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My wife needs a mini-van.


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In an effort to cut Brad and Uplander off at the pass I am "coming out" with the news that my wife needs a mini-van.  Yes, I know many will equate this to the loss of my manhood BUT, I will still be driving the beat-up Xterra for as many years as it will roll.  

The "need" is defined by the following:  a wife who likes to cruise garage sales and driveway junk piles. a wife who likes to go to estate sales and buy useless furniture, a wife who will be carting one baby and two dogs most places she goes, a wife who has parents in pheasant country requiring a roadtrip at least every other year and a wife who is responsible for safe-guarding the most important things in my life - namely her life and the little one's - and a wife who deserves to drive a safer, better car than the one she's been driving for the last 5 years.

So for those of you mature enough and completely assured in their man or womanhood, what recommendations do you have for a family in need of a good pre-owned mini-van?

Thanks all.   And to Brad and Shaun - well I've got pictures on at least one of you...

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  • Briarscratch


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:ghostface: say it is not so.

Minivans are not that bad but I do know where there is a nice full size 4X4 van right now.  We are not talking AWD but a for real 4X4 drivetrain:D I have been looking for one of these for years and now when I find one I cant get it go figure

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Matt Crawford


I've got one. You've seen how I live. I ain't got nothing to defend or be sheepish about.

We've got a Mazda MPV and while it has some advantages, if we had to do it over again would probably consider the Nissan, Toyota or the Honda. When we get a good dumping, we don't take the MPV to the ski hill, piling everybody and 5 pairs of skis into the Jeep, which is a real pain in the ass.

 I think the GM products are cheaper and pretty good, (better warranty than most) and can be had cheaply. You'll be surprised at the towing capacity of minivans.

 You'll be fine. I would think living in New Jersey crimps your style more than what you drive.

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Used Honda Element -- has carrying capacity, OK mileage, functional, safe, reliable, and almost fits into the minivan category.  They are Spartan, but comfortable.


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Hey, I can't even count how many times I've WISHED I had one. Home Depot runs and the like would be a lot easier with that type of cargo capacity. Sadly, my wife has several cars picked out for a pending purchase and none include minivans.

I have a few coworkers with Toyota Sienna's that have had 0 problems. The offering from Nissan and Honda would be nice too. Otherwise and despite most people's disdain for Chrysler, their offerings are well designed and a late model, low mileage one could be had for not a lot cash.

Embrace it. You will be glad to have it in the long run and no shame is associated it.

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When it comes to good used anything you must put Toyota and Honda on top of your list.

Your wife is smaler in stature than you ...i guess we all could have guessed that, but odds are the seat of the Toyota will fit her better, that is of course unless she prefers a deep seat.

Taht said, the Totoyta of the 2000-04 or 5 had the previously best crash ratings of all the vans made in those years.

and there are lots of them ouot there.

Honda would be next on my list

Stay away from the nissan (new style van with power side doors...serious big issues with this van)

Ford windstars etc, good vans comfi but not as solid as the toyos or hondas.

Now one thing to consider is the KIA, it is a well built van, yea its on the small side, but would be new, with a 10 year warenty.  short on space behind the rear 3 rd seat, but that is how they made it shorter,a nd its slightly narrower than totyo or honda. people around here love them.

Oh yea, dont be fooled, make sure you get one with privacy glass1!!!!!!! i know there are some out there that dont, esp older modles, you will be sitting in solar pannle if you dont get the tinted windows...AC in winter no joke.

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Two words.

Honda. Oddessey.

Don't look back...


avoid used Caravan/Voyager as they live up to their reputation of having a short lived tranny ...

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   I'd have to agree that the Honda Odyssey is probably the best minivan, albeit the most expensive, even used.

   That being said, my wife and kids are currently beating the hell out of our second consecutive Dodge Caravan.  The Dodges are reliable, have enough convenience features to keep your wife happy and are a hell of a lot cheaper used than a Honda...the wheelbase is also high enough to handle crappy NJ WMA access roads.

   We got our first when we had one kid and one dog -- now there are 4 kids and two dogs - but they all still fit.

   Good hunting...


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SNIP SNIP   :D   :D   :D

That was VERY funny Brad.  

MINI VAN NOOOooo!!  :ghostface:  

Well you could get an AWD one, better MPG than a SUV, better ride than SUV, modern ones are very safe, DVD tv would be quite cool, seat a lot of people, lots of storage space, new versions V6s have around 240hp, could sleep in easier than a SUV....   ok ok Mini Vans aren't that bad..  

I still would rather have a Yukon.   :p

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Don't be ashamed 'Scratch. I had two used Ford Aerostars after I was divorced. Both had the elect. 4 wheel drive. Both were battered and bruised and scraped to hell from hunting, fishing, and mushrooming excursions. If they still made 'em I'd have another. Love that Eddie Bauer one I had, both back seats folded down into 1 big bed with a foot of storage underneath.
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No mini-vans in this house, however I'am in the auto biz and the best mini hands down is the Honda oddessey. Cheaper alternative is a Chrysler T&C. I have alot of customers that have been very satisifed with them. Stay away from late 90's Chryslers they have very bad trannies. Good luck.
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