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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign

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Comments

  • sc00bssc00bs Posts: 87
    Sigh.. dumb GM. You know I drove an older Oldsmobile Minivan and out of all the minivans it not only had the most room it also was the most comfortable and drove the smoothest. It is just too bad that GM can't pull its head out of rump to get a van with a good crash test rating and some better reliability (although I did read an article recently that some of GM's problems are stemming from the DexCool especially in the 3.4L engines in the past).

    I did notice in the new GM van (pontiac) that it has the rail system just like the Dodge GC.
  • mtdavis0mtdavis0 Posts: 10
    Hello,

    There does not seem to be many forums to discuss the Entourage. "Performance" or "Prices Paid" discussions like I have used before for other vehicles.

    Has the van come out? It is limited to certain areas of the country ? Is it too early or are folks & the industry just not too excited about it?

    Thank You
  • mrmcgoomrmcgoo Posts: 2
    I'm also interested in the Hyundai Entourage, but I suspect people are just discovering it. I was very close to buying one this week, but I decided to wait a month or two to see if rebates or incentives get better. Right now it seems my local dealers in NJ are not really offering anything special on pricing.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    I would definitely wait a few more months. Also, have you checked out the 06 Kia Sedona? It is essentially the same minivan as the Entourage and you get them cheaper.
  • 535353535353 Posts: 10
    I've got an '05 Uplander and would recommend it. I'm not going to argue it's in the same class as the Honda or Toyota, but it's a solid car & in my opinion a very good value (i.e., deeply discounted).

    Addressing some previous negative posts -

    (1) Why would anyone consider the Uplander w/ the other options that are out there? The simple answer, unfortunately for GM, is price (not MSRP necessarily, but price after discounts, negotiation, etc).

    (2) "It's ugly." Granted, it's not as "beautiful" as your typical minivan, but I like the "SUV-like" front end and larger wheels. Also, the interior is nicely done (features the "next" generation GM interiors... similar to the new Tahoe, Yukon, etc... much nicer than what we've seen from GM in a long time).

    (3) Sc00bs mentioned poor crash test results and dexcool / 3.4L problems... I think he's out in left field here (maybe thinking about an older Venture?). The Uplander has excellent crash test results and a 3.5L (or 3.9L) engine that, while not state of the art, is very proven & reliable.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 979
    Till recently, the Entourage discussion was in the Future Vehicles Forum and it's pretty active. It's been moved here:

    Hyundai Entourage (2007+)

    MODERATOR
    Need help getting around? claires@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • mrblonde49mrblonde49 Posts: 626
    (1) Why would anyone consider the Uplander w/ the other options that are out there? The simple answer, unfortunately for GM, is price (not MSRP necessarily, but price after discounts, negotiation, etc). "

    You can get a DCX van with stow and go for just as much of a discount
  • 535353535353 Posts: 10
    You can get a DCX van with stow and go for just as much of a discount (as the Uplander)

    That's a good point. I guess I was primarily thinking about the Honda and Toyota (in terms of being more expensive @ point of sale). The DCX, as well as the Ford, Kia, etc can all probably be had for close to what you'll pay for the GM van.

    If the S&G is a critical feature for you, the DCX is the clear choice. For me, it wasn't... I liked the seats in the Uplander a little better & simply folding them over or pulling them out (albeit they are pretty heavy) seemed to provide more than sufficient cargo carrying options.

    In general, when looking at everything, I simply preferred the Uplander over the other options in that price range (DCX, Ford, Kia, Mazda, etc) for various reasons. All had their pros & cons... but I liked the GM drivetrain & interior a little better, so that's what I went with.

    The discounts / deals on the GM vans don't seem to be that great right now, but given their slow sales I'd expect that to change pretty soon to clear out the 06's.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I've been doing a bit of preliminary poking around and have decided that a short wheel base Caravan SXT with 3.3L V-6 fits our needs quite nicely. I was pleasantly surprised that DC has an option with a split removable rear bench seat in which the two halves are quite light weight. Thus the negatives associated with not having Stow and Go available on the short wheel base models is somewhat overcome by having the seats so light weight compared to our 1996 Caravan.

    Biggest dissapointment I have is that ABS is optional on the short wheel base versions, and I could find only one such short wheel base minivan equipped with ABS in an internet inventory search of all the 10-15 Dodge or Chrysler dealers in my area. And that one is gray, which is not a preferred color for us. Bummer! DC should make ABS standard on at least the upper end short wheel base models (IE Caravan SXT). Don't understand why the dealers are not ordering more of them with ABS. ABS is standard on all versions of the long wheel base models, however.

