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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign

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  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    I read that article today, curious as to why they didn't include the Toyota Sienna.

    MT also made note of the second row Stow n Go seating in the DGC ,"Dodge obviously prioritized the fit-in-the-floorwell parameteers of Stow n Go over actual human comfort" OUCH!

    Quite surprising they spoke so highly of the Sedona though.
    Maybe it was because the Sedona scorched the Ody in the 0-60 time? ;)
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    I currently in the process of purchasing a Grand Caravan with Stow and Go, and the second row seats seem quite comfortable to me, not all that different from the fixed captains chairs in our present Caravan. They are not like living room couches to be sure, but are very comfortable. The "lack of comfort" issue has been greatly overblown, mostly by those defending the competition who do not have second row Stow and Go at the present.
  • cpsdarrencpsdarren Posts: 265
    On carsdirect.com you can get the base model for just over 21k now, probably less if you haggle at a dealer. I've never seen the new Sedona in person, but it looks nice and also has decent performance, great crash test results and important safety features standard. Seems like a great bargain with a great warranty. If only they had an 8-seater and released it a few months earlier when I was shopping...

    It will be interesting to see the Consumer Reports review, supposedly an extra in the September issue. Sounds like the latest Motor Trend is worth a trip and a few bucks to buy it. Does jrock's ranking indicate they liked the Odyssey best overall? Incidentally, here is the last comparo: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/van/112_0505_2005_mininvan_comparison/specs_- price.html
  • cpsdarrencpsdarren Posts: 265
    I agree, at least for how I drive. I never even get above 3k RPMs from a stop. I doubt I've even pushed 0-60 in 10 seconds, even on freeway merges. On the other hand, I have had a few instances where pedal-to-the-floor passing power came in handy. The Consumer Reports and Motor Trend passing tests are much more useful than the 0-xxx or quarter mile times in my opinion, at least for a minivan. How much of a difference is important is another question. A couple tenths of a second is probably meaningless and within the margin of error anyway, but a half or full second might be significant if you are in a jam.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I haven't seen this issue of MT yet, hopefully it'll be in mail soon so I can take on vacation.

    It's always good to be the new kid on the block though. DCX's design/engine date back to 2001 and needs updating....we'll see the next gen at the North American Auto Show in 6 months....260hp/275 ft/lb of torque, 6 speed with overdrive, power stow n go seats, cup holders with heaters and coolers and a diaper changing table.....
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "...they're not marketing it much. Wonder way?"

    Maybe because:

    a) E85 if extremely hard to find in most markets;
    b) In most markets that DO have E85, it is more expensive than 'regular' gasoline;
    c) Your gas mileage will be much worse.

    According to this data:

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/byfueltype.htm

    The EPA ratings on Caravan with the 3.3l V6 is 19/26. On E85 fuel, those ratings drop to 13/17.

    Wonder no more.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Yes, but having the ability to use E85, should conventional gas prices keep going up, could be an advantage a few years down the road.

    Ethanol plants are sprouting like dandelions here in the Midwest. It is only a matter of time before E85 supplies become abundant, possibly nationwide. Current demand is mostly being driven for 10% replacement Ethanol in gas as a replacment for MBTE.

    As long as conventional gas prices stays at current prices or goes up more, even with lower efficiency, E-85 ethanol.

    And if E85 does not come to pass, the 3.3 DC V-6 will still drink regular gas fairly efficiently.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    There's really not much special about getting an engine to run on E85. In fact, most would do it regardless. There are some issues with o-rings and other rubber parts (that Ethanol will destroy) but I'm not sure there's really a problem on todays fuel systems. So it really comes down to the engine computer being able to compensate for the way Ethanol detonates. The vehicles approved for E-85 have programming that can adjust when the system detects Ethanol fuel.

    My guess why other manufacturers aren't jumping on the wagon (or other engine configurations for DC) is because of the cost of certifying another engine for emissions/fuel economy. Costs a lot and they don't get a dime more for the E85 engines.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Current demand is mostly being driven for 10% replacement Ethanol in gas as a replacment for MBTE. "

    As well as future demand as far as I can tell. The U.S. currently consumes around 140 Billion gallons of gas per year. We currently produce 4.4 Billion gallons of ethanol per year. To get JUST TO THE MANDATED 10% level for E10, we need to produce about 14 Billion gallons of ethanol (roughly 3x what we currently produce).

