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SUV vs Minivans

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Comments

  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    Before I researched minivans, I wanted a bright yellow, 4WD V6 Escape among a few other larger SUVs. Unfortunately, at the time there were no crash test results on the Escape and no rebates since they were brand new. Plus, with the V6, auto and 4WD, the cost was not much less than the Odyssey LX we did purchase. Somewhat under $1000 similarly equipped, if I recall correctly. The less expensive versions with FWD and the standard engine did not perform as well as the Odyssey, in my opinion. Granted, we decided we really prefer the convenience a 3rd row and the extra cargo space in the end. But as you said, everyone's needs are different and our main ones were safety and convenience. I do still envy the yellow Escapes when they drive by:-)
  • bessbess Posts: 972
    The low end honda odyssey LX goes for around 25k, where the medium trim line Escape XLT v6, auto, 4x2 is around 23k. The difference is larger than $1000 and closer to 2 or 3k.

    Granted, if you need the extra interior space, its a 2 or 3k well spent.
  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    Astro - I was thinking Aerostar!!

    what ever happened to the good old Econoline vans!?

    :-)

    THAT was a VAN!!
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    "The low end honda odyssey LX goes for around 25k, where the medium trim line Escape XLT v6, auto, 4x2 is around 23k. The difference is larger than $1000 and closer to 2 or 3k."

    Bess-

    I did mention that my comment applied to when we purchased (which was late 2000). The Escape was new and had no rebates. The Odyssey was 24.3k including destination, though that included a few free accessories. I used the 4x4 version as stated, as I saw no reason to bother with an SUV that did not have 4WD for our preferences. We actually did buy an AWD vehicle before the Escape was available, though we chose a Subaru Outback wagon for the good safety ratings and relatively low rollover risk...

    Today, the prices are a somewhat different as you said, in part because the Escape is no longer brand new. Based on carsdirect.com actual market pricing, a mid level 4x4 V6 XLS Popular with comparable convenience group, ABS and side airbags is 21.4k after a 1k rebate. Carsdirect shows the Odyssey LX in my same zip code as 23.8k. A difference of over 2k like you said, though that 1k rebate makes a big difference. The Escape XLT 4x4 V6 Popular is 22.5k with side airbags on carsdirect, but I don't know if the features are more or less comparable to the Odyssey LX.
  • bessbess Posts: 972
    When I purchase my Escape in 2001, there were no rebates either.. The top of the line Escape was going for around 22 or 23K then, with minivans going for 25k. So still a 2k difference, no rebates.

    The 21.4K number is BEFORE the $1000 rebeate, so if you include the rebate, it's closer to 3k, and your comparing a 4x4 Escape, to a 4x2 Odyssey.

    I'm not sure about your point of not buying and SUV thats a 4x2. If a minivan (which is a 4x2) would serve your needs, why wouldn't a 4x2 Escape?
    Comparing the 4x2 Escape to an Odyssey, the difference goes into the 4k range..
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    The street prices in your area must have been very different. Current prices, anyway, can be compared at carsdirect.com fairly easily, as that is where I got my numbers.

    "I'm not sure about your point of not buying and SUV thats a 4x2. If a minivan (which is a 4x2) would serve your needs, why wouldn't a 4x2 Escape?"

    No new point, really. It comes down to the same point you made originally, everyone's needs are different. I had originally been sold on the styling and offroad capability of the Escape and other SUVs. I didn't want a stodgy minivan, and we had sworn never to own one. I did decide to look at minivans after evaluating our true needs. Our main need was safety, where top minivans excel. Ease of loading kids (sliding doors and low step in height), a third row of seating and cargo space were secondary factors. At the time, no SUV came close in all these areas, though some new ones are much better, like the Acura MDX and possibly the 2003 Expedition.

    If we ever do buy an SUV, it is going to be equipped to do what they are intended to do (at least the truck based designs): tow and off-road. That means 4x4 and the appropriate towing packages. We don't tow or offroad now, so in the end a 4x4 SUV was not needed. Perhaps with more kids and future roadtrips these will be useful to us if we replace one of our current vehicles with one of the safer, new SUV designs. While it's nice, even the AWD on our Outback is not essential in the Chicago area. Without heavy duty towing and off-roading for future use, I wouldn't compromise safety for the higher rollover risk and other drawbacks of many current SUV models. Hindsight is golden, as they say, and I'm glad we didn't get the SUV, though our criteria are certainly different than yours or others.

