New(ish) minivan on a budget


New member
Asking for a friend who is suddenly realizing that she needs a minivan pretty much immediately.

She has a newborn and a large dog, and is planning 1-2 more children. They prefer newer rather than older vehicles, and based on her husband's preferences and their budget, they're pretty much limited to a recent year of the T&C or the 2015 Sedona. (They'll look at older used Hondas and Toyotas if neither of these works out, but they want to try this first.)

Am I imagining that the 3rd row seat belts in the T&C/Caravan got fixed in 2014? Or maybe I'm just off by a year?

Also, she rode in a 2015 Sedona, and was unclear on a couple things:

1) Is it true that the 8th seat has a shoulder belt that can be detached, so it can have just a lap belt? I told her that's brilliant if it's true (she didn't actually try to detach it, it just looked like it to her), but Google is finding nothing about it.

2) She said the head rests and seats in the 3rd row were awful for comfort. The seats were too narrow, and the head rests didn't come up high enough and pushed her head forward. I assume she knows what she's talking about when it comes to hip room, but based on pictures, I'm betting she didn't manage to raise the head rest all the way. Has anyone played with the 3rd row? How is it for car seats?


New member
"Husband's preferences and their budget?" Can you be more specific. Seems weird that they can afford a 2015 Sedona or T&C, but not look at a Sienna or Odyssey. A 5-6 year old Odyssey would be better than a new T&C.


Admin - CPS Technician
I agree that I'd look at a couple-year-old Odyssey or Sienna over a newer T&C or Sedona.

The seatbelt is probably the kind you need to attach to a mini-buckle on one side in order to use it as a lap-shoulder belt, but not the kind that can be used a lap-only belt.

I haven't been in the third row of one lately, so I'm not sure what the headrest situation is like. It's possible they adjust more, but it's also possible they're uncomfortable. Third rows tend not to be the most comfortable places in the world for adults to sit.


New member
I mean that he doesn't want an older vehicle. If you look at the parenthetical in the very next sentence, it's not that they can't afford an older Toyota/Honda, it's that he wants to eliminate these possibilities first before looking at them.


New member
I mean that he doesn't want an older vehicle. If you look at the parenthetical in the very next sentence, it's not that they can't afford an older Toyota/Honda, it's that he wants to eliminate these possibilities first before looking at them.

I think they can get a current generation model Honda or Toyota for the same price as a 2015 Kia...and get more car. There are deals now at the end of the year. If they are in an area where they can look at Kia's, then they should find lots of Hondas/Toyotas.

The T&C/Caravan/VW are not going to measure up as well to the other cars (even the Kia) if you look at fit and finish, driveability, option packages, and reliability long term. Kia really did step their game up in this latest 2015 model, but I still think a 2-3 year old Honda or Toyota will outshine it.


New member
There is only one top tether anchor in the third row of the T&C/Routan/Caravan. The belt fit in the third row is also unsafe for anything other than some highback boosters and ff car seats. The belt geometry is just that bad.


New member
Well, they got a 2012 T&C despite my anti-recommendation. The limitations are probably something they'll be able to work around, unless maybe they end up with surprise triplets in a few years or something.


New member
I had a 2012 town and country. It was okay with 2 kids. I hated it when #3 came. I have a 2015 odyssey now and it's so much better!

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