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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign



  • lastwraithlastwraith Posts: 350
    According to Edmunds and my not-so-great memory....the ODY EX should have dual climate controls up front as standard. You sure that wasn't an Ody LX you were testing?
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    You do understand the performance differences, mon!

    Those that drive with no energy/vigor will not. So it is difficult for them to understand and appreciate that superior energetic and dynamic performance.

    My '04 Ody was measured at an even faster 7.5 sec for 0 - 60mph by C & D June 2004 minivan comparo vs 9.6 sec for the 3.8L 215hp DGC. A full 2secs that many car enthusiasts know is a significant number! C & D even said that the DGC would not cut it with this engine. Infact I take great pleasure whenever I can in whopping these DGCs and T & C whenever I can find them on the road!

    Based on my 60 minivan rentals of mostly DGCs and T & Cs(some loaded with less than 10 miles on the ODO) over the past 2 years on business trips, I do know the performance capabilities of these vehicles and they just don't cut it like C & D says vs the Ody in terms of performance. It is always a pleasure to get back to my Ody and drive it like a sporty car( the superior driving dynamics). is very accurate in saying that the Ody is the BMW of minivans in terms of its superior driving dynamics.

    The melodic sound of the Ody's highly refined engine may be what some may be referring as noise. Boy, you should hear how awful those rentals sound when you try to make go faster at above 70mph - It sounds like a rebellion saying, "Don't push me anymore". Sometimes while driving the rentals, I forget that I am not driving my Ody and try to do corners quickly like the Ody only to take evasive measures when realities set in.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    One son got a new 2001 Ody EX, another son got a used 2002 GC Sport, and I got a used 2002 T&C LX.
    Yes, I know the 2005 Ody EX and Touring have separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger that has been available on most DC minivans for about 10 years or more. The Ody EX still does not have the nice overhead console with compass/outside temperature and trip computer that has been available on DC minivans for many years.
    Yes, the 01 Ody EX 3.5L V6 has more HP and torque than the 3.3L in the 02 GC Sport and 02 T&C LX but ther performance does not feel like it when driving any of the 3. The Ody EX also gets the lowest gas mileage of the 3 but the extra cargo space behind the Magic Seat is an advantage.
    If I were going to buy a new minivan now, it would be difficult to choose between the 2005 Ody EX (cloth) and the 2005 GC SXT as each has items I like that are not on the other one. The choice is so close it would depend upon which salesman I like at the most friendly dealership. Currently, the Honda dealership seems to have the least pushy salesmen that I would prefer dealing with. :blush:
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Agree. A 2000 Chrysler T&C LX had a much nicer interior than that of my 2002 T&C LX. After DC dropped Plymouth, the T&C LX became the reincarnation of the former Plymouth GV SE. The Touring is now the former LXi and the Limited is not quite as nice as the former Limited.
    BTW, did you read Edmunds data on the new 2007 Mazda MPV? Keep your eyes posted for more data from Edmunds. ;) tid=NL990385&DARTmail

    "What Says: Forget smaller and more nimble, the next MPV will attempt to compete with the best in the segment with a larger size and more amenities."

    "What We Know: Mazda will be completely redesigning the venerable MPV, with a tentative release date scheduled for the fall of 2006. The new MPV will be somewhat larger than current and past models in order to distinguish it from the likes of the new Mazda 5. Mazda has elected to use the Mazda 6 platform as the basis for this upcoming version of the MPV."
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Last sentence from Edmonds

    Still, we don't feel sorry for Dodge, as plenty of folks will be won over by its combination of agile handling, comfy ride, spacious interior, stylish looks and iconic presence in the minivan segment.

    The 3.8-liter V6 available for the Grand Caravan delivers strong power. This big V6 is responsive when merging into fast freeway traffic, accelerating from intersections, or passing on two-lane roads.
    To Chrysler’s credit, once the headrests are raised the second-row buckets feel very good considering their size (Chrysler credits high-tech foam), but a full-size seat would be better still.

