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Old 02-26-2015, 08:47 AM   #51
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I didn't know minivan's could look so cool until I came into this thread. That being said why a mini van when you could go with a SUV such as a new 4runner or something like that?
You know why I love people that buy minivans?

Because when the kid is between the ages of 5 and like 15, when they park beside you and the kid opens the sliding door like this:


The only car they damages is their own.

Otherwise I agree with you, hundred percent I would buy an SUV over a minivan, no level of practicality will make me want to own a minivan. (I guess a lot of others say this, and eventually they change their mind, but I really don't see myself picking a minivan over a QX56, or escalade.
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:22 AM   #52
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i've driven a mazda5 and it does drive/feel like a mazda3 hatch just a little bigger & higher up. i've driven a caravan and it feels quite large if you're not used to driving big vehicles. 7 seats in the 5 is nice but if you are using all 5, you have pretty much no space in the back 'trunk' area. if somehow you can fit a double stroller in there, no more room for groceries. but there's space in between the 2 middle seats for that i suppose. i guess that's why i see so many mazda5's with roof racks

i don't think a mazda5 is too bad if you don't have too much stuff to carry. i personally like to travel light anyway, and i've gotten by with an accord with my 2 little ones. but ya it would suck for inlaws in the rear seats if you drive them around often.
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:52 AM   #53
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I own a 2013 Toyota Sienna
I have 2 kids and lots of room for the double stroller, diaper bag
Groceries , 2 car seats.

And lots of aftermarket parts for the 2011-present Sienna

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Old 02-26-2015, 10:07 AM   #54
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For the record I'm only semi serious, but heres something with 7 seats, and as fun as you will get for crazy cheap.
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:10 AM   #55
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Like above, why minivan? If you don't "need" a sliding door, why not an SUV instead? The Ford Explorer seats 7 and there are plenty more "cooler" vehicles in this segment.
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:20 AM   #56
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Crap - I have a 2005 Honda Pilot (V6 + auto)... Hope I'm not in for a nasty surprise one day!

With that said, I'm all for SUVs over minivans. But if the OP will be using the 3rd row on a regular basis, I would recommend a minivan.

Here are my negatives for SUVs:
-Grandparents might find it hard to climb up into a SUV
-The average SUV has very little leg room in the 3rd row (unless you get a huge SUV)
-Access to the 3rd row can be difficult (compared to a minivan)
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:22 AM   #57
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Odyssey and Sienna are both excellent choices for reasons already mentioned. Dodge Caravans are fucking terrible. Brand new ones drive like garbage. Ford has stuffed too much technology into their vehicles nowadays and they have issues so I'd question reliability.

Are you stuck on a minivan configuration? My wife and I will be in the same boat as you in about 1.5 years(already have a 7 month old) and have been actively searching for a bigger alternative to our Prius. We both hate minivans and refuse to accept them into our lives. Since we both LOVE Toyota we have honed in on the Highlander(specifically the Hybrid). All models except the Limited offer seating for 8. I believe the Pilot also offers this but I'm not a fan of the body style.

Just something to consider if you don't want to venture into minivan territory but still need seating for 8 passengers.
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:26 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murd0c View Post
I didn't know minivan's could look so cool until I came into this thread. That being said why a mini van when you could go with a SUV such as a new 4runner or something like that?
Sliding doors will save you so many times (door dings, easy access, loading stuff in/out). Auto-sliding doors are a nice touch too.
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:26 AM   #59
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:49 AM   #60
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I purchased a Mazda 5 for my wife. Good on gas, lots of room, and the 3rd row seating is there when needed.

Ours is a 2010, the last gen not looking so 'mini-van' like. Zero problems, pretty reliable. As others have said, it's like a raised Mazda 3.

For straight up minivan though, I'd go with a Odyssey. Comfort and available features are pretty good.
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:52 AM   #61
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One off the main reasons I chose a minivan over a 3 row suv ( highlander/pilot/4Runner), because I can carry 7 passengers and still carry a decent amount of luggage in the van.

