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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign



  • edkleinedklein Posts: 33
    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: 1,564
    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

    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 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.
  • 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....
    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!
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