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2008 Minivans

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    To show you guys what I'm talking about, here is my price tracking for the 2007 Sienna, which I did for about 5 months.

    These were the no-haggle prices on the very same model 2007 Sienna LE package 3:

    January, right at the launch: $26,698 (no rebate, BAD timing, be patient!)
    Feb. 12, $500 rebate appears, prices drops to $26,337.
    Feb. 23, price drops again, to $26,137
    March 6, price increases to $26,689 (I'm depressed, thinking I missed my chance)
    April 5, $25,439, must be a bigger rebate, yes! (I decide to check more often)
    April 20, same price
    April 30, same price
    May 2, no change
    May 10, no change
    May 14, no change

    I bought my van on May 22 for $25,247.

    Note my price tracking strategy ended up saving me almost $1500 with simple patience and good timing.

    If you did the same price tracking with the 2007 Odyssey, you would have seen that prices didn't drop until later, because Honda introduced the 2008s later in the year. That means the timing is NOW if you are shopping for a 2007.

    I'll say it again, timing is everything.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    That means the timing is NOW if you are shopping for a 2007.

    Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda.......... Now is not the time to buy a Chrysler, first model year of a new design, no incentives etc... I have the itch bad, but i'm holding off for 6 months to a year. Toyota is due for redesign for 2010 (i was working on module for it recently), Honda?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I meant 2007 Odyssey.

    The 2008 Odyssey is a refresh, new VCM for the engine, minor face-lift. That's probably why the 2007s are a bargain.

    However...the changes are really pretty minor. Good timing, IMHO.

    The incentives on the Sienna are only about half what they were in May. I predict they will increase, so my advice for Toyota shoppers is to wait. The redesign should come out for 2009, so towards the end of the 2008 run they will be bargains again.

    For Dodge, if it were me, I would wait. I agree with you.

    Side note: before I was ready to buy, I found a leftover 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT for a whopping $20,600 price. This is without any special employee discount, just a left over they were anxious to unload.

    I was very, very tempted. I didn't like it as much, and that particular one didn't have side curtain air bags, but still, that's a bargain! I'll admit, it was tempting.

    By the time I was ready to buy, the same van was about $22k and change. Still no SAC for that price. Plus, the deal just wasn't as sweet.
  • maryh3maryh3 Posts: 263
    Now is not the time to buy a Chrysler, first model year of a new design, no incentives

    But there are incentives!! $1500 rebate is not anything to sneeze at. Also the incentives will probably not get as great as they do at the end of a model's run. They probably will get greater, but not $5000 like the 07 did because that model was getting discontinued. I didn't want to wait as the 08 T&C looks like a lot of fun. Plus EC numbers are easier to come by at the end of the year as the employees can give 2 out a year and if they haven't used them yet, they will get wasted. They will get 2 more again in Jan. So it depends upon your situation.
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    EXCELLENT analysis, atexieria...

    You are totally spot on and I think a lot of people miss the point you are making. And not only was poor han's timing off in terms of pricing, he also got a somewhat inferior vehicle because of the powertrain switch, which prompted CR to move the Sienna 2 points ahead of the Ody (93-91--both exceptional scores).

    Han should try CarMaxing his van--he'll get a better price.

    I made the same calculation, which is why I went with the ody. Vehicle MSRP is around $32, give or take a few hundred depending on dealer added accessories. Reading the prices paid forums on this board prompted me to start investigating minivans when we decided that's what we wanted--I was initially surprised that the Ody was being moved with such big discounts. Like many other dumb consumers, I assumed that Honda products wouldn't see those kinds of discounts.

    When I started shopping in early October, my first round of quotes on the Ody were around $26.5. Just a month later, I ended up paying $25.2, which I determined was pretty much the floor in Ody prices (time will tell if I was right, but you also have to factor in diminished inventory--in my case, there were only 4 vehicles left in my color preference in my DC tristate area).

    And to further back up your case, there's an Ody identical to mine at CarMax only used with 11k miles, and they're selling it for $29k. (yeah, I know, CarMax, but since I sell my cars to CarMax, I see that markup on my end too).

    In that time, we took a hard look at the Ody AND the Sienna. I knew that the Sienna wasn't as good a deal, but I also knew that at some point in the future, it would become a better deal. So I figured that if we liked the Sienna substantially more, we would go ahead and pass on the great-deal Ody, and wait for Sienna prices to fall. I didn't want to end up with a vehicle I didn't entirely want, even if it was a better deal (like you and the DGC).

