Friday, February 12, 2010

Minivans...what is your favorite?


I posted this as a poll on Facebook and then figured I'd come over here to give it a try. We are growing out of our Toyota Echo as soon as Baby #3 (still nameless, by the way) is born. We have about $1K in savings and $4K in tax refund money to put towards a new (to us) vehicle. We also have the Echo to sell if we need to (worth about $3K or so). After considering several types of vehicles (Suburbans, SUVS, and minivans) we think we have finally settled on getting a minivan (although Avery is none too happy about driving a "mom car" ). Now the question is, which one? Here are our top three choices:

1. Dodge Caravan

2. Honda Odyssey

3. Toyota Sienna

(There's also the Nissan Quest, Chrysler Town & Country, and a couple of others.)

The Dodge is by far the cheapest. (We're paying cash, so minivans in our price range are 4-10 years old.) In fact, we could get a decent one without having to sell the Echo. Which would be nice only because we'd have a back-up vehicle if Avery's ancient truck ever bites the dust. But Hondas and Toyotas tend to last longer and are a bit more reliable. (We're looking at a good $2K or more just for those names though.)

We need the minivan to last us until we outgrow it. Which, at the rate I'm going, could be as soon as four or five years from now. Plus, we have other expenses to save for, including buying Avery a better vehicle (his is a 1995 Nissan pick-up) and eventually buying a new home (down payment) or remodeling our current home.

So what do you think? What's your pick for favorite minivan?

(Also, is there a better time of year to buy a car? Because we can start shopping anytime between now and July. Just wondering if you can find better deals at a certain time of the year.)


  1. My husband is a car guy, and he would tell you to spend the extra up front (if you can) for the toyota or honda b/c most likely you'll make up the difference in fixing it, since they last longer and usually have a lot less "annoyance items" that need fixed than dodges. We were in the same place as you guys two years ago. Good luck on choosing!

  2. We're in the same place right now. Well, I'm not expecting baby #3 right now but we're thinking I will be sometime this year. Plus, my husband just totalled his car this week so we have to buy a vehicle so might as well go the minivan route since we'll need one eventually, right? I've heard a lot of good stuff about the Sienna, but it is definitely higher priced. But I am with Katie, above, that it's probably better to go with the slightly higher price and hopefully not have to pay as much out in repairs later....

  3. I drive a Chevy Venture and love it. I know that one's not on your list, but thought I'd put my two cents in. The one we have is a 2002 that we got from Erin's grandpa. It gets about 26 mpg and seats 7. My favorite feature is the electric sliding door, which can be opened via the clicker while juggling kids, bags, groceries, etc.

  4. Love, love, love my Sienna. And her is the best thing. Other minivans totally lose their value, but the Sienna really doesn't. I am amazed at how much they still command. We have had next to no problems with it and the features are fantastic. Clearly I am a fan :)

    You won my Progressive Soup package giveaway!! Email me your address and I will make sure it gets sent out.