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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign



  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    Regardless of negative equity, it's always a bad financial decision to sell/trade a vehicle on another. Even if there are a few repairs in the mix. The Honda resale isn't great enough to make a huge difference. There's a reason you're upside down (by how much I don't know) but it's probably because you put nothing down or rolled negative equity into the Yukon, did 72 month payments, etc. Yukons actually have pretty good resale value if you purchased them right. But if you keep rolling negative equity into another vehicle, you'll never get out ahead. Unless you can pay thenegative equity in cash, I'd say no-way, keep what you've got.

    We traded an '02 Tahoe for the Ody. The Tahoe was very reliable for the 50k miles we had it. The Ody is about on-par. As for passenger space, the Ody is better at fitting 6-7-8 people with more space for cargo. The '07 Tahoe looks to be a little better, but the Ody is still more people friendly. I miss the towing capacity more than anything which means we have to take one of our trucks when towing. IMHO, the only fair comparison is Suburban vs Ody and we are considering going to the Yukon XL Denali after the "new model" bugs are worked out.

    But if you throw snow tires on the Ody, it will make it through most conditions as well as the Yukon with those "all-season" highway tires they put on them. Unless you've got real truck tires on a 4wd, they're at a huge disadvantage. The only downside is the Ody is pretty low to the ground so if you're cutting through deep fresh snow, it'll hang even with snow tires. I live in the boonies and a FWD with snow tires is about the same as a 4x4 with crappy tires in many conditions. But the Ody sits lower than most vehicles which can cause problems. One ice or normal slick roads, the Ody is quite stable with the stability and traction control making a big difference.
  • allison5allison5 Posts: 130
    Thanks for the advice. I agree about never getting ahead in rolling negative equity, but I am wondering something. If I hold on to the Yukon another year or two it will be worth even less and then the negative equity will be even more right?? Yes I agree that my pay off will be less as well but I still think if I wait it will be worse than it is now. I guess I am just really wanting the 07 and trying to do it with as least damage as possible but it might just not be feasible.

    The other thing is that I had a major back injury many years ago and I still suffer back pain from it. The Odyessy is just not nearly as comfy as the big comfy seats in the Tahoe/Yukon and the new ones are even better than the old ones. WHat do you think of seats in Odyessy? I used to have the 2000 Odyessy and those seats were not good at all.

    I too have thought about the suburban as we have 3 kids and a big large dog that goes with us to snow, lake, beach etc. In fact people have thought we were nuts to get the Tahoe but it is less expensive to purchase and for gas.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    Every payment you make, the amount that reduces your principal goes up (and interest expense goes down). So you will eventually catch-up on that negative equity at some point. The other thing is, domestic vehicles tend to depreciate quickly the first two years, and then slowly after that. A Honda or Toyota (in many cases) actually has more depreciation in year three than either first two years. It's weird, but for both of those reasons your situation can only improve. More principal applied and less depreciation.

    I like the '07 (Suburban) a lot, but I won't buy one until much later in the year, or maybe even next year. GM rushed these to market and (hopefully I'm wrong) I don't want to be the product tester. Plus my biggest complaint with my Tahoe was the 4-speed transmission. GM has a new six-speed auto being used in the Escalades that are going to be filtering down to the poor mans SUVs/Trucks next year and that's an awesome transmission. Makes the vehicle drive much better than that lazy 4-speed. The Suburban wasn't much more expensive when I bought the Tahoe, and I proceeded to kick myself for not buying it. I probably would still have it and I wouldn't know beans about an Odyssey.

