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2008 Minivans



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Agreed (for once). We chose the best van for our needs.

    Seat comfort is so subjective, plus we are all shaped differently.

    The funny thing is that seat comfort was one of the reasons we chose the Sienna.

    Let's just say it's important to try them out and bring the family along to get their opinions, too.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    We agree on more than we disagree.

    While I was considering trading off my 2006 Sienna LE on either an 07 GC SXT or T&C Touring, I took our daughter and her 2 children to check the seat comfort. Our 12 year old grandson told me he does NOT like the 3rd row seat of the GC and T&C because there is no toe room under the 2nd row seats.

    We got the 06 Sienna because the GC and T&C have cheap looking, cheap feeling door panels and we do not like the 3rd row seats. The Sienna also has a MUCH more comfortable driver's seat than the GC and T&C. Sadly, I did NOT notice the glare caused by the shiny surfaces surrounding the tachometer, speedometer, gas gauge, and engine temperature gauge nor did I notice that glare can be caused by the shiny, sloping surface on both sides of the center part of the dash. I keep a dark towel on the dash to cover these items during the time of day that the sun angle causes the glare. ;)

    BTW, our 2006 Sienna got an overall average 28.0 MPG on our most recent long round trip when cruise was set 73 - 74 MPH most of the time using 87 octane gasoline. :blush:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The dash trim is interchangeable, in fact they sell the wood trim kit if you prefer that look.

    Mine is shiny silver, I guess they try to imitate aluminum. My friend has an older one that is flat black, and that's probably best to avoid glare.

    His dash is also different, not luminescent but also lacking that silver circle that you find bothersome. It hasn't bothered me, though, and even my friend said he liked the new dash look better.

    We got 27.6 mpg going to Six Flags yesterday. :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Did you get a chance to check out the mock-up interior on the auto show circuit?

    While (another) great idea from Chrysler, I did think the leg room was a bit tight when you do face the seats. You have to zig zag legs for 4 to fit, never mind more than 4.

    The side windows will go down, though, which is nice.
  • jeffkahnjeffkahn Posts: 7
    I recently moved to PA from CA so driving in the snow is still unfamiliar to me. My question is do you really need AWD with a minivan? I would think the weight of the minivan would be enough even without AWD or is there a noticable difference?

    Appreciate any thoughts....

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Only if you get lots of snow. Stability control is probably fine for most people.

    I can think of one other time I'd want it - pulling a boat up a wet ramp. At that angle, the weight all shifts to the rear axle, so an unloaded front axle combined with wet tires is going to create lots of wheelspin.

    If you've ever seen a FWD vehicle do this, it ain't pretty. I saw a Prelude pull a twin jet ski trailer and it was plain ugly.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    There is AWD and then there is AWD....

    And there is PA and then there is PA....

    Suburban areas, FARM country, will be worse.

    I don't know of any minivan with a truly functional AWD system when it comes to icy and packed snow roadbed conditions. And were I you I would avoid any supposed AWD derived initially from a FWD base vehicle.

    I would suggest a minivan with VSC/TC/etc, and spend some time learning to drive well/cautously, on the slippery stuff. Whatever you do don't go out in that stuff unprepared.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You'd be surprised, Toyota uses a full-time system on the Sienna.

    For the RAV4 they moved to a cheaper part-time system, and that may be the fate of a future Sienna, but for now it actually uses a pretty decent system.

    This is why both city and highway mileage suffer a bit, it's always engaged, so that's the trade-off.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Yes, always engaged. ONE wheel drive with an open center differential. Uses braking to stop wheelspin slip and since that would otherwise often result in brake pad and/or rotor overheating and later warpage the engine is quickly dethrottled.

    Now, try to drive out of that mud hole or up that slippery ice covered slope...

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't believe it's open.

    I think it has a viscous coupling that acts as a center diff, but that's not the same as having a wide open center diff.

    So by default, at least 2 wheels are sent power, one from each axle. And that's assuming the pavement is slippery.

    Info is scarce but here's a discussion on the subject:

    Sounds like the AWD works but people wish they could turn off VSC (you can with FWD models).

    Now, try to drive out of that mud hole or up that slippery ice covered slope...

    Ummm, it's a minivan, not a rock crawler. You need to adjust your expectations.

    For the mud, you'd need some serious clearance, and it's not fair to expect that from a van. Driving in to a mud pit is driver error, period.

    For the ice, it would all come down to the tires. I think I'd want studded snow tires for that. Remember the Audi that climbed a ski ramp? You guessed it, they used studs.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    For some reason(***) the viscous clutch, mounted "across" (basically acting as an LSD) an otherwise open center diff'l was dropped in '04 across the FWD/AWD Toyota/Lexus product line. According to what I can find out at it is back in the RX350 but all other models still rely only on TC braking to alleviate wheelspin/slip.

    Some '08 models have the ability to turn off VSC. TC must be turned off first and only then can VSC be switched off.