    Though I don't agree with all of the "humor" at this site, it is an amusing summary:

    http://poseur.4x4.org/

    Also:

    http://www.car-safety.org/family.html

    So let me turn a similar question on you- You said you needed a vehicle that, "Handled better, performed better, gets better mpgs, with similar features, and a much lower price." Since styling is not a factor here, midsize and larger wagons and sedans may also meet these needs if you don't want 4x4. Obviously it came down to what you wanted and needed based on these and other criteria, as did our decision. I wanted an Escape, but in my case we really needed the minivan...
  • bessbess Posts: 972
    The prices I quote are not street prices. I got them from this site (Edmunds.com).

    You bring up a good point. Wagons and midsized sedans meet most of my needs as well, except for 2 main things:
    a. We like the slightly taller seating position of the Escape.
    b. The Escape looks alot nicer to us than wagons and sedans. (Lets face it, what the vehicle looks like is important to me).
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    image

    Almost 170 cubic feet of cargo... link

    Steve, Host
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Isn't it great what you can do with PhotoShop! ;-)

    tidester, host
  • li_sailorli_sailor Posts: 1,081
    Yeah...the taillights really look nothing like that in real life ;-)

    Gee, Steve...there must be ping pong balls in those boxes, 'cause I've heard that's the only thing the extra space in MVs is good for ;-)

    Funny, isn't it...not even the Excursion could fit that much stuff in it. (just piling on :-) )
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    I know I can fit 14 Cosco Touriva or Graco Snugride boxes behind the 2nd row captains chairs (moved forward) in a Honda Odyssey with a flip of the magic seat...

    image

    image
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Minivans Continue to Grow in Popularity (Voice of America)

    Steve, Host
  • libertycatlibertycat Posts: 593
    I think, however, that the Odyssey is WAY overrated and IMO it is at the bottom of its class (behind GMs, DCs, new Sienna, new Quest, and MPV). I think the Sienna is by far the best, the MPV and Daimler Chryslers taking far behind second and third places in the minivan class. But if $5K means anything to you and you aren't interested in power doors/liftgate, the Sedona is one of the best choices. As for full-size SUVS, I believe the Montero is the best followed by the Expedition, Tahoe/Yukon, Suburban/Yukon XL, and lastly the ugly polluting EVIL Excursion. I would buy a Montero over the Odyssey and Euro Van only.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    "While SUVs may seem like the more stylish choice for family transportation, minivans are definitely the more financially savvy choice: They cost less to buy, insure and maintain. They seat more people comfortably in their roomier cabins. And they use a lot less gas. "

    link

    Steve, Host
  • bessbess Posts: 972
    Almost none of the above statements that you quote are true when comparing to the new class of mini-SUV's.

    Mini-suv's such as the CRV, Escape, Santa-Fe, cost less than comparabily equipped SUV's, cost less to insure and maintain, use less gas, and generally perform and handle better. The mini-vans generally can carry more people and/or have more interior cargo space, but many current mini-van owners have never needed to carry 7 folks.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I never have; in fact I threw away one bench and now have a 5 seater minivan.

    Your point is well taken, although some people would just say get a wagon instead of one of your mini-ute examples.

    Steve, Host
  • My wife and I recently had twins. The Mercedes sedan isn't cutting it. Need to travel with gear (suitcases, strollers), 3 car seats (we also have a 2 year old), and hopefully something that will have (or we can add) DVD(s)/screens to keep them quiet on long trips.

    Safety, handling, comfort are all issues.

    Unbiased thoughts/recommendations as to what we should test drive and why?
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    I'm guessing the new Toyota Sienna would be your best bet. It has tons of luxury and convenience features, reliability, safety, plus you can have a two car seats in the middle and one in the back, and still be able to fold down 2/3 of the 3rd row into the floor for tons of cargo room.

