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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign



  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Did you mean 'Freestyle' or 'Freestar?' I'm assuming Freestar, since that is the minivan of the 2. The Freestyle is that fairly appealing car-based SUV/crossover.

    You may want to keep in mind the redone-for-2006 Kia Sedona which I believe will be mechanically similar to the Hyundai Entourage and released before the Entourage.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I'm not even thinking about the "Freestar" as its not getting a navigation system, and gets terrible gas mileage for a van. The Freestyle is, and I'm thinking about it. It seems fairly attractive, and there seems to be quite a lot of space behind the 3rd row. It's priced right too, and is fairly efficient, even with AWD.

    I've heard that the 2006 Sedona won't be getting a navigation system, but that the Hyundai Entourage might. Has anybody heard the contrary?
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    jchan...have you checked out the Mazda 5 due out late this summer? It is similar to the Freestyle. Has 3 row seating, priced to start at around $17,000 nicely equipped.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Thank you for making this clear to me. I agree the braking performance is disapointing. Eleven feet can make a big difference. I 'll invest in some really good tires.

    dae - recheck your consumer report! (March 2005 issue)

    60-0 mph

    Oddy = 136 ft
    Toyota = 142 ft
    DCX = 140 ft
    GM = 136 ft

    All within spitting distance!
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I'll check it out this fall and next year at the autoshow... I'm in no rush at all to buy since my 02 Odyssey is still going strong...
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    I doubt that you would find a vehicle as enjoyable to drive as the Ody if your driving preference includes great "sporty" handling, driver engagement and energetic/spirited performance. Despite some normal first year learning curve growing pains/problems reported by some, I am confident that these would be addressed/eliminated in the current and 2006 models. Of course there are also the best resale value and expected high reliability to consider as well.

    I would not hesitate to buy another Ody to replace an aging member of my 5 family vehicles when that time comes.

    It all depends where in the driving spectrum range that your driving style/preference lies.
  • lruthlruth Posts: 1
    We purchased a 1999 Plymouth Voyager Minivan. The keys we were given do not unlock the front doors, but they do unlock the slicing doors and lift gate and start the engine. Could someone have disconnected the latch rods from the key tumblers or could it have had keyless entry?
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I have a 2002 Odyssey and its fairly enjoyable to drive. No sports car for sure, but its better than a Camry.

    I wouldn't hesitate to get another Odyssey either... I just want to keep my options open..
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    It is the sportiest of the minivan class.

    While driving my minivan, I like to have fun enjoying its "sporty" handling, spirited performance and driving engagment compared to the others.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    I asked this before, but does anybody know if the Odyssey LX and EX are just as quiet as the Touring model? I wonder if the top of the line Touring receives additional sound deadening treatment. I test drove a Touring model and it was the quietest of all the vans I test drove, including the Sienna which I wasn't particularly impressed by. It didn't live up to all the hypes.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    I'm a bit amused over the fuss regarding brake distances and 4-wheel disks vs. front disk/rear drums.

    4-wheel disks certainly have an advantage over front disk/rear drums but this advantange has nothing to do which braking distance. Brake distance if a function of brake swept area (actual contact area between the pads/rotors or shoe/drum). Generally speaking, brakes with a larger swept area will be capable of more brake grip and therefore shorter stops.

    The advantage of disk brakes over drum brakes has to do with cooling. Disk brakes cool down much faster than drum brakes; drum brakes can be overheated more easily with repeated applications and are more subject to brake fade. For a single panic stop from 70-0, I doubt you will see any advantage for disk brakes due to brake fade in a drum brake setup. If you did repeated stops, then yes, the disk brakes would have an advantage as the drum brakes would begin to heat up and brake fade would be a problem.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Basically you'll want to look at 3 minivans:

    1) Honda Odyssey
    2) Toyota Sienna
    3) Dodge Grand Caravan/Chrysler Town & Country (make sure it has Stow N Go)

    All the other vans are either not as refined as the Sienna and Odyssey (GM vans) or aren't as flexible as the three vans listed up there. (Sedona, Freestar/Monterey)

    The minivan market doesn't have too many models, so it should be easy to shop.

    Deals are abundant on th GM vans, so if you don't mind having a 3rd row seat that doesn't really fold flat, you could take a look. Otherwise, stick with the Odyssey, Sienna, and Chrysler vans.

    The Nissan Quest, according to CR, has numerous quality problems.

