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2008 Minivans



  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Second, the seating. Offer 8-passenger seating, the stow 'n' go seats should sit higher and flatter, not as angled, and so should be the 3rd row - like ALL OTHER minivans does, they give you much higher seating position and much more cargo space behind it.

    I think the design of the stow-n-go seating is determined mostly by how they have to fit in the storage bins. I would think especially height. Not sure if that would also have to be the reason for the angle of the seat too.

    As for 8 passenger seating, not sure how that would work, unless they had a bench seat that went all the way across, which would mean redesigning the storage wells and redesigning one seat to fold over to get in the rear seats. Unless of course they did away with the storage bins. Not sure there is enough demand for eight passenger seating to do all that.

    Remember, Chrysler has to be competitive in their pricing and the imports already have over a $3,000. advantage on them in profit, per vehicle. Probably also why you don't get the bigger engine and six speed on all lines.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I remember Chrysler doing extensive market research for 8 passenger seating and AWD, and the market wasn't there for these items. I also heard the reason for angled seating is a safety issue and keeping passengers in their seats, and kids now slipping under belts?
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    That I doubt. I'm guessing they angle the seats simply because the seats are lower to the floor and without the angle, your knees would be up in the air with zero support.
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    Here is a list of the latest (last week) of the most (un)reliable minivans from the largest consumer magazine, the one that does not accept advertising. I did not include the scores because I do not want to violate the copyright laws. Only the Sienna and Odyssey had good scores (the Sienna was double that of the Odyssey) all the rest were sub par. The Chrysler models were the best of the worst.

    Make and model

    Toyota Sienna
    Honda Odyssey
    Chrysler Town & Country (2007)
    Dodge Grand Caravan (2007)
    Kia Sedona
    Nissan Quest
    Hyundai Entourage*
    Chevrolet Uplander (-146%)
  • carcom2carcom2 Posts: 212
    I always take those magazines "ratings" with a grain of salt. My grades with my vehicles have always been higher than their category grades. Maybe that is in part due to proper maintenance - just the usual stuff, nothing overboard.
    My low mileage- 103K- '97 Grand Caravan Sport still drives great. The interior materials, seat fabric, dash are all in excellent condition. Recently replaced a 5 yr old battery. The car has not been garaged for the last 3+ yrs. Still have original engine & transmission. So, based on my actual ownership of the GC, I think it's been a great vehicle, very reliable and am strongly considering a 2008 T&C Limited over the Sienna which I drove last week. Don't like the interior of the Ody dash, so wouldn't buy it although the seats are very nice.
    You think it's just because Dodge/Chrysler has sold more minivans, that you see many more of their older vans on the road still today VS the Ody or Sienna? I occasionally see the Previa and hardly ever an old Ody.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Reliability and quality are hard to measure. Even though you might have statistics that show one vehicle is better than another, you'll always have lots of conflicting stories.

    The problem is that the measurements are always comparisons versus individual statistics. So we hear that the Odyssey is more reliable that the Caravan but not how much more or what is the difference.

    It could be that with the Odyssey, 95% of them will go to 100,000 miles with less than $1000 worth of repairs, while with the Caravan, it's only 90%. And 80% of Odysseys and only 70% of Caravans will reach 100,000 miles with less than $100 worth of repairs. In both cases you can accurately state that the Odyssey is more reliable (if only we could get such statistics like this that meant something!!). But on the other hand, you'll have 70% of Caravan owners saying, "Hey, my Caravan has been trouble-free for the past 100,000 miles, so how can you say my van isn't reliable."

    So when you see the red circles and black circles, or some other generic Good, Fair, Excellent rating you have to ask yourself what's the real difference and what percent of all vehicles we're talking about.

    You may have 3 good vehicles all close in true reliability (which I define as dollars spent over miles driven) but in a ranking there has to be a number 1 and a number 3. If someone can show me stats broken down into $$/mile, then I'd be impressed but until then, I'd just use these ratings as a guide in addition to your own experience.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Is the 3rd row of the Caravan's seat as angled as shown in this link?? Hard to imagine being able to sit in that seat and reach the table, especially for kids in booster seats. It also looks tough to climb out of that seat.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I know when I got my "survey" from CR a few years back, I started filling it out, gave up halfway thru and tossed it. So my completely trouble free 2005 Caravan isn't accounted for. Also, I see how fair they are every time a new issue comes out - filled with photos of japanese cars on the cover, lead of articles etc... Ohh and lets not forget the controversy a few months back when CR tested full size pickups, and got caught!!!

    When I think of it, none of my cars ever rated highly with them, but they did with me. Thinking there's no bias at CR is like news anchors being non-partisan and being able to be fair...yeah right!!!!
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    When I think of it, none of my cars ever rated highly with them, but they did with me. Thinking there's no bias at CR is like news anchors being non-partisan and being able to be fair...yeah right!!!!

    If you think they're biased, tell me what is their motive?
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    CR is NOT RECOMMENDED for purchase due to biased writing unsupported by their own research. :lemon:
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I'm not saying CR is, I'm saying their staff, writers are, and that's reflected in even the tiniest choosing pics for their covers or article leads etc... ALL people are bias, no matter what they may claim or spout - that's life.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    But why would their biases all lean towards Honda or Toyota, and is their bias only on cars?? They research a lot of different products. In fact if there would be a motive for any biases, then the bias should be to the Town & Country and Caravan, because there are more of them on the road then Odyssey's or Sienna's, so if they're trying to sell their magazine to the most number of folks so they can get the most profit for CR, then I'd say any bias in a minivan review would show Dodge/Chrysler in a positive light.

