Mini Vans

Shaggz

A strong 7
OK - so our lease is up on the Outback, and we are going the mini van route for our next vehicle. I lobbied for the Eurovan Westfalia, which got rejected (in hind sight, I should have pushed for a westy syncro, and tried to negotiate the eurovan as the settlement). We have it narrowed down to the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. The Mazda MPV and Chrysler T&C are longshots. SUVs, elements, suv-based wagons, etc are not an option.

Does anyone have experience with the MVs listed above?
 

Mike679

Member
Toyota Sienna

My wife and I swore that we would never own a minivan, but our third kid pushed us over the edge. We ended up getting the Sienna based on previous good experiences with Toyota, and the fact that we wanted all-wheel drive (our driveway is a nightmare in the snow). We researched the Honda as well and truthfully you can't go wrong with either choice. If you want more cup-holders, however, get the Honda it's got 18 or something like that as opposed to the Sienna which only has 14 or so - these things are important.

As much as I thought I'd hate the thing, it's not that bad. I think the dreaded word here is practical. We looked at SUVs with third row seating, but they are a bit cramped, unless you get a Suburban ($$$$). My wife drives it most of the time, but there's no "Mom's Taxi" or soccer ball decals on it - we haven't gone that far off the edge.

We've managed to put at least one dent in it for every 5000 miles so far - hitting deer, garage door openings, mailboxes, etc., so it looks a bit worse for wear. Even after a year I still catch a lot of shit about having the thing as I was rather vocal in my distaste for them - karma, I guess.

Good luck.
 

heythorp

New Member
Nice reply mike, something that does not happen much around here lately. You were actually able to provide good information while making a joke....most of us meat heads can only hijack threads and make a joke.
 

bonefishjake

Strong like bull, smart like tractor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
this i can talk to. we narrowed it down to the two that you're looking at too...the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. we ruled out the nissan quest despite the fact that i HAULS b/c it's, well, ugly.

i've driven both (yes, i know brad, they're for girls) and both drive fine, are comparably equipped and have almost identical looks, crash test ratings, reliability and everything else.

that said, when i pull the trigger on the minivan, it'll be a toyota. it felt more roomy and i felt it was laid out a bit better. the wife likes the looks of the toyota better which is really the deciding factor. the door slots are hidden better or something. i don't know, i just pay the bills. but since she's the one that's going to be doing most of the driving in it, she needs to be happy. we'll probably get the AWD model too. i mean, sometimes we actually get winter here.

now, to address brad: am i happy about the minivan? not really. do i care that much? not really. it'll make my wife's life easier so that's really all that matters. now go back to that moon of endor where you belong. :D
 
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Shaggz

A strong 7
Get another Outback, or Forrester.
Please re-read the first post, and my response to your helpful input saying that we should get an outback - *We do not want a wagon or wagon-based SUV or a SUV-based wagon or any iteration thereof!* It is very scary that you have access to the minds of children coming through the educational system

We had a miserable experience with our outback, and chalk it up to it being a lemon or end of the mionth car. Aside from that, the outback seemed very small and cramped to us, especially with 2 kids, car seats, and all of the related encoochiemnts that come along with them. I found both the driver seat and passenger seat to be very uncomfortable, and the car was underpowered.

That type of vehicle also does not give us the option to carry additional passengers of car seats, unless we strap them to the roof, which being both practical and amusing, is frowned upon by decent society. We have 15 nieces and nephews all under the age of 7, and more than half of them live within 10 minutes from our house, which makes extra seating options even more valuable to us.
 

SpartaBard

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Why don't you get a school bus with that size family.

SUVs are out also... you can probably find an old VW hippy van on eBay.
 

Shaggz

A strong 7
One of my sister-in-laws bought a decked out quest, and wound up selling it within a year. They were unhappy with the way it handled, felt the controls were not well laid out, and it was constantly in the shop. I like hondas, and meghan likes toyotas - and like said before, I'm sure either one will be ok. Ultimately it will be my wife's decision, unless one has better economic incentives
 

Shaggz

A strong 7
The good thing about having so much family nearby is that the girls have a great support group for watching each others kids when things come up, the bad news for me, is i don't always know how many kids i'll be coming home to at night.
 

bonefishjake

Strong like bull, smart like tractor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
One of my sister-in-laws bought a decked out quest, and wound up selling it within a year. They were unhappy with the way it handled, felt the controls were not well laid out, and it was constantly in the shop. I like hondas, and meghan likes toyotas - and like said before, I'm sure either one will be ok. Ultimately it will be my wife's decision, unless one has better economic incentives

i haven't looked at that in awhile. the main factor for me is getting rid of the tahoe, which we own. the car is just fine, but damn is it difficult to get two two-year olds into and out of. the mini van would be great...like a venus fly trap. open one door, they run in, and shut it behind 'em. trapped, unable to escape...but accessible.

i too have the niece/nephew thing going on...six under the age of ten and they're always here. i need the seating too...and despite the tahoe's "third seat" it pales compared to the minivans. to get use out of a 3rd row in an SUV, you have to go to the suburban/denali XLT. forget the rest.
 

Mike679

Member
The sliding door thing is also great when you have the van in the garage. With swinging doors you're always fighting to get around them.

I am old, I am practical, I am on a message board on company time discussing the merits of a minivan.

An alarming realization.
 
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