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barefootcyborg5000
barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
3/18/22 6:41 p.m.

Ok. Sad to say, but it's coming time to upsize the 5. I only have two kids, 5 and 3, but she frequently gets saddled with two or three of their cousins, several of whom need car seats. 
I know, the market is nuts, which is why I'm doing some homework so that when a deal does pop up I'm ready to jump on it. 
 

Basically it's down to two contenders. 
Sienna or one of the Chrysler variants. 
What I'm after is a zero worries family hauler, practicality and safety are important. She wants a backup camera, possibly rear seat entertainment. We travel out of town fairly often, often out of state. I know the siennas cost more, but they hold value. Other than that, I think max budget is likely around $15k. 
 

Sell me a van. Or sell me on a van. 
 

Imma go throw up now. 

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
3/18/22 6:44 p.m.

How dare you. Minivans are awesome.

Also, of the two I like the Sienna.

edit: why no Honda or Kia?

barefootcyborg5000
barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
3/18/22 6:47 p.m.

In reply to BlueInGreen - Jon :

Because I forgot about the Koreans (sorry Bob!) and I've not heard any good about the Honda vans. 
As far as the minivan hate, it's more a pride thing. If it was for me, for a work truck or a band-mobile, something I could beat on, sure... but the cheap beaters are not something I want to put my family in. Shopping for a nice minivan is just way outside of my perceived self image. Basically I'm still just a rebellious teenager. 

MrChaos
MrChaos UltraDork
3/18/22 6:49 p.m.

The Pacifica Plug in gets the full federal tax credit while the sienna does not.  I really like the sienna though.

MrChaos
MrChaos UltraDork
3/18/22 6:52 p.m.

The sienna is now basically the true van version of the Prius V.

barefootcyborg5000
barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
3/18/22 6:54 p.m.

In reply to MrChaos :

Not affording to buy new. I think the hybrids are out of contention. I really liked the 22 sienna I drove a bit ago. 

CAinCA
CAinCA HalfDork
3/18/22 7:01 p.m.

I drove our 2005 Sienna to 200k and it was still very comfortable and running like a champ. If we were in the market for another minivan that would be my choice. 

jfryjfry
jfryjfry SuperDork
3/18/22 7:04 p.m.

The Hondas are good.  Some have their issues and the Kia's or the Chryslers might be better values.  But Hondas aren't bad

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
3/18/22 7:08 p.m.

My sister liked her Honda enough to replace it with another. 

My son loves his Kia.

I really didn't like the 2015 Town and Country I drove but the crappy ride quality was probably the crappy tires it had on it.

Our last one was a Venture and it was very good for almost 300k miles. They are old enough to be avoided though.

That's all I have. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
3/18/22 7:25 p.m.

Good luck shopping Minivans.  Its a miserable market right now.  Probably worse than pickups.  

Tons of cheap minivans came through the rental fleets and that has stopped happening.  As an example, the Grand Caravan(GC) was stated to end in 2017 with the introduction of the Pacifica.  But, they kept selling the GC through 2020, mostly to rental companies.  The rental were typically sold off with 36k miles.  Then, covid hits and Hertz files for bankruptcy and all the remaining rental companies scale back their inventory.  

Hertz is still alive but they keep their minivans to 75k miles now.  Enterprise to about 60k and Avis a little less like 40ks.  There are few, low mile, ex-rental van available.  

See this 3 page thread.  I've written a lot about minivans and minivan alternatives.  

MrChaos
MrChaos UltraDork
3/18/22 7:27 p.m.

I have been seing tons of cheap conversion vans on my FB marketplace if you needed another option.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
3/18/22 7:33 p.m.
Toyman! said:

My sister liked her Honda enough to replace it with another. 

Our Honda (an '07) was the best vehicle we've ever owned in terms of repair costs.  If I was buying another minivan I would definitely get another one.

 

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
3/18/22 7:37 p.m.

In my twisted mind minivans are so uncool that they are cool, lol.

The Chrysler vans that I have known seemed to turn very quickly into run down turds after they reach a certain age. Not sure if that's more of an indication of Chrysler build "quality" or lack of care by the owners but I suspect maybe some of the former.

matthewmcl
matthewmcl Dork
3/18/22 7:45 p.m.

I have a 14 Grand Caravan. Newer gets better fuel economy, but the 14 gets 20 around town and 25 and over on highway. Up this way they are so common that finding deals is pretty easy.

If you want me to look at anything up here just let me know.

This is basically what I have.

I bought an overhead dvd player at the pick a part, but I have not installed it yet.

