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Chevy Uplander/Pontiac Montana SV6/Saturn Relay/Buick Terraza

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Comments

  • irgirg Posts: 197
    I know a few families as well that always buy GM, every couple of years or so. Actually buying ANY car every 1-2 years is a pretty bad investment because of depreciation. GM takes more of a hit than most in that first 1-2 years, and not to belabor the point, but Toyota and Honda do hold their value better. After 5 years it evens out somewhat, and once you get past 100k miles, most vehicles depreciate an awful lot. I also have friends who buy a Toyota once every 15 years (so not very often!) and basically drive them til there's nothing left. I can't do this (because I love new cars) but financially this makes the most sense in terms of saving money.

    If your family is totally biased against other foreign brands, it might be wise not to rock the boat! But if your husband doesn't care, I would look at Honda and Toyota too, and also Dodge. My wife didn't care for the Dodge interiors at all, very bland and sort of dismal. The Buick interior was quite nice. But again, the Toyota and Honda are another leap forward. If you test drive the Sienna and/or Odyssey and don't find them superior, then stick with what you know, in this case GM. I think it is fun though, to check out them all out. Although by far the most confusing, the Sienna gives you the most flexibility in terms of both configuring and options available and packages. It is the only 8 seat van (technically Odyseey EX can comes with an extra seat, but it isn't a true seat an adult would want for long), it is one of only 2 awd vans, it can be had for a low of about $22k, or almost $40k. It can come with leather or not, heated seats, power seats, (soon memory for '06)sunroof (not on GM), dvd, rear parking assist, navigation systems (not on GM), dual power doors, power hatch (a great feature that we have found - not on GM), 1 or 6 disc JBL sound system that is quite good, 2 glove compartments, about a million cupholders, and just about everything you can think of. Side curtain airbags are available but not standard, which I prefer in some ways. GM doesn't offer this for '05, Odyssey makes in mandatory on all models. I like choice I guess. Odyssey has all of these features too, except awd. GM has Onstar free for 1 year, no one else has. I liked the idea, but realized where we live, not that crucial. Overall I would rather have it than not, but it wasn't a deal breaker by any means. Generations have lived without Onstar, so can we. We could probably live without power doors too, but the kids think they're cool ;)

    GM took a different approach to their vans, that about 2-3 years ago probably seemed like a good idea. Make a van look like an SUV. I still think it looks like a van. But their marketing ploy might work for some. The problem is the price of gas, and backlash of SUVs, especially the big ones. This morning on the Today show, sales of Suburbans and Tahoes slipped 22% this quarter, and that was in Texas, the king of large SUVs. So now people are starting to realize that mpg does affect their wallets, and looking for more efficient vehicles. Minivans because of their overall size and weight will never be economy vehicles but they are better than SUVs. My Explorer gets about 14 mpg around town, just awful. GM did make these new vans safer, probably with the nose redesign, they strengthened the front end some, but that has also added to their weight. The have not kept pace with the interior size of the Sienna, Odyssey or Grand Varavan, and their luggage and cargo capacity lags behind them too. I wished they had addressed these needs more than trying to make them look like a SUV, but that's just me.

    So my advice would be to try the others and see what you think. I think the Odyssey has won just about every award out there this year, and the Sienna won many the year before. Both are leaders in this segment now. Dodge has some innovative features, but needs some serious updating in interiors and mechanicals. GM has never really been competitive with their vans, no matter what people have been saying. They just haven't. Chrysler led the way for many years, and then Honda went ahead in a big way, and Sienna has finally claimed its own territory. Nissan has missed the mark too, and Mazda is only a fringe player at best. Ford and GM never invested much in their vans, and it still shows. They are better that they used to be for sure, just not what their competition is at now. The ones to watch for in the near future, IMO is Hyundai. They (and/or Kia) are coming out with an '06 van that could in many ways on paper, be the equal if not superior to anything else out there.

    While this may mean bad news for GM or Ford, overall the fierce competition for customers means the market tightens, the profits are less, and the products always improving. Good news for customers overall, no matter what brand you buy.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    On some of your points..

    Narrow is good for us, the Sienna would be too wide for our garage which another advantage to many others also. It's not like the GM vans are starved for space or something. Makes downtown parking easier also. Wider is not better in my eyes.

    Nav systems are just expensive toys for most people. I could care less if GM offered them. I have never seen a minivan with a NAV system and all our friends dive them (including Toyotas).

