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bkelble

Life Moves Fast... Shopping for a Minivan

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DAG

Sequioa! Bad MPG but it’s better then the shame of driving a minivan. 

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Rockdoc
2 hours ago, DAG said:

Sequioa! Bad MPG but it’s better then the shame of driving a minivan. 

When I last lived in the Houston area I had a small aluminum cabin cruiser that I kept in a storage lot. On weekends I'd go to the lot and work on it. I made friends with a couple of guys who were turning an old bus into an RV. One day I was sitting down eating lunch and one of the guys began questioning as to why I drove a Caravan. I told him how it was great on gas, drove like a car, and how you could haul quite a large volume if you took the rear seats out. With that he looked at me and in exasperation said. "But... but... IT"S A CARAVAN!!!" He was a nice guy and it was all I could do to keep from saying "I don't require a huge pickup truck to bolster my masculinity!" There was no arguing with such logic and I didn't want to insult my friend so I just let it go.

 

Steve

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DAG
4 hours ago, Rockdoc said:

When I last lived in the Houston area I had a small aluminum cabin cruiser that I kept in a storage lot. On weekends I'd go to the lot and work on it. I made friends with a couple of guys who were turning an old bus into an RV. One day I was sitting down eating lunch and one of the guys began questioning as to why I drove a Caravan. I told him how it was great on gas, drove like a car, and how you could haul quite a large volume if you took the rear seats out. With that he looked at me and in exasperation said. "But... but... IT"S A CARAVAN!!!" He was a nice guy and it was all I could do to keep from saying "I don't require a huge pickup truck to bolster my masculinity!" There was no arguing with such logic and I didn't want to insult my friend so I just let it go.

 

Steve

Whatever you need to tell yourself. 

Not trying to insult anyone here just having fun, we’re discussing cars not neuroscience. 

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hexfly

Momma won't be happy when the mini vani comes back from a hunting trip and it smells like blood and and dirty men. IMO,  Get a mini van. It's the best tool for transporting children. Keep something for doing man stuff. 

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Riffle Runner

Honda Odyssey minivan, there is no substitute for mom and kids stuff.  Per Hexfly,  It's the best tool for that job.

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Dogwood

It's too bad that GM doesn't make the AWD Safari Van any longer.

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SARGENT

We own a 2011 Town and Country.  I really like the Honda and Toyota vans but the ease of the stow and go won out.  Being able to lay the whole van flat with ease with in a couple of minutes with out having to remove any seats works for our life style.  We use it as our camping, skiing, hunting, car pool ect vehicle and have a roof top carrier for longer trips. Having a van and a nice 4X8 utility trailer gets 90 % of it done.  The rest I borrow a truck or make my buddy drive if the snow gets to deep on the back roads.  

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Tim Frazier

Of all the vehicles we have owned, and I mean dozens, I miss our Mercury Villager that most.  Bullet proof and 25MPG plus.  I wish they would just recreate it as nothing current seems to be similar in size.  The Toyotas don't get very good MPG from those I know who own them but if I were looking used that's where I would start.  Honda's cost too much ;-)

 

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bkelble

So what I have learned from van shopping thus far...

 

1 everything is either uber luxury, or trashed...stains, tears, broken bits... the results of children I suppose.

2 Crap mileage... sorry, but why the hell do I need a 300 horsepower minivan that gets 17 mpg?   

3 They are made of gold and diamonds... 10 grand for a 10 year old Honda with 180k miles... nope.

 

Good thing I have till late April before I really need one.

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topdog1961
On January 5, 2018 at 10:31 AM, bkelble said:

So what I have learned from van shopping thus far...

 

1 everything is either uber luxury, or trashed...stains, tears, broken bits... the results of children I suppose.

2 Crap mileage... sorry, but why the hell do I need a 300 horsepower minivan that gets 17 mpg?   

3 They are made of gold and diamonds... 10 grand for a 10 year old Honda with 180k miles... nope.

 

Good thing I have till late April before I really need one.

 

There is a reason the used Odysseys costs so much, they are rock solid dependable. I've owned several Chrysler minivans since 1991 and now have the Toyota, just because I found a good deal on one. The Chryslers will have more non drivetrain things go wrong, like window motors for example. For that reason they don't command the resale value of a Honda or Toyota. But the drivetrain is very dependable. Overall I think the used Chryslers have the lowest cost of ownership and are very comfortable. There is no denying that a minivan is the most comfortable way to travel with any quantity of people or luggage. I don't need a big SUV, truck, or sports car to stroke my ego. (Although I have a 20 year old 4x4 truck for hunting and a relatively inexpensive sports car because it's fun to drive). But if I'm traveling, give me a minivan. 

