K.S. asks from Salt Lake City, UT on April 18, 2008
Opinion on Minivans
Hello all! My husband and I have decided it is time to move up to a minivan and I would appreciate any opinions from others who drive one. The three we really like so far are the Chrysler Town and Country, the Honda Odyssey, and the Toyota Sienna. If any of you drive one of these, please let me know what year and how you like it. We are particularly interested in maintenance and repair history for 2004 and newer. We plan on checking Consumer Reports on these as well, but we want to make our decision in the next couple weeks (by the end of the month) so I would appreciate any advice or feedback. Thanks in advance!
So What Happened?™
Wow, thanks everyone for your great responses! I think we will definitely look closer at both the Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna, and see which one the dealership can give us a better deal on - they seem pretty comparable. Hopefully we can get this done within the next week. I have been hesitant to move up to a minivan (I hated the one I had to drive in high school!) but they are so sporty now, I am being converted! Thanks again!
4/29 More update; we just bought an '06 Toyota Sienna this weekend, and after just a couple days I love it. We have an automatic sliding door, and the trunk space behind the third row is really deep. I think this will work out great for us, especially since it was right in our price range. Thanks again everyone for your tips and opinions!
J.L. answers from Provo on April 23, 2008
My mom, aunt and sister in law all have honda odyssey's and LOVE LOVE LOVE them. They are all varying years anywhere from the first one that was the bigger version in 99 up to I think a 2006? They are such a great vehicle! My aunts is the newest one and her kids absolutely adore the fact that the side windows can roll down! thumbs up for the honda odyssey! Repairs (that I know of) have only been very minor things. consumer reports will mention problems with like a/c knobs and controls and just some electrical things like dash lights behind certain things like the clock, or which gear you're in, which is expected in a honda I've noticed. They have tons and tons of cargo space and my folks have been able to tow several things like waverunners or snowmobiles with theirs because they added a hitch on the back of their van. So as for the honda, I'd say go for it! good luck~
A.K. answers from Great Falls on April 21, 2008
I drive an 2006 Town and Country and LOVE it. I have not had any problems with it. The best thing about it is the Stow & Go seating. I will never buy another van that does not have it. When the seats are not "stowed" it is amazing how much extra storage space there is and when they are stowed I think I can put more in there than in the pick-up. We travel a lot and the dvd player with headphones is also a plus.
J.L. answers from Pocatello on April 19, 2008
I have a Honda Odyssey and love it. I did a ton of research before I bought my van and the Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna are the only really reliable vans. From what I could tell on the repair records the Honda was a little more reliable than the Toyota.
H.M. answers from Denver on April 19, 2008
I love my Toyota Sienna 2005. My only complaint is that with the AWD model, Toyota left no room for a spare tire so you have to drive run-flat tires which are expensive and often take a week to order if you need replacements. They also wear out pretty quick, but I have heard similar complaints from other Sienna owners with standard tires. Plan on new tires every 30K miles or so, no matter what. Check out tirerack.com for feedback from Sienna owners on tire longevity. Stick to '05 Siennas or newer...there is some kind of design flaw with the sliding doors on older models.
D.O. answers from Salt Lake City on April 19, 2008
We have a 2007 Honda Odyssey and we LOVE LOVE LOVE it! We bought the base model and it still has tons of storage space, moveable seats, seats that stow in the floor and lots of of other things that I love. We have not had a single problem with it we have only taken it in for scheduled maintenance. The kids love it too. We just went on a twelve hour drive to California and back with 6 people (including two kids in car seats) and we all rode very comfortably and had plenty of room for all the luggage and toys and everything. I highly recommend it!
S.O. answers from Denver on April 19, 2008
We own the Honda Odyssey from last year. We LOVE it! It is so comfortable and drives really well. So far no repairs have had to be made (knock on wood). It is fuel economic so I spend far less on gas than I did on my SUV. The only complaint I have is that it does not drive well in the snow but other than that, it is great.
D.K. answers from Denver on April 19, 2008
I have a Odessey, 05' I LOVE IT! It is roomy, has tons of storage, seats eight but we took out the console between the two back seats. I have not had ONE problem with it! Honda has a great service department too! I would say look at resale value more then anything. I mean mine is an 05 and still worth close to $18,000. All vehicles depreciate the second you drive them off the lot, so you want something that holds value. Toyotas and Hondas are on the top of holding their value and service. It drives awesome!
M.S. answers from Denver on April 18, 2008
Toyota Sienna - 2004. LOVE IT! It feels much more luxurious than the Honda for about the same money. And, the folding rear seat was much easier for me to do (i'm only 5' 3"). We can get up to 26-27 on the highway and regularly do 23 mpg in town. We've only had one issue - the chip that runs the heat/ac conked out but we had bought the extended warranty (talked him WAY down) and it was fully covered w/absolutely no issues (bad for them - a $2k repair!). If you're in the Denver area, I'd strongly recommend Mountain States. the salesman was honest and low pressure. their service dept is incredible - we actually drive over there (about 12 miles) even though Stevenson is less than 3 miles from where both of us work! Do look at all the safety ratings .... Dodge/chrysler had 5 star government ratings but did miserably in the offset for year 2004 models. But perhaps they've improved.
S.C. answers from Denver on April 19, 2008
We drive an '06 Odyssey and I love it. We have had zero problems. The interior is very spacious and all the features are very easy to operate, even with one hand! I did a lot of shopping around and this was the most for the money and the best quality. Our model is the one just below the touring model. It has leather, power and the DVD as well as lots of other goodies. My finding is that American cars are just not keeping up with the Japanese and I hate to say that because until now I have always bought American. The Ford van was TERRIBLE, no giddy-up at all. I just found the other US vans to be kind of cheap. The Toyota is very nice, but is more expensive than Honda for the same stuff. It may seem a little more luxorious on the inside, but that wasn't worth $8K to me! Good luck with your choice, once you get a van you will see why so many people love them!
S.M. answers from Denver on April 19, 2008
I have an '08 Toyota Sienna, 8 passenger. I also liked the Odyssey, but the 8 comfortable seating made it final. I think the trunk is larger and holds my double stroller and groceries with no problem. The rear seats fold down easily. Also, it is easier for an adult to get in the back and there is more leg room between rows of seats. One other feature I like is that the middle seat in the second row is adjustable and you can move it forward. If you belong to Sam's Club, go online and you can get a list of dealers. They give you a discount.
D.W. answers from Colorado Springs on April 23, 2008
Just from my experience, I've had a minivan for probably the last 10 years and we've always had Dodge Grand Caravan only once we had a Ford Windstar and we went back to Dodge. Out of all the other vans you mention you probably get more for your money with the Dodge. Just to let you know Town and Country are the same exact thing as Dodge but way cheaper. My parents had purchases a Town and Country at one time and was very displease with it and went back to Dodge Gr. Caravan again and remain with them. As of right now, I have 2005 Dodge Gr.Caravan stow and go and just love it. Great for traveling with children