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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been driving a 2004 Odyssey since I was 16, it now has 240k miles, and I'm almost 30 lol. As a sculpture artist, I love my '04 for it's super practical cargo hauling features: fitting 4x8 plywood, seats that collapse very flat and sturdy, ability to move 2nd row, ability to tow, and even the little tray in the middle of the two front seats with it's large cup holders that can fold down and allow me to fit 10ft. lumber flat. I drive long distances a lot, so the smooth, comfortable ride with large windows is also a plus.

I've been avoiding the inevitable, but I think I need a new minivan sooner than later at this point. My grievance is I'm finding all the newer vans have way too bulky impractical consoles and don't have as nice "bare bones" interiors as the older ones. I think they also have smaller windows with more blind spots. Also none of the back seats seem to fold totally flat anymore, the back seats kinda pop up and there's big tracks in the floor. I still want a minivan vs. an actual cargo van because I do like the ability to have all the seats and something designed for driving a lot of miles with standard maintenance.

Anyone have advice on which is still bare bones and reliable? I'm feeling overwhelmed with all the different opinions out there. I was really hoping to get a hybrid minivan but I don't like the Sienna's non removable 2nd row, and Pacifica's inability to tow. I'm not sure if either can really handle heavy loads since they aren't v6. I test drove the Pacifica hybrid and thought it felt cramped. I'm so used the '04 any new vehicle is probably going to feel weird at this point though. Anyone else already been through this dilemma and have some advice? Should I get something that will just hold me over a few years until better hybrid vans become available??
 

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Im in the market with similar priorities and was pretty close to choosing sienna, what really sold me besides being hybrid is upper trim levels have butt crack AC. LOL. But I looked at the cargo capacity and thats a deal breaker. Toyota otherwise has a lot of features the odyssey doesnt and wont need a timing belt at 100k. Also 35 vs 20 mpg. Lotta money in gas.
I like my 07 ody exl, it just needs a lot of things fixed its throwing good money after bad. It has 155k (I got it at 111k) I think it should have lasted longer. The engine and transmission are basically sound but it needs all new motor mounts, a lot of suspension rubber is worn or cracked, cv boots gone, one sliding door is broken, there are electrical gremlins, bad ones nobody can diagnose- struts are worn, pulsating brake rotors. The alternator and starter replaced twice, front HVAC blower... other things slipped my mind. Did I mention how useless the FSM is?
I know Sienna owners same era say, "well I had to replace the brake pads and change the oil".
Honda and Toyota have always been close but I think Honda has been sliding a long time, even ignoring the early 00's transmission issues.
But I will likely buy another before I put money down a hole with a Chrysler product. I often wonder why people buy them by choice. I could see having it passed down by a relative. Theyve likely improved, but many Chrysler products have been horrible.
K-CAR. Need I say more.
 

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Oh yeah many 4th gen sienna owners are reporting that when going over speed bumps the fully folded 3rd row seats launch into the open position by themselves. I predict lawsuits. I guess its better than odysseys children eating feature. Thats happened only once I wonder what honda paid out on that.
 

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Oh yeah many 4th gen sienna owners are reporting that when going over speed bumps the fully folded 3rd row seats launch into the open position by themselves. I predict lawsuits. I guess its better than odysseys children eating feature. Thats happened only once I wonder what honda paid out on that.
Thanks for your reply! That's good points on the Sienna maintenance. I have read it can be cheaper than the Ody. I've def had the engine mount problem. I've thrown a lot of money at mine even recently (goodbye stimulus check)... new struts, radiator, tires, brakes....and this past year I also had to get an engine solenoid replaced and that was the first ever engine problem I've had so it spooked me, and they told me my catalytic convertor has a small leak and I know thats $$ to fix, and might make me fail my state's emissions test in upcoming January. There's also a rattling sound from the suspension when I go over bumps no one can diagnose. So I'm accepting it's time to move on... will do more research on the Siennas, thanks!
 

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I have read it can be cheaper than the Ody.
Most comparisons rate the Sienna more reliable than the Ody; that translates into lower maintenance cost. Same goes for CR and the redesigned Sienna. (New model, but proven powertrain.)

Needless to say, that's just one of many factors a potential buyer has to consider.
 
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