Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Van drivers--help wanted

Andrew's car is having issues. We may have resolved them, but I'm still doubtful. We have decided that when it really does die(which may be soon!), we are going to buy a minivan. I struggled with this for a while because I felt like vans were for old people, but most of my friends drive them and they are still young, so I guess I can try it, too.

Right now we're thinking we want either a Honda Oddysey or a Toyota Sienna. I would love to hear the input of other van drivers. What kind do you drive? Why did you choose it? Are you happy with it? Has it been reliable? Would you recommend it?

Thanks in advance for the advice!


Grandma Sweat said...

I vote for the toyota. Our Toyota will be 10 years old in a couple of months and it still feels like new. You can't go wrong with a Toyota. I seriously LOVE my Toyota and will be very sad when we buy a new one - What color are you thinking of? That's the only thing I ever want to know about a new car - but vans are so handy now with doors on each side and the sliding open and everything. YOu will love having a van. And Andrew's car has more than fulfilled it's calling and election in this life.

Love you - miss you very much!
Grandma Sweat

Sandy said...

I vote for the Toyota, too...when we testdrove minivans, we didn't fit very well in the Honda (height wise) and I'm a fan of Toyotas anyway. We ended up getting a Chevy Venture because it worked for our height (seriously, you'll have to do some test driving...we were really surprised that a lot of mini-vans didnt work very well for tall people who actually wanted to see out of the windshield and not have their legs surrounded by space-ship worthy super control panels) and because foreign cars are very few-and-far-between here in Wyoming (plus it was cheaper than a toyota). Also check out consumer reports - there are some BAD mini-vans out there. Avoid Fords (we had one as a hand-me-down for a very short time and sold it after less than a year because we hated it so much). Although we've been really happy with our Venture, we'd go Toyota if we had it to do over again. Unfortunately, I think because of the future size of our children and the fact that when we need four wheel drive, they'll be too big to fit in a truck backseat, we're gonna have to go suburban next time around.

Jake, who is a big truck guy through-and-through, has even been converted to the mini-van lifestyle - you can't beat the gas mileage and low maintenance for a people-hauler. Plus the 2 sliding doors and all the seats that fold up and move around are awesome. And actually, our minivan seats more people than my friends brand new $60K suburban. So be prepared to be asked to haul kids on youth trips:)

Sandy said...

PS - Yes our Venture has been reliable & we would recommend it, but I think a Toyota would last longer (we had a Camry from 40K miles to 130K miles until we traded it in for our van and it was just as good at the end as at the beginning...I miss it)...but get something with a warranty because kids can and will break things like automatic opening sliding doors, door locks, etc...the only thing worse than a used minivan for resale is a used minivan that doesn't work, no matter what brand it is:)

Ang said...

I know some people who love Honda Odessys, but I've never driven one. I'm sure the Toyotas are good too.

We have a Dodge Grand Caravan (as do many of my friends) and I think the main reason we went that way was it was considerably less expensive than a Honda or a Toyota. The foreign cars might last longer, though. We've had our Caravan since October 2000 (hard to believe!) and it's been pretty reliable. We just recently had to replace the motor in the door that operates the window (kept getting stuck--not good in freezing snow :-), but I can't remember anything major going one. And I like my Caravan.

You're going to love having a van. For starters, the kids aren't right behind you, howling in your ears. (At least mine howl. I'm sure yours are much more polite.) But the best thing is having sliding doors instead of doors that swing open. I'm forever worried that my kids are going to ding somebody's car when we're in the Tahoe! And I still like my Caravan better than the Tahoe, but it's probably because it's become old and comfy, like a good pair of PJs.

Sorry for the long response!!

senior citizen in Sandy,Utah said...

"Old people" don't buy vans; they buy sportscars.

Jayne said...

There is a witty (and accurate) senior citizen in sandy, utah:)

As your kids get older and their legs get longer and there is an extra friend or two who wants to ride along, you will be glad to have the extra room.

Shelley said...

Everyone I know who has a Kia (me!), loves them. I have two sister-in-laws with the Kia minivan (Sedona?) and they absolutely love it. In fact, Parenting magazine just had an article on vans this month and said if you can afford it, Honda or Toyota are the way to go, but that Kia is a great van for the price and that it's actually safer than the Toyota van. I'm going to be brand loyal with Kia for a while. Both Michael and I drive Kia/Hyundai cars, and I love that they operate great without making you take out a second mortgage! I don't own stock in Kia but I should.

andrea said...

Thanks for everyone's input! Andrew's car has held in there this week, so hopefully we'll be able to wait until after we're in a new house to buy a new car. It would be nice to not have to do both at the same time.

Mom--we're very boring when it comes to car color. I think we'd try to find a white or silver one if possible.

Shelley--I think Andrew and I are both ANTI Kia. That's what he drives and we put 4 new starters in that thing in the first 4 years of owning it. Very annoying. And we continually get recall notices for little things that are wrong with it. That's worrisome. Before this last near-death incident for his Kia, it had been good for about a year and half, so Andrew thinks it gets better with age.