Which minivan would you recommend?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Wade, Sep 10, 2002.

  1. Wade

    Wade Stunt Coordinator

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    Our first youngin' will be arriving in December so we'll be needing a newer, bigger and safer vehicle. I've read a lot of good things about the Honda Odyssey and I like the looks of it but is it worth the extra money. I plan on checking out the Honda as well as the Toyota Sienna and Dodge Grand Caravan. I may also swing by a Ford dealer to check out the Windstar but it's not high on the list. The Nissan Quest looks good but it's kind of small inside and is under powered according to my wife's sister.

    Any comments about any van would be greatly appreciated.

    Wade
     
  2. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    We bought a Toyota Sienna last September, by far the best mini-van out there, ride quality is the best, plus you cannot beat Toyota's reliability.
    My wife and I test drove all that you listed above. The Nissan is not being made anymore, at least that is what we were told by the Nissan dealer when we were shopping. The Dodge came in second place followed by the Ford with the Honda taking last place. Ride and interior finish on the Honda was horrid, very boxy looking with a ride worse than a 20' boat riding 8' waves, extremely boaty. I sat in the back of each mini-van to test my motion sickness. The Sienna was the only one that did not make me queasy. I was near barf state right when we drove off the lot in the Honda. The down fall of the Sienna is that it is the smallest of the bunch.
    We also found the seating in the Toyota to be the best of the lot, very fitting and comfy, the Honda had near bench seats even for driver and passenger with no side supports. I was really surprised how poor Honda's van was compared to their cars.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  3. Dan Joy

    Dan Joy Supporting Actor

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    IMHO, if your going to buy a minivan, get as big as u can, cause when u have kids, everything comes along. We have a 1998 Grand Caravan. It has been a great vehicle, spacious, cool gadgets, and most of all low maintenance. Two of our friends have Honda Odyssey's. They are great minivans and I think they are same size as grand caravan. If I had to buy a new one right now, I would get the Honda. Nothing vs. Toyota (used to own one[​IMG]), but our neighbor has one and they are quite smaller to me.
     
  4. Tony G

    Tony G Stunt Coordinator

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    We have the Honda, and have been very pleased. I don't share Ron's opinion of the ride.

    The well in the rear that the back seat folds into is a very nice feature, and none of the other vans had it (at least when we were looking a couple of years ago.

    I would recommend it. Downside is (again, when we were looking) that you pay sticker price, or you don't get one. It might not be that way now.

    Tony
     
  5. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    The Mercury Villager is a rebadged Nissan Quest. These vehicles are being discontinued, but you may still be able to find them at dealers (probably for a very good price). If you have access to a Ford employee discount plan, the Villager is a great deal. You get Nissan quality at a bargain price. We are on our second one (a 2000 model). They are smaller than a Grand Caravan, Sienna, Windstar or Odyssey -- but probably a little larger than the base Caravan. Our 2000 model has a more powerful engine than our previous '96 model by about 20hp (can't remember the exact numbers, but the 2000 has decent pickup for a minivan).
     
  6. James Q Jenkins

    James Q Jenkins Stunt Coordinator

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    Gee, a minivan for just one kid? Seems like overkill to me. The space considerations may not be as important to you as they are to many here. Have you considered a station wagon like a Subaru Outback? They are extremely safe with AWD and have nice handling and comfort. Great cars. You may not need the minivan for a few years, why rush into it? [​IMG]
     
  7. Alf S

    Alf S Banned
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    Our little one is turning 1 this month and we were scoping out small SUV's and as of late, the new Pontica Vibe.

    The Vibe is a rebadged Toyota Corolla, and is AMAZINGLY spacious inside and has lots of neat features. I sat in one at the local car show, and was very impressed.

    If I'm not mistaken, you can get 0% interst for 5 years on all new 2003 Pontiacs.

    I've read several reviews about the Dodge/Chrysler minivans, and many say they have really had some quality problems in the past few years..not to mention the aweful resale value down the road.
     