    As it turned out, even if all money was equal, we actually preferred the Ody EX-L to the Sienna XLE. The price difference, of course, was huge--about the same as the price difference between an 07 Ody and an 08 ($4k or so).

    If I wanted a Toyota, I would certainly wait. If I wanted a DGC or CTC, I'd wait for two reasons--#1, a product that new that has a $1500 rebate is a sign that demand is not as high as the manufacterer would like, and it is very likely that the rebate will increase, and #2, first year of a new model, I'd wait to see what the problem areas are if possible (sometimes its not, I need a hybrid pronto last year for HOV lane reasons and bought a Camry Hybrid in the first year--just took a chance).

    Anyway, great post, I hope others take your advice.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,012
    Consumer Reports/JD Power Rankings

    This is the last time I'm going to remind everyone that this discussion is about 2008 Minivans. Any further off topic posts will be moved/deleted without notice.

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    But there are incentives!! $1500 rebate is not anything to sneeze at.

    That's really not much. I'm spoiled by my last Dodge purchase.....$4500 EC discount, and $3500 rebate and some dealer incentive was worth $9000 off $29k sticker. Also, I'm thinking maybe the Buick Enclave CUV.....test driving it really shocked me - It was the most impressive car I drove since my BMW 3 Series.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Voila, dennis, brilliant timing.

    Kudos.

    $20k for a van that stickered at $29k is amazing. Depreciation almost doesn't matter, you didn't pay anything for it to begin with! :D
  • maryh3maryh3 Posts: 263
    Well you probably won't see $4500 rebate in the near future. Probably $3000 in the summer. I was aware of this but I did not want to wait forever. Got a good enough deal -- about $7000 off of MSRP. Got lots of trips planned in the near future so what the heck - enjoy my van. If the darn thing comes in on time!! When I first started looking there was only a $500 rebate. I had to decide between putting the $550 into my current van for its fuel pump verses donating it for a small write off and buying off the lot. Made the right decision because the rebate has gone up $1000, I learned about the EC program and got a number, now I can sell my van for more than the tax write off etc. I'm happy even knowing I could have done better if I waited even longer. I was afraid I would prefer the 09's too much and wait again!!

    The one thing about "values" though that does surprise me though is the value that options hold. When younger I thought that the base models would hold their relative values better than the top of the line model with all the add-ons. But it does not seem to follow my previous thinking. Options hold their value and they hold up the relative value of the vehicle itself.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You bring up a valid point - some times you just need a car now.

    One example is if you're about to end a lease, and need something to get to work the next day. Then you have less flexibility.

    Even if you have a car now, there is the risk that something on it will break. Imagine paying several grand to rebuild a transmission while you're waiting for the rebate to increase.

    I think $1500 is a good discount, so I can't blame you for not waiting any longer. In fact, your deal should make the people that bought theirs sooner a bit jealous.

    Looks like right now Honda has the biggest discounts on their 07s. Then Dodge's discount on the 08s, followed by the smallest discounts on 08s from Toyota.

    Of course, when Honda runs out of 07s, the 08s will probably have no discounts at all.

    It's all in the timing. ;)
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    I personally negotiated the deal on my son's 2008 Sienna XLE. The van was purchased for invoice minus holdback. The dealer was very willing to deal. I believe the 2008 Odyssey will be sold similarly.

    A buddy of mine is a sales manager at one of the largest CLLC dealers in this area. When it came time to purchase a personal minivan he chose an Odyssey EX-L from a competing dealer nearby. He told me he would NEVER own a CLLC minivan due to all he problems and complaints experienced at that dealership. He also said anyone thinking about buying a CLLC 2008 mini in the first year had best think twice. Call it hearsay but that is what he said. My personal experience with a first year of introduction Chrysler product was a disaster and ended with Chrysler buying back the car under arbitration.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You may not expect to see a minivan in the 10Best issue, but the quietest vehicle C&D tested in 2007 was....their Dodge minivan, at a whisper quiet 61 decibels.

    Surprisingly that beat every luxury sedan they tested, many over $100 grand.

    Kudos to Dodge.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    That's not bad, considering they kept weight competitive with others in the class.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Most of it is due to "quiet steel" used in floor pan and fire wall. It's two sheets of steel sandwiching a noise insulator. It doesn't add much weight and you process it the same as steel panels i.e...stamping/forming it :)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Ah, same idea Buick uses I think?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Buick calls it Quiet Tuning though it may include the same material.

    Ford uses the stuff on the F-150 pickup as well.

