he got as a used vehicle. Separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger is THE BEST idea for comfort since heaters and air conditioners were invented .
    DC introduced this luxury feature for the masses at a reasonable price about 10 years ago when it could be an option in virtually all but the very cheapest DC minivan. ;) Toyota finally offered it in the 2004 Sienna XLE and Honda put it in all but the cheapest Odyssey EX for the 2005 model year. KIA is reported to have the feature in ALL 2006 Sedonas. Meanwhile: Nissan, Mazda, Ford continue to be asleep and ignore the comfort of their minivan buyers. :sick:
  • daedae Posts: 143
    Honda put it in all but the cheapest Odyssey EX for the 2005 model year

    Incorrect. EX has it - LX does not.

    I have it always set on "sync". I doubt I will ever use such a feature.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger is THE BEST idea for comfort since heaters and air conditioners were invented .

    But the greatest feature is a power hatch!!!!! I love it I love it I love it!!!! Have I mentioned how much I love my power hatch??? I LOVE IT!!! Also like how it beeeps when opening to warn people!!
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    "I'm correct jipster, aren't I?"

    Sounds good to me. I have read where it was...and also where it wasn't.
    I do believe they were the first to offer the power middle windows as well as the sliding second row captains chair that can form a bench seat. We could use the split folding rear seat on our upcoming trip, as the mother in law is going with our family of 4. But other than that and the side curtain airbags(not available) we got everything we wanted.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Sounds good to me. I have read where it was...and also where it wasn't.
    I do believe they were the first to offer the power middle windows as well as the sliding second row captains chair that can form a bench seat. We could use the split folding rear seat on our upcoming trip, as the mother in law is going with our family of 4. But other than that and the side curtain airbags(not available) we got everything we wanted


    I'm wondering when Ford will tell Mazda "Hey, we have this great Minivan platform, you should dump the smaller MPV and let us make a clone of Freestar for you". Instead of doing the smart thing and letting Mazda make Ford a real minivan!!!! MPVs are great, just too small and not enough power for my family/camping needs.
  • charlotte7charlotte7 Posts: 144
    I'm looking at getting a new car at the end of this year or thereabouts, and will probably end up with a minivan. (I'm also interested in the Mazda5, but worry about it being underpowered, aside from being ugly, and the Chevy HHR, which may be too small and also underpowered for my needs). I'm a librarian, which means I'm poor! :) I absolutely cannot afford a $30K minivan.

    So, I'm looking for a van in the $16-18K range. From what I can gather, this puts me in the market for a Mazda MPV (which I quite like) or possibly a Kia Sedona (I worry about Kia quality, though.) Anything else? I'd be fine with something used, too, though it seems like the Honda and Toyotas that would be used and in that price range would be significantly older vans. I'd like to stick with '04 and later, if I can.

    I don't have kids, so all that's going in this van is an 80 lb German Shepherd and some road bikes--we're cyclists on the weekends. I really, really like the fold-flat third row seat on the MPV for this reason and the split bench seat.

    I suffered through an anemic 4-cylinder Subaru Outback for about a year, and while I realize I'm not going to get major acceleration in a minivan, a healthy 6 cylinder is a must. My last car before the Outback was a Z-28, and I miss it. ;)
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    " I'm wondering when Ford will tell Mazda..."

    I hope that day never comes. Some people like the Freestar.But, I would never buy a minivan made by Ford...no matter what label they put it under. Now, a Ford minivan that is made by Mazda would have some possibilities.

    The Ford Duratec 3.0 200hp in the MPV is a very good reliable engine, with all the power we need..but could be a little smoother with better low end torque.
  • strstr Posts: 64
    Well, tamu2002 now that I know your little secret :blush: I have to say I can hardly type your name without cringing (just kidding) :P seeing how I am a huge OU fan. Oh yes, I am from Oklahoma and my old stomping ground is on the OU campus! But at least we agree on one thing the Quest IMO is unbeatable in style and price for what you get and is probably what we will go with when we purchase our van.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Some of the lesser-equipped Dodge and Chrysler minivan models will fit your budget.

