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Got a Minivan

Password is taco

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We bought a minivan this past weekend, a Honda Odyssey. My 3 year old daughter is very excited about it. One reason we got it is we have two kids now, and expect to have more, so anything to make things a little easier is a big plus. Reason number two is for road trips for vacations going forward. I don't want to have to buy 4, 5, 6 plane tickets every time we go somewhere then pay to rent a minivan when we get there.

So a cute story about my 3 year old. My wife is talking to her parents, telling them about the minivan purchase, and my daughter over hears and runs over and says excitedly, "grandma, we got a minivan!". Grandma says, "oh yeah? Where are you going?". My daughter replies, "Hilton Head!". I guess she's been picking up on our conversations over the past month or so as we've discussed purchasing a Marriott timeshare in Hilton Head!
 

CO skier

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We bought a 2004 Honda Odyssey when my parents moved in. Before the van, the six of us had to take two cars anytime we wanted to travel as a group.

I was never one for driving a van, but the white color and automatic sliding doors gave it something of a Space Shuttle feel.

The only complaint was that it had terrible traction on snow-packed roads, even though it was front wheel drive. This was ongoing through three different sets of M+S tires. After having to be pushed out of a ski area parking lot in conditions that were not that bad, my wife determined that, "Our next car will be all-wheel drive."

My sister now owns the van to drive all of her grandkids.
 

am1

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We are aware that suvs exist? I would never buy a mini van but will eventually buy a 7 seater suv.
 

MichaelColey

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We have two SUVs and a minivan, and one thing we LOVE about the minivan (over the SUVs) is that it gets about twice as many miles per gallon. Not such a big deal right now with gas hovering around $2/gallon, but back when it was $100+ to fill up the SUVs, the good fuel economy on the minivan was much appreciated.
 

silentg

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Funny to see this post today. Since my 2003 PT cruiser has become unreliable. I found a 2014 Jeep Compass that we are considering purchasing this week. We have had mini vans when the kids were small. Now they are grown and on their own. So this will be a new adventure for us. Anyone else have a Jeep?
Silentg
 

CO skier

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We are aware that suvs exist? I would never buy a mini van but will eventually buy a 7 seater suv.
The low step-up height of the Honda Odyssey was the deciding factor because of my elderly parents and very young children.

That was then. Now that my parents are, sadly, no longer with us, we drive a Toyota Highlander. It is not as spacious as the Odyssey. I can no longer haul 4X8 sheets of plywood or pegboard (very rare occasions, anyway) as I could when the back seat was folded down and the second row captain's chair removed, and every time the kids S-LAAAMMM! their doors, I miss the automatic sliding doors of the Odyssey.
 

FLDVCFamily

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Minivans are awesome. I love mine! It's so much easier to get the kids into and out of than my SUV was. I don't think I could ever go back to not having a minivan lol.
 

Password is taco

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We are aware that suvs exist? I would never buy a mini van but will eventually buy a 7 seater suv.

We also looked at the Honda Pilot and thought it might be ok if we only planned on having two kids. The cargo area with the third row seats up was extremely small.

People love to hate minivans. You don't get a minivan to be cool, and if you're that vain then feel free make things harder on yourself. To each his own. My wife also said she would never buy a minivan, thinking a 7 seater SUV would work, but here we are. My wife's friend who's husband who, until recently, also was dead set against getting one is now looking at them. I have lots of other examples of people who changed their minds on minivans as well. Never say never. Not sure what life stage you are in, but the switch in my wife's brain went off when our second was around 9 months or so.
 

Luanne

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I liked (never loved) my first minivan when I had it. So handy for hauling kids, camping gear, etc. The second minivan was a disaster. At this point in my life I can't ever see getting another one. I am currently driving an AWD SUV, and bought that only because of where we are now living. Otherwise I'd still be in my beloved Prius. :D
 

am1

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We also looked at the Honda Pilot and thought it might be ok if we only planned on having two kids. The cargo area with the third row seats up was extremely small.

