Is a minivan worth it?

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masonstone
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Is a minivan worth it?

Post by masonstone » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:16 pm

I'm considering buying a new minivan Honda Odyssey with entertainment system. They run around 37K. Are they worth it? I have two kids that fit in my sedan but sometimes with the wife sitting in the back it gets a bit cramped. They're infants/toddlers so my wife sits in the back to take care of them. Also there's not enough space to take another couple (in-laws or my parents) with us due to limited seating.

For those in a similar situation have you found that minivans are worth it?

bikesandbeers
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by bikesandbeers » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:22 pm

Compared to any SUV/Crossover option, Minivans are great. the asy of entry to getting kids in an out of car seats as well as carrying adults in the back is impossible to beat.

not to mention tons of room for carry strollers and stuff.

We have a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid limited, which was close to $50K MSRP, although the dealer had incentives of around $10K, and then we will have a $7500 federal tax credit since it is a plug-in. There are some others in our family with 7 passenger SUVs, we have absolutely no regrets on the minivan.

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alec
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by alec » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:35 pm

Minivans are great for your situation. We got a used Odessy when our kids were young.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" - Upton Sinclair

SouthernFIRE
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by SouthernFIRE » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:37 pm

Strong yes. We have a 2015 Odyssey and my wife always swore she would never get a minivan. She loves it. The sliding doors and DVD are a godsend.

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mhc
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by mhc » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:42 pm

We are on our second minivan. They are great, especially for small children. They can comfortably haul a lot of people and gear. The auto-open doors are great for small children. We also take lots of long road trips. The minivan is comfortable and gives everyone their space.

Trader Joe
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by Trader Joe » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:44 pm

masonstone wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:16 pm
I'm considering buying a new minivan Honda Odyssey with entertainment system. They run around 37K. Are they worth it? I have two kids that fit in my sedan but sometimes with the wife sitting in the back it gets a bit cramped. They're infants/toddlers so my wife sits in the back to take care of them. Also there's not enough space to take another couple (in-laws or my parents) with us due to limited seating.

For those in a similar situation have you found that minivans are worth it?
Yes, definitely. I own Toyota Sienna XLE and I highly recommend.

28fe6
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by 28fe6 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:48 pm

Yep minivan=awesome. You can't really go wrong with which one you get, but I have a Town and Country and I like it better than the Japanese options or the Pacifica.

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ray.james
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by ray.james » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:54 pm

bikesandbeers wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:22 pm
Compared to any SUV/Crossover option, Minivans are great. the asy of entry to getting kids in an out of car seats as well as carrying adults in the back is impossible to beat.

not to mention tons of room for carry strollers and stuff.

We have a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid limited, which was close to $50K MSRP, although the dealer had incentives of around $10K, and then we will have a $7500 federal tax credit since it is a plug-in. There are some others in our family with 7 passenger SUVs, we have absolutely no regrets on the minivan.
How is the reliability on Pachy? Most issues seem to be entertainment unit related, which is fine by me.
When in doubt, http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=79939

froman118
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by froman118 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:54 pm

We have a 2016 Kia Sedona EX with 2 kids (7 and 5). Been great for us and being able to take extra kids or family is really nice.

zlandar
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by zlandar » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:57 pm

Yes. My wife used to drive a BMW 3 and would have the stroller jammed into the passenger front seat like an animal. She finally cried uncle when we had a second child.

You get a lot more useable room and easier access than a similar size SUV. Also very easy and comfortable drive. Honda Odyssey is a popular pick.

Woodshark
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by Woodshark » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:59 pm

We are a childless couple who bought a minivan almost 22 years ago. It was a Plymouth Voyager. We still own it and as our furniture mover, trash hauler and Home Depot vehicle, we cannot imagine life without it. (We do a LOT of home improvement) It's a great road tripper. The seats are much more comfortable than either of our cars. (Infiniti G37 & Honda Accord) Probably will replace it with a new one (Chrysler) in the nest year or so.

Rxwolf
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by Rxwolf » Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:17 pm

Second oddy 2019, first 2009. Bought pilot in 2015 to replace totaled 2004 sedan.