Last year, the wife and son (at the time), we went to Seattle to pick up my parents and aunt/uncle from a one week cruise. We stayed at Tulalip casino the night before so we didn't have to get up that early in the morning to drive down.
One we loaded the van up it was nearly packed. We even have some space to do shopping at the Premium Outlets and also grocery shopping at Costco. There is no way a 3 row suv could carry all of the stuff even with a Thule box on top.

Yes, a lot of you will say how often will you drive your parents/in laws around; probably not very often. It's not easy carrying a travel system with the new born in the 3 row suv while fully loaded.
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:56 AM   #62
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:01 AM   #63
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My parents had a first gen Sienna and the transmission shit the bed around 32x,xxx... Then it was scraped
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:04 AM   #64
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I have to chime in: While waiting for my Stagea to arrive from Japan, I borrowed a friend's 2013 Dodge Caravan, and I have to say, it was a fuckin nightmare of a vehicle.

The front drive wheel would do burn outs on any slight incline, even in the dry. In the wet, don't even get me started. It almost seemed like it didn't matter how lightly I pressed the pedal, the wheel would slip, and when the light turns green it's pretty embarrassing when it seems like you're trying to drag race everyone I think they have like 280 hp...do you really need that much power in a family van?

And the fuel economy was HORRENDOUS. One time I put in $30 and I got 100 km! I would think that a family friendly car would be somewhat economical. In fact the whole reason why my friend lent me his car, was that he had just bought it and it was so bad on gas, and so expensive to insure, that he just went back to driving his shitty beater Voyager.

I would go with what others are saying; The Sienna is pretty cool looking for a minivan. And you're getting Toyota reliability. Maybe a bit more $ but I'd get that.
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:15 AM   #65
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mom bought a mazda 5 in 2007. its not bad overall. only problem is it sits 6 ppl.

what I love about this minivan is it feels like driving a small hatch, a mazda3.

mpg we get is around 23-27. so far no problems with it
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:54 AM   #66
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:18 PM   #67
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:32 PM   #68
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Whichever you pick, I'd say reliability should be one of the top priorities. You don't want the missus broken down somewhere with two young kids and you want something you can get ~12-18 years out of so you only have to buy one van in your lifetime. The used market for vans tends to be crap, back in the day some of my friends parents bought their second vans a few years before they no longer needed a van anymore and now they're still driving these things after their kids have moved out since it's not worth anything to sell.

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You don't want leather seats in a minivan, especially with two toddlers. You're paying extra for something that will inevitably be covered in vomit.
Of course you want leather. Ideally you want leather and bedliner instead of carpet so you can just open the sliding doors and hose it down when a kid pukes in it.

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With regards to the Sienna vs Odyssey, I noticed that pretty much all the local cabs use Siennas, which must say something about reliability or long-term bang for the buck.
That should also make maintenance a touch cheaper since the parts are more in demand.
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:53 PM   #69
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Honda doesn't do fleet deals IIRC - I could be wrong about that, heard it a long time ago, but it could be another reason you don't see them as cabs?
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Old 02-26-2015, 03:25 PM   #70
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Honda does offer fleet deals. I've done a few for body shops, etc. My guess is that it's Toyota's reputation and low maintenance that makes them desirable to cab companies.

My wife asked various cabbies over the course of a few months how they felt about the Prius whenever she was in one. They all raved about them so we bought one. Best car I ever seen in terms of reliability, maintenance, etc. We've had it for 2.5 years now and have spent about $850 on maintenance and it now has 68,xxxkms on it. Toyota FTW!!
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Old 02-26-2015, 04:08 PM   #71
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Old 02-26-2015, 04:49 PM   #72
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Honda doesn't do fleet deals IIRC - I could be wrong about that, heard it a long time ago, but it could be another reason you don't see them as cabs?
They definitely do fleet deals as my work had a lineup of Accords -- base model engine/trim though
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Old 02-26-2015, 04:54 PM   #73
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Old 02-26-2015, 05:32 PM   #74
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:08 PM   #75
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Regarding fleet sales of Honda - they offer fleet discount but it is VERY VERY miniscule even if you buy at large quantities and a Honda is in general 2-3k more than a car in its class. This is why you dont see civics/accords as common in rentals. Toyota offers a steeper discount but this is falling with their face lifted models. I can tell you that ford, GM, Chrysler, and Hyundai offers the largest discounts for fleet sales
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