Thread Number: 35673  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
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Post# 383129   12/26/2017 at 10:51 (539 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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I've always liked minivans because I feel like you get a lot of space/features for the money compared to SUVs and trucks.

The jellybean models are my favorite though, I'd love to find a 2005-07 one with stow and go and the Limiteds of those years had a lot of features for the time, for instance you can get them with curtain airbags, navigation (which I probably wouldn't use), and UConnect.

So I'd like to find one of those with low miles, or one of the newer box shaped ones. I'm sure it's hard to find an 05-07 with low miles unless it was someone that just drove it a couple of times a week. But the 05-07 can be had fairly cheaply now regardless but I don't know how well they have held up, I would guess the electronics may need work.

Otherwise, I'd like a truck, but spacewise, I'd want a crew cab and they are way more expensive than vans for some reason, especially when you start adding options.

Post# 383130 , Reply# 1   12/26/2017 at 11:33 (539 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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This my favorite color combo on these vans, green with tan/brown and woodgrain/silver trim interior. I also like the black and the sea blue exterior colors.

Also my favorite trucks are the late 07-12 Silverado and Sierra crewcabs. Especially again this similar green and lightgray/tan.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 383133 , Reply# 2   12/26/2017 at 13:09 (539 days old) by Hank (Cali)        

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I owned a minivan for a little while. It was ok for most things but a cargo van would be a better choice. Body on frame instead of unibody and front wheel drive on a mini van. More durable especially if you are using it to haul stuff and tow a lot more than a minivan. For me a cargo van is a better choice. Ymmv

Post# 383141 , Reply# 3   12/26/2017 at 18:08 (538 days old) by vacuumlad1650 (Chicago Suburbs)        

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Ive always drove Work Trucks and Mini-vans. Had a 1996 Plymouth Grand Voyager in gold. Very nice car, but it became a money pit. My Personal vehicle is a 2013 Honda Ridgeline. The old man drives a 2016 Nissan Pathfinder. The Work Trucks include a 1979 Ford F250 and a 2005 Ford F550.

Post# 383142 , Reply# 4   12/26/2017 at 18:12 (538 days old) by vacuumlad1650 (Chicago Suburbs)        

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Post# 383143 , Reply# 5   12/26/2017 at 18:14 (538 days old) by vacuumlad1650 (Chicago Suburbs)        

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How did that picture get in my post???

This is the Honda

Post# 383144 , Reply# 6   12/26/2017 at 18:14 (538 days old) by vacuumlad1650 (Chicago Suburbs)        

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Ok, i Genuinely have NO idea why the Dodge Minivan keeps getting in my post...Ill try and put up a picture later.

Post# 383175 , Reply# 7   12/27/2017 at 20:25 (537 days old) by dartman (Portland OR)        

Well I have a 78 3/4 ton Dodge van I bought off a job site about 08 simply because it was dirt cheap and had a bunch of new or rebuilt parts including tires with 300 miles on them. I also happen to like Mopars and have parts stashed for them like starters alternators and like that. I paid 300 bucks after jump starting it to make sure it worked. Guy had it 30 years and just didn't drive it any more and was tired of paying insurance and tags for it to just sit. I got a battery and tags and a new fuel pump and drove it very occasional myself and now it's parked behind my fence in my side yard gravel parking area.
I can't afford to fully insure and tag it to just sit either but it's great extra rolling storage and I have comp only insurance so if I need to use it I just call my agent and start it up for a month.
I can certainly can see the utility of a mini van, big enough to pick up a big screen TV or lawn mower or like that but small enough to easily park and gets much better mpg then a old full size van does. My dodge probably gets close to 12 in town and the Chevy I drive at work always loaded with ladders, tools, and cement is lucky to get 10 or slightly better and it's a 97 with fuel injection. We could probably replace one of our daily drivers with a nice mini van and everyone would still be happy and we could easily get those minor larger things without paying for a loan to put gas in it and insurance wouldn't be any higher than our regular car so no difference there.