    On the road, the Dodge Grand Caravan and Caravan offer a smooth ride and responsive handling. These are family-friendly vehicles that offer the features and flexibility most buyers want and there's a model for every budget. Most models come with a powerful V6 engine that delivers strong acceleration for merging onto hectic freeways
  • daedae Posts: 143
    Last sentence from Edmonds

    From any reasonably objective review one could cherry pick the positives (or negatives). Nobody (really) claims that DC products have no virtue, and for sure, there are reasons to chose them, from price, to particulars of equipment available. (Not sure I can say that about the sorry GM products)

    The claim was that in the relative comparison, every single test (out of at least dozen of most reputable ones) picked up Honda and then Toyota as a clearly superior vehicle overall for the task at hand using both objective performance criterias and a dazzling variety of subjective analysis of its practicality and appeal.

    After all, this thread is named "Minivan shopping", not just "Odyssey" or "DGC". It is all about comparisons.


    P.S. I think Honda should pay me. :D (But that posting spree was just to end up some quite thorough research)
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    After all, this thread is named "Minivan shopping", not just "Odyssey" or "DGC". It is all about comparisons.

    True dae, but how many people do you think pick a van or car because one van is a little faster, has one more gear in the tranny, can make a U turn a few feet shorter than another or etc.?

    They go by looks first, then they look at what features the van offers and the price they're asking. If that all sounds good, then they take it for a test drive. If it has enough power, rides nice and is quiet, they'll usually buy it. If it's got a bad reputation, people usually won't even go look at it.

    Chrysler sold an all time high number of minivans during the month of May. If people were all reading C.R or some of those other magazines and saw how Honda was faster, has a five speed instead of Chrysler's four speed, saw that Honda turned shorter and etc. why did they choose Chrysler over Honda and Toyota? It couldn't be all price.

    When I bought my Dodge GC, I could care less what the other vans had that was better or worse than Dodge. I liked what I saw, knew how I wanted to use it, it rode quiet and had a smooth ride and a lot of power and the price was right. I own a Honda Civic, but never even considered a Honda as I felt it was over priced, didn't have all the goddies I wanted for a fair price and didn't have on it what I needed to use the van for.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Women mostly drive these vans, much more than men. They are going to want it to look good, but they also want the features that make the van easier for them. They are looking for things like power sliding side doors and power rear hatch. Power seat and good air and radios. They want it easy to drive and quiet. They are also going to be concerned on how much a month they're going to have to pay out. Most could care less if it has a high tech engine, five, instead of four speed tranny. They just don't want to have to shift it. These other things mean very little to most women and the sales records show it.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    "it would be difficult to choose between the 2005 Ody EX(cloth) and the 2005 GC SXT"

    What would be the prices on each of those purchases Hans?...taking into account rebates and incentives offered on each. I bet in a close call like that....the checkbook would be the deciding factor. ;)
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    "They go by looks first....."

    That would be correct marine. Social Psychologists have indicated that people choose a vehicle much as they would their mate. First on looks(interior/exterior styling etc), then personality(engine pep,loud or quiet/performance ;) ) and lastly money(socioeconomic status) Just because dae likes a girl for her attributes ;) doesn't mean you or hans will.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    On the MPV. I have heard it will be slightly bigger than the current model, but not be available in the U.S. This review from Edmunds makes it sound as if it will be available.If it is indeed coming to the U.S...hope Mazda widens the wheelbase...drops in an engine at about 280hp.THEN...I'll be seeing Mac on those freeway straightaways and hairpin turns he's been dreaming about. :shades:
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Jipster, I saw what I believe to be a Ody EX on the lot the other week when I took the Civic in for an oil change. The sticker on it said around $28,000, which is close to the sticker price on my DGC SXT. Although when I bought mine, they knocked over $3,500 off the sticker price. I did notice that the Ody, did not have the over head computer, or the power rear hatch. Not sure if it had a radio with CD/Cassett and six speakers or not, as I could not read everything on the sticker.

