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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign

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  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    And you have the unreasonable cops out there set up speed traps any way they can trying to get more dollars out of you. So any technique to avoid them is fine with me. BTW, speed is not necessarily dangerous, definitely not below 85 mph.
  • lastwraithlastwraith Posts: 350
    That's not so much what bugs me. Stories about passing people on the offramp while doing 90mph with your family in the minivan has no place here when talking about the merits of different minivans. That's simply something that is not going to be of any importance to a buyer. You want to talk 0-60 times for whatever reason, fine. But any minivan is going to be able to cruise at 80-85mph on the freeway, there is no point in even using that as an argument. No minivan is nimble enough to be driven in a slalom on a major highway, especially not since your kids are likely in the car. Otherwise....what exactly do you have a minivan for? Because if you don't have kids in the car, that pile of sheetrock in the back is going to be slowing your slalom time down.
  • daedae Posts: 143
    But any minivan is going to be able to cruise at 80-85mph on the freeway

    Fully loaded on, say Hwy 80 going up Sierra Nevada pass for a lake Tahoe trip?

    You wish.

    There is a HUGE safety advantage in having a power reserve. And minivans are all about safety.

    No minivan is nimble enough to be driven in a slalom on a major highway

    Some are nimble enough. Try the Odyssey out.

    Same goes for the stopping distances, and roadholding abilities. It may be a difference between flying off the road, and safely maneuvring around an obstacle.

    And once again: while on a dry road the difference may seem marginal, once the conditions are not perfect, relative advantage of a van with better dynamic envelope becomes much more pronounced.

    that pile of sheetrock in the back is going to be slowing your slalom time down.

    Actually extra weight does help.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    You're obviously a die hard Odyssey fan so here's a question for you :)
    I test drove the top of the line 05 Ody and found it to be the quietest of all the vans I test drove. I heard the top of the line model Ody has extra sound shielding treatment. Is this true, and are the LX and EX noisier?
  • lastwraithlastwraith Posts: 350
    I'm sorry, but there is no great difference in power between the Ody, DC offerings, and the Sienna. If you are comparing it to an MPV or one of the smaller minivans then I can see where there would possibly be an issue. Otherwise you are just plain wrong...there is no great reserve in the Ody as compared to the other major players that you are calling upon.
    These are the numbers from a selection of the vans people would be considering....maybe you can point out where this "reserve" is on the Ody because I just don't see it.

    Ody - V6, 3.5L, 24V SOHC, 255 hp @ 5750 rpm, 250 ft-lbs. @ 5000 rpm (Torque)
    Sienna - V6, 3.3L, 24V DOHC, 230 hp @ 5600 rpm, 242 ft-lbs. @ 3600 rpm
    DGC - V6, 3.8L, 12V OHV, 215 hp @ 5000 rpm, 245 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm
    Quest - V6, 3.5L, 24V DOHC, 240 hp @ 5800 rpm, 242 ft-lbs. @ 4400 rpm
    MPV - V6, 3.0L, 24V DOHC, 200 hp @ 6200 rpm, 200 ft-lbs. @ 3000 rpm

    The only van with a bit less of a "reserve" is the MPV but you know what? It weighs in about 300lbs lighter than all the rest (almost 700lbs lighter than the Ody) and it makes it's peak torque at an almost usable number of rpm so it probably would have little trouble maintaining that 80mph. I still say that there is little difference between any of these vans even in the Sierra Nevada or wherever you want to put them (based on engine performance).

    "Some are nimble enough. Try the Odyssey out."
    Right. My in-laws have a 2005 Ody that I've driven on plenty of occasions. While it does offer a very carlike ride, it must still yield to physics. It is still a 4500lb box, more with people or things loaded in it. And you can fit a lot of people/things in it. Laden or unladen, you cannot safely slalom through traffic in it at high speeds. That's what you would want your Subaru WRX Sti for...not the family hauler.

    As for stopping distances and roadholding, I would love to see some stats between the vans I mentioned. I seriously doubt there would be much of a difference. The Ody may even lead the pack but it won't be by much. There is only so much you can make a 4500lb brick do on the road.

    "Actually extra weight does help."
    Helps to do what? Do you seriously think any of these vans are underweight even unladen? People don't use minivans in autocross if they can help it. They use light and nimble vehicles with good weight distribution and power. Weight is the enemy. And yes, the extra weight WILL be slowing you down.

