Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

2008 Minivans



  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I'm not saying CR is, I'm saying their staff, writers are, and that's reflected in even the tiniest choosing pics for their covers or article leads etc... ALL people are bias, no matter what they may claim or spout - that's life.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    But why would their biases all lean towards Honda or Toyota, and is their bias only on cars?? They research a lot of different products. In fact if there would be a motive for any biases, then the bias should be to the Town & Country and Caravan, because there are more of them on the road then Odyssey's or Sienna's, so if they're trying to sell their magazine to the most number of folks so they can get the most profit for CR, then I'd say any bias in a minivan review would show Dodge/Chrysler in a positive light.

    And even if you do feel CR is biased, readers can at least read the reviews and test results and do their own ranking based on what's important to them.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    You get large biases in other things, just look how imports are so prominent in CA, whereas domestics are prominent in MI? Entire newspapers have a bias based on owner's whims or a manager. I've been getting CR as a gift every xmas for 6 years, and I look at the cover and very rarely see a domestic car pictured, even if they're recommended. Just recently CR did put a domestic car on cover..I think a Saturn CUV? along with imports. The domestic's pic was the smallest one. Then when you flip to the actual section in CR...more pics of imports in the lead up to individual vehicles. You'd have to ask CR why this is the case. I actually think its subliminal. While youre at it, ask them why they had a bias report on the Toyota Tundra vs domestic trucks a few months back...they caught crap for that in the media.

    I've always said CR is good for facts and figures, things that can't be subjective or spun i.e...0-60 times, MPG, braking, measured volumes and dimensions. When you get into "feelings" or "appearances", that when the bias comes into play. "Brake feel was better on vehicle A vs B".....I guess that would depend on what you're used to driving. I get out of my Company car - a Taurus, then drive my minivan, then jump in my old Corvair...they all feel different.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    That's what I meant by using the CR reviews and just making up your own mind. But when they say the Odyssey has the best driving dynamics and you read the same thing in other reviews and you test drive them yourself and find it to be accurate, how can you say that CR is biased when they say that the Odyssey drives the best?

    I think the problem is that a lot of car reviews base their final scores on how a car actually drives, more than style, or extra features. So while some folks like the stowNgo, swivelNgo, 2 video screens, etc, most car reviews put those sort of things secondary to the main components (driving, seating comfort, space, etc).

    On the one hand that makes me think that the domestics should try to get back to the basics, but on the other hand it's the extras and innovations that make domestics stand out.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    When I read how noisy one is, or how another vehicle has a softer ride etc...that's subjective. When I test drove Minivans back to back a few years ago, I was hard pressed to find any vastly superior in ride/handling. So did I find CR accurate?

    Do I find CR accurate when I haven't had a single issue with my minivan, friends and family with minivans, some for decades being repeat DCX buyers have no issues, then I look at all red circles?
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Do I find CR accurate when I haven't had a single issue with my minivan, friends and family with minivans, some for decades being repeat DCX buyers have no issues, then I look at all red circles?

    I think you meant black circles mean good!

    True...but what all of those black circles really indicates is that in comparison to vehicles with red circles, those with black circles will have more problems. So maybe 70% of the DCX will be without major problems while 80% of Odysseys trouble free, so the DCX owners you know are in the 70%. But that still doesn't change the comparison facts based on the CR data.

    You'll always find with statistics cases that don't fit in. With gas prices they'll say that the average price per gallon jumped 3 cents over the past week and make a big deal about it, while the stations around where I live jump 20cents in one day!

    And the data isn't evenly spread across the the US evenly, so while stats may show, for example, that 30% of the DCX will have mechanical problems, there won't necessarily be 3 out of the 10 folks you know driving DCX with problems. Your group could be 100% trouble-free. But there could be another group of 10 folks living in another state where 70% of their DCXs have problems.

