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OT: New Vehicle

1544 Views 14 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Koolector
Hey guys -

Just curious if anyone here has a mini van?? My wife is on the horse for one due to the addition of our newest nudle of joy. I had bought her a RAV4 a couple years which I am now driving due to its extreme lack of space for a family of 4.

I am trading that in this fall for a full sized truck but she wants to trade our other car for a mini van ASAP.

I like the Honda Odyssey but can't find a whole lot of info about it. ANyone have one?? Any experience with them?? I really want a 4wd minivan but it doesn't look like anyone makes a version right now in any brand.


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Here ya go:


I've only had experience with a '98 Chrysler Town & Country. It was a great van, never had any problems. We finally sold it with 113,000 miles and it was still going strong. I did hear from a Toyota dealership manager that the Chryslers and Dodges he sees people bring in tend to burn oil.

But I don't think you can go wrong as long as you stay away from American made.
I bought a 1999 Caravan new and have 76,000 miles on it. A great car. My sister borrowed it for two weeks while in town and we found we NEED a car with 3 seats. I only have 2 kids but with driving to camp, soccer, etc, I need a big car.

They aren't cool but VERY VERY useful.

They Odyssey is supposed to be super. But about $5K more than the Dodge.
ok - here is the scoop from a father of 3

skip the minivan

they are over-rated and over-priced

what you want to do is go and price a custom van at the dealership (you'll be surprised at just how inexpensive they really are - our last one cost 22,000.00 and had all the bells & whistles - i found that the Ford vans were more "driver friendly" - not as cramped on the legs as the dodge or chevy vans)

you get much more room with about the same gas mileage

plus, if you get the hightop, you get the tv and dvd player for those long trips which you know you will have to take

plus, if mom needs to attend to junior during the ride, she can just stand up, walk down the aisle and take care of business, or even walk into the back to relax and enjoy a movie with the kids

plus, you get a lot more respect on the road since you are both higher and bigger than the standard minivans (people are more apt to stay out of your way and less likely to try and run you off of the road - kinda like driving my F-250 crewcab with the 8' bed - damn thing takes about a 40' turning radius and is 24' long)

but don't take my word for it, go down and test drive one or two and see what they are selling for

either way, good luck
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Okay - hall of shame time.

I have a 1997 Plymouth Grand Voyager, and it sucks.

I have test driven the Odyssey, and between what I know about it, and the recommendations of Autoweek and Road & Track, the Odyssey is the best minivan out there right now. Since the Odyssey is in for a restyle in '05, you should be able to get a new one at a really good price right now.

ok - here is the scoop from a father of 3

skip the minivan

they are over-rated and over-priced

either way, good luck
I thought the same way until we saw the Nissan Quest SE. It is beautiful, functional, funky, with every safety feature imaginable and BIG. The sliding doors are 4-1/2" wider than the Honda, making it easier to get into and out of. All of the seats fold down, which makes it nice seperating the kids. Drop one of the middle seats into the floor, and there plenty of leg room in the back seat. The roof windows in the back give light to the passengers and takes away the I'm-stuck-in-a-Mini-Van feel. It's gonna cost you more than a conversion van, ours was $32K out the door and had everything but the $2,000 Thomas map, but it's well worth it.

Beware, it's bigger than the Honda, so parking it is a challenge sometimes, but the side mirrors fold down when you back up. Both have strong 240 HP engines. The Quest' engine is the same as in the Altima and the 300Z; very quiet. Gas mileage is 19.

I'm sure Bobby could give you more info on it. The SE version, 5-speed automatic, is the only version of the Quest I would get.

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matchboxtom said:
They Odyssey is supposed to be super. But about $5K more than the Dodge.
In my research, comparable equipped, the foreign vans were better buys than the American vans. But it's hard to beat the entry price of an American made van if that's all you need.

Being over 40, heated leather seats was a must for me, so that kicked me into the more expensive range, and the American brands couldn't compete in price, style, or value.
One of the top rated vans is the Toyota Sienna. It's American made, right down in Lexington, Kentucky! Most likely a bit pricey.
i have a dodge grand caravan and love it. haven't had an ounce of trouble with it.
I'll be the odd duck here:
The Dodge Magnum R/T with a Hemi!
SUV with 3rd seat work well too

Hi, We have a 2003 Tahoe with a 3rd seat and it is very functional and has lots of space. Seats fold down and come out (a little heavy) if needed. We love it. My wife thought she wanted a minivan and we test drove the new Sienna, but my wife said she felt safer (could see the road better) from the Tahoe. Plus Chevy was a little cheaper than the Sienna.


Spend the extra money!!!!!!!

Hello Mark,
Yes I do own a mini-van.
After our son was born, we went the mini-van route too. After almost a year and a haalf of scouring the information and weighing the risks etc (taking into account the serious trouble we had with past cars - namely Chrysler and a Toyota Camry we had), also taking into account what we could afford, we made our choice and a damm good one at that:
A Honda Oddessy.
An outstanding car, but don't take my word on it. Consumer reports puts this at the head of the class literally (up and until last year when Toyota's redesigned Sienna took the lead for a slight stride, then overtook again by Honda)******.
I would say that if you are looking for quality, dependability etc (how much time do you have on hand to take the cars back to the dealers for problems, issues etc?), simply count all the others out (esp the Chrysler product - I won't even start my rant with that junk).
More expensive than the domestics and others yes, but truly is what you get for your coin. And piece of mind that the key will infact turn the car on (esp when you really need it to), spending the extra cash is a good move.
The Honda and Toyota are king.

******Note also: I have been on (and still am) a running consumer list of vehicle owners who are asked to evaluate vehicles twice a year. This is conducted by JD Powers. They take 5 vehicles of each class (mini-vans, sub compacts, trucks etc) and rate these cars overall with owners etc.Time and again (in regard to minivans, the Honda wins hands down.

And its ALWAYS the same reason: QUALITY.

I hope you make a good choice. And good luck.

Also Mark, if you need brochures for any of these, let me know (we print nealy all of them from all the makes). email me [email protected] :thumbsup:
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One thing to keep in mind is depreciation.....mini-vans will drop in value almost three times as fast as other vehicles. I've had two and it is almost a fight to sell/trade one. SUV's are slowly falling into the same category. From my point of view, I have three daughters and a dog on family trips/vacations.....may I suggest a full size (Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Toyota) 4 door truck. Plenty of seating for 5 and a trunk that would put 50's and 60's lead sleds to shame!

I have 4 kids that fit in our 92 plymouth voyager mini van. It does just fine for us, but it will become a tight squeeze when all the kids become teens. We purchased it from some friends of ours, so it wasn't too expensive. These vans (blue ones) have a problem with paint chipping alot.I have also seen some that burn oil ( valve problems ) It has been a decent van for us ,but if I had the $$$ I would probably go for the Honda. Chuck.
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