Post# 383193 , Reply# 8   12/28/2017 at 09:26 (537 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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The " kids" have a late model Grand Caravan, I like it!Stow and go seats, but I admit not that comfortable on long trips, it hauls plywood sheets and lots of large items,lots of power and 20 ish highway, city I am not sure, but seems decent.

Post# 383197 , Reply# 9   12/28/2017 at 10:40 (537 days old) by vacerator (Macomb Michigan)        
Honda builds a good product

but their automatic transaxle is not benign to clutch pack wear out, and they've had the same front wheel bearing trouble as some GM products.
The last generation Dodge Grand Caravan is still in production and is a transportation bargain.

Post# 383211 , Reply# 10   12/28/2017 at 14:31 (537 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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My parents have a 2002 Oldsmobile Silhouette (clone of the Pontiac Montana and Chevy Venture) that's been the family truck practically since it was new. These days, it's been sitting with a dead battery at the retirement community where they live for a good eight or nine months. Dad's driving days are pretty much behind him since he had a stroke a couple of months ago and Mom prefers her Buick LaCrosse (2013 model with 8,600 miles on it) for what little driving she does. Nobody's yet been able to make any decisions about the van, even just to replace the battery and get it running. Having it in a disabled state was a good ruse before Dad's stroke when we didn't want him driving and he was unwilling to give that up, but that's now a moot point.

Post# 383684 , Reply# 11   1/6/2018 at 13:03 (528 days old) by Luxkid1980 (Richmond, Virginia)        

It's a shame that the minivan replaced the much more utilitarian vehicle, the American station wagon. Most were far superior to the minivan in areas like cargo space, towing capacity, low end torque, passenger seating too. MPG was the weak point, but a lot of them were great on the highway.

I drove several, my grandmother's 1988 Pontiac safari and also a 1987 Mercury colony park. They were great! They had so much cargo space and ample seating. Times change though! These days I drive a 2008 Mercury grand marquis. Ive never had a more reliable and inexpensive to maintain car and the trunk is absolutely huge! Too bad they stopped production in 2011.

Post# 383691 , Reply# 12   1/6/2018 at 15:13 (528 days old) by vacerator (Macomb Michigan)        

well, they sure were great, but heavy, and fuelish. Mercedes E class is still available as a wagon, but pails in cargo volume to a minivan.
The VW bus may have been the first mass produced one. Then the Corvair van.
Others were one off's or low production like the Scarab.
Once Chrysler realized the old K platform provided a low flat floor due to no wide transmission tunnel or rear axle differential, the others all jumped on the band wagon, or vanagon.
My former company used big Chrysler Newport T&C wagons, then Olds cruisers, and a few of us had the final huge '78 Colony Park, then we switched to fox platform Fairmonts, then Taurus. Never even had a minivan. By 1994 we were all in either Pontiac GP or Cutlass sedans.
If we couldn't transfer enough merchandise in our cars, the store needing it had to call the warehouse and request a special delivery on the tail end of a truck going out to other stores.

Post# 383726 , Reply# 13   1/7/2018 at 02:07 (527 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Remember a RED Rambler station wagon as a kid-My Mom mostly used it-My Dad had an old hearse he would haul us around in.On special days-when the weather was nice-a 1932 Lincolin-was fun riding in the rumble seat!He also had a Packard sedan.So many car trips in those days!Remember the coffin rollers on the floor of the hearse-used to spin them!Then those were replaced with a large bed.The hearse became a camper of sorts.also had the vases on the sidewalls to hold the flowers or lilys.My Dad liked unusual cars!The Rambler was more standard-then that got replaced with an International Travelall-guess the first SUV???

