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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign



  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    What was the ACTUAL purchase price of your 2000 Odyssey EX?
    Next question "What was the trade difference between your 2000 Odyssey EX and your newer Odyssey? :confuse:

    The Toyota dealership told me my 2006 Sienna LE with 2,300 miles now has a trade in value of $ 20,000. (Edmunds never has said what the actual selling price was for their 2005 Odyssey Touring). I think the TMV is very inaccurate.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Purchased for $26k. I got $1500 off sticker with that trade in value on my Accord.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    THANKS. Your dealer is not greedy like dealers in this area. ;)
  • phillymomphillymom Posts: 30
    This is our first minivan and I am so confused..Please Help

    1- We are now considering a slightly used minivan (I really liked a new 2005 Kia Sedona but the cargo area was too small). I have seen some Dodges with a second row bench and wanted some feedback on the pro/cons of 2nd row bench vs captains chairs. I have 2 children of my own and I babysit 1 child so I usually have 3 carsets in my car at all times

    2-Does anyone know when Dodge/Chrysler started Stow n Go? Any other used models have a similar system. (I usually have a large double stroller in my cargo area so I need space for that and other things)

    3-For any minivans that do not have stow n go how is cargo storage/space? What brand of non stow n go minivans have the best cargo/storage area's?

    Thanks in advance :)
  • We shopped carefully for a used van for 2 years. We quickly discovered that the Honda and Toyota vans are so superior to any other minivan, we felt we would be wasting our money to buy anything else.
    The mechanical performance, repair frequency, interior fit and finish, power, comfort, interior room and design, handling, and styling-except for the Chrysler, are all noticeably better in these brands.
    The problem was that most of the dealers,, and others wanted too much for the used vans. In one case, a 2 year old Odyssey with 13,000k was within $1900 of a new van. We didn't see the sense in that so we bought new.
    If you haven't driven a Sienna or an Odyssey yet, do yourself a favor and do it before you decide on any van. They are SO kid friendly and safe, especially the new ones with air bags all around every seat.
    Good luck.


    P.S. We bought at Piazza Honda of Reading but they have a dealership in Philly as well.
  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Posts: 421
    1- We are now considering a slightly used minivan (I really liked a new 2005 Kia Sedona but the cargo area was too small). I have seen some Dodges with a second row bench and wanted some feedback on the pro/cons of 2nd row bench vs captains chairs. I have 2 children of my own and I babysit 1 child so I usually have 3 carsets in my car at all times

    Second Row Bench

    Pros: No need to move the seat to access the third row. Wider space to access the third row. Can easily get to and see each child from front passengers seat.

    Cons: Will need help to remove, if need extra space. No space between young children. Will have a hard time getting to third row from driver's side. (You will have to tilt the whole bench forward). The seat belt will have to be removed in order to access the third row from the passengers side if you are using a car seat with the vechicle seat belt.

    Second Row Captain Chairs

    Pros: Each seat is as comfortable as the two front seats. Both seats can recline. They can be tilted forward to access the third row from the side. You can access the third row through the middle from either the front seats or side sliding door. If you are using the vechicle's seat belt for car seats, you will not need to unlatch seat belt to access third row in most cases. Each seat is lighter then a bench seat, if needing to be removed and can be done by one person. Individual space for each child.

    Cons: You will have to turn all the way around to see the child that is right behind you. The space is smaller when accessing the third row from the outside with the seat tilted forward and the person would have to get up.

    2-Does anyone know when Dodge/Chrysler started Stow n Go? Any other used models have a similar system. (I usually have a large double stroller in my cargo area so I need space for that and other things)

    Daimlerchrysler Stow n Go was invented for the model year 2005 to which they came on the market in 2004. The Nissan Quest has a second row captain seat storage system similar to Daimlerchrysler. The difference is that Daimlerchrysler seats fold flat into the floor, where as the Quest seats do not. If you go with a Daimlerchrysler minivan, make sure that it is the Long Wheel Base model and not the Short Wheel Base model.

