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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign



  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I think eventually after a while the giant rebates will be back.
  • mnrep2mnrep2 Posts: 200
    Why would you not consider the AWD Sienna? That has all the room of a minivan plus AWD! I live in MN too, and I have to have the space of a minivan, so AWD Sienna it is. Love the car :shades:
  • dbtdbt Posts: 298
    Why would you not consider the AWD Sienna? That has all the room of a minivan plus AWD! I live in MN too, and I have to have the space of a minivan, so AWD Sienna it is.
    That's a good question. Have to say the run-flats were an issue. I also preferred the Odyssey in general to the Sienna, but the big money difference between Odyssey & Pilot was hard to pass up. But, an AWD Sienna would also have been good.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    we didn't like the EX cloth

    Us too! It's terrible! Mouse fur, peach fuzz, call it what you want but it felt cheap and anything but durable.

    You know what's funny? We liked the cheaper LX' cloth a whole lot better. It was felt-like, luxurious in comparison to the EX' cloth.

    That's so funny that you felt the same way.

    We found the leather on the EX-L too stiff so we were going to have to compromise somewhere. We really wanted the power doors.

    Try an AWD Sienna LE. You can get nicer fabrics and AWD for less than that Pilot.
  • dbtdbt Posts: 298
    Try an AWD Sienna LE. You can get nicer fabrics and AWD for less than that Pilot.
    That's a good thought (as MNRep also suggested). An AWD LE package 2 would have been my choice, but those work out at about $27500 plus fees locally, i.e. $2500 more than the Pilot.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Do you these prices could be accurate? :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    But you get power sliding doors on both sides.

    After having them for a while, let me tell you, they are *far* more useful than power windows or power mirrors. You use them four times (open/close/open/close) every single time you drive anywhere! When was the last time you moved your mirrors?

    Before hansienna says they're slow - I disagree, the remote has enough range that they are completely open before we even reach the vehicle walking towards it.

    It's big plus when the kids fall asleep at the end of a trip, because I carry them out and then just press a button.

    You also get a lot more room, better gas mileage, more horsepower and more torque. Much smoother ride, IMO.

    Pilot is an SUV so it has more cool factor.

    Only you can decide if it's worth $2500 more, though.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Just reporting my experience with my 2006 Sienna LE that has only the right side power sliding door. I am GLAD that the left side sliding door can be manually opened and closed quickly. :shades:

    Power mirrors are MUCH more beneficial than power sliding doors. When I travel at night, I adjust the power mirrors on both sides downward to keep glare out of my eyes on the open road...but adjust upward when driving in urban areas.

    I would never again pay the extra $$$$ to get the Sienna LE with costly options instead of the Sienna CE because the CE has the same engine and transmission; the CE has NO shiny circles around the gauges and shiny surfaces on dash to reflect glare from sunlight; AND the Sienna CE has a more comfortable front passenger seat. :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    No thanks, I'm happy with my seat, love the power doors (our favorite feature by far), and wanted things like the 6CD changer and tinted windows.

    The shiny circles never bothered me, I didn't even notice until you mentioned them. The steering wheel audio controls are beginning to spoil me, too.

    CE with package 2 at least adds cruise and stability control, but dealers just don't carry them in stock, so good luck finding one.

    I'd also miss the fold-flat front passenger seat, heated mirrors (even clears water when it rains), lit visors (wifey requirement), and the roof rack which I've already used 3 times.

    About the only thing we seem to agree on is that we can both get excellent mileage from our vans! ;)
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    The prices for the 2008 Chrysler vans were from a press release by Chrysler. They are accurate, at least for the first couple months.

    Chrysler power sliding doors operate manually without any addition resistance from the power system. The best design so far.

    If you have to adjust your side mirrors from headlight glare, they are aimed too far in. There's no reason to see the same object behind you in three mirrors. Reference
  • dave594dave594 Posts: 218
    Hearing all the people who've had problems with their power sliding doors makes me glad my Ody is an LX. I can pull the doors open and close them quicker then the motor, which comes in handy when it's pouring outside. As long as I have my arms I don't need power doors.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They were a problem early on but I think they ironed out the bugs a while ago.