    I think ethanol demand will outstrip supply for quite some time, just to meet the E10 requirements. Which tells me that it will be a LONG time before E85 (domestically produced E85 anyway) is economically viable as a replacement for gasoline.

    Or we could just eliminate the high tariffs on sugar-cane based ethanol from Brazil in which case E85 would be economically viable much sooner.... ;)
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    I think you may be underestimating the rate at which ethanol production is ramping up in the US, however with the 3.3L V-6 in the new Grand Caravan I am purchasing, I will be covered either way.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "I think you may be underestimating the rate at which ethanol production is ramping up in the US..."

    Perhaps.

    But consider, according to a November 2005 report by the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (I presume it is favorable to the Ag Industry), domestic ethanol production will reach 7.5 Billion gallons per year by 2012.

    http://www.agmrc.org/NR/rdonlyres/86C4971C-D8CB-49E8-BE0B-D1E532513226/0/ethanol- california.pdf

    If you can find something indicating much more anticipated production than this, I'd love to see it.

    We currently consume 140 Billion gallons of gas per year. Assuming a modest 1% increase in consumption per year (it has averaged around 1.5% increase over the last 5 years), gasoline consumption by 2012 will be closer to 148 billion gallons/year.

    So even at 7.5B gallons/year production capacity, we STILL won't have NEARLY enough domestic ethanol just to meet a E10 mandate. In fact, the 7.5B gallons would only be around 5% of the market. Since the vast majority of that production would go to meeting various E10 mandates, that leaves relatively little ethanol left for E85.

    For some reason, I just don't see vast quantities of E85 hitting the market.

    "...however with the 3.3L V-6 in the new Grand Caravan I am purchasing, I will be covered either way."

    Yes, you are. Let us know the next time you use E85 and what kind of mileage you're getting.....
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Yes, you are. Let us know the next time you use E85 and what kind of mileage you're getting.....

    Let's suppose a crazy Iranian blows up the oil fields and stops all oil from flowing from the Middle East? We'll all be scrambling to buy E85 vehicles or just be sitting home (getting a big fat ZERO MPG).

    It wouldn't take much of a market adjustment like that to ramp well beyond 7.5B/year. The invisible hand of the marketplace works very well!!!!

    Here's a str8 forward look at E85:

    Ethanol - Hype or fuel solution?


    Keep in mind also - there's 6 million E85 vehicles already on the market!! How many Hybrids? And how much to replace all those batteries?
  • harmony1harmony1 Posts: 2
    hello, i am currently considering trading my 2004 kia sedona for 2006 sedona. i know they made some changes with the engine, from cast iron to aluminum. can someone please tell me how this will affect safety and durability. is the heavier engine safer in a crash? also i read somewhere that aluminum is less forgiving of certain fluid problems etc. i would greatly appreciate any thoughts/facts/knowledge about any of this. thank you
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I agree, at least for how I drive. I never even get above 3k RPMs from a stop. I doubt I've even pushed 0-60 in 10 seconds, even on freeway merges. On the other hand, I have had a few instances where pedal-to-the-floor passing power came in handy. The Consumer Reports and Motor Trend passing tests are much more useful than the 0-xxx or quarter mile times in my opinion, at least for a minivan. How much of a difference is important is another question. A couple tenths of a second is probably meaningless and within the margin of error anyway, but a half or full second might be significant if you are in a jam.

    My point exactly, which unfortunately, just gets mocked by others who won't pay attention to the point I'm trying to make. it's not a hod-rod contest. In my new Accord I've never put the pedal on the floor from a redlight. Why? There's no point, as it accomplishes nothing that can't be done with 50% or 30% throttle. In fact, I go often for a week or two without seeing 3,500 RPM in my car, and especially not off the line.

    On the freeway however, I've floored it several times...to merge safely, to get out of an eighteen-wheeler's way (and a state trooper, too)...and a few other times with similar instances.

    If it was just a matter of hot-rodding, noone would be driving vans (and I wouldn't be driving a 4-cylinder automatic transmission sedan). The point is, on those places where merging from a 45 MPH curved on-ramp to a freeway where traffic is going 75-85 MPH (common on I-459 beltway in Birmingham) a 1.5 seconds to accelerate 20 MPH can be everything, espeicially when the potential "holes" that are there for squeezing into are moving fast...and your options are "gun it and fall in line" or slam on the brakes and wait hopelessly at the end of the ramp to where you have to go zero-flow of traffic in 50 feet. I'll take the passing power, especially when there's no fuel penalty for it.

