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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    1,377

    Tell me about your minivan

    I know. I know. Minivans. But first, they're way better than 3 row SUV's, and if you disagree you're wrong. And second, my wife wants one for her car due to work/kid needs so I really have no say in this matter. So I've convinced myself my first point is correct

    We currently have an old AWD Sienna that's due for replacement. I figured I'd just get one of those again (likely something used from 2016 - 2020) but the price jump for those over the competition has me looking elsewhere. Especially when snow tires on a FWD van would likely perform as well as an AWD Sienna.

    Does anyone have experience with Odysseys or Pacificas from that era? Any major issues to look out for?

  2. #2
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    Dec 2006
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    My partner has a 2015 (I think, I'll check later) Odyssey and it's great. I don't think she's had any issues. It's a tank in the snow with snow tires. The only issues I've had is that the clearance isn't great, it's kind of long and low for manuevering on any 4wd road with large rocks but does great on most any other "off-roading."

  3. #3
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    Jan 2014
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    I have a FWD Sienna with Snows. And AWD with snows is still noticeably better. I carry chains just in case (but haven't really needed them).

    My sister has an Odyssey (2016ish) with 180k. Minimal issues. Certainly nicer features than my 2013 Sienna. But that's mostly a matter of spec.

    Honestly, the used market is still so fucked that going new makes some sense. Neighbor got an '22 Sienna woodlands edition. It's very nice -- plus 35mpg in a minivan is pretty dope.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2011
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    I love minivans. Not on your list, but the ex and I had a KIA Sorento (until she blew it up). It was FANTASTIC. My favorite car ever and, like you wrote: 1000x better than the SUV it replaced. I guess it was replaced by the Carnival (which also seemed nice), but I really miss the Sorento: tons of room, tons of versatility, but still drove decently and OK mileage.

    (Note: bad motor was not Kia issue, but a "spouse not taking it in for servicing despite service intervals and repeated requests to do so" issue).
    It makes perfect sense...until you think about it.

    I suspect there's logic behind the madness, but I'm too dumb to see it.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2005
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    SE USA
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    We've always had older Suburbans (i know she has yer balls in a vice but possibly worth arguing some. well, probably not). Those things are fuckin tanks, go anywhere and they laugh there asses off at the stuck Sciennas and oddessys that can't catch thier breath going 5 MPH up the hill. Plus, they'll pull the shit outta anything that needs pullin, AND they are cheep. relatively speaking. ($30k buys a whole lotta gas). AND they still have plenty cargo space with the third row. You absolutely cannot overload it, and if somehow you do, see the pullin part already mentioned.

    (BTW I'm a big fan of BTO AND romacin the stone, that user name is HOF material. Arn't thier some cover bands with that name?)
    "Can't you see..."

  6. #6
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    Jan 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by concretejungle View Post
    My partner has a 2015 (I think, I'll check later) Odyssey and it's great. I don't think she's had any issues. It's a tank in the snow with snow tires. The only issues I've had is that the clearance isn't great, it's kind of long and low for manuevering on any 4wd road with large rocks but does great on most any other "off-roading."
    FWIW, relatively simple to put a small lift on the Odyssey (or Sienna, or Pacifica) for extra clearance: https://www.journeysoffroad.com/

    I've got 40k on my lifted Sienna with no issues related to the lift except a loss of about 1mpg. Still drives like a minivan. But I don't worry about going up to higher-clearance trailheads. With lift + 1" larger AT tires I've got 10" of clearance.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    964
    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    I have a FWD Sienna with Snows. And AWD with snows is still noticeably better. I carry chains just in case (but haven't really needed them).

    My sister has an Odyssey (2016ish) with 180k. Minimal issues. Certainly nicer features than my 2013 Sienna. But that's mostly a matter of spec.

    Honestly, the used market is still so fucked that going new makes some sense. Neighbor got an '22 Sienna woodlands edition. It's very nice -- plus 35mpg in a minivan is pretty dope.
    What gets 35mpg? Certainly not our ‘17 AWD sienna

    Hey look at me, i forgot to shut my mouth and google sienna woodlands edition, cool!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Bottom feeding
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    9,895

    Tell me about your minivan

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Zander View Post
    What gets 35mpg? Certainly not our ‘17 AWD sienna
    The new Sienna hybrid.