    Some of the features available on the Sienna are:
    1) Laser-guided cruise control
    2) DVD Player
    3) Navigation system with back-up camera
    4) Heated seats
    5) Wood trimmed interior and steering wheel
    6) etc. etc.

    We just replaced our old minivan with an Acura MDX, and while it is nice, it sure doesn't have the room or practicality that the minivan had.

    Although the kids are almost all gone now, and it works great for carrying most cargo or the occasional 6th and 7th passenger.

    But if I still had little kids, I don't see how I COULDN'T have a minivan without going to something like a Suburban or Yukon XL. But the Sienna right now seems to be your best bet, in my opinion.
  • My wife is from Texas - Sister's (4 of them) have all had SUVs. She may not want to do a minivan. So, if not the Sienna, which SUV (ignoring price) for 3 car seats, husband, wife, nanny, luggage, etc. and why?

    thx in advance.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    Well, if not minivan (more practical and less costly), I'd go for either the Chevy Suburban/GMC Yukon Denali, Toyota Sequoia, Nissan Pathfinder Armada, or even the new Dodge Durango.

    Those are all relatively large SUV's with adequate third row room with ample cargo space behind them. I'm guessing you might be able to squeeze all car seats in the middle too, yet then the third row is in-accessible to carry more people.

    Also, none of the cargo areas behind the third rows in any of the above can compete with a minivan other than the Suburban/Denali.

    Plus it should be noted the split folding third row in the Sienna with the cargo well behind the seat is hard to beat unless you get the biggest of the big Suburban. Plus with the Sienna, extra passengers can still access extra seating easily in a minivan without entering through the trunk or stepping over seats.

    I have an MDX and know that I could never have had this car when I still had two small children and a dog or at least when they were both in car seats. See, in 1988 when we got our first family hauler, there were either minivans (the new cool thing), or the smaller old station wagons. I will say things have really changed in terms of choices now.

    I know minivans aren't cool, but you'll be sacrificing things with even a large SUV. If you only had two kids, then I'd say go for any of the above, plus the Honda Pilot or Acura MDX, but with three kids all in car seats, it almost means you'd have to have an SUV like a Chevy Suburban.

    I say check out those SUV's and even a *couple* minivans JUST to view the in person pros and cons (status and looks aside)
  • joebasjoebas Posts: 20
    I also have 3 kids(4, 7 and 9), and have no problem accessing the 3rd row seats as we opted for the center buckets seats in our 2003 Suburban. My 2 girls get the buckets and my 4 year old sits in the middle with a 5 point car seat in the 3rd row. They can all buckle themselves in, but once in a while the 4 year old does not want to and it's very easy to to walk back there to buckle him in. You don't have to move the seats at all. It's awesome!!!

    Here is a picture of it.. http://www.pbase.com/image/16870881
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    It offers shoulder belts and head restraints in all seating positions. Vehicle stability control and a canopy rollover protection system with side curtain airbags are available. If I absolutely had to purchase an SUV, I would insist on these critical safety features. Runflat tires, independent suspensions and a backup camera/sensor would also be important.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Yes, it's a minivan. But it has pretty unique styling. Nissan tried to design the exterior so people who normally shy away from minivans would give the Quest a shot.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Ford Freestar??
    Pontiac Montana (get the Thunder Sport Package)
    Honda Odyssey (yes, it's old, but it's pretty cheap and roomy, not to mention reliable)
    Toyota Sienna
    Nissan Quest
    If you must have an SUV......
    Ford Expedition
    Chevrolet Suburban
    Toyota Sequoia
  • joebas & david188:

    I, too, am trying to decide between a large-size SUV (Suburban or Yukon XL) or a minivan (2004 Quest or Odyssey EX). I've at LEAST narrowed myself down to a couple of each type! Our key requirement is SPACE... 3 kids (10, 7, and baby), 3 dogs, and hubby is 6'4". We take major road trips for any of our vacations so it's imperative we have room for luggage and baby gear. Although I LOVE my Passat Wagon, it's simply getting too small for us.

