B.T. asks from Gig Harbor, WA on April 01, 2008
What Minivan Should We Buy?
I just had my 3rd child 6 weeks ago and our current vehicle just isn't cutting it. We drive an F250 crew cab truck. There is plenty of room for people, but no room for gear, groceries, etc. We considered buying a canopy or tonneau cover to store gear in the back, but I'd like something more convenient so we're planning on getting a minivan soon. I've never paid much attention to minivans since I never envisioned purchasing one, so I'm clueless about them! My main objective in this purchase is to have enough room in the back for our very large Valco double stroller, as well as groceries, luggage, etc. We have a 4 and 2 year old who need to NOT sit within pinching distance of each other too! Do any vans have all captains seats? How many seats are typical in a minivan? I only need it to seat 6 total (we hope to have another babe in a couple of years). I mostly want to seperate my children! Any advice for me? What do you like/dislike about your minivan? Oh, and we're looking around 2002-2004. Under 10k. Thanks!
2 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thank you all for the minivan advice! Well, we ended up with a 2005 Special Edition Dodge Grand Caravan for 10k. We had kind of decided to go for a 2000 Odysee(sp?). But we test drove a couple and they just weren't quite perfect. Weird... cause I really wanted one! The middle row seats were so wide that it was nearly impossible to get to the back row. Anyway, we are thrilled with our van! Thanks!!
S.B. answers from Seattle on April 02, 2008
Love my Toyota Sienna!!!! My friend owns a Honda Odyssey and she says my Toyota is a tad bit bigger for cargo and a little more quieter on the road than hers. But Either one is a great choice. Test drive both and see which one you prefer.
M.S. answers from Portland on April 02, 2008
Honda Odyssey or a Toyota Sienna if you MUST buy a minivan. My husband is a mechanic and has worked on all types of vehicles. We were just talking with his dad the other day about his Honda Odyssey and how great (reliable) it is. They also hold their value better which is a plus in todays economy.
M.R. answers from Portland on April 02, 2008
I have a 2003 Honda Odessey and we love it! The new ones are beautiful. It is a good car and will last a long time.
A.H. answers from Seattle on April 02, 2008
This question just came up on my moms club board, and the overwhelming majority all recommended the Honda Odyssey. Also, I have a friend who just bought the Saturn minivan/SUV crossover (I can't think of what it's called) and absolutely loves it. Happy shopping!
A.D. answers from Portland on April 02, 2008
Hi B.. I just looked at Consumer Reports on this a few days ago (I'm in the market myself). Interestingly, they only gave "top pick" awards to Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. All minivans are quite safe and many of them are comfortable; what pushes Honda and Toyota over the edge is maintenance (less need of, to be specific) and owner satisfaction.
Now if one of these manufacturers would make a hybrid/diesel van, wouldn't that be perfect?
S.C. answers from Richland on April 02, 2008
Hey there! We bought a Honda Odyssey a few years ago. It was a brand new 2004. We have absolutely loved it. Ours does not have the 60/40 split third row, but it is very comfortable. I like the captains chairs for the second row, so the kids are seperated, but close enought to share things if needed. But, I have friends who have Kias and have loved those as well. Start researching what you want on the net and look at prices! Good Luck. Mini-vans are great and easy to get in and out and buckle the kiddos!
M.S. answers from Portland on April 02, 2008
Hi! I would have preferred a Honda over my old 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan, but money just wasn't there. I was in the same boat, prego with the third and time to move up from my Subaru Outback (that I had a hard time parting with). We found the grand caravan in the paper and bought it from the original owners. I just sold it for 5,500 and it had 98,000 miles on it with almost new 80,000 mile tires. It was a great van: lots of space(plenty for the double stroller plus groceries), built in 5 point harness in mid row that came in REALLY handy when towing around extra kiddos for carpool or the kids' friends, (ours didn't have the captain chairs), rear air conditioning, . It got around 20-25 mpg, MUCH better than the Chevy Suburban we just bought that only gets 10-12! I didn't realize how much the gas difference would be when it came to the end of the month gas bill. If money is not an option, go with the big one (SUV), but if you would like decent gas mileage, go with the minivan. I think almost all of them these days have tinted windows which surprisingly really does make a difference in internal temp during the summer. Our Dodge had a few quirks(the driver side window sometimes would not go up the first time after putting it down if you pushed the button all the way down and the heat/air only worked on low or high but not the in between settings), but nothing ever wrong with the motor. One perk I really liked was that you could move the back row seat into the middle row and seat 3 across and have the whole back open which we did for a couple road trips to Montana to see the inlaws as well as for camping along the coast several times. You could lay the back seat down flat but it didn't have the stow n go or 60/40 split. I think most of the newer ones come standard with one or the other nowadays? I am sure the power doors would have been nice, but I functioned on a daily basis loading and unloading 3, sometimes 4 babies without the luxury. Plus, we just figured it was one extra thing to have some kind of malfuntion that we had read about. Good luck! Enjoy your mini AND the gas mileage cuz I dread my fillups with my '99 burb! :)
D.S. answers from Seattle on April 02, 2008
I totally didn't want to go the minivan route, but we finally did. It was the best thing we ever did. They are so convenient and are great for camping or long trips. We have the Honda Odyssey. It is awesome!
M.B. answers from Seattle on April 02, 2008
My suggestion would be the Toyota Sienna. The family absolutely loves it!!! The best purchase we have ever made! After we purchased it, we took a road trip to Yellowstone. We have 3 kids, and there still were plenty of room to move around inside the car to take care of crying babies while my husband drove. I have a Volvo S80, and never did I think I would ever be the van owner. We love our van so much, we decided to name him Steve during our road trip.
We have a Burley double stroller which also doubles as a bike trailer. It's fairly bulky and my daughter still has alot of room to maneuver around in the back row, plus plenty of room for groceries and soccer equiptments!
If you are ever in the Renton area, we purchased ours at Bob Bridge in renton. We dealt via internet, got a great deal with great rates for financing, in and out of the dealership in 15 minutes!!! Looking for cars with kids is not a pleasant experience, which made the internet transaction much more appealing. We went away with a great vehicle, and no hassle of dealing back and forth with car salesmen.
J.C. answers from Seattle on April 02, 2008
I say the Honda Odyssey! I have one, and I have several friends with one, and those years especially can't be beat. I don't think the other styles are as nice as the Honda for those years - I know a lot of the others' back seats don't fold flat and that's a great option! Mine is a 2002 and it's still running great! Look too at this article and see how well this van handled a head on accident - my friend is friends with the mom and they are all fine. http://www.komotv.com/news/17125041.html
A.J. answers from Seattle on April 02, 2008
I do understand how you are feeling. We bought a minivan for our kids and other children that we also raised. We thought the minivan would help but it didn't. We already had an expedition and even that didn't have enough room for strollers and things. It had enough seats, was able to separate the kids but not enough room for strollers. bags, groceries, and other stuff. So we went ahead and purchase a GMC yukonXL and it had plenty of room. It seats 7-8 depending which one you purchase. It comes with the entertainment system or without. We love our YukonXL. We got rid of the van and the Expedition and purchase another bigger vehicle which is a Cheverolet Suburban. So we now have a YukonXL and a Suburban. You would be waisting your money on the minivan. Check the Yukon and the Suburban out. The space helps out a lot. They also comes with captain seats too. Hope this helps.