    I think this is a question of if you need AWD or not. We had a 2005 Odyssey w/studded snows, and it still struggled up snowy/icy hills, (front wheel drive and all the weight in the back). If you need AWD, then it is a Sienna or the new Pacifica, otherwise take your pick. Sienna and Odyssey match each other $/$ and option/option, and probably the same w/ the others, but maybe not as reliable, since there just aren’t as many Kia’s or whatever’s out there.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  9. #9
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    Jan 2014
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    Gaperville, CO
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    Oh -- and sliding doors kick ass. For kids. For camping. Whatever. Plus most minivans can fit a 8' sheet of ply if you need to haul them.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Not in the PRB
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    I have always been a fan of minivans. The big downside, in some ways only downside for me, is lack of clearance/ability to go wheeling.

    That said, the notion that a FWD with snows is fine only holds true until you're stuck. After my first winter in real snow country, I committed to never owning a FWD again. There is only so much you can make up for with solid driving skills and snow tires.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Thanks all! I'll def check out the Kia too. Sounds like full-on studded tires might make sense + a lift kit is intriguing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall Tucker View Post
    We've always had older Suburbans (i know she has yer balls in a vice but possibly worth arguing some. well, probably not). Those things are fuckin tanks, go anywhere and they laugh there asses off at the stuck Sciennas and oddessys that can't catch thier breath going 5 MPH up the hill. Plus, they'll pull the shit outta anything that needs pullin, AND they are cheep. relatively speaking. ($30k buys a whole lotta gas). AND they still have plenty cargo space with the third row. You absolutely cannot overload it, and if somehow you do, see the pullin part already mentioned.

    (BTW I'm a big fan of BTO AND romacin the stone, that user name is HOF material. Arn't thier some cover bands with that name?)
    Totally agree on SUV's, but I likely won't drive this one much and I have a truck that I drive. I also have a stupidly short garage so I can likely squeeze a ski rack onto a minivan, but not on a taller Suburban.

    And I totally stole my username from Jack Black's fake band in High Fidelity. I think that might actually be the name of a real cover band now too.

    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    Honestly, the used market is still so fucked that going new makes some sense. Neighbor got an '22 Sienna woodlands edition. It's very nice -- plus 35mpg in a minivan is pretty dope.
    Agreed on the used market being a kick in the balls right now. We're debating going new, but it's so hard to stomach spending more for something shiny and new and then watching our 3 kids grind banana peels into the seats, lean skis on/scratch the crap out of the exterior, etc.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Way East Tennessee
    Posts
    4,441
    Just bit the bullet and get you one of those monster "homeschooler" vans. Nissan NV, Ford Transit, etc.
    In order to properly convert this thread to a polyasshat thread to more fully enrage the liberal left frequenting here...... (insert latest democratic blunder of your choice).

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Hell Track
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    12,283
    We were in the mini van market last year. Need AWD for our shitty driveway. We were all set to get a used Sienna, but the prices people were asking were completely ridiculous so we paid a few grand more and got a new AWD hybrid Sienna.

    Upsides:
    -Great mileage. high 30's in the summer, low 30's in the winter.
    -Fits a spare tire - no more dealing with stupid run-flats.
    -It's still a Sienna; well put together, and boatloads of room in there.
    -The hybrid drives well. It's not a sports car, but it definitely doesn't feel underpowered.

    Downsides:
    -It's heavy. The batteries add some noticeable heft to the ass end. It needs to go pretty slow over speed bumps to not bottom out (which is made worse by the receiver hitch I put on the back).
    -sounds system is underwhelming.
    -There are some electrical quirks that I find annoying. The back up sensors really dislike having a bike rack on the back.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    I can still smell Poutine.
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    20,294
    So as an owner of a 2010 FWD Sienna, I avoid driving in situations where I truly need AWD. Otherwise, I just cope. I run good snows. I very much enjoy it for what it is.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    In a van... down by the river
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    10,631
    Quote Originally Posted by riser4 View Post
    So as an owner of a 2010 FWD Sienna, I avoid driving in situations where I truly need AWD. Otherwise, I just cope. I run good snows. I very much enjoy it for what it is.
    We still have our '01 Odyssey and it does fine with snow tires in pretty much all situations short of "wheeling" - although there was that one time that we used it to pull a Ford Expedition out of a ditch when we were "wheeling" to get a Xmas tree in Winter Park.


  16. #16
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    Mar 2005
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    SE USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathleenturneroverdrive View Post
    I totally stole my username from Jack Black's fake band
    Stealing user names from a band.
    Weak.
    "Can't you see..."

