Help me decide which minivan to buy!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by spamdumpster, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. spamdumpster macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2008
    Need to choose ASAP between the Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, and Chrysler Town & Country. Highest trim for all three cost about the same, so cost is not a deciding factor. I'd like to hear mostly from people that have one of them and what their experiences have been.

    Honda seems to drive best, gets the best reviews, but it lacks all wheel drive and a motorized third row.

    Sienna gets good reviews, has all wheel drive, motorized third row, and drives almost as good as the Honda.

    New 2008 Chrysler T&C has more bells & whistles than the other two (2 DVD screens instead of 2, 3 channels of satellite tv, more storage), but it's a Chrysler.

    Please help.
  2. lostfan916 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 23, 2007
    I don't have an Odyssey but my sister does and it is really nice. When she told me that they traded in their Denali for an Odyssey I was like "L-O-L" but it is actually really nice. It's very spacious and comfortable, drives very well and it's really overall a great van.
  3. christf10 macrumors member


    Oct 16, 2007
    Rockland County, NY
    I have an 06 Sienna and love it. You can't go wrong with either the Sienna or the Odessey. Mine does doesn't have a motorized 3rd row which is not a real hassle for me. The seat are easy to open and close. For me price was a factor so I chose the Toyota over the Honda. The 0% financing helped too :D
  4. ZachsMacDaddy macrumors 6502


    Dec 24, 2007
    I hate Chrysler. Ever since the Dodge neon I got right out of college developed the peeling paint disorder they all get. My old boss' jeep had the drivers seat's bolts break and it came right off the floor one day.

    We have a 2000 Honda Odyssey EX (with less than 50k miles too!) and it's still a great van.

    My in-laws have a 2006 Odyssey EX-L and it's really nice. However, I am NOT a fan of the leather interior on the Odyssey. It's stiff still after 3 years of use and it does not feel good at all when you sit down on it after hours of the van sitting in the sun (that's more of a generic leather issue really). Their rear 40% side of the 3rd row had the leather come off the bottom front and it took 2 repairs to get it right.

    It's a shame that the more efficient engine can only be had if you get the leather interior.

    I also really like the Toyota Sienna. I would buy either another Honda or the Toyota if I could afford a new van right now.
  5. iShater macrumors 604


    Aug 13, 2002
    I've got two close friends where one got the Honda and the other got the Toyota. Both are nice and they both love theirs. I dunno anyone with the new Chrysler.

    I'm partial to Honda these days, we love our car and we will be looking at Honda when we go for the next one (Accord, CR-V, or Odyssey).
  6. Nabooly macrumors 6502a


    Aug 28, 2007
    We had a 2001 town and country and it was great. Lasted us a good 7 years. We sold it though because we didnt need all that room anymore/waste of gas.

    Id go with either the Sienna or Town and country.
  7. OscarTheGrouch macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2007
    G' Vegas South Carolina
    I'm gonna go out on a limb here. My wife has an 04 Kia Sedona, and loves it. We looked at the three you are considering, and then the Kia, and the warranty and saftey rating of it at the time combined with the price made it a really good deal. Otherwise, I would go with the Honda. The new Chryslers have a "plasticy feel to them"
  8. Indohottie macrumors 6502


    Mar 1, 2004
  9. cleanup macrumors 68030


    Jun 26, 2005
    There's a general rule that most of my friends and family follow: don't buy American cars.
  10. quagmire macrumors 603


    Apr 19, 2004
    With my experience with Chrysler products I would avoid the Town&Country. I would personally take a look at the GMC/Buick/Saturn/Chevy Lambda crossovers( thankfully 2 of them are slated to be killed in the next gen!). For '09 MY all gain a direct injected 3.6 V6 which improves fuel efficiency to 17/24( which is similar to the Sienna). But, from the choices already listed I would personally choose the Odyssey. From the ones I have driven around on the lot at my old job they seem to have quite a bit of pep and has a pretty good turning radius.
  11. Paix247 macrumors 6502

    Jul 26, 2006
    I don't know much about the vans, but I just recently sold my VW and debated over a new Toyota (Corolla or Yaris) or a new Honda (Fit or Civic). Honda had a slight advantage in nearly every category. I am very happy with my new Civic!
    Go with the Honda.
  12. Stampyhead macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2004
    London, UK
    Ha ha, my family is the same way.
    There's a reason why the Chrysler has more unimportant gimmicky features: it's that they are inferior cars and they have to mask their inferiority by adding a bunch of nonsense on to distract less informed consumers. The Toyota and the Honda are excellent vehicles. I've driven both and I would highly recommend either one. I drove the Chrylser one several years ago (so can't comment specifically on the newer models) and it felt cheap. Purchase a car because it drives well and has a reputation for quality, not because it has a DVD player.
  13. spamdumpster thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2008
    Both my wife and I drove the Sienna and the Odyssey the last two days. Both drive great. The Sienna has AWD, which can be a huge plus here in New England. But the AWD comes with lower gas mileage. And, I noticed that the Honda braked slightly better.

    At the end of the day, my wife likes one of the interior color options better in the Honda, so we may go that direction. Sounds dumb to choose a car based on the interior color, but since they're pretty equal, this could be the deciding factor.