    Yes, reserve power and better handling are good in an emergency situation but when picking a minivan it should not be a huge priority at this point because they are all quite similar. Perhaps the Ody is a bit more nimble because the suspension may be firmer but the MPV is lighter and generates peak torque lower down than any other van I mentioned. Considering the peak torque figures for the rest of the vans are within 8lbs/ft of each other (lowest to highest) I think we can safely conclude that they are irrelevant numbers for choosing one or the other. HP numbers are also basically useless because they come at RPM ranges that your auto tranny will never allow you to use in everyday driving...arguably never AT ALL considering they are all over 5000rpm.

    Buy one minivan or the other based on storage, looks, reliability (perceived or otherwise), funcional amenities, safety devices or whatever. But there is very little reason to choose based solely on engine performance.
  • mttskysmttskys Posts: 23
    As for stopping distances and roadholding, I would love to see some stats between the vans I mentioned. I seriously doubt there would be much of a difference. The Ody may even lead the pack but it won't be by much. There is only so much you can make a 4500lb brick do on the road.


    motortrend review

    60-0 braking

    DGC 136ft
    Ody 123ft
    Sienna 134ft

    And yah, the 13 ft of stopping distance is making us think a bit about our upcoming purchase....
  • lastwraithlastwraith Posts: 350
    Not bad on the Ody's part. They have still have not defied physics though, they just have bigger brakes inside a larger contact patch to the road (bigger tires).

    If you like another van and this is the only thing making you rethink your purchase, it is easy enough to put some larger rotors on your dream minivan to more than level the braking playing field. Or you can switch to larger wheels. Even ditching the all season tires and switching to summer/winter specific compounds will improve handling and enhance your driving experience. But any of these upgrades will easily reap you driveability gains.

    It still makes more sense to me to choose a minivan with the individual features that serve what you need. And for most people I think that will mean choosing based on looks, utility, safety, or economics.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    There is a HUGE safety advantage in having a power reserve. And minivans are all about safety.

    No minivan is nimble enough to be driven in a slalom on a major highway

    Some are nimble enough. Try the Odyssey out.



    " Like the Accord it's based on, the Odyssey gives the feeling that it can be tossed around corners a bit. Taking it up on the offer ruins the illusion, however, mostly because the capsizing feeling that comes with any aggressive turn reminds you of how high you're perched. That, plus too-slow steering, plus the Odyssey's not-so-mini measurements, make mountain runs a nervous affair. It's probably best to be content with the Odyssey's feel in the city, and best to keep it there."

    http://www.automotive.com/2005/43/honda/odyssey/reviews/road-test/index.html
  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Posts: 421
    And yah, the 13 ft of stopping distance is making us think a bit about our upcoming purchase....

    Most of the minivans that you listed are between 16 to 17 feet long. So the 13 feet difference in braking is not that much considering that the test most likely had, at the most, two people in them. Most of us carry around our families, which with the added weight, adds to the total stopping distance. And seeing that everybody drives differently, that means they brake differently too. Some coast to a stop, while others wait until the last minute to brake. So either way it goes, the stopping distance is moot in real life driving, but impressive on the test track. :D
  • mttskysmttskys Posts: 23
    I didn't mean to get people off into a physics argument...

    In my case it is the panic stop scenario that was concerning me. Sure the 13 ft is only a 10% reduction in stopping distance, but I know I have suddenly braked only to come with in a few feet of hitting a car... so in those cases 13 feet seems like a significant buffer.

    It may only be the difference between not hitting and hitting softly.... but to at least a small degree, it is an extra safety metric to be considered when comparing the T&C to the Ody. And it is one of the few things I can compare out there that has a quantitative measure (vs. seat comfort and "handling").

    Since I consider the safety of my family to be more important than whether my seats fold flat or my second row windows roll down... it suddenly stuck out while comparing the vehicles.

    All things being equal, I'll take any added safety I can.... even something as small as 13 ft.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    "I'm willing to bet that with all of the different auto resources out there, they all will l get a different number"

    You would win that bet masterpaul. According to the ever reliable Consumer Reports...braking distance from 60mph in feet #1) Mazda MPV at 135 #2)Kia Sedona at 143 #3)Dodge Grand Caravan at144 4)Honda Ody at 147 and Toyota Sienna at 152. Oh, did I mention that the MPV was #1 at 135? :blush:
  • mttskysmttskys Posts: 23
    Nice to see another set of numbers to compare. Although it is a bit unsettling that it is that much different than the motortrend numbers.