Love the oddy better in all cases except in winter driving in the mountains which is not that often for me.

I tell everyone I wish I had gotten the fwd Sienna. I can get lumber, 4x8 plywood in oddy. Most suv I tried, just did not have space. I have a roof box for luggage for pilot.

We have four kids, purchased the first minivan when second was born. Also get CarPlay or droid version, useful and easy to use.

We bought after market dvd for first oddy, loved it. Having headlights on did not autodim the screen, which kids hated In the twilight hours, which most manufacturers entertainment systems do, I think. But for second oddy, we are using an iPad, with headrest holder and digital movies. Cheaper, can remove and use anytime vs just in car. We found audio feedback when usb charging via car and using aux jack for whole car audio. Solved by using a Ext. Battery to charge, we would take the battery with us anyway for trips.


Hope this helps your decision

MarkBarb
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by MarkBarb » Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:19 pm

A minivan is by far the most practical family vehicle. It's what they are designed for. As an added bonus, all of your style obsessed friends will loathe it and pity you for driving the least cool car imaginable.

aerosurfer
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by aerosurfer » Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:24 pm

Minivans rock! I have been exceptionally impressed with our Town and Country (now Pacifica)

The stow and go seats are fantastic. Endless roadtrip room. 4 adults and 2 kids in carseats in the last row plus bags..no problemo.

When the kids grow out of the carseats I imagine they may even want to stay in the third row with the middle seats down... as far from us as possible, or perhaps us from them.

Great for hauling stuff too. Toyota/Honda are a significant price point higher than Chrysler when new

fourkids
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by fourkids » Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:44 pm

We love our minivan... for 4 kids.
With 2 kids, a sedan is just fine. Your wife will not "need" to sit in the backseat with your kids for long.

Only consider the minivan if:
you drive another couple or family around at least once a month. otherwise they can drive their own car.
you haul lots of stuff for home projects and such, that you would otherwise have to rent a home depot truck for.
you plan on carpooling with others to the kids schools and activities (too early to tell now).

So, in short, just wait. You may need it later, but not now.

Gadget
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by Gadget » Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:46 pm

Here's how it went for us:

First kid is born: We need a newer, safer big car. I won't be caught dead in a minivan. Let's get an suv. Buy suv.
First kid is old enough to want to get in the car on his own: Man, it would be nice if this big suv was lower so this wouldn't take so long.
Second kid is born: Still resisting the stigma of a minivan.
Second kid can walk and first kid can open doors: Man, it would be nice if these suv doors were more kid friendly. My oldest keeps trying to open it and knocking over my youngest.
Both kids want to open doors: Man, it would be nice if I didn't have to constantly yell at my kids to wait for me to open the door so we didn't door ding the car next to us.
Needs new 2nd car: Honey, you realize a boring minivan would be way more convenient.
Buys minivan: #&*@ we're not cool anymore.
Drives minivan with kids on multiple trips: Why didn't we get a minivan sooner.

Topic Author
masonstone
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by masonstone » Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:51 pm

Gadget wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:46 pm
Here's how it went for us:

First kid is born: We need a newer, safer big car. I won't be caught dead in a minivan. Let's get an suv. Buy suv.
First kid is old enough to want to get in the car on his own: Man, it would be nice if this big suv was lower so this wouldn't take so long.
Second kid is born: Still resisting the stigma of a minivan.
Second kid can walk and first kid can open doors: Man, it would be nice if these suv doors were more kid friendly. My oldest keeps trying to open it and knocking over my youngest.
Both kids want to open doors: Man, it would be nice if I didn't have to constantly yell at my kids to wait for me to open the door so we didn't door ding the car next to us.
Needs new 2nd car: Honey, you realize a boring minivan would be way more convenient.
Buys minivan: #&*@ we're not cool anymore.
Drives minivan with kids on multiple trips: Why didn't we get a minivan sooner.
Lol 😂
I have a Tesla Model S (bought it before first kid was born) and get comments from random folk when getting to and out of our car saying they want a Tesla but I think I'll just go get a Odyssey too as its a lot more functional.

bikesandbeers
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by bikesandbeers » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:04 pm

If you are coming from a Tesla, I do recommend taking a look at the Pacifica Hybrid. It has been flawless so far and more than 50% of our miles are electric, including a 1500 mile road trip.

