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I do NOT think you could put 3 child seats in the 2nd row of the Odyssey as the middle portion looks too narrow.
I think you could in the Sienna 8 passenger CE or LE as the Sienna ads show a child seat in the middle portion and the middle portion is slid forward to be close to the front seats.
I have not tried putting 3 car seats into the 50/50 split third row bench when it was slid forward after removing the 2nd row bucket seats. It looks like it would probably hold 3 child car seats when placed as 2nd row but it definitely would not hold 3 in the rearward position where the space is too narrow.
But the current offerings by Toyota, Honda and CD have me gnashing my teeth -- I haven't felt this frustrated except at election times in years!
1. Toyota would be my first choice, BUT:
a. Toyota's option packages drive me up the wall! There is no way I can put together a vehicle that will allow me to feel that I have gotten value for money. I owned two Toyota Corolla SR-5s back in the 70s-80s and they were great cars, but Toyota lost me when they brought out the first Camry. I wanted one very much, but one could get a manual tranny only on the cheaper series, which didn't offer a tachometer, while the deluxe series had a tach, but only came with an auto! Inscrutable, these Orientals.
b. Honda has almost as bad a problem as Toyota of sheer bloody-minded thinking regarding option packages. I can't get some features I consider essential without taking a moonroof or other foolish fripperies.
c. Beside, the only Toyota and Honda dealers that are within a reasonable distance from me both leave me with the feeling that they should be selling only cars that run on snake oil.
d. The DC offerings allow me to put together a package that comes closest to my wants and needs, but DC is still saddled with archaic engines and 4-speed trannies. They desperately need a more modern 3.5L engine, a 5 speed tranny, or both.
e. The Kia is too small and 1000 pounds too heavy. The Ford and GM offerings are pathetic in the extreme. The new VW won't arrive till God knows when. Mazda is too costly for its size.
So I reckon I will bite the bullet for now, wait a couple of years and pick up a good used DC minivan with all the options I want, even if it has some I don't need, and let someone else take the heavy hit in depreciation.
You were correct on most of your points.But, you have been misinformed if you believe Mazda is "too costly for its size". Current rebates on the 2004 models are at $4,000(still many available)and $2,000 with the 05's.Other incentives available...also you should be able to get that rebate off close to what invoice is. Get just the options you want.Probably get that Mazda MPV that lists for $27,000 for around $20,000.
1.) The new 2005 Ody was out by October which created lots of interest and excitement in buying it.
2.) Hansienna did a great job of promoting his T & C in these forums.
3.) 1.) and 2.) above spelt trouble for Sienna!
Hans is gonna have a field day with T&C's new sales numbers.Look for Hans number of posts to go up 25% this quarter. ;-)
1) The Toyota, in addition to being really proud of its vehicles, pricewise, really did have the most confusing options packaging I have ever seen (surpassed only, and barely at that, by the BCS rating system for college bowl games).
2) With Honda, if you want leather, you have to get a sun roof as part of that package, and the only way I, at 6' 4", could drive a full-size Honda "mini" van with a sun roof is with my head leaning over into the sun roof recess.
3) While the DC had the same problem with the sun roof (anyone else notice how similar the various dimensions are between the 2005 Odyssey and the Grand Caravan?), at least the sun roof is a stand alone option. My other problem with the DC is that the only interior colors offered are gray and shades of gray (borrrrrring!!).
4) The Kia still has roll out seats which, as someone else said, doesnt' work for me. I want at least a fold down third seat and I can live without the second row fold down seats if that is what takes away the headroom.
5) All the reviews of the domestic vans (except DC) talk about cheap interior materials, limited innovation, and so-so fit and finish).
6) My preference is still the MPV (styling, headroom, overall size) But the problem is for the approximate same price, or less, of fairly loaded MPV, all of the other vans have things like heated seats, automatic AC, dual power front seats, and some other things my wife and I have come to know and love with our VW Passats.
So, like veritasusa, I'll wait for a couple of years and see what changes Mazda makes in the MPV, and see if VW gets a decent van out in our lifetime.
I just bought mine last week and have my tools, umbrella, window shade, blanket,pillow, inflatable bed and small 12 inch, three way power television and cooler in the van and they are all under the hidden floor.( I guess you can see my wife and I are going to do some serious traveling in this van.) I can take the cover off behind the third seat storage well and there is plenty of room to stack groceries that won't fall over.
