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2008 Minivans



  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    ...if all you folks want to do is continue to ridicule, mock, and "bash" each other, I suggest you go and get a room elsewhere...preferably not on this site. At this point, I'm thinking this discussion has reached the end of its usefulness. It's all up to you whether it stays or goes. A few posts have been removed. If I missed some that you feel need to go, send me an email with the post number and I'll give it a second look.

    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

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I didn't say I never roll the 2nd row windows down, I said that when I do, the front windows also go down.

    Presumably, if there is something worth seeing, the people in the front would want to see it also! Think about it...

    This used to happen with my Forester. It also happens with most moonroofs. Oddly enough, if you have moonroof buffeting, the best fix is the crack the two rear windows open.

    So in that case having 2nd row windows that open actually solve the buffeting problem.


    PS I don't own a Honda.
  • maryh3maryh3 Posts: 263
    My daughter's 1999 GC SE had 104,322 last week and it has had very few repairs. She likes it MUCH BETTER than my 2006 Sienna LE that now has 18,668 miles.

    You cannot know how typical this scenario is. Though accused of having a sample size of 1, this is not the case. I am jealous of a friend who, like me, has a 2000 T&C, has just passed 200,000 on her original tranny and engine. She has had miminal repairs but lost her air conditioning this summer. My nephew has a 97. He just passed 200,000 also. He has replaced the tranny at 169,000 and the water pump at 189,000. My daughters preschool teacher had her 1996 DGC stolen at 235,000 mi. We joke about our "iron man" vans. My list could go on.

    I will beg to differ from "Dennisctc" in that I observed several older Chrysler minvans have transmission problems. It was only after I talked to a mechanic who told me of changes to the transmissions in 1999 that indicated that Chrysler identified and dealt with the transmission problems of the early models. Dennis disagrees with me on this issue but it is my observation. I am uncertain of the 1999 models as to whether you can expect transmission problems or not. The 98's down often need transmissions prior to 100,000. Those manufactured in 2000 up fare much better.

    I do not know your story. Why do you dislike your Sienna so much? People in general seem to like theirs. It would have been my second choice. The only reason I decided against it was that it seemed so plain in comparison to the 2008 T&C with all its new bells and whistles.
  • maryh3maryh3 Posts: 263
    The October 2007 Issue is an excellent example of their blatant bias against Chrysler and other American labels.

    Did you notice that they hate Germany too? Too capitalistic I suspect.
  • maryh3maryh3 Posts: 263
    I rip up every mailing offering a subscription to CR as quickly as deceptive advertising for politicians

    LOL, you and I would get along quite well!!
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Honda very quickly sent me a brochure for 2008. Honda changed the Odyssey grille for 2008 but the 2008 Odyssey brochure has less useful information than prior Odyssey brochures. ( Who needs 6 double pages with photos of the Odyssey exterior in different colors?) I would like to see photos of the dash without NAV, photos of the interior of the LX and cloth EX, and the HP / torque curve graph of the engines.

    The 2008 T&C brochure is much nicer than the 2008 GC brochure with HP and torque curve graphs for all 3 engines and options information in black on white instead of the hideous white on orange of the GC brochure.

    I could see NO Changes in the 2008 Sienna compared to the 2007 which had a more powerful 3.5L V6 but still had same EPA fuel ratings as the 2006 3.3L. The 07 Sienna brochure had more useful information than the sorry 06 brochure (my dealer does not yet have 2008 Sienna brochures even though the 2008 Sienna has been on the market for months).

    I have no interest in any minivan but these. :shades:
  • maryh3maryh3 Posts: 263
    The point is that one person's experience, good or bad, isn't necessarily representative. Some folks here seem to think that professional reviews, surveys, etc aren't as important than their personal experience. So my copy/paste post isn't any more representative than someone who posts here saying how great the T&C is.

    I repeat, nobody is as interested in your welfare, or has as much personal investment in you as you do.