    We own a 2002 Kia Sedona EX with 52,000 miles and have been very satisfied with it. It has been reliable and required very few dealer warranty fixes. Reliability and quality are important to me, and I felt the Sedona would fit the bill due to its good reputation in Europe as the Kia Carnival.

    The 2005 models should be very reasonably priced, with the all-new 2006 model being released in the next few months. If the gee-whiz minivan features (foldaway seats, power sliding doors, backup warning sensors, power hatch, etc) are not critical, give the Sedona a look.

    It does sound like seating flexibility would be important for you, so you might be better off in the MPV. It could be your best choice, as its smallish minivan dimensions likely are a non-issue since you don't have kids.

    Contrary to what some reviews say, the van is peppy. And fuel economy is not as bad as some folks would have you believe.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    If you are going for the 16-18k range , I would buy new. Either the Mazda MPV or Kia Sedona...2005 shouldnt be that bad in terms of quality.It does have a very good warranty. I doubt your going to be able to fit an 80lb dog and a couple road bikes in the third row folded down area. You may have to pull out a second row captains chair or let Fido ride shotgun.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    At $18K and under budget, the DGC at $16.9K with rebates would be very compelling! With a little stretch to under $20K, the Quest with rebates would be my choice.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I'm looking at getting a new car at the end of this year or thereabouts, and will probably end up with a minivan.

    With GM's employee pricing for all, I'm sure everyone will have to do more.....Seems like you have time on your side!!! This is a good start, thinking months in advance!!
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Get a Grand Caravan or SWB T&C to have the reliable, powerful, economical 3.3L V6 engine. Nice discounts and rebates are now available. ;)
    If you want a nice heavy minivan with less interior space and lower fuel economy, :cry: the Kia Sedona would be an excellent choice and also has nice discounts and rebates.
    If you want a small minivan with the fold down rear seat, mid range fuel economy and "Zoom, Zoom, Zoom" get a Mazda MPV. :blush:
    If you want to spend most of your time getting to know mechanics, buy a used Volkswagen Eurovan :lemon: as a Volkswagen needs more frequent, costly maintenance than all the rest combined.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    waiting for the Mazda5?
  • charlotte7charlotte7 Posts: 144
    I am doing that, have had my eye on the 5 for a while, but I'm concerned that it's going to be underpowered. (I also think they're ugly, but that's really not as important.) I have a stick shift car now, and I don't want the manual 5, though I know that will supposedly improve it's 157 horsepower performance. There's too much traffic I have to drive in to deal with a manual anymore.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    Another option to consider beyond minivans, is the Ford Freestyle. New they are more $ than you want to spend, but you might be able to find a demo or by next year a 1 year old model for around 18k or so. They are a nice alternative to minivans, and are very roomy, but ride more like cars. Since you don't have numerous kids, this could be a good option. I have a Sienna which I love, but if I didn't have 3 kids (well, 2 and one due in about a week) I would have gone a different route, like the Freestyle. Autoweek magazine recently did a comparison of a Honda Odyseey vs. the Freestyle - which is an odd but interesting comparison. The Ody won, but not by much. I was expecting the Honda to trounce it, and it didn't. What is also interesting, is that this is the 3rd (or 4th) version of the Ody, whereas the Freestyle is a brand new vehicle. Can only get better too. And I think the price was set a bit too high - I have seen very few on the roads where I live. So bargains might be plentiful, especially by the end of summer.

    If a minivan is a must though, I would look at the MPV then. I like it better than the Sedona, and the gas mileage is better too. I didn't consider either of these vans, for a number of reasons, but I also don't have local dealers for these models, so I wrote them off my list for this very reason. Good luck.
  • charlotte7charlotte7 Posts: 144
    I have liked the looks of the Freestyle, but thought the price was too steep. I would definitely consider a used one if it was in my price range.

