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2008 Minivans



  • elieelie Posts: 15
    <<What's missing? Honestly. :confuse: >>

    Whats missing is the option to get leather seats or even a friggin sunroof with the 8-seater. Whats up with that? Honda also gives you less options with 8 seats, but at least I can get leather and a sunroof. That's why I'm going with Honda(I hope you're reading this, Toyota)!
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    #1. Sienna Limited

    #2. Honda EX-L

    #3. T&C Limited

    #4. ALL The Rest :sick:
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I had a close up look at the new 08 Chrysler yesterday at Chrysler HQ. The exterior styling is nice, boxy....nothing exceptional, but it is a box after all. The interior looked about as cheap as my current one, no improvements, upgraded plastic or graining. Just more of the same cheapness.

    I think I'm going over to GM for an Enclave or Acadia next....superior towing, similar mpg, a little less space, but great interior. I truly think the sleeping giant of GM is waking up....their interiors are world class.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    When I looked at the GM Enclave and Acadia, they looked like they have LESS interior space than the short T&C or the plain Caravan as have ALL GM minivans since the Astro/Safari were dropped.

    Of course, the Astro/Safari were the ONLY minivans ever made that could tow anything of consequence without damaging the weak FWD sedan drive trains. :sick:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well, noone else offers 8 leather seats either.

    Honda's is really just 7+1, and even saying +1 is being generous.

    Also, I read that Honda uses vinyl for the 3rd row while Toyota uses leather.

    Moonroof? You can go aftermarket for that. Find the local ASC certified install shop. I've done that 3 times in the past, on an '86 Sprint, a '98 Forester, and a 2002 Legacy. No problems on any of those.

    In fact, you can go aftermarket for the leather, too. In fact the grade used by Katskins is far superior to any of the seats I sampled on test drives with leather (Honda, Kia).

    The Hyundai Veracruz, though, has the best leather I think I've ever sample. Jaw dropping. Extremely comfy. Too bad the stuff in the vans I tested weren't even close. :sick:

    That's why we went with cloth.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    I would prefer riding on the +1 seat in the Odyssey than either 2nd row seat in my 2006 Sienna. :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Honestly? That says more about you than it does about the Sienna.

    Why the bias against Toyota, may I ask? :confuse:
  • If you're used to wearing thong underwear, sitting on the +1 seat (or the 2008 Highlander's similar setup) will suit you just fine!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Too much information! :D

    I don't want to picture Hans (did I spell that correctly) in a thong. :surprise:
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    No bias, just stating that the 2nd row seats of the Sienna's are NOT comfortable for either me or my daughter. :sick: Neither is the front passenger seat of my 2006 Sienna LE while the front passenger seat of the Sienna CE is comfortable.

    My 06 Sienna LE driver's seat is VERY comfortable as is any of the 3 seating positions on the 3rd row seat. I am also impressed with the LARGE cargo area behind the 3rd row seat of my Sienna and the OUTSTANDING fuel economy ( which is slightly better than the fuel economy of my former 2002 T&C LX with a lower powered 3.3L V6).

    However, I miss the T&C separately controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger, its better trip computer, and more comfortable 2nd row seats.

    There is NO such thing as THE BEST minivan since the Sienna, T&C/GC, and the Odyssey each have distinct advantages. :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Agreed (for once). We chose the best van for our needs.

    Seat comfort is so subjective, plus we are all shaped differently.

    The funny thing is that seat comfort was one of the reasons we chose the Sienna.

    Let's just say it's important to try them out and bring the family along to get their opinions, too.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    We agree on more than we disagree.

    While I was considering trading off my 2006 Sienna LE on either an 07 GC SXT or T&C Touring, I took our daughter and her 2 children to check the seat comfort. Our 12 year old grandson told me he does NOT like the 3rd row seat of the GC and T&C because there is no toe room under the 2nd row seats.

