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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
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    Mini Van drivers

    Which mini van do you drive? I'm trying to find out what you like about it and why you chose the one you did. I think I'm between the Ody and the Sienna. Any advice would be great. I know nothing about mini vans. But having the extra room and slide door may be a huge plus.

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician Maggie's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Van drivers

    I drive a Pontiac Montana, not sure of the exact year but it's about 6ish years old.

    I picked it because I was able to get it for $1500.

    It's nice. Make sure to look for ones with power sliding doors if you can afford it. I LOVE my power doors. Love them. It's so nice to just hit the button on my remote entry when my hands are full of kids and have the doors open on their own. I really like my power lift gate too.

    For what we wanted to spend I picked a newer model domestic vs an older model foreign. If I was able to spend whatever I wanted, I would pick the Honda hands down. My BFF has an '07 and it's wonderful!
    Emily (7.5) Monterey / Eleanor (4) Frontier 85 / Samantha (22 months) RF Radian

  4. #3
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Mini Van drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by MomToEm View Post
    I drive a Pontiac Montana, not sure of the exact year but it's about 6ish years old.

    I picked it because I was able to get it for $1500.

    It's nice. Make sure to look for ones with power sliding doors if you can afford it. I LOVE my power doors. Love them. It's so nice to just hit the button on my remote entry when my hands are full of kids and have the doors open on their own. I really like my power lift gate too.

    For what we wanted to spend I picked a newer model domestic vs an older model foreign. If I was able to spend whatever I wanted, I would pick the Honda hands down. My BFF has an '07 and it's wonderful!
    The power sliding doors are the whole reason I'm thinking about a mini van.

  5. #4
    Senior Community Member MySillyKids's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Van drivers

    odyssey. Hands down!

    We have the touring one, and we LOVE it!!!!

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy mamaofthree's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Van drivers

    I have a 7 passenger o4 Sienna. One power sliding door, which was an absolute dream while it worked. It had started acting up so we turned it off and haven't taken it in for repair yet. I'm tired of driving a minivan, but it has been a great, safe, roomy vehicle for us. I love how the passenger side captains chair can move to the "middle". That is the way we've used it most of the time. When we bought it we were set on they Odyssey or the Sienna but I honestly can't remember why we choose the Sienna. Went to look at it first and just bought it. I had a 4 day old baby and just wanted to get my new van and go home I guess, lol. Since we never went to look at the Odyssey IRL, I'm not sure what the differences are. They are both very safe and you'd prob be happy with either one. Maybe see what you can find a better deal on?

  7. #6
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    Re: Mini Van drivers

    My mom and BIL have Siennas. Friend has an OdyTouring.

    7 seater, I like the Ody.

    8 seater, I like the Sienna. That last seat is a lot bigger and actually useful on the Sienna.

    I'm not a big fan of the others. Used to like the Grand Caravan/T&C also, but not digging this current model.

  8. #7
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Mini Van drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by MySillyKids View Post
    odyssey. Hands down!

    We have the touring one, and we LOVE it!!!!
    What is the Touring one? Does it do something the other don't do?

  9. #8
    Senior Community Member MySillyKids's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Van drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by lorinick View Post
    What is the Touring one? Does it do something the other don't do?
    EVERYTHING! (in my lowest deepest voice )

    it has a rear entertainment center (read: DVD/screen for the kids)
    Navigation.
    power doors/hatch
    18 cupholders!
    roll down for all 4 windows
    3rd row fold down seats (into the cargo area of the 'trunk'
    back up camera

    I was NEVER a van mommy. The van is BY FAR the best purchase ever.

    (I will gladly trade it in for a Subaru WRX STi, Blue with gold rims when the kids are out of carseats however )

  10. #9
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    Re: Mini Van drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by MySillyKids View Post
    (I will gladly trade it in for a Subaru WRX STi, Blue with gold rims when the kids are out of carseats however )
    How many kids do you have?


  11. #10
    Senior Community Member MySillyKids's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Van drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by codex57 View Post
    How many kids do you have?

    yes, yes, i know.

    3 kids

    I can't wait to have one again. We had a WRX wagon, and a STi, that we got rid of for the van.

    Meh.

    *I* get the new car next (whenever that is ), and i'm getting ONE of those!

    DH teased me by calling over there, and asking if they had a blue/gold with navi, and they do.

    I'm not ready to give up the DVD for the kids yet. it keeps them oh. so. quiet.

  12. #11
    Moderator - CPSTI Emeritus Defrost's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Van drivers

    Mazda 5 - because gas mileage was my highest priority in choosing a vehicle that could safely seat 6.
    Debbie, CPST-I
    driving my '07 Mazda5 with
    Thomas (18) * Sam (17) * Patrick (15) * Macha (13)
    Safely secured with seat belts - everyone, every ride!

  13. #12
    Carseat Crazy Chex's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Van drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by codex57 View Post
    7 seater, I like the Ody.

    8 seater, I like the Sienna. That last seat is a lot bigger and actually useful on the Sienna.


    It depends on how many seats you want. We are about to turn in our 8-passenger Odyssey (it was a 4-year lease) and we just bought an '08 8-passenger Sienna. There are pros and cons to both. If you have a husband who cares about "get-up-and-go-ability" then you need to look at an '07 Sienna or newer and an '05 Ody or newer. When we were looking in '05, the Sienna had a lot less power (which lead to our getting the Ody, along with other reasons). They changed the engine a bit in '07.