    3-For any minivans that do not have stow n go how is cargo storage/space? What brand of non stow n go minivans have the best cargo/storage area's?

    For the most part, any of the big three: Daimlerchrysler, Honda and Toyota. You can't go wrong with space. Although they very on space, they are pretty close. All three should have more then enough space for the stroller behind the third row with room left over. One thing to point out though. Since you are going used, you will pay more for a used Honda and Toyota. Honda Ody. has the third row bench for model years 1999 thru 2004 that folds into the well in the cargo area. When the seat is up, you have more storage space. Toyota Sienna, has the 60/40 third row bench, not sure what the model years are, but has the well that works just like the Ody.'s. Daimlerchrysler, from model years 2001 to 2004 has a 50/50 third row bench that can not be folded into the floor. It can be tilted and tumbled forward for more cargo space. There is no well in the cargo area because it has the spare tire underneath this area outside the van. The one thing that can be had on the Daimlerchrysler that can't be had in the other vans, is a nifty rear cargo organizer. It can be raised to the level of both third row seat backs that have been lowered to form a complete flat surface when both the second and third row backs are folded down. It can be lowered to the floor. When raised, you can open the top part of it and have three separate bins to put your groceries You can leave the top closed and just place your stuff on top of it. You can even store stuff under it and it serves as a security cover for things that are on the floor in the cargo area.

    By the way, we bought a used 01 DGC EX back in Sep. 2003 that had 37K on it for under $16,000. I love our van very much along with it's features and characteristics. We now have 73K and it has been very reliable. Hope this helps. :shades:
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    I have owned a 2002 T&C LX with the 2nd row bucket seats and 50/50 fold and tumble 3rd row and a 2006 Sienna LE with the 2nd row bucket seats and 60/40 split fold into the floor 3rd row.
    The BEST choice with 3 children would be the Sienna CE or LE with 3 seats in 2nd row. The 3rd row could be folded into the floor either 40 %, 60%, or both split portions to give a very large area for the stroller.
    A 2005/06 GC or T&C with 2nd row fold into the floor would be very convenient by folding the passenger side 2nd row bucket into the floor and putting 1 child in a child seat in other 2nd row bucket and 2 children in child seats in the 3rd row. The double stroller could easily be placed into the van after the 3 children were secured.
    In early 2005, the Grand Caravan SE came with 2nd row bench that has 2 built in child seats and the 60/40 split fold into the floor rear seats. My sister just bought a nice used 2005 GC SE with this configuration about 10 days ago.
    The DaimlerChrysler minivans are JUST as reliable as the Odyssey or Sienna and cost less because they have been trashed by "NOT recommended for purchase" CR.
  • These forums have been so helpful to me, as I have been shopping for a mini-van for a year. Finally ended up with a 2006 Chrysler T&C Limited, after much driving and comparing of Mini-vans. I don't hear much from my "segment", but I am a middle aged woman with two large dogs and a large, older husband who is used to driving big Lincoln Town Cars, but likes to be chauffered around by me if possible. I also cart elderly parents and elderly in-laws around on long and short trips (without dogs). We have always been loyal to FoMoCo, and I seriously looked at the Mercury Monterey (ok, I heard those chuckles out there) and the Honda Ody. Sienna was just not a good value to me, the dealer couldn't get any of the Quests started and their reliability worried me, and my dogs couldn't get to the 3rd row/back of the Buick without breaking the center console ( 2nd row seats don't fold forward with the side airbags, nor do they fold flat), and the A/C can't be controlled from the back by the passengers. All the vans rode nicely, had plenty of pep, nice seats, and good safety features. I ultimately bought the T&C for: Stow and Go (does anyone out there take their dogs and luggage anywhere? I love the flat surface after putting the 2nd row seats down-the dogs can actually lay down and stretch out), the power passenger seat (not available in the Honda). I really wanted to buy the Merc, as it has a lot of safety features (side airbags and side curtain airbags, stability control, did great in the insurance crash tests), but the 2nd row seats were low (hard for the older folks to get out of), and the lack of easy removal of the 2nd row seats tilted my decision to the Chrysler. The Honda had the most comfortable seats, but there was no easy removal of the 2nd row seats, no power passenger seat available, and very little legroom in the 3rd row. My 80 yr old m-i-l tested all the second and third row seats for me, and with one Stow and Go seat folded down into the floor, the third row seat was the easiest to get into. Also, the 2nd row seats sit a little higher and are easier to get in and out of. I know this isn't "real world" for people with young kids that can scramble to the back, but for this "elderly" segment, the Chrysler just worked the best. The perfect van would be Mercury's safety and huge list of standard bells and whistles, Chrysler's Stow N Go, Honda's comfortable seats, and engine and drivetrain. I am happy with my choice so far (well, I did just buy it today!), and sympathize with the shoppers out there, as there is no perfect van YET! I hope this helps anybody out there shopping for the same things I was shopping for.
  • jc9799jc9799 Posts: 70
    Congrats on the new purchase. It sounds like you really did your homework. The T&C (which I do like, BTW), wouldn't be my first choice, but it seems to fit you just right.

