: My wife needs a new Minivan... Suggestions?



Koooop
08-28-10, 12:19 AM
Unfortunately I think it's time to replace the 1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette Minivan.

I'm open to suggestions.

I prefer to buy cars at 2 years old with about 20,000 miles.

The more I read about the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Chrysler TC the more I think it's a big HOJ. The VW Routan seems to be more than exactly the same as the Chrysler products i.e. they have german tuned suspension and brakes. Translated I think that means brake jobs are going to be an arm and a leg, plus I have to go to the VW dealer and get hosed for repairs.

Honda have transmission issues and the Toyota is like sitting in a picnic chair on bleachers!

The Minivan choices seem to suck right now.

The Olds has been with us for over 9 years, has needed a few repairs, the paint and interior are still immaculate. The car could pass for 60,000 miles when she's past 120,000.

Any ideas out there?

And yes, my wife likes minivans. Go figure.

Stingroo
08-28-10, 12:27 AM
What's your budget?

ga_etc
08-28-10, 12:39 AM
If you don't like the current choices and what you have still looks good and has decent mileage, why do you feel it's time for something new?

Playdrv4me
08-28-10, 01:30 AM
Minivans in general are just road going refrigerators anyway so why so much concern with that? I mean you aren't canyon carving in the thing, its got to be reliable and safe for your wife and family. The brand new Sienna has a LOT of great features and doesn't seem to suffer as much from the recent crappy Toyota syndromes (it even has Xenon Headlights and an available leather and wood steering wheel).

Alternatively to that I would heavily recommend the current Honda Odyssey (it has been my favorite as far as appearance and driving feel for a long time). I have a friend who has had ZERO problems with her Odyssey and has had it the better part of 3 or 4 years now. Those Honda transmission issues to the best of my knowledge have long since been resolved also.

At the bottom of the (very short) list of halfway decent vans is the Chrysler Town and Country, which is also available with more technology than you can shake a stick at (Sirius backseat TV, xenon headlights, MyGig Navigation system, Stow and Go seating). On paper the TC is the most "fun", but they are not known for being ultra reliable. There was already a recall on those and the Routan for overheating door latches that could theoretically catch fire... not fun.

Aron9000
08-28-10, 04:33 AM
If the current van is reliable, still looks great, why do you feel the need to replace it???

120k miles is not a lot now days IMO, my mom's 2000 Toyota Avalon has 190k on it and she drives the shit out of that car now for her new job. 60 miles a day commuting. We've probably put 130k miles on that car doing roadtrips with just ONE incident of the car breaking down on us. Dad is thinking about buying a new car next year, I tell him to save his $$$ since the car runs flawlessly and still looks pretty damn respectable since its spent its entire life in a garage at work and home and he waxes it about every three months.

gdwriter
08-28-10, 04:43 AM
My sister had one transmission failure covered under warranty in her '01 Odyssey, and when the second one refused to go past N, she drove it to the local Honda dealer and traded it for an '06 Odyssey Touring. I think Honda has fixed the transmission troubles, and Susan's latest Odyssey is awfully nice (we used it to schlep everybody at the Minneapolis meet in June). Minivans are certainly useful, and I think the Odyssey is probably the best driving of the bunch.

Night Wolf
08-28-10, 06:15 AM
My sister had one transmission failure covered under warranty in her '01 Odyssey, and when the second one refused to go past N, she drove it to the local Honda dealer and traded it for an '06 Odyssey Touring. I think Honda has fixed the transmission troubles, and Susan's latest Odyssey is awfully nice (we used it to schlep everybody at the Minneapolis meet in June). Minivans are certainly useful, and I think the Odyssey is probably the best driving of the bunch.

lol.

Playdrv4me
08-28-10, 08:57 AM
lol.

Actually, the Honday Odyssey Touring is pretty farking amazing in the handling department.... for a Minivan... which seems to cancel that out.

To the OP... any consideration for CROSSOVERS? The Buick Enclave will kick the daylights out of any stinkin' Minivan and its marketed DIRECTLY toward that market (but I know some people just can't live without those barn doors).

