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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign



  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    The sludge policy was from 1997 - 2001, but Toyota did not make any engine mods to alleviate the problem until mid-year 2002. So to better avoid the problem, you can stick with a 2003 and newer model and make sure you can get maintenance records (and continue to maintain it well under your ownership).

    IF the owner can prove it was properly maintained and can provide you these records you may still want to consider the earier models. Not every vehicle got sludge.
  • kbeckskbecks Posts: 4
    I'm wondering what folks here would consider the best value make/model for a used minivan in the 10 to 15k price range, with priority given to reliability and safety.

    My guess is the Dodge/Chryslers, or Toyota/Honda, although a used Japanese will be much more worn in that price range.

    Your thoughts?
  • kbeckskbecks Posts: 4
    I'd like any used minivan I consider to have traction control, but I don't know which vans are equipped with it, and most used salespeople don't know either.

    (My 01 Acura TL has traction control and it makes me feel so much more confident / safe in winter driving.)

    I know that Hondas have traction control going back to 2001.

    On Toyota, Dodge and Chrysler (the other candidates, I don't know). Chrysler T&C currently has traction control on a couple higher trim levels.

    Can anyone shed more light on what years and trim levels I may need to go for?

  • allison5allison5 Posts: 130
    I actually just wrote in another forum regarding this and then saw this forum. I have a GMC Yukon and I also have a bad back from degenerative disks. The yukon was okay in the beginning with large, comfy seats and now almost 3 years later, my back is having more problems after. I have driven it 36,000 miles. Now I am in the process of deciding what minivan to get, ( I am getting rid of SUV for various reasons). I think I am going to go back to Odyessy (I had a 2000) years back and the comfy part was so so in that. What do people think of the Odyessy as far as being comfortable? I have tried most other vans.
  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Posts: 421
    I can't speak for the other makes, but we bought a used 01 DGC EX that has traction control and with a lot of standard features. We bought it back in Sep. 2003 for $15,995 before taxes and stuff. It only had 36K. We now have over 75K and it's been very reliable. I think you can get one between 10K and 12K now. If you want side curtain air bags for all three rows, you might want to look at a 2002 and up. Ours only has the driver and passenger side airbags. :shades:
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    The best value would probably be a clean, ex-rental DCX minivan with Stow N Go as it will not be expensive, it will have a fold flat 3rd row, and there are plenty to choose from.

    I would also look into the Ford Freestar/Mercury Monterey,as they are cheap, have that fold flat 3rd row, and some trims have AdvanceTrac (albeit probably none of the ex-fleet models) but others would probably tell you to look elsewhere.

    A well used Honda Odyssey (mine with 90,000 miles is KBB valued at around $11,000) could be a good buy as it will last you far beyond 200K miles. (being a Honda, afterall)
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Agree with jchan2. For the money the DCX vans will be much newer and have much lower miles vs the Honda and Toyota vans. Your other option is to checkout the Kia Sedona. For 15K you may actually be able to find an 05 that has a solid warranty left.

    Good luck!
  • 97xpresso97xpresso Posts: 249
    A 2005 Kia would have a "solid" warranty only if purchased new. Second owners only get a 5/60,000 which starts at the original sale date. Still a respectable warranty, if you can get them to honor it. They have poor fuel economy and reliability issues. The 2006's have been highly praised by the media. The 2006 crash results are impressive. Time will tell if it's the real deal.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I'd like any used minivan I consider to have traction control, but I don't know which vans are equipped with it, and most used salespeople don't know either.

    I know GM had it on their Minivans starting 1998? maybe 1999.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Yeah, I realized the 10/100 powertrain warranty would not apply but if he bought an 05 for 15K (should be plenty of them out there), he would still get the balance of the 5/60..

    I agree with your assessment of the Kia, I personally would rather drive an older Honda or Toyota, but some people like to own newer.

    The 06's do look much improved (drove one when we shopped recently), but I agree with you that I need more time before I buy Kia/Hyundai...
  • sc00bssc00bs Posts: 87
    "A well used Honda Odyssey (mine with 90,000 miles is KBB valued at around $11,000) could be a good buy as it will last you far beyond 200K miles. (being a Honda, afterall)"

    I would say that the average vehicle will get about 150k miles. I would not say that just because its a Honda it will get 200k, there are just too many factors that play into the longevity of a car especially when you buy one with higher mileage or one that is used. I would say 150k and anything you get after that would be bonus.

