Author Topic: Best used Minivan (reliability/convenience)  (Read 2230 times)

Mactrader

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Best used Minivan (reliability/convenience)
« on: April 04, 2012, 12:48:18 PM »
After successfully downsizing my overpriced Sedan for an 02 Accord with great mileage I'm inspired to see if we can do something similar for my wife's trouble-ridden 2008 Chrysler Town & Country. I have similar concerns as I did with moving to an older sedan, but my wifes tolerance for inconvenience and such is much lower than mine. We have a four old and two three month old boys. She doesn't do too much driving, back and forth to school every day and an occasional (every 2-3 weeks) 50 mile each-way drive to where our parents live.

My wife really likes our current T&C with its power sliding doors/liftgate (by remote) and the stow and go seating (buckets and benches). We have had a lot of issues with the power doors though and it's been in the shop getting fixed many times in it's short 4 year 42,000 mile life. The other day her wipers stopped working. While I'm less concerned with downgrading, I want to explore the option of doing a lateral move to a better make such as a Honda, Nissan and Toyota. Problem is, I know virtually nothing about them and don't know of a good resource to compare the various OLDER models. Our must-have features are the power sliding doors and the stowaway seating. We really do not want to have the seats be removable as many times we're on the other side of town and pick up a passenger to go to dinner or something and it's quite easy to pop the one seat back out of the hidey-hole. (we keep one seat down so we can have a staging area for getting the two car seats in the back bench and the dog has a place to sleep on the drive. :)

Questions:

- What years/models would be recommended for these features and use case? DVD is not a requirement, it'd be nice but we don't have one set up now.

- What years/models should we stay away from due to known issues/reliability? (ie: the 02 Accord V6 automatic has big transmission issues)

- Do Japanese minivans have the same sort of reliability as the sedans? Is a 100-150k mileage just getting started? Or are the lifespans without major work typically shorter?

- I imagine a 2008 T&C's value is not going to be on par with an 08 Honda/Toyota/Nissan, should I be looking at an 04-07 to keep with the lateral price?

I appreciate any and all feedback! The wife is not as mustachian as I have become (but is getting closer every day!) and loves her vehicles. I'd really have to bring a compelling case for the features she loves (and the ones she's getting super frustrated with on the T&C) to do the move to another vehicle. I've adopted the mindset of flipping cars is not a big deal, but she retains the emotional attachment at this point.

Jonathan

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Re: Best used Minivan (reliability/convenience)
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2012, 01:10:43 PM »
Avoid the 2002-2005 or so Honda Odyssey; it has the same transmission issues that the Accord does.  We bought one used in December 2008 for my wife and we've replaced the transmission twice now.  Thankfully we ponied up for a warranty in the first place so it's only been $1,000 out of pocket for us, but yeah, avoid those years.