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
3/18/22 7:53 p.m.

Odysseys tend to be more finicky than the others, I'd shop the Sienna's. I like the GC a lot ( we rented one a few years ago), but the crash test ratings at the time were worse than the Sienna or Odyssey.   We rented a Pacifica a few years back that I loved, but I have no idea how those hold up in the long term. 
 

The Sienna is the blue chip minivan selection, but they're never cheap.

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/18/22 8:31 p.m.

I'm also in the Grand Caravan camp. I have a 2017 GT version (ex- Enterprise rental).  I bought it with 25K miles back in 2018. It now has a bit over 93K (I drove a TON between 2018 and 2020).  While the other brands may drive better, it was cheap.  And it serves my needs well.  I'll be sad to see it go in a few years when I finally decide on a full size van.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/18/22 8:47 p.m.

In reply to barefootcyborg5000 :

We had a 14 Town & Country for 4-years & (iirc) 70 or 80k. It was an amazing Swiss Army knife of a vehicle, but plagued with typical Chrysler problems. Fortunately we got rid of it before the transmission took a E36 M3, but we had been experiencing very intermittent torque converter unlock failures for a while. We also had to pay ~$600 plus a tow to the dealer because the BCM just decided to forget it recognized both keys. 

It was comfortable on the highway, could haul plenty of people and/or stuff, and was nearly invisible when doing ~20-over for long periods of time.  

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/18/22 9:10 p.m.

Minivans are perfect for minivan things. 

I don't know where the concern about Honda vans came from.  We had a new 2015 Odyssey EXL and it was really fabulous.  Mountains of room, decent highway fuel economy and the driving position didn't suck.

I think the much older ones had a concern about transmissions, but if it's had a good service history I would take a chance on a Honda any day.

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Dork
3/18/22 9:29 p.m.

I really didn't get along well with the transmission in the town and country/GC. I believe it was the 6 speed pentastar combo. Engine seemed great but the transmission was forever hunting between 5th and 6th unless it was a flat highway with no traffic/speed changes or you weren't carrying a load of people and stuff.

The Sienna rentals were always my favorites in the van category, in terms of comfort and drivability.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
3/18/22 9:36 p.m.
barefootcyborg5000 said:

In reply to BlueInGreen - Jon :

Because I forgot about the Koreans (sorry Bob!) and I've not heard any good about the Honda vans. 
As far as the minivan hate, it's more a pride thing. If it was for me, for a work truck or a band-mobile, something I could beat on, sure... but the cheap beaters are not something I want to put my family in. Shopping for a nice minivan is just way outside of my perceived self image. Basically I'm still just a rebellious teenager. 

I'm disappointed. Truly disappointed. Minivans can be cool. Look at the race odyssey. I wouldn't own one in a bet but it's cool. 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
3/18/22 9:43 p.m.

I had 2 Chevrolet Venture vans which were related to the GM dust buster vans.  Terrible crap but they were so practical, so good for a family.   

The biggest damage was to my ego being in my 40's driving a minivan with no power but being a company car I couldn't complain.   

I feel your pain, bro.

slefain
slefain PowerDork
3/18/22 9:47 p.m.

I beat my head against the wall trying to find a van for my buddy at your price range. We gave up. I even have a brilliant close friend who is a used car dealer, even he was SOL. So my buddy picked up a 2000 Sienna for a song and is going to ride things out a year or two until the market returns to normal. Backup cameras can be added and they make tablet holder for rear seat entertainment (which is what I did in our Santa Fe).

I did the looooong research three years ago and bought a 2017 Sedona. It's been rock solid and comfy as hell.

chandler
chandler UltimaDork
3/18/22 9:49 p.m.

We have a 2015 T&C that we had planned to upgrade this year to a new Hybrid Pacifica but; well, you know....2022. It has 120k on it and has been amazing, I just put kybs all around and did a trans filter and fluid change but otherwise it's mostly original. It came from Enterprise with 36k in 2015 iirc. It does minivan things well and gets pretty good fuel economy while doing it.

For 15k you should be able to get a pretty nice GC or the best T&C since they haven't made the Chrysler branded ones since 16 or thereabouts. 

barefootcyborg5000
barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
3/18/22 9:55 p.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

Sorry. It's especially bad because my mom drives a Kia van. I don't like it, but that's just because it's 17 years old and been ridden HARD. 
That said, they're far from common around here. If I had to guess, I'd say the local minivan market is 50% Chrysler, 25% Toyota, 15% Honda and 10% everything else. 

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