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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign



  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Agree that the 2006 Sienna Limited is the most luxurious minivan. ;) The Odyssey Touring is 2nd place and Town & Country Limited does not appear very luxurious by comparison although the T&C has the most attractive exterior styling. ;)
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    LOL. That does sound like fun, but no...sadly I am not in the market for another minivan.

    Kia needs to cook that Sedona a little longer before it would be ready to suit my needs. But, I think Honda and the others are starting to hear its footsteps. ;)
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Might come in handy for those in market. Latest from Oakland Tech News (local auto newspaper)in Detroit.

    New 2006 DCX Caravan SE - $11,995/$19,900 MSRP

    New 2006 DCX Caravan SXT (power seat, trip computer, 3.3L V6, 7"DVD - $16,373/$25,335 MSRP

    New 2006 DCX Grand Caravan SXT Special Edition (heated leather, 8"DVD, moonroof) - $21,589/$31,365

    New 2006 Chrysler T&C (V6, Air, Tilt, Cruise, Keyless) - $12,777/$21,735 MSRP

    The dealer is Milsch ( just 3 miles north of DCX's tech center in Auburn Hills.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Please explain: Is the first number the invoice or selling price?
    The first price looks too low to be the actual selling price unless there is a HUGE Dealer Doc Fee. :confuse:
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Something stinks to high heaven about those prices.

    The 2006 DCX Caravan SE with ZERO options has a MSRP of $19095 and an invoice price of $18056 (including dest.). There are currently $3500 in incentives/rebates (according to Edmunds) which brings the invoice down to $14556. And it is advertised at $11995??? The others are equally ridiculous; all at thousands UNDER invoice even after taking into account the rebates.

    Something doesn't pass the smell test here.....
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    If the Odyssey Touring didn't have those stinkin' PAX tires I'd consider it.

    Until then, I think I like the Sienna :)
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    The lowest price is supposedly the SELLING price per Milosch Dodge.
  • Looks like the 2006 Sedona will be a big winner,MOMS WOULDN'T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE IF THE SEDONA HAD A LAWNMORE ENGINE OR A 600HP V10 LOL.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Nice review but I wonder how many errors are contained in the review?
    Odd engine power was INCORRECT. The 2006 Odd has 244 HP and 240 Lb-Ft torque. Is the Sedona engine power also the rating under the older, inflated method? :confuse:
  • Hi. I am soliciting some feedback about 8 passenger minivans. Right now I am looking at the Odyssey and Sienna. The option I am looking for is an All Wheel Drive 8 passenger minivan which I can't seem to find (Sienna has an AWD but it only comes in 7 passenger version). Anyone has any ideas or suggestions; be kind and share your research/experience? Thanks. :confuse:
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    AWD 8 Passenger minivan? none. Sorry.

    FWD should be fine in most conditions though. It depends on how bad your roads are. If they're really bad, just get the AWD.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    It's called a Tahoe or Suburban. I needed 8 passenger seating as well and really could have used the AWD. I decided to give up the AWD/4x4 and go with an Ody FWD. I do have other vehicles though when the weather gets really bad, so I'm not compromising much.

    So far we've been alright but we plan accordingly. We have a couple very nasty roads that don't get cleared often. Plus our driveway is nearly a mile long and the first part is extremely steep. If you're not careful, you can hang a 4x4 on it. If I lived in town where the roads were generally cleared, I'd have no problems with a FWD Ody. In fact, I'd say a good set of snow tires with the stability and traction control would make this van go quite well. You'll run out of ground clearance on either Sienna or Ody before the deep stuff will stop you on normal roads.

    So if you don't want to give up a little gas mileage (not much really, we had a Tahoe before the Ody) go for the van. Once the grandkids are out of carseats, we'll probably go back to a full-size SUV. Those sliding doors are great for getting kids in/out.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I wouldn't call the Tahoe a van though even though people use it like one.
  • Thanks to all who have responded. I just want the peace of mind with the AWD otherwise I am sure the FWD can handle Pittsburgh weather (some exceptions). One other option is the 8 seat Pilot although I have to go and take a look / test drive it to get a feel for the space it has. I really don't want to go with the full size SUV's (Expedition, Tahoe, Armada) as the wife doesn't want to drive something that big.
    It is really a tough choice. With small kids its really difficult to replace the convenience of automatic sliding doors.
    Please continue the discussion if any useful points can be made. :(
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    Well the funny thing is....the Tahoe is smaller than the Ody. The Ody has a little tighter turning radius, but is overall a bit longer and within an inch or so on width. My wife actually preferred driving the Tahoe. I prefer the better handling of the Ody, but I like sporty vehicles. She's a bit more passive when it comes to driving.