Then Dodge also gives me three electric doors, radio with CD/cassette, with six speakers, with volume and tuning on the steering wheel. Eight way power seat, trip meter, outside temp/ compass, garage door opener and MPG/distance on tank of gas, overhead computer. It not only has dual front air bags, but an air bag that protects the driver's knees. Power/heated outside mirrors, even the far, rear, wing windows are powered.
But the big selling point was the storage space and not having to take the seats out. I don't like leaving things out that can be seen by looking through the windows. I like to keep my vehicles looking neat and clean. The Dodge G.C. lets me do all that. I just love this van.
Not so sure. Looking at Consumer Reports, most of Chrysler's problem with their mini van's transmissions, ended in 2001. In 2003, they had above average reliability.(2004-05 are to new to report on.) They have had little complaints on their engines and both carry a 7/70,000 mile powertrain warrantee The 2005 Dodge GC and Chrysler TC are both recommended models.
However, DC minivans get mileage as good as the Odyssey and Sienna and much better than the Sedona.
DC has a longer powertrain warranty than all but the Sedona. Sure, a 5 speed AT will provide quicker off the line acceleration if all other things were equal. However, the "old fashioned" OHV engines develop torque more quickly than OHC which cancels the advantage of the 5 speed AT and higher horsepower ratings of the Odyssey and Sienna.
I think it will be a while yet before the general public feels Chrysler has put its transmission issues in the past.
Plus, doesn't the DCX powertrain "pledge" carry a deductible with it? My opinion is that 'no deductible' is a required characteristic of a manufacturer-backed warranty. If there's a deductible, then it's not a warranty. Which I believe is why DCX refers to it as their "7/70 Powertrain Pledge". Or maybe that's just a silly marketing move.
Most folks would rather have the higher-tech combination of DOHC multivalve engine with more-gears-auto-trans. I know *I* would, and our family currently owns vehicles with 1 powertrain I'd call high-tech at the time it was introduced (our 2002 Sedona's 3.5L DOHC 24V V6 w/5-speed auto trans), 1 that's midpack (1998 Trooper, 215hp/230ft-lb 3.5L DOHC 24V V6 w/4-speed auto), and 1 that I'd consider low-tech (2004 Chevy Malibu Maxx 3.5L OHV 6 cyl w/4-speed auto).
Practically speaking, sure the OHV and 4-speed combo gets the job done. Same holds for the OHV 4-speed powertrain in the Chevy Malibu Maxx we own, and that gets really good fuel economy. Still, I would rather have a higher-HP DOHC 24-valve V6 in there with a 5-speed automatic.
I don't know the EPA ratings of DCX minivans off top of my head, but the real-world Sedona fuel economy seems to be legitimately well above the EPA ratings. At least it has been for our family's Sedona.
The DCX vans have lots of great innovations, but the one thing stopping them from being the clear industry leader in terms of the overall vehicle is outdated and questionable-quality powertrain components.
If DCX slapped in a 250-hp 24V DOHC 3.5L V6 with a bulletproof 5-speed auto, they would be right up there with the Joneses of the minivan world. Right now, they aren't.
Edmunds car enthusiasts are special, but most folks don't have a clue about the engines, and don't much care.
"Minivans With Maxi-problems
In this year’s Lemon-Aid SUV, Van, and Truck Guide, we have bad news for minivan buyers:
less than a handful of minivans are worth buying and Japanese and American models are becoming less reliable.
Buyers should stay away from bargain-priced new and used minivans that require frequent and costly repairs. Chief among these are Chrysler minivans, Ford Windstars, and the Mercury Villager/Nissan Quest. Chrysler models had engine, drivetrain, electrical and fuel system, AC, brake, and body deficiencies galore. Windstars are noted for engine, automatic transmission, brake, steering, suspension, and fuel system failures. The newest Quests are selling poorly and use many failure-prone Altima/Maxima parts. VW Campers are a good idea poorly executed. These minivans are nicely laid-out, but they aren't reliable and servicing is practically non-existent. Plus, they are costly."
Link is http://www.lemonaidcars.com/update.htm
That said, if the next DCX vans had the 3.5 I would be very happy about it...but I am an enthusiast on the Edmund's toenhall. I suspect I am not the average minivan owner.
