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2008 Minivans

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Comments

  • maryh3maryh3 Posts: 263
    No it's not the exchange rate. The US to Canadian dollar are trading almost equal value. As a matter of fact the Canadian should be stronger.

    That's an expensive van.


    For comparison:

    Base Price in Canada $42895
    Base Price in US $35670

    Total Price in Canada $49370
    Total Price in US $42305
    Minus $1500 Incentive $40805

    That is almost a $9000 difference for the same vehicle in US verses Canada. Why?
    Destination fees? Canadian taxes? Hidden Tariffs (I thought NAFTA ended these??) or what?
  • maryh3maryh3 Posts: 263
    I've never seen any other owner complain about that either. Perhaps it doesn't bother Edmunds or CR, since it doesn't seem to bother most owners.

    If I posted this I'd be accused of a sample size of one.
  • yatesjoyatesjo Posts: 186
    Most things in Canada are still priced as though the exchange still heavily favored the US dollar and and still hasn't caught up with the historically anomalous exchange parity of late. Ever notice the Canadian price on the book sleeve? They still charge the higher Canadian price in Canada to the benefit of retailers just to the US side of the border.

    Similarly, a lot of foreign built cars sold in the US have not increased in price proportional to the change exchange rates meaning their profits on vehicles are going down. The good news is that cars built in the US can be exported more profitably
  • yatesjoyatesjo Posts: 186
    From what I can tell, you are the only one in the world who has a problem with glare on the Sienna dash. From my, abet limited, experience in the Sienna I saw no more glare than in the Odyssey or GC/T&C.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    As previously asked, how many current owners of a 2006 Sienna have owned a T&C ? :confuse:

    Many design defects are not noticed until after a vehicle has been driven for a few weeks or months. I did NOT notice the glare from the poorly designed Sienna instrument cluster because the Sienna CE we test drove had a different cluster and I had not driven a Sienna LE (XLE or Limited) that has the Optitron gauges. All NEW Siennas were kept inside the Toyota dealership warehouse. :shades:
  • yatesjoyatesjo Posts: 186
    I don't own any minivan yet- I'm just in my early research phase. We have two children and I won't buy until the birth of our third is imminent meaning I can put it off for at least another 8 months.

    As you say, somethings go unnoticed until you've lived with the vehicle for a while. Having read your comments I looked for the problem and couldn't see it so why do you so deeply fault Edmunds, CR and others for not noting a issue that reveals itself under very narrow conditions?

    I'm coming at this as objectively as possible. An engineer by training, vocation and nature, I research obsessively, weigh all the data I can lay my hands on and do cost/benefit analysis prior to making a purchase. Over the last few weeks I actually took the time to read all 1183 comments on this discussion (not to mention other discussions) so to better know what to look for.

    There are a lot of very passionate opinions on this forum, particularly from the Mopar people. The problem is passion often overrides civility, objectivity and reason.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Excellent observations. :shades:

    Sadly, a brief test drive of any vehicle is insufficient to learn advantages/disadvantages of any vehicle. It takes at least a month of ownership and a long trip to become well acquainted with a vehicle.

    Sienna plusses: The most cargo space behind 3rd row, attractive front door panels with padded armrests that open up to provide a very convenient place for my wife to put sunglasses, cough drops, etc. The 2007-08 Siennas have the most powerful engine with the best EPA fuel economy ratings.

    Odyssey plusses: Best handling minivan with the most comfortable seating/legroom for 7 people with a removeable, comfortable seat for an 8th person. Best designed dash and instrument cluster to prevent glare.

    Grand Caravan/T&C plusses: Quietest, least expensive minivan that has the luxury car feature of separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger and the only minivan with 2nd row seats that fold flat into the floor.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Overall for 19,575 miles is now 23.7 MPG. Mileage at last refill was 14.2 MPG which is considerably better than the 10.9 MPG on previous refill. (Overall fuel economy in 2002 T&C LX was 22.3 MPG). My sister gets MUCH lower gas mileage in her 2001 Odyssey EX than I got with T&C.