    I guess it is back to debating fold flat seats again for me.... :D
  • lastwraithlastwraith Posts: 350
    It still doesn't really matter as far as I'm concerned. According to Car and Driver if you want to pick by stopping distances then you would be driving a Ford Freestar

    Do you really want to be driving a Freestar? I doubt it. Or if you want sporty handling and a gutsy engine, then they say grab a Quest.

    Picking a minivan is not usually done by performance alone. If it was, each manufacturer would be doing a better job at differentiating themselves from the competition with a larger engine, bigger stickier tires, and a more firm suspension. Instead minivans compromise some engine performance for gas mileage, put all season tires on their cars with normal sized rims, and ditch some handling for ride comfort.

    Besides that, even with your own link to the Ody the stopping distance increases to 140ft with the Touring model. Is anyone going to tell me they are going to pick what basically amounts to an options package set because they save a few braking feet? I guess braking performance is something to keep in mind, but I just don't see it as that important given the comparative date. Especially since if you are really concerned then you should be upgrading the brakes and tires once you buy it. All-seasons are pretty crappy and the stock brakes can be put to shame by most good aftermarket products.

    Pick a minivan because you are getting a good value for the dollar for what you need, not based on 7ft of extra stopping distance in 3 out of 4 tests.

    (I notice how the engine argument is dead now as well. At least that has been laid to rest.)
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I think most people that come on here already have their mind made up to what they want to buy. I don't think for a minute, stopping 10 feet shorter in a test, is going to change someone's mind as what they buy. I noticed no one thinking of buying a Honda made any comment of the tester that said the Honda didn't drive well in the mountains. I guess that wasn't as important to safety as stopping 10 feet shorter.

    Buy what you like, you don't need to justify it to anyone.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    The 10 feet mean nothing if the driver doesn't act fast enough. His reaction makes the big difference as to stopping in time and distance. If your a half second slower than me hitting the brake, your going to take longer to stop even if your van was tested to stop 10 feet shorter than mine.
  • daedae Posts: 143
    even if your van was tested to stop 10 feet shorter than mine.

    Odd logic. For a given driver the better stopping van will always stop faster. You can not replace yourself - only pick up a better van.

    I can not complain about my wife reflexes, she still can do vaults on uneven bars, and I probably not completely lost it since college days boxing, but that would not help us stop any faster, or to avoid an accident in a poorly perfoming vehicle.

    The 10 feet mean nothing if the driver doesn't act fast enough.

    10 feet is 10 feet. If you are a slow poke, it is even more important to have some cushion.

    Of course nobody should shop just by stopping distance. It is just good to know then when selecting by all other criterias combined (as reflected in overall Consumer Report score) one does not have to compromise on such vital safety parameters as stopping distance, power reserve for avoidance and roadholding).
  • daedae Posts: 143
    but a 10 foot difference in 60-0 braking on a test track does not automatically mean the same 10 foot difference in most real-world situations.

    Only in a panic stop: when you really care.

    Then it is the same effort on a pedal, same tires, same surface - same result.
  • mttskysmttskys Posts: 23
    Since I had started the stopping distance discussion by mentioning that it was a consideration, I'll sum up a few points from the previous posts:

    -- I'm the driver in either car. So my reaction time should be the same in any van (well, except the Quest where I am constantly looking over to see the gauges). The stopping distance isn't this big of an issue. Just something I noticed was better on the Ody than the DGC/Sienna.... and well, someone asked for stopping distances, so I posted them. :D

    -- No I'm not justifying my want of an Ody by the stopping distance. Rather the opposite in fact. Financially I have incentives to buy Ford or Chrysler. I just want to make sure I'm not blindly following my wallet if there is a significant advantage to a different minivan. Most reviews label the Ody and Sienna as #1 and #2.... so I'm looking at them.

    Things that I am concerned about that I would be happy to hear some feedback on:

    1) Quietness in the cabin. I'd like to hear the rear seat passengers easily. Sadly it appears to be a subjective discussion point...

    2) Car seat friendliness (we'll have three of them, with tethers) and ease of entry to the back with two of them in the bucket seats. Which is also why Stow N' Go is useless for us for a long time.....

    Sorry to start a stopping distance boondoggle... and I'm sure I'm not the only one who has to eventually justify an expediture to a spouse. :mad:
  • Claire@EdmundsClaire@Edmunds Chicago areaPosts: 968
    Everyone has a different, valid experience and people are entitled to their opinions without being insulted. If you have a point to make, do so respectfully without resorting to insults.

    ClaireS, Host
    Coupes & Convertibles | Vans & Minivnans

    Claire

    HOST

  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    Actually the Sienna has greater acelleration due to the fact it is 500 pounds lighter
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