    And even if you do feel CR is biased, readers can at least read the reviews and test results and do their own ranking based on what's important to them.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    You get large biases in other things, just look how imports are so prominent in CA, whereas domestics are prominent in MI? Entire newspapers have a bias based on owner's whims or a manager. I've been getting CR as a gift every xmas for 6 years, and I look at the cover and very rarely see a domestic car pictured, even if they're recommended. Just recently CR did put a domestic car on cover..I think a Saturn CUV? along with imports. The domestic's pic was the smallest one. Then when you flip to the actual section in CR...more pics of imports in the lead up to individual vehicles. You'd have to ask CR why this is the case. I actually think its subliminal. While youre at it, ask them why they had a bias report on the Toyota Tundra vs domestic trucks a few months back...they caught crap for that in the media.

    I've always said CR is good for facts and figures, things that can't be subjective or spun i.e...0-60 times, MPG, braking, measured volumes and dimensions. When you get into "feelings" or "appearances", that when the bias comes into play. "Brake feel was better on vehicle A vs B".....I guess that would depend on what you're used to driving. I get out of my Company car - a Taurus, then drive my minivan, then jump in my old Corvair...they all feel different.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    That's what I meant by using the CR reviews and just making up your own mind. But when they say the Odyssey has the best driving dynamics and you read the same thing in other reviews and you test drive them yourself and find it to be accurate, how can you say that CR is biased when they say that the Odyssey drives the best?

    I think the problem is that a lot of car reviews base their final scores on how a car actually drives, more than style, or extra features. So while some folks like the stowNgo, swivelNgo, 2 video screens, etc, most car reviews put those sort of things secondary to the main components (driving, seating comfort, space, etc).

    On the one hand that makes me think that the domestics should try to get back to the basics, but on the other hand it's the extras and innovations that make domestics stand out.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    When I read how noisy one is, or how another vehicle has a softer ride etc...that's subjective. When I test drove Minivans back to back a few years ago, I was hard pressed to find any vastly superior in ride/handling. So did I find CR accurate?

    Do I find CR accurate when I haven't had a single issue with my minivan, friends and family with minivans, some for decades being repeat DCX buyers have no issues, then I look at all red circles?
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Do I find CR accurate when I haven't had a single issue with my minivan, friends and family with minivans, some for decades being repeat DCX buyers have no issues, then I look at all red circles?

    I think you meant black circles mean good!

    True...but what all of those black circles really indicates is that in comparison to vehicles with red circles, those with black circles will have more problems. So maybe 70% of the DCX will be without major problems while 80% of Odysseys trouble free, so the DCX owners you know are in the 70%. But that still doesn't change the comparison facts based on the CR data.

    You'll always find with statistics cases that don't fit in. With gas prices they'll say that the average price per gallon jumped 3 cents over the past week and make a big deal about it, while the stations around where I live jump 20cents in one day!

    And the data isn't evenly spread across the the US evenly, so while stats may show, for example, that 30% of the DCX will have mechanical problems, there won't necessarily be 3 out of the 10 folks you know driving DCX with problems. Your group could be 100% trouble-free. But there could be another group of 10 folks living in another state where 70% of their DCXs have problems.

    The point is not to necessarily infer that statistics will match your specific situation because they're based on thousands of data points.
  • Ok... lotsa info here:
    A reporter seeks to talk with owners and serious shoppers of any of the following 2008 models, and who are also parents:
    2008 Dodge Caravan
    2008 Toyota Sienna
    2008 Honda Odyssey
    2008 Mazda5

    If you are interested in commenting on your experience, please reply to no later than Thursday, November 15, 2007 and include your city and state of residence as well as the age of your child/ren.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • So I've been lurking the minivan forums for weeks now. Gone on a few test drives. And one question still remains. How do you get people into the back seat when there are car seats installed in the second row? Yes, I know you can push the seats together to make a bench, but then you lose the console. Is this the only way to do it? Can a person squeeze behind the 2nd row seat without taking out the carseat?

    7 passenger Sienna- 2nd Row seat flips forward- definitely impossible with a carseat installed

    Odyssey- I cant remember exactly, but I know it doesn't flip forward like the Sienna.

    T&C- ???

    If anyone has knowledge about these I would greatly appreciate it. It would save me another trip back to the dealerships dragging along my 6 month old and 4 year old.
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    My son's 2008 Sienna: We climb through the middle, between the second row seats. Also, there is enough seat travel that we can slide the seats forward and squeeze through that opening. It is a pain but not un-do able. My son did not want to slide the seats together to keep the peace in the second row. The children involved are three and three months. It is a bit more tricky in my 2006 Odyssey with the middle row "magic seat in place. I keep the seat n place because it is far easier than storing it. Moving up a second row seat usually works. I am 6'2" and have done it in both vans.
  • carcom2carcom2 Posts: 212
    Not sure how much your car seats overlap the actual seat, but you could probably still have room to walk through between the 2 2nd row seats. And with Swivel 'n Go you could swivel the seats to face the door to make it easy to put the car seats in. When you swivel the seat, it makes room to maneuver behind the seat to get to the 3rd row.
This discussion has been closed.