    Trust me, if the power wasn't a decisive issue to some people, why would Chrysler be getting together a high(er)-performance 4.0 liter V-6 for its next van to ensure its competitiveness.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Trust me, if the power wasn't a decisive issue to some people, why would Chrysler be getting together a high(er)-performance 4.0 liter V-6 for its next van to ensure its competitiveness.

    I believe it's called "keeping up with competition" and progress, not "OMG we need to improve our 1.5 second passing deficit and improve merging". They're also coming out with a Diesel version, which I doubt is because of power. The current 3.8 V6 is a good engine, lots of torque, decent HP, low emissions...trouble is, it's mated to an ancient 4 spd auto. The 6 spd auto with overdrive coming out is more critical than the 4.0 V6. I doubt the engineers and marketing folks at Honda will be in awe of DCX's slight performance advantage (if there is any) when their next gen hit. They'll be more concerned about features and packaging - what most people buy a minivan for. As MT pointed out, the DCX vans are getting long in the tooth, Stow N Go was just an effective stopgap til 08MY. By any measure, the return on investment for retooling their chasis has been a resounding success.

    I can't remember the last time I passed someone on a two lane road. Usually when someone's passing like that, or weaving in and out of traffic to get a car length ahead, they end up pulling into the same destination as me a whole 1 second ahead of me, while putting everyone else at risk. Right now I have a Company provided Taurus (160 hp V6), my DCX 3.8 GC and a 2001 BMW 3 series....never a problem merging with i75 traffic in Detroit with any of these. Ususally merging is more a factor of other people also merging with you on the same entrance ramp etc... If power was that decisive a factor, you'd have tons of merging accidents every morning during rush hour.
  • lightfootfllightfootfl Posts: 442
    While I realize split seconds makes a difference in a lot of things, I wonder if we know the actual time it takes for any actions on our own part, in acceleration, stopping, turning, etc. Try timing yourself.. you are not able to do most things in partial seconds, full seconds, or even several seconds. How long does it take to turn a wheel? Step on the brake, or accelerator? To try bickering over tenths of seconds, is more than ridiculous. IMO whether you want it or not. Yes, it is better to have shorter time intervals, but trying to guess if it is a second or less, ??? come on, get real.

    van
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    While I realize split seconds makes a difference in a lot of things, I wonder if we know the actual time it takes for any actions on our own part, in acceleration, stopping, turning, etc

    There are soo many factors....what about an old geezer driving a Corvette? or a younger driver in a Honda FIT ..... Passing time is just one part of the equation.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Y'all enjoy the forum. At age 18, I expected better from the likely more aged forum participants, but I was wrong. I make points, they get laughed at or made fun of, or at the very least mocked, so I'm outta here. I can have real conversations elsewhere, instead of just being laughed off the page.

    Have a nice day.

    thegrad
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    At age 18,

    That explains it all.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    MT also made note of the second row Stow n Go seating in the DGC ,"Dodge obviously prioritized the fit-in-the-floorwell parameteers of Stow n Go over actual human comfort" OUCH!

    Gotta love MT...just got the issue with S&G comment "niffty idea in ways some minivan owners - and more than a few passengers-may find unacceptable" Apparently, the real people who purchase minivans don't agree with this as "Stown N Go" has been a major success for DCX, being credited with increase sales and helping DCX hold it's own against an onslaught of new minivans.

    I like how they also don't comment on actual purchase price, just MSRP. Very few DCX buyers pay anywhere close to MSRP.

    Last comment....DCX 19.9 MPG with ancient 4 spd auto and pushrod V6? verses 20.0 MPG for Ody with all it's high tech goodies??? Then Nissan and Kia with "Premium Unleaded"??? OUCH!!!!
  • cpsdarrencpsdarren Posts: 265
    "I like how they also don't comment on actual purchase price, just MSRP. Very few DCX buyers pay anywhere close to MSRP."

    Granted, Siennas and Odysseys were selling under invoice in my area when the 2006s were released last fall. Now you see reports of $1000 or more under invoice with incentives. The DCX may still be less expensive for a similarly equipped van, but anyone paying anywhere near MSRP on any minivan right now is getting robbed.