    Ratings in Consumer Reports reflect an improvement in body hardware.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    Flip a switch, power doors turned off. Everyone happy and vehicle is far more sellable on the tail-end. I personally wouldn't go without the power doors. Plus, if you open them up as you approach all that hot air clears out quick!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Plus, my 4 year old likes that he can do it all by himself. I bet he'd struggle with the weight of a manual sliding door.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    We also agree that the Sienna has an excellent turning radius and a very comfortable driver's seat. :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    True that. :shades:
  • mnrep2mnrep2 Posts: 200
    Have to say the run-flats were an issue. I had concerns about the run flats too. However, I will just go to a mini spare and a can of flat fix when these run flats are no more. After 12K miles in the last 6 months, I have found the ride and seats to be light years ahead of the Daimler Chrysler vans I drove for the previous 15 years ;)
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I love both power sliding doors and the power rear hatch!! In the summer, when minivan has been parked in hot sun for hours, as you approach it, you open all three doors and the heat is purged from the interior!! love it love it love it!!
  • jahnu04jahnu04 Posts: 58
    I am in the market looking for a vehicle that can seat 5 comfortably. Not sure whether to buy a new or used one, mostly inclined towards buying a used one. I drive a Mazda6 and my wife drives 2000 Xterra, 6 has 15K & Xterra has only 55K miles, Xterra won't fetch me more than $7K, so hate to sell it. I don't want to give up the 6 either.

    Here are my requirements:
    1. Need seating for 3 adults, 1 booster and a rear facing infant car seat.
    2. Will be driven mostly during weekends and probably less than 6K per year.
    3. Need room to fit a infant stroller and an umbrella stroller plus room for other stuff.
    4. Do not want to pay more than $15K or $16K for a used one (will rather buy a new one), open to buying a new one if I can get a good deal.
    5. More importance to reliability and safety features rather than luxury.
    6. Less than 50K miles preferred in a used one.

    Any suggestions please?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The need to seat 5 comfortably would point me towards a minivan that had 3 seats in the middle row. That leaves the rear cargo area completely empty for the most flexible cargo needs.

    In my humble opinion, the van that does that best is the Sienna 8 seater, and by a wide margin.

    I mean wide literally, too. Check the 8th seat, it's wider than the Odyssey's.

    We got a new 2007, but had similar needs - 3 adults (including our nanny), and 2 kids in boosters.

    The nanny can fit comfortably between the 2 kids. She has her own seat belt, and it's seat mounted, so no hunting for a seat belt on the ceiling.

    In your case, I would put the rear facing infant in the middle, you can even move it front and center, closer to his/her mom. The 3rd adult and the child in the booster would sit in the outboard seats.

    You have more cargo space behind that 2nd row then your XTerra does behind the first row. The space is massive.

    Given your price range, I would look for a 2004 or 2005 Sienna CE or LE, make sure it's an 8 passenger model.

    Of course any 7 passenger van would manage, but you'll have to penalize the 3rd adult by sending them to the 3rd row, i.e. the time out chair. ;)
  • jahnu04jahnu04 Posts: 58
    Thanks - I will check out the 8 passenger Sienna. I have read most of the messages you have posted on the Sienna and other forums, very informative.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Thanks. I try to be. :shades:
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    Brand new 2007 base model Town & Country. Remove the 2nd row bench and move the 3rd row bench to the middle row. Can be had for under $15K out the door in many markets, depending on equipment. Bonus, lifetime powertrain warratny effective today.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Saw that warranty thing, that's crazy. They're going to pay out for a lot of transmissions. Life time?!

    Seems like a really big gamble for Cerburus. That's gonna be a long-term liability for them.

    Great for the buyer, though.

    The Catch: it's not transferable, and that might make residuals worse than they are now, i.e. makes more sense to buy new because that's the only way you get the warranty.

    Of the really long warranties, only Suzuki's is fully transferable (7/100).
  • hypnosis44hypnosis44 Posts: 483
    "They're going to pay out for a lot of transmissions. Life time?!

    The transmission problems, which were some of the worst in the industry, ceased being an issues several years ago. They now rank at least average or better among all makes. Those memories lingers on though and that is the driving force behind the warranties.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Just keep your receipts for ATF fluid services to be safe.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I will agree that this is an excellent deal in terms of minivans, especially if you keep them forever.
  • dave594dave594 Posts: 218
    My Honda dealer has a similar lifetime warranty scheme. The trick is you have to have all your maintenance done by them. I'm sure Chrysler is doing the same thing and requiring all work to be done by their dealers to keep the warranty going.
  • hypnosis44hypnosis44 Posts: 483
    "... requiring all work to be done by their dealers to keep the warranty going."

    It has been unlawful for many decades for an auto manufacturer to require all work be done by the dealer to keep the warranty in place.

    A dealers own "special" extended warranty, which is separate from the manufacturers warranty, may contain that requirement in some states.

    The Chrysler warranty is the manufacturers warranty.

    Anyone who encounters difficulties with the dealer accepting the maintenance work of a lawfully authorized repair facility should contact Federal authorities for assistance.
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