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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign

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Comments

  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    Of course I am giving up some 0-60 performance, but honestly, who actually floors their minivan to get maximum available power very often?

    Me. That's one major reason I bought the Ody. Short steep hwy on-ramps used daily. The Ody was the first minivan I've driven that could hit merging speeds safely on my daily trip up the ramp. Either way, performance is performance and I'll take it any way I can get it. The day of slow minivans has moved on. I'm sure DC will be right there on the next redesign.

    As for mpg, the only change I'm aware of to the newer Odys is slightly revised transmission internals. I'm guessing they re-ran the EPA test because of this and scored lower for whatever reason. The VCM on the upper models obvsiously plays on the EPA's low-speed hwy test. I normally hit EPA hwy numbers on my vehicles even with a heavy foot. You've got to run 55mph to come close to the EPA highway figure on my Ody.
  • M....The Ody was the first minivan I've driven that could hit merging speeds safely on my daily trip up the ramp....

    Then you did not test-drive the Quest.....
  • M....The Ody was the first minivan I've driven that could hit merging speeds safely on my daily trip up the ramp....

    Then you did not test-drive the Quest.....

    Different ramp, different abilites. The Odyssey was quicker than the Quest all the way back to the 2002 models, per Car and Driver (2004 Odyssey was fastest in a test of the current versions of Freestar, Quest, DCX, and Sienna, to 60 MPH.

    The Quest was not far behind, however, the Odyssey was still the quickest (now Sedona is as quick as the Odyssey!)
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    Then you did not test-drive the Quest.....

    You are correct, I've not driven one. Several reasons it didn't even make the "test-drive" cut, but that's neither here nor there.
  • Until now, it never would've made my list strictly because of that awkward instrument cluster/interior. Now it is much improved!

    2005 model:image

    Current 2007 model:image
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Until now, it never would've made my list strictly because of that awkward instrument cluster/interior. Now it is much improved!

    2005 model:

    Current 2007 model:


    WOW!!! what an awesome interior!!!! BEAUTIFUL!!!! I'm not saying this because my company supplies a lot of the components to Nissan :)
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    I was too impressed with the very attractive instrument panel of the 2006 Sienna LE that also had very attractive front door panels, the most cargo space behind the 60/40 split fold into the floor 3rd row seating and the superior performance of a 2004 Sienna in a test drive (compared to a 2006 Odyssey that I test drove).
    I overlooked the uncomfortable 2nd row seats that are not nearly as well designed as those in the Odyssey. I also overlooked the lack of separate controls for Bass, Treble, Balance, Fade, and 6 speaker stereo which are nice features of the DC minivans. :sick:
    Months later, the lack of separately controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger that were on my less expensive 2002 T&C LX make it unwise to keep the Sienna.
    We are looking at purchasing a 2007 Odyssey EX to get the nice HVAC feature, the most comfortable seats for 8 people, and the most legroom for all 8. A close runner-up is the GC SXT which will seat only 7 but will have the all important separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger and the very nice overhead console with Trip Computer, Compass, Outside Temperature, etc. for much less money than the Ody. :shades:
  • Funny that you and many others always seem to post the orange dashboard of earlier versions of Quest. Ugly color, I agree with you BUT that's not the only color offered. We have a Quest 05 SE, autumn red outside and light grey inside. It just looks awesome! Beat hand-down the red color of Odyssey and Sienna IMO.
    Another point is that some complain about the "awkwardness" of the earlier version Quest dasboard. All the Quest owners I could talk to, on the streets, online, etc., told me it takes them about ~5 minutes to get used to it. Were they lying to me? Hardly IMO since I offered them no money incentive or pointed a gun to them! Awkwardness? Says who? Do we have some ability you don't :confuse: Anyway now that Nissan "redesigned" its Quest dashboard, I guess it won't be anymore a major "deal-breaker" for minivan shoppers, right?!!! :)
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Excellent information. Too many people think that any vehicle that does not have the same dashboard or stereo controls of the Honda-Toyota variety is unacceptable. :sick:
    Just read CR complaints about the "confusing" stereo controls on the Dodge Grand Caravan when compared to their perfectly designed Odyssey and Sienna. :shades:
  • Until now, it never would've made my list strictly because of that awkward instrument cluster/interior. Now it is much improved!