I~LUV~Caddys8792
08-28-10, 09:49 AM
Yeah, for sure. The crossovers are taking over the minivan demographic as many former minivan owners want to get away from that image, but still want the utility, easy handling and smaller size of a minivan.

gdwriter
08-28-10, 05:00 PM
"Touring" is just a designation for the top-of-the-line Odyssey, Rick. As my sister put it, it's got everything but an autopilot, and for a family road trip, it's actually quite capable. Drives better than you'd expect a minivan to drive. Though I would definitely check out the Enclave.

orconn
08-28-10, 05:54 PM
My son traded his Honda "Pilot" (a minivan for those who are embarassed to drive one, but actually need one to haul all their kid crap around in) for an "Odyssey" (which he should have bought in the first place, but the wife didn't want to look like the "Soccer Mom" she really was) to get the marginally extra space it supplied over the "Pilot." I have beeen impressed with both cars, for their intended use they really get the job done. Hondas are one of the few cars it probably amkes ense to buy new and keep along time. Use car prices for low mileage fairly new Hondas are high enough to make a case for buying a new look sensible. At anyrate my son and his spouse love their Honda Odyssey minivan and from my rides in it oit seems about all you could want in this type vehicle.

ben.gators
08-28-10, 08:03 PM
My advisor at university is a rich person, but drives a Honda Odyssey! lol
and he is very satisfied with it.....

hueterm
08-28-10, 09:36 PM
I don't see why you say the choices for minivans suck now -- minivans are better than they've ever been. GM's and Ford's offerings were what sucked....

Destroyer
08-28-10, 11:19 PM
"My wife needs a new Minivan... Suggestions?" - Yeah, tell her minivans are gay and to wish for something else!!!!!!!!! Seriously though, I never liked the image a minivan projects even if it is a decent vehicle. Through 2 kids and all, I never swayed from that. I just don't like them. :bouncy:

The-Dullahan
08-29-10, 02:22 AM
Right on, Destroyer. We had a whole gaggle of Pikey kids in our family and DID own a minivan VERY BRIEFLY. It was brand new, nothing was wrong with it, my parents just hated the thing so much, they got rid of it and just stuck with the Grand Marquis, Chevelle SS, Bonneville Wagon, Town Car, Conversion Van, Suburban and Trans Am.

Koooop
08-29-10, 11:56 AM
"My wife needs a new Minivan... Suggestions?" - Yeah, tell her minivans are gay and to wish for something else!!!!!!!!! Seriously though, I never liked the image a minivan projects even if it is a decent vehicle. Through 2 kids and all, I never swayed from that. I just don't like them. :bouncy:

She really couldn't care less about the image or what people think.

(She married me)

Koooop
08-29-10, 12:12 PM
What's your budget?

I'd like to be around $30k, 2 years old, still under warranty, 20k miles and loaded to the nutz!


If you don't like the current choices and what you have still looks good and has decent mileage, why do you feel it's time for something new?

It's just getting old. Funny thing is we're having hard time finding one we like better than the Olds. I haven't put her in the Walter P. Limited Town & Country yet though. I think that'll do it.


If the current van is reliable, still looks great, why do you feel the need to replace it???

120k miles is not a lot now days IMO, my mom's 2000 Toyota Avalon has 190k on it and she drives the shit out of that car now for her new job. 60 miles a day commuting. We've probably put 130k miles on that car doing roadtrips with just ONE incident of the car breaking down on us. Dad is thinking about buying a new car next year, I tell him to save his $$$ since the car runs flawlessly and still looks pretty damn respectable since its spent its entire life in a garage at work and home and he waxes it about every three months.

It's still a good car, but I have no valid excuse for her to push around a 12 year old car with a Buck and Quarter on the odo. Besides, who wants to have the family hauler poop out in Yellowstone (or anywhere for that matter).


Actually, the Honday Odyssey Touring is pretty farking amazing in the handling department.... for a Minivan... which seems to cancel that out.

To the OP... any consideration for CROSSOVERS? The Buick Enclave will kick the daylights out of any stinkin' Minivan and its marketed DIRECTLY toward that market (but I know some people just can't live without those barn doors).

It wasn't easy, but I have her convinced to test drive an Enclave and a Mazda CX9.


I don't see why you say the choices for minivans suck now -- minivans are better than they've ever been. GM's and Ford's offerings were what sucked....

My guess is you've never been in an 1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette with the Premiere package.


"Touring" is just a designation for the top-of-the-line Odyssey, Rick. As my sister put it, it's got everything but an autopilot, and for a family road trip, it's actually quite capable. Drives better than you'd expect a minivan to drive. Though I would definitely check out the Enclave.