    We got the 06 Sienna because the GC and T&C have cheap looking, cheap feeling door panels and we do not like the 3rd row seats. The Sienna also has a MUCH more comfortable driver's seat than the GC and T&C. Sadly, I did NOT notice the glare caused by the shiny surfaces surrounding the tachometer, speedometer, gas gauge, and engine temperature gauge nor did I notice that glare can be caused by the shiny, sloping surface on both sides of the center part of the dash. I keep a dark towel on the dash to cover these items during the time of day that the sun angle causes the glare. ;)

    BTW, our 2006 Sienna got an overall average 28.0 MPG on our most recent long round trip when cruise was set 73 - 74 MPH most of the time using 87 octane gasoline. :blush:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The dash trim is interchangeable, in fact they sell the wood trim kit if you prefer that look.

    Mine is shiny silver, I guess they try to imitate aluminum. My friend has an older one that is flat black, and that's probably best to avoid glare.

    His dash is also different, not luminescent but also lacking that silver circle that you find bothersome. It hasn't bothered me, though, and even my friend said he liked the new dash look better.

    We got 27.6 mpg going to Six Flags yesterday. :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Did you get a chance to check out the mock-up interior on the auto show circuit?

    While (another) great idea from Chrysler, I did think the leg room was a bit tight when you do face the seats. You have to zig zag legs for 4 to fit, never mind more than 4.

    The side windows will go down, though, which is nice.
  • jeffkahnjeffkahn Posts: 7
    I recently moved to PA from CA so driving in the snow is still unfamiliar to me. My question is do you really need AWD with a minivan? I would think the weight of the minivan would be enough even without AWD or is there a noticable difference?

    Appreciate any thoughts....

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Only if you get lots of snow. Stability control is probably fine for most people.

    I can think of one other time I'd want it - pulling a boat up a wet ramp. At that angle, the weight all shifts to the rear axle, so an unloaded front axle combined with wet tires is going to create lots of wheelspin.

    If you've ever seen a FWD vehicle do this, it ain't pretty. I saw a Prelude pull a twin jet ski trailer and it was plain ugly.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    There is AWD and then there is AWD....

    And there is PA and then there is PA....

    Suburban areas, FARM country, will be worse.

    I don't know of any minivan with a truly functional AWD system when it comes to icy and packed snow roadbed conditions. And were I you I would avoid any supposed AWD derived initially from a FWD base vehicle.

    I would suggest a minivan with VSC/TC/etc, and spend some time learning to drive well/cautously, on the slippery stuff. Whatever you do don't go out in that stuff unprepared.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You'd be surprised, Toyota uses a full-time system on the Sienna.

    For the RAV4 they moved to a cheaper part-time system, and that may be the fate of a future Sienna, but for now it actually uses a pretty decent system.

    This is why both city and highway mileage suffer a bit, it's always engaged, so that's the trade-off.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Yes, always engaged. ONE wheel drive with an open center differential. Uses braking to stop wheelspin slip and since that would otherwise often result in brake pad and/or rotor overheating and later warpage the engine is quickly dethrottled.

    Now, try to drive out of that mud hole or up that slippery ice covered slope...

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't believe it's open.

    I think it has a viscous coupling that acts as a center diff, but that's not the same as having a wide open center diff.

    So by default, at least 2 wheels are sent power, one from each axle. And that's assuming the pavement is slippery.

    Info is scarce but here's a discussion on the subject:

    Sounds like the AWD works but people wish they could turn off VSC (you can with FWD models).

    Now, try to drive out of that mud hole or up that slippery ice covered slope...

    Ummm, it's a minivan, not a rock crawler. You need to adjust your expectations.

    For the mud, you'd need some serious clearance, and it's not fair to expect that from a van. Driving in to a mud pit is driver error, period.

    For the ice, it would all come down to the tires. I think I'd want studded snow tires for that. Remember the Audi that climbed a ski ramp? You guessed it, they used studs.
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