    Yes, a central dash pod is fine for Minis or Scions, but not minivans, Nissan learned - to the tune of about 40,000 units a year.
  • The Odyssey was quicker than the Quest all the way back to the 2002 models, per Car and Driver (2004 Odyssey was fastest in a test of the current versions of Freestar, Quest, DCX, and Sienna, to 60 MPH.

    No doubt Honda press cars are faster than Nissan press cars.
    But moot point, Nissan has to get people into the driver's seat and the market proved too conservative for the non-minivan minivan.....

    If you are in the market for a quick, good handling large minivan, test drive a Quest.
  • Funny that you and many others always seem to post the orange dashboard of earlier versions of Quest. Ugly color, I agree with you BUT that's not the only color offered. We have a Quest 05 SE, autumn red outside and light grey inside. It just looks awesome!

    Google "Nissan Quest Dashboard" and you'll know why that picture gets posted. That pic is EVERYWHERE on the net, and

    I actually wasn't referring to the color (I'm not a fan of it, but do think it's kinda desinger "chic" like the two-tone Mercury Milan interior).
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    And the leather in the 2007 EX-L did not look or feel as luxurious as the 2006 Ody that I sat in a month ago.
    Does the Touring have nicer leather than the EX-L? (Does not really matter as my wife and I prefer cloth).

    Sadly, there is NO minivan that has ALL the best features. The Odyssey has the BEST seats with the best mechanisms to adjust and move the seats and best leg room for all seats...but the Ody does not have the compass and trip computer that we had on our lower priced 02 T&C LX and our 06 Sienna LE.
    The Sienna has THE MOST cargo space behind the 3rd row split fold into the floor seats and the air intake for the rear heater/AC fan is located higher on the right rear so that cargo can be piled higher without blocking the intake.
    The DC minivans have the least cargo space behind the 3rd row seats but have more total cargo space with the space in the floor between the 2nd row and front seats. The separately controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger can be had in almost any DC minivan with MSRP about $ 22,000 but is not available on any Sienna with an MSRP under $ 32,000 but is available on all Odysseys with an MSRP of $ 27,290 or higher.
    Ody and Sienna have side curtain airbags standard on all models but they are about $ 600 option for DC minivans.
    A power liftgate is either standard or a $ 400 option on DC minivans but can be had only on THE MOST expensive Ody Touring and not available on any Sienna according to my 2006 Sienna brochure.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Power liftgate SHOULD be standard on all XLE Siennas (I know it was standard equipment in 2005 and 2006). I also thought it was available with an optional power door package on the LE? Or maybe that was JUST a power slider....can't remember...
  • In Feb 07 my lease will be up on my current vehicle and I'm just curious if any one out there knows if there will be and left overs in February..if so, do you think it will be wise to lease an 06 or should I go for the 07. I am thinking of an EX-L..instead of getting the one with DVD I would like to purchase of those dual screen dvds that attaches to the head rest. (my current vehicle's dvd stopped working and I didn't have my car for 3 days plus it will knock off about 1500.00.)..Whoever is reading this, I'd appreciate your input, I am serious about leasing one once my lease is up on my vehicle. Milly
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    There won't be any '06 models leftover in February. There probably won't be many left this time next month. Honda is very methodic with their build schedules to avoid big rebates to move inventory. If you're leasing, you'd be better off with an '07 anyway because the residuals adjust monthly. I've seen leftover models with residuals so low the rebates didn't cover the difference.

    I've had aftermarket DVD's in prior vehicles, and it's tough to beat the Honda system. Very well integrated with the sound system, plus it will be covered under factory warranty. I had a lot of problems with prior aftermarkets, and most are only warranteed for a year, and even then good luck getting them fixed. Well worth the cash IMHO and it won't make a huge difference on the lease payment.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    The Mercury Monterey has stopped production already and the Ford Freestar will end production in early 2007.

    I don't know if this has been posted before but thought I'd post it anyways while I still remembered it... :)
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    What is just amazing to me is that there are people willing to pay $30K, $35K, or even approaching nearly $40K for a minivan of any species. I just can't get my mind around putting up that kind of money for a rolling box, now matter how luxurious or how many bells and whistles it has.