    I think most people when looking at the Dodge, Toyota or Honda, would say all three are nice looking on the outside. I think the Honda is the better of the three in looks inside, with the Toyota second. With that said, Honda andToyota have a big advantage on the Dodge. What would sway most woman and some men away from them and to the Dodge would be the extra goodies that Dodge offers that woman want and price. I think that is what Dodge has done with giving the extra goodies, droped the price by thousands and come out with Stow-N-Go.Most women could care less if it shifts four times, instead of five, if it has the high tech engine or U turns a few feet shorter. For some on this board to keep stating these advantages of the Honda over the Dodge, means little or nothing to them. Most, that bought the Honda, I'm sure did it because they fell in love with the interior and reputation for quality. Same with the Toyota.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    If so and if it has separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger + an overhead console with temperature/compass and trip computer AND is reasonably priced, I would consider buying an MPV instead of just the Odyssey, Grand Caravan, or NEW 2006 KIA Sedona. ;)
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I have yet to see the MPV van. I know you speak highly of it. But I don't know anything about them. Not even sure where their is a dealership in our area. Would like to see what your talking about. Is there a web site that has a good picture of them, inside and out? Are they as big as the other three? I guess we have so many Honda, Toyota and Chrysler van buyers, we sort of forget that there are many other nice vans out there and the conversation gets bogged down to mostly those three.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    The MPV club would love to have a dedicated member such as yorself Hans. :shades:

    I just read that Hyundai is coming out with a minivan they will call the Entourage. It will be a cousin to the Kia Sedona. Will arrive in 2006 as a 2007 model. Will come loaded with saftey features standard...airbags everywhere. Will have the 3.8 V6 engine.So, should be interesting.
  • mrblonde49mrblonde49 Posts: 626
    "Infact I take great pleasure whenever I can in whopping these DGCs and T & C whenever I can find them on the road! "

    Now you're getting childish again. When I want driving pleaseure, I drive my 9-3 SS. When I want to drive my family around safely, I drive my T&C. I laugh every time I think of someone looking for "fresh meat" in his Ody. Freakin hysterical.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Whatever vehicle I have on personal level, it should be fun and have great dynamic performance. In the minivan category, the Ody rules.

    The same for the other 4 cars in the family. The SRT8 with its 435+hp looks very interesting to hunt the Pontiac GTO!
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    When one cannot compete with another superior performing person or product, it is very common to give out that "nervous laugh". A very much anticipated action a la "sour grapes" syndrome.

    Again, let the accollades/awards speak for themselves
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    No Sour grapes from me. I had driven a 2001 Ody EX many times and also a 2002 GC Sport. That is why I jumped on the chance to buy a mint condition used 02 T&C LX clone of the 02 GC Sport when it had 27 K miles for half price of a NEW 2005 Ody EX....even though I would have preferred the 05 Ody EX if it had been within $1,000 in purchase price of a new 05 GC SXT.
    Once a couple has experienced the ultimate comfort of separately controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger, there is no going back to the old fashioned "One temperature fits all". :blush: In addition, my 02 T&C LX has a third different temperature for the rest of the vehicle and the coveted overhead console with compass/outside temperature and trip computer.
    Some who like the Magic Seat and more powerful engine with 5 speed AT of the Ody should feel just as strongly that their Ody is just right for them.
    Jipster likes the "just right" size and Zoom-Zoom-Zoom of his Mazda MPV. ;)
  • dfioredfiore Posts: 2
    Can anyone tell me what a "Coming Home Device" is? I just bought a 2003 Chrysler T&C LXI and is listed as one of my options. I don't see it described in the owner's manual. Thanks!!
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I have the 05 Dodge and it doesn't show that name in my owner's manual. But I'm willing to bet it's the garage door opener on your over head console.
  • lastwraithlastwraith Posts: 350
    Didn't realize you meant no dual climate on your older model Ody mistake.

    The trip computer is pretty nice to amuse yourself with on a boring trip (long drive in the midwest for example), especially the instant mpg calculations. Also, the "distance to empty" function is helpful when you are wondering if you should grab gas immediately or if you can safely wait for that next rest stop another 50 miles down the road. I have to admit that it is somewhat disappointing to be without that in a new minivan.

