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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign



  • Minivan shoppers: FWIW, I researched the Kia entrants in this segment like you wouldn't believe a little while back and found the new '06 Sedona to be LIGHT YEARS ahead of the previous models. The '05 and before models had many issues to say the least (excessive vehicle weight, mpg, no fold flat seating, reliability etc. etc.) and Kia/Hyundai, for their part, does seem to "get it right" the second time around. (Can someone say Sonata?). That '06 Sedona, although a plain-jane whale if ever there was one, is equipped rather well considering it's target market. Considerably lower price point than the others in this field after the generous year end rebates. The pure size of the thing is impressive along with it's 244hp engine. All the safety features covered that you would expect from a company pushing crash test ratings - standard! I do think one of the drawbacks though on this new entrant is the seating material just IMO. Rather light colors AND cheap feel for a vehicle that by and large will be hauling kids around. Give credit to the Chrysler/Dodge folks here in that they KNOW who buys these things.

    Honda/Toyota? Still think you pay for that nameplate on the used market. Why not just take the plunge on a new one and keep it forever? My research didn't show much depreciation on either.

    Zoomin' MPV? I still think when you buy cars and trucks, look at how each corporate entity is set up in a particular segment. WHO are they targeting with WHAT? Mazda is ZOOOOOOM ZOOOOOOM across the board!!! What is not traditionally ZOOM-ZOOM material in their lineup and sticks out like a sore thumb? Right! The MPV Minivan. Look who the leaders are in the minivan market (and the upstarts...not the backsliders!) and focus your search there.

    All JMHO.

    Zoooooooom on!
    PS Tight budget - Sedona or SWB Dodge SXT/Chrysler T&C (w/6cyl). Money not an issue - Honda/Toyota new.
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    You should be able to get at least $7k off a new 2007 DCX LWB minivan. If you can find a 2006 model, even more off. That should put you around $20k plus TTL. Around metro Detroit, employees are paying $18-19k for 2007 DGC SXT & T&C Touring. That means used 2006 models should be closer to $14k than $18k for DCX twins.
  • guestguest Posts: 770
    Agree that DC minivans with large rebates/discounts are VERY attractive even though the door panels look cheap compared to a Sienna or Oddyssey.
    However, the Sedona EX cloth seats and floor carpet look cheaper than that in the DC minivans.
    Take your time. Be sure you buy exactly what you want. Do not buy just based on a low price. :shades:
  • Zoomin' MPV?

    For people who want a van that is easy to manuever and park in the city - and drives like a sedan - the MPV retains a loyal following. We bought a used one because it's a dead nameplate in the USA and found a private sale at a great price.

    The SWB Caravan is still available, and the SWB Sedona will be out in February.
  • The SWB Sedona is already out as an '07 model...fully priced, I might add. Actually went and looked at one at my local Kia dealer. The fully sized '06 Sedona can be had for much less with end-of-year rebates IF you don't mind the poor seating material (LX or EX).
  • If you are considering either of these 2 smallish vehicles, you dont need a long wheelbase van. A SWB caravan SXT, is well equipted and with very reasonable year end pricing, esp. with your job's affiliation discount.
  • I do know that Sedonas (the base model) can be had for under $20K. There is an eBay listing from a Kia dealer advertising brand new Sedonas at $19,000 or so. Although it's probably stripped, it's not a bad deal, and definitely worth a look. "

    The LX's aren't really stripped. They have all the safety features and you can get a new 06 for around $19K. If that was my budget, that is what I would get...
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    The LXs have all the basics, but they don't have the extras available on the EX and other minivans such as leather, DVD navigation, a power liftgate, etc.

    It is quite the deal though... :)
  • Well a little update guys.We just got back from test driving a new 06 Sedona LX in Glacier blue,and I can't believe it,but we liked it the best out of the 4 we have test driven so far(04 used Odyssey,06 DGC,05 MPV are the others).The salesperson talked with his manager,and the best they could do on the van was $20,500 with the $2k rebate,and that was supoosedly $700 under invoice plus the rebate.We didn't do the deal,because we have some thinking to do,but it is very tempting to buy a new van at that price with all this equipment.

