Minivans... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 03:53 AM Thread Starter
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So, oldpunk is getting even older and I with the news that we're expecting a 3rd kid have found myself in the market for a minivan. Sigh*

I'd love to be able to afford the payments on a Honda but that darn van, along with the Toyota are out of my price range. (Not looking at getting something with over 30,000 miles)

I've never really been a fan of Nissan so I'm not looking at the Quest. At least not yet anyways... I guess there's the KIA too.

Right now I'm stuck between 2 pretty different choices. The Mazda5 (new)and a 2011 Town and Country.

Now, I've owned Mazdas before and loved the ones I had. I'm just worried the 5's not going to be big enough. I've read it both ways when it comes to the Chrysler. I'm a little worried about the reliability from Detroit. Scared to death actually.

Keep in mind that this vehicle will generally be used for commuting to work and picking kids up from school. We'd use something else for long trips.

I'd love to hear an outside opinion or 2.

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 04:29 AM
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I am an 18 year old male and I drive my mothers town and country. Yeah you can laugh. But the van has done pretty good over the years. With it nearing 150k miles it is still chugging along. Never had to many major problems with it other than that.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 04:33 AM
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Have you considered one of the car based SUV's?

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 04:49 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
Have you considered one of the car based SUV's?
I think we need the easily accessible 3rd row.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by oldpunk78 View Post
I think we need the easily accessible 3rd row.
It blows my kind how there are so few SUVs with walk-through center rows!

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." -- Steve Jobs
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 05:17 AM
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mazda 5

we own the 2009 mazda 5 and have been pretty happy with it. the 3rd row seat can really only sit kids. if they are up you have no trunk space. although you can split the third row, one up and one down. kids have no prob getting in and out. I guess it will depend on size of your older kids. if they are teenagers then maybe go for bigger car.

if you are okay with the space limitations when third row is up I would go for it.

b/c it is smaller, you can park easier and i think handle better. no major repairs and better gas mileage.

for us it was having a third row and the sliding doors and price that sold us.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 05:19 AM
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I inherited my mom's 1990 Plymouth Voyager (Dodge Caravan) in high school and drove it through college and onward. The timing belt (surprisingly *major* repair job in that engine), transmission, and fuel pump were the major malfunctions over the years ...oh, and the sliding door fell off. Not a horrible car, not wonderful, and lasted 20+ years. Removeable seats made it a wonderful moving van, and my personal record was 13 passengers (plus me).

Probably not very useful information, but there's a soft spot in my heart for minivans, and Dodge pretty much got it right the first time (minivan 1.0 was 1985 or so, I believe).

Doubt that helps, but there it is.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 06:48 AM
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I must put out the idea of a Ford has 3 rows and is a bit less bland than many other van type vehicles.

However from the two options I would probably opt for the Town and Country...the Mazda 5 is far too reminiscent of a Prius I suffered with as a rental. I will say that many of the Dodge/Chrysler/etc vehicles I have owned and driven lately are actually of much better quality and build than they were several years ago. Many of my friends own Dodge vehicles, my mother just bought a 300C and I am a loyal Jeep issues with any of them so far.

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 07:38 AM
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i been working at an auto parts store for almost 4 years while putting myself through school for radiology. i can tell you this, any car can be reliable. it all depends on the amount of maintenance with the exception of known issues with certain companies. of course hondas toyotas are always considered the most reliable, thats because they need the least maintenance of most car brands. japanese cars usually have less electrical issues. american cars have the strongest bodies, and chasis. chrysler isnt really my pick, sorry to proud chrysler jeep dodge owners but in my experience they have the worst interiors. my honda accord with 195k miles right now is a pump gas and go car. oil change and clean gas is all it needs.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 08:09 AM
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If you are going to look into a Nissan, I have the 99 mercury villager with tons of work done with it. Replaced all the gaskets and even the head gaskets, new suspension, new motor mounts fuel injector seals, man you name it and it has been changed.

Very reliable car. But I need to downsize So that's why I'm thinking of selling it. And I'm not to far from you
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 06:26 PM
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Don't pass up a Honda Odyssey because the mileage is over 30,000. Ours has 90,000 miles with only manufacturer suggested maintenance and some brakes. Some minor electrical concerns (Dashboard Illumination and Driver's seat warmer). I figure another 2 years/30000 miles before replacement (2005 Model Year).
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 06:41 PM
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I work at nissan so of course my loyalty lies there

the flex is a next door vehicle to me. i asked one of the service guys how they felt about it
the quests do have their issues, but so far we've seen very few problems out of them
(don't run one low on gas)
toyota does have a good lineup
and i'd personally put the honda at the top of the list

as someone else said old mercury's? ford minivan's even some dodge were based off the nissan quest platform 93-99 if im not mistaken. the parts are interchangeable and so far nissan is the only one that still caries some parts for them

the old quests were nigh indestructable shoot me a message if u have any care related questions. i've been in the car industry for a long time, i'll shoot u straight. EVERY manufacturer has good and bad cars, its knowing which is which

OH YEAH the parts guy will agree with this one probably.. chrysler products have the WORST TRANSMISSIONS EVER MADE
u can expect a new transmission right before the powertrain warranty ends

kia has come up a lot on its product quality as well, buy a hyundai if u go that right. its a better made kia
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 08:19 PM
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Yea I read that the new quest sucks...and look like ass.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 08:57 AM
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Take a look at the Hyundai and Kias.
I've owned two, a 2006 sonata that I racked up 50k miles and my 2010 genesis coupe which just cracked 62000 miles. The sonata was troublefree and ran like a top with nothing more than scheduled maintenance. The genesis had a rear differential replaced under warranty, defective right off the lot because of a production line issue but it's been solid as hell, my wife and I took it on a 3700 mile trip this past October.

I'd avoid a dodge product because of the transmission issue blazingwolf mentioned, we've had 8 dodge/chrysler products in the family over the years, starting with a 1995 Intrepid and ALL of them have required replacement transmissions... not too confidence inspiring. Maybe they have improved, after all, Hyundai and Kia have improved, but 8 transmissions in 17 years, no way I'd buck my family's odds lol
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 03:35 PM
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Why limit yourself to a mini-van when you can get a full-van ?
You'll be the envy of every soccer mom

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