    At first refill at 322 miles the mileage was 26.7 MPG. Gas mileage for the first 1371 miles was 27.2 MPG. On first long, round trip the mileage was 29.1 MPG. It dropped to 27.8 MPG on 2nd long, round trip. For successive round trips to the same place the Sienna delivered 29.2 MPG, 28.2 MPG, 28.0 MPG, and 28.6 MPG.

    By comparison, my 2002 T&C LX with 3.3L got 25.0 MPG, 25.9 MPG, 25.1 MPG, 27.7 MPG, 25.8 MPG, 25.9 MPG, 25.7 MPG, 25.6 MPG, 29.1 MPG, 26.2 MPG on 10 of the same long, round trips.

    Wind and temperature conditions had a considerable effect on fuel economy for both the Sienna and T&C. :shades:
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    As previously asked, how many current owners of a 2006 Sienna have owned a T&C ?

    You have to have owned a certain type of vehicle before having a problem with the next? :confuse: That's what you imply here, that the other Sienna owners don't report problems because they didn't have a Chrysler van before the Toyota.

    I did NOT notice the glare from the poorly designed Sienna instrument cluster because the Sienna CE we test drove had a different cluster and I had not driven a Sienna LE (XLE or Limited) that has the Optitron gauges. All NEW Siennas were kept inside the Toyota dealership warehouse.

    Wait a sec, you didn't test-drive the van you were laying out $25k+ for?
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    No. :cry:

    Remind EVERYONE to avoid my BIG $ 29,280.88 mistake. :sick:
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    That is correct. A flaw (or defect) is usually not noticed unless a person has experience with another brand that does not have the particular flaw/defect.

    I did not notice the smaller amount of cargo space behind 3rd row of 2002 T&C LX when I owned it that I would notice now that I have owned the Sienna with more than twice as much. I did not realize how nice the 60/40 split fold into the floor 3rd row seat was before I got the Sienna.

    Each minivan has some advantages while also having some disadvantages. The Odyssey has THE MOST comfortable seating for 7 people BUT the Odyssey front door armrests are NOT as comfortable as those of the Sienna and also do not have the nice storage under the hinged, PADDED arm rests. The Odyssey also does NOT have the overhead console with compass / outside temperature and trip computer BUT the Odyssey EX has separately controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger that is NOT even optional on the Sienna LE. :shades:
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    There are a lot of very passionate opinions on this forum, particularly from the Mopar people. The problem is passion often overrides civility, objectivity and reason.

    I guess that comes from a lot of put down over the years and having auto magazines not really giving Chrysler products the credit they deserve.

    While they did have some problems back in the 1990's, most have been cleared up in 2,000. But there are still some on this board that knock them hard, even though they never owned one, or haven't owned one for years. Much like some say they will never buy another American vehicle, even though the quality is way up. Even better than European cars. Now that we see that Toyota is no longer what they use to be, I would say they are about as good as the Asian vehicles. But it will take years I'm afraid before many find that out. Hopefully the American auto industry is still around when it happens. I think the American auto industry is vital to our economy and I really get upset when I hear Americans say they will never try an American vehicle again.

    I have a 2005 Dodge GC and a 2004 Honda Civic. Both have been excellent vehicles and we haven't had any problems with either. But next year, I plan on trading the Honda in on a Ford Focus. It's also been rated a very good car and I want to support American if I can get a good reliable car from them. My only gripe of the Honda, is the harsh ride over bumps and expansion strips on the road. We didn't feel them nearly as much when we test drove the new Focus.

