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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign



  • yatesjoyatesjo Posts: 186
    edited November 2011
    I missed the part about wanting quad seats... probably because it is incompatible with wanting easy access to buckle four kids in car seats. The 8-pax option is much better if you have four kids in seats... I know because I have four kids from 7 months to 6 years.

    If you do 4 kids in most vans it means you have to squeeze between two car seats in the captains chairs to get back to the 2 seats in the third row. With the Sienna 8-pax you put a car seats in the middle position and one out board position, then tumble forward the other side to give easy access to the 2 seats in the third row.

    A quick search of Craigslist here says $15k gets 2006 & 2007 Sienna LE 8pax at dealers. A little footwork and haggling is sure to get more.
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    The extended version of the Chevy Uplander or Pontiac Montana SV6 may do, although the seats do not fold entirely in the floor. These vans have been problematic but if the warranty work has been done and avoid the power sliding doors, then you should find a decent low mileage van. I bought a 2007 SWB Chevy Uplander LT with 55k miles for under $12k (taxes included). Stick to a 2007 or 2008 model because they have the 3900 V6 with 240 HP and come with a 5 year 100k mile powertrain warranty. If you buy from a GM dealer ask them to do a search for the warranty work done on the van. Problem areas are head gasket, cross over pipe gasket, wheel bearings, and sway bar. My van had all this work already done. So far I'm averaging 21 to 24 MPG for combined highway-city driving. Good luck.
  • I am looking at 2 vans and hope to get it in a few days
    2007 LE/28k miles with hub caps [wife hates it] gold color . 17,700 .I have to add dvd player and a gps to it. say 500$

    2009 Nissan SL/35k - dvd player ,leather loaded 18,900.

    which is a better option to last say 5yr/60k .
  • One more
    2010 LE/w 42k miles. 17,700
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well, don't get any car your wife hates, because marriage counseling costs more than any car payment. ;)
  • I am so frustrated. We have a 2001 Venuture that we bought new, need to get rid of and get something used. We will not get another Venture, ours has been a piece of junk from the get-go, thankfully we paid $300 for an extended warranty! which paid for itself a few times over five months after the manufacturer's warranty ran out (manifold gasket I think, plus something else) and at least $3500 more in repairs before that ran out. It is wheezing and gasping yet again, this time needing a new CV joint, another valve job, transmission, etc. No more money is going into it. We want to buy used, preferably 2007, vehicle with third row seating. We are on a very limited budget, and after the Venture fiasco insist on buying something that we can purchase a warranty on (hence the 07) but everything seems to small. We will also not even consider the Uplander or Terraza because of the issues they have had.

    We have two teenagers, one who is 6'4, the other already 6'0 who will be driving, riding in middle row and often riding in the third row. We will also be transporting my parents (who aren't handicapped but can't climb into a third row anymore) on an increasing basis. We thought we had the answer in the Sedona until we put the kids in it. They fit fine in the front, marginally in the middle and the third row was borderline on dangerous. There seems to be tether/anchor clips of some kind on the ceiling right where their heads go. The taller one's head doesn't fit under it, the shorter one's head skims it. If we were to hit even a speed bump they could be injured, and the leg room is inadequate.

    When I look at specs on line, nothing looks like it is any bigger than the Sedona by enough to fit them. We can't afford a SUV new enough to qualify for a warranty, and a sedan is out due to the need for six comfortably and gear. Does anyone have any suggestions? Don't know what we are going to do when it comes time for road trips or when all six of us need to travel together. Getting desperate, need something before the Venture croaks, which by all indications is going to be sooner than later.

  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    edited March 2013
    Only one I can think of that's adult-comfortable in 3rd row is a Suburban. I have several of them for my biz and we haul around 6-7 adults on a regular basis...many times off-road and so far we haven't had anyone smack their head on the ceiling! They're very expensive though...even well used. Have you looked at Honda Odyssey? We had an '05 and i don't recall the 3rd row being horrible. Most other SUV's are FAR worse than the minivans in 3rd row space.

    I can understand your desire for a warranty...particularly coming out of the vehicle you had before. But you will NOT find a reputable warranty for anywhere near $300 today....think $1,000-$1,200 minimum for a Honda/Toyota/something inherently reliable. Other brands will be even higher..I believe GM wanted close to $3,000 for an ext warranty on the last suburban I bought (I never buy warranties regardless). I will say that the Suburbans serve us very well. The one I usually drive is a 2010 with almost 90k miles on it and no real problems...and it's in construction/mining sites on a regular basis. We have another with 125k miles that's also not had anything more than a couple minor issues.

    Your venture was an anomoly in the vehicle world. If all vehicles were that un-reliable the warranty business would not exist...or would be priced so high nobody could afford one. They're in business to make money (and they do) so odds are NOT in your favor by a long shot.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    I agree with sebring95's suggestion of a Suburban, but if that's truly not practical (or if your parents can't manage the step-in height), look for a base-length full-size van - Ford E-150 Club Wagon or Chevy Express/GMC Savana 1500 - with three rows of seats and the V6 or smallest available V8.

    With all the tall people in the family, you have clearly outgrown the minivan class and will have to look to full-size vehicles.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Host
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I'm 6'4" and have no problems in the third row of an Odyssey. All it takes is the second row passenger to move their seat up by about 2". If the aging parents aren't overly tall, that may be a better solution (my grandmother sits in front of me at 5'8" and has plenty of room). The vans (Sienna and Odyssey anyway) have sliding captains chairs that make legroom a flexible endeavor.

    Just a thought from this big 25 year old - the smallest car I can really comfortably drive is full-size.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Try a place like CarMax where you can sample many brands. I think it would be worth one visit and they should have all the major brands.
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