    My using of my own experience and observations displays my ability to think for myself and my distrust of people with possible ulterior motives and my confidence in my ability to make intelligent, well informed decisions. I can't blindly accept everything I read for everyone has their own interests in mind before mine!!
  • maryh3maryh3 Posts: 263
    My Fury 3 Plymouth had the dreaded buffeting sound.

    My Chevy Celebrity had the dreaded buffeting sound.

    My Chevy Lumina had the dreaded buffeting sound.

    My Chevy Impala had the dreaded buffeting.

    My current Ford Taurus has the dreaded buffeting.

    My current Honda Odyssey(which is a great vehicle) had the dreaded buffeting.

    Add a 2007 Ford Focus to the list. Rented 1 a month ago and it buffetted horribly.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Using the experience of Chrysler minivans owned by friends, I feel Chrysler minivans are just as reliable as any other brand.

    I trust people I know and can talk to in person more than the faceless experts.

    I have DISAPPOINTMENT more than dislike of my 06 Sienna. I expected it to be better than my lowly, less expensive 02 T&C LX.

    The Sienna driver's seat is infinitely more comfortable for me than the driver's seat of the 02 T&C LX was but the other seats were more comfortable in the T&C than the Sienna.

    I like the MUCH larger cargo space behind the 3rd row of the Sienna that is 50% larger than that of the 05-07 T&C/GC and more than twice as large as that of the 02 T&C.

    I MISS the separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger and better controls for stereo, WSW wiper and washers, and HVAC of the T&C. :cry:
  • maryh3maryh3 Posts: 263
    You have to be skeptical of some who buys ABC Minivan yesterday, the wheels fall off, the engine explodes, the tranny fall out and it's the biggest POC on the planet. They join Edmunds today to bash, then you never hear from them again? If its bashing to doubt newbies like that, I'm guilty and will continue to be no matter what minivan they bash.

    Most legit people on here would probably check out these forums before buying, do some research and buy, then complain and continue to complain year after year after year about how their 1917 Chrysler Minivan ended their family tree, started WWII and caused global warming overnight

    I have to be skeptical because I have been looking for a minivan since mid-August, and those new 08 T&C's did not hit the lots until mid-September. And this person bought it and has had it in the shop constantly already? Her "review" is dated 10-7-07 and her friend had already wrecked hers and had the kids diagnosed with whiplash? The 4.0L Limiteds are both expensive and harder to come by. Only 1 person on this forum has one that I have seen, and they just got theirs recently. I'm still waiting on mine. I don't see alot of them out there yet either. A few have complained about their inability to test drive them because they can't locate any in their area. This has eased recently, and there are more Limiteds out there now, but unless this person has special pull so as to get one for her and her friend before the dealers did, paid full price, had the financing go through immediately etc --- I think I have reason to doubt the sincerity of this "review". Which leads me to wonder why people are so nutty so as to make up a review like that? Pride? A Toyota employee feeling threatened for job security? Hatred from a horrible experience? I don't get it. I had a horrible experience with a 1995 Ford Windstar yet I don't feel compelled to behave like that. I guess for some, cars are like their kids. They take everything associated with their vehicle personally and are threatened by any of their kids's peers or rivals.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    anyone here considered the Kia Rhondo or Mazda 5? If you're only using the 3rd row occasionally, they're worth looking at.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Mary: keep in mind the 4.0l engine is new to the vans, as it the 6 speed transmission. Parts of the powertrain were used in the Pacifica, so those may tell you more about your Dodge than a used Dodge van would. :D

    hansienna: the 2008 Sienna did add a few features. VSC was made standard on the models that didn't already have it, plus they added Bluetooth connectivity.

    The 2007 had just got a new engine and was a short model year, from January to August. So the 3.5l engine was only out for 8 months when the 2008 Sienna came out.

    Brochures: here is where Toyota fumbles. You say the 06 brochure is worse than the 07, well the 07 brochure is pathetic. I can point out several mistakes in it, for instance. Off the top of my head, the fuel capacity is wrong, as is the list of options in Package 3 (brochure says no power seats, but mine has that).

