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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have owned Toyota Previa and Chevy Venture minivan before.

Current vehicle - Volvo V90 station-wagon (7-seater). H+W + 2 kids (13 and 5), and occasionally Mother-in-Law. I think I want to get a bigger vehicle. To be used for highway vacation travel (about 90%). Cargo about 300-400 lbs. Plus 4 bicycles. All cargo and bicycles to be outside.

I am looking for more space. I am not sure if Odyssey is spacious enough. Yes, I know, most of you would laugh at this, but in comparison to 2 full-size Ford conversion vans (high-tops) I have also owned, minivans do seem kinda "not-enough space" to me.

I also know that Odyssey does not offer full-recline 3rd seat, which is nice on long trips. I also know that Ody averages about 22-25 mpg on the highway, as opposed to my vans of 14 mpg.

Wife + 13-year old do not like the ice-cream truck-looking Full-Size vans. But they sure do like traveling on one.

Your comments?
 

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There is really no comparison. The full size van is well... full size. If you want space, go with that. The full size conversion van is designed to be big and opulent. The Ody is a compromise to a full size van with ease of driving & parking, decent space, good economy, good reliability and in most cases better resale value.
Your choice is really one of a personal nature. If you can afford the fuel cost and want big, go with a full size.
 

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I think I want to get a bigger vehicle. To be used for highway vacation travel (about 90%). Cargo about 300-400 lbs. Plus 4 bicycles. All cargo and bicycles to be outside.

I am looking for more space. 2 full-size Ford conversion vans (high-tops) I have also owned, minivans do seem kinda "not-enough space" to me.

Your comments?
Have you considered renting a conversion van (if possible) for your road trips and keeping your current vehicle for daily driving? That's what I would do if say, I wanted to use a RV on a cross-country trip. I would never buy one but would like to have one available for use on such a trip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Have you considered renting a conversion van (if possible) for your road trips and keeping your current vehicle for daily driving? That's what I would do if say, I wanted to use a RV on a cross-country trip. I would never buy one but would like to have one available for use on such a trip.
I live and work in Manhattan and most days I don't use the car to go to work. Car is used for occasionally driving outside NY for work, shopping and weekend getaways.

Renting -- It's a good point for one-off trips, but I do take multiple 200-600 mile round trips, at least monthly. What makes things worse is -- I usually leave Manhattan on Fridays 5-6 pm, when everyone is trying to get out of NY. A 100 miles trip can take as much as 3 hours driving in stop-n-go. Kids get restless, adults get restless, we stop to stretch our legs, eat something, and we get there by 9 or even 10 pm. A 2 hour trip turns into a 4-5 hour journey (with stops).

Conversion van used to afford us better comfort, large reclining captain chairs, 21" flatscreen TV, more living room-like. People could actually move around and switch seats (safely of course).

Would this be feasible in the Odyssey? The reason looking for one are two-fold: less fuel cost, better parking in the City.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There is really no comparison. The full size van is well... full size. If you want space, go with that. The full size conversion van is designed to be big and opulent. The Ody is a compromise to a full size van with ease of driving & parking, decent space, good economy, good reliability and in most cases better resale value.
Your choice is really one of a personal nature. If you can afford the fuel cost and want big, go with a full size.
LuvMyTJ: Thanks for the feedback -- I see that you are in NYC as well. I park on the street, as you know very well, parking is very tough. Vans are about a foot longer than Odyssey. It may not mean anything for most people, but for us in the city it's not trivial.

I am not looking to buy new -- can't really afford it and not worth it for me.

Except some test-drives, I have never driven an Odyssey long distance, but trust what people say here. Can someone comment on how the Odyssey would drive and handle in comparison to the '02 Venture and/or '97 Previa?
 

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Conversion van used to afford us better comfort, large reclining captain chairs, 21" flatscreen TV, more living room-like. People could actually move around and switch seats (safely of course).Would this be feasible in the Odyssey?
Sure, with enough money you could do a project on an Ody to convert it into something like what you describe above. But would it be cost effective, esp. since you said you wanted to buy used to save $? "I am not looking to buy new -- can't really afford it and not worth it for me." I think you would still have to go w/ another vehicle that would have larger interior dimensions (and therefore larger exterior dimensions) to have what you want-which then would be hard to park in Manhattan!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I looked at a 2007 Ody Touring today and liked it a lot. I think I would want an 7-seater, not 8. What I did notice was how high the window sills were for 2nd Row and 3rd Row passengers. It reminded me of my old minivans and how I came to appreciate the panoramic views of a conversion van windows (except the swing side-door).


