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Vancouver Auto Chat 2016 VAC Community Head Moderator: Raid3n

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Old 02-25-2015, 03:45 PM   #1
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Minivans...........ugh...

I hate them. Oversized. Heavy. Gas guzzlers. No fun to drive IMO.

I swore I'd never buy one..........

That was 11 years ago.

Having said that, now I have an 8 month old son, and coming September, a second child.

FML.

So I'd like to ask the RS members (assuming all the dads/ moms out there who have minivans), their expertise, opinions, and experience if they have owned or driven any of the following vehicles written below.

Hopefully, I'll be looking to buy one in the summer time or perhaps upcoming Fall.
Currently, wife has 2012 accent hatchback, and I have 2014 mazda cx5.

I'm looking into a 7-8 seater minivan, with a budget of $35-38k. One car has gotta go, so wife's hatch will be used as a trade in or sold.

Reason behind the 7-8 seater is that I need to haul the in-laws aka (baby sitters) when we go out.

Preferably, the options I'd like are sliding doors, rear entertainment dvd screens, foldable 2nd and 3rd row seats, rear view cam and sunroof. No need for leather seating, AWD (only Sienna has that now), or NAVI.

I've done some researching and I've narrowed down to a few choices (not a lot to choose from lol)

Honda Odyssey
Toyota Sienna
Dodge Grand Caravan
Kia Sedona

*Maybe Mazda 5 but that's a 6 seater and it doesn't look like it has a lot of space to play with

Your input is greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:53 PM   #2
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Ive been in the caravan, sedona, mazda 5, and my parents own a sienna. Let me tell you...DO NOT EVER GET A CARAVAN EVEN IF IT IS DIRT CHEAP. We have 2015 town country's and GCs at work and theyre shite If you were to own it. Rough idling sometimes, horrid clunking transmission, and power options failing out of nowhere. The sedona is quite spacious but im not sure about reliability. The middle row of seats fold forward in a peculiar way that allows very easy access to the back seats. Power folding mirrors and rear view camera come standard as well. Imo, the Sedona is actually the most spacious of minivans. M5, if you're taller than 5"8 you'll find that the front seats dont go back enough. I felt my legs were squished and I'm only 5"10. Sienna....get the SE trim at the very least as anything below that will feel cheap with plastic and fake buttons everywhere
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:53 PM   #3
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For work I had to drive either the Dodge Grand Caravan or the Toyota Sienna. Compared to the Caravan, the Sienna was faster, more fun to drive, and held up a lot better (in terms of break downs, complaints, issues, etc). In all honesty, I kinda liked driving the Sienna. The engine is torquey and it had no problem spinning the wheels off the line


My cousin just bought a new Odyssey -- the interior is amazing in the top trim but V6 honda + Auto = bad combo



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Old 02-25-2015, 04:13 PM   #4
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somewhat same situation here but i don't meant to throw this thread off topic. im currently looking to buy a bigger car since i have 2 kids now. i do want a sienna but the wife is a no go on the van. so we are currently looking into the 4runner. anyone currently rocking the 4runner with 2 kids? inputs would also be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:14 PM   #5
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Had thoughts of upgrading our SUV to a minivan. While we never went as far as going on test drives, we mainly had the Odyssey and Sienna in mind. After doing some research, we've basically short listed it down to the Sienna because of this:

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V6 honda + Auto = bad combo
We're not the kind of people that changes cars every few years, so this was a deal breaker for us as most people claim the tranny dies around 100k. But if OP could look past that, the Odyssey from what I remember offers decent feature for the price. Like OP, we wanted the entertainment system and I think the Odyssey was the one that fit the bill. I believe the Sienna only had that available in their highest model, and it was like 40k+.

I would only get a caravan as a last option. Inlaws have one and I despise sitting in it because the seats are really uncomfortable.
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:22 PM   #6
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I'll be honest, the best 2 are the Sienna and the Odyssey. I was set on buying the Odyssey but after driving the Sienna and being a Toyota fan boy, I ended up with the Toyota Sienna XLE fwd. I did not opt for the Awd because of the run flat tires and no spare tire.

No issues with anything yet, it's been 3 years already. No power door/trunk failures yet....
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:24 PM   #7
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My uncle has a Sienna and I've driven it a few times. Has a lot of room and actually pretty comfortable to drive. It hauls some ass considering how heavy it is, it's faster than my car in a straight line Your kids will never be late for soccer practice ever again
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:32 PM   #8
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The most sensible choices are going to be the Sienna and Odyssey, but make sure you are 100% comfortable with their size and the way they drive. Assuming that you're buying new (seems like that's what you plan on doing), the current gen Sienna and Odyssey are seriously HUGE.