    It'll also depend on how important leather is to you. Honda's packages make sense to me with what you get each time you get a "higher" package. Toyota's don't make much sense at all. If you want leather you'll have to either get a 7-passenger Sienna or pay the $$$ to have them re-upholster an 8-passenger. The Odyssey comes w/leather no matter what once you hit that "package level."

    The Odyssey's 8th seat is pretty useless, so I definitely wouldn't get it if you are going to need that 8th seat.

    The other weird thing is that with the Toyota you can only get 1 auto-sliding door if you're getting an 8-passenger. The dual-auto-doors only come on the top-level 7-passenger (SOOOO stupid, if you ask me). I know it seems silly, but I really miss having both doors automatic. The Odyssey also comes with dual-auto-doors at a certain level, but I don't think it ever comes with just 1. I really don't get why Toyota does that.

    The other thing is if you're ever going to need to do a 3-across (on either row), the Sienna far surpasses the Odyssey in that area.

    There are other minor differences too. The Odyssey comes with more "creature comforts," but not too many things that I can say I miss terribly. I like the "looks" of the Odyssey better (interior and exterior). I don't know if any of this helps at all, but if you have specific questions feel free to pm me. (Not that I know everything about both vehicles, but I do currently have both parked in my driveway. )

    DD1 13y 5-stepsDS1 12y 5-steps
    DD2 9y IncognitoDD3 7y Pink Monterey
    DD4 5y FF Flora RN XTSLDS2 3y RF Red RN XTSLDS3 Cowmoo Britax Chaperone

  14. #13
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Van drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by MySillyKids View Post
    (I will gladly trade it in for a Subaru WRX STi, Blue with gold rims when the kids are out of carseats however )
    A friend of mine is driving your car.


    Pre '08 models, I'd get an Ody. 2008 or newer, I really liked our Caravan... I found it drove nicer and was quieter than both the Ody and Sienna we test drove... we had the 3.8L model. I that it does not look like a typical mini van... more boxy style.

    We just sold it and downsized to a Ford Escape that I'm adoring.
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt in the driver's seat now!
    DS2 /05, Seatbelt

    DS3 /12, Britax Frontier/Parkway SG
    DD1 /15, Rfing Peg PVC

  15. #14
    CPS Fanatic Lea_Ontario's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Van drivers

    We don't have it yet - but within a few days we'll be driving a 2005 Sedona.
    Mama to :
    Boo (2002), apramo backless booster
    Bug (2004), Parkway SGL
    Bear (2006), Parkway SGL

  16. #15
    Senior Community Member
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    Re: Mini Van drivers

    2004 Ford Freestar.....Why? loooooong story but I love it anyway even though I was looking for an Ody.
    J-10.5 yrs, 100 lbs, 4 ft 10.5 ins-adult seatbelt
    C-9yrs-Britax Parkway SG, Clek ozzi, Incognito
    S-6.5 yrs -Britax Parkway SG,

  17. #16
    Carseat Crazy mum2two's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Van drivers

    Love ours!!

    We have Mercury Monterey 04, the twin is the Ford Freestar, we have two kids and have the 2nd row captains and 3rd row bench that folds down but even when the 3rd row is being used we have more room for cargo than most minivans.

    I guess cause ours has dual power doors I assumed all did that!

    Although a minivan my friends always ask what it is when they ride with me, there is something less minivan about it, but honestly I just love it for the ease with kids etc and the back up sensors and telescoping foot pedals are a bonus too (I"m only 4'10").
    Single Mom and SLP

  18. #17
    Carseat Crazy Chex's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Van drivers

    I may be wrong, but aren't the Sienna and the Odyssey still the only minivans to have side-curtain airbags for all 3 rows? That, along with resale, was one of the reasons we chose those 2 vans.

    DD1 13y 5-stepsDS1 12y 5-steps
    DD2 9y IncognitoDD3 7y Pink Monterey
    DD4 5y FF Flora RN XTSLDS2 3y RF Red RN XTSLDS3 Cowmoo Britax Chaperone

  19. #18
    Senior Community Member MySillyKids's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Van drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by mum2two View Post
    I just love it for the ease with kids etc and the back up sensors and telescoping foot pedals are a bonus
    We have that on our Ody too!

  20. #19
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    Re: Mini Van drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by Chex View Post
    I may be wrong, but aren't the Sienna and the Odyssey still the only minivans to have side-curtain airbags for all 3 rows? That, along with resale, was one of the reasons we chose those 2 vans.
    No, most, if not all of them have side curtain airbags for all 3 rows now. SIenna and Odyssey prolly were one of the earliest to have it for all 3 rows.

  21. #20
    CPS Technician oxeye's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Van drivers

    I have a 7-passenger '08 Sienna - I went with the Sienna because it was the only one with AWD and I drive over a mountain pass fairly frequently.

    If I didn't care about AWD I would have gone with the Odyssey I think simply because I like the look of it better and it had a little bit better safety ratings. I am very happy with the Toyota so far, though (but take my feelings with a grain of salt since it only has 3000 miles on it).
    Roxie -- CPST and mommy to:
    DD1 - 11, DD2 - 9, DS - 5

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