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van & suv owners: why did you choose your vehicle?

Posted by sherilynn (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 24, 07 at 10:38

I have a 2002 Toyota Sienna van that I want to replace because I want a new vehicle. This has been a good van and only has about 70,000 miles. I hate the price of new vehicles and don't see anything I'm just thrilled with out there.

I like having the flexibility of a van and don't want anything smaller than the one I own now. This van is 194" and the newer ones are about 7" longer. What I don't like is that the Toyota and some other vans have the gear shift in a location that I hate. It's now in a vertical, wierdly placed position off of the dash. It hurts my wrists shifting, so I'm not eager to buy another Toyota, or any van with the gear shift in that location.

I will be 49 in January and my youngest two are 14 and 16. The 16 old can't drive alone, so he'll still be toted for another year or so for sure. I still carpool a few times a week and haul band drums/instruments, so I need room. If you pick up three kiddos from school with bookbags and instruments you MUST have room for that luggage!

I want a vehicle that has electric doors and folding back seats, if possible. I think I've seen some that fold down into the floor with the push of a button. My hands and wrists are weak and I don't want to stress them anymore than I have to, so that's why I now want an automatic closing back door and side doors if I buy a van or SUV of some type.

I would also like the best gas mileage possible. I presently get 19 around town and 24 on the open highway. My husband says no gas guzzlers, so I have to get comparable mileage.

Would you please share with me your choices and why you chose your vehicle; and tell me about the deals you've gotten and from whom you bought your vehicle.

I would also be willing to travel or ship in a vehicle. My last van was bought brand new from a dealer off eBay and I saved over $6,000 shipping from NY to VA. My husband's Tundra was bought in NC, saving us over $4,000. We then lived in VA and he drove through NC on the way home from Christmas vacation in 2003 to buy his new truck. I found that guy off eBay, too, but called him directly and arranged for everything over the phone.

I'm all ears!

Sheri Lynn

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: van & suv owners: why did you choose your vehicle?

I have a Chrysler Town & Country that I love! I have only had it a year so I can't address it's long-term reliability, and it is a lease so I'll never know. I just know I am so happy with it.

It is my first mini-van and I've had kids for over 10 years. You obviously know how wonderful it is to own a minivan! What I like best are the stow-and-go seats which fold totally flat into the floor. I don't know if this feature is available with the auto button that you mentioned. While the rear seat is a breeze to flip down, the middle seats are kind of bulky to move - with your wrist issues you may want to play with one at the dealership.

The ride is nice, the layout is nice. My last car was a Volvo wagon and I like the T&C so much better, plus it cost so much less! That Volvo was very noisy. If I had any complaint about the T&C it would be that the AC is kind of weak, but I guess it has a big job to do.

Several of my friends own T&Cs and all of them are very happy with them. When my lease is up I plan to get another one as well.


RE: van & suv owners: why did you choose your vehicle?

Latest purchase was a Honda Pilot. Not much to the reasoning - I'm a loyal, longtime Honda owner - quality/reliability is my number one priority. I like creature comforts too and in my experience with lots of Hondas, they more than meet my needs in that department. I will say we though we bought a Toyota Highlander before the Pilot because the first Pilots did not offer a sunroof. Like the Pilot better - it has a little more space, goes better in deeper snow and has a much more useful console space - my purse fits there - shift is on the steering column.

I need some cargo space but don't need a van. The Pilot has that third row of seats that I don't really need but they fold down so not in my way.

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