People love to hate minivans. You don't get a minivan to be cool, and if you're that vain then feel free make things harder on yourself. To each his own. My wife also said she would never buy a minivan, thinking a 7 seater SUV would work, but here we are. My wife's friend who's husband who, until recently, also was dead set against getting one is now looking at them. I have lots of other examples of people who changed their minds on minivans as well. Never say never. Not sure what life stage you are in, but the switch in my wife's brain went off when our second was around 9 months or so.

We have a 5 seater suv but need a 7 seater. Upgrade will be in a few years. No problem renting a mini van on vacation but where I live higher clearance and a stronger car is important. Also prefer diesel over gasoline.
 

Mister Sir

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I bought a Honda Odyssey back in 2005 when I was a single dad raising four kids ages 2 through 15. We took a lot of road trips in that van. The thing that sold me on it was the dual DVD players mounted on the back of the front seats. Great for entertaining the kids on those long rides.
 

Passepartout

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Funny to see this post today. Since my 2003 PT cruiser has become unreliable. I found a 2014 Jeep Compass that we are considering purchasing this week. We have had mini vans when the kids were small. Now they are grown and on their own. So this will be a new adventure for us. Anyone else have a Jeep?
Silentg

If you think the PT Cruiser is unreliable, just wait for the Jeep to get out of warrantee. To be charitable, Consumer Report rates them pretty low on the reliability scale.
 

AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
I Resemble That Remark.

Got a Minivan
We have never been 1 day without a minivan since the earliest generation Dodge Caravans & Plymouth Voyagers came on the market.

We got'm all used. Several -- as in more than I can remember.

Our only deviation from Dodge-Chrysler-Plymouth was 1 Chevrolet Lumina "dust buster" (used) that was a big bargain.

When the Plymouths & Dodges came out with sliding doors on both sides, we got 1 of those & sold off the Chevy.

All the competing minivans get better marks for reliability than Chrysler & Dodge.

Mox nix.

Only Dodge & Chrysler have Stow & Go for both rows of rear seats -- a feature that we use again & again.

It's not just that the seats are heavy & awkward to unlatch & remove from the car -- it's also that we have to put'm somewhere while we're using the minivan for cargo. Stow & Go greatly simplifies the job of reconfiguring the minivan from flat floor for cargo to maximum (or partial) seating for passengers -- & vice versa.

Last weekend we drove our son & daughter-in-law & 2 granddaughters (in child safety seats) to the airport after a nice 10-day visit. Day before yesterday, we folded the minivan seats flat into the floor & loaded in a Craig's List washer & dryer for our local son & daughter-in-law. Nothing to it.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
 

laura1957

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Love my 2001 Honda Odyssey, purchased used @2005.

Still going strong at @250000 miles. have had no major maintenance issues, and very little minor issues... still never hesitate to drive it from Virginia to Nashville, Shreveport, Georgia, New York,..... we got our monies worth years ago.

If it died tomorrow we would purchase another Odyssey. And yes, we are aware that there are SUVs. We just don't care :)
 

FLDVCFamily

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We have never been 1 day without a minivan since the earliest generation Dodge Caravans & Plymouth Voyagers came on the market.

We got'm all used. Several -- as in more than I can remember.

Our only deviation from Dodge-Chrysler-Plymouth was 1 Chevrolet Lumina "dust buster" (used) that was a big bargain.

When the Plymouths & Dodges came out with sliding doors on both sides, we got 1 of those & sold off the Chevy.

All the competing minivans get better marks for reliability than Chrysler & Dodge.

Mox nix.

Only Dodge & Chrysler have Stow & Go for both rows of rear seats -- a feature that we use again & again.

It's not just that the seats are heavy & awkward to unlatch & remove from the car -- it's also that we have to put'm somewhere while we're using the minivan for cargo. Stow & Go greatly simplifies the job of reconfiguring the minivan from flat floor for cargo to maximum (or partial) seating for passengers -- & vice versa.