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    1,377
    LOL there's no originality anymore

  18. #18
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    Oct 2008
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    On another tangent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall Tucker View Post
    Stealing user names from a band.
    Weak.
    How about songs, FireOntheMtn boy?
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    (Direct Contact is best vs PMs)

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  19. #19
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    Jan 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    ...
    Downsides:
    -It's heavy. The batteries add some noticeable heft to the ass end. It needs to go pretty slow over speed bumps to not bottom out (which is made worse by the receiver hitch I put on the back)....
    IME rear springs in most all Siennas run very low rates. Mine was helped a great deal by a pair of inexpensive airbags. I run them at around 15 all the time since I have extra weight in the back, and bump them to ~25 when i put bikes on the hitch and load it up for a longer camping trip.

    Re: power: Most minivans are plenty powerful unless you're towing big loads (which is what you have a truck for.) My Sienna has 265hp which is absolutely plenty for cruising and accelerating in all normal circumstances. And I drive passes above 11k' ft on a weekly basis.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    livin the dream
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    5,200
    Any opinions on those small commercial style vans; NV200, Transit Connect, Promaster City, Metris, etc….

    I know they aren’t “cool” but in passenger build with AWD - they’d be a pretty functional grocery getter / kid hauler. They seem like they would have more headroom, storage, and access (sliding door) than a similar small SUV or crossover but with a better price tag.


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  21. #21
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    Jan 2016
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    Greg_o
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    Years back my Mom had a 2005 Odyssey. It was great. Perfect for camping, ski trips, dump runs etc you name it. So much room and comfort. The automated sliding doors were a bit glitchy but besides that mechanically I don't recall any real issues.

  22. #22
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    Jan 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickwm21 View Post
    Any opinions on those small commercial style vans; NV200, Transit Connect, Promaster City, Metris, etc….

    I know they aren’t “cool” but in passenger build with AWD - they’d be a pretty functional grocery getter / kid hauler. They seem like they would have more headroom, storage, and access (sliding door) than a similar small SUV or crossover but with a better price tag.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Are any of those available with AWD? I looked at some a few years back but didn't see any that were. Ultimately -- if using in a passenger config, I didn't see any advantage to them over minivan as space is generally pretty similar, feature set for non-camping life of minivans is typically greater.

  23. #23
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    Sep 2001
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    upstate NY
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    Transit is available with awd

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    7,802

    Tell me about your minivan

    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    We were in the mini van market last year. Need AWD for our shitty driveway. We were all set to get a used Sienna, but the prices people were asking were completely ridiculous so we paid a few grand more and got a new AWD hybrid Sienna.

    Upsides:
    -Great mileage. high 30's in the summer, low 30's in the winter.
    -Fits a spare tire - no more dealing with stupid run-flats.
    -It's still a Sienna; well put together, and boatloads of room in there.
    -The hybrid drives well. It's not a sports car, but it definitely doesn't feel underpowered.

    Downsides:
    -It's heavy. The batteries add some noticeable heft to the ass end. It needs to go pretty slow over speed bumps to not bottom out (which is made worse by the receiver hitch I put on the back).
    -sounds system is underwhelming.
    -There are some electrical quirks that I find annoying. The back up sensors really dislike having a bike rack on the back.
    Added downside: less cargo space because can’t take second row of seats out… right?

    Fwiw, I have a fwd ‘06 sienna that I run with snows in california and run it through chain control and on my sketchy-ass steep roads. I’ve definitely encountered situations where fwd was not enough or barely adequate. I also use AT tires during for the rest of the year because it gets a lot of use on steep dirt roads. I keep chains in the back year round.
    Last edited by bodywhomper; 04-08-2022 at 12:57 PM.

  25. #25
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    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    I ran minivans/ SUV's/ small front wheel drive sedans in the frozen narth for the job

    the high CG/ short WB SUV was by far the most dangerous vehical to drive, mini vans & small sedans were way safer

    the issue was not really clearance or traction it was not ending up in the ditch at highway speed



    Quote Originally Posted by Thaleia View Post
    Years back my Mom had a 2005 Odyssey. It was great. Perfect for camping, ski trips, dump runs etc you name it. So much room and comfort. The automated sliding doors were a bit glitchy but besides that mechanically I don't recall any real issues.
    A local guy was an engineer for Honda, he said those doors were all fucked and it was his job to get them working properly so i asked if he ever did, he said in Canadian winters ... NO

    shortly after that he quit honda and now buddy teaches heavy metal guitar
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

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