I did opt for the extended warranty as I have some long term concerns on the durability of a Chrysler product. But you can't go wrong on a Honda.

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masonstone
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by masonstone » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:19 pm

bikesandbeers wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:04 pm
If you are coming from a Tesla, I do recommend taking a look at the Pacifica Hybrid. It has been flawless so far and more than 50% of our miles are electric, including a 1500 mile road trip.

I did opt for the extended warranty as I have some long term concerns on the durability of a Chrysler product. But you can't go wrong on a Honda.
I like having a rear entertainment system for the kiddos.

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greg24
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by greg24 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:25 pm

A minivan is the most utilitarian car on the road.

Most people buy large SUVs because they seem to prefer lower gas mileage, less cabin space, and less cargo space.

TallBoy29er
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by TallBoy29er » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:25 pm

My wife told me that if I bought her a minivan, she would fill it with milk bones, and give our pup a new (expensive) home. She is enjoying her Subaru Forester to no end. :beer

Rudedog
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by Rudedog » Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:06 pm

Bought our first minivan in 1991---------I expect we will always have one. Sliding doors are great, fold down rear seats and can haul a lot of stuff. Current minivan is Toyota Sienna, 2007, 140,000 miles, a keeper.

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bottlecap
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by bottlecap » Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:15 pm

Yeah. It’s worth it, but ymmv.

Can you rent or borrow one for a week to help decide?

JT

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TierArtz
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by TierArtz » Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:19 pm

Yes! When the third kid was due, we bought a 2011 Toyota Sienna Limited (in early 2010). It has 120K on it now, and has basically just needed standard maintenance. As the kids get older, you'll want to have them as far apart as possible.

Hulu
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by Hulu » Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:21 pm

Entering year three of a Pacifica Hybrid. Safe (for me at least) and roomy. I liked the Kia Sorrento however visibility is better in a minivan. CarPlay is great. As is never getting out to fill gas in the winter (garage charging).

kcxie
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by kcxie » Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:36 pm

Very practical! When you have kids and elderly, no other option is even close. Easy to get in and out. Lot of space for everyone. You will love it. When you drive , it is much safer because everyone else try to stay away from you ! Haha this good to me.

DesertDiva
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by DesertDiva » Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:38 pm

MarkBarb wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:19 pm
A minivan is by far the most practical family vehicle. It's what they are designed for. As an added bonus, all of your style obsessed friends will loathe it and pity you for driving the least cool car imaginable.
lol 😂 #postoftheday

Wings5
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by Wings5 » Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:19 am

The swagger wagon is the way to go. Also double points when you valet the minivan. It says I'm a baller ... and after I get my kids up in the morning we're hitting brunch.

Topic Author
masonstone
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by masonstone » Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:34 pm

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for posting on this thread. I am now a proud owner of a Honda Odyssey 2020 Touring for $42,500 out of door price. So far, love the car and its lot better for the family than my Tesla Model S (I'm keeping the Tesla as my daily commuter).

OnTrack2020
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by OnTrack2020 » Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:59 pm

Worth e-v-e-r-y s-i-n-g-l-e p-e-n-n-y. We bought a Sienna basically 10 years ago--it was when the new model style came out and we had 4 children at home, plus their friends who needed a ride somewhere. Now all but one of our children is driving, and every time I say I'm going to downsize vehicles, I just can't do it. It is so roomy, use it for hauling, and love that there's all this vision while I'm driving.

BradJ
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by BradJ » Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:09 pm

I will continue to echo the comments, vans are awesome. Our kids love it, entertainment system, great gas mileage, sliding doors are 1 million times better than side opening doors for kids, and it is one of the most versatile cars you will ever own. Oh, and putting small kids in a car seat that is level with you is worth its weight in gold.

For reference, we paid 14k for a 2012 Honda Odyssey with 80k miles, entertainment system and leather seats. We love it and consider it a great purchase.

I have to ask, has anyone here owned both an odyssey and sienna? If so, what did you prefer?