    Here are some thoughts with which I've been toying:

    1. Seems the Suburban cargo space would be more accomodating with luggage spread out rather than piled up as in some minivans behind the 3rd row seat. Thoughts or experiences?

    2. I like the full bench seat for 3 in the second row of the Suburban so more cargo space is available by lowering the 3rd row. However, it seems there might even be enough space keeping the 3rd row up. Is this true? If so, the idea of 2nd row buckets seems user-friendly.

    Would never be able to make use of the 3rd row "Magic seat" in the minivans since we need the seating.

    3. Appreciate the gas mileage and safety features of the minivans.

    4. I'm a bit gun-shy about driving something as big as a Suburban but like the idea of the 4x4 for winter driving conditions. Neither the Quest nor Ody offer AWD so I'm wondering how they do in snow.

    5. And while not as critical, I hate to give up a sunroof and great sound system by getting the minivan... got to enjoy the lil' things too!! I realize the Quest SE model has the Bose and sunroof, but just don't like their leather choices and would opt for a lower model and get after-market leather.

    6. Any dog owners out there?? Which is better for loading up the canine companions?

    Is there a way this gets cross-posted to other board areas? THANKS!
  • I bought my third minivan at the end of June, a new Odyssey EX-L and will probably still have one even after the rest of the kids are gone. I bought my first, a new 1985 VW Vanagon right after my third daughter was born, put 180,000 miles on it, then replaced it with a new 1993 VW Eurovan that I put 172,000 miles on, I've got ~8,000 on the Odyssey so far and I love it. I think you've really got to need the off road or heavy towing capability of an SUV to justify it. The minivans ride better, get better gas mileage and have much better active safety than a comparably sized SUV (if you can avoid the accident by better avoidance capability, you won't get hurt). If you need the maximum space, get the Eurovan, as is has more than the Suburban or Expedition. I was able to downsize to the the Odyssey because I only have 2 of the 5 kids left at home (other than when the other 2 are home from college- the oldest just got married). We took a 500+ mile trip (each way) in the Odyssey with 6 people and it was very comfortable. Regarding pulling a trailer, the same week I bought the Eurovan I bought a Coleman pop-up trailer that weighs ~2,000 lb. My Eurovan towed it just fine, and I'm sure the Odyssey will too, as it's rated for 3,500 lb and has lots of power. Regarding style: I may be in the minority, but I much prefer the looks of most minivans to most of the SUVs on the market. In fact I think SUVs are a pox on the landscape. But it's a free country and you can buy whatever you want.
  • joebasjoebas Posts: 20
    1. Seems the Suburban cargo space would be more accommodating with luggage spread out rather than piled up as in some minivans behind the 3rd row seat. Thoughts or experiences?

    I have experienced both. I currently own a 93'Quest and I traded a large 2002 Oldsmobile Silouett Premier Minivan for my current Suburban. Part of our reason we switch was exactly for that reason you mention, "luggage spread out". We too go on many road trips and over this past summer we took a 2 week 3000 mile trip from NY to KS to visit some friends. The ride was absolutely awesome, we could not get over how smooth the ride is with the AutoRide option. I could swear it's a better ride the the minivan we traded. We packed everything we needed back there and it always amazes me how much we can fit.
  • joebasjoebas Posts: 20
    2. I like the full bench seat for 3 in the second row of the Suburban so more cargo space is available by lowering the 3rd row. However, it seems there might even be enough space keeping the 3rd row up. Is this true? If so, the idea of 2nd row buckets seems user-friendly.

    So far for us, with 3 kids, we have been able to fill up the back with everything we need for a 2 week trip. Our son goes in the back middle and we also add stuff to both sides of him.

    3. Appreciate the gas mileage and safety features of the minivans.

    We are currently getting 17mpg on HW and 14 city, with 5.3 standard engine. We have all the air bag available in our SUV, including the optional side airbags. We opted for the differential over the stabilitrack as we get a lot of snow up here and personally just wanted that option for the best possible traction.

    4. I'm a bit gun-shy about driving something as big as a Suburban but like the idea of the 4x4 for winter driving conditions. Neither the Quest nor Ody offer AWD so I'm wondering how they do in snow.

