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input on minivan value for the price

Posted by neversink4 (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 2, 12 at 8:06

I need to start researching minivans as my 6-year old minivan is starting to give me major troubles. Anyone had a good experience (value for the money) or major problems with a minivan that they can share? I did post on another forum but I don't think its active anymore.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: input on minivan value for the price

Instead of just random opinions, spend the couple bucks on access to Consumer Reports.


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RE: input on minivan value for the price

My Honda Odyssey is not the cheapest minivan, but from previous experience with Hondas, I expect to get 250K miles with little trouble. Now at 6 years, 72K miles, so I should drive this for another 10 years, at least.

My 2000 Ford Windstar started getting $500-$800 repairs every other month at about 80K miles. Dumped it at 100K miles.


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RE: input on minivan value for the price

You can see reviews by both auto experts and consumers on autotrader.com, edmunds.com and cars.com. You can view cars for sale in your area, get lots of information without leaving your house.
I did see Honda was having lots of problems with certain models and years, Honda is usually a safe bet, but this scared me off. I was looking for a used SUV.


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RE: input on minivan value for the price

Thank you. I get Consumer Report but I will also check autotrader.com etc. I often get good results from checking with "real consumers". I currently have a 2006 Buick Rendezvous. 128,000. I love the drive and the size, but as I said, I am starting to get transmission problems. Seems I was making a lot of replacements and repairs after 50,000 miles. Cars are such a poor investment so I guess we all want to get as much quality as we can for the money we pay out.


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RE: input on minivan value for the price

You really can't go wrong with a Toyota Sienna. Consumer Reports dinged the Honda Odyssey for first year reliability but it topped the charts in every other respect. Is first year reliability a indicator of the second year? I dunno know.


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RE: input on minivan value for the price

I like and read Consumer Reports, but I find many times they rate one thing very poorly because of something I don't value or rate it highly for something I also don't value.
There are many sites rated by actual consumers.
I do think many people rate something when there is a great problem not when things are good.


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RE: input on minivan value for the price

I had an '89 Dodge Caravan, that we bought new. It lasted my WELL for 18 years and the ONLY repairs we had on it (other than routine maintenance) were: replacing the air conditioning, and the transmission went about 15 years in. Obviously, comparing an '89 to a 2012 would be like comparing apples and shoe polish, but it was a great car, that we enjoyed and got a lot of really good use from.

Today? I drive an FJ, so that's no help, but given it's reliability, if I were in the market for a mini-van, I'd be seriously looking at Toyotas. Nothing has the name they do for being solid cars that will last you well.

I am curious, what brand van are you driving that after 6 years, you're having problems? That's not acceptable for ANY car. My FJ will be that old in a couple of months and it's NEVER had a problem of any sort (still even has the original battery, which is kind of amazing).


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RE: input on minivan value for the price

A 2006 Buick Rendezvous. Love the cargo and seating ares. Removable 2nd & 3rd row seats. miles per gallon not too bad. Went to a car show yesterday and many minivans/SUV did not have removable seats. Surprised to find in many models, the seats don't even lay flat or you need to remove head rests before folding. I felt claustrophobic in many of them and poor visibility in back and sides. I did like the Sieana (spl?) but its just a little too big. Also saw some interesting things in a Hyundai SantaFe. Chevrolet also seemed to have put a lot of thought into their design but I don't get a good feeling about anything they make. I was surprised not to see any Dodge Caravans. Maybe they don't make them anymore?

The more pricey ones (that I can't afford) seemed not be well designed, had lots of bells and whistles I am not interested in and really had nothing to offer except their name if you are into that.


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RE: input on minivan value for the price

We like the Toyota RAV4, though it may be on the small side for some.
Comfortable and handles well. No maintenance problems in 4 years.
JMHO


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RE: input on minivan value for the price

There aren't that many companies making minivan -- domestically only Chrysler. VW's is a Chrysler clone. Chrysler does tout their "stow 'n go" seating which lets the second and third row seats fold flat. I haven't looked at an Odyssey or Sienna lately but certainly the third row seats fold flat on both and the second row seats are probably removable as well. I don't know anything about the Kia Sedona.

It's pretty typical for manufacturers to show their high end models at auto shows. A Sienna, for example, starts at about $25,000 and goes to about $40,000.


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RE: input on minivan value for the price

Thanks for info. Started with Honda last night. Loved the Pilot, but a little too much car. the CRV I would seriously consider. Another night I will check out Toyota and then Dodge and Hyundi. I am fortunate (fingers crossed) that I can limp my Rendevouzvous through another couple of months. I did read in Consumer Reports that '02'03 and '06 Rendevouzvous are trade-ins to stay away from so I can't expect much from mine but it is a negotiating tool.


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RE: input on minivan value for the price

Someone upthread said he doesn't always agree with the focus of CR reviews. That must be of new models?
What I find useful are the reliability ratings, that come from actual owner experience. For example, I was considering a Ford but saw in these ratings at about 5 years the reliability really took a dive compared to some other brands.
Another source for actual owner experiences is CarTalk.com.
It was almost spooky how many owners had the same issues with my elderly car as I had.


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RE: input on minivan value for the price

The reality is that even the best designed, best built car isn't going to be perfect because they're designed and built by humans. It's not common for a design fault to be experience by a number of owners. GM's Northstar engine, Chrysler's 2.7 engine, Ford's 6.0 diesel engine are all notorious for having problems.

What's scary is that company's know a particular product is problematic and continue to produce it, year after year.


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