    The deals are just amazingly good. I can get a comparably equipped short wheel base Caravan similar to our 1996 Caravan for about $4K less than we paid for our 1996 as a leftover new minivan in March 1997! About $6k off MSRP

    We might just hold off a few months, or even up to a year and keep checking the available stock and work a deal when I see what we want at one of the local dealers. Otherwise, could go with the long wheel base version, but it will be my wife's call as I am not sure whe wants to drive a longer minivan than she has now.
  • I am searching for an AWD minivan and can't seem to find much. Toyota makes one, but who else? I currently have an SUV and really miss the convience of my van - don't want to go the SUV route again. However, I REALLY need AWD or I will never be able to get up my driveway in the winter. Any help???
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,233
    Toyota is the only show in town for AWD. You could look for a used AWD Dodge from a few years back, but that's about it.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Toyota is the only show in town for AWD."

    Actually, the '06 Pontiac Montana and Buick Terraza are also available with AWD.
  • 535353535353 Posts: 10
    As is the Chevy Uplander and Saturn Relay.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    I stand corrected; I thought the Uplander wasn't available with AWD and for some reason I completely forgot the Saturn Relay.

    BTW - I think that it's absolutely criminal that Cadillac, Saab and GMC don't have their own versions of the GM corporate minivan to sell. What is GM thinking, leaving these dealers out in the cold.......

    ;)
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    We might just hold off a few months, or even up to a year and keep checking the available stock and work a deal when I see what we want at one of the local dealers. Otherwise, could go with the long wheel base version, but it will be my wife's call as I am not sure whe wants to drive a longer minivan than she has now.

    Employee pricing should be back shortly so I'd hold off until that at least. Also, a dealer should not have any problem finding you a van with ABS, even if they have to get it out of state. Get the color you want with the ABS!!!
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Though it is not strictly a minivan, the Ford Freestyle ()NOT to be confused with Freestar!) is also an option. Gets about minivan fuel mileage, but not quite as spacious inside, and it is available AWD. both rows of seats fold flat as well.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    BTW - I think that it's absolutely criminal that Cadillac, Saab and GMC don't have their own versions of the GM corporate minivan to sell. What is GM thinking, leaving these dealers out in the cold.......

    The Buick and Pontiac versions are history after 06 MY!!! Thank God!!! I feel bad for people who have purchased these orphans!! It's typical of domestics, fill a niche with anything that'll fit...think of all the games they play:

    1) Hey, lets just take a Holden, slap a Pontiac GTO badge on it and sell it!! People will buy it

    2) Hey! lets take this European Ford and call it Merkur!!
  • Thanks for the response on the AWD minivan - I am tempted to start over with my search. What I want most of all is a 7 passenger vehicle (front 2, middle 2, back 3). It can be a Van or an SUV (if one fits the layout), but must be AWD. I love the space a van gives me, but might settle for an SUV that can be configured for 7 - with a path between the middle seats to get to the back row. I can't deal with the kids putting up/down seat to get to the 3rd row (actually, they normally just hop over it which is worse).
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    will be even better when it's six months after the end of production, well into the next model year, and there's the Lambda-based Crossovers (minivan replacements?) sitting in the showrooms right next to these vans.

    Think of the rebates then! :)

    Nothing wrong with driving an orphan, right? (especially if you got an excellent deal on it)
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    August MT Comparo (0-60):

    1) Odyssey (8.2s)

    Star quality continues to shine through every aspect of this personable, polished, and capable transporter. Incredible driving pleasure.

    2) Sedona (8.0s)

    Excellent packagin, impressive performance, stunning value plus an outstanding warranty should win this versatile team player plenty of new fans.

    3) Quest (8.5s)

    Stylish and sporty outside, its new interior trimout replaces ultramodern edge with more conventional- and user-friendly, trappings. Pity about the prices.

    4) Grand Caravan (10.3s)

    Aging less than gracefully, its continuing popularity seems drvien as much by inertia as by innovation. The 2008 redesign can't arrive too soon.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Just read it...really slaughtered the DCX for showing its age...I don't know what I was expecting considering it came in 4th vs. the old Odyssey(1st last time and this time) and Quest(3rd both times). Kudos to Sedona for 2nd place!
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    If you're looking for 3 in the 3rd row, then the Freestyle is out, although you can put 3 in the 3rd row, and just leave the 1/3 part of the split 2nd row bench flipped and folded forward to allow easy access to the 3rd row. Or if you can live with a 6 seater, then you can go for the 2 captain chairs in the 2nd row.