    I think the Ody drives much better than the GC however. The pitifully small engine differences are basically meaningless as far as I'm concerned but I do enjoy the Ody's relative nimbleness for a minivan. And the engine sounds good when wound up (it IS a Honda after all) but's a minivan. I don't plan on trying to whip any unsuspecting cars at a stoplight or on the freeway. And I disagree with mackava more with the way he said things than the facts behind them, but there is a certain threshold of performance people want in even their minivans. My '98 Plymouth Expresso is totally gutless, and it's downright dead (acceleration) over about 50mph....this even with the largest V6 offered that year. I think all three minivans for '05 pass muster for engine performance....but would agree that Honda has the most agile of the 3 entries. And in many places (NYC area especially) that is a big plus.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Good points! My wife hardly knows anything about anything under the hood ;) I'm sure she'd be bored to sleep if I tried to explain to her what OHC and OHV mean. What she really cares are good looks, convenience features (e.g. power doors), storage features, and a comfortable driving position.

    As I have posted, we've just purchased a Quest. She liked the Quest's looks the most, power doors, and then its many cleverly designed storage spaces. But she was mostly (I was too) concerned about the price! Interestingly, she absolutely fell in love with GC's stow-n-go, especially the 3rd row split seat, which she thought would make storing a double stroller a breeze. For this single reason alone, she would've thrown everything she loved about the Quest out the window...if it weren't for the GC's $1K higher price tag.

    There's NO WAY we would pay $28K for a Honda, even if it's light years better! Who cares when it's that much more expensive!! :mad: Even though we're quite affluent incomewise, we've got a huge mortgage and quite a few mouths to feed (who doesn't?).
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I think most people look for value for the buck. Of course they want their van to look good and perform well and if it does, they're wanting to get all the goodies they can for what they want to spend.

    I think Honda and Toyota have great minivans. Their down fall, as far as I'm concerned, is value for the buck. They're priced to high for what many people are willing to pay and what they offer, that people want.

    Outside of inside good looks, the features they offer and really excel in, make little difference to the average minivan buyer. The things the average buyer wants, they charge a heck of a lot of money for and price themselves out of the market to many buyers.

    Reading some of the complaints on the Toyota threads, it seems quite a few paid around $40,000 for their minivan. I don't know about most of you, but their is no way I am going to pay anywhere near that price for a minivan even though I could afford to do so. Especially if I can buy something else that has all the features on it the Toyota has, but might not be quite as nice looking, but sells for a good $15,000 less. I'm willing to bet in 5 years, if wanting to buy another, they're not going to give me $15,000 more over a Dodge, Quest, or even a Ford.
  • daedae Posts: 143
    Reading some of the complaints on the Toyota threads, it seems quite a few paid around $40,000 for their minivan

    Top of the line Chrysler, even with $2500 rebate of invoice is about $33K ($38 invoice), while Odyssey Touring can be had easily for $33.5K. Reasonably equiped EX is $26. I do not think then are so vastly different in price as you imply.

    I'm willing to bet in 5 years, if wanting to buy another, they're not going to give me $15,000 more over a Dodge, Quest, or even a Ford.

    That's an odd way of thinking. Cars depreciate proportionally to the intial price. So if they lose 50% in 5 years, 15K difference in paid price results in $7.5K difference in remaining price.

    Not that this hypothetical $15000 difference is grounded in reality for comparable products, as I mentioned above.
  • mrblonde49mrblonde49 Posts: 626
    No sour grapes at all. Very happy w/ the purchase.