Look here how low the window is (or how high the seat is) to 2nd Row window:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sure, with enough money you could do a project on an Ody to convert it into something like what you describe above. But would it be cost effective, esp. since you said you wanted to buy used to save $? "I am not looking to buy new -- can't really afford it and not worth it for me." I think you would still have to go w/ another vehicle that would have larger interior dimensions (and therefore larger exterior dimensions) to have what you want-which then would be hard to park in Manhattan!
Yes, parking is a major consideration. Besides that, believe it or not, I do find the minivan more practical than the van with what I am about to load it with -- 3 cargo boxes + one 4-bike rack.

1 luggage box.
1 Vacation / outdoors gear (umbrella, chairs, running shows, tennis gear, hiking gear etc.
1 Tool box: drill, saw, wrenches, jacks, etc.

Plus a 4-bicycle rack.

On the minivan, I would put 1 box on the roof, 2 stacked on the hitch and bike rack on top of the 2-stack.

Since it is too high, on the van I would need to stack 3 boxes on the hitch and bike rack on top. The bikes would end up about 8 feet high - which is not good.
 

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Have you thought about getting a small trailer to hold all your stuff? OMG where do you keep it all. LOL. Your comment on the windows being so high. I believe is partly due to safety and keep occupants in the vehicle incase of a rollover. Also, to help with side impacts as well.

I would buy the Odyssey as you can see in my sig I actually own both. My full-size is an American branded vehicle. When I buy OEM replacement parts for it they all say "Hecho en Mexico". When I buy OEM replacement parts for the Odyssey they all say "MADE IN USA". Not to mention the fact I just put an engine in my full size at 68,000 miles. Oh and the brake job that cost me $600 just in parts! Oh and the $100 higher cost of insurance. Wait though here is the kicker, it blue books at around $13000 now. I've tried to trade it in a few times and was entertained to offers of $5000, $4500, & $2500 respectively. WTF!

I wish Honda/Acura would come out with a vehicle i could tow my racecar and trailer with. I'd never buy American Branded again! Just American made like our Odyssey!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Have you thought about getting a small trailer to hold all your stuff?
I have enough of hard time to park without a trailer, so trailer would be a no-no in my case. I did try a few times.

I don't like to keep anything inside -- I hate the smell of spilled milk on the carpet. I like the interior to be uncluttered, clean and no smells of oil, tools, etc. I do keep some tools in the car, and can do some small repairs myself, on trips or in the city.

Like I said, 3 boxes is not a big deal. 2 on the hitch, 1 on the roof. It does add about 2'6" to the length of the vehicle.

Your comment on the windows being so high. I believe is partly due to safety and keep occupants in the vehicle incase of a rollover. Also, to help with side impacts as well.
I understand that -- that's one of the reasons I sold the Previa.


I would buy the Odyssey as you can see in my sig I actually own both. My full-size is an American branded vehicle. When I buy OEM replacement parts for it they all say "Hecho en Mexico". When I buy OEM replacement parts for the Odyssey they all say "MADE IN USA". Not to mention the fact I just put an engine in my full size at 68,000 miles. Oh and the brake job that cost me $600 just in parts! Oh and the $100 higher cost of insurance. Wait though here is the kicker, it blue books at around $13000 now. I've tried to trade it in a few times and was entertained to offers of $5000, $4500, & $2500 respectively. WTF!

I wish Honda/Acura would come out with a vehicle i could tow my racecar and trailer with. I'd never buy American Branded again! Just American made like our Odyssey!
My experience with the Ford Full-size vans has been the opposite. They have been amongst the most reliable / least expensive from my many vehicles I have ever owned. I ran one to 230k miles and sold it in excellent condition. Granted, I had to have transmission rebuilt on Xmas Eve, but $ 1,850, 4-5 hours in Mike's shop, while me having a good