    Chrysler does make much better brochures - I have their new one and it puts Toyota's to shame.
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    My son's 2008 Sienna XLE does not have Bluetooth. It may be part of the now optional JBL radio package.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Chrysler does make much better brochures

    Always thought Honda had the best technical brochures, but that's change lately. And like someone said earlier, the new Ody brochure only focuses on EX L and pics of cloth interior etc...
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    on the brochures. Though I have an 07 Pacfica brochure which is no better than the Sienna or Ody, I think the minivan brochures for Chrysler are much better. The Sienna brochure was awful, the Ody is slightly better.

    atexieira hits on the problem I had with the Toyota---I WANTED Bluetooth, but the only way to get it was with a mondo expensive EVP that added $4k to the MSRP. It varies within the 7 Toyota regions, but its too bad---had I been able to add Bluetooth/JBL ala carte, I may have held off buying the Ody. As it was, I was looking at a $34+ MSRP just to get a Sienna with Bluetooth. It looks like I can add an aftermarket integrated Bluetooth system like Parrot on the Ody for a couple hundred bucks anyway.

    My Camry has that system and I love it--voice recognition isn't very good but its easier just to type the numbers in the cell phone anyway.
  • maryh3maryh3 Posts: 263
    Mary: keep in mind the 4.0l engine is new to the vans, as it the 6 speed transmission. Parts of the powertrain were used in the Pacifica, so those may tell you more about your Dodge than a used Dodge van would.

    Why do you think the "Lifetime Warrenty" was so important to me. I was burnt before on the first-year model Windstar and know the problems associated with any new model yet alone one with a new engine and new transmission. On top of that I've read that minivans in general have more problems than any other type of vehicle. However, I have faith that Chrysler did its homework and learned from its previous mistakes. I could have gotten my 3.8L again but felt I was being too boring.

    Wish I had discovered this forum earlier as I was posting on another forum before asking where Chrysler had gotten the 4.0L and where it had used it before but nobody seemed to know the answer on that forum.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Why do you think the "Lifetime Warrenty" was so important to me.

    You should be fine, the 4.0 was tested for years before being lauched in the Pacifica, then the Nitro. Same with the 6 spd auto. I read somewhere that it shifts just like a Mercedes......Hmmmm wonder why? They were working on a 6 spd prior to Daimler buying them, that program was cancel to avoid duplication etc....
  • carcom2carcom2 Posts: 212
    "You are digging your own grave here--this is what it comes down to--we're going to bash the Honda because there's sound when the second row windows are down. Since I'm never going to know whether there is an equal amount of sound on a GC, or a Sienna, or an Entourage, and frankly neither are you for all these vehicles, what's the point of this discussion?"

    Not sure what you're referring to about digging a grave. Sounds pretty harsh. And since you're "never going to know whether there is an equal amount of sound on a GC, or a Sienna, or an Entourage", no point on you criticizing my post which one of the points is for people to check it out when you test drive so you're not surprised and annoyed about it later after you already own the minivan.
    "frankly neither are you for all these vehicles". Get real. If I felt like it, I could easily drive the other vans listed above and compare the noise level. Not interested though.

    Another point was to hear the truth. And I got some honest replies and thanked people in advance & say thanks to them again. And you're accusing me of "bashing" the Honda? I said there are things I like about it and things I dislike. I just wouldn't buy one. Same goes for all the minivans. If you've read my posts, I've said no one minivan is the best in all categories. One has to make compromises. I've even mentioned specific things about the 2008 T&C that could have been better. So even if I bought the T&C Limited I would be making some compromises, but ones I could live with.

    Thank you very much for reminding me to clarify things.

    Time to move on.
  • carcom2carcom2 Posts: 212
    Here's something recent from a popular car mag. road trip:

    "There truly is no better vehicle for a road-trip than a minivan, and if you're toting a brood of young'uns, I think the latest top-shelf offerings from Chrysler and Dodge are your best bet."