I drove a Touring, the leather seats are like lazy boys and the interior is a quiet a a tomb. Quite capable is an understatement, it's a heck of a perfomer and would probably run circles around a number of sedans. Very Nice!

Stingroo
08-29-10, 12:22 PM
The CX9 is really sharp. I like that thing a lot.

hueterm
08-29-10, 12:30 PM
No, but I've been in Chevrolet Ventures/Uplanders as shuttles, and I can't say that I was impressed. I'm basing my observations off of that, multiple rentals of Ford Freestars (which were awful) and the previous gen Town & Country -- which also sucked, except for the Stow and Go seats. Also, the GM's terrible crash testing, no Stow and Go for GM or Ford, and the abysmal sales figures for both. They admitted that they couldn't compete in the minivan arena when they got out.

I'm not a big fan of any minivans, although at some point I might need one as a dog carrier -- however the current gen T&C, Odyssey, and Sienna are at least livable...

If you and she like the Silhouette, then this would be your closest option (500 miles from zip 90210 w/less than 60K miles):

http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/searchresults.jsp?rdm=1283095985630&lastStartYear=1981&num_records=25&model=TERRAZA&systime=&make2=&highlightFirstMakeModel=&start_year=1981&engine=&keywordsrep=&keywordsfyc=&certified=&fuel=&body_code=0&awsp=false&search_type=both&distance=500&marketZipError=false&ct=u&search_lang=en&showZipError=y&make=BUICK&color=&keywords_display=&page_location=findacar%3A%3Aispsearchform&min_price=&drive=&default_sort=priceDESC&seller_type=b&max_mileage=60000&style_flag=1&sort_type=priceDESC&address=90210&advanced=y&end_year=2011&transmission=&doors=&car_year=2005&max_price=#283562697

Koooop
08-29-10, 04:08 PM
Minivans aren't my thing either.

There is no comparison bettween a purpose built rental grade car vs. the fully equipped models.

The Premiere package on this van had a number of different features including 4 airbags. So a blanket statement about poor crash testing does not apply to the Premiere edition.

And yes, the replacement car will need to have high crash test ratings as well.

hueterm
08-29-10, 04:27 PM
Seriously -- so one has leather instead of cloth?? And in '99 maybe a VHS player with a zero x zero resolution flip down LCD that cost $3K? I'm pretty sure there weren't different engines, major suspension modifications and cabin layout/design changes.

As to safety, this is what I'm talking about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Venture#Safety

The only reason I remember it, is that it was all over the news. I don't think airbags were the issue -- it was the failure of the body structure in offset frontals.

Anyway, keep what you have, or buy what you want. If you want another GM, I'm sure you can find a Terraza, Montana, or Venture that is similar. If you want something new, you can get a ChryCo, Toyo, Honda, or Kia/Hyundai -- I doubt GM or Ford will try to get back in that game.

ga_etc
08-29-10, 08:40 PM
http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?ct=u&car_id=283212843&dealer_id=72185&car_year=2004&rdm=1283125018168&lastStartYear=1981&model=SILHO&num_records=25&systime=&make2=&highlightFirstMakeModel=&start_year=1981&keywordsfyc=&keywordsrep=&engine=&certified=&body_code=0&fuel=&awsp=false&search_type=both&distance=0&marketZipError=false&search_lang=en&showZipError=y&make=OLDS&keywords_display=&color=&page_location=findacar%3A%3Aispsearchform&min_price=&drive=&default_sort=priceDESC&seller_type=b&max_mileage=&style_flag=1&sort_type=priceDESC&address=30721&feature4=dvd%20player&advanced=y&end_year=2011&doors=&transmission=&max_price=&cardist=624&standard=false&rdpage=thumb

Replacement worthy?