This is starting to become a crusade with me. I don't think any Sienna has ever required premium, but people keep repeating that it does. Must be some underground guerilla marketing by Honda or something.
cliffy1, "Toyota Sienna (2003 and earlier)" #1660, 29 Mar 2002 3:36 pm
Of course, I'm so frugal, I picked up my Series II Laserjet for $5 at the thrift store, and then a friend gave me his old one for parts. :-)
Plus all you get with premium is a few more horses that you won't be able to feel by the seat of your pants, and any extra mileage gain will most likely be offset by the increased fuel charge.
Bottom line, if Toyota recommends premium them that's what I would want to use. I figure the engineers who design these things know something about this. To me it is a major cost factor over the long term with gas prices what they are now. Besides, it's a minivan, not a sports car. It should be able to run on the cheapest fuel from the grungiest truck stop on the American highway.
I'm a bit behind on my spreadsheet, but I figure I've spent $7,860.85 on gas on my van over it's first ~90,000 miles, at $1.80 a gallon. Twenty cents more a gallon would have cost me an additional $873.43. That's four season passes at the local ski resort :-).
Resale is less important to me since I keep cars for a long time, but your point is well taken.
I'm a newbie that's been lurking for a few weeks and have finally decided to speak up. I have some questions regarding the purchase of a new '04 mazda MPV ES. I notice that Edmunds does not have TMV pricing info up any more for the '04 models. The dealer is offering $7200 off MSRP for the van when contacted via e-mail ($23,570), but I noticed that the advertised price on the van itself matched the e-mail quote. How much wiggle room is available? Will I get hosed on a trade if I press much further? Am I better off trying to negotiate free services, extended warranties and such? This van has a moonroof, spoiler, 4 seasons package, and the autodimming temperature mirror with homelink. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Here's the link for the '04 ES pricing (the '04's are officially Used Cars now I guess):
I think your dealer needs to go lower. Check out the Mazda MPV: Prices Paid & Buying Experience discussion too.
Steve...you're the man with a thousand links.Any data out there that shows when given the option of using premium or regular...what % of people use premium and what %use regular?I'm thinking people probaby start out on premium the first 3-4 years(of a brand new vehicle)...then switch over to regular when ole Betsy starts showing her age.
Homelink has nothing to do with Navigation. It's a system that allows you to open your garage doors with buttons built into the car. It's about $50 extra.
As the relative price of premium goes down, more people tend to use it. (Microeconomics)
"But More than 16 percent use premium or super premium" Of that 16%, "about 44 percent said they use premium gas because their manual calls for it." Clark Howard Show
"County workers filled up with premium unleaded gas 17.3 percent of the time." YDR.com
"High octane gasolines dramatically increased market share in the United States during the 1980s, increasing from 12% of the total gasoline market in 1983 to 15% in 1985 and 30% in 1989 (Figure I). The market growth of the 1980s followed by two price spikes in 1989 and 1990 suggest that this demand is highly elastic -- that high octane gasolines are widely treated as luxury goods."
Premium Gasoline Overbuying in the U.S (UC Berkeley - pdf file)
The microeconomics link reminded me of a professor I had in college who said he filled up on regular gas but on special occasions he would top off his tank with a gallon or two of premium as some sort of "treat" for his car. As if his car could recognise the premium and reward him with better performance.Waaaaay back then that was much more common to think along those lines.
Anyhow,given the choice of regular or premium in a vehicle like the Sienna. Now... I'd probably go ahead and use regular without "much"hesitation.
One things for certain..the higher gas prices go...the fewer Sienna owners you'll see at the pumps using premium.
I got virtually the same van for $8000 off MSRP, but had to go with Mazda financing (extra $1000 rebate) which I plan to pay off/refinance in 3 months.
Today's cars don't just blindly run the same way regardless of the type of fuel that is put into them. The Sienna will adjust accordingly if you always use 87. Just don't try any drag racing.
Also, if you are using the plainest dirtiest truck stop fuel then no matter what car you are driving is headed to the mechanic with a clogged fuel filter at best. Running 87 is one thing, running crappy questionable gas is another.