    "These are not good looking vehicles. They're not offensively styled, but they scream "function-first" from every boxy corner and character line. That's okay. With these things, it's all about inner space. And the insides LOOK great. Don't touch, or you'll find offensively rock-hard plastic practically everywhere, but the design and materials appearance is quite pleasing. The money ran out just short of perfect execution, but it's better to look good and feel bad, than it is to be both ugly and rock hard, no? "

    "The seats are all pretty comfortable too"

    "It's those seating and entertainment options, along with power-down third-row seats and a few other minivan innovations that separate the ChryCo vans from previous industry benchmarks like the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, and the Hyundai/Kia vans. The Honda still offers the most sophisticated engine (with cylinder shutoff), Toyota offers AWD, and the Koreans deliver amazing value for money, but none can match the Chryslers for passenger entertainment, comfort, and convenience."

    "On my 1700-mile trip, the 4.0-liter SOHC V-6 and (industry-first) six-speed tranny delivered almost 24 mpg. Not bad for a two-and-a-half-ton vehicle. "
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yes, you get Bluetooth on a Sienna with either the JBL sound system or with GPS Navigation, either of those.

    Chrysler's Lifetime Warranty does ease concerns with the new powertrain.

    I wish it were transferable, though. Suzuki's is the only ultra-long warranty that is fully transferable (7/100). Their only people mover is the XL7, though, not nearly as roomy.
  • maryh3maryh3 Posts: 263
    Finally, a truthful message. Bobber1, you hit the nail smack on the head. The CLLC people on this particular board would never admit to having a pile of junk and neither would a Honda or Toyota owner. With very few exceptions most people come here and act as unwitting shills for their particular manufacturer. If you do come here with an honest complaint you are lambasted and demeaned. A fine example was the comment someone made about their dissatisfaction with their 2008 CLLC mini then they were bashed for having contributed an honest opinion. Perhaps we need a "I AM AS HAPPY AS ALL GET OUT WITH MY MINIVAN SO DON'T COME HERE AND SAY YOURS IS LIKE JUNK" forum?

    Okay -- lets see how it feels on the other foot. Do you believe the following "review". LOL, I do not. I find it rather entertaining. As I said you can't believe everything you read can you? Some people take car ownership too personally. How long could this guy have owned this vehicle already? Honda delayed the release of the 08 hoping to clear out its 07's. Saw a few buying 08's on this forum about 1 month ago at the soonest -- and this guy has been to the dealer 12 times already -- and gotten 3000 miles on it?

    I have only driven this van about 3000 miles and I have to say that I am VERY DISSAPOINTED in HONDA PRODUCTS!. I have been to the dealership a total of twelve times for an array of problems. The sliding door fell of it's track onto my 7 year old's foot. The DVD player keeps skipping. The lights on the dash will go out with no warning. The brakes are starting to squeek when they are hot. It has terrrible gas miledge (13 city/16 hwy). I had traded a Dodge Durango that got better gas mpg than this thing. And it never broke down or sent me to the dealership for any repairs. I have almost three years left on the lease of this scary creature. I don't think I'm going to make it.

    I thought the DVD would be a great feature for my children but it doesn't work.

    Honda should stick to things it knows. God knows it isn't cars and trucks. Maybe just make motorcycles. Anyone want to take over a lease out there?
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Exactly...that's why JD Power, CR and other professional reviews are better than these individual stories.
  • maryh3maryh3 Posts: 263
    Exactly...that's why JD Power, CR and other professional reviews are better than these individual stories.

    I believe that honesty is the issue here -- and if you can find me the link between being a "professional" and being honest, I'd love to see it. I thought we all had had our fill of dishonesty within the media filled with self seeking ulterior motivated individuals. How about dishonest professionals too.