    Unless you're living/driving in rural pitt, either the Ody or Sienna with a set of snow tires would do terrific. Snow tires make a tremendous difference. I have Nokians on my Jetta and on ice I think I prefer it over my 4x4's.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Do you want just seating for 8 with seat/shoulder belts for all 8?
    If so, either the Sienna or Odyssey.

    But if you want a legitimate seat for each of the 8 people, the Sienna is the choice because the middle seat of the Odyssey is just a padded armrest between the 2nd row bucket seats.

    An advantage of the Odyssey is that for only 7 people, the Odyssey 2nd row seats are more comfortable with the padded armrest that serves as a seat taken out than are any of the 2 seats of the 3 seat middle row of the Sienna since the Odyssey will have fold down armrests for both middle row passengers. None of the 3 genuine seats of the 2nd row of the Sienna has an armrest.

    With the Sienna, you purchase the van with either 7 seats or 8 seats...but every seat is a legitimate seat and one is not a padded armrest. Each configuration has advantages.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    isn't a bad idea, but that third row isn't terribly big.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    The Pilot feels cramped inside when compared to the Odyssey (or Sienna, Grand Caravan, Town & Country).

    In addition to deficient 3rd row seating, the cargo space behind the 3rd row seating is TOO small. A minivan is the best configuration for interior space with reasonable fuel economy.

    However, if a person MUST have AWD and seating for 8...while not needing cargo space, the Pilot would be the best choice. ;) My niece recently traded her Honda Passport (built by Isuzu) for a loaded Pilot. The Passport replaced a Mazda MPV that was an SUV...and it also had very tiny cargo space behind 3rd row seat while the Passport had seating for only 5. She and her husband have only 3 children ages 6, 10, and 12.
  • The Toyota Sienna also has AWD on their LE, XLE or Limited Edition lineup, so it will be much better than the Honda Pilot plus it has 20 percent better gas mileage. For eight persons vehicles, Sienna is still the best choice since its refinement and reliability records are better than the others.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    True but you cannot get AWD and 8 passenger seating together.
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    What do you drive now that makes you think you need AWD? Around here, 5+ inches of snow generally cancels school depending on how the roads are affected and timing relative to rush hours. No school? Don't bundle up 6 kids and venture outside for a day. Really, AWD is overrated for 90% of AWD owners.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    My niece has an 8 passenger 1996 Astro AWD and loves it...except for poor gas mileage on the road where her father-in-law's Suburban got better gas mileage. :confuse: The AWD is most appreciated October to April when it snows.
    Her sister-in-law has a 2005 Odd EX with 8 passenger seating but it is much more difficult to access the 3rd row seat in either the Odd EX or Suburban. The Astro has more cargo space behind the 3rd row than the Odd EX but less than the Suburban. :blush:
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    If Astro/Safari were be continued to be built, GM would be much closer to bankruptcy! GM realized that these 30+ year designs were no match for the modern minivans(i.e. better alternatives) and made a good business ddecision. These drive like buses/unwieldy big boats, devoid of any steering/road feel.

    Having been left with no choice but an Astro for 2 past rentals at Enterprise, I can see why GM let them die peacefully!
  • Call me strange, but I have a hard time justifying buying a new van or even one that is just a few years old. I have two Toyota Previas; bought both for around 4k each. Original owners, all paperwork. The cost of owning these (factoring in occasional repair) is significantly lower than a new van. I have no payment, and how much can a 10 year old van depreciate in one year? Even if I have to put in $1k a year in repairs (which is unlikely), it is much less than 12 payments at $250 each. The key is to avoid one that someone is trying to get rid off because of problems. The only problem is that older vans lack the new gadgets that are a necessity for some. This is a different approach, but can be smart.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    And my niece prefers the 8 passenger Astro AWD over the 8 passenger Odd EX where the 8th seat is a padded armrest. Much easier to access 3rd row seat in the Astro and there is MUCH more cargo space in the Astro than her sister-in-law's Odd EX. ;) She has closely compared the 2 vehicles.
    She has no interest in drag racing up the on ramps BUT the AWD was very nice for her teen age daughter to drive out of the school parking lot when the snow and ice was stopping all other vehicles. :blush:
    BTW, my niece has owned a Honda Civic for many years and likes it as a fuel efficient run-around-town car. Her husband prefers the same age Olds Cutlass with Quad 4 engine over the Honda Civic for his 100 mile daily commute.
  • Ladies and Gents,