    You're a bigtime flamer, but I don't wish you ill will, and truly hope you don't run into problems while thinking that your minivan can do things that it wasn't designed to do (the things that a GTO or other like vehicles can do)
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    "It would have been over 30,000 to get one with a power rear hatch, from what I have been reading. And $28,000 doesn't even get you the over head computer. Not sure about the upgrade radio, CD/cassette. " I got a power rear hatch on my XLE (standard) for $26k, a great overhead computer comes standard, as does a 3 way automatic climate controlled system, and standard comes a 10 speaker (including sub) JBL cd sound system, with controls on the wheel. Not $30k like you want to believe.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Congratulations irg for your good buy. But reading lots of other posts, Many others are not getting anywhere near that price for those features.
  • dhfddhfd Posts: 22
    does this price include any of the option packages?
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    Well unlike what DAE mentioned in previous posts about my purchase as being a fairy tale (or whatever he was talking about) I did my homework on this van purchase. I drove the Chevy Uplander, the Odyssey, the Caravan SXT and the Sienna. After my first round of research, I crossed off the Uplander. It lacked some of the things I most wanted in a van, and that was at least a 3rd row stowing system. The other 3 vans had that. I read reviews on the net, including here, and CR, C&D and Autoweek, to get a sense of pros and cons of each vehicle. All 3 remained in the hunt. But I also had a budget I needed to stick to. I typically lease one vehicle, and purchase a 2nd used vehicle for my short daily commute. And while the price of each van was important, the bottom line for me was the monthly payment. This may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it works for me. And I set a goal of $350, trying to include the taxes in this price, and not put anything down. And with leasing, the lowest sale price, does not always mean the lowest payments. The residuals for Toyota came out to be the best, and also in my situation (I live in NY state) the tax plays an important role. Only Toyota still leases in a traditional matter (it has to do with lawsuits, and some very old laws), so you only pay tax, on your # of payments. Honda and Dodge you have to pay the full tax, even if you only lease (or smartbuy) for 36 months. Doesn't seem fair to me. And so I looked at 2 things with the Toyota: good price, at a good dealer. I tried locally first, but I couldn't get the price I wanted, therefore the lease was too high. So I ended up at Fitzmall in Maryland, as many others have done. Great price that was advertised, and a lease payment ended up being $359, very close to what I wanted. A Honda EX cloth lease was $440, so a difference of $81. The Grand Caravan SXT (without options) was a little over $400. Given that it cost more, and I liked the Sienna more, this made the purchase of the Sienna a no brainer. I did like the Odyssey the most, and with a price of about $26K, or almost the same as the Sienna, I was surprised it cost more to lease, but I did have one very honest Honda dealer told me that right now, the leases for an Odyssey vs. the Sienna, simply weren't as competitive. That could change, but I didn't have the time to wait. If I had simply just purchased a vehicle for $24-$26k range, I would have selected the Ody first, Sienna 2nd, and Dodge 3rd.

    Others may be paying more as you mentioned, but that holds true for any car purchase. An uninformed buyer walks into a Dodge store and wants to buy a Caravan and assumes the sticker price is what he pays, I'm sure not too many dealers will try and talk him out of it. Comparing apples to apples (as best as possible) the DC Caravan SXT, Sienna XLE (base or with package #3 if you want all of the safety options) or Honda Ody EX cloth, the invoice for each will be within a couple thousand of each other. The DC has the most incentives true, but Toyota has been offering more lately, and very good financing as well. The Ody is too new for them to offer much incentives yet. Although I found one local dealer quickly offering a lower price that I expected. You can also load up all 3 vans and pay well over $30k, you are right, even close to $40k if you want every bell and whistle. I did not need, want or could afford all the bells, but felt the Sienna as I got it, had everything I needed at the price I wanted.

    What is helpful about this forum, is that it allows all of us to include the "deals" we got, or our experiences in a manner that benefits others. What others helped me with, was finding the Darcars and Fitzmall webites, to use as comparisions to my local dealers. I literally saved thousands by going to MD, than I would have if I stayed locally. Not everyone is going to do this, but I did, and I thank the others who had shared their experiences by doing so.

    I don't pretend to think that the Sienna is a cheaper van than the DC vans, for me it was. It depends on a lot of factors - where you live (for taxes), the dealers that are good or bad, and the model you want with the features you want. If I hadn't gone to Fitzmall, the DC van may be in my driveway now. Or if the leasing deals had been better at Honda, I would have gone that route. But in the end, the Sienna had the right combination to win me over.
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