    I think Chrysler has come out with a great minivan for 2008. They have put on it everything most people have complained about them not having and then added even more. Then cut the price to make even more affordable. I'm sure that's hard for Chrysler to do with the cost advantage the Asians have over Chrysler and the other American auto makers. From the experience I have had in 38 months of owning my van and the experience my brother has had with both of his vans and my sister's minivan, I think a person can't go wrong buying a new Chrysler van. You'll not only get a great minivan for a good price, but you'll be helping out your country too. Thats a great combination.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    NO. I liked my 2002 Chrysler T&C LX but bought a new 2006 Toyota Sienna LE because Chrysler deleted too many nice items between 2002 and 2006. Chrysler cheapened the trip computer, deleted the lighted controls on the doors, deleted the heatiing coils at base of windshield, deleted one of the 2 lights on the liftgate just for a few examples. :cry:

    Chrysler needs to offer the biggest engine on ALL minivans without making the consumer buy a top of the line GC SXT or T&C Limited just to get power comparable to the Sienna or Odyssey. Chrysler needs to STOP having cheap, hard, ugly plastic door panels. Put soft padded vinyl and cloth on the door panels with nice carpet at the bottom. How much would it cost to have attractive door panels instead of cheap, hard, ugly plastic? :confuse:
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Chrysler needs to offer the biggest engine on ALL minivans without making the consumer buy a top of the line GC SXT or T&C Limited just to get power comparable to the Sienna or Odyssey.

    I think your title says it best... Some people don't care about having the biggest engine, they want the smallest price, or some specific feature/stand alone option that they can't get in another minivan without having to spend $$$$$ for top of line model. I think the new door panels on 08s are just fine...good graining, lots of pockets/holders etc. Some people want the best warranty available at no charge, maybe they're buying minivan for young children and want to keep it for 10+ years? I think for 08, Chrysler has put back in the lighted switches and upped the stakes with LED lights throughout minivan.

    Has anyone heard how Chrysler's minivans are doing in sales lately? I know they fended off Honda's dumping of 07 Odys and I keep seeing tons of car trailers moving Minivans around Detroit (probably coming in from Windsor).
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    Marine2,

    Good points and glad to hear you're confident enough to trade the Honda in for a Ford. I own a Ford and Honda and really like both of them.

    You know one car reviewer has said Detroit is suffering right now from sins it committed in the past. I think there's a lot truth to that statement. For years they put out sub par quality products relative to the imports. They didn't stand behind them too well and it's coming back to haunt them.

    I agree the domestics have gotten a lot better. The competition if fierce however and with our Wal-Mart mentality in this country, it's become a tough sell to say buy it just because it's American made.

    I think most of the Japanese cars have displaced the Europeans as the quality & and dependability vehicle which consumers will pay a premium for. However the Korean and soon to come Chinese vehicles have filled the value segement that the Japanese used to fill. American makers continue to be squeezed in the middle as the have been since the early 70's.

    I'm not sure what the answer is. Big Labor says it's Managements problems and Management say it's a Big Labor cost issue. It's pretty simple however. If the domestics can't make money, they're going to go the way of Zenith T.V.'s. The Golden Goose for the USA may finally end up like the Dodo Bird.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I do believe American car makers are suffering from their past sins which were many. I think both management and labor must share the blame. Many back in the 1970's and 80's were poorly designed and built. I had bought a Pontiac. Phoenix new, that over heated on me on the way home from the dealers and I wound up having a pool of oil in the driveway the next morning. Had to have it towed back to the dealer. The springs were so weak in it, if two people sat in the back seat, the rear end would scrape the pavement going up a driveway. It was even missing a door handle in the back when I drove it off the lot. Didn't realize it until I got it home. But that was many years ago and I know they're putting out a lot better cars now.

