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Which minivan & why?

1109 Views 15 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  redsmama
We are looking to trade in our car in the next few months. Which minivans do you all have and what are the pros/cons of them?
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We have a 2003 Honda Odyssey and LOVE it!!!

Pros: Almost everything. The "magic" backseat that folds into the floor, the way it drives, the bucket seats that can move together to make a "bench", etc, etc. The list could go on for ages.

Cons: I only have one complaint - the road noise. But my DH says that is normal for Hondas. I had a really "tight" car before and couldn't hear ANY road noise. But I guess that's just something that comes with the territory of this minivan.

Any specific questions...ask!!!!! Plus, now would be a good time to start getting a good deal on 2003's.
We have a Ford Windstar 2002. I love it. I rides smoothly, don't have driving noise and it's pretty great on gas. It's gotten good safety ratings etc. and was more affordable for us than the Odyssey and the Sierra (I think) that were recommended to us.

Good luck choosing!

We were looking at new minivans as well, I loved the Kia Sedona & the Toyota Sienna. The Kias are very affordable and in my book as good quality as any other one on the market, plus they have recieved several great safety reviews.

We ended up buying a used Plymouth Grand Voyager, which I love, it was old lady driven, so its in great condition & with low miles for its age.

One I would absolutely not recommend would be the Chevy Lumina APV, I have had 2 family members that had these, and the parts are very expensive. Their gigantic windschields break very easily and cost thousands of dollars to be replaced.
We just bought a 99 Sienna, and love it. It rides so smooth, and the extra room is wonderful. Toyotas are so reliable that it is the only kind we would have gotten. The back seats come out and are the back bench is wider across than the same year Odysseys we looked at. The new Siennas with the 8 seats would be great but were out of our price range. I personally would rather have a used Toyota than a new Dodge anyday.
1995 Ford Winstar HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT. It went from best ratings to worst. IMO the only vehicle Ford should make are trucks. Ford trucks rock.
There is an online lemon aid guide if you dont have a link I can post it.
I'm considering selling my Honda Civic its really just too small anymore. I would LOVE to get a Honda Odyssey but afraid that its waaay out of my price range right now. I've come across several used Mazda MVPs that look decent-- any positive or negative experiences with them?
I got my 2004 Nissan Quest last week and LOVE IT! Very smooth, quiet, configurable, very comfy, and it's even cute! As dumb as it sounds, I wanted a cute car and it was the only minivan that qualified for me. It drives like the Maxima. I was terrified of driving a huge vehicle, but it's not a big deal in this one at all for me. There's little hooks and cubbies and outlets eveywhere and I love the magic doors (have to get at least the SL for this). It sounds funny, but I appreciated that so much came automatically so there weren't five thousand package choices to make. It made the decisions simpler to me.

As for cons, it's on the pricey side.

I also looked into the Toyota Sienna, but the never stayed on the lot. This told me that bargaining power was zip. I did see one that had been purchased, but not picked up yet, and part of the plastic on the back of the seat was chipped off. I didn't get to drive it since it belonged to somone already.

Happy hunting! =)
We have a Pontiac Montana, and I love it. It has a "magic" rear seat with storage, ours seats 8, and we've never had a problem with it. The Chevy Venture is basically the same.
I am on my second Dodge Caravan (now I have a Grand Caravan).

I love the size, but I won't buy another one.

Both of them needed a new transmission at around 4 years old. I thought the first one was a fluke! There is a LOT of wind noise, too.
We have a very old Toyota van. My dh has had about 5 of them over the years but it looks as though we are going to have to move up to the Previa. Toyotas are the greatest but the Sienna just doesn't excite me. Looks like a Caravan. Toyota copped out on that design IMO.

I have heard very bad things about the Mazda MPV in the past. Maybe they have improved but I just thought I'd pass it along.
I have a 2001 Nissan Quest and like it very much. It drives nice and the wind noise is very minimal. I envy the poster above with the new 2004 Quest. I would so love to have a van with automatic doors.

We got a great deal on our 2001 new, it was probably $7000 or more cheaper than the Honda Oddesy, which we had also looked at.

The new Toyota Sienna had gotten some good reviews lately. It all depends on your price range and what options are most important to you. There are lots of places on the web where you could research the different vans. Good luck with the van shopping.
Click and Clack (of NPR) love the Honda Oddessy, but that's all I know about minivans.
I've got my MIL's 1996 honda odyssey for the week while my jeep cherokee is in the shop. It's a whole new world! I *wish* it were really ours! There's so much room back there, there's even *space* between the backs of our babies' carseats, and the backs of the front seats. That said, it doesn't feel huge as I'm driving it around.

Plus, it's in excellent shape even though it's now 9 years old. They bought it used a few years ago, nothing's needed work yet.


Ok, after selling the '88 Lincoln Towncar we finally got a "new" car, this time the top-rated 2004 Sienna and it is great. I especially love the two bench seats which allow 8 passengers a comfortable ride.
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