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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone here have suggestions for a good minivan? My family wants a new car, and we've narrowed it down to a minivan - I convinced my mom about the evils of owning an SUV
. By good, I mean, reliability, flexible cargo space, room for occasional 6-7 people and definitely a little bit of pep in performance.

Right now, I'm looking at either an Odessey, Caravan (AWD w/ 3.8?), and maybe the MPV.
 
J

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I've heard quite a few good things about the new Ford Freestar. I actually *like* the late model Windstars, I bet you could get one of those certified preowned for a really good price.
 

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If I HAD to own a minivan, I would go with the new Nissan Quest.
 

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Minivan wize! STAY AWAY FROM FORD!!! Toyato is definetly the most reliable van outthere! Yes you will pay the price but it's damn well worth it!
 

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The new Nissan Quest's dashboard ergonomics is horrible, not to mention the exterior styling. The Quest isn't selling well at all, there are reasons why.

I am not a fan of Toyota, so I am not going to recommend the Sienna.

Wait for the redesigned 2005 Odyssey with cylinder deactivation!



(07:32 April 12, 2004)
Honda's Odyssey to get cylinder shut-off technology


By YUZO YAMAGUCHI | Automotive News

TOKYO - Honda Motor Co.'s new Odyssey will be powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 that runs on all six cylinders when accelerating and three cylinders when cruising.

The fuel-saving technology will be a first for a minivan. Chrysler's new 300C sedan is offered with cylinder deactivation.

The redesigned Odyssey is due this fall. Company sources say the minivan also will use what Honda calls "active noise" technology to lower vibration when the engine is operating with three cylinders.

The Honda sources won't say how much its variable cylinder management technology will improve fuel economy. The current minivan is EPA-rated at 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg in highway driving. The sources also won't say whether the engine will be standard equipment on the remodeled Odyssey.

On the 3.0-liter, V-6 Japan-market Inspire sedan, the cylinder deactivation system gets 27.3 mpg. That compares with 21.9 mpg for the previous Inspire's 3.2-liter V-6 engine. The figures are based on Japan's so-called 10-15 mode test, which is not directly comparable with mileage tests elsewhere.

Honda won't use the technology in the Acura TL, the U.S. version of the Inspire.

General Motors and DaimlerChrysler AG also are embracing the concept.

The new Chrysler 300C has a V-8 designed with what DaimlerChrysler calls a multidisplacement system. It uses eight cylinders when climbing a hill or accelerating to pass. Once acceleration flattens, the engine switches automatically to a four-cylinder cruise mode.

General Motors says it will offer cylinder deactivation on many vehicles in the next four years, equipping both V-6s and V-8s with the technology

Honda officials say their new engine is quiet and smooth. When operating in three-cylinder mode, engine vibration is reduced by changing the crankshaft rotation speed and using an active control engine mount. In addition, a speaker generates a sound that cancels out noise - active noise control. Honda engineers say the driver is unaware of a change in the number of cylinders being used.

As a price-sensitive family vehicle, the Odyssey is not an immediate candidate for costly hybrid technology to improve fuel efficiency.

The remodeled minivan will retain the same general packaging as the current version. The focus will be on functionality, not styling, say sources. That contrasts with a Japanese version of the Odyssey, launched last October, that has a low roofline to give it a sporty look.

The U.S. Odyssey will not be the only Honda model to use the variable cylinder management technology. At the Detroit auto show in January, Honda said it would use the system in a hybrid version of the Accord due this fall.

Source: www.Autoweek.com


The ASM concept is which the new USDM Odyssey will be based on:
 

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honda odyssey without question
 

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I hate the Odyssey. Way too rough for a mini-van. The Sienna is a much better choice. The seat comfort is amazing, and my friend's parents have one with 200K miles. Honestly, there is no competition in the mini-van market.

I actually liked the Mercury Villager, but that Nissan engine is somewhat troublesome. If you go mini-van, avoid Chrysler and Ford. I like Ford, but the Windstar has horrible rattles inside, and the Chrysler has dreadful electronics and trans-axle durability.

I haven't ridden in the Quest, but it looks goofy. Have you thought about cross-over vehicles? Even something like an Explorer? If SUVs are evil, then I sure am Satan himself. But I can do what a Mini-van can, and then some. Gas mileage? Sure thing. 18/25. Performance? 0-60 in 8 seconds. Cargo Capacity? I have slept in it before while lying perfectly horizontal on a flat carpeted floor with AC blowing over me. You tell me the Explorer isn't a great choice.
 

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I disagree about the Quest. Usually people who don't like them has never driven one. Its cornering is unreal for a minivan. The 3.5L V6 is really quick of the line..

My wife drives a 2000 Mercury Villager Sport. The sport had wider tires, sunroofs, more standard features and special 2 tone colors. It is really fun to drive with the Nissan 3.3L V6. This is by far the smoothest car I have owned. If you don't mind a used one, you can get a 2003 for a good price.

That Nissan engine problem is a thing of the past. Those engines weren't great pre-1999, when they re-designed the Villager.





Good luck,
 
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Ford has compeltely revamped the new Freestar. I would recommend at least checking it out. It's brand new for 2004. The Windstar has been discontinued. A friend of my mom's has one and loves it. I haven't ridden in it or anything yet, but they seem to be very nice. Ford redesigned them taking into considerations any previous problems they've had. It doesn't hurt to look and test drive.


Yes, I'm a die hard Ford fan.


btw... that new Nissan mini van "thing" is fugly
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Originally posted by Majisto@Apr 13 2004, 02:50 PM
I hate the Odyssey. Way too rough for a mini-van. The Sienna is a much better choice. The seat comfort is amazing, and my friend's parents have one with 200K miles. Honestly, there is no competition in the mini-van market.