    No matter - the proof is in the pudding, and that van just embarassed every luxury car C&D tested in 2007.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I wouldn't go that far. Buicks are quiet too, but that doesn't make them better than a louder MB or Audi.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I think Buick's is accomplished with thicker laminated glass, foam in pillars and typical sound killers. Chrysler and Ford were the first users, my 2005 Dodge uses it in the floor pans for Stow N Go bins.

    My next vehicle will be as quiet as possible. The Buick Enclave beats all CUVs on the market for noise and other areas.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    to me (and just my opinion), the stowNgo and swivelNgo are 2 big gimmicks.

    As far as the stowNgo...whenever I need to use the van for a cargo van, I take out the car seats, clean out the normal stuff that's in there, and take out the second row seats, and go off to Lowes. I can't imagine a situation where I'll have a van full of kids and stuff and then decide to pop to Lowes for some sheets of plywood. To me, it's not worth having uncomfortable seats 360 days a year just to save about a minute each to remove them.


    Stow n go is the best thing since apple pie. Sure if your planning on going to Lowes to pick up some plywood you can plan ahead to take the seats out of your minivan, put them in the garage and put them back in when finished. But that does you little good when going to park -n- swap or garage sales and see something there you had no intention of buying when you left home, but saw it was in great condition, with a good price. There is no need to go back home to take the seats out. Your ready.

    Then there is the storage space. Come Christmas and your going from store to store buying presents. Lift up the hinged lid and you put it in there out of sight from prying eyes, while your off to another store, knowing people don't know if there is anything of value left in your van unattended. You can't beat those conviences.

    I just helped move my Daughter and her family to their new apartment. You have no idea of how much stuff you can get in a minivan that you can't haul in a pickup truck that easily. They have a SUV and a small bed pickup and outside of the refrigerator , mattress and box springs, I carried most of the big stuff. Dressers, chests, computer desks with high back. Televisions, book cases and etc.

    I get so tired of those that have never had stow -n-go, talk about how uncomfortable the middle seats are. Sure if you bring them up from the stow position and just sit in them, they are uncomfortable. But if you lift up the head rests and recline the back a little, there is nothing uncomfortable about them. My Brother rode in my Sister's 2006 Dodge minivan's middle seats all the way from Ohio to Arizona and back and never complained about them being uncomfortable and your talking over 4,000 miles round trip.

    I can't comment on swivel -n-go as mine is a 2005 and I don't have them. But I do know all about stow-n-go and they are fantastic. Unless of course, you very seldom carry anything but people, then any of them are fine. But since buying mine, my Mom needs to have an electric wheel chair or electric scooter as she can't walk that far anymore. I can get both in mine and still seat two others in my van.

    I normally keep the middle passenger seat stowed. It gives the dog some place to sit, makes it very easy to get four others in the back and is great for loading things in that spot, that is harder to load from the rear tail gate.

    But if you don't need the extra storage to hide things away. Your normally only hauling people. Any of the other minivans would do very nicely. But if you use it for more than that, you just can't beat stow-n-go. It's great. See for yourself.

    http://www.carspace.com/marine2/Albums/marine2%27s%20Album/two%20in%20with%20bro- ther.jpg/page/photo.html#pic
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's what the roof rack is for. ;)

    Stow-n-Go wins when it's raining, though.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Odyssey "Magic Seat" was THE Best thing if a person wants to haul a large item on the spur of the moment even though other improvements have been made.

    Chrysler minivan Dual Zone Temp control for driver and front passenger is THE BEST comfort item that has been available on all but the very cheapest Chrysler minivans for MANY years.

    Sienna 60/40 split fold into the floor 3rd row seating was a great improvement over the Ody "Magic Seat".

    For me, the Odyssey still has and ALWAYS had the MOST COMFORTABLE seating for all 7 or 8 people. :shades:
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    That's what the roof rack is for.

    Stow-n-Go wins when it's raining, though.



    Try putting a computer desk with a hutch up on the roof rack. Or put a chest, dresser or six chairs up there. But as I say, if you mostly only haul people, most of the others are fine. Mine is a work horse, I use it for both people and hauling things and it still looks as good as the day I bought it three years ago this month. I got rid of a truck because of stow-n-go. I knew from my Brother's 2001 van, how much they could carry. I just didn't like taking the seats out of it. When stow-n-go came out, I jumped on it. Obviously so did he, as he traded his in for a 2006 Dodge Minivan. My Sister also has a 2006.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    For me, the Odyssey still has and ALWAYS had the MOST COMFORTABLE seating for all 7 or 8 people.