    Seat comfort is very subjective. I have back problems and am a bit picky about seats. I too liked the Tahoe seats, but so far have no complaints with the Ody. We have the EX-L (only way to get 8-passenger seating) which has leather power drivers seat and I've had no problems. I think I like my '02 Tahoe seats better, but I don't have a lot of seat time in the '07 models to really compare. The Ody is more comfortable for the passengers, although a Suburban would likely compete well. Good luck...!
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Have you ever seen the 8 passenger Sienna CE or LE?
    The Sienna has REAL seats for 8 while the Ody EX has real seats for 7 + a nice, oversized, removeable center armrest between the 2 bucket seats in the 2nd row where an 8th person can sit quite comfortably.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    I know they exist, but have never personally seen one. There was a lot about the Sienna I didn't like, nevermind the 8-passenger didn't come with leather which was strike one from the get-go. The 8th seat in the Ody works perfect for us, but there are things I don't like about it as well. It all comes down to priorities since nobody seems capable of making the perfect vehicle. An Ody Touring with the 8th seat would have been very close for us, but Honda doesn't offer that either. We ended up with EX-L with NAV and DVD, but lacking a few basic features we've grown accustomed to.
  • You stated that Sienna doesnot have leather in its 8 passenger model. I have the XLE Limited with Nav ,DVD and powered leather seats with lumbar control. You don't want to sit in it nor take it for a ride as you'll want to review the site beforehand to see you can get a Sienna for $5-7K off MSRP for the '06. You'll want to buy it. You are sitting in a luxury driver's seat with burl like wood trim dash and beautiul blue dials for ease on the eyes. The cockpit is very user friendly. The ride is like a Cadillac, DVD keeps kids quiet with wireless headphones and hook ups for Ipod, 110volt electronics and has accessories, safety devices and goodies with a woman's input. The storage room with the manual front seat folded down, powered third row seats folded down makes HD trips easy. Although you chose a Honda I suggest that others might want to try Toyota Sienna. It is a touch of class. Tanker
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    I'm not sure what you're saying. The XLE doesn't come in 8-passenger. You can only get an 8-passenger Sienna in cloth in the lower-end models. I needed 8-passenger seating, so that pretty much rules it out. I'm not really a cadillac ride fan either, i'm a little more interested in handling. The handling on the Sienna wasn't upto my standards. I drive 7 miles of twisties to town everyday and the Sienna was a wallow-monster.
  • guestguest Posts: 770
    You are right. Only the lower end Sienna has leather although as you know getting leather seats by an off site vendor is easy for the salesperson and negotiable at most dealerships. Handling is in the eyes of the beholder and a minivan regardless of the type isnot a good vehicle for twisty roads. Watch the speed on those bends and have fun!
  • You are sitting in a luxury driver's seat with burl like wood trim dash

    Would that be the glossy brown plastic trim with wood-like appearance?
  • Yep! It be that simulated burlwood like trim for cars under $40K. If you want the real stuff you need to partner with a bank to buy the BMW, cadillac or Mercedes. The luxury look is more than the trim by the way. If you like to drive with a user friendly and classy cockpit layout you ought to treat yourself to the XLE Limited. You hardly notice that the trim is "simulated"; besides the price is right! Leave your checkbook at home. Tanker
  • If I recall correctly, you get real wood in real luxury cars like a BMW 328 that is less expensive than some Sienna models. I happened to like the interior of the Sienna LE, both for the lack of plasti-wood and for the folding center tray. Everyone has their own preferences, of course, so YMMV.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    I'm not a big fan of the wood stuff, even when it's real like my wifes GX470. I doubt the 3-series Bimmer has real wood. Real leather is an option: the cheaper models come with I mean leatherette!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I think I'll pass on the faux wood and get the metal-look trim in the Honda. It's "classy" AND sporty.
  • According to Edmunds anyway, the 328 has real walnut wood trim. I've never actually seen it, though. Putting wood of any kind in a modern car always puzzled me, but that's just my preference.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I'm not a big fan of the wood stuff, even when it's real like my wifes GX470. I doubt the 3-series Bimmer has real wood. Real leather is an option: the cheaper models come with I mean leatherette!