    I haven't seen but one on the roads here in Austin, either, so obviously others think they're pricey, too! Do the Freestyle's seats fold down? I would really like to avoid having to take the seats out to put the bikes in.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    I think they do fold down, although you won't have as much room as a minivan, it will still be pretty good, and better than most SUVs. What about putting bikes on top of the vehicle on a bike rack, or on the back of the vehicle? Also, the Freestyle can be had in AWD, although in Austin, probably not a big deal. It's funny, in that Ford finally makes a really good vehicle, that even the enthusiast press likes (although they complain that it should have more power) and yet no one is buying this vehicle (yet). I would much rather own this vehicle than a Ford Explorer (and I own one of these). But the price does seem - while not unreasonable, it still seems a bit high. Yet compared to an Odyseey or Sienna, it seems reasonable. Supply and demand though - if there is little demand, the prices will have to come down. Although I thought that would be true of the Ford Freestar (way too expensive) and yet I see few on the road, and the prices still aren't cheap...
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    As far as being underpowered, I don't think you have anything to worry about with the 5...157 horsepower should be plenty safe when it comes to merging in traffic, even though it might not be a lot of fun. I drive a '96 Accord Automatic with only 130 horsepower. It is not a powerhouse engine, and at first I was nervous on uphill on-ramps. I soon learned, however, that my fears never came true, all I had to do was wind the engine up to above 4500 rpm, and the little car scooted up a hill with (albeit noisy) ease.

    I happen to think that the 5 is a nice-looking vehicle, and know others that share my feelings (my father, for one), so don't be afraid of driving it if you don't like the styling, because plenty of others think youd be stylin'! :shades:
  • edkleinedklein Posts: 34
    These questions are a bit more historical in nature, but I figured this would be the best forum to get them answered. I think it's still on topic as it relates to the innovation of the companies that we're all shopping.

    1. What was the first minivan to offer a driver side sliding door?

    2. What was the first minivan to offer a power sliding door?

    3. Which one was first with the power rear door?

    Of course, these days, you have to offer all three to be a player in this market. I'm just curious as to who was first to market with these ideas.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Daimler-Chrysler were the first with these features introduced first on the Dodge and Chrysler minivan twins.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Wasn't GM first with a power sliding door on the right side? :blush:
  • ronsmith38ronsmith38 Posts: 228
    I think it was GM, probably the Silhouette "dustbuster" about 1994. The Silhouette was first with the built-in TV/VCR - late 90's.
  • lastwraithlastwraith Posts: 350
    http://www.allpar.com/model/m/first.html

    A little harder to find the other companies' minivan firsts....maybe we'll get some help with that.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    List does not include Power Sliding Door...so GM must have been first with something.
    I looked at the 2005 GC and T&C again and am impressed with ALL of the extra storage space under the floor when 2nd row seats are in place to haul passengers. Driver, front passenger, and 2nd row seats are more comfortable than my 2002 T&C LX but my 50/50 split tip and fold forward 3rd row seat is much more comfortable than the 3rd row seat of DC minivans with Stow 'N Go seating. ;)
    Salesman and sales manager said no more 2005 models are in the pipe line. All future inventory will be 2006 models but they had no more information.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Honda was the first company with DUAL Power Doors on the 1999 Honda Odyssey EX.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I looked at the 2005 GC and T&C again and am impressed with ALL of the extra storage space under the floor when 2nd row seats are in place to haul passengers

    There is almost as much room under those second row stow-n-go seats, as there is in the back well that stores the third row seat. I usually keep one seat stowed and the other up. But you can see in that picture I put up, some of the stuff I keep in just one of those bins. There is a big furniture pad, battery cables, tools, tape, flashlight, umbrella, a can of fix a flat, portable radio and rope. All stowed out of sight. And I still have the other bin if I need it. There isn't another van on the market with anywhere near the storage room as is on the 2005 Chrysler/Dodges.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    This is a win - win for all of us, it'll ripple across all manufacturers!!

    Chrysler may match GM deals
  • lastwraithlastwraith Posts: 350
    Somehow I just don't see Toyota and Honda following suit.
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