Last weekend we drove our son & daughter-in-law & 2 granddaughters (in child safety seats) to the airport after a nice 10-day visit. Day before yesterday, we folded the minivan seats flat into the floor & loaded in a Craig's List washer & dryer for our local son & daughter-in-law. Nothing to it.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​

This is also why I chose my Chrysler. As an engineer, the LAST thing I wanted was an American car, but I could not argue with that Stow and Go. I seriously love it. Why none of the other minivan companies have added this feature is beyond me:shrug: I would have bought a Honda if it had had Stow and Go.
 

jehb2

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Love my Odyssey. When I first got pregnant both husband and I were secretly thinking how we were going to convince each other that we should get a mini van.
 

Fern Modena

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Looks like I am the only one with a Toyota Sienna. Partly cause I love Toyotas, and partly because of the dealer. I'll put more Toyota info in another note right below this one.

Fern
 

Fern Modena

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Accessible Modifications to Vans (and autos)

As we get older, accessibility issues become more important.

If you know anybody who needs to get an auto or van modified for accessibility, whether it be pedals, steering, lifts, whatever, tell them that they should look to Dodge and Toyota first. Why? Because both of them will rebate $1000. of the modification done, once you submit the proper paperwork.

If you need a van with extensive modifications, try Ability Center, which has ten stores in California, Arizona, and Nevada. They are very easy to work with, and they have many used converted vans if the person who needs a van wants to go that way.

Fern
 

antjmar

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We have an 2008 Sienna buying a 2015 this weekend.
Toyota is the only current van that has AWD as an option.
 

MichaelColey

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Our minivan is a Toyota Sienna, too. Based on rentals we've had, I actually prefer the Chrysler Town & Country, but I have a feeling the Toyota will be more reliable.
 

antjmar

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Our minivan is a Toyota Sienna, too. Based on rentals we've had, I actually prefer the Chrysler Town & Country, but I have a feeling the Toyota will be more reliable.

Funny, when we were shopping last time (2008) I preferred the chrysler but my wife liked the toyota better. Since its her car :rolleyes: we got a Toyota. A year later we had a chrysler as a rental. I though it was nicer at first but after several days of driving we agreed the Toyota was the better choice for us.
We just replaced it. We drove the honda as a comparison but are getting another sienna this one with AWD. Wife is happy;)
 

mtngal

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Funny to see this post today. Since my 2003 PT cruiser has become unreliable. I found a 2014 Jeep Compass that we are considering purchasing this week. We have had mini vans when the kids were small. Now they are grown and on their own. So this will be a new adventure for us. Anyone else have a Jeep?
Silentg

I just bought my third Jeep. My first 2 were Wranglers (98 and 2004) and I had very few problems with either one of them. I sold both in good working condition, both with well over 100,000 miles on them. The second one, a 2004, I just sold last month. I just bought a Grand Cherokee, not exactly an off-roader, but then I haven't driven on anything more exciting than dirt forest service roads for the past 2 years. I considered several other vehicles but some were too big, others didn't offer enough towing capacity and when it came right down to it, I just love my Jeeps.
 

nightnurse613

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When we came back from Germany we brought a VW bus and a BUS it was. It was a good option for us and our many children! Of course, when we got to Arizona and discovered we couldn't add air conditioning because of the sun roof we were sweatin to the oldies for one summer and then it was trade in time. Thanks to the foreign exchange rate we drove that VW for a year and got most of our money back as a trade for our first Plymouth Grand Voyager. As anyone who has owned a VW will tell you - this was quite an upgrade (rear speakers, dual air conditioning and horsepower!) Since our kids are mostly grown and gone we have downsized but did rent a minivan when we took grandkids to Disneyland. They are really nice now-just like my husband's truck-you can hardly call it a truck if it has surround sound, power leather seats, etc. :shrug:
 
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