    The point is not to necessarily infer that statistics will match your specific situation because they're based on thousands of data points.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    Ok... lotsa info here:
    A reporter seeks to talk with owners and serious shoppers of any of the following 2008 models, and who are also parents:
    2008 Dodge Caravan
    2008 Toyota Sienna
    2008 Honda Odyssey
    2008 Mazda5

    If you are interested in commenting on your experience, please reply to no later than Thursday, November 15, 2007 and include your city and state of residence as well as the age of your child/ren.


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

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • So I've been lurking the minivan forums for weeks now. Gone on a few test drives. And one question still remains. How do you get people into the back seat when there are car seats installed in the second row? Yes, I know you can push the seats together to make a bench, but then you lose the console. Is this the only way to do it? Can a person squeeze behind the 2nd row seat without taking out the carseat?

    7 passenger Sienna- 2nd Row seat flips forward- definitely impossible with a carseat installed

    Odyssey- I cant remember exactly, but I know it doesn't flip forward like the Sienna.

    T&C- ???

    If anyone has knowledge about these I would greatly appreciate it. It would save me another trip back to the dealerships dragging along my 6 month old and 4 year old.
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    My son's 2008 Sienna: We climb through the middle, between the second row seats. Also, there is enough seat travel that we can slide the seats forward and squeeze through that opening. It is a pain but not un-do able. My son did not want to slide the seats together to keep the peace in the second row. The children involved are three and three months. It is a bit more tricky in my 2006 Odyssey with the middle row "magic seat in place. I keep the seat n place because it is far easier than storing it. Moving up a second row seat usually works. I am 6'2" and have done it in both vans.
  • carcom2carcom2 Posts: 212
    Not sure how much your car seats overlap the actual seat, but you could probably still have room to walk through between the 2 2nd row seats. And with Swivel 'n Go you could swivel the seats to face the door to make it easy to put the car seats in. When you swivel the seat, it makes room to maneuver behind the seat to get to the 3rd row.
  • carcom2carcom2 Posts: 212
    Has anyone seen any real pics on the upcoming VW minivan?
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    NOT easy with 2 child car seats in ANY minivan except the T&C with built in child seats. To get 2 built in child seats in 2nd row, a person must buy a T&C LX with middle bench seat.

    With only 1 child car seat installed, I squeezed between the 2nd row seats in either the 02 T&C LX or 06 Sienna LE. Best to keep Ody or Sienna 2nd row seats separated to prevent children fighting.

    I tried moving our right middle seat to middle position in our 06 Sienna but it was more difficult to squeeze past the seat on the right side than thru the middle.

    Have you considered the 8 passenger Sienna where you could put child seats in left and middle seats of 2nd row and take out the right middle row seat for easy access to 3rd row seats? Slide the middle seat of 2nd row forward to separate children to reduce ability to fight. :shades:
  • The 8 passenger Sienna was my original plan. Once I started to price and build them though, I realized that I couldn't get the higher end options on the LE. Even leather could only be added as an aftermarket option. Very Frustrating. I would imagine that most people wanting the 8 passenger would have kids. Especially if they are wanting the Front and Center "toddler" seat. So why is leather not an option!!! Don't most people with kids want leather? Seems like a huge oversight by Toyota to me.

    So then I went Ody shopping. Honda has GREAT deals going on for the 2007's. I was pretty psyched about the Stow and Go 8th seat. But then I drove the Sienna and Ody back to back and fell in love with the Sienna. Much smoother ride and better acceleration. Also I loved the Silver Pine Mica on the Sienna.

    T&C- Once I read the threads about its MPG I dropped it from the running.

    I think I'm going to go with the 7 seat Sienna and push the middle row seats together. The kids are far enough apart in age that they don't fight. In fact the 4 year old is great at entertaining the 7 month old who is still rear facing.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    What's the big deal with leather and kids? Stains in cloth can be easier to remove than in leather. Plus do you really want to press car seats and boosters deeply into leather and create permanent lines, indentations, scratches, etc?
  • nastacionastacio Posts: 370
    What's the big deal with leather and kids?