    The DGC we test drove had more creature comforts as it is a SXT with the sto n go,and DVD player,but it is a used former rental w/20k miles on the clock,and not near the warranty.The Honda was nice but at the same price,if not a little higher than the Kia,and it had 40k miles on it.Now we know the Honda is probably the best of the ones we drove so far for reliability,and it has the certified pre-owned warranty,but the new van with the 5-60k bumper-to-bumper,and 10-100k powertrain warrranty is better I think(as long as they honor the warranty).

    The only van my wife didn't like,and I was sort of ehh on was the MPV,but if we had test driven a nicer model I think it may have been different,but who knows.

    The Kia rode pretty nice for a van,and the power seemed great.It didn't feel cheap inside like I thought it would,but it also didn't feel as nice as the Honda,but damn close.

    If we could get that deal that the guy in SC on Ebay is selling 06 LX's for $18288 around here it would be a done deal I think,but I don't know how he is doing that deal.I alos don't know if it is worth a trip down there to get that deal,or if they would take our Subaru that is leased in as a trade,but I guess it is worth a shot.

    Here is a question,or two.How is Kia's customer service?How is Kia about backing their warranty claims?

    Thanks in advance.

  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    The Kia Sedona Glacier Blue is very attractive. Read in the Kia Sedona forums to get a general idea of customer service.
    As with any brand, those with problems are more likely to complain than are the satisfied people likely to praise.
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217

    Glad you ran across something you like. Shop around a bit. I had great luck faxing all the dealers in our state a request for bid to buy a new vehicle. Just be specific about what you want and how you will be paying. Tell them to fax back a bid and you will be driving to the dealer who offers the best deal.

    I looked at the Hyundai version of the van which I think is pretty much the same as the Kia. It wasn't too bad a van overall, however I thought it was missing a lot of the detail items that the Honda had. One of the reasons I didn't consider them too seriously is questionable long term reliability ratings on both the Kia's and Hyundais. My attitude was so what if they have a great warrantee; it's still darn inconvienent hauling the thing in each time to get fixed and then you have to fight with the company each time to cover the item(that's a whole another discussion string.)

    I still think if you shop a bit, you can find a great non rental used Dodge or Chrysler that will be under your price range and have a lot of reliable life left in front of it.

    Let us know what you end up buying.
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217

    One other reason to be a bit wary of the Kia; this is the first year of the this models production cycle. You tend to see more problems in first years as customers figure out what they are and give their feedback to the manufacturers who then update the vehicles. You'll see that from most any manufacturer including Honda! The vehicle is a much safer bet two or three year into it's production cycle.
  • It may have been addressed already but I would never buy a rental vehicle unless it was at wholesale book or lower. The beatings they take are nearly indescribable. On any used vehicle also buy an extended warranty that allows you to have the vehicle serviced, maintained, and repaired where you wish, not just at the dealer.
  • Fellow zoomer - listen up! Should you end up buying that rental you keep mentioning, we townhall-forum folk are going to rise up and cyber shoot all your tires out just as soon as you break the news here. Don't do it! Get it out of your head now! Repeat after me, "I will NOT buy a rental for my family's everyday transportation. I will NOT buy a rental to keep taking back to the dealer's service shop for warranty repairs. I will NOT buy a rental that's been driven by 10,000 yahoo's with attitude's..."

    Speaking of The Whale ('06 Kia Sedona in either version, any color), I've got to go back and check my records on the numbers when I researched the thing but on the surface, that $20.5k figure for an LX seems rather high. If you could expand a bit on how exactly they arrived at that figure, we in free-advice-land would very much appreciate it. Is this an "out-the-door" price? Any dealer specific extended packages included we should know about? Again, I'll check my records and get back at ya.