    Upper teens to low twenties is more my range, then I could spend the extra $10-$15K (plus the interest that money might earn) on some other luxury if I wanted to, and still would have a very comfortable minivan.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I think it depends on your individual situation. What if the Honda dealer is 1/2 mile away and has a great reputation? What if you're retired and want a nice cushy ride and refinement? What if you have 6 screaming brats and need 8 passenger seating? What if you earn $300,000/year and need a $40,000 beater for hauling the soccer team? What if..........

    I personally needed something to pull an RV, haul dogs and basically abuse :) I also got $10k off sticker with a friend's employee discount....it was an easy choice to go with DCX and I love it!!
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    Then that's what YOU should do. Some folks like to spend their money on luxury cars/suvs/rolling boxes. I know folks that would NEVER blow $15K on any vehicle when a $2K beater is more than adequate. To each his own....if you want it and can afford...what makes the difference?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    That's exactly what I did recently.

    I didn't say that everyone should do as I do, it's a free country, you can do what you want with your money or with your borrowed money or with your lease payments.

    Just makes me wonder how there could be all that much more value in a luxury minivan costing $10K-$15K more than the Grand Caravan SE I just bought.
  • Well, you might be surprised the price people will pay for things like:

    50-70 more horsepower
    More Comfortable, heated, leather seating
    More engine refinement
    Sunroof
    Lighted steering wheel controls for stereo/NAV/Cruise Control
    8-passenger seating (vs. 7)
    Vehicle Stability Assist (otherwise known as ESC or VSC)
    Standard 6 Airbags
    Power Doors
    Remote Roll-Down Windows
    A newer design
    CD Changer
    Automatic Temperature Control w/3 zones
    Active Noise Cancellation
    Power Adjustable Pedals
    Homelink Remote System
    Nicer Alloy Wheels
    Better handling (at expense of firmer ride - its a personal preference)
    Different Styling (also a personal preference, but something people DO pay more for in some cases)

    I would guess that your Caravan SE has few of these features, unless yours is heavily optioned.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    I don't think "value" has much to do with it. If I wanted value I would have bought used. I enjoy nicer vehicles/features and will pay for them. In fact, I don't think these are really all that well equipped and really aren't "luxury" vans. They're still lacking true luxury car features (and the price tags that go with them). I don't think if someone's having trouble paying for something like this they should be piling on the options....but that's not really my case. In fact, my Ody at $30K was cheaper than the vehicle it replaced.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    The reason why I have found myself looking at minivans with stickers hitting $40,000 is probably because to get seven passenger seating in a luxury SUV would cost far more and/or require significant trade offs in space, fuel economy, and features.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Although I think the Grand Caravan SE is an outstanding bargain, for just a little bit more a person can get a Grand Caravan SXT and have power sliding doors both sides, the larger 3.8L engine, cast wheels, and other "goodies".
    I have priced GC SE, GC SXT, T&C LX and T&C Touring and for me, the MOST Value is the GC SXT with the T&C Touring 2nd best.
    I feel the Odyssey EX (cloth) would be THE BEST MINIVAN for my wife and I but the GC SXT would have more of the features we want for thousands $$$$$ less.
    The 2006 Sienna LE is a BIG disappointment after reading the glowing reports about OHC engines and sarcastic comments about inferior DC transmissions in CR, Edmunds, MT, and other places. The 06 Sienna LE is NOT as quiet at highway speeds, the radio is not as good, it does not have the separately controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger that was on my less expensive T&C LX, and the sun reflects off the shiny surfaces of the Sienna dash.
    The Sienna has a much more comfortable driver's seat, has more power, gets better gas mileage, and has more than twice the cargo space behind the 3rd row than my 02 T&C LX had. I would probably love my Sienna if I had not owned that T&C LX.
    IF I were to get T-boned in a wreck, I may change my feelings since the Sienna (and Odyssey) have side air curtains standard equipment in every vehicle...while they are an expensive option not included on most DC minivans.
  • You didn't mention:

    Cost of ownership
    Resale value

    Also, not sure what the reliability differences are -- but assume Honda is better. Less hassle.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Also, not sure what the reliability differences are -- but assume Honda is better. Less hassle. I don't think that's a given, based on the Honda problems and solutions on Edmunds. For a Minivan that sells half as many units, it easily has twice the problems.
  • For a Minivan that sells half as many units, it easily has twice the problems.

    Oh, so you must have the average problem count for each of the hundreds of thousands of Odysseys and millions of Dodge/Chrysler minivans. Mind sharing those statistics?