    In my area the price of Toyotas have been dropping. For 15 or under some examples at local dealerships are :

    02 CE with 55k is 12k.
    00 XLE with 69k is 11k.
    00 LE 75k is 9500.

    Honda Oddyssey

    2000 LX 65k miles asking price 11,950.
    2003 LX 68k miles asking price 14,900.

    Dodge Grand Caravans

    There are TONS of off rentals right now, one listed is an SE for 12,999 with 29k on it and its certified (so the warranty is 8 year/80k powertrain, 3 month 2,000 maxium care, 24 hour roadside assistance). There are several with under 20k for 14ish. SXT's with under 20k are listing at the top of your range at 14,995. If you really wanted to go cheap, they have a gazillion of 2000-2001's with around 50-60k on them for about $8,000.

    Kia's can be picked up right and left, loaded for around 10k, even under if you are patient and look around.
  • sc00bssc00bs Posts: 87
    "We drove the Sedona and actually considered it but the price really wasn't so great."

    I have to agree. I was extremely disappointed when the new model came out and the pricing was higher than Kia's normal pricing. I think that was the biggest mistake that they made (Hyundai also). They could have sold TONS MORE if they would have kept their target market the same.

    In fact we still have many sitting on our lots around here untouched. I have seen ONE actually owned and driving on the road here. When I went into the Kia dealership they kept pushing the van even saying they could take a TON off the price just to get them out on the road.

    People are not going to spend as much as a Toyota knowing the resale value is going to be horrible. I would love to wait one year and then pick up a used one for way way less.
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    I've see advertisements as well as people on here buying new 2006 T&C base model for under $15k. No traction control and short wheel base, but lots of godo equipemtn and a brand new vehicle. 2005 DGC SXT & T&C Touring should also be in under $15k and come with lots of additional features including TC. If i had a choice between a $20k mile 1yr old DCX van vs. a 100k mile 4-6yr old import, I'd buy the DCX. While I don't agree with many Honda/Toyota resale values, they are real and I would only consider buying them new. As mentioned above, there are too many factors involved in reliability of any 100k mile vehicle. Lots of people buy them, but I wouldn't.
  • hondakidhondakid Posts: 17
    I am in the process of buying the Quest ... Right now, in the Toronto Area, the 3.5 S is going for $6,000 CDN under MSRP ($32,000 - $6,000 = 26,000 before taxes and freight / pdi).

    What kind of deals have you been able to get?
    What was your buying experience like?
    Where did you buy from?
    How do you like the Quest?

    This "June Offer" clearly states the $6,000 rebate is off of MSRP .... I am sure I can get them to do around invoice and then have them take the 6K off.

    Any suggestions, ideas, opinions, etc will be GREATLY appreciated ..

    Thank You,

  • sc00bssc00bs Posts: 87
    Ok, I test drove an 05 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT. I also drove an 05 Dodge Grand Caravan SE. I also was able to test drive a brand new Caravan SXT.

    Scary. First of all it was 91 Degrees out. The vans were sitting in the sun, so they were a bit hotter. The SXT had a HORRIBLE shutter when I turned on the AC. It almost killed the engine it was so draining. It also was NOT pushing out what I would call cold air, at all. I drove the van for almost 45 minutes and even with front and rear AC the van still felt warm.

    With the AC running the van had absolutely NO power. I had to push the pedal all the way to the floor to get it to even want to move. Ridiculous.

    Next was the SE. It actually performed better than the SXT, but was still struggling to cool off the entire van. It had only front AC, but it did BETTER than the SXT. The seats in the SXT and SE were cheap.

    The smaller van, well it was interesting. It actually had some pep (maybe because it had the V6 and wasn't carrying the longer wheelbase with it?? The AC still struggled, I thought, but was able to cool the van down.

    The front was invisible to me. When trying to park it and such I could not tell were my front end was. That was a bit different to me, I have been driving cars with visable front ends.

    I had a hard time finding the controls and operating the radio (I saw that mentioned above). The readout on the 05's was almost impossible to make out. As a newbie in a vehicle it would take a while to get used to those controls. The model I drove did not hava audio controls on the steering wheel, which really was stupid.

    The speakers STUNK!!! I don't know why Dodge even wasted their time with those.

    Other than that they were nice to drive. I was HIGHLY concerned with the AC issue in the SXT. My friends bought an 04 in which the alternator was dead within the first 5,000 miles. The doors, oh the doors in the SXT were power and they upon first approach got stuck. We had to manual pull them to get them to open, but they worked after that.