    Zoom on!
    PS Here's one for ya. Did you by chance happen to ask the salesperson where the oil filter was on The Whale when you looked under the hood? Don't laugh. Some people, as strange as we are, still like doing their own maintenance from time to time. Knowing WHERE the oil filter is helps. If you go back, have a lil' fun with this. Not many folks know where Kia's hidden that thing. Just put it in your back pocket for conversation purposes. It'll give ya some idea if the Kia associate knows what he or she is talking about or not. Again, if you get the right answer, you are dealing with a metal movin' machine who's done their homework.
  • "Speaking of The Whale ('06 Kia Sedona in either version, any color), I've got to go back and check my records on the numbers when I researched the thing but on the surface, that $20.5k figure for an LX seems rather high."

    Pretty sure the difference is that the rebate went from $3K to $2K. $19500 for an LX was what the deal was when we looked a month or so ago. But we were looking for the loaded model
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    By the way, I just love your posts! (I wouldn't buy a rental either, but I like the way you exemplified just how badly you don't want him to get one)...

    Zoom on! I'm afraid I can't say that truthfully though since I'm not in the Mazda family.

    Happy Hondadays! ;)

  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I wonder if you wait until 2007 is actually underway, whether the dealer might discount a little more as they'd be selling you a (technically) year old car.

    $20,500 seems a little high though. Did the salesguy break this number down? Perhaps he built in some extras.

    Is this Sedona equipped with any options?

    On a different note, some of the automakers have some rather creative names for their December sales. There's December to Remember, Toyotathon, Happy Honda Days, Limited Engagement (Infiniti), and Acura's Drive Home for the Holidays event. (I think)

    Happy Honda Days is my favorite :)
  • d5ad5a Posts: 63
    been looking at minivans for a few months now. Need a larger car to fit my family better. We have decided to go to a one income family and a one car family to save on expenses. Looking at the toyota sennia, Mazda 5 and the Mazda MPV. So far like each one of them. Each has its pros and cons. The toyota is large but is a base model with nothing on it, the dealer is offering it at $22,000 plus tax and tags. The Mazda 5 is a touring model with sunroof and automatic climate control dealer is offering it at 20,880 out the door. The last van we have considered is the MPV. its being replaced by the Mazda 5 and has larger rebates on it. Its a LX-VS base model with a sticker of $23,710. IT has rear air conditioning, floor mates and a roof rack. After many days of dealing with the dealer i have them at a price of $17,500 out the door on the road. I'm having a hard time figuring out which van will be able to fit us. Need something reliable but at a good price. Any thoughts on which one may be the best one for a one car family. I want the best deal of course but the most reliable van.

    Thanks for every ones thoughts!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    For the budget, if you are willing to spend in the $20k range, I'd upgrade that MPV to at least an LX model. Sounds like you are shopping on budget alone though... maybe you dont want something brand new?

    Are you open to most any brand of van? If so, a well-equipped year-old Dodge with stow-and-go, and much better equipped than a base MPV, should be a STEAL.
  • d5ad5a Posts: 63
    thanks for the response. I was looking at different brands and their rebates. I didn't see Dodge offering that much off. Do you know how much of a rebate they have going on?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I don't know how much is being offered currently, but it should be easy to get a Grand Caravan/Town & Country new for VERY CHEAP (i mean WELL below invoice)in the coming days since a brand new model is expected in the near future. The used models are really a steal if you don't mind buying pre-owned. Click here to see some examples of what I mean. Things like this van (2006 Dodge Grand Caravan SE $15,996 asking price, 18,044 miles, and these features (I copied and pasted so I could do it quickly)
    Power Steering
    Power Brakes
    Power Door Locks
    Power Windows
    Power Driver's Seat
    Stow N Go Seating
    AM/FM Stereo Radio
    CD Player
    Bridgestone Tires
    Gauge Cluster
    Trip Odometer
    Air Conditioning
    Tilt Steering Wheel
    Cruise Control
    Tinted Glass
    Driver Side Air Bag
    Passenger Side Air Bag
    Front Bucket Seats
    Reclining Seats
    Rear Air Conditioner
    Alloy Wheels
    Interval Wipers
    Rear Defroster
    Rear Window Wiper
    Driver Side Remote Mirror
    Cloth Upholstery
    Body Side Moldings
    Luggage Rack
    Keyless Entry
    Center Arm Rest
    Map Lights
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Your term VERY CHEAP is accurate for a 2006 GC SE. One of the few nice items is the Cast Wheels. The door panels in a GC SE are as cheap looking as an entry level Daewoo Nubira. :shades:
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Well, they didn't seem against a low-end model (base model MPV), so I thought it was worth suggesting.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    I am disgusted that Toyota now has $ 2,000 customer cash on 2006 Siennas since I got NONE when I got my 2006 Sienna LE. My Sienna depreciated faster each time Toyota increased the bribe. ($ 500, $1,000, $1,500, and now $2,000).