    You are right about the indentations. I had two car seats in our Murano for the past 2 years and after the last cleanup session (when we take them from the car for a complete detailing) two months ago, we misplaced the upper portion of the padding. The indentations seem to be going away but I wonder what happen if we hadn't noticed it sooner.

    PS: Dried up milk is very difficult to remove from upholstery as some our furniture can attest.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Until I was much older, I never had a drink in the car unless there was a beach towel under me. Saved a lot of stains that way.

    We never really ate in the car. Nothing that could stain anyway.
  • nastacionastacio Posts: 370
    We never really ate in the car. Nothing that could stain anyway.

    If only the worst food-related mess was of the non-ingested kind :-)

    Leather, when well cared for, also resists wear better than regular upholstery.
  • PLEASE do your self a favor and not even consider a VW minivan. As a former VW,Toyota, Nissan,Chrysler,and Mazda dealer I can assure you the quality of the vw will not even be close to any of the other minivans, My experience runs deep with VW not only as a dealer but also as a factory rep(sales and marketing) for VW and Ford.

    VW's have a perception of good quality but it is a very false perception.

    Of all the products I represented Toyota was the best hands down ! formerdlr
  • We have 2 car seat bases in a 7-seater Sienna. We moved the passenger side 2nd row seat to the center. One car seat occupies the drivers side 2nd row, the other the 3rd row middle seat (we use the anchors, so dont need the seat belts).

    Now, if we flip the seat back of the 2nd row pass seat, it makes a nice passage for a car seat to get into the 3rd row. The space is enough for an adult to pass, too. Typically, we get an adult and a child in car seat in both the 2nd and the 3rd row.

    Regards, - M.S.
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    Is it just me or do the new Chrysler minivans look like the old Kia Sedona from the backside? Be honest and look. We followed one the other day and then an older Sedona and, bingo, a match.

    No dig at Chrysler intended or implied.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    I'd say that if you'r basing current car quality/reliabilty on experience over 10 years old, then you might want to think again. Consumer Reports are indicating that Toyota quality is going down to the point that for the first time in many years they won't be able to recommend some of the models, while Ford (for example) quality has been going up. So just be skeptical when you hear folks talking about their "experience" and find out how recent the experience really is.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    T&C- Once I read the threads about its MPG I dropped it from the running.

    I've never heard complaints about DCX MPG, I get 20 mpg around town, and 25 mpg on the highway - exactly what EPA said I should. I have seen many complaints though on Honda mpg in their threads, people getting nowhere near what they expected.

    The 2008 T&C, with the 6 spd tranny and 3.8 or 4.0 should do as well as any other minivan in MPG.
  • Sorry bobw3 but my mesg with info is more than current taking into consideration the latest Consumer report info. After all the Toyota is only being knocked for v6 Camry engine problems that no longer exist and Tundra shift problem which is a very valid problem.

    That same consumer report cited two VW models ranked at the BOTTOM of the list for quality/repairs.

    I have nothing against any of the manufactures and make my comments based only on current data.

    I am a automotive expert who testify's in federal and state courts so I keep very up to date on quality matters.

    I admit I am a large Toyota fan , with many members of my family driving them for years------why ? Best quality in the world measured over the entire lineup.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    It's great to have expert information, so can you provide links to the details of this information versus just saying in general to stay away from VW.

    "I admit I am a large Toyota fan , with many members of my family driving them for years------why ? Best quality in the world measured over the entire lineup. "

    Nice statement, but how about some facts to back it up. How are you defining "quality." Where are you getting your data? How much better in quality is Toyota over VW for example? or Ford. For example, if I buy a Ford Taurus instead of a Toyota Camry, how much more in repairs can I expect to pay over the next 5 years of ownership, since the "quality" of Toyota is better than Ford?