    When I bought my 2005, people on here said they wouldn't by a Dodge/Chrysler minivan because the inside was two plain. It only had a four speed tranny, was to slow, didn't have stability control, side air bags etc. Not much was complained about in the quality of it. Now Chrysler has a new minivan out that has all the stuff many complained about them not having, and loaded it with stuff none of the rest even offered and priced it cheaper, so now they go back to past quality that really hasn't been an issue on Chrysler minivans for years. The 2008 Chrysler vans are great vehicles. Built well and a ton of features on them. Don't buy them just because they are American. Buy them because they a good minivans and because your also helping your country by doing so. Thats the way I look at it.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Excellent analysis. Most people want the lowest purchase price with decent reliability. Chrysler sells the MOST minivans because Chrysler offers an excellent product with the most content for the lowest price. Most people do not drag race their minivan. :shades:
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    This is what my biggest complaint is about Toyota. They are keeping a lot of their defects from being called recalls; because they are trying to maintain a quality perception to the American public they no longer deserve, while making people think American quality is still not anywhere near theirs.

    Toyota hasn't issued a factory recall for the Sienna door problem, perhaps because such notices generate a lot of negative publicity, said Joe Wiesenfelder with Cars.com, a Web site for car enthusiasts.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Toyota issued a press release to the Associated Press about that issue.

    I don't see how you think they're trying to keep this a big secret. Every automotive press outlet in the world covered that story.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    From what I can tell, you are the only one in the world who has a problem with glare on the Sienna dash. From my, abet limited, experience in the Sienna I saw no more glare than in the Odyssey or GC/T&C.

    He is, and give up, there's no convincing him, I've tried. I even showed photos in this very thread, earlier.

    I'm not disputing the fact that the gauges bother him, only that noone else complains. I have had the same gauges for a year now and love the blue hue and soft, pleasant glow. The only better gauges in Minivan-dom are the Hyundai Entourage's Lexus-like gauges (on the Limited model only).

    I respect hansienna's opinions but I think he believes that his opinion is fact, and that everyone agrees with him. That's just not the case.

    Per surveys 79% of Sienna owners are happy, and he falls in that 21% minority. For his old, beloved T&C van the number of satisifed owners was just 49%.

    So his opinion is in the MINORITY.

    His input is useful in these threads but I wish he was more accepting of the opinions of others, especially when the majority disagrees with him.
  • maryh3maryh3 Posts: 263
    This is what my biggest complaint is about Toyota. They are keeping a lot of their defects from being called recalls; because they are trying to maintain a quality perception to the American public they no longer deserve, while making people think American quality is still not anywhere near theirs.

    When I was shopping for vans in Sept 2007 I was told by the Toyota salesman that "Our quality shows. For example Toyota has never has a recall". Looks like that was BS. Of course all salesmen will tell you anything to make a sale - not just Toyota's.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Toyota issued a press release to the Associated Press about that issue.

    I don't see how you think they're trying to keep this a big secret. Every automotive press outlet in the world covered that story.


    I'd like to know who carried the press release then. I get Consumers Report, Automobile and Motor Trend magazines and saw nothing in any of them. I also get the newspaper and saw nothing in that on their massive recalls, hidden recalls or even the Japanese government thinking of suing them. So who carried it? I didn't see it on television news either. I am sure there are many on here that were as surprised as I was to hear the news about Toyota's quality problems.
  • maryh3maryh3 Posts: 263
    Chrysler needs to offer the biggest engine on ALL minivans without making the consumer buy a top of the line GC SXT or T&C Limited just to get power comparable to the Sienna or Odyssey. Chrysler needs to STOP having cheap, hard, ugly plastic door panels. Put soft padded vinyl and cloth on the door panels with nice carpet at the bottom. How much would it cost to have attractive door panels instead of cheap, hard, ugly plastic?

    Chrysler also needs to offer both darker and lighter leather interiors and carpet for all their vans, not just the lower lines. Give people a choice.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    When I was shopping for vans in Sept 2007 I was told by the Toyota salesman that "Our quality shows. For example Toyota has never has a recall". Looks like that was BS. Of course all salesmen will tell you anything to make a sale - not just Toyota's.

