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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 3/8/2006 7:01:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/8/2006 7:03:56 AM EDT by imposter]
My wife's minivan (Chevy Venture) is about to give up the ghost. Crap, it has been nice to not have a payment.

We need the replacement to have seating for at least 7. I want decent gas mileage, so a Suburban or other monster SUV is out. I already have a truck, so 4WD is not necessary. It would be nice to have another vehicle that could tow a couple thousand pounds, but we could live without that. This is for my wife, so reliability is important, but it does not need to be sporty or cool. I would prefer to buy US made.

I don't know much about cars, except that I hate putting money into them. Anybody have some suggestions on what to look at?
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 7:10:13 AM EDT
You want it small but to seat at least 7?

You just ruled out all "mini" SUVs...
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 7:12:14 AM EDT
I HATE our 2004 Venture- I would never buy one again unless the completley re-designed it from the ground up. Just garbage.

Link Posted: 3/8/2006 7:12:46 AM EDT
Toyota Highlander seats 7 and they now have the EV model.

Since you live in Utah you can strap a few more on the roof and tow some in a trailer
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 7:21:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/8/2006 7:22:01 AM EDT by warlord]
I would get a either a Honda or Toyota Sieena minivan. Those are the two top top rated and top selling minivans at the moment. I think the Sienna maybe a bit more reliable. I'm not sure what the gas mileage on those things are, but they are not all that high because even though they look like normal everyday passenger cars, they are in reality built on truck chasiss, and are therefore really trucks, with their inherent lousy gas mileage. I would check out Consumer Reports to get feel for what's out in the real world and their reliability and repair history. I know a number people would dispute that CU is unreliable etc, but they get responses for thousands and thousands of cars & trucks, so you could get a bigger more accurate picture of where you headed.

BTW: these vehicles have towing capacities of only a few hundred pounds, which is next to nothing.
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 7:24:25 AM EDT
The Honda Oddyssey seats 8, and has a 255 horse V-6 (same one as the Pilot and the Ridge). Tops in reliability. I have one, never believed I could actually like a minivan. EPA rating (FWIW) of 25/20
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 7:33:31 AM EDT
I am in the same situation and most likely will be buying the Honda pilot within a month. It seats 7, gets decent gas mileage and has 4wd, which is handy in upstate NY. If I didn't need 4wd, I would get the ody. I ruled out the 4wd sienna after hearing of average 17mpg highway from people in sienna club forums. my .02
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 7:34:03 AM EDT
Chevy Uplander
Toyota Sienna
Honda Odyssey
Toyota RAV4 the new one seats seven(I just checked Toyota's website)
Suzuki XL-7(a relative of my brother in law has one)
Toyota Highlander
Mazda 5(a mini-minivan type thing, seats 7.)
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 7:38:46 AM EDT
Saturn Vue?
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 9:36:25 AM EDT
Sorry, but I need to stir it up, since I was asked a similar question (recommend me a sporty mini-van).

So the answer is:
Mercedes Benz R-Class
A Mini-Van the manufacturer will not admit
Gives the man a pet on their ego since it is not a mini-van made by Mercedes
Gives the woman a sign of relief because they can use it like a mini-van, which Mercedes deny

Putting regluar opening door on a mini-van body does not turn it into something else.
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 12:57:43 PM EDT
Does a Tahoe really get much worse milage than a minivan?
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 1:01:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 1911ar-15:
The Honda Oddyssey seats 8, and has a 255 horse V-6 (same one as the Pilot and the Ridge). Tops in reliability. I have one, never believed I could actually like a minivan. EPA rating (FWIW) of 25/20


I though minivans only seats 7; ie 3 in the back, 2 in the middle, and 2 up front.
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 4:29:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By warlord:

Originally Posted By 1911ar-15:
The Honda Oddyssey seats 8, and has a 255 horse V-6 (same one as the Pilot and the Ridge). Tops in reliability. I have one, never believed I could actually like a minivan. EPA rating (FWIW) of 25/20


I though minivans only seats 7; ie 3 in the back, 2 in the middle, and 2 up front.



A few models can seat 8 (if you get the 3-middle-seat option). Toyota is one, and Pontiac is another.
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 4:48:45 PM EDT
I posted a review of the nissian pathfinder recently it had 7 passenger seating. Search for my post and read my comments. I may fit your needs, just not to my liking. I am right now driving a '06 trail blazer which also has the third seat. I will post my review as a head to head with the nissian. The trail blazer has a third seat option, just make sure the third seat passengers are small.
On the Mini Van side they all have been made for several years and all are a respctible product.
When I needed a mini van I drove a areostar with third seat, served me well for 300,000 miles.
One rebuild on trany and one stearing rack were only major parts that went bad. But that was designed as a truck not a van.
If you must have 7 passenger seating a Mini SUV is not for you.
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 4:52:08 PM EDT
Tahoes are way down in price right now, and if you can afford the gas then that'd be the ticket.