    I have already displayed how wrong media can be. Here is another example. I'm sure you have seen the Edmunds comparison between the 08 DGC STS verses the 07 Odyssey. You might notice how they pan the braking on the DGC claiming it was too soft, too weak, and one had to press too hard. Yet if you read the Honda Odyssey braking problems board I see complaints about the Odyssey brakes being too soft. Interesting discrepancy. But I believe all the posters. I suspect braking "softness" and "efficiency" are subjective issues in which drivers both "professional" and "amateur" may be biased.

    Just how does one become a "professional reviewer"? Is there a college course for this? What qualifiers do they have to have to secure that job? I think you will find that your own judgment is the best. You are the most concerned about your family than they are so do your best and make the best judgments you can knowing your motives are the purest. You won't lose your job if your review doesn't please anyone else.
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    In the January, 2008 issue of CR, there is a "CR Auto Test Extra" of the 2008 CLLC minivans. I will quote verbatim some of the comments.

    "We also tested two of Chrysler's redesigned minivans, the best selling (not so far for 2007-author's note)Dodge Grand Caravan and its twin, the Chrysler Town and Country. Both of these 2008 models proved to be disappointing in our tests.

    Although these new models are an improvement over those they replaced, they don't measure up to better competitors such as the Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona or Nissan Quest."

    CR rated the minivans in order of rankings and the CLLC models were 6 and 7 out of 8.

    Highs: Access, interior flexibility, interior features.

    Lows: Lack of grip and agility, braking, engine noise, fuel economy, complicated optional audio system.

    "The redesigned Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country are better than the models they replace. Despite some notable new features, though, they haven't risen to the level needed to compete against better models from Japan and South Korea. In our tests they score better than only the soon to be discontinued Chevrolet Uplander."

    "The top-level and newer 251-horsepower, 4.0 liter V6 in our Chrysler is quieter than the 197-horsepower, 3.8 liter V6 in our Dodge, but both whine noisily under acceleration."

    "We were disappointed with handling. The vehicles' vague and imprecise steering requires the driver to make constant small corrections while cornering. Body lean is pronounced even when taking a corner moderately fast, and the tires squeal even in normal driving. In our emergency maneuver, both vehicles felt clumsy and began to lose grip early. Stabilty control kept them on course but their maximum speeds through the course were lower than of the previous Grand Caravan. Stopping distances were long, especially on wet pavement."

    There are many more comments, some very good, good and negative so I would suggest reading the entire article.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Where's the motive for the professional reviewer to be biased? They review a lot of different vehicles. If they're doing a minivan comparison review, for example, what the motive for them to pick the Odyssey as the winner? Why would they lose their job if they picked the T&C as the winner?

    And I'm not talking about 2008, but over the past several years, where many different reviews, surveys, etc., all put the Odyssey & Sienna at the top of the list. Was everyone biased or worried about losing their jobs and if so...why?

    And it's the history of the Odyssey & Sienna as being the best that the T&C has to overcome. The same with the quality history. It takes more than a couple of good years for Chrysler and more than a couple of bad ones for Honda & Toyota to make a difference. And you have to look at the whole line offered by a company. The Civic, Accord, Fit, Pilot are all high quality vehicles. The Sebring, Cruiser, Pacifica?
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    I suppose, if you had evidence, you could convince me that a single reviewer might be biased. But are we really supposed to believe that EVERY professional reviewer is biased?

    Why? That makes no sense? What is their motive?

    In the case of some of the big name car mags, the individual who writes the review is quite public---you know their names, even sometimes their pictures. You can track down and read everything they write. Over time, I've read dozens of reviews from certain professional reviewers. Its just not credible to me to suggest these guys are biased with no evidence proving your case. Especially not ALL of them.

    Professional reviewers drive thousands of miles in a variety of vehicles. They have a better sense of how vehicles compare to each other because they drive far more of them than the average owner does. They generally put substantial miles on each vehicle they test so its not like they're only driving it once or twice. They spend days with these cars on tracks and learn how they react in certain situations.