    Went perusing three days ago for a minivan replacement for our 99 Windstar (which has been very bulletproof BTW). On our van we wanted heated leather, DVD, Good stereo, power sliders, 4 wheel discs with ABS and Stability control at a minimum. Started at the Honda dealer;


    Pompous dealers - acted like I was doing them a favor for checking out their van and asking for a testdrive. The powertrain of the van was excellent with some nice interior details and tricks. Really liked the fold down split 3rd seat. We took out an EXL and I liked driving it. It seemed to handle well. I asked about DVD and was told its available as a 1700.00 option. Total price would be around least 33K and they sell close to retail, hhhhmmmmmmmmm.


    Dealer experience similar to Honda - whats with these guys? The Toyota we drove was an XLE to get all the options we wanted. Around 34K. Powertrain was nice, not as snappy as the Honda. Van rode very smooth and quiet, but handling was very soft and soggy - didn't feel as buttoned down as the Honda. Tight turning circle, nice seats, and good stereo system. Still no DVD at this price?


    Dealer treated me like a guest. He couldn't do enough for me! I Asked for a test drive and he gave me the van for the day........WOW. I took out a loaded Relay 3. Every option on the list except all wheel drive. Including Onstar, DVD, Heated leather, 17 inch wheels, Power sliders, Awesome stereo, 4 wheel disc, ABS and stability, cool reverse sensing system, rail storage system, trailer package Driver info center, beautiful gauge package and more. Van drove great, more firm than the Toyota and less than the Honda. Driving position was excellent. Seats in all positions were large and comfy (as were all 3 vans). Powertrain was competent and smooth, although with noticibly less oomph than the other 2. It was far from lacking in power though. Kids loved the DVD! Only "downside " is the rear seats - they dont fold back and flat as the others, but can form a flat load floor none the less. Went back to the dealer and he said the MSRP was 30,700.

    I wasn't sure if the difference in price was worth it. He then said BTW they now have 8k off the price. WOW!! Loaded for 22K - Youre kidding me!? Wife signed the papers and it's in the garage now. We're very happy!

    All the vans were nice, but value wise between the 3 - no contest - and I found I prefer the SUV look vs. the Rocket boy styling of the other 2. Great experience - I'll keep you updated. Thoughts?
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    I'm not going to call you stange st-moyer. I use to be the same way(no...not strange) , frugal with my purchases.It is a smart approach though.

    I had a 1979 Olds Cutlass Supreme I bought used(was in excellent condition)in 1990(roughly) for $1,500. Sold it 7 years later for $800. Had almost no problems. Replaced a few wear items, starter, tires, battery, brakes, exhaust...was extremely reliable.

    On our new minivan purchase, we were going to buy a 3 or 4 year old vehilce. But, for 5k more than the used minivans we were looking at, we were able to buy a new 04 Mazda MPV.
    If it starts when you turn the key, and brings you home safely...well...everything else is just icing on the cake.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to ALL members and hosts of Edmunds.
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    I had a 2003 Olds Silhouette, a step-sister to your Relay. The Olds rode nice and was reliable but was a poorly constructed rattle trap. Consumer Reports said about the same for the 2005 model it tested in March (I thought it was a Relay). I don't care what you pay for a van. These days a vehicle should be well constructed with good fit and finish. If Kia can do it with their 2006 Rio why can't GM on a $23,000 van. One other thing: I hope you are planning on keeping this Relay for a long time otherwise you are going to find out how worthless it is as a trade. My '03 Silhouette cost $29,000 new but current trade in is around $9,000. You really do get what you pay for.

    In October I purchased an '06 Odyssey EX-L. I cannot say my shopping experience was like the one you describe. The Honda and Toyota dealers were both friendly and helpful. The Honda salesmen (I dealt with three over three months) all knew the product inside and out. They were grateful for my business. Sure, I paid $28,750 for my new van but I got ABS, brake assist and electronic brake force distribution. Also, stability control and head curtain airbags plus a sunroof. In three years my Odyssey will still be worth $17,000+

    Good luck and enjoy the relay. It should prove reliable.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441

    Hey, you're why care what we think? ;)

    But, since you asked, it sounds like you got a very good vehicle at a great price. Don't think you can ask for more than that. Congratulations!

    I too like the SUV look in the GM vans over the traditional minivan look. My brother has the Pontiac Montana with Onstar and he loves it. The Onstar system is pretty cool...and is a nice saftey feature as well. Rear seats that fold flat is not really a big deal.
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