Minivan Shopping...

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Eli727, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. Eli727 macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2012
    Im finally giving in to the wife and taking her minivan shopping...

    We only have one son, he is 4 months old, and she REALLY wants a minivan (still shocks me). We got her a new car is November last year and I wouldn't let her get a minivan, got her another SUV, but were going to sell/trade it in.

    Looking at the following:

    2010 Honda Odyssey EX (pretty bare bones, no leather or sunroof, but does have power sliding doors)
    2011-2012 Chrysler Town and Country (really like the interior but every single, and I mean EVERY single one, seems to be rental in the used marketplace)
    Maybe a 2011-2012 Kia Sedona (good bang for the buck, but 2012 is the last model year... and most don't have sliding doors).

    Really trying to keep it around $20k which is hard.. minivans are expensive...

    Any experiences?? Thoughts?? Going to look tomorrow, hoping the Odyssey is still there as it seems like a great deal.
  2. Throw Out macrumors regular

    May 12, 2012
  3. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2010
    I love my new Honda but its out of your prices range. Take a look at either a used one or check out the Mazda mini. It's small, only seats six, but cheaper and my sister in law loves it. Good compromise between a car and a van.
  4. h1r0ll3r macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2009
    If you want cheap then go with the Kia. I know quite a few people with Odyssey's and they LOVE them to death for some reason. They all have pimped out versions with leather, sunroof, DVD system etc, so not sure how the bare bones would hold up.

    Don't see too many Chrysler/Dodge caravans around my area anymore so perhaps their build quality ain't so great. Who knows. Also might wanna check out the Nissan Quest. Heard some pretty decent reviews for that one as well.

    If it were me, I'd probably go with the Odyssey as it's pretty reliable (being a Honda) and they seem to hold up pretty well. Automatic sliding doors would have to be a necessity with any minivan.
  5. Eli727 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2012
    Haha- Im not cheap per say, but thrifty.

    We've had everything from Acuras to BMWs to Jeeps to a Hyundai (her current ride is a Santa Fe Limited) but with a business, a kid, and 2 houses our priorities have changed.

    Going to check all 3 out, everyone seems to love their Odyssey and Ive found a nice deal. The leather is the Odyssey looks awful, so thats a deterrent for buying the next model up too (its all bunched up, reminds me of an old Buick or something).


    Yeah the new Odysseys are nice but more than Im wanting to spend right now.

    I like the Mazda mini but I don't think it will gain me much from her current Midsize SUV (Hyundai Santa fe). I like the idea of folding all the seats down in the mini-van and using it as a truck. I have a '11 Mazda 3 and I love it, Mazda is a great brand.
  6. Xavier macrumors 68030

    Mar 23, 2006
    I drive a Dodge Caravan and it is pretty nice. I do a lot of transporting of things, my bikes primarily, and the van comes in handy.

    One thing you should look for is stow-away seating. I'm pretty sure it comes standard on most vans now, but it is a huge help not having to take seats out. This provides enough space for a lot of things. I like not having to remove wheels on my bikes, or have them exposed to weather/traffic while on the road. Also, it comes in handy for taking lots of yard waste bags to the dump (that is if you don't compost).

    All in all, you might not look flashy, but it is the right "tool for the job" as their commercial says. It is true.
  7. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Go with the Honda. It's reliability is second to none. Also, that power sliding door is a godsend to mother's with babies.
  8. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Go with the Honda. Most people who have to take that step into mini van world simply love them.
  9. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    This just doesn't make any rational sense.

    You're trading a new (?) SUV in on a used (potentially) minivan. You're going to take a beating trading the car in. And out of it, you're going to get an inferior product. All because you have one child, which in no way requires a minivan.

    It sounds like you know all this, and your wife just irrationally wants a minivan. In which case, I'd tell her she can have her minivan, and you get to buy a new MBP, several Thunderbolt displays, a nice thunderbolt RAID enclosure... you get the idea. As long as you're making irrational purchases, you might as well get something out of it... ;)

    If you must get a minivan, just get a base model Caravan. At about $20k, you can't beat them on value. And you're presumably buying a van primarily for space and convenience, which the Caravan does just as well as any other minivan. I love the Odyssey (as far as vans go), but just can't make a good argument for buying one over a Caravan.
  10. Razorhog macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2006
    When we found out we were pregnant with twins, I traded my 4 dr Tacoma for a certified used Sienna. It's a great vehicle. Two dogs, two little boys, me and the wife and we have plenty of room for trips. Sliding doors are a lifesaver in tight parking lots and when getting out of the van while parked in the garage. Might not be the most popular vehicle format, but it's easy to argue that it's the most functional and practical.
  11. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    You can get some good deals on 2009 or newer with low mileage at Carmax. It will be good as new, you can get a full warranty and at least get more for your money or save some money.

    Unless Dodge has finally improved things. The Caravan's transmission is garbage. Usually I say go American as far as cars are concerned in this case go Japanese.