    ALL BMWs, even lowly 3 Series have real wood! I know, I have one....2001 325ci (6 cyl, 5spd, sport and prem packs). In a BMW, if it looks like wood, it is wood. I also have the "vinyl" sport seats that look brand new and didn't require killing a few cows. Seems like all the leather seats I see look worn and cracked after a few years, maybe the owners didn't take proper care of them.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    I don't do much with my leather seats. Spread on some leather cleaner/conditioner every now and then. I personally don't have anything against leatherette per say. Both of my kids cars came with the leatherette and it's probably just as good as the cheap leather they would have used on a sub $25k car anyway. I'm pretty sure the cows would be gonners whether you choose the leather option or not. Yum! :P
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Ironic that you would say the 2000 Ody seats were not good at all since I felt the seats in my son's 2001 Ody EX were THE MOST comfortable seats of any recent vehicle. Sadly, the Ody got totalled. He got a new 2006 which I have not ridden far enough in to have an opinion.
  • mjg101mjg101 Posts: 15
    We purchased a new 2006 Toyota Sienna Limited van. With in six months I have cracked and peeling paint on the hood and the rear hatch. The van also has several large chips in the hood. I showed the van to the Toyota rep and he said the places on the hood are stone chips and not covered by warranty. I asked about the spot on the hood where the paint is cracked and he said that is also from a stone. The paint is popping off this van in more places than all other cars that I have owned combined. When I showed him the 3" long crack in the paint on the rear hatch the rep said I probably did it opening and closing the rear hatch. I informed him that the van has a power rear hatch and that is how we open the door 99% of the time. He offered to repaint the spot on the rear hatch but nothing for the places on the hood. I asked him who I can talk to above him and he told me that there is no one above him. I called the home office in California and filed a complaint, but the home office said I had to go through a dealer and a Toyota rep. The home office said that I do not have any recourse other than this. I will never buy another Toyota if this is how they treat their customers. The dealership where I purchased the van from is Gary Force Toyota in Bowling Green Kentucky. If anybody doubts that the damage is a factory defect, reply to this message and I will email you pictures of the van.
  • I purchased my 2006 Ford Freestar back in May 2006, I had the vehicle for 3 days and The vehicles advance traction light came on and the vehicles brakes activated on there own so I took the van back and the dealership said there was nothing wrong so I took the van back and a couple days later it happened again so I took it back again to the dealership this time they kept the vehicle and did some tests and found nothing again so I took the van back for a third time well it happened again this time I was driving to work on a very busy road in London Ont. and I almost got rear ended 5 times because it would work then not work so i took it back again and this time they found some codes it all has to do with some censor in the steering column getting to much light so they painted it black and said it was fine so I went with my kids and my sister to pick up the van again after 2 or 3 weeks and on my way home on the highway it happened again and this time a large truck was behind us and had to Swerve around us so he didn't slam into the back of us and now my whole family is afraid to drive in the van. so I took the van back again and told them i am not interested in keeping this vehicle it is unsafe so the dealership took the van and said they would see what they could do so they got in contact with a person from ford named john Cranston and we meet with him and he told us there is a problem and ford is looking into making a new part to fix the problem so we had 2 choices trade for a new van of the same make and model year and take our chances that this would happen again or they will give us a loaner vehicle till they build the new part and give us 4 months worth of payments back considering we have been paying for the van and we have not been driving it and also a 1 year maintenance package and if it happened again after the fix he would cancel our contract and we would not have to buy the van so we accepted the last one and asked for it in righting and he said ok a week later we still never received anything in righting and he will not give us anything in righting. so a couple months pass by and the loaner van they put us in did the exact same thing so we told the rental place and they gave us a new van and the next day we get a call saying that our van is fixed this is now October thanksgiving weekend 5 months later. so we take the van back and 2 weeks later it happens again so we have had enough we contacted John Cranston of ford and told him we don't want this van anymore he told us to give him a couple of days and let him take the van to his engineers in Oakville and let them look at it so we said ok but we are not taking the van back well 2 weeks pass he gets someone by the name of Anna to call us and tell us the van is fine and its 110% safe and if we didn't take the van back and give him the rental vehicle he would call the police and report the rental stolen and he was done dealing with us there is nothing wrong with the van so we took the van back and on my way to work after they dropped the van off i had no brakes. so i took it back to a dealership and they looked at it and the service manager at the dealership gave us his personal van which is the same as ours but a 2007 he warned us that it has the same problem as ours does with the advance traction control system. so a couple days later we get the van back and it seemed to be working fine well a week later i was leaving the store pulling on to the road and the advance traction control light starts flashing and my van loses all power and I almost get T-boned by a bus. but ford is still saying there is nothing wrong with this vehicle. We have been in contact with a lawyer but not sure how far we can go considering it could cost us thousands of dollars and could go on for years in court. all we want is for Ford to take back the vehicle as we don't feel we should have to purchase a vehicle that is unsafe. If you have any other questions or comments or suggestions on what we can do post message back or email me please and thank you
  • Why not post them here? They are mighty expensive to have such problems.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    If your lawyer is saying it could go on for years in court...I'd get another lawyer.

