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Old 01-13-2010, 02:04 PM   #1
Ryan_PA
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The wife and I are in the market for a new vehicle since the lease is up on my current car at the end of February. Based on the functionality and relatively low pricing, we have settled on getting a mini-van. Also, we will be getting used, preferably dealer certified. Yesterday was our first venture out to a dealership, intentionally picking one not associated with a manufacturer and had a large inventory to pick through to get an idea of what cars we should target.

We drove, in order of preference:
1. Toyota Sienna
2. Honda Odyssey
3. Dodge Grand Caravan
4. Nissan Quest

The Toyota and Honda really stood out above the others. They really drove more like cars. They also had much less options than the Dodge and were priced slightly higher. The only reason the Sienna is ranked higher is my wife did not like the interior fabric, which may seem insignificant, but she can be specific.

So for anyone else on this site that has a family truckster, what do you say? Anything positive or negative on our current observations?

We really do not have super high requirements for features either. It would be nice to have the rear DVD for the kid, but I know you have to get a top model in Toyota or Honda, which would push us outside our comfort zone in pricing. Perhaps aftermarket would be an option. Power sliding doors are nice,, but I think most have at least one, and that is all we would need. I think all vans have power windows and doors... Really, I dont think e need anything crazy for features...

 
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:14 PM   #2
shecky
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Back in July, we upgraded to a Toyota Sienna LE with power doors, windows and DVD contraption. My memory is a bit sketchy but I believe in the LE the power doors (which are far more convenient than I would have guessed; my kids can open and close them at the push of a button) are standard for the LE. We had to pay $1,500 for the DVD to be installed but it comes with wireless headphones, which have an obvious benefit.

It was pricey (about 30K) but we got 1% financing with quite a bit of wrangling on my part. It's a beautiful vehicle with a ton of cargo space.

I'd bet you could get a good deal on a used dealer certified one though they might be hard to find given what appears to be the extremely good customer satisfaction ratings.

 
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:24 PM   #3
annasdadhockey
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+1 on the Sienna.
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:26 PM   #4
Hinermad
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If you don't need quite so much cargo space, maybe something like a Subaru Outback wagon would do? They're a bit less expensive and get good gas mileage. I'm still undecided about whether the all-wheel drive makes a difference in the snow - and we have a lot of snow right now - but I haven't gotten stuck yet so I guess it's working.

Dave

 
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:28 PM   #5
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Wife and I looked at MiniVans too. What I liked most about the Sienna was the kid utility features that many of the others did not have. For example, the backs of the seats had kick panels. Basically nothing more than a patch of pleather where the childs foot might reach but, a nice feature if you do have the young ones.

The Honda was nice too but, overpriced.

 
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:34 PM   #6
Ryan_PA
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Thanks. I didn't even notice the kick panels. The wife really liked the way the driver controls were laid out and oriented in the Sienna.

Funny someone mentioned the Outback, we had one a few cars back. Good vehicle, but we need the space and seating.

 
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:50 PM   #7
Hugh_Jass
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When Mrs. Jass and I were in the market for a mini van, we were indifferent between Toyota and Honda. They're both nice vehicles. It boiled down to which dealership would be doing the service after our purchase.
I'd be happy with either, but we purchased a used Honda with their pre-owned certified warranty, FWIW

Good luck
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:56 PM   #8
Tonedef131
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The only minivan that matters: Toyota Previa

RWD or AWD: check
Multiple sunroofs: check
Man-tran: check
superchaged inline engine: check
rotating captain chairs: check
mid-engine layout: check
Super awesome futuristic look:

check

 
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan_PA View Post
Thanks. I didn't even notice the kick panels. The wife really liked the way the driver controls were laid out and oriented in the Sienna.
That was just something we noticed at last years new model cars show. There were other features that the Sienna had but, I forget.

Of course, looking at MiniVans just confirmed for my wife that she'd rather have a Yukon. WTF?

For me, it confirmed I'd rather have a Land Rover. That thing was insane!

 
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonedef131 View Post
The only minivan that matters: Toyota Previa

RWD or AWD: check
Multiple sunroofs: check
Man-tran: check
superchaged inline engine: check
rotating captain chairs: check
mid-engine layout: check
Super awesome futuristic look:

check
+1!!!

Those things still kick ass!
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