  8. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  9. Bill Eberhardt

    Bill Eberhardt Stunt Coordinator

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    I just bought a '97 Town & Country LXi AWD. The ride and comfort are superb. Minivans tend to be light in the rear and that make them a little hard to handle. AWD keeps the back end from moving around. My '91 Grand Voyager FWD used to sway if I hit a bump at an angle or on a corner but the T&C tracks very stable throught the same bumps.
     
  10. John_E

    John_E Stunt Coordinator

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    My wife drives a 1998 Olds Silhouette that we bought brand new. We weren't really excited about getting a minivan (traded in a Pathfinder), but this vehicle is perfect for us. The ride is extremely smooth, and there is plenty of room. We have one child right now. Whichever one you get, get one with the power sliding door....it is a lifesaver. Also--leather is nice for easy clean up from spills and other messes. It now has 62,000 miles and we have had no maintenace problems whatsoever. We just put tires and brakes on last month. If we were to price a SUV with all of the comparable features (leather, CD, etc.), we would have spent another $10K. So far, we could not be happier.

    Good luck.
     
  11. Edan W

    Edan W Stunt Coordinator

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  12. Wade

    Wade Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all the replies.

    Last night the wife changed our price point from 30K down to 25K. That changes things a little. She said she would rather have the money go into a house than a vehicle. Sounds reasonable to me but I told her she's going to have to give up the leather and a few other options. She's okay with that. At the new price point we should be able to get a loaded Dodge Caravan Sport or a Toyota Sienna LE with few features. The Toyota appears to be the safer and more reliable choice. The Dodge could probably be picked up for a very reasonable price here in California. Still want to give the others a spin just to see what they have to offer. We'll be hitting the dealers soon.

     
  13. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    my aunt has the honda. i've ridden in it several times and thought the ride was very nice. i get motion sick quite easily (puked in both my sister's cars) and didn't have any problem with the honda. what i liked was that it felt "solid" - everything felt nice and tight.

    also, you may want to check out the mazda (can't recall the model). i watched car&driver on tv and they really liked it. said it was pretty peppy with a solid ride. you know: zoom zoom zoom and all...
     
  14. Wade

    Wade Stunt Coordinator

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    Ted,

    I totally forgot about the Mazda. The price appears to come in under our new set price. I can't access the Mazda website right now so I can't get any specs on it. It does appear smaller than most of the other vans. How is the overall build quality of Mazda vehicles? I only have experience with the Mazda engine and tranny in my Ford Probe.

    Wade
     
  15. James Q Jenkins

    James Q Jenkins Stunt Coordinator

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  16. Scott Barnhart

    Scott Barnhart Stunt Coordinator

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    I (we) also have the Honda Odyssey, and LOVE it. We also checked out the Toyota Sienna, and although I will admit that the Sienna rides the tiniest bit better, I don't agree with Ron that the Honda rides poorly - we like the ride just fine. Also, the loads of extra space and the versatility of the fold-down 3rd-row seat of the Honda just make it so much better than the Sienna, in our opinion. We just finished a driving vacation with 8 people (4 kids, 4 adults) and their luggage in our Odyssey and it rode like a dream, plus I was actually shocked we got that much luggage into the space behind the third row! My personal opinion is that the Honda is the king of minivans right now.
     
  17. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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  18. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  19. wayne-sun

    wayne-sun Agent

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    How about a KIA? They are a good looking mini van with a ten year warranty. Don't know how long they have been in the US but they are a tremendous van in asia. A KIA Sedona loaded with leather, 4 wheel abs, sunroof, spoiler etc. is about $24,100 incl freight in california. Plus right now with a test drive they'll give you a free lotr dvd. And no I don't work there I just bought one myself.
     
  20. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    Take a look at this, I think it will be hard to argue with the findings here. Click on the video review.
    I have the Town & Country limited, and it is a great van. I moved my entire living room set with this van. I was able to fit a love seat and a chair in at one time!! The sound system is awesome, all my friends love my van and we're all 25 and under.
     

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