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masonstone
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by masonstone » Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:15 pm

BradJ wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:09 pm
I will continue to echo the comments, vans are awesome. Our kids love it, entertainment system, great gas mileage, sliding doors are 1 million times better than side opening doors for kids, and it is one of the most versatile cars you will ever own. Oh, and putting small kids in a car seat that is level with you is worth its weight in gold.

For reference, we paid 14k for a 2012 Honda Odyssey with 80k miles, entertainment system and leather seats. We love it and consider it a great purchase.

I have to ask, has anyone here owned both an odyssey and sienna? If so, what did you prefer?
I haven't owned both but did quite a bit of research and most prefer the Odyssey to the Sienna. It also has higher reviews on most websites.

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czeckers
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by czeckers » Sat Nov 30, 2019 6:11 pm

If your driving needs primarily involve hauling a family, then a purpose-built family hauler is what you want.

After you have a minivan, you'll wonder what you did without one.

Look for one that it's easy to remove the seats or fold them flat. A minivan should be able to haul full sheets of plywood or drywall (for when the kids put holes in the walls or when you want to build a tree house). :D
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WS1
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by WS1 » Sat Nov 30, 2019 7:26 pm

I don’t get the minivan hate. People got SUVs because only soccer moms had mini vans, but as soon as soccer moms got SUVs the laws of fashion dictate the minivan should have become cool.

I really want one of these, but not until it has subaru eyesight
https://www.ford.com/trucks/transit-co ... van-wagon/

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UpsetRaptor
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by UpsetRaptor » Sat Nov 30, 2019 7:28 pm

Yes..

barneycat
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by barneycat » Sat Nov 30, 2019 7:32 pm

Echo all of this. We just bought a Toyota Sienna and absolutely love it.

My wife is the primary driver and she couldn't bring herself to admit that a minivan was the best bet. We test drove every large SUV and eventually came back to the Sienna. Now we're three months and two road trips in and no regrets. Like a previous poster said, I can't wait to valet this bad boy....

More cargo space (10 cubic feet more than a Suburban), more seat adjustments (including second row reclining seats), 2 sun roofs, fuel efficiency, car handling....superior in every way except for looks. Oh well.

Jnick55
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by Jnick55 » Sat Nov 30, 2019 7:42 pm

A minivan is absolutely worth it. My wife drove our minivan about about 20 years ago when we had three kids under age 4. I then drove it as my primary car after they got older. We have since driven a variety of luxury SUVs and sedans because my wife can't overcome the minivan stigma. But I miss that minivan more than any car we ever owned. It had great passenger capacity when we had to transport a group. Our kids never got antsy on long drives because of their ability to move from seat to seat. My wife and I could easily attend to our kids while the other drove if one of our kids needed help or attention. It also had great cargo capacity. Buy a minivan. You will be happy that you did.

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Cubicle
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by Cubicle » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:11 am

I have a Miata that I beat the heck out of. I have a cushy comfy Eldorado that makes me swoon. I have a 500 horsepower muscle car. My minivan was (sold recently) was my most useful car. People, drywall, pvc pipe, barbecue, car engines, sofa... Minivan. My parents, my sister, me until recently, cousins, uncles/aunts, all minivan owners. Comfy, good gas mileage, practical.

If I ever can find a stick shift minivan that can move a 4'x8' sheet of drywall/plywood I'm sold. (The Mazda 5 mini-minivan was offered in manual transmission but cannot hold a 4x8 sheet. I checked...)

kjvmartin
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by kjvmartin » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:50 am

I would not bother with the entertainment system. That option is usually $1000+

$230 iPad on sale, $15 velcro mount and it will attach to the rear of your headrest. Handheld mode for games, mounted for movies.

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HomerJ
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by HomerJ » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:54 am

I loved our minivans when we had them.

I totally miss having 18 cup holders. I'm serious about that.

Get Captain's Chairs for the second row, not a bench seat. That lets the kids lean way back and sleep on long trips.