    When the Saturn Outlook comes out, then you'll have exactly the configuration you want.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Hyundai/Kia execs should break out the champagne, lol. This is the first time in history that a Hyundai/Kia vehicle is the fastest in its class.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I really find it amusing that 0-60 times would rank very high on anyone's criteria for purchasing a minivan. Does anyone really buy a minivan to race from 0-60 in the minimum time?

    MOST (not all) minivan buyer's criteria is to be able to haul families and stuff with the utmost flexibility at a family affordable price, and that is exactly where the DC minivans shine. Yes they are not state of the art in all aspects, however their flexibility as a people/stuff hauler with the Stow and Go seating is much more important.

    One item no one mentions is that the 3.3L V-6 in the Caravan and SE Grand Caravan is I believe the only minivan on the market today that can burn E-85 fuel, which could become much more important in a few years, if the trends accelerate toward E-85. You will see increasing amounts of flex fuel vehicles in the near future, DC introduced that in 2002 for Caravan/Town & Country, though they have not marketed it much at all.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I don't think the 0-60 is nearly as important as the passing-acceleration test. The Grand Caravan took a second and a half longer to go from 45-65 MPH. While it's not dangerously slow, it is not confidence inspiring or up to the standard set by vehicles today. Doesn't speak well for the engine and transmission, since the DCX was lightest in the comparo by as much as 155 pounds to the much quicker Odyssey and Sedona. The Quest ran a third place 8.5 sec, right on the Odyssey's tail.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I just don't know how we lived through it when we drove for 12 years our 1985 Caravan with the 2.6L Mitsubishi four cylnder engine. This was the "more powerful" optional engine at the time!
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I don't think the 0-60 is nearly as important as the passing-acceleration test. The Grand Caravan took a second and a half longer to go from 45-65 MPH. While it's not dangerously slow, it is not confidence inspiring or up to the standard set by vehicles today.

    My Porche 911 Turbo has a much lower 45-60 MPH passing time, so I guess that doesn't speak well for other vehicles engines, trannys or safety.

    Point is, you should know your vehicles capabilities and drive accordingly. I doubt very few minivan owners run around passing vehicles with their families in tow. 1.5 seconds difference is not that critical unless you're driving unsafely to begin with...i.e..passing when there's oncoming traffic.

    BTW - I don't own a Porche 911 :)
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I just don't know how we lived through it when we drove for 12 years our 1985 Caravan with the 2.6L Mitsubishi four cylnder engine. This was the "more powerful" optional engine at the time!

    And what about all the poor souls driving any car that doesn't have an 8 second 45-60 passing time. They should just kill themselves now inside of being killed on a highway trying to merge or pass!!!
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    One item no one mentions is that the 3.3L V-6 in the Caravan and SE Grand Caravan is I believe the only minivan on the market today that can burn E-85 fuel, which could become much more important in a few years, if the trends accelerate toward E-85. You will see increasing amounts of flex fuel vehicles in the near future, DC introduced that in 2002 for Caravan/Town & Country, though they have not marketed it much at all.

    If you go to the Dodge Caravan website, they tout it there but you're right, they're not marketing it much. Wonder way?
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,233
    Performance was important to me. I live in a very hilly area with very short on-ramps. The difference between my mothers 3.8L GC and my Ody is quite substantial. 0-60 times themselves don't matter much, but it is a sign of potential performance in all areas. How the transmission shifts is also very important and likely the real problem for the Caravan. Her van tends to upshift easily and loves to stay in the higher gears even when pulling a hill. The Ody will NOT upshift while climbing a hill, even with light acceleration. Which means you don't have to wait for a 2-3 gear downshift to get back on the hammer if there's traffic barreling down.

    Same difference between my Tundra and my prior Chevy pickup. On paper they have similar perfomance numbers, but on the hills the Toyota is much quicker/responsive.

    My prior Tahoe would run on E-85. Personally, I don't see the market really opening up. Poor performance, poor fuel economy, cold-starting issues (per the manual, I never tried it in the cold). Yeah, it's the fuel of the future :confuse:
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