    You are right, GM and Ford didn't invest much in vans. They never have. The market has been shrinking and it's not as profitable as trucks and SUVs. That said, things are changing with gas prices on the rise. GM is suppose to have an all new van in 2-3 years so perhaps it will have a top line van then? Till then, I think for the money, the Uplander and it's cousins offer a lot of value for the buck and are worthy of consideration. If you want a short wheel base, they are one of only 3 choices which gives them a leg up also.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    I think the minivan market is growing now - like you said since gas prices have gone up so much - and most people believe they aren't going to go back down again, not much anyway. The days of large SUV sales is appearing to be whining down. If you tow, there isn't much else you can do, but for daily driving, vans seems to be a better choice. I'm glad to hear GM is going to be making a new van in 2-3 years. Just in time for my next purchase. What they need to do, is what Toyota and Honda have been doing for quite a while now - redesign each vehicle every 4-5 years. Keep making it better every time, but not necessarily going back to the drawing board. The Odyssey is an example of this - they redesigned the top rated van this year. They redo their civics and accords every 4 years. It makes sense to me. That oldage in business - if you aren't moving forwards, you're going backwards. IMO, this is the main reason why Toyota has gained so much market share, and the Ford and GM keep losing.

    This is happening with pickups too. The newer F-150 was redesigned a lot sooner this past time, than the model before it. It used to be you could go 8-10 years or more without changing much. Not anymore, especially when Nissan comes out with a new truck that in many automotive circles took 1st prize, or Honda's first stab at a new mid-size pickup, and earn's C&D #1 ranking - while the Canyon in last place. It took GM how many years to redesign the Cavalier - like 15. And this new Cobalt is a pretty good little car. I may even consider it in the next year if it turns out not to have too many faults. It shows GM can do it, if and when they get their act together. Cadillac has become a more of a force in the higher end market. But then there's Saab, and GM doesn't seem to know what to do with them. I think I read that Saab has lost money for GM every year since coming into the fold, same with Jaguar and Ford.

    I get your point about size and vans. I like the wider stance of the Sienna, but I would not want it any bigger. I guess I was surprised that since the GM is 5" narrower, it would weigh less, but it is a bit longer. I could actually see a manufacture coming out with vans that are a bit smaller in every dimension, somewhere between what they are now, and the new upcoming Mazda 5 idea (3 rows of seats for 6 on a smaller car platform). WIth the GM and Dodge shorter wheelbase models, the main difference is that they have less cargo room in the back, I believe, otherwise they are the same size inside. I don't know if I would want a smaller van, but it might appeal to some, and offer more preium features. I could see Volvo, Mercedes and B&W do something like this. Different than their SUV offereings. Lighter, so they get better gas mileage and better performance, yet still have some utility.

    As for the NAVS, I use one when I travel for work (Hertz) which is great. I wish I could install that system. Otherwise I haven't invested in a NAV either, and won't until we do more long distance traveling as a family. A few years away from that. But I am glad it is offered, and by not offering it, that is just one more thing that could drive a potential customer away from GM to Honda or whoever.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    Just read the following at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7899248/ Good news for GM and Toyota for initial quality at least. I had a meeting with a guy at GM a year ago who is the quality control enigneer at their Arlington Texas facility where they make the large SUVs, including the only plant making the Escalades, and they base a lot of what they do to improve their products, on this JD Power survey, so it is an important factor for manufacturers and customers. I also see the Sienna got best minivan in intial quality. Didn't see Odyssey on this list.
  • strstr Posts: 64
    irg,