    You check your states lemon laws? You may be able to do it alone without the lawyer. If any vehicle on this earth should qualify for the lemon law, that Ford Freeturd is it.

    Good luck.
  • mjg101mjg101 Posts: 15
    Can you post pictures on this site. If so how do you do it? Thank you.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    If you put the image on your Carspace (it is easy to do), then use the [Img] button (above the :confuse: icon).

    The process:

    Right click the internet photo (you can practice with any google image if you want to try it), and go down to properties. Click properties.

    Copy the Address {URL}. It will look like a website address, but longer.

    Come back to the page where you are writing your message.

    Click the [IMG] button

    Paste the Address {URL} that you copied from Properties right after the prompt it will give you (just after the open quote).

    Click the IMG button again to close out the address.

  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,221
    Or you could just upload a picture to your CarSpace and post a link to it here. Clicking the link will open a new window containing your photo. Like this: A True Compact


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

  • edmac1edmac1 Posts: 36
    I just acquired an 07 Hyundai Santa Fe to replace my 01 Caravan, which replaced an 89 Grand Caravan (before this I have had a 1954 Plymouth coupe, a 1970 Dodge Dart, a 1977 Dodge van, and a 1980 Plymouth Horizon). The two Caravans gave me 200,000 miles of comfortable, trouble-free transportation. However, I decided I wanted something that had:

    A more powerful engine. The Santa Fe has a 240HP engine,
    while the most you can get with the Caravan is the same
    old 3.3L 180HP and the Caravan is several hundred pounds
    heavier than the Santa Fe.

    Fold-down seats. Available in the Grand Caravan but not
    in the Caravan. I don't have a family to haul around
    anymore so the GC is just too much.

    The Dodge Nitro might have been an viable alternable but it doesn't have front-wheel drive, which as far as I am concerned is a must. It does have available four wheel drive but that is just something else that can break if most of your driving is on paved roads.

    So it looks like Chrysler and I have reached the end of our journey together. My new car may be foreign but at least it's not an "import" since it was made in Alabama.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Why did you shut down the "8+ passenger vans" topic?

    Vans seating MORE than 8 passengers are NOT minivans. Therefore, someone who MAY have some general input on 8+ passenger vans may not find this discussion in here, the MINIvan shopping topic.

    This IS the VAN and Minivan forum, isn't it? Where's the discussions on full size vans? As far as I could see, the ONLY general thread we had going concerning comparisons of full-size vans was the one you just shut down. :confuse:
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,221
    Hi, rorr,

    Our Full-Sized Vans is in the Conversion & Full-Sized Vans Folder above.