  • jc9799jc9799 Posts: 70
    Bench vs. Captain Chairs:

    One of the nice features with the MPV (also previous generation Ody?) is that that the 2nd row can slide into a bench or separate into captains chairs.

    It makes no difference for my 6 or 4 year old to reach the 3rd row in either configuration, but it's much easier for an adult to reach the 3rd row with the 2nd row as a bench. We also flip the right seatback forward.

    How old are your kids and the one you babysit? If you have to strap a child in a 5 pt restraint seat in the 3rd row, I'd guess the bench seat would give you better access. It'd be different if the child in the back is using a booster and can buckle him/herself in.

    Of course, never, ever underestimate the importance of having extra space between 2 kids in the car. Therefore, at least for me, advantage captains chairs. ;)

    Have you also considered an MPV? It's smaller than the GC/Ody/Sienna class so storage may be an issue. I don't know how it compares with the 05 Sedona in that regard.

    Good luck,
  • phillymomphillymom Posts: 30
    How old are your kids and the one you babysit?

    I have a 4yo, 2yo and I babysit a 1yo
    Cargo space is a must for me since sometimes I have a large bulky double stroller

    Thanks for all the great feedback
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    EXCELLENT comparison which vividly explains why each minivan has an appeal to different people. ;)
    I agree that Odyssey has the most comfortable seats for all 7 people in the minivan. Chrysler Stow 'N Go is just right for others, and so on.
    There is NO one minivan which has every one of the best features . :cry:
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    We have some big (meaning tall) people in the family and circle of friends who have commented on the generous legroom in our Odyssey's third row. This is our seventh minivan and it is certainly the most roomy.

    The reason there are many choices is because there are many opinions. Enjoy your new ride.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Nope, I agree with you. I think here in the south they aren't as pushy as other areas.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Your Odyssey has a 3.5L. Shouldn't the Sienna have an engine the same size (or power) as the Odyssey?
    My 2002 T&C LX 3.3L has a 3.3L but not as powerful as the 3.3L in the Sienna (which is not as powerful as the 3.5L in the Odyssey). The weaker 3.3L in the T&C has enough power for any place I have driven...but the extra power of the Sienna 3.3L with 5 speed AT is even better - especially since the Sienna is getting better gas mileage on the road than the T&C LX.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Well it should, but while some people might need the extra power of the Odyssey, I don't, and since the Sienna is more efficient than my current Odyssey, I wouldn't mind the loss of power. (The current Odyssey gets even better mileage with a bigger engine, but well, I just prefer the Sienna) I'm attracted to the Sienna mainly for its plush interior and the power folding third row of the Limited (although I doubt I'd be using that feature often)

    I'm basically sitting around waiting for some big Sienna incentives to materialize so I can get a great deal... :D
  • phillymomphillymom Posts: 30
    We are looking at a certified used 2003 with 31,500 miles

    Any feedback on this year/model?

