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Thread: Vans (minivans, MPVs, cargo, passenger, crew, sprinter, transit, etc.)

  1. #1
    Site Supporter rob_s's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    Vans (minivans, MPVs, cargo, passenger, crew, sprinter, transit, etc.)

    Weíve got car and truck threads, but I didnít see a van thread (other than my own campervan thread). Thereís even an SUVish thread.

    Iíve been somewhat passively shopping Ford Transits and MB Sprinters for awhile now, even before we bought our campervan over a year ago.

    With ease of the new Kia Carnival (horrid name) itís also got me curious about the Chrysler Pacifica as well. I donít, personally, find much appealing about the current Gen Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna, but those would also be covered here.

    For the rest of you midlife dad olds like me, I thought itíd be ďfunĒ to at least commiserate re: vans.

    What you have, what you like, what you hate, what your wife drives, etc.
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  2. #2

  3. #3
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    We've had a 2007 Honda Odyssey EX-L since 2010 (bought with 34k on the odometer). It's a nice driving vehicle with plenty of pep, even at 174k miles. However, I'm not impressed with the durability. Cosmetically the interior is in worse shape than the SUV I've had for nearly twice as long. Mechanically, it's mostly ok at the moment, but the transmission leaks. Speaking of transmissions, it was showing very early signs of failure at 96k miles, but because of the Honda Certified Warranty, it was replaced free of charge (once they finally confirmed it was failing). Aside from the leak, it seems to be fine, but automatic transmissions are a weak point of the larger Honda vehicles. We've experienced a number of other minor failures (radiator fan, AC, etc), but nothing that has left us stranded.

    On the positive side, it's comfortable, spacious, peppy, and handles well for a box on wheels. It's a great road trip and vacation vehicle. When we visit family, we can normally get everyone in the van, avoiding the need for two vehicles when we go out to eat or something. We've done short road trips (couple hours each direction) with 6 people in the van.

    Would we buy it again? Not at this stage in our life. At the time, we had two kids in car seats/boosters and wanted something with room for passengers, but that is less of an issue now (no car seats). A mid-sized SUV would meet our needs just fine. If we had the same requirements as then, we'd possibly look at it again, but knowing now that Honda reliability isn't as good as the Toyota quality we've experienced with our prior and current Toyotas, we'd probably give the Sienna a closer look.

    Chris

  4. #4
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    In the desert, looking for water.
    I got my drivers license at 16 in my momís brand new Ford Aerostar.

    Iíve put a lot of miles on work-owned Toyota Previas, Ford Econolines, as well as Dodge and Chevy full-sizes. I am currently rated to drive the school mini-busses, which are Chevy 15 passenger conversions. I hate driving the mini bus, but sometimes have to or a team wonít get to their match.

    I might be convinced that a minivan is the right move for a comfortable road trip machine. But my wife grew up as a Ford Econoline passenger, and hates any van for appearance and driving reasons, so I doubt we will ever own one: she is currently shopping for a mid-size SUV. I may convince her that a class-B conversion for camping is okay, but sheíd rather stay in a hotel or lodge or cabin, so I doubt it.

  5. #5
    Site Supporter rob_s's Avatar
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    Since I canít edit my OP, I should also mention the GMC or Chevy Express, as a huge part of me really wants that new 6.6L V8 option (although I havenít been able to find anyone with one in stock) as the ability to tow a decent travel trailer or toy hauler would be pretty badass.
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  6. #6
    I have been entirely satisfied with my 2007 Sienna. Roomy, comfortable, and trouble free.

    If something unfortunate happened to it, wreck, theft, massive systems failure, I would not buy a new one, the Every Sienna a Hybrid program just strikes me as unnecessary complication and expense. Maybe a clean earlier model van, maybe something smaller, I am not doing as much traveling or passenger hauling as I used to.
    Code Name: JET STREAM

  7. #7
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    Sep 2016
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    The 603
    I rented a new Transit panel van last month for a New England - Chicago round trip. I was really surprised at how decent it was, and also by how they still havenít figured out the traditional van left foot room issues - that kinda sucked for long trips. Iím 6í but have a stubby 29Ē inseam.
    Ken

    BBI: ...Ēyou better not forget the safe word because shit's about to get weirdĒ...
    revchuck38: ...Ēmo' ammo is mo' betta' unless you're swimming or on fire.Ē

  8. #8
    Site Supporter psalms144.1's Avatar
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    We just sold our 2006 Sienna. In the 15 years and 108K miles we owned it, it amortized to about $120/month cost of ownership, less routine maintenance, gas, etc. We never had any non-fair-wear-and-tear maintenance issues with it.

    The new Siennas are spendy, but so is everything else these days. I find the all-hybrid power plants to be sorely disappointing compared to the V6 - but there's no choice in that matter anymore. While the middle seats are more adjustable now, you can't remove them, which, in my mind, significantly decreases the ability to use the van for hauling large items.

    The Pacifica does nothing for me, either performance or comfort wise, at the price point. The Carnival seems well laid out for what you pay, if there were an AWD option, we'd be more interested.

    Frankly, at this point, I can buy a Telluride for the same price as a Sienna, so I don't see the point.

  9. #9
    Had a 2010 sprinter for 9 years and 230K miles. Cost about 9k to keep it alive and I did NOT replace the particulate filter.... I had it removed (about 7k to replace) The newer sprinters are somewhat better.

    2020 Transit now with base gas motor....power is about same as Benz diesel.....17ish with sprinter....15.5 with transit. Could put a new motor in Transit for less than I spent on Sprinter.

    Resale was good on Sprinter as people perceive diesels will go forever.....they will.....just have to factor in the cost.

    (Before the sprinter 2001 F250 V10 292K ....other than wear parts only cost was had to put in a fuel pump....constant load just like vans....10.5 mpg)

  10. #10
    Site Supporter 0ddl0t's Avatar
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    Feb 2019
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    Jefferson
    My sister bought a used Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid a few months ago and loves it, despite the fact it has spent almost as much time in the shop as on the road. It ranks at the bottom of all the consumer reports type reliability ratings. Chrysler has responded by rebranding the non hybrid version the Voyager.

    Pros:
    Drives extremely well and has a very refined quasi luxurious initial feel.
    Plug-in hybrid has ~30 mile range on electric plus another ~450 on gasoline.
    Electricity costs less than $30/month for her ~500 commute miles
    30+ mpg on gasoline only
    Saves 30/min each way thanks to the carpool sticker
    Jumped to the front of the line of those waiting for a parking spot in the state parking structure.
    Can leave the car & A/C running on electric while you run into the store/bank, leaving kids/dogs behind.

    Cons:
    Reliability & durability!
    The small 12v battery failed while driving and left the car stalled in the road, unable to move out of drive, and bizarrely unable to turn the car off (it kept turning itself back on). Dealer says a software update fixed this particular bug, but it had been at the dealership 2 weeks prior without getting that update?
    Dash pad bubbles when driving above 8000' elevation
    Steering wheel trim is delaminating
    Back seat infotainment system crashes constantly
    Frequent coolant leaks (and there are 3 separate cooling systems)
    Powered rear liftgate likes to freeze for no reason
    Electric parking brake is buggy
    Dealerships are horrendous. Takes ~2 weeks to get a service appointment and at least another week for them to diagnose & get parts (which are never in stock). All 3 dealers in the area are similarly bad.

    And this may be more normal for today's cars, but the coolant temperature routinely hits over 230įF climbing grades without any sort of warning (you have to cycle pretty far through the digital dash's customization to even show coolant temp). Is this normal for modern cars @JRB ?

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