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salmontogue
1 minute ago, topdog1961 said:

 

There is a reason the used Odysseys costs so much, they are rock solid dependable. I've owned several Chrysler minivans since 1991 and now have the Toyota, just because I found a good deal on one. The Chryslers will have more non drivetrain things go wrong, like window motors for example. For that reason they don't command the resale value of a Honda or Toyota. But the drivetrain is very dependable. Overall I think the used Chryslers have the lowest cost of ownership and are very comfortable. There is no denying that a minivan is the most comfortable way to travel with any quantity of people or luggage. I don't need a big SUV, truck, or sports car to stroke my ego. (Although I have a 20 year old 4x4 truck for hunting and a relatively inexpensive sports car because it's fun to drive). But if I'm traveling, give me a minivan. 

 

 

Hondas have a reputation for sliding door problems.  Everyone I know has had that problem. Otherwise, they are dependable if too pricey.

 

Perk

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SARGENT

I am on my 2nd town and country and my current one has 120,000 on it.  After 100,000, like topdog stated, small things may start to go wrong that wouldn't in a Honda or Toyota.  When I was shopping for a used van with 10k-20k on them the Hondas and Toyotas always were 8-9k more.  There is no way I would be putting that much more into a vehicle over its lifetime.  

Like I stated above, you have to take out seats of the Honda and Toyota it you want the whole back of the van flat.  For some people that is not that big of a deal but I have found myself or my wife putting seats up and down on a consistent basis.  The argument against the stow and go is that those chairs that fold into the floor are not as comfortable of chairs as the heavy Toyota and Honda chairs.  For us the fact was that there would be car seats and boosters on them 80% of the time so comfort was not really an issue.  

I think a Chrystler with 10-20k off the lot would be an affordable option.  It took a long time for me to find one that wasn't completely loaded as I was looking for a stripped down van- no video screens ect.  Good luck with your search.

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topdog1961

I forgot to mention that all three Chrysler minivans we purchased for my wife suffered from the same defective rear bumpers and tail lights. They spontaneously scratch, crack and dent for no known reason. The Toyota minivan she now drives seems to have the same issues, but localized to the right side. The radio antenna and side view mirror fell off, on the same day! What kind of coincidence is that. These issues may have been remedied in newer models, but until I am sure they are, I will continue to buy her older models so as to not suffer so much depreciation when things start falling off. 

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Rockdoc

I’ve had Dodge and Plymouth mini-vans since the mid-80’s and have seen incredible improvements in reliability and durability with every mini-van I’ve owned. My current 2005 Dodge Caravan is about to turn 236K. Over the next few months I’ll be taking care of some deferred maintenance issues such as a new radiator ($125), timing belt/water pump ($125), tie rod ends/realignment ($150), two new tires ($150), and $100 dis&dat. With me doing the repair/maintenance work it’ll cost about $650 to prepare the mini-van for the next 70K miles. My only major concern is the transmission. Historically, the Caravans I’ve owned have needed new or rebuilt automatic transmissions every 150K, I can’t believe that my current transmission has held up so well (knock on wood!).

 

As for my earlier Caravan’s the 1986 Caravan I purchased new and the 1991 I purchased used were not very good, my 1986 had an engine totally fail at 58K with a broken timing chain (thank you so much Mitsubishi). I drove my 1991 Caravan to a total of 250K and it needed constant repairs to stay running. My 1998 Caravan which I purchased used with 150K on it was generally trouble free for 136K I drove it with the exception of the transmissions not holding up well. In fact I was on my third transmission failure when I sold it.

Steve

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topdog1961

As a side note, the Mrs. and I have decided on a post van world, daily driver, grocery hauler and travel vehicle, all in one. In about 3 years she will have been driving kids around in a minivan for 30 years.  Hopefully the last two will be out of the house then and I will be retired.  If those stars line up, we want a Scion XB similar to the 09 model we picked up last year for our son’s first car.  It was purely by chance that we bought this funky looking entry-level car designed for young people.  The price on Craigslist was right, it is in great shape, and it’s made by Toyota (say no more). Once you get past the odd breadbox shape, it’s an amazing car.  The inside is cavernous, like a van but with two rows of seating.  My son is 6’3” and has 6 inches of headroom.  The seats sit at just the right height too be easy to get in and out of.  Its peppy 4 cylinder engine gets 30+ mpg and it’s a hoot to drive.  The back seats have lots of leg room and fold down with the pull of a lever to create a huge flat cargo area. The factory stereo rocks….literally the whole car.  I consider myself a car enthusiasts and very few moderately priced small cars meet my standards, this one does.  The suspension and handling are crisp, responsive and comfortable on trips.   It has all the traveling comforts of a van (for fewer people), without the mileage penalty.  The only thing better would be if I could get it in a 5 speed. This car may be designed as a young person’s first car, but we want one for one of our last cars when we get old(er).  No Buick for us, thank you. 

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