Plenty of room in a minivan... For all your luggage and room for a cooler with drinks and snacks between the two chairs in the second row.
Last edited by HomerJ on Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
The J stands for Jay

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HomerJ
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by HomerJ » Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:15 am

kjvmartin wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:50 am
I would not bother with the entertainment system. That option is usually $1000+

$230 iPad on sale, $15 velcro mount and it will attach to the rear of your headrest. Handheld mode for games, mounted for movies.
Yeah, entertainment system is no longer necessary...

Our first minivan, we propped up a 13 inch TV and a VCR player on top of the cooler - blew out a fuse or two until I replaced the cigarette lighter fuse with a bigger one

Second minivan, we had an entertainment system, but when iPads came out, it became rather pointless.
The J stands for Jay

gnujoe2001
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by gnujoe2001 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:03 am

Yes. Awesome for people and/or cargo hauling. Modern models have beasty 6-cylinders that make it fun to drag off the line or get up to way extra-legal speeds at the freeway onramps. Kicking sound system to blast your 90s alternative rock or gansta-rap when the kids are at home.

We have a 7-seater 2011 Sienna base model. Served us well with trips to Ikea and Home Depot, as well as hauling the growing family. Fuel economy is reasonable. My advice: get an 8-passenger model with the middle row jump-seat. That way you can seat 5 with the 3rd row down flat if needed.

krb
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by krb » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:01 am

masonstone wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:16 pm
I'm considering buying a new minivan Honda Odyssey with entertainment system. They run around 37K. Are they worth it? I have two kids that fit in my sedan but sometimes with the wife sitting in the back it gets a bit cramped. They're infants/toddlers so my wife sits in the back to take care of them. Also there's not enough space to take another couple (in-laws or my parents) with us due to limited seating.

For those in a similar situation have you found that minivans are worth it?
They are awesome!!! We had an Acura MDX. It was great but cramped getting the kids and equipment in and out. Ex-wife wanted a minivan. I thought it was a bad idea. Our MDX wasn't old. We sold the MDX for peanuts and bought a new Toyota Sienna. It is amazing. I think >100K miles on it. Very easy to get kids in and out. Very comfortable to drive. Very easy to get equipment in and out. If you are in the market it's a great purchase. For my money I would buy Toyota or Honda as they are so reliable. If you need easy in and out for kids and equipment and the ability to transport a lot of people it is a great decision.

tm3
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by tm3 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:59 am

Absolutely worth it! My wife fought the idea for years and now loves our Sienna. Comfortable, space efficient, wonderful on long trips -- great vehicle choice.

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Kenkat
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by Kenkat » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:20 pm

I was reminded once again this weekend why our Honda Odyssey is such a versatile vehicle. Home Depot trip: Stowed the third row seat - time to stow 30 seconds. 30” Vanity, Vanity Top, Toilet in the rear compartment. 4 foot boxes of vinyl plank flooring between the front and second row seats - easily slid in through the sliding door. Now we have 15 folding chairs in the back set for return to family after Thanksgiving dinner at our house. All this and we didn’t even need to remove the second row seats which gives you even more room if needed. This thing is a workhorse.

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dm200
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by dm200 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:48 pm

masonstone wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:16 pm
I'm considering buying a new minivan Honda Odyssey with entertainment system. They run around 37K. Are they worth it? I have two kids that fit in my sedan but sometimes with the wife sitting in the back it gets a bit cramped. They're infants/toddlers so my wife sits in the back to take care of them. Also there's not enough space to take another couple (in-laws or my parents) with us due to limited seating.
For those in a similar situation have you found that minivans are worth it?
We (wife and one small child at the time) bought one of the first Chrysler Minivans (Dodge Caravan - 1985 model) in the fall of 1984, followed by another Chrysler minivan in 2002. My wife liked the minivan even after our son moved away - as an adult. Now, we have two older sedans in semi-retirement.

Longtime good friends of ours (with many children and now grandchildren in the area) bought one of the first 1984 model year Chrysler Minivans - and have continued to own Chrysler minivans ever since - and swear by minivans.

Back then, minivans were toward the expensive end of passenger vehicles - but, over time, many minivans have very modest prices - for the value received (in my opinion). Especially the longer versions, there is tremendous flexibility in mini-vans. Three rows of seating - to separate squabbling children - to removing some seats for carrying things - to two separate, nice bucket seats in the noddle - to removing the middle seats and have LOTS of legroom for the passengers sitting in the back seat. We also found the front passenger seat very accessible for an elderly family member to get in and out of the vehicle.