    A CPO Odyssey might not be a bad idea either. Look for one built after 2001- it'll have side airbags and some extra horsepower.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    The first year 2004 Quest had the expected growth curve quality pains. But I understand the 2005 models are significantly improved to warrant a "recommend buy".

    The exterior shape is appealling to many, but you have to accept or get accustomed to the unusual center console position which many folks do not like.

    NB: The C & D June 2004 minivan comparo had their ratings as 1.) Ody 2.) Sienna 3.) Quest 4.) DGC 5.) Freestar. This was using a 2004 Ody; the 2005 Ody should be better. Bear in mind that the C & D guys are in the driving spectrum end of energertic, spirited driving with great engagement and handling.

    Based on the 2005 Maxima we have in our family, I love the same engine(although a bit detuned to 240hp from 265hp) which is very refined and strong. About 2 months ago, I saw an ad for the base Quest at just under $20K with rebates in the Raleigh- Durham area - that was very attractive then!
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Well, if you are going to buy a 2 year old minivan I would not include the Honda or Toyota due to their high resale value. You would be better off buying a new Honda or Toyota minivan if that is what you liked.

    Gas mileage...there is little difference amoung minivans. They're big.

    Reliability is open to debate. Toyota being most reliable.

    Price: Mazda MPV or Dodge Grand Caravan will give you the most BANG for your buck.Kia Sedona as well...though not as reliable.

    I'd do my homework on this before going to dealers lot to test drive. So, some salesman doesn't try to screw you over.Good luck.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775

    When I was purchasing my new Ody, 2 yr old Odys with about 25K miles were fetching $3K less than the new Ody I bought. Odys command high resale value.

    I preferred to pay the extra $3K for a brand-new, virgin Ody!

    If if were up to $10K less like used DGCs or Freestars, then it becomes more attractive! But you would have to accept the less satisfactory driving experience from these.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    jipster is right. But I'd pick the Toyota over the Honda. It seems the new Honda has some serious problems in their first year out with their new model. Of course if your going to use your van for more than hauling kids and need the room, Dodge/Chrysler is the way to go. You first have to know how your going to use your van to make a better choice.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    It's a good idea to know what reviewers have to say about the vans you're considering, but just don't rely totally on their opinions. For example, C&D always uses the "fun to drive" criterion to judge cars (and vans, trucks...). It's fine when it comes to Porches, but they always sound irrelevant and foolish in their reviews of things like the Lincoln Towncar. Duh, these shoppers actually LIKE the boat-like ride :surprise:

    Since we've just been through the process of buying our 1st van. Here's my take:

    ---First of all, forget about the Ford Freestar--too expensive, and for what? The GM vans are small, and lack the flexibility, and they're not cheap either. Both are bad values.

    ---if style and comfort is important to you, go for the Quest. A base model can be had for ~$20, 200 for ones made before the price increase (early May); and a 3.5 S model with added power door and hatch and parking sonar can be had for ~$1500 more. Side curtain bags are standard on all trims, which was really important to us. You'll love the openness of the cabin and the vast head room. Both 3rd row and 2nd row (almost) seats fold into floor. We paid $21750 for our S model ($650 below invoice).

    ---if feature and functionality are 1st priority, go for the Grand Caravan SXT, which can be had for about $22-23K. Dual power doors are standard; power hatch and side airbags cost extra. Forgoing the power doors, you can get an SE model with stow-n-go for well under $20K. We particularly liked its 3rd row split seating.

    ---if money is no pbject, there's no need for further discussion. Get the top of the line Honda or Toyota.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    It's a good idea to know what reviewers have to say about the vans you're considering, but just don't rely totally on their opinions.

    I agree to a point, but reviewers take the vans out and drive them for an hour or two and write up their opinion. They have no idea of how they will hold up. Neither does magazines like C.R. on new models. Your best bet is to check out what people on here are saying about their new vans now they are holding up. They have owned them for awhile and know what problems they are having with them. You can't really go on past models because of changes and improvements made to them.

    If you buy used, then CR or other opinions should be heeded.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    "Price: Mazda MPV or Dodge Grand Caravan will give you the most BANG for your buck.Kia Sedona as well...though not as reliable."

    Personally, I would not rank Sedona below the DCX vans in terms of reliability.
  • 97xpresso97xpresso Posts: 249
    After reading the Sedona problems board, I would never purchase one, except maybe to roast marshmellows with :lemon:
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