    My wife as also very gun-shy about driving our suburban at first, but once you start driving it as she did, you will love it. I have heard that from many other wives prior to our purchase and in our case, they were correct as my wife takes it everywhere now and loves it.

    5. And while not as critical, I hate to give up a sunroof and great sound system by getting the minivan... got to enjoy the lil' things too!! I realize the Quest SE model has the Bose and sunroof, but just don't like their leather choices and would opt for a lower model and get after-market leather

    We have owned our quest now for 10 years and it's been a great vehicle. If I were to traded today, I would get the new Quest to go along with my Suburban. I think they both look good, but to me the suburban is awesome.

    6. Any dog owners out there?? Which is better for loading up the canine companions?

    Yes, we also have a 11 year old Golden Retriever and she fits fine between our middle bucket seats. In our minivan, she fits very nicely as we removed one of the middle bucket seats.

    hope this helps.............
  • Thank you so far for your great insights! I realize it's always a matter of taste and experience from one person to another but it really helps to hear it from others who have tackled the decisions as well...

    Joe, who gets to drive the Suburban vs. the minvan daily? Also, how hard is it to park vs. your minivan?

    WISH we could do one Suburban and one new minivan, but SIGH, that's just not gonna' happen any time in the next decade. ;-]
  • joebasjoebas Posts: 20
    My wife drives the Suburban and I get the minivan. She particularly likes to drive it when she has all the kids with her. When we are both home and she needs to go out by herself or 1 kid, then she will take the minivan. When we are both home and I need to go out alone or with kids, I always take the Truck. :)

    On the second part of your question, I have no problems, but will let my wife tell you what she thinks. Here she goe:

    "Hi, I can't believe he just called me in here to write this but.....it took me a while to get comfortable with the size, now that I am though parking is fine. I'm more concerned about where I park because the truck is new and I don't want door dings, than I am because I'm not comfortable pulling in and out due to the size."

    It's me again..my wife thinks I'm a nut :)...hope this helps.
  • Go mini van style!! Back in 2000 me and my wife looked at the Toyota Sequoia at the Chicago Auto Show and was so sure that this would be our next vehicle whenever we replaced my 1986 Lincoln Town Car. At the time we only had three small children. Well this year we had to buy a new vechicle for my 1986 Lincoln with over 186,000 miles died.

    After doing the research on pricing, safety, cargo/people space, comfort, gas mileage, easy entry, easy to drive and engine power. We ended up going with a mini van. We now have four small children 1, 5, 7, and 9. We purchased a used 2001 Grand Caravan EX with the only option available, the Driver/Passenger side air bag. Also, we purchased the rear cargo organizer for the groceries. It works great.

    This past weekend me and my wife took a trip to Galena, IL which was over 500 miles round trip and had to drop off three of our children with relatives. (our 7 year old doesn't live with us). We have the 2nd row captain chairs and 50/50 split third row bench. Let me tell you, we had a lot of stuff to carry. Two big duffel bags, one mide size luggage bag, four book bags, large cooler, two bags of food, portable fold-up play pin, swing seat, baby entertainer (the big one baby sits in), baby tub, baby push toy, baby buggy, baby security gate, my tool box which is pretty big and the two second row captain chairs.

    All of this fit inside of our Grand Caravan behind the second row. What I had to do was take out the two second row captain chairs first and move them to the back of the van. I moved the 3rd row 50/50 split bench up to the second row and installed them there. The two captain chairs I locked in place in the third row and tumbled them forward for maximized cargo space. Everything was just below the rear seat and window line. I was able to see out of all the windows. Our three children 1, 5 and 9 sat in the 50/50 split bench. We do have two car seats.

    So as you can see, a mini van can fit a lot of stuff and you have the versatility of seating, easy entry/exit, comfort, powerful engine and a host of luxury items: Triple zone air/heat, 6 speaker sound system w/equalizer (sounds beautiful), CD/Cassette player, power passenger rear door and power lift gate, all disc brakes, ABS, front and side air bags, 3.8L V6 engine, power windows and door locks, Traction control, cruise control and lockable removable center storage console that can be placed between the two front or second row captain chairs to list a few. (Now you can even get a sun/moon roof on some newer mini vans and all wheel drive).

