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-   -   Minivan choice/preference? (http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=108209)

bermuda 06-27-2013 07:36 PM

Minivan choice/preference?
 
It's time to start thinking about a new vehicle to transport drums (and people) in comfort and safety, and a minivan is going to be the best option for me.

I've investigated 2013 models of the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, and Dodge Grand Caravan, and am pending looking at the Nissan Quest and Kia Sedona.

Does anyone have any thoughts or experience with these specific vehicles?

I've ruled out other minivans and different types of vehicles, so no alternate suggestions are needed, just the 5 - and particularly the first 3 - vehicles mentioned above.

Thanks,

Bermuda

DrumEatDrum 06-27-2013 07:48 PM

Re: Minivan choice/preference?
 
Just went through this.

First off, the Honda and Toyota are nearly twice the price as the others. They of course get rated much higher, have better re-sale values, last longer, etc. But you pay for that upfront. Even in the used market, a used Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna can be as much a new Grand Caravan or Kia Sedona.

Which only got annoying when reading consumer reports and the like, because they all slam the Caravan and Sedona for not being as nice as the Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna, but duh, with that price difference, of course.

I would have never considered the Sedona until recently. My boss has one, and it's very nice and reliable.

But brought me back to the Dodge caravan is the sto-and-go seating. It's only the minivan that lets you fold down the middle row and we all the 3rd row. Which for transporting music equipment, lumber, or whatever, is nice. Also nice for sleeping in on road trips.


If money is no object, I'd lean toward the Honda.

Otherwise, the Dodge and Sedona were 1a and 1b for my wife and I.

We never really looked much into the Quest.

dmacc 06-27-2013 08:24 PM

Re: Minivan choice/preference?
 
I don't own one personally but I do know people who own the Honda and can't say enough good things about it.

bermuda 06-27-2013 09:17 PM

Re: Minivan choice/preference?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum (Post 1155788)
But brought me back to the Dodge caravan is the sto-and-go seating. It's only the minivan that lets you fold down the middle row and we all the 3rd row. Which for transporting music equipment, lumber, or whatever, is nice. Also nice for sleeping in on road trips.

Yep, that's a major selling point, not to mention the significantly lower price by $6k or more. One of my bandleaders just got the Dodge, and absolutely loves it. I've watched the storage situation in action, and there's no denying it would be ideal (I really don't have a place to store the extra seats.)

But the Honda & Toyota definitely ride better and the base models are less spartan inside than the Dodge (the Odyssey has Bluetooth & rear camera standard, for example.) I usually drive 50+ miles to gigs, and we also take mini-vacations, so comfort is important.

I'd like to keep this vehicle for 20 years (as I've done with my current truck) and want to make the right decision. After that, I either won't be hauling my drums around, won't be allowed to drive anymore, or will be dead (or all three) so this is my last chance to get the car-buying process right!

Bermuda

MrInsanePolack 06-27-2013 10:45 PM

Re: Minivan choice/preference?
 
Get the Honda. Their reliability is phenomenal, as is their gas milage. I've owned 5, and have never had any reliability issues with any, minus the one that was hit by a jeep (it got totaled). My last Honda was an Accord that was 20 years old and had almost 300,000 miles on it. As long as you take care of them, they will take care of you.

Avoid the KIA. KIA = killed in action, killed in automobile, killed in accident

brady 06-27-2013 11:30 PM

Re: Minivan choice/preference?
 
I'll be watching this thread. I've recently been making a similar decision. I also looked briefly at the Mazda 5.

We're slowly getting over the stigma of driving a minivan and just looking for something more comfortable for hauling drums to gigs (with people too) and our 4 cats and dog on road trips.

I'm sort of leaning Toyota right now. That may change at any moment...

radman 06-29-2013 02:01 AM

Re: Minivan choice/preference?
 
I had an 2003 Grand Caravan and currently own a 2011 Honda. My experience and thoughts:

1) I had the Caravan for 8 years. It never left me stranded and the parts easy to come by and cheap. The biggest expenses I can remember was the water pump and alternator ... which is minor IMHO.
2) However, I work on my cars myself mostly. And I got really, really tired of putting new parts in the front end. Tie rods, sway bar links, and sway bar bushings were almost annual. Throw in a few shocks too.
3) My Caravan was an AWD and a pig on gas. Good news was the AWD was unstoppable - I found it more "planted" in the show than my Outback (despite all of Subaru's much talked about AWD). Obviously this is not an issue for those in places like LA.... ;-)

When I went looking for a new van, the Caravan had a couple of things against it for me - black interior only (in Canada anyway) and a difficult local dealer that I had issues with. We were choosing between the Honda and Toyota. We went Honda as my wife thought it was easier to drive (I must say, driving the Sienna felt like driving our living room IMHO). Funny thing, I found out later the Honda and Toyota are almost exactly the same size.

One thing that makes me nervous about the Honda is the "Eco" mode where it turns off cylinders when cruising. This is great on highways (mileage will be in the 28 MPG range), but the technology scares me from a long term perspective if/when repairs are needed. I've only had it 1.5 years and 30k kms, but have nothing bad to say about it so far. The thing is BIG and can hold a lot of people and gear.

At the time I bought mine, the Odysseys were $4000 off. The entry level Honda (mine) was only $2-3k more than a Caravan with captain seats. BTW, the seats on the Honda are easy to remove .... and the magic bench in the back is indeed magic. ;-)

I hope some of these ramblings help ....

radman

bermuda 06-29-2013 02:37 AM

Re: Minivan choice/preference?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by radman (Post 1156196)
One thing that makes me nervous about the Honda is the "Eco" mode where it turns off cylinders when cruising.

Yeah, I asked about that as well. I remember Cadillac's V8-6-4 from c1980 and how problematic that had been, despite being a clever idea coinciding with the 2nd "gas crisis". I'm hoping that 30+ years later, Honda wouldn't attempt the same trick without having thought it through.

Bermuda

alparrott 06-29-2013 03:43 AM

Re: Minivan choice/preference?
 
Of all of these, my experience was with the Sienna, and it was three years ago. Still, it was a great van with a lot of bells and whistles. You may find a better van for your needs, but if you do end up with the Sienna, it will serve you well.

bermuda 06-29-2013 03:46 AM

Re: Minivan choice/preference?
 
I have firsthand experience with Toyota's longevity and cost of ownership, and I also know Hondas are great. I'd have no problem choosing either, and it is now down to one or the other. :)

Bermuda


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