    I believe that. I also believe Chrysler's middle seats don't come near the comfort as the Toyota and Honda's. middle seats. But as I have stated, even though they are not as soft and nice, they are still comfortable. But you give up some of that softness for seats that can fold into the floor and for gobs of storage. If I were to mostly carry people and maybe only use the fold down seats and storage, once or twice a year, I would probably buy something else. At least up to the 2007 Dodge/Chryslers The new ones have so much more on them, I might still buy one just to get all their new stuff and that life time warranty. All depends on what your going to use it for.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    All of those items would easily fit in my Sienna if I simply tumble the 2nd row seats forward.

    Quest owners can also just fold the 2nd row down.

    Ody owners may have a problem, though, as the 2nd row seats do not tumble forward.

    Stow-n-Go would be the only way to get the full 8 feet of cargo length on the floor, of course, though I have have carried 4'x8' lattice panels inside with all 8 seats in place, only folded flat. Don't think I could do that with rigid plywood, though.

    Back to roof racks, though, I did carry a double chest on the roof rack of my Subaru Forester. Fully assembled, though it was pine, a relatively light wood.
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    How am I going to carry my family and all this wonderful cargo?

    The point is that if I have no family with me, than you can fit just about all these items in ANY of these vans. If you do have your family with you, you will lose space, no matter if its Stow and Go or the Ody or Sienna system. You're still going to need to have seats up.

    So for me, this just isn't an issue.

    And can we FINALLY agree that seat comfort is subjective. I don't know how many times I have to say it--I've spent thousands of miles in the Grand Caravan Stow and Go seats, and I find them uncomfortable. Some may not, I do.

    For my needs, I'd rather have a very comfortable seat that doesn't fold down completely over, in my view, an uncomfortable seat that does.

    Someone else may have a different equation, but I submit that for the bulk of what people need, my experience is more normal.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    My daughter's SUV seats fold over and because of that, she can't get those things in because there was not enough room from seat backs to ceiling. You can lose 4-6 inches that way that you don't lose with stow-n-go. I am sure it would be the same with the Toyota and Honda, as thick as those seat backs are..

    Comfort is subjective. Most of the time, you would never set back there anyway. If seat comfort in the middle row is more important to you than storage and the convenience of hauling big stuff, than you have a lot of choices of what to buy. If comfortable, but firmer seats is ok in the second row and storage and convenience of hauling big stuff without pulling seats out and re installing them, stow-n-go is the only choice you have. All depends on what you use your van for. It's obvious, most people haul not much more than people in theirs.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    how well do rear-facing infant car seats fit into the T&C because from the photos, the seats angle up a lot? Anyone with experience? In my Freestyle, the second row seat is pretty horizontal, so the car seat fits great, but I was wondering on these really angled seats like the T&C, is there's some seat bottom adjustment to make them horizontal?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You can lose 4-6 inches that way that you don't lose with stow-n-go. I am sure it would be the same with the Toyota

    No, actually, you would not lose any floor-to-ceiling height on the Toyota.

    As I mentioned earlier, the seats fold and tumble forward, up against the front seats. You would lose a foot or so of cargo length, front to back, but you will not lose any height at all.

    The items you mentioned would fit easily in the Toyota.

    Here's a wild suggestion - maybe try a Sienna? :P

    Just kidding, though it might not hurt you to take a closer look at some competitors if you're going to talk about them often.

    Comfort is subjective

    On that we agree.

    I'd even go a step further, not only is comfort subjective, it's subjective for each individual, because we are all shaped differently.

    Example: people RAVE about the Recaro seats in the Mistubishi Evo, but I *hate* them and simply do not fit in them at all. To me they are completely unacceptable. To others they are the best seats in the industry.

    Totally subjective and individual.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    The 2006 Sienna LE 2nd row seats are DIFFICULT to remove and replace compared to the Quad seats of my 2002 T&C LX. They are also NOT as comfortable as the T&C LX 2nd row seats or the Odyssey 2nd row seats.

    Additionally, the passenger side 2nd row seat of my 06 Sienna was installed incorrectly at the Toyota factory. I am not impressed with Toyota quality. :sick:
  • hause7hause7 Posts: 153
    You are the only person i know that does not like their Sienna. Why not get rid of it if it is garbage to you? all you do is complain about it. That is why we got rid of our previous Town&country, we complained on it's horrible quality and leaving my grandmother stranded more than once with under 30,000 miles. I personally think seat comfort of the Sienna is the best then the Odyssey, than the Town&country.
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