    I think my family would be ok with a foreign car but they just think American is the best choice. Who really knows? I have read about bad experiences with every car available it just depends on the car itself (I guess.) I have read some horror stories about the Sienna's tires, lag in the transmittion, squeaks and rattles and so on and since the SV6 is new there really aren't many reviews on it but it's just a matter of time until someone gets one that has a squeak or a bad tire or faulty line or something, I mean they are man made machines I expect some minor (fixable) imperfections! Anyway, my dad is really the only one who is set on American everyone else has basically neutral feelings.
    I know trading all the time is a bad investment (and bad habit) that is why I want to get a car that suits our needs and stick with it for a while (I too love new cars though) but my parents travel six months out of the year and put high miles on their cars quickly so they trade often. We have traded about every two years because we keep needing to change features to better suit our needs but I think a van is what we have really been needing. We are not having any other children permanently (if you know what I mean, tubes and tied is all I'm going to say) so we will only have four of us to haul around although we are somewhat tall people my husband is 6'3 and I am 5'7 and our children are tall for their age so we need lots of leg room and these vans are really roomy, I do love that feature.
    I'm going to check out a Sienna this weekend and give it a drive. I'll let you know how that turns out.
    By the way, I love your name Ian. My dad is a Scot/Irish man and I had actually considered the name Ian for my son when I was pregnant but it sounded wrong with our last name it kind of rhymed with the E sound in our last name so I went with Canaan out of the Bible. Are you any scottish or Irish? or is all your Irish in your name!
    Thanks for all the input in the last letter.
  • strstr Posts: 64
    I forgot to mention that in the picture of the SV6 on the brochure I saw a rear wiper. I am going to drive behind those vans tomorrow on my friends lot and make sure they don't have rear wipers. I know I looked at the loaded silver colored one in detail because I really liked it and it did not have a wiper and I was disappointed but at least I know some of them must. I just wonder if it isn't standard because somewhere on one of these forums someone lists the changes for 2006 and it says rear wiper added.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    Hey Summer,
    I have Irish ancestry and Welsh too, with a little bit of Scot thrown in for good measure. I don't really think about it that much though, is not as if I go around saying I'm Irish American.

    My sister married a true Irishman, and their home is in Dublin (great city by the way), although they have been living in Beligium for the last couple of years for his job (Irish government).

    You're right, you can find something wrong with just about any car and car company. GM has been improving too. They still have more recalls than I think they should - especially on their full size trucks which by now shouldn't be happening. Any first year vehicle/redesign is more likely too to have more problems. That's another reason why I like the Sienna, it's the 2nd year it's been out now. Whereas the Odyssey and GM vans are first year designs.

    And the more anyone sells of any vehicle, the more complaints you are to find. The Caravan probably leads this list because they have sold more mini vans over the years than anyone. JD Power's recent survey did pick the Sienna as the best van in intial quality. Honorary mention to Dodge - and this is also not a new design. I read somewhere too, that the Nissan Quest has gotten better reviews too. They had a lot of problems when they first came out, the first 1-2 years, but seem to have a better handle on it now. Might also be worth checking out.

    As for man made machines - I think most vehicles are built by robots now! Well a lot of is anyway. I got a very neat tour of a GM facility in Texas not too long ago, and got to watch their large SUVs being assembled and put together. It is very interesting to watch a bunch of sub assembly parts coming together to make an entire vehicle in the course of a short period of time.

    Good luck with the Sienna test drive. I bought mine from a discount dealer in Maryland that was terrific to deal with. I was leary at first doing it over the internet and by phone, but when I signed the papers, everything was in order as promised. Much better than my local dealer experiences. You shouldn't be paying more than $500-600 over invoice on a Sienna, maybe less. I'll be curious to see how you liked this van. I really liked the Odyssey too, but I couldn't make the monthly payments to match the Sienna deal. Best of luck with your search and have fun!
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    discussions guys and gals. Thought I'd throw my 2 cents in. I waited for their new vans with anticipation and actually really intented to buy one. But now I feel very frustrated with GM. The van is ugly (who cares about the SUV look), small (narrow), seating configuration that has no flexibility (no folding seat), no side airbags, underpowered, noisy, LESS fuel efficient than the Venture, ELIMINATED 8 passenger seating...And worst of all PRICY, which makes it imposible to be a good value. And who cares about the DVD player--I'm buying a VAN!

    This is what GM and Ford should do: make everything standard on their vans except for the DVD and navigation and sell them for $21K. Think about it, why would anyone fork over so much money for a barebone GM van when for the same money he can get a basic Quest that has curtain airbags, 4-wheel disk ABS, traction control, cruise control, rear AC standard? Not to mention a vastly superior engine.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    You're even harsher than I am about the GM vans! I definitely agree on two points though, the seating configuration is not nearly as flexible as the others and they are pricey when you opt for either the LS or LT models with a few of the packages thrown in. The Odyseey and Sienna aren't cheap either, but at least you feel like you're getting more for your money - whether you are or not is debatable.