    You don't have to be "mudding" to encounter a slippery, muddy, roadbed. Some of us rely on AWD because our suburban environment involves traveling on gravel or even dirt roadbeds.

    Personally I run on nice quiet and comfortably riding SUMMER bridgestone Turanzas ALL YEAR 'ROUND and use tirechains (rear FIRST, then..) on the rare (Seattle eastside) occassions of need.

    *** My best guess is that once TC was adopted to control, alleviate, wheelspin/slip there was not enough level of F/R disparate rotational rate to "stiffen" the VC, making it virtually useless.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    In discussions on the Sienna forums, for whatever reason the conventional wisdom is that the Sienna didn't follow the rest of the lineup with that change.

    Sources are scarce so it's hard to verify that.

    Either way, let's remember that by default, when all four tires have traction they all get some power. It's only when one or more tires loses traction that the VC or T/C comes in to play.

    Basically that means it should be less likely to slip in the first place. You're sending less power to each wheel, so it's less likely to overcome the amount of available traction.

    Gravel and dirt roadbeds are more than most minivan owners will encounter. I bet most want AWD for snowy climates. The AWD Sienna is a bit more than an inch higher in terms of ground clearance vs. the FWD models, too.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Just drove a new Buick Enclave....SWEET!!! It was sooo quiet inside! Plus it tows 4500 lbs, has AWD and almost as much space as my minivan!! I think it's time for a CUV!!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Perhaps, but it's still gonna cost more, use more fuel, and won't quite match the total interior space.

    They're nice, though.
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    Has anyone heard when the newly designed Chrysler minivans will be coming out? I know the official word is "Fall 2007", but that could be anywhere between September and December.
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    Expect them to be on dealer lots around Oct 1st.

    Also, Chrysler announced a new lifetime powertrain warranty which will apply to it and most other vehicles effective today.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Warranties are a funny thing. Even a lifetime powertrain doesn't mean everything is free. You end up paying for "adjustments" and "computer recalibrations" because the only thing covered are "replacements." Then the replacement has to fall into the "powertrain" category. Then there's the deductable. Then there's the time spent going to and from the dealer and waiting and waiting. And the list goes on. Give me a reliable vehicle over a long warranty anyday!
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    Are you sugesting a 2007 Chrysler minivan isn't reliable?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Very surprising move. Cerburus comes in and probably does this to show a long-term commitment to Chrysler's survival. Pretty bold.

    Hope it doesn't bankrupt them.

    Great for minivan buyers, though. It should cover that transmission my neighbor keeps having to replace on his vans.

    One catch is it's not transferable, and that could hurt residuals because now people would prefer new vs. used.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I haven't seen the details of the warranty. All I have is this article.....seems like a great deal if you're someone who buys and keeps vehicles? Be great to buy a fullsize pickup, say, if you're a farmer.....and keep it forever?

  • autowriteautowrite Posts: 226
    Spy photo spotted (within the last 3 months, in California) a Honda Stream. Any indication if this mini-minivan is coming to market in USA & Canada? It looks to be the size similar to a Madza 5.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The 5 has been a success and Kia saw fit to bring the Rondo, so I do hope the segment expands.

    The Dodge warranty does require a powertrain inspection every 5 years. That's really not a big deal, and I'm sure it's just to ensure that people have their transmission serviced and all the fluids serviced.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Solid review.

    The 2nd row windows open, and I love that the seats can face out for the parent to fasten the kid's seatbelts.

    Also glad to hear they're more comfortable than the current Stow-n-Go seats.

    Sirius TV? Cool.

    Mileage is using 2008 standards, but still 1 mpg city and highway behind the Sienna and Ody with VCM. They tie the Odyssey without VCM.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Swivel seats came as a result of an "ethnographic" research project Chrysler began three years ago. Researchers followed 30 families around in their daily lives in search of ideas for the new minivan. The eureka moment came when researchers noticed that families, and children in particular, spent a lot of time around the kitchen table interacting.

    You know what's funny? We were one of those families.

    Seriously, they flew out a couple of ladies from Detroit and they spent a day with us at our house, watching how we interacted.

    I think by then the design was already set, but they probably used our input to decide how to market the feature.

    We were paid a nice sum for our time. Thanks Chrysler! :shades:

    We couldn't wait, though, and bought our van back in May.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    A reporter is interested in speaking with anyone currently considering purchasing a 2008 minivan. Please respond to by 1pm Eastern on Monday, August 6 with your daytime contact information.

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • autowriteautowrite Posts: 226
    Swivel seats.

    I once owned a 1982 Ford E150 'full size' van which came from the factory 'stripped' and then "TripleE" put in a travel van conversion. This van had 4 caption chairs that swivel 360degrees, as well as folded perfectly horizontal (for sleeping), a portable table that fitted in the floor between a rear bench and the middle caption chairs (or between the 4 chairs). The rear bench could be folded down to make a queen size bed.
    Chevrolet 'full size vans' had a similar conversion.

    The 2008 Chrysler minivans are not the first to have the swivel feature.
This discussion has been closed.