    Of course, both the Sienna and the Odyssey have some annoying drawbacks. The Odyssey has only one latch-system car seat location in the third row, the Sienna has two. On the other hand the Toyota has a DVD that loads in the back (bad when you have young kids, but better for older kids) and no under floor storage -- great for diapers, wipes, sunscreen, etc.

    We're going to drive the Chrysler one more time. I'm very hesitant about buying the chysler, but the town and country has gotten pretty good reviews and there's a lifetime powertrain warranty.
  14. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    the toyota or honda - both models cost more for repairs, but you're unlikely to have any for a long, long time - they are built to last...simple as that.

    your last line says it all - don't buy the t&c - it's north american and won't last as long.

    we had an odyssey and sold it last fall so i could buy my truck. i loved that van. drove well.
  15. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    What's an American car? Must be brand name alone, because all cars are fairly internationalized anymore. Parts come from everywhere, even some final assembly isn't done in the branding country.

    So, buy that (made in Ohio) Honda, because the (made in Mexico) Chrysler is an "American" car. Or the (at least 40% Canadian) Ford. I'm partial to the (made in Indiana) Subaru, myself. ;)
  16. magid macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2003
  17. idyll macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    Honda has some really nice mini vans.. A lot of my friends that have one love it! The ride is great and they are quite luxurious for what they are. Also very dependable of course. That's what I'd get if I was in the market for one..
  18. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    I had a 2006 Toyota Sienna. Hated it. Every day I owned it I hated it more. Its all a gimmick. Reliability was poor, design was poor. Mileage was poor. It drives like a huge boat. Its why people end up hating minivans. It feels like your pushing around a huge pile of mush. Braking, I felt like Fred Flintstone putting my feet through the floor to stop.
    Service at my dealership was horrible. They had tons of people buying, they didn't care about customer service.

    We ended up trying a 2007 Dodge Caravan (previous generation to whats currently out). We hadn't looked at it first time around. We ended up buying the large engine with the towing package. That has improved shocks, better brakes etc. We've enjoyed it immensely. We use the heck out of it. Couldn't imagine living without a minivan. Mileage is better than the Sienna. It feels much more normal driving. I think its that it has much more torque from a stop so it can do normal acceleration from a stop with relative ease. On the Sienna, it acts like a whiney small engine even though its powerful. It has to rev too much for normal acceleration from a stop. makes it feel like you're stomping on the gas. And the mileage shows that too.

    If I were looking these days, I'd try to like a Honda. I thought the Sienna felt roomier, but I think the Odyssey drives better. I didn't realize how the Sienna driving like a boat would bother me.

    I'd worry about Chrysler because of potential bankruptcy. I'm undecided on reliability. We've had to replace both power door motors and the power liftgate motor. The power doors I can probably understand because the car flooded up to those motors, so I've end up undecided.
  19. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Jan 14, 2007
    Many people around here have the Sienna, probably because it has the AWD option. They don't get very good gas mileage though, I don't find them that good looking (for a minivan) and I've heard reliability is so so with them.

    My friends mom had an Odyssey, loaded with leather and everything and it was actually a really nice car inside. Very comfortable to ride in. She did however just trade it in for a new Sequoia.

    I wouldn't recommend dodge/chrysler minivans (or the new VW version of the grand caravan.. what a mistake by VW). Chrysler products have horrible transmissions and horrible air conditioning systems. Remember that minivan craze in the 90's, all my friends parents that had them had tranny issues and a/c compressor and/or condensor issues. Not cheap to fix at all. Our jeeps have also had a/c and tranny issues. Our 2003 jeep has 60k miles on it and is on A/C Compressor #2 in 1 month. There is no way an a/c compressor should die at 60,000 miles. Our 2001 had the compressor and condensor replaced 2x in 100,000 miles as well as a transmission rebuild at 70,000. My neighbor has a 1997 Jeep that has had the same work done on it.

    It is nice that chrysler has the unlimited powertrain coverage, but that still doesn't cover the air conditioning. And don't get suckered into the 2.99 gas guarantee. You can opt out of it and get cash back. I read that gas would have to be $6 or higher for 3 years for the $2.99 deal to pay off.

    I'd say try them all out and see what fits your family best. My choice is the Honda.
  20. heehee macrumors 68020


    Jul 31, 2006
    Same country as Santa Claus
    What he said. :mad:

    It's better than a SUV though. :p
  21. Lunja macrumors 6502


    May 15, 2005
    Lincoln UK
    It may be worth taking a look at the vans' crash protection ratings. I know that a model of the Chrysler Voyager sold in Europe was pretty terrible in terms of passenger protection. If you're going to be carrying your family in the new minivan, it might be worth some research into how well they handle impact.
  22. nickspohn macrumors 68040


    Jun 9, 2007
    Ha, this is such a joke. I hate Ford and a select few American car companies, but Chevy for one is a great auto maker.

    You also probably didn't know that some of those foreign cars don't come across a huge barge! For example, there is actually a Honda plant in Ohio that fully assembles cars!
  23. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    All of the current minivans do very well in crash tests. Town & Country, Odyssey, Sienna, Kia Sorento.
  24. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    My 2006 Sienna was more American (assembled in the US from mostly US parts) than my 2007 Dodge Caravan (made in Canada).
  25. spamdumpster thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2008
    Maybe this is why you didn't like the Sienna.

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