From a driving perspective, I am far more comfortable in the smaller Mazda5. But I am not sure if there'd be enough space for all your things when you need to chauffeur the grandparents as well.
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:47 PM   #9
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Let me tell you...DO NOT EVER GET A CARAVAN EVEN IF IT IS DIRT CHEAP.
I agree with this 100%, grew up with one and tranny blew along with many others 00's era...so they decided to try and fix the problem by adding a bunch of styling cues and tech. They're still rubbish underneath and they look very dated by today's standards.

I'd look into the Sienna, or the Odyssey personally, both have more than enough power and tons of room with more tech features than my house...but you pay for it over the M5 which is a good all rounder but space is a little more limited and quite cramped feeling in the drivers seat (drove one as a shuttle for a couple years when I worked at mazda)
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:48 PM   #10
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Sienna = sensible

GL63 AMG = not sensible

The choice is yours
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:06 PM   #11
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We bought a Sienna and absolutely 0 complaints. Very comfortable, not sluggish and we actually get a lot of compliments lol

Rear entertainment system FTW!!

My prego wife was DD'ing some friends around and one buddy in the middle row recliner (yes, recliner, foot rest and everything) said it was like "flying first classssh"
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:12 PM   #12
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Have you considered the Ford Transit Connect? It seats 7 adults.



Starts at $26k - $33k.
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:12 PM   #13
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My dad has had two Siennas, and I use them from time to time for road trips/moving stuff. It's a fantastic van, and, IMO, a better value than the Odyssey.

The Odyssey is a superb van as well, but it always seemed to be price just a little higher than the Sienna. But when you're hauling young kids around, there isn't really time to appreciate the slightly nicer faux leather on the shift knob.
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:15 PM   #14
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i worked for an auto group that owns a chrysler and toyota so i got to drive both caravan/t&c vs the sienna and the choice is so obviously a sienna. i actually raced a bug eye wrx and beat it on the hwy with the sienna.. sooo take that as you will haha
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:20 PM   #15
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I like the sienna. Power is great and it is quite roomy as well.

I know this isn't a van, but have you looked at the new Highlander? It is a 8 seater standard now and fits your budget. Plus it looks awesome imo.
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:24 PM   #16
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Bruhhhh.

To take a page out of Timpo's book:



Spoiler!
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:33 PM   #17
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We had a 1st gen Sienna, which we traded in for a 2nd gen Sienna.

Neither car had any big problems, and in fact, were the most headache free out of all of them.

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.

I'd say Sienna. However, the newest Kia minivan is also getting pretty damn good reviews. Check that out as well.
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:34 PM   #18
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Hearing everyone say theres a ton of power in the sienna...and the one we got is the 160hp 4cyl one...
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:42 PM   #19
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My mother had a 98 Sienna, bought it in 2000. It treated her well until we got rid of it in 2013.

Positives:
-Required nothing but the bare essential maintenance
- Transmission lasted until about 270k (w/o changing the fluid)
- Comfiest minivan I have ever ridden in (out of Nissan, Honda, Dodge, Toyota)

Negatives:
- Cheap Plastic Everywhere (creaks in the dash, door handles + internals)
*** Had the trunk door mechanism break so it was locked/closed permanently (happened in 2012)
- ABS system failed after a couple of years and was known for failing in that generation ($3000 fix + questionable lifetime)
- TPMS crapped out after about 5 years or so

Initial quality and value goes to Honda but if you are planning on keeping this thing for 10 years, the Toyota is head and shoulders above the rest.
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:43 PM   #20
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You can't spell Sienna without:



Have I made my point?
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:46 PM   #21
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Hearing everyone say theres a ton of power in the sienna...and the one we got is the 160hp 4cyl one...
I didn't even know they made a 4cyl Sienna

Did a quick search, less hp/tonne than a same year Corolla hahah
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:26 PM   #22
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0-60 in around 7 seconds flat and 15 second quarter mile ... Sienna is where it's at!
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:32 PM   #23
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0-60 in around 7 seconds flat and 15 second quarter mile ... Sienna is where it's at!
15 second? high 15's i would assume, most quick street cars are in the low 15's and high 14's (depending how the power is put down)

still impressive for a van
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:48 PM   #24
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Bruhhhh.

To take a page out of Timpo's book:



Spoiler!
this.

It's very easy to convert Quest to Elgrand. They're virtually the same thing. Same chassis, engine, drivetrain, etc.


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Old 02-25-2015, 06:55 PM   #25
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I hate the rear wrap around window on the Nissan...makes it look like a hurse
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