Post# 384323 , Reply# 14   1/15/2018 at 21:02 (518 days old) by Dustin (Jackson, MI)        

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I've owned two Dodge Caravans, a 1987 and a 2005. The 87 was my first car, and it was alright for what it was, a $400 running and driving vehicle. It had plenty of issues, but it was 20 years old and had a lot of miles on it. The 2005 had no excuse. It was a total and complete POS. I bought it with low miles, pretty good condition and one owner. I had more trouble with that van in a year than I'd had with any vehicle before or since. It had engine problems (coolant leak we could never find), problems with the suspension and brakes, and the last straw, electrical problems. If I put on my turn signal when the headlights were on, the opposite signal would blink at about 1/4 brightness. I was once driving in the rain, and my check engine light came on. No big deal, have it scanned next time I'm by an auto parts place. Next intersection, hit the gas and it started jerking and hopping, no power at all, foot flat to the floor I had to put on my hazards so I didn't get hit. It continued on like that until I stopped (I did eventually get up to 55) and turned the car off. When I started it again, it ran fine but the check engine light was still on. I had it scanned and the code that came up indicated that the van should not have even been running. This happened multiple times, always different codes (but all said it shouldn't have been running) but same symptoms. The light would magically go off the next day, and would reappear just as magically. I had bought the van so I'd have a reliable vehicle and it was far from that. I ended up trading it in before I even paid it off, so I paid for a car for over a year that I no longer had.

I now drive a 2004 Toyota Prius and honestly couldn't be happier! It's been the most trouble free, reliable car I've ever had, and although I've had to do some normal maintenance, I'd have no reason to not buy another one when the time comes. In the meantime, it's still running great and getting 45mpg in the summer, 37ish in the winter, and only burns about half a quart of oil in 5000 miles, with 213,000 miles on the original engine and transmission, Never had a screw turned on either. I've never seen the check engine light, or any other warning light. It's been a great car in every way possible.

I've heard very good things about the Toyota Sienna, and had a chance to drive one once, seemed like a very well put together and comfortable vehicle. I wouldn't touch another Dodge/Chrysler product with a 10 foot pole.

Post# 384383 , Reply# 15   1/17/2018 at 08:39 (517 days old) by Luxkid1980 (Richmond, Virginia)        

I don't think Chrysler/Dodge vehicles are inherently bad, i's just that some models/years are plagued with issues. It happens with most car manufacturers at some point or other; some minor, some major. My 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis has been a great vehicle. I bought it with 30,000 miles and it now has over 130,000. It had a few minor issues while it was under warranty so I can't complain a bit. Only other thing I have had to do was general maintenance. Its been very reliable! However, I've have heard others talk of certain years that had lots of problems. Also, I tend to go overboard with vehicle maintenance so my idea of properly maintaining a vehicle may be very different from someone else's. If someone buys a used vehicle that was poorly maintained by the previous owner(s) and then it leaves them stranded somewhere, it will lead them to believe that the vehicle was a lemon, which may or may not be the case.

Post# 384424 , Reply# 16   1/18/2018 at 08:05 (516 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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Boy I agree there!

Post# 384871 , Reply# 17   1/26/2018 at 12:30 (508 days old) by Dustin (Jackson, MI)        

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I've always been on top of maintenance almost to the point of being ocd. I've never gone overdue on an oil change and always use the best quality parts I can afford. If I hear a noise or see a drip, smell a smell or anything, it's getting checked out asap. So any problems I had with the van were not related to lack of maintenance, just a poorly built vehicle with electrical problems.

Post# 385854 , Reply# 18   2/11/2018 at 21:41 (491 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Speaking as an actual mechanic myself, Caravans are really the cream of the crop if you're looking for a minivan. Despite some nay-sayers, they are actually sturdy, reliable vehicles, and rarely have any abnormal problems. Not to say that they are overwhelmingly better than the competition, just... generally better.

Ford's products weren't terrible. GM's minivans were... odd, but alright. Honda transmissions are stupid (I'm a transmission mechanic), but they'll do the job as long as you don't pull too much weight (had a guy once, towed a literal ton of bricks and burned up his Honda trans). Later Nissans were too big on the outside, and too hard to work on. Any others were ok. If you buy a VW Routan, you're just buying an overpriced Caravan :P

(I actually have the exact van you're looking for. 07, stow-n-go, upper trim package. For sale in Chicago.)

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