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    What's the asking price?
  • I have a very limited budget and want to purchase a minivan. I need something that is at or under $10,000 and need something with lower mileage (around 60k). I have found that Toyotas and Hondas are not in this price range at all (even ones that are old and have TONS of miles, ridiculous really, and I don't care for them anyway beacuse the seats and interiors are not plush they are to me at least uncomfortable. They remind me of my Geo Tracker from 1993).

    Anyway, I have found several models including Kia's, Dodge, Chryslers, and GM's line (Montana,Venture, and Silhouette). With around 50-60k miles the dealerships seem to be asking around 8-9k. What do you all think about these models and which one would you purchase. I have to make this last as long as possible as I am on a very tight budget (single mom, child with disability).

    Thanks much :)
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I would get either the Chrysler/Dodge or the Kia. The Venture doesn't have a decent safety score from the IIHS and I wouldn't feel safe driving it.

    Amongst the 2 I'd lean more towards the Chrysler but I'm sure others here would definitely get a Kia.
  • I also wouldn't rule out a Ford, if one is available. Very safe as far as crash tests, and they seem to be very (unusually) reasonable as far as price. I've seen many in ads around here (Chicagolnad) of 2001 and above for under $10K. Just a thought.
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    I really don't follow this thread much but I'm curious...

    Is there anyone here who is actually looking to buy a minivan or are you all mostly just throwing facts at each other?

    Just wondering.... :shades:
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I forgot about the Ford. Those can be good deals.

    I'd also look into a Mercury Villager/Nissan Quest...
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Look into a Mazda MPV, preferably a newer one. (When did Mazda redesign it?)
  • "I also wouldn't rule out a Ford, if one is available"

    I have not been impressed with the reviews of the Fords, I have also never been a fan of Fords (raised a GM family, im doomed, lol).
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    IMHO, the Dodge vans are the winner when shopping for a used bargain that will last and be inexpensive to operate. You may want to skip on the option and keep it basic to ensure cheap/reliable operation. A power slider may be important to you with a disabled child, but keep in mind that may require extra maintenance down the road. Skip if if you really don't need it.

    The GM vans from the vintage you're shopping should be avoided IMHO. Poor safety, marginal reliability, and not any better of a bargain than the much better Dodge. I usually prefer GM over Dodge/Ford as well, but they're not competitive in the minivan market. The Honda/Toyota attract a more affluent crowd and are not great values used. I love my newer Ody, but wouldn't buy a used one if I was in your shoes.
  • 97xpresso97xpresso Posts: 249
    I would definetly not buy a used Kia. The warranty is shortened for subsequent owners, and the gas MPG is horrendous. I'd lean towards a DC minivan or anything but a used Kia.
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    Here is the latest from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:

    "The best-performing minivan was the Kia Sedona which also earned an overall "Gold Top Safety Pick" rating.

    The Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna and Nissan Quest minivans all earned "Good" ratings for front and side impact protection. The Odyssey earned a "Marginal" rating for whiplash protection while the Sienna and Quest were given "Poor" ratings.

    The worst-performing minivans in these safety tests were the Dodge Caravan. the closely related Chrysler Town & Country and the Mazda MPV. Those minivans received "Acceptable" ratings for front impact protection and "Poor" ratings for side impact when tested without head-protecting side impact airbags. When tested with head protecting side impact airbags, the Caravan and Town & Country received "Acceptable" ratings for side impact protection. The Mazda MPV was not tested with side airbags.
  • cpsdarrencpsdarren Posts: 265
    Excellent results for the Sedona. Keep in mind this applies to the new 2006 model.
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