    Although I wholeheartedly agree with Demosthenes X. This makes absolutely no sense.
  12. Eli727 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2012
    Haha- we actually won't take a beating on trading in or selling our SUV. It was used as well and I scored an amazing deal on it, I can break even trading it in I think or make a little extra selling it outright.

    She wanted a minivan when we shopping last time and I convinced her otherwise.

    I have my irrational purchases too- such as my MBA that I didn't need, or my ridiculously expensive motorcycle (that she does not ever ask me to sell nor complain when I buy new parts for it, i.e. new Arlen Ness handles bars, grips, and pegs going on it tonight)

    Happy Wife = Happy Life
  13. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Another car thread and another American trend I do not understand. What the hell is the deal with this minivan craze?

    Why would anyone want a minivan? They are big, bulky, have poor fuel economy, look like crap and really they don't have THAT much more space than a decent saloon car. They also can't go offroad like many SUVs can, so what is the point?

    You could probably win her over by reminding her that one of these vans will be much easier to crash at both high and low speed thanks to its terrible handling and poor visibility. It might seem safer if you do crash, but you would be more likely to crash if you had one.
  14. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Well in that case, fair is fair. :D

    What about a Mazda5? Or is that not minivan enough? I feel like they offer a lot of the upsides without some of the downsides of a traditional minivan... And can probably be found cheaper than a full-size minivan.
  15. Eli727 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2012
    I put my rebuttal to the Mazda 5 up above- don't feel like Ill gain enough room over the SUV, no power sliding doors, and I already drive a Mazda 3 Hatchback and I think they are too similar to put in the garage together (especially since she would watch black as well!) I do like them though and since owning my 3, Ive become a big fan of Mazda.
  16. uniforms macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2008
    South Orange NJ
    Well, if I were you, I would get a new mini van. The deals are great out there right now for new. Plus you can get 0 percent from Chrysler and .09 from Honda. I have had 2 2011 Honda Odysseys, one an elite and the other a touring. Both present huge problems with hands free using my iPhone. I much rather have an iPhone than a car! So I traded those for the Chrysler Town & Country Limited. I must say that the Chrysler is a much better overall quality of the Honda. Has more bells and whistles. After 6 months the leather on the honda looked old and not holding up well at all. After a year on the chrysler it still looks new. I think Chrysler has very good quality now. I would not buy the 2010 or earlier models. Only 2011 and up. As far as someone saying minivans get poor milage, they are so wrong. I carry around 600 lbs of cargo all the time. I get around 23 to 25 with the chrysler and 25 to 26 with the honda. I'd say that is really good compared to an SUV! But do buy a new one, you will love it!
  17. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Nov 20, 2008
    ^^^You bought TWO 2011 vans, decided the iPhone issue was enough to take massive losses on both and switched vehicles entirely over that?

    No wonder this country is so flat broke and upside down. Nobody seems to have any semblance of finances, nor researching products prior to purchasing. I can't imagine buying two $25k+ vans only to find out within a couple months that they suck with my phone and then deciding that alone is enough to take huge hits on both to get rid of them. Your prerogative, but there seems to be a disturbing trend in this country of people who operate pretty much solely on wants rather than rational thought.
  18. Mousse macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2008
    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    I second the Mazda 5 choice as well. I find regular minivans way too big. Heck, they're the same size as large SUV's. If you're a soccer mom transporting half the team to practices and back...okay, a regular size minivan makes sense. For a small family transport, I like the size of the Mazda 5. If the missus bugs me for a mini van, it would at the top of my list. Besides, I'd rather not spend a C-note filling up each week.:(
  19. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2003
    Mazda 5 has manual sliding doors? How quaint. Except for when you're in the school drop-off/pickup line for your little kindergartner, and the school patrols are standing there in the rain, waiting for the door to open or close by itself (like all the other minivan doors do)... waiting and waiting...
  20. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    You sound smart, buy a KIA. :p At least drive one before deciding. :(

    I've had my Magentis (Optima) for 5 years, +100K, and still love it.

    I make it a point to talk to any KIA owner I meet in my travels, and ask for their experience.

    They all love them, since Hyundai took them over and cleaned-up their act.

    Anything before that can justifiably be called crap.
  21. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Ah - missed that. Sliding power doors are nice... but they will inevitably go wrong. ;)

    In that case, I revert back to the Caravan. If you've got $20k to spend on a minivan, the Dodge is just a no brainer imo. They're phenomenal value for the price.
  22. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    My parents had minivans when I was growing up and none of them had power sliding doors or a power trunk, and we managed just fine.
  23. Eli727 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2012
    Town and Country won hands down (2011+ models) - there wasn't any comparison! Incredibly luxurious interior for their "base" model.

    Going to list up my wifes car and sell that after we get back from vacation in a couple weeks. Have an aunt that said she can get us one at "wholesale", new or used, so waiting to see what prices she comes up with on Monday.

    Thanks for everyones input!
  24. waloshin macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    Good choice.
  25. Sankersizzle macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2010
    I think it's absolutely hilarious when men drive minivans...

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