    Most people on this board who have gotten deals on these vans have used additional incentives like a GM Visa card rewards, and other customer incentives. All I received was a $500 incentive from GM - not enough for me to consider these vans. I think the GM models come standard with more features than you're suggesting, well at least the LS models. I've yet to see a base model on the lots. But if GM thinks they can sell many of the Uplanders in the $24-$29k range (some top $30k too) they will be very disappointed, I predict. I like your $21k van idea. Less profits, but they would definitely sell more.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    I wasn't in a good mood last night when I wrote it. Thanks to the union and medical insurance cost, it might not be financially feasible for GM and Ford to sell their vans for $21K. Too bad if that's the case. In any rate they need to do SOMETHING to stay competitive.

    The caravan has unique and very useful features (Stow-n-go, rear split seating);

    The Quest has standard safety features (curtain airbags, ABS, 4-wheel disk brakes, traction control, etc) and a futuristic styling which both my wife and I love;

    The Odyssey is just about perfect, although expensive;

    The Sienna has 8 passenger seating and close to perfect but pricy if you add the safety features;

    The Ford has 1st rate crash tests and curtain airbags.

    And as for the GM vans? There's simple NOTHING attractive to us about them. Nothing stands out. And they want me to pay $24k for it? I'd love to support the domestic automakers but our money doesn't grow on trees and we watch every dollar we spend. We simply can't incur that much debt for such a terrible value.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    My family just purchased a '05 T&C Touring and so far am very happy with it. We traded in my wife's '02 Tahoe and I wanted to consider the new Uplander. But, I couldn't (wife too) get past the front end of this Van. It is just plain ugly. I sat in one and the interior was pretty good. But, when I stepped out and looked at the exterior I was put off. Also (IMHO), Chrysler/Dodge just know how to build a good van. Our Tahoe treated us well over the years, but we couldn't "stay in the family" because the styling just didn't sit well with us.

    The price we got on our new van was incredible. It was easily $15K less than a comparably equipped Sienna.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Quest is not recommended IMO as it's quality has been very spotty. Our neighbor has one and regrets buying it due to the rattles and bugs (his windshield wipers still don't work properly). Personally I don't like the styling and the interior is weird but that's subjective.

    The Chrysler vans are fine for the most part, my only beef is the lack of 4 wheel discs. I think they are a great buy right now also, lots of deals.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    Well the front end styling does seem to be a bit polarizing. It has helped one thing though, and that is GM finally has a good rated crash test, to keep up with the other vans out there.

    As for yout T&C Country, what options did you get on it to make it $15k cheaper than the Sienna? I guess it depends where you live too, and/or what dealer you work with. I found the Grand Caravan that I was looking at slightly cheaper than the Sienna XLE I ended up with (both with the same options essentially) but the financing on the Toyota was better for my overall payments. However if the difference had been $15k, then yeah I would have gone for the T&C too. I think DC is offering a lot of incentives right now because their market share is being eroded away - it is such a tough market for manufactures at the moment. The Japanese vans now are a lot more competitive than they were just 5 years ago. I think the DC vans need an update in their intereriors and engine, but overall they are still very competitive, and offer attractive prices if you know how to get them.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    Did you see this article? http://cnn.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?action=cpt&title=CNN.com+-+Report%3A+GM+shift- s+brand+strategy%2C+will+limit+portfolio+-+May+19%2C+2005&expire=-1&urlID=14285443&fb=Y&ur- l=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F2005%2FAUTOS%2F05%2F19%2Fgm_brands%2Findex.html%3Fsection%3Dc- nn_latest&partnerID=2000

    It is a bit hard to read, but interesting nonetheless. I will be surprised if Buick and/or Pontiac are still around by 2010. And I have never understood why GM Trucks are separate from Chevy trucks. Make a commercial line if need be, but why offer the same Sierra 1500 and the Silverado 1500. Same truck, slightly different styling, more cost to produce for GM. I would like to see GM make Chevy their main brand, with Cadillac as their luxury brand, and Saturn as their budget line ala Scion for Toyota. Not sure what you do with Buick, Pontiac and Saab.
  • carguy1234carguy1234 Posts: 233
    ...once the new Kia/Hyundai van arrives this fall. It will undercut the pricing of the Honda and Toyota vans, and all indications are that the quality and material level will be at least as good if not better than these vans. Powertrain will be on par with those, as will milage, safety, and standard features. Plus, add in a 10 year standard warranty, and this thing could be a big problem for both the domestic and the foreign vans.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    I agree 100%. It is going to be very interesting. And the new Hyundai Sonata looks very promising too. I've seen the recent adds on TV for their $1 billion investment in Alabama for building all of these new vehicles. I think they are going to be major players, and soon. I think Honda has to be worried more so than Toyota. Toyota is a lot bigger company with a lot more dealerships. But really, I see Hyundai taking market share a little bit from everyone.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    My wife loves the Grand Caravan after having it as a rental for 2 weeks. The dual power doors, hatch, stow-n-go are tough to beat! For these great conveniences, I'd be willing to overlook its antique interior, terrible 2nd row headroom (on the stow-n-go models) and rough craftsmanship. And the price still has to significantly undercut the imports.