    I KNEW DaimlerChrysler always gave rebates/discounts/incentives but I was not aware Toyota would.

    Has Honda ever offered factory rebates on the Odyssey?
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    Honda does not typically offer rebates. Sometimes they'll offer dealer cash and special financing/lease rates but that's about it. Which is one reason why Honda's typically hold value better (as a % of actual prices paid). Not selling to fleets is another big reason they retain 1-3 year values very strongly.

    Toyota does offer rebates, but generally only in the later part of the year which makes sense because the vehicles are nearly a year old. A vehicle purchased NOW vs last January will suffer more deprecation so a small rebate won't hurt resale much or at all. Honda cuts production earlier to let inventory sell-off before the new models arrive.
  • d5ad5a Posts: 63
    Thats the one thing I fear when buying a car. All my cars have held there resale value pretty well which always helps me to move up to a higher end car when i trade them in. Looking at the honda, toyota and mazda vans. Love the honda resale but hate the price. Like the toyota and they do have offers in my area that can get me into a base CE model for $22k plus tax and tags which is a 1,000 under invoice but not loving the van to take the risk. Mazda is taking 6,000 off the MPV in my area making a 24,000 van out the door for around $17,500. Thats hard to pass up. Love th price but worry in the long run it wont be worth anything. Any thoughts on resale and if the mazda is worth it just for the low price?

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    A local newspaper is looking to talk to a consumer that has or is interested in purchasing a minivan. Please contact by December 30 and provide a daytime number that the reporter can contact you back at.


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

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • guestguest Posts: 770
    Ask the ouija board or roll the dice to decide which is the best buy.
    BUY the Honda Odyssey since it is the minivan you love even though it costs the most.
    I bought a new 2006 Sienna LE but immediately knew I made a mistake because I liked the GC SXT features more. I can not detect the superiority of the Sienan DOHC 3.3L V6 over the old fashioned OHV 3.3L V6 that was in my 02 T&C LX and my Sienna lacks the separately controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger.
    Each minivan has advantages and disadvantages.
    Odyssey has the most flexibility with the Plus 1 seating but costs the most.
    Sienna has the best automatic transmission which can be placed in D-4-3-2-L while Odyssey can select only D-3-L. You can NOT make the Odyssey shift no higher than gear 4 nor shift no higher than gear 2.
    IF you want the MOST power, buy the 2007 Sienna with 266 HP and 245 lb-ft torque.
    IF you want the lowest cost new minivan, buy an entry level Caravan SE. :shades:
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Have you also considered the Kia Sedona? You get all of your safety gear (Side Curtain airbags, etc) in the base LX model, which is being heavily discounted, to the best of my knowledge.

    If you're willing to go the used route, getting a 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan with Stow N Go (and maybe 20K miles) will be an absolute bargain compared with getting a brand new Grand Caravan.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Sienna has the best automatic transmission which can be placed in D-4-3-2-L while Odyssey can select only D-3-L. You can NOT make the Odyssey shift no higher than gear 4 nor shift no higher than gear 2.

    That's not entirely true. The Odyssey offers D-D3-2-1. It IS true that you cannot select the "4" option. The button below the main shift-release button selects "D3" in which the transmission operates like a 3-speed auto going through 1-2-3. If you select "2" or "1" the transmission will lock into those gears (Starting in ice in "2" is helpful to keep traction, but with VSA it isn't such a big deal).

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