HH
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 4:52:40 PM EDT
We had a Ford Windstar for a while. It had a nice ride, good mileage with the V-6, and it went through the snow like an oversized snowmobile. With the sliding doors on both sides, it was great for getting the kids in and out. The seats could be removed if I needed the cargo space. It was a good all-around vehicle.

We had all the options, except, oddly enough, cruise control. We had the remote starter which was great during the winter months (remember to leave the heater on!).

The only thing I didn't like was the keyes. They had the chip in them, and an extra key was said to cost $75.
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 4:53:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/8/2006 4:55:22 PM EDT by Rusty]
Toyota Sienna

We have a 2005. My parents have a 2004. Still as solid as the day we drove them off the lot. Seats 7 comfortably. Gets around 18-19 in town, 25 on the highway. Rated to tow 3500 pounds.

As far as U.S. made. The engines for Toyota are built in Alabama and so are the vans.

Edit to Add: One of the things that drew us to te Sienna is that it is the quietest of all the vans we tried.

Rusty
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 4:57:38 PM EDT
Did Honda ever get that transmission problem figured out? I was going to trade in my Town and Country for one, but from what I have seen, the trasmissions are almost as crappy as Chryslers. Or were anyway.

I would spend the extra$$ and get a Toyota Sienna
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 5:01:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By WildBoar:
Did Honda ever get that transmission problem figured out? I was going to trade in my Town and Country for one, but from what I have seen, the trasmissions are almost as crappy as Chryslers. Or were anyway.

I would spend the extra$$ and get a Toyota Sienna



I didn't know they had tranny problems. Linky?

vmax84
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 5:07:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/8/2006 5:07:56 PM EDT by warlord]

Originally Posted By WildBoar:
Did Honda ever get that transmission problem figured out? I was going to trade in my Town and Country for one, but from what I have seen, the trasmissions are almost as crappy as Chryslers. Or were anyway.

I would spend the extra$$ and get a Toyota Sienna


My niegbhor has a 1999 Odessay and there was a tranny problem. She received a factory recall notice and her tranny replaced free by Honda, AND Honda extended the warranty on the replaced tranny to 100,000 miles. I believe she only had something like 60,000 on her van.
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 5:13:38 PM EDT
Chevy Astro or GMC Safari

Both are based on a rear wheel drive platform (IMHO more durable than front wheel drive)

4.3 V6 which is a damn good engine and can get close to 20 MPG

With a tow haul mode mine can tow 5500 lbs

Mine is also AWD which is a plus

Because it is a minivan and the removable seats are heavy these tend to be a bargain. 2000-2003 low mileage ones can be found under $10,000 all day long. I love mine!!
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 5:21:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/8/2006 5:23:19 PM EDT by NavajoGunOwner]
If it says FORD on the label RUN or just open and hand over you check book to the repairman!!!

Been through two of them name the part it WILL go bad and need to be replaced!
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 5:59:41 PM EDT
We've got a Saturn Relay and are happy with it.
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 7:03:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Thealien:
Chevy Astro or GMC Safari

Both are based on a rear wheel drive platform (IMHO more durable than front wheel drive)

4.3 V6 which is a damn good engine and can get close to 20 MPG

With a tow haul mode mine can tow 5500 lbs

Mine is also AWD which is a plus

Because it is a minivan and the removable seats are heavy these tend to be a bargain. 2000-2003 low mileage ones can be found under $10,000 all day long. I love mine!!


My mom had a '88 that got to 122K miles.
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 7:06:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/8/2006 7:08:58 PM EDT by all4freedom]
Anything that says Toyota on it. I would go for the SUV for cool factor. I have gotten into the 4x4 SUV world and am I afraid I will never be able to go back. My next vehicle will be a Toyota Tundra crew cab though.
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 9:43:12 PM EDT
Dodge or Freightliner Sprinter!
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 11:45:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/9/2006 12:02:34 AM EDT by sleepdr]
My parents have a Yukon XL - lots of gear hauling capacity, but is a gas hog and can get spendy in certain trim levels (i.e. Denali).

We just picked up a Pilot - seats 8, but the back row is very small. Kids or enemies only. It works for the 3 of us (Me, Mrs sleepdr, and the dog). Fold down all the seats, and you can fit a 4x8 sheet of plywood in there. 3500lb towing capacity (4500 if towing a boat, provided you cough up for the tranny cooling system). Honda has a lease deal on the 4WD LX until April 1 that's not bad, and you can get into an EX for not much more. I've tried other brands of cars, and keep ending up with Honda stuff. Before anyone gripes: yes, we've owned American, too. I grew up driving solid steel - 1970 Buick Skylark. If you can drive that in a foot of snow, you can drive anything in snow and are probably pretty good at turning donuts in parking lots.

BTW, is it really possible to do much more than smooth dirt or gravel roads in the 4WD Pilot? Honda rates it for "medium duty" off-road, but I have my doubts. Per their specs: 8" ground clearance, max 30 degree dirt incline, single skid plate somewhere under there. It would be nice to be able to drive on some of the rutty 2-track fire roads to get to shooting & camping spots, but I don't want to get stuck or high-centered.
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