    Am I saying you should take what a professional says as gospel and ignore your own instincts? Of course not. What I'm saying is that over time, certain trends and characteristics become obvious, and in the case of minivans, the Odyssey, and to a lesser extent, the Sienna have emerged time after time as winners. That does mean something.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Odyssey and Sienna emerge the winner with people who do NOT put their own hard earned money on the line.

    I am now stuck with a 2006 Sienna LE that I do NOT like as well as my former, less expensive T&C LX because the Trade-in value of the Sienna has not been good.

    DON'T believe the reviews of the "professional" reviewers. I had considered trading it on an Odyssey but since the "professional" reviewers have been so wrong with their praise of the Sienna, I am afraid the Odyssey will not be any better than the Sienna. :sick:
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    Well, maybe you should have bought the top ranked Odyssey instead! :)

    The trade in value of the Sienna is better than anything but the Ody in this class. Check out what you're looking at with the Sedona or even the DGC...

    Frankly, the professional reviews of the Sienna I've read haven't been all that positive, especially in turns of driving dynamics. I read everything I could get my hands on. To top it off, you've got the old engine in your Sienna, I believe...not the 3.5 which is the most-praised part of the Sienna. And you've got an LE, which lacked auto climate and a bunch of other features.

    I probably wouldn't love it either.
  • hause7hause7 Posts: 153
    I think the Sienna is the best van on the market. We do own a Limited and know having the 3-zone climate control is important to you hansienna, but i still think the Sienna is way better than the Chrysler Town&country. We had an 05 T&C Touring, we didn't like it that much and it gave us some problems, it didn't have much resale value. The Sienna holds it's value well, you should be able to trade it in on a van you actually want.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Some background....hansienna had bad timing and bought his van before incentives were in place. He's comparing that relatively high price to wholesale trade-in values.

    I'm not sure exactly what package he got, but he paid $29k for an LE in Colorado. Today that money buys you an XLE with a few options.

    He complained when his dealer low-balled him on a wholesale trade-in value, yet he could try to sell it on his own and get more money for it.

    Of course a dealer will low-ball you, they have to make a profit on used cars!

    So really, his was a case of bad timing. He bought it when prices were high, and compares that to resale when rebates exist on the new ones, and of course he's looking only at the low-ball wholesale offer.

    This is not representative at all, however.

    When I shopped, a new Sienna LE pkg 2 was $24.7k and a 2 year old used one with 30k miles was $21k. Same dealer, apples to apples, retail price comparison. As is obvious, residual values are very strong when you compare today's new prices with today's used prices.

    Automotive Lease Guide gives the Sienna 4 stars for residual values:

    Sienna and Ody tie for the best among minivans.

    Note that the Dodge scored poorly BUT that score is likely to improve with the new models.

    If we look at the Ody, back in May, a new 2007 Ody EX was $26.8k. Today the same van sells for $23k new. If you bought the van in May, your residuals just got slammed, too. A 6 month old EX has to cost less than new one does now, so you can expect your residual to drop.

    Why? Bad timing. Plain and simple.

    If you get a bargain on a 2007 now, your actual residual will be very strong. Much better than it would have been if you had bought the same van back in May.

    Timing is everything.

    Now, let's say you're shopping for a new T&C. Right when the new ones come out. You want to be the first on the block, so you pay MSRP for the very first one.

    Then compare that to the patient person who waits for the incentives to show up, and that person gets the same van for, say, $3000 less.

    Again, it's all about the timing.

    If you're shopping for a van, follow the pricing market, track the trends.

    Back in May, I got a $1250 rebate on the Sienna. That was the best bargain at the time. Ody had no incentives. I timed it right and got the Sienna.

    Right now, IMO the Ody is the best bargain. Dealers have a $2000 incentive. You can get a better deal on an 07 Ody, because the 07 Siennas are mostly gone. So if you are timing the market, get a bargain on the Ody today.

    I would not buy an 08 Sienna right now because the rebates are small and will likely grow. Bad timing.

    For the Dodge and Chrysler, again, it's a new model and rebates right now are small. I bet that a year from now, people will be paying less than you would pay today.
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