I actually liked the Mercury Villager, but that Nissan engine is somewhat troublesome. If you go mini-van, avoid Chrysler and Ford. I like Ford, but the Windstar has horrible rattles inside, and the Chrysler has dreadful electronics and trans-axle durability.

I haven't ridden in the Quest, but it looks goofy. Have you thought about cross-over vehicles? Even something like an Explorer? If SUVs are evil, then I sure am Satan himself. But I can do what a Mini-van can, and then some. Gas mileage? Sure thing. 18/25. Performance? 0-60 in 8 seconds. Cargo Capacity? I have slept in it before while lying perfectly horizontal on a flat carpeted floor with AC blowing over me. You tell me the Explorer isn't a great choice.
Yes, actually, we had a big discussion before going out to any of the lots. Basically, my mom (the one that will buy the new car) wants the ability to haul 6 people or 4 boxes of cargo (!) to and from different places (mainly when we go pickup family members from the airport) above all else. In short, she wants a hauler - a perfect description of a minivan. There are few SUV's and Crossover's I've seen that can haul more than 5 people around and have as much cargo capacity, but usually its at the expense of higher gas mileage, higher insurance rates, higher price etc.

Also, something not too big as it is hard to parallel park anything larger than a Crown Vic in NYC (hence my personal choice for the MPV). Keep it coming guys, I could really use the feedback as we'll be going scouting in a couple of weeks!


The new Odyssey, do they have an exact date of its release? We planned on getting a 2003/early 2004 model because dealers are more likely to give out deals on them, but the deactivation system and the new body shape has picqued my interest


Oh yeah, for anyone that is curious - the Taurus will not be going anywhere
. Worse comes to worse, it will be given to my uncle as a commuter car, but more than likely, we'll be using the bull more often around the city than the new minivan (fear of scratches).
 

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GO WITH THE FREESTAR!!!!!


My 'rents have a 98 Windstar 3.8, has 97k and runs good enough, never had any problems except for a lil stumbling when going from a stop, havent had time to check it out but otherwise they are reliable, if you cant afford a new Freestar, a slightly used Windstar is a wise choice as long as the trans was maintained. Our AXOD hasnt been driven "softly" good bit of flooring, towing, and sustained high speeds and shifts like new!!!!
and no head gasket probs either


Oh, and the 04 'star I believe has the new 4.2 V6, which should be a even BIGGER torque-monster than the old 3.8, mmmmm gotta love that torque!!!! Its crazy sleeper for a van.

BTW parallel parking this van is pretty easy since you have great visibility, my Impala can be a pain, and my dad's grand marquis is a pain, low and long as hell
 

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BTW I've driven an older Sienna and that thing was slooooowwwwwww


Nissan's looks weird, and its a first year vehicle so they might have more probs than an older style model.

Odyssey is overpriced and has the curves of a large brick, plus its a HONDUH so thats the main reason to run the opposite way!!!

Chrysler makes some good vans, but their electrical and powertrains seem to have lots of issues, so unless its a 2.5 Turbo
go somewhere else!
 
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I would avoid ford minivans at all costs. Ford has yet to make a worthwhile product which calls itself a minivan. Here's a ford minivan forum: http://www.cartrackers.com/Forums/live/fordwindstar/ try asking them how much they love their vehicles. The freestar isn't any different than the windstar. Hell, if you want to go ford, you might as well look around for an 03 windstar and load it up with warranty than waste money on a brand new freestar. You can't go wrong with the nissan, honda, or toyota. You shouldn't have any problem buying any of those at invoice. However, if you can hold out, wait for the 05 oddessy.
 

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There's a resaon why we own an Explorer and not a mini-van. We love the durability of the Explorer. 128K miles on it, and absolutely no major mechanical problems. Mini-vans are still car-based, and to me, that just screams weak. You can tow maybe 1,000 lbs. in a mini-van max. My Explorer can tow 5K.


Honestly though, avoid the Oddesey. It is pretty quick, but I hate the ride. It feels like an Accord (It probably is). The Pilot is actually a very nice SUV and it has third row seating. Still, I'd go with Toyota. The V-6 isn't too slow...the new one is a lot quicker thanks to the 3.3 V-6 versus the 3.0 Camry motor. Also, I love the seats so much in the back. The Ford is way too hard, as is Honda.
 

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There's an incredible demand for Odyssey minivans now. Last I checked, back in December at Bay Ridge Honda, there was a 3 month waiting list for it, and it's going for $2000 over MSRP. The Honda/Toyota/Nissan vans are pretty much the same. I guess it really depends on your tastes.

Honda - bland, conservative
Toyota - fun, modern
Nissan - radical design, but can't deny the VQ engine
 

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2004 Mercury Monterey. This is one is the nicest vehicles I have ever been in. I saw one at the dealer and got to go for a ride, Powerful, agile, and loaded to the gills. The 4.2 really moves that thing.

Not to mention:

Tri Zone EATC
And a** warmers and Coolers, yes, the permier model has a** coolers.

I would get one in a minute if I had a family or cared about kids.
 
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Originally posted by duratecchie@Apr 13 2004, 02:22 PM
honda odyssey without question


We drove almost every minivan made last year, and decided that the Honda would be the one for us. Hands down worth the cash they want for it. We couldn't get it, though, not enough on the Taurus for a trade, and Honda doesn't usually offer mad discounts like the other manufacturers. I don't blame them, they don't need rebates to sell cars!
 
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