    Now that would be good information, versus just generally saying to buy Toyota versus VW because Toyota has better "quality." Maybe the VW owner will pay a few hundred more in repairs after 5 years of ownership of a VW, but if the better driving experience, ride, handling, etc are important to the buyer, then maybe it's worth a little more in repair costs to drive a vehicle with superior driving dynamics.
  • carcom2carcom2 Posts: 212
    Thanks for the info. I've heard some neg. stuff on VW reliability too. But I heard that the VW version minivan will be assembled at the same factory as the T&C & or GC. So now the question is will reliability be similar? Are the components from different vendors for ea. vehicle? Are just Chrysler workers assembling both vehicles? Will VW offer lifetime powertrain warranty? A lot of things to think about. I wish I can get more info & pics on this future VW minivan. I'm curious if the 2 nd & 3rd row seats will offer better legroom. If they could allow more room for your feet to fit better under the seat in front of you, that would be more comfortable. I think Chrysler didn't do a good job in that area.

    What generally is not so good w/ VW? Are they getting better. They have some nice looking vehicles inside & out.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    But I heard that the VW version minivan will be assembled at the same factory as the T&C & or GC. So now the question is will reliability be similar? Are the components from different vendors for ea. vehicle? Are just Chrysler workers assembling both vehicles?

    This will be very interesting, we should see the results in a few months at the North American Auto Show in Detroit. I'm guessing VW engines (diesel too) with very dif interior and exterior - since it'll be delayed a year after the DCX version. I'm hoping thats what the extra time was used for. With VW's experience bringing the Tourage (sp?) to market along with the Porsche version, this should be as well done? I would expect typical VW warranties too, not the Chrysler
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    What kind of car seats? Infant carrier bases? Convertible rear facing, convertible forward facing, etc?

    I've got 1 kid with another coming. In our 2007 T&C with Stow N Go, my 2 year old daugher is in a forward facing Birtax convertible, a large one, in one of the 2nd row seats. I haven't decided what to do when the next child comes. For the time Num2 is in an infant carrier, that can go in the other 2nd row seat. The base is small and the seat tips pretty far forward for access to the 3rd row. The limiting factor of angle of tipping is how large the child seat is. Tipping the seat with the big Britax won't allow much space to get behind it. When it was reverse facing, it wouldn't tip at all with the front seat all the way back.

    With Stow N Go I may end up putting the older child in the 3rd row, rear facing in the 2nd row and stowing the other 2nd row seat most of the time. That allows easy acces to both children and entertainment for the infant. It also means I can get a guest in the middle row on occasion. The 3rd row is rather tight, so any car seat means only one adult next to child, so I'm actually down to a 6-passenger vehicle. I've got another month or so to figure that all out.

    Then there is my 5-passenger vehicle (front bucktes, rear bench) that I haven't decided if I want the two kids next to each other for occasional one more guest and deal with buckling the middle child all the time or if I just want to make it only a 4 passenger vehicle. It's a tall 4WD pickup, so reaching the middle is not easy.
  • carcom2carcom2 Posts: 212
    Not sure I feel like waiting a yr. Maybe I'll just order the T&C Limited soon.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Took a vacation in Tampa, FL, and must have seen a good dozen or so 2008 Grand Caravans. Can't say if they were rentals (we were in tourist areas the whole time) but they're definitely out there in numbers.

    Someone mentioned Chrysler dropped the wiper de-icers, that's a shame. My Sienna has those and I for one am glad they copied that nifty idea.

    CR dinged 3 Toyotas, but note the Sienna was not one of the models with lower reliability, in fact it's the most reliable van by far.

    The Sienna doesn't get the 6 speed from the Camry V6 that they complained about, so I doubt its reliability record will change. It still uses the proven 5 speed auto.

    It's good to see CR criticize Toyota, though, if only to assert their independence a little.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I have a phobia, probably from my father, about buying any first model year vehicle. I'd wait as long as you can or look at other's. In the T&C defense though, if you get the limited with new 4.0 engine and 6 spd auto, that combo has been in service for over a year in the 07 Pacifica so there shouldn't be any major problems. Plus you do get a great warranty if you plan on keeping it for many years. But still, parts of it are still brand new.
This discussion has been closed.