    "Last comment....DCX 19.9 MPG with ancient 4 spd auto and pushrod V6? verses 20.0 MPG for Ody with all it's high tech goodies??? "

    And, presumably, with its improved performance and higher curb weight? At the very least, perhaps this does show that you CAN have it all.

    In the 2005 MT comparo, the Odyssey Touring got 19.8 compared to 18.4 for the GC SXT. Looks like the Odyssey is essentially the same in both tests but the GC improved by 1.5 mpg. I don't have the new issue- can you look in the link I posted and see if there are any obvious differences that might account for this?
  • cpsdarrencpsdarren Posts: 265
    "At age 18, I expected better from the likely more aged forum participants, but I was wrong. I make points, they get laughed at or made fun of, or at the very least mocked, so I'm outta here."

    Your only real mistake was correlating increased age to increased intelligence, wisdom and behavior. One has only to look at our political system to disprove this concept. IMO, let 'em laugh. It's human nature to mock what you don't want to believe, even if it is ultimately proven to be true. You know, people used to be put to death if they didn't believe the earth was flat and at the center of the universe. Popular opinion isn't always the right opinion.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    And, presumably, with its improved performance and higher curb weight? At the very least, perhaps this does show that you CAN have it all.

    That's progress. Wait til 6 or 7 speeds are the norm, or turbo diesels etc......
  • cpsdarrencpsdarren Posts: 265
    I'd give up some performance in a minivan for the fuel economy of a diesel. Better yet, I'd rather have performance and significantly better fuel economy with a hybrid electric mated to a small diesel.

    I just picked up the new MT at the grocery store. In a quick skim, there isn't much difference from the 2005 and 2006 SXT they tested. Perhaps a slightly different trim level since the weight went up 80 pounds. Otherwise, all the performance tests were pretty consistent, so nothing to explain the improved fuel economy. Perhaps their fuel economy testing isn't consistent from one roundup to the next due to temperatures, routes, etc.

    The 2006 Odyssey they tested is an EX-L, while the 2005 was the Touring. The results were also similar, though the EX-L seems to have very slight (possibly meaningless) acceleration and handling advantages, maybe in part from saving almost 80 pounds.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    It does seem that, with many rag comparos, they will pick out one vehicle to be that articles punching bag. Write about all the negatives and very few positives. If you think about it, all the great books and movies always had that, good guy/bad guy , element to them...makes for more interesting reading.

    But, I could sit on concrete seats and it wouldn't bother me.

    I only sat in the stow n go seat for a few minutes during a car show...felt fine to me...much better than concrete at least. ;)
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    I will take more horsepower and better gas mileage anyday (which is exactly what the Odyssey offers vs the DCX vans).

    Laugh all you want, but I did not just buy the Odyssey for its handling and performance over the DCX vans. I also bought it for the safety features (namely stability control), resale value, gas mileage, and seat comfort. Nearly every professional review I have read commented that the second row seating in the DCX vans are not as comfortable as the competition. I found that to be true in my test drive as well.
  • i was a minivan expert because i used to work at the cleaners and i was a delivery boy for 4 years. used to drive every domestic models, quest, and previa.

    and by the way, go test drive entourage. it's a sleeper.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "It wouldn't take much of a market adjustment like that to ramp well beyond 7.5B/year. The invisible hand of the marketplace works very well!!!!"

    Really? I guess that explains all the gasoline refineries that have been built lately...... ;)
  • cpsdarrencpsdarren Posts: 265
    Corn is certainly renewable but the supply isn't unlimited. One drought could presumably make prices skyrocket, right? Also, if a significant part of the crop goes to making E85, that means higher prices for other corn products and major users of corn like beef.

    It's a great supplement, but I don't see it ever coming close to replacing gasoline at reasonable prices. Still, seems like a no brainer to have the option of gasoline or E85, especially if there is minimal cost involved for compatibility. I'd pay the same or more to use E85. I'd rather support domestic farmers and agribusiness than foreign monarchs and global oil giants.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168

    Really? I guess that explains all the gasoline refineries that have been built lately......


    Like the article said...E85 facilities are sprouting up all over the Midwest!!! Just wait! In a few years, you'll be paying a fortune for a dozen ears of corn for a cookout ;)
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