    We haven't driven our van through snow yet, because we just bought it in September. But, on our trip to Galena, there are a lot of steep hills, mountains and sharp turns to which we encountered. The mini van handled them nicely with no loss of control. We even got caught in a heavy down pour coming from Dubuque, Iowa. To my surprize we had no trouble going through the puddles on the expressway and it was pitch black. (No light on these roads in the country) The traction control didn't even have to engage. The ride was very comfortable, stable, smooth and quite. Our average speed was about 75 to 80. Didn't even feel like it with plenty of power left over.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    "In Canada, minivans outsell SUVs by a ratio of two to one. In the United States, SUVs outsell minivans two to one," Adams writes. "This is a stark difference whose roots can be traced directly to the differing values of our two countries."

    Toronto Star

    Steve, Host
  • li_sailorli_sailor Posts: 1,081
    Good article.

    One thing, though...in the US, it's not 2:1, it's over 4:1...

    MVs: 786,983
    SUVs: 3,336,962

    2003 US sales through November (autosite)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I think you have to convert those numbers from metric....

    Steve, Host
  • li_sailorli_sailor Posts: 1,081
    LOL.

    Sounds like an illegal operation.

    ;-)
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    Adams characterizes minivans as the symbol of what he calls "familism" — "an
        acceptance that children and their world are now at the centre of one's life" —
        and SUVs as the symbol of rugged individualism, conspicuous consumption, and
        environmental abuse.

         
       Have a little acid rain, scarecrow.
  • sum101sum101 Posts: 1
    I have read all of the information regarding the functional differences between SUV and Minivans, but can anyone help me with the technical differences, ie. what classifies them as one or the other. Is it the engine, seating, cargo capacity, platform, etc.? Thank you very much!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Looks like your question got overlooked - I think it boils down to seating capacity, ground clearance and the drivetrain.

    Generally minivans seat more (in comfort), rarely offer 4WD/AWD and don't have the ground clearance of SUVs.

    Steve, Host
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    Minivans are usually characterized by sliding doors, aerodynamic appearance and are built on a unibody chassis.

    SUVs usually have standard doors, often have a more truck-like appearance and used to be built on a body on [ladder] frame truck chassis. Models with a truck chassis often suffer from lower crash test scores (they don't crush as easily to absorb crash energy), degraded handling and relatively high rollover risk.

    While most large SUVs are still truck-based, various newer midsize and small SUVs are now built on a unibody chassis, also. Models like the Cadillac SRX, Acura MDX and Volvo XC90 are likely to be just as safe as the top minivans.
  • djkcmkdjkcmk Posts: 2
    I have an '03 Econoline conversion van which I thought I would be very happy with as it is my second large van. In one year I have put 27K miles on it due to 3 kids in sports activities that require us to travel mega miles as well as family members who live 300 miles away. With gas now at $2 the fuel cost is making me ill since I'm only getting 14mpg city OR hwy. Should I trade for a minivan or buy a used Honda Civic or Corolla for local driving and save the big van for long trips?
  • li_sailorli_sailor Posts: 1,081
    The Minivan Is Getting a Makeover

    There were 11.2 deaths for every 100,000 registered vans last year, according to new data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. By contrast, there were 16.42 deaths in sport utility vehicles, 15.17 in pickup trucks and 14.85 in passenger cars.

    Design is a major reason minivans are less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than other vehicles. They ride lower to the ground than sport utility vehicles and tend to have a wider base, making them more stable.

    After several years of flat sales, the minivan market share has risen to 7 percent of overall auto sales through July, from 6.7 percent a year earlier...

    General Motors is preparing four minivans for next year - from its Saturn, Buick, Chevrolet and Pontiac divisions - with snoutlike front ends meant to resemble sport utility vehicles.