    What they said could be absolutely true. If they use (‘service campaigns’) instead of recalls. Who's to know except the owner? Unless someone speaks out. Keep the myth going.

    Your right, all will try and build up theirs and tear down the competition to make a sale.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    A quick Google finds coverage from:

    Journal Sentinal
    Cars.com
    Consumer Reports
    AutoBlog
    AOL Videos
    YouTube

    And that's just the first page.

    The press loves covering a story like this.

    This is how it should work - the problem appears, people discuss it on-line, create a buzz. That puts pressure on the manufacturer to address the issue, and they do.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I didn't even think about that, but yeah, Canada is another country.

    So if Cerburus is losing money, and the US government has to bail Chrysler out again, like they did in the early 1980s, then technically we are subsidizing jobs in other countries. :D

    Country of origin doesn't play an important role to me anyway, the economy is global, plus I'm Brazilian anyway.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Salesmen say crazy things. Dealers are independently owned and operated, so there's nothing any manufacturer can do about it.

    I was shopping for home theatre furniture last week and the guy and the Big Screen Store started ranting and raving about how Costco's furniture was made in China, from parts with lead-based paint, etc.

    I bought the same furniture he was selling, but elsewhere (HTmarket.com). There's no way I'm going to give my business to a lying salesman like that.

    So the furniture comes in, same model and manufacturer that lyin' salesman was selling, and guess where it's made?

    China. You guessed it.

    Your story is comparatively mild.

    Any how, let's get back to the merits of the actual minivans. If people want to debate Made in the USA a seperate thread should be created.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Replying to: marine2 (Feb 25, 2008 7:01 am)

    A quick Google finds coverage from:

    Journal Sentinal
    Cars.com
    Consumer Reports
    AutoBlog
    AOL Videos
    YouTube

    And that's just the first page.

    The press loves covering a story like this.

    This is how it should work - the problem appears, people discuss it on-line, create a buzz. That puts pressure on the manufacturer to address the issue, and they do.


    Does it say what issue in Consummers Report has it in? Most of those you mentioned, most people would never see or read. Now if you had said NY Times, Arizona Republic, Edmonds, Motor Trend, LA. Times, CBS, NBC, I could understand it. They sure wouldn't have a problem with that kind of news on those sources if they were American.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not specifically, and it may have been on-line, I'm not sure.

    Click & Clack spoke about the issue on the air, too. It was pretty funny, as usual.

    Detroit Free Press covered it (naturally).

    Edmunds may have blogged it.

    I guess it was big news for those that wanted it to be big news.

    I dunno, it's just a spot weld. Doesn't seem like that big a deal, or that costly to repair, for that matter.

    Click & Clack had quite a bit of fun with it.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I guess it was big news for those that wanted it to be big news.

    I dunno, it's just a spot weld. Doesn't seem like that big a deal, or that costly to repair, for that matter.


    I'm not talking about just a spot weld on the Toyota minivan. I'm talking about the massive recalls that Toyota is having on many of their models.

    Even as GM and Ford have accumulated award after award on vehicle quality, you’d almost never know about such quality gains made by American companies - or quality declines of foreign companies - by listening to the media. Did you hear about it when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that Toyota recalled more vehicles than it sold in the U.S. last year? Probably not. Did you hear about Toyota making an "elaborate apology" for their "worrisome series of recalls" that has "tarnished its reputation for quality?" Probably not. Did you hear about the Toyota senior manager quote that stated "We used to do quiet recalls called ‘service campaigns’ to deal with defects but we’re not going to hide anything anymore?" Such a statement suggests Toyota’s past recall numbers were probably much higher than we were led to believe, and they profited handsomely by having a perception of higher quality than they deserved. In Japan, prosecutors are looking into possible negligence on the part of Toyota for shirking recalls for the last eight years. How ironic. You probably didn’t hear about that one either because the American media doesn’t like to bash foreign auto companies - only American ones.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1753099/posts
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