    By the way, they are advertising used SXT Grands with around 15k on them for 14k. Brand new 06 Carvans (not the SXT's, short wheelbase) for 11k.
  • rwallisrwallis Posts: 3
    Any comments about the Uplander?
  • daddioof4daddioof4 Posts: 50
    Back in March before I bought my Mazda MPV, I was receiving quotes on Nissan Quest 3.5S, with DVD players and some additional upgrades for $21,300 USD (approximately $24921 CDN). I would holdout a little longer because I think when they bring out the 2007 models with the redesigned dashboards, you will be able to pickup a 2006 for under $20k usd ($23.4K CDN). But once you see the 2007, you may not want the 2006 dashboard. But, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. My neighbor likes the dash. I think it is ugly! Right now I have seen Hyundai Entourages advertised for $20.8k USD. Good luck in whatever you buy!
  • theflushtheflush Posts: 100
    Ugliest van I've ever seen.
  • mrblonde49mrblonde49 Posts: 626
    I can't fathom why anyone would buy a GM van with all the other choices out there
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    It sounds like something was wrong with at used Grand SXT. My 06 T&C Touring (almost the same) had been trouble-free in 19k miles. The A/C is very cold and cools down the cabin quickly when I leave work @ 4:00pm, the heat of the day. The rear AC helps a lot, IMO. I notice that power is down a little with the compressor running, but no shuddering. There have been a couple TSB's regarding the A/C for the 3.8L and a friend of mine with one has had problems with her 2005, but it's been fixed by the dealer under warranty and no problems yet this summer.

    As for the radio, the Grand SXT has the better speakers (maybe the SWB SXt as well). It isn't the best OEM system, but far from the worst I've had.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I have 12k miles on my 2005 GC SXT.....the AC works great. One trick I use if it's parked outside in a hot parking lot - I keep the sunroof cracked and on the way to the van I use the keyfob to open the power doors and hatch. The hot air is purged from the minivan instantly!!

    Last time I was at dealer for oil change they performed a TBS adding a shield to the condensor, to protect it from damage.
  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Posts: 421
    We have a 01 DGC EX with over 76K. We've had no problems with our AC. Just about a month ago, I took a meat thermometer to see what temperature the AC was. It was around 62-64 degrees on a day where the outside temp. was above 90 degrees. We open all the doors and roll down the front windows to let the hot air out before turning on the AC. Sometimes it might take five minutes or so for the AC to get to it's coldest temp. depending on outside temp. and the last time the AC was used. :D
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,221
    There's a newly-created discussion for the Fairlane in our Future Vehicles Forum too. Enjoy!

    Ford Fairlane Concept


    Need help getting around? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • 97xpresso97xpresso Posts: 249
    Looks exactly like a Scion xB on steroids :) :D
  • sebr0d1esebr0d1e Posts: 17
    And once again, Ford just doesn't get it..just like they didn't get it when they decided to come out with one sliding door instead of 2 on the debut of the windstar.

    Now here they (johnny) come (lately) again with a car to 'replace their minivan.' Yet, the thing has regular (not sliding) doors. Sorry, but sliders make the minivan...without them, you have something else, but not a minivan.

    You can get convenience, comfort, power, 5+ seating, etc, in pretty much any other type of vehicle, but only one has the sliders. Call it a people mover all you want, call it a replacement for your minivan too, but don't expect it to do the #s in sales that minivans do, bcuz there's enuff competition for this new type of, ford isn't known for making big vehicles that are good on gas, so to me this is just another Freestyled-attempt to defray attention from their moronic and eroding leadership decisions of the past 6+ yrs..
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    The Fairlane is going to have to be either really cheap or really innovative to be a success.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    Ford has publicly stated they "have no intention of competing on the minivan front". They don't feel there's any money in it (probably not when you build garbage....). This was per an article in Automotive News about a year ago.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    I think the the Ford Fairlane, Freestyle, and other crossovers are for people that don't need the 3 row capability every day, but when they do need it they want something spacious in the 3rd row. For those that are driving around 5+ people everyday, than the wide boxy minivans make sense, but these crossovers are great for those of us that don't need that much capacity. Think of the Fairlane, Edge, Freestyle as modern versions of the old station wagon.

    I consider my Freestyle as a Ford 500 station wagon, no matter what Ford wants to call it. Not too tall, not to short, and I'd rather have regular car doors and not sliding doors, which are either too difficult to close unless automatic, slow to open/close, and present more problems down the road than regular doors. The Freestyle's 2nd row seats flip forward, and it's easy to access the 3rd row when I need to. I just prefer the driving characteristics of a car.

    Motor Week did a comparison of the Freestyle vs the Odyssey. Most people would say that of course the Freestyle isn't even close, but then it did pretty well in the article. Better and driving and handling but lost mostly for space, so if you don't need the space, then cars like the Freestyle, Fairlane, Edge and other crossovers are a good alternative to the full sized minivan. hID=73248434937503

    "What it all comes down to is this: We look at which vehicle fulfills its purpose better, not necessarily which is the fastest or nimblest or sportiest. Sure, all those things matter, and even contribute to making a vehicle safer (the ultimate family-friendly feature). To this end the Ford does have one big leg up on the Honda, especially with its available all-wheel drive. But in the end, the win goes to the Odyssey, by a hair—and that’s nothing to be embarrassed about."
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