    " 'How would a minivan improve my life?' " she said. " 'It would free me from my vanity and let me laugh at my friends who still insist on paying triple the bucks to squeeze into an overpriced S.U.V.' "
  • Good article. Nice to know that the minivan is the safest vechicle on the road. Me and my wife three years ago wanted a SUV, but bought a minivan last year instead and just love it.
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,365
    minivan or keeping the conversion would be good for safety, since you have 3 kids...and those may be safer, on average than your car. Civics and corollas are great for saving gas, but give up some armour and thus safety.

    Seems like a minivan would be the way to go , since some are getting 25 mpg on freeways. Or if you can manage to drive defensively, to try to get a larger sedan, IMO .

    The NHSTA, IIHS, etc all recommend larger for safety....and it seems like minivans are safe due to their size , as is your Econoline.

    But do you really need the larger Econoline? if not, get a smaller minivan. I heard the Odyssey gets great mileage, is safe, but may want to avoid the new tech engine, as it may have teething problems....My friend just got a regular engine 05 Odyssey.

    hope this helps
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    Does the Odyssey give you a choice of engines in '05 ? If it does , things sure have changed since I had a 99.
     How many spare transmissions does the 05 Odyssey come with, or is that an option ?
     Just to keep things in perspective about the Odyssey having an unreliable transmission, there are 882 posts about Odyssey Transmisson Problems and 641 posts in the Chrysler Transmission Problems in the Vans Forum.
  • li_sailorli_sailor Posts: 1,081
    Yes, the Odyssey comes with 2 spare transmissions in that huge cargo area it has. An "auto-tranny-drop" system replaces the bad one without you even knowing it. Amazing what technology can do today, huh? And it's warranted for a full 4 days, 'til you can "refill" the spare trannys.

    As we know, MVs, unlike SUVs, have quality problems. That's obvious from the lack of any posts in an SUV problem topic. Oh wait, there're are thousands of those. Never mind.

    :-)
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    Yes, the Odyssey comes with 2 spare transmissions in that huge cargo area it has. An "auto-tranny-drop" system replaces the bad one without you even knowing it. Amazing what technology can do today, huh? And it's warranted for a full 4 days, 'til you can "refill" the spare trannys.

    Does it work like a Pez dispenser?

    :-)
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    There are thousands of problem posts about MV's,too.
    There are no "Transmission problem" specific forums in SUV's.
     Honda had a huge recall to find out if the transmission needed replacing or just a bandaid on the current Odyssey This is the transmissions put in Odysseys in the last few years. Honda Pilots have the same transmission so I expect they were also included in the recall, or will be
      This recall was for a specific problem. It does not make the transmission any more reliable, in general. So even the re-called transmissions can fail in the traditional failure modes.
     Having a Honda Odyssey in the shop for 21 days while it took 3 PEZ transmission for my Odyssey to be fixed, is the reason I try to steer potential customers away from minivans. Getting stranded is no fun.
     I could easily recommend a crossover type vehicle or a SUV on a car chassis. Both get better gas mileage than truck based SUV's.
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    There are no "Transmission problem" specific forums in SUV's.

    true, but go read a little in the Ford explorer problems and solutions forum and you'll notice the majority of the posts (recently at least) are about the Explorer tranny and it's problems. (sealed for life and solenoid failures)
  • li_sailorli_sailor Posts: 1,081
    If you use # of posts as a measure of quality (or lack thereof) then SUVs must really be horrible (based on a recently quashed topic) ;-)

    The only real way to make a sound comparison of tranny "quality" between SUVs and MVs is to take some qualified metric of problems per vehicle per class or some such. Anecdotes or number of posts does not qualify. Worse yet, sometimes folks read such unqualified criticism and think it's accurate. And then go out and buy an SUV, heaven forbid :-)

    ...the reason I try to steer potential customers away from minivans. Getting stranded is no fun.

    I don't think anyone is more likely to be stranded in an MV than an SUV, let alone any other vehicle. And nothing I've ever seen (in terms of objective data) has ever indicated otherwise. That's why I feel compelled to counter your "steering".

    Gimme that wheel.....

    ps...hope your back is ok and that infection has cleared up.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Choose the vehicle that best suits your specific needs and weight-carrying requirements.

    Driving Tips

    Steve, Host
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