    I was and am still trying to see if we can all those nice features in a caravan for under $21K. So far it's not happening :( In that case, we'll most likely go for the Quest now that its quality has drastically improved.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Well, we got ALL the following for $23,735 + tax, tag & title"

    Leather Package
    Rear DVD Entertainment
    3 rows of Side airbags
    adjustable pedals
    6 disc in-dash cd/dvd
    removable center storage
    3 rows auto climate control

    Also, I purchased an extended warranty which covers 7yr/85K miles.

    As far as the interiors of the T&C's......I see nothing wrong with them. Are they as well put together as the japanese makes, probably not. But for the value and options I got, the T&C was a perfect choice.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Which Chrysler Minivan lacks 4 wheel disc brakes? My Touring model comes with discs (ABS) all around and even the base Chrysler comes with discs with ABS. As a matter of fact, the "lowliest" Dodge comes with all disc brakes.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I guess everyone has their own opinion on these vans, but I think the interior of the T&C is actually pretty good. I was impressed by the fit and finish on this Chrysler product. It doesn't compare to my '04 Passat, but, I was pleasantly surprised the first time I set foot in one of thse vehicles!!!
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Thanks Fish8. I remember the dealer told you the price was a mistake but they honored it anyway, right? I was hoping to find such a mistake too ;) But so far no luck. I would have deleted (like that's possible) the leather and DVD and bought it for $21K.

    BTW, doesn't the Chrysler van come with 7 year/70K waranty already? Is yours on top of that? If yes, you're covered for life essentially; if not, I hope you didn't pay too much for those 15K extra miles of coverage.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Well, the 7/70 only covers the powertrain(Transmission, engine, etc) not bumper to bumper. The extended I got covers powertrain, as well as all non maintenance items: AC, Radio, seats, power doors/liftgate, brake system (not pads or rotors), electrical system, etc.....

    Yes, the finance guy said it was a mistake, but I am not sure if he was just trying to say I got a really good deal. So, I am not sure if he was lying or not. Either way, I got a tremendous deal.

    BTW: you can delete the leather and DVD..they are options that can be deleted!! It may be difficult to find one on a dealers lot, because it seems that most dealers have pretty optioned up vans in stock!!
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    Well, that is a lot of van for the money! However, doubtful most others can find that kind of deal. I had a local dealer that was selling the Grand Caravan SXT (no options) for $21,000 which I thought was good. However, even he admitted that once you financed through Chrysler at almost 8%, you were better off eliminating the incentives (so add in another $2500) and finance for 0% for up to 60 months plus tax, etc. which is still a pretty good deal. This was at or below invoice although it had no other options like you described.

    However, I was also concerned with not only the bottom line, but how much I could afford/month, and in the end, the Sienna XLE was best for me, my goal was to not go much over $350 for a payment, and with nothin down, I pay $359/mo tax included in this deal. I think this Dodge would have been about $415 and a cloth Honda Odyssey was about $440. I liked all 3, but the combination of features and price made the Sienna the best choice for me, which is what this board is all about - finding the best deals to match one's preferences.
  • strstr Posts: 64
    Hey irg,

    I am looking for the Sienna XLE and want all of the same features (or close to) that my Envoy has (heated seats, memory mirrors and seats, steering wheel controls, my Envoy has an awesome Bose stereo system what does Sienna have?, remote engine start) I really want the onstar system we have used it to unlock the doors and when we were lost and it is wonderful, this is a big deal to me and I am having to think hard about it because it is a nice security device, lowers insurance too. I do not want to go much over $350.00 per month for a payment and don't want to pay anything down. Where did you find such a deal? Do you mind telling me the year of your van and which package you have? I was looking at a 2005 model and my friend who owns a large lot says he can get one with about $21,000.00 miles on it but the payments would be close to $400.00. Not going to pay that much for a car. Our Envoy is a 2002 we bought it with 16,000 miles in 2003 and we pay $380.00 per month I want to lower that when we buy a van.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 976
    It looks like a little of everything is being discussed here except the Chevy Uplander, Pontiac Montana SV6, Saturn Relay and Buic Terraza, and that makes things difficult and confusing for new members who want to talk about these vehicles. Please take a look at the discussions available in the Vans & Minivans Forum if you'd like to discuss other minivans and issues. Thanks.