My 02 T&C LX with 3.3L V6 runs very well with 85 octane all the time. My son uses 85 octane in his 01 Ody EX all the time and the other son used 85 octane in his 02 GC Sport until he moved to Houston where he now uses 87 octane.
Me and my wife are about to buy our fist minivan for our family (3 kids and a dog). Not is't our first minivan but a first car in the States (we just moved from Israel for a few years). We're thinking of buying a used car and after 2-3 years to sale it. Obviously after basic requirements to a car like safty and convenience TOC comes to the top in our case. I mean one of the criterias is to find a car that will lose and cost less. Also it's important which model will be easier to sale. I thought to take a car of 2-3 years since then the temp of depreciation is not so high as in the very beginning but the car is still pretty well.
We're choosing between TownCountry/Caravan MPV and Sedona. I see in the net prices are in a range of 13-15T for year 2003/2004. To my understanding there is no major favorite in this trio (technically speaking) and the single criteria (except for the taste:-) is getting a good deal. Is my thinking correct or I missed some important point?
Your input is really needed.
I bought my first minivan last May: a new 2004 Sedona LX base model, no options, for under $18K (including title, tax & license -- no trade involved.) I love the vehicle and want to just say to you a couple of things. First, the only easy-to-resell minivans are the Odysseys and Siennas. They're 'pricey' new ... and they're pricey used. Fact of life. Second, new or used -- the best vehicle to buy is the one you really love (sometimes the decision can be truly rational (buy whatever Consumer Reports says to buy) but just as often it comes down to what turns you on when you hop in, turn the key, and motor on down the road.
I've bought 'rational' vehicles and hated them and myself the next morning. My best experiences have been buying the ones that I just can't get out of my head ... if problems arise later, I can at least say "Well, it may not be perfect, but I sure do love it."
I wish you well in whatever you decide.
Although I've never driven an MPV, I can comment on the Chrysler Minivans as well as the Sedona. Chrysler's are reknown for lousy transmissions. yes they are the original Minivan makers but the quality is poor in my opinion. I had a '98 caravan that lost its transmission at around 80,000 miles. While at the Aamco transmission shop the owner tells me he gets 6 to 8 Chyrsler minivans per week Vs. zero imports. My '02 PT cruiser is on its third transmission(I swear I'm not a bad driver).
Again, I cannot comment on the Mazda MPV good or bad.
As for the Sedona, we tried a used '02 for 6 months since we found a deal on a loaded one with every option....We figured if it was junk we could sell it for what we paid since we got if for a rediculous price....turned out we really liked it and traded it on a new '04 last year. Our '04 has every option available(except DVD entertainment system) and we got it for $20,000 and thats after they gave us what we paid for our '02. We really like the Sedona. Other than an incompetent dealer service department we are really happy with ours. It drives fantastic, hauls the family and cargo around in comfort and feels like we're driving a vehicle that costs thousands more than we paid. The gas mileage isnt stellar but if you read the minivan MPG forum you'll find it's similar to other minivans.
My advice if your looking for not only a bargain but one that you can resell, would be to shop around for a nice clean '02 Sedona. I bet you can find one for around $10,000 and even after a couple of years it wont lose much from there.
Good luck and welcome to the USA!
The three you're considering are quite different in fact. What they all share is very high rate of depreciation, but that would only affect you positively since you're buying a used one. Of the three you mentioned the MPV is quite a bit more reliable than the other two. It also handles a lot better, more car-like. I just traded in 2002 MPV for a 2005 Odyssey so I know the MPV well. It's a great minivan and you can get great deals on the used ones.
The MPV is "just the right size" for some while the heavier, less fuel efficient Sedona lacks the convenient seating/cargo flexibility of the TC/Caravan and MPV.
The SWB T&C and Caravan get the best gas mileage of the 3 but do not have the fold-into-the floor 3rd row seating of MPV.
CR are very biased toward Honda and Toyota and the written portion often ignores the actual test results of the others.
Reading in Town Hall will reveal more problems being reported by the actual owners of the Odyssey than are being reported for the Caravan or MPV. (I do not read the Sedona forums as it was not one of my choices).
If you have to have a minivan now, than I would go with the DC full size van. With heavy discounting and incentives, you should be able to get a real good deal on them.
I would stay away from mpv with 3 kids and a dog. Mpv is way way too small for that not to mention the bad transmission in them.