    As we ALL know (and has been pointed out by the host on different boards - it is, after all, common sense) not every post is a reported problem. Even I have posted on the Odyssey boards, giving solutions and opinions.

    Just a sampling from the Odyssey "Problems" Board

    Post #793 - Shopper asking about used pricing. Not a problem.

    Post #794 - Owner wrecked their van, asking about body shop repairs. Not a problem.

    Post #803 - Owner doesn't like the folding tray table, prefers a console. Is this a "problem" with the car? Nope, its how it was made. It would be like me saying "I don't like the Caravan's steering wheel design. Not a problem with the vehicle.

    Post #805 - A Response to Post #803, explaining the merits of a table vs. console in a van. Not a problem.

    These aren't ALL the posts from 793-811 (the most current) that ARE NOT problems, but only a few. Most are responses to other people, some aren't even related to the board!

    Also, not everyone who posts on a particular board currently OWNS that particular vehicle. I'm on a minivan board, know what my family has in the garage? Three Accord Sedans, a 96, an 05, and my new 06.

    We had a 2000 Odyssey for 5 1/2 years, and all of its problems could be summed up in two words...

    Squeaky seat.

    Do I think that it is "Given" that Hondas are more reliable than Dodge's? Well, that depends on what data you look at, but Consumer Reports (which is pretty widely read best I can tell) says that the Odyssey is better than the Chrysler products (Consumer Reports stated that they could not recommend the DCX vans because its reliability had once again dropped below average). Is the Odyssey perfect though? Certainly not.

    We have had 2 Chryslers, both of which we had for less than a year, mainly because between the two of them, they spent 7 months in a repair shop (transmissions, suspension rebuilds, rattles galore). My father's last Chrysler was a Sebring Convertible; he hated it so badly after a year that he sold it, and all he took such a hit in resale that he could only go to a Civic EX, but he was oh-so-happy to do so just to dump the Chrysler. The reason he got rid of the Sebring? It had over 35,000 miles on it and the warranty would expire at 36k. He couldn't afford to do all the work once the warranty expired.

    Hopefully Chrysler has come a long LONG LONG way in reliability, because they were at the bottom of the pool back when we had them.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Of course, my GC SE does not have most of those items, though it does have Stow and Go second row seating (not available on any other brand) and an three zone, though not automatic, climate control system. As far as a few of the other items, like active noise cancellation, Honda only added that to their top of the line unit that had the system to run on three cylinders as it was too noisy without it. Obviously my Caravan does not need that feature, it is a very silent vehicle as is, with an admittedly old tech engine and drive train that has been refined to amazing smoothness and quietness.

    My only point was it still amazes me that there is a market for vans loaded with all these bells an whistles driving the cost to $30-$40K.

    Like I stated before, buy what you want, just remember you are buying a depreciating asset and your $30-40K vehicle will quickly turn into a vehicle valued at very little, even if it is a Honda or Toyota. On the other hand, I will never lose more than $20K on my GC SE, and the $5K-10K money I saved and invested will likely appreciate in value.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "On the other hand, I will never lose more than $20K on my GC SE, and the $5K-10K money I saved and invested will likely appreciate in value."

    Yep.

    Of course, you could have bought a 2-year old GC coming off lease in which you could be saying you'd never lose more than $14k. If the question was purely economics, did it really make sense to buy new?

    Sure, you might say you want the peace of mind of buying new, or the features on a new GC (stow and go) that may not have been available on a used GC.

    Doesn't that same logic apply to a person looking at a Honda/Toyota? Maybe they want the "peace of mind" of one of those vehicles? Maybe they want some of the features available only on a Honda/Toyota?

    Why should it amaze you at the market for vans running $30k-$40k? The world isn't made up of 5 billion badgerfans running around (or even rorrs, thank goodness). Just because YOU think that's too much for a minivan is irrelevant. Are you also amazed at the market for $35-$45k SUV's with less cargo/passenger room, and higer operating costs than vans? I'm not. I realize that most folks have different priorties than me; and that for those folks, a $45k SUV (or a $20k DGC) makes PERFECT sense.

    Personally, I simply would NOT buy a van without certain safety features - but I'm not going to sit here and act 'amazed' at the number of folks who rather save a few $k and/or opt for convenience items (stow and go) and place their family at a higher than necessary risk.
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