    ClaireS

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

  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    I have never seen a Chrysler van with rear discs though I'm not surprised the T&C has them. If they all have them now, must be new for 2005.
  • strstr Posts: 64
    Ian,

    Never mind I found the answer to this question in Toyota Sienna: Prices paid and buying experiences.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    Summer,
    I would email you, but I don't think your email address is public. Anyway, a few comments on the Uplander/SV6 vans and a comparison to the Sienna. I think with all of the features you want, it will be hard to get your payments at $350/month unless you lease, like I did. The Uplander and Sienna both have heated seats (if you get leather) like your Envoy, depending on the package with the Sienna. Same deal with Uplander too. The Sienna XLE has a great 10 speaker JBL sound system. I'm not sure what the Uplander offers, but it is decent. Both models have steering wheel controls, although I believe with the Uplander, you have to get the upper LT model. Onstar is not available on anything but GM. But the Sienna has a DVD navigation system that the GM vans don't offer. Of all the years I've owned cars, I have only once locked my keys in the car (and it was a GM vehicle) so for me, the Onstar thing wouldn't get much use. For safety it is nice for peace of mind. Don't forget though to budget in the $17 a month service fee after the first year, and that is the basic package. It does add to your bottom line.

    My XLE is a basic van, I don't have leather, or any other packages, although the XLE already comes pretty loaded to me. I get dual side power doors, and a power liftgate that is really handy, especially for my wife who is shorter than me. The XLE also comes with dual power seats that are some of the most comfortable seats I have been in. Fog lights, alloys wheels, there is even a little extra mirror that allows you to spy on all of the kids in the back. Very handy feature to have. You don't get remote start on the Sienna, but you can add it if you want later. No one has memory seats/mirrors yet, but I hear the Sienna will in '06. I know the GM vans don't offer this feature yet. I would think the Buick might, but not for '05.

    I got my van for $359/month with $0 down because the Sienna has a high residual, and the XLE models have a migher residual than the LE models too. If I got a loaded Sienna, payments would have been close to $400 probably. Same with the GM vans.

    You can go to any of the GM websites and use their payment calculator. Change the price to something close to invoice, and it will give you what it will cost to buy, lease (they don't do leases in NY anymore) and a smartbuy, which is similar to leasing, only you pay the whole amount in taxes like if you are buying, another reason why GM wasn't so attractive to me. You can also select how long you want to buy or lease, # of months that is, and miles. Toyota's calculator is similar, only it also asks you to select your credit worthiness (make sure you know this first). And then plug in the numbers. I noticed when I used my XLE price, which was $26,614, the lease price was very good - about $318 without taxes, and that is when I looked at the van in Fitzmall in Maryland, and realized I wasn't going to get a better deal elsewhere.

    But if you get special savings from GM, like customer loyalty $ (I was surprised I didn't get much incentive here, like $500 that was it), credit card rebates, etc. you might find you can't do better than the GM vans. If you lease, or smartbuy, you don't have to worry about depreciation as much, since you can just turn it back it. If you buy outright, you will want to keep it for 4-6 years or more to prevent losing so much from depreciation. Whereas with Honda or Toyota, you can turn around in 2-3 years and resell it for not much loss. I looked at used Toyota and Honda vans with around 16-24k miles on them, about 1-3 years old, and they were still selling used for around $21-26k. Seemed silly when I got mine for about that new, but people were buying them all the time used at these prices (a friend of mine did).

    You won't find a used Chevy Venture that is 1-2 years old with 16k miles on it for $23,000, more likely $12-15k used. The Dodge Grand Caravan with sto-n go used (2005 models) with about 16k miles on them sell for about $19k here, a little better for sure.

    If you are going to be buying and not leasing, it will be hard to find the van you want with all of the features new and keep your payments to around $350, doesn't matter what brand you go with. If you can find one slightly used (harder with the GM vans, but maybe a demo model) that would be the way to go for you.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Do you work for Toyota? Just wondering as you seem determined to sell one.

    ;-)
  • strstr Posts: 64
    Ian,
    Check your email for my address.

    Summer
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