TBillT
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by TBillT » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:29 am

I have one minivan (Routan which is early Pacifica variant by VW/Chrysler) and one Prius.
If you want lots of cargo room, and pass what I call the 4x8 plywood test, there is really no substitute for minivan.

Minivan today is however a misnomer, really full-size-vans now. My wife used to enjoy our minvans of the 1990's era, but she hates driving the bigger vans of today, and that's a problem for me that she hates driving it.

bikechuck
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by bikechuck » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:46 am

I am on my second mini van. The first was a Dodge Gran Caravan which was great while my kids were in grade school and HS and even better when they were in college. You can fit a full dorm room in a mini van.

Now that the kids have flown the coop I have a Honda Odyssey because I can roll my tandem bicycle between the seats without the need for an external bike rack. Tandems are expensive and this offers some degree of weather and theft protection. My Honda also comes in handy for the occasional trip to the home improvement store and for carrying passengers when the grandchildren visit with their parents. The mini van allows us to go places with only one vehicle. My other car is a Honda Civic.

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dm200
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by dm200 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:47 am

TBillT wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:29 am
I have one minivan (Routan which is early Pacifica variant by VW/Chrysler) and one Prius.
If you want lots of cargo room, and pass what I call the 4x8 plywood test, there is really no substitute for minivan.
Minivan today is however a misnomer, really full-size-vans now. My wife used to enjoy our minvans of the 1990's era, but she hates driving the bigger vans of today, and that's a problem for me that she hates driving it.
As I posted, we had one of the "original" Chrysler minivans (1985 Dodge Caravan) - and the size was fine for us. Then, Chrysler added the slightly longer ones ("Grand" Caravan, etc.) I think those were still "mini-van" size). In 2002, when our 1985 Dodge caravan reached the end of its useful life, we bought a "standard length" Plymouth (renamed 'Chrysler' when Plymouth brand discontinued) Voyager and (I think) it was about the same size as out 1985 Dodge Caravan). The 2002 mini-van "died" (bad engine) about four years ago. I have not driven an recent minivans - but most of them look about the size of the "Grand Caravan". They sure do not look to me anywhere near the size of the full size Vans of decades ago.

Which van/minivan does your wife hate driving? My wife really liked driving both of our Chrysler Minivans (about the same size) for shopping, doing errands, local driving, etc. On long trips, I was nearly always the driver.

Good friends of ours - with three children - bought a Honda mini-van about 7 or 8 years ago - and just replaced it with a new Honda (very similar). Their Honda looks about the same size as the "Grand caravans".

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bligh
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Re: Is a minivan worth it?

Post by bligh » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:52 am

Another big +1 for the Minivan. I am still driving my 2011 Honda Odyssey.

Minivans are absolutely awesome for young families. They are a product specifically designed to address your needs. I got one when my first kid was born. Sadly, several young families in my social circle joked that they would "not be caught dead in a mini van". Every single one got SUVs instead. Sure enough, a few years later, about half of those couples have switched over to minivans as well.

SUVs and Minivans have similar characteristics as far as seating capacity, and roominess. However, here are some huge advantages compared to SUVs to consider:

1) The sliding door opening provides excellent access. Your kids get heavier with each passing day. Until they are ready to climb in themselves and strap themselves into their child seats, you or your spouse will be the ones carrying and positioning them in there. Having that wide open access allows you to do it without contorting and squeezing to get in there at odd angles.

2) This is an even bigger issue in tight parking spaces. You may have a big garage or a wide open driveway.. but when you go out you may find yourself parking in a tight parking spot. If you have an SUV with its large doors, you will could often find it difficult to open them up all the way. You will then have to contort, squeeze and carry your kid out from an odd and restricted angle. This is even more tricky when they are little and and asleep in those basket type car seats like a Graco Snugride.


Having said that, for older kids / teenagers the advantages start to diminish. My current plan is to replace my Honda Odyssey with an SUV in 2-3 years. We'll see.

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