Caddyshack100
08-29-10, 08:55 PM
IHMO, I would never trade a minivan for a Crossover.. Those are the fuglyist vehicles on the road with the GM ugly sisters near the top of the list.. I currently own a 2003 Olds Silhouette and it has been dead nuts reliable. The problem with the crossovers are, they are more style (subjective) than utility. There is a reason that Chrysler opted for the 'square look' rather than the pregnant egg look that the previous gen had. People complained loud and clear that you could not put much into them. At least the Venture series was Cheap, easy to fix and parts are a dime a dozen, and as the OP probably has noticed.. these vans get great gas mileage. Crossovers are a fad that in 5 to 7 years people are going to look back and go yuck...

orconn
08-29-10, 09:14 PM
Crossovers are "vanity" minivans for those weanies that can't come to grips with what they need verses some silly image they want to protect. In actuality they end up looking like also rans in the intelligence and taste race. If your self-confidence isn't lacking get a minivan and enjoy all its' advantages during those years when you need something to schlep the kids around in! Or if you continue to need the features and space that a minivan offers then drive it till something else makes more sense.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
08-29-10, 10:28 PM
I like Dodge's commercial for the Grand Caravans. "What's more masculine than taking a van and filling it with your offspring"?

Destroyer
08-29-10, 10:31 PM
The CX9 is really sharp. I like that thing a lot.The CX9 is a vehicle my wife liked a whole lot but I didn't want any part of. I told her I'd buy her one if she wanted it but she said she'd leave that up to me. :sneaky::lildevil:

codewize
08-29-10, 10:35 PM
I'd get the new N* powered Cadillac XLV-s touring van. OK ok so maybe they haven't made that yet but if they did.......

hueterm
08-29-10, 10:36 PM
I like Dodge's commercial for the Grand Caravans. "What's more masculine than taking a van and filling it with your offspring"?


I've never seen that, but it's good.

Koooop
08-30-10, 01:25 AM
Seriously -- so one has leather instead of cloth?? And in '99 maybe a VHS player with a zero x zero resolution flip down LCD that cost $3K? I'm pretty sure there weren't different engines, major suspension modifications and cabin layout/design changes.

As to safety, this is what I'm talking about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Venture#Safety

The only reason I remember it, is that it was all over the news. I don't think airbags were the issue -- it was the failure of the body structure in offset frontals.

Anyway, keep what you have, or buy what you want. If you want another GM, I'm sure you can find a Terraza, Montana, or Venture that is similar. If you want something new, you can get a ChryCo, Toyo, Honda, or Kia/Hyundai -- I doubt GM or Ford will try to get back in that game.

Leather instead of cloth. 'bout the same difference between a big block suburban with cloth and an EXT.

Playdrv4me
08-30-10, 04:39 AM
I have to disagree with the sentiments about the crossovers being ugly. Again, a crossover is not necessarily something I'd consider for myself, but the previous generation SRX was actually a damn fine looking car in its final, "updated interior" version and the design is far from stale. They made a *serious* mistake basing the new one on the Equinox platform, but the Enclave is a completely different animal altogether. While the argument for "uselessness" could very likely apply to all of those half-assed "Micro-ute" Equinox sized things... there is -more- space in the Enclave/Acadia than there is in some full size GM SUVs, and they have better build quality and interior appointment than ANY domestic minivan offerings. I would go as far as to say that the Enclave is a vehicle I might even consider used in the future as a good cheap SUV-like "thing" with all the luxury features I like. GM got it right with that platform and the amount of them I see on the road goes to show that's not just my opinion. The things get ridiculous fuel economy for such a big vehicle to boot. All of those comments apply to the VERY large Mazda CX-9 as well.

Unless you absolutely need the sliding doors and are carrying platen glass with you on a daily basis, the large crossovers are fine. They are overhyped, but they still serve a perfectly acceptable purpose. Only the Odyssey is close to being competitive with the Enclave from a Minivan standpoint.

Koooop
08-30-10, 06:32 PM
I'm actually hoping she'll go for a crossover. It seems to me the auto industry just rebranded the family Station Wagon as an SUV. I had a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the DMV description was "Station Wagon" on the title.

Crossovers are good!

If I get my way she'll be driving a 2WD Navigator so I can tow a boat.

I like Station Wagons enough that if GM puts an LS3 in the CTS wagon I'll probably be driving one when my CTS-V blows chow.

Koooop
08-30-10, 06:33 PM
I'd get the new N* powered Cadillac XLV-s touring van. OK ok so maybe they haven't made that yet but if they did.......

I've suggested this to Cadillac a number of times, but I'd want pushrods!

Koooop
04-11-11, 11:54 PM
Well,

Cadillac didn't take my advice and put up a V8 Minivan (or any Minivan for that matter). Got the wife a new Town & Country Limited. I'll have the front windows tinted so no one will see me driving it.

:vomit: