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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign

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  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Somehow I just don't see Toyota and Honda following suit.

    Me either. But if they did, I'd buy a brand new Odyssey EX-L NAV-RES immediately! :D
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Did anyone see the long term quality report from J.D. Powers that came out yesterday? I'm not sure how much I can say about it on here,but Americans have finally a lot to crow about.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    And I think the mini van that was chosen was a 2002 Ford Windstar. Funny, but that seems to be the least talked about and least wanted van on these boards. But you're right, even though Lexus won overall (again) GM and Ford have shown improvements in longer term reliabity, according to JD Power. Not sure if DC was mentioned much. The Germans actually seem to be the ones suffering the most in quality these days, although not in the same way the American companies had quality problems.

    This a good thing for all consumers, not just American made buyers. It forces all competitors to keep making great products. No one can rest on their laurels anymore. Hopefully, the American companies finally realize this, after suffering through the 70s and 80s of thinking they had no competition. The Japanese have forced GM & Ford into making better products, and now the Koreans are after the Japanese. It's a dog eat dog world.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Nothing new. Back in 1967, my friend told me his Mercedes was expensive to maintain and there were quality problems. He said the foreign made air conditioning did not measure up to the quality of that in US made vehicles.
    Back to minivans. I do not read owner posts of many problems in 2005 DC minivans but I have read owners report many problems with 2005 Odysseys. :blush:
    Buy what you like best even if you have doubts about reliability or quality. That is what my friend did when he bought his Mercedes...and it was so enjoyable to drive that he felt the problems were more than offset by owing a vehicle he liked.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    It's good to know that the quality of American vehicles has gotten so good. It also really helps the American economy . For years American manufactures have suffered poor quality compared to the Europeans and especially the Japanese makes. Now we have at least two GM vehicles that have out scored Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Avalon. Some of the best cars Japan puts out. I didn't see how Chrysler scored with their minivans, although J.D. Powers did rate the 2003 better than average and the 2004 among the best of the minivans. Congratulations GM and Ford.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    I agree that you should buy what you like. For the "casual" mini van purchaser - by that I mean someone who like myself needs a van for their situation in life, (3 kids and 2 grandparents close by) but would prefer something like, oh a Porsche or Ferrari, it makes sense to buy a van that is both enjoyable (as much as a minivan can be) and has good quality. For me the Sienna fit the bill, but most of the vans out there today are pretty decent. The GM vans didn't do it for me, but the Honda, Nissan or DC vans all would have sufficed and excelled in different areas.

    While German cars have a high level of owner satisfaction (I've owned two, an Audi and a VW) because they are by and large very nice driving machines, they have suffered quality lapses over the last few years, notably Mercedes and Audi. Doesn't mean they are bad vehicles, I think the sophistication in the electronics and other areas, has been a part of the problem, and recent inidcations are that Mercedes for one seems to have turned the corner, but I rarely see any mention of Mercedes as best in initial quality. High resale though, bested only by Lexus. (Last I checked)
  • jdubsjdubs Posts: 5
    See the raw government video footage of the side impact test....

    http://www.safercar.gov/
    See the "Safety Concern" they note in bold letters. Shame on Honda.

    So, let me see, your wife gets hit driving it, she's ejected and killed....

    If you don't skip this vehicle for that reason, you aren't human !
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Today I got full use out of my Dodge's stow-n-go seats. My brother called me up and asked me if I would go to Home Depot with him and pick up a three piece bathroom vanity, vanity top, toilet, medicine cabinet, light bar and molding strip for my sister's bathroom. He has a Plymouth minivan but didn't want to have to take his seats out to get them in. I jumped at it, as so far, I'd only had to stow one middle row seat to get things in.

    The Dodge/Chrysler may not be as good looking in the inside, as the Honda/Toyota, but it is more family/work friendly than any van on the market. I would be surprised if more than a few Honda/Toyota owners would even dream of taking their seats out and putting that stuff in their vans.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Hopefully Honda will take note of it and fix it. I REALLY like the Odyssey.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    A lot depends on what you want to do with your minivan. If you enjoy being Mr. Congeniality, that's fine for you. For me and lots of others, I will not buy a minivan to use as a service for others - they would love you dearly for your services. These folks can also buy a minivan - but why do so when Uncle Marine will volunteer his services. Sponging is the name of the game here.

    I will buy a minivan for my driving preference and treat it with as much care as my other family vehicles, not to be used as a free-loader for others.

    It is like being stuck as the day care for the all the kids in the neighborhood because you have a nice pool... Your neigbors will love you for all the wrong reasons.

    Happy July 4th!
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    "The Dodge/Chrysler may not be as good looking in the inside, as the Honda/Toyota, but it is more family/work friendly than any van on the market."

    I tend to agree with this point. That's why we wrestled back and forth between the Quest and Caravan. The Stow-n-go is tough to beat!
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    For me and lots of others, I will not buy a minivan to use as a service for others - they would love you dearly for your services. These folks can also buy a minivan - but why do so when Uncle Marine will volunteer his services. Sponging is the name of the game here.


    Not quite like that. We do for each other, because it's Family. My brother and I spent the whole day today putting that new bathroom together. She saved a weeks time waiting for it to be delivered and over $50.00, by me being able to haul it. The trim was the only thing I had trouble with. It was almost to long to get in the van.

    But like we said before. One should know what your going to use a van for, before buying one. There are passenger vans and there are work/family vans. I knew I would need a work/family van and not just a passenger van when I bought the Dodge.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Ha Ha. This "Safety Concern" would NOT prevent me from buying a 2005 Odyssey.
    How can a person be ejected if she (or he) is wearing their seat/shoulder belt? :blush:
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    All my neighbors have SUVs/Trucks, so nobody asks me to borrow my Odyssey.

    I don't think ANYBODY has ever asked me to borrow the Odyssey...
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    "I don't think ANYBODY has ever asked me to borrow the Odyssey... "

    You should be happy that no one has asked you yet.
    Do you want them to? If you do, you could become very popular for the wrong reasons.

    I will NOT borrow another person's vehicle. I would rather be independent, do without or rent one. And my expectations of them are the same. Accidents happen unexpectedly and I do not want to make excuses for any.

    I will only drive another person's vehicle if he/she requests that I do so because of illness/tiredness/drunkenness/etc or I believe that my life is in danger due to his driving.
  • nwngnwng Posts: 664
    heavy, bulky items like marine2 described above would do a number on your interior easily, especially on the tonka plastic surfaces which everyone has in their cars. Also I can say is marine2 is a really generous person and I would love to have hime as a neighbor or family member.

    The only time I would "load it up" is when they are packed in cardboard boxes, ie, ikea and another furniture joint who also does that.

    And of course there is always the neighbor who works in a bank but drives a brand spanking new F150
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Another reason not to buy a DC minivan where the seats can be stowed for ease of hauling bulky cargo.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    "Also I can say is marine2 is a really generous person and I would love to have hime as a neighbor or family member."

    Me too!

    I would love to have Marine2 as my neighbor for selfish reasons. I can adopt him as my "Uncle" or "God father" :)
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Actually, people get ejected all the time even WITH seat belts. The force generated in an accident is just tremendous. That said, I doubt the Odyssey is particularly worse just based on that one crash test :confuse:
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    "Not quite like that. We do for each other, because it's Family. "

    Exactly, that's what family is for. I'd hate to have a brother that doesn't even want to lend his van to me. What kind of a brother is that? And the same goes for friends. Good for you marine2.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    We now have two persons, Marine2 and Tamu2002, that the nieghborhood can sponge from.

    By the way, it is quite coincidental that these two good samaritans, have the number 2 in their forum names.

    Any more want to upset this nice number by making this a three-some or higher by willingly lending his/her minivans for others to haul their loads?? Anymore who don't care that their minivan is damaged/more used in this process?

    Let us make a list so that we know where we can get help!
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Thanks Macakava. And come on, you're not gonna say "no" to your family either if they come beg you ;) I'm meticulors and very gentle with our cars, so I'd excersize extreme caution when moving big things...or say "no" if I have to.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Of course not.

    But one has to be selective about each case. Because it would be far cheaper/less aggravating to rent a vehicle than to fix any damages to my personal vehicle.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Agreed. Personally I would be very hesitant to borrow someone else's van, especially now that I finally have a good paying job ;) I'd rather pay for the delivery.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    We now have two persons, Marine2 and Tamu2002, that the nieghborhood can sponge from.


    I have carried stuff in my new van for my brother,(air compressor) and the bathroom fixtures I mentioned for my sister. A wagon for my daughter. Nowhere did I say I do things like that for neighbors or friends.

    Unlike your Honda, that has cloth on the side paneling,(if I remember right) and those big handles on the back of the seats, I don't need to worry about any handles and the Dodge has plastic on the side panels. I am not worried of tearing or scuffing the plastic, as it hasn't touched it yet. If it did, it wouldn't do any damage.

    Your Honda isn't made to haul much of anything without taking extream care not to rip or break something.

    My family comes from the old school where one helps family when in need. I know things like that isn't done much anymore, but thank God we still believe in it.

    When I needed help replacing the main water shut off valve on my house, guess who helped me?

    I wouldn't buy a vehicle where I would be afraid to put anything in it. That is why the Dodge is family friendly and the Honda isn't.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Blood is thicker than water in my side of the fence as well.

    But when I buy any vehicle, be it a minivan or any other car, it is for the driving enjoyment and inspiring sporty handling it provides, NOT for the reasons of hauling goods for others. I like to encourage independence in others because dependence can easily become a habit and that leads to...
    I do not want to be an enabler.

    As they say, "Teach a hungry man to fish and he won't be hungry for the rest of his life. Give him fish and you would be stuck with doing so daily - welfare"

    By the way, my Ody can do exactly what your DGC can do as well. I never had to remove the second row seats - if necessary, I would move it; I ain't dead yet.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    The Koreans have improved quality and features at an exponential rate.
    How long before the Kia Sedona is # 3 in sales volume after the leader # 1 Grand Caravan and # 2 Town & Country? ;)
  • lastwraithlastwraith Posts: 350
    I have a '98 Plym Expresso that, within the last 2 months has: taken 6 people on a Six Flags trip to NJ (full day trip), hauled an aging grandmother's stuff (my g/f's grandmother's bedroom furniture) from NY to New Orleans (yes, it was a 22 hour trip and yes, i drove all the way straight down to see if I could), transported linoleum and carpeting for my mother's house (15' rolls), and most recently packed the trusty minivan COMPLETELY full of my grandparent's belongings and transported them from VT to CT while still managing to get 30MPG on the trip down. I consider myself to be helpful to my friends/family/whatnot and would not hesitate to take out the seats to get things done. Like any other person without a new DGC variant that doesn't have StoNGo, if we need to take the seats out to do something we want to do, the seats will come out. I'm not saying I wouldn't rather not, but it's not that big a deal. Get a friend for 5 mins and the seats are out and in the shed/garage/etc.

    What I really wanted to stop was the talk about the interior. I don't know what the rest of you do when concerned about things and the inside of your van, but I always put down a drop cloth and/or pad things that would rip up the interior. Plastic interiors may be some people's cup of tea, but I'd rather have the nice interior and deal with the relatively small inconvenience of having to put a plastic liner down the few times I need it. More often than not I am either transporting no one and nothing, a few people, or things that can't do much to my interiors. I wouldn't really choose any minivan as a work van, unless you are primarily hauling light things. You cannot beat the hauling capability of a full size van or pickup.

    Having said all that, I like both the DGC offerrings and the Odys for different reasons. If the Toyota dealers where I am weren't such jerks I would be able to possibly offer up some compelling reasons for driving the Sienna.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    do not want to be an enabler.

    As they say, "Teach a hungry man to fish and he won't be hungry for the rest of his life. Give him fish and you would be stuck with doing so daily - welfare"


    I have had my van for eight months now and hauled stuff in it three times for three different family members. I think that is far from being an enabler. Guess who is going to watch my dog for 18 days while we go to Europe? Family helping family is what it's all about Mac.

    By the way, if you'd had hauled my sister's bathroom stuff, you would have had to take out those middle seats.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    The initial data on the NEW 2004 Sienna was very impressive but a close examination of the interior showed that manufacturer brochures are often not very accurate indicators of the actual vehicle. :cry:
    Same with 2005 Odyssey (and virtually every vehicle produced).
    After reading in Edmund's Town Hall for some time, the numerous owner postings of problems with the Sienna and Odyssey scare me. I am now afraid to buy either a new Sienna or Odyssey where problems are likely to occur. :sick:
    On the other hand, the problems with DC minivans appear to be mainly with older models of the mid-90's. ;)
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