    I'd originally placed the 8+ posts here because this topic's lively and I felt it was more likely to get feedback here. In any case, I've moved it back out and have retitled it: Full-Sized Minivan Shopping


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

  • Hello fellow edmunds forum dwellers.

    Here is what we have done so far,and we are a bit confused.Maybe you guys could add a little input.My wife drives a 2005 Subaru Forester currently,and it is a lease that is up in September of 07.We love the Suby,but with 2 ids in car seats it is a little snug.We have a 36 month 15k per year lease on the forester now,and we got it in Sept of 04.The car has been trouble free,and we are way under the mileage with only 23k miles on the clock now with roughly 9 months left.

    We recently got a call from Subaru asking if we wanted to do anything early with our Forester,and we told them that we were recently thinking about doing something.We test drove a Tribeca,and liked it,but the cost of them even as a 5 passenger vehicle is really high for us,so we thought we would be better to find a minivan.

    We went by our local Dodge dealer that I bought my used 2003 ram 1500 quad cab from,and looked into a grand caravan as they are offering $4000 rebate now,and I can get the emplyee pricing on top of that with my affiliation from my employer.

    It seems that even with the rebates our plan of keeping our payments under $400 per month is impossible.The sales person told us of a few 06 Grand caravans they have as used vehicles,and we looked at them as well.Today they called us,and told us they got an 06 Chrysler T&C Touring with 20k miles on it,and better equipped than the new one we test drove.It is equipped with the sto&go seats like the new one,and has a rear DVD entertainment system,power liftgate,tire pressure monitoring system,but does not have the electric pedals.We didn't test drive it as we already test drove the Dodge,and thought they would be the same.The Chrysler is a former rental,so that worries me a little.Am I right to be hesitant of a rental car?The price is $18k for the Chrysler,and that puts our payments where we want them.

    To confuse things more we went to the local Honda dealer tonight to see a used 04 Odyssey they had in stock.It is an EX model with the power doors,and is pretty much similarly equipped as the Chrysler only it doesn't have the DV system,and tire pressure system(no big deal on that option)I liked the added head room of the Honda,and the ride seemed better,but we didn't drive them back to back so it is hard to tell.The Honda is a certified pre owned car with a 100k mile warranty,and the price is around the same as the 06 Chrysler.The interior of the Honda seemed a little plain jane,but seemed higher quality.The Honda didn't have sto&go seats or the associated storage under the floor that the Chrysler has,but I doubt we would store the seats in the Chrysler much anyway,but we would use the storage.I could go either way,and so could my wife,but what is teh better buy?

    06 Chrysler T&C former rental w/20k miles,and DVD system,or older 04 Honda Odyssey w/42k miles,and Certified pre-owned?

    I know the Honda should be more reliable,and should hold its value better,but are we better off getting a newer van?

    Sorry for the novel here,but we are confused.Thanks in advance.

    Confused in Massachusetts
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    If you are comfortable buying a Chrysler product (two bad experiences with them in the late 90s means we will NEVER give them business again) then I would definitely go with the newer van, if only it weren't a rental. Rentals are driven much harder, because frankly, if it breaks down or burns oil early in its life, that isn't the renters problem.

    If you can shop around a little more, look for a similar mileage 05 or 06 DCX van that isn't a rental.

    We had an Odyssey of the bodystyle you shopped for (ours was a 2000) and we absolutely loved the thing. But since you are on a tighter budget and don't want to spend too much on a depreciating asset (smart!), I'd go with the newer, lower mileage car if I were in your shoes.

    If it were ME, I'd take the Honda though, of course! :)
  • Thanks for the quick reply.I am a little confused though.You said go with the newer lower mileage van(the Chrysler),but then said the Honda is the way you would go,which is the older higher mileage car.

    I would assume the Honda will be more reliable,and hold its value better,but I have owned plenty of Chrysler products,and never had any major issues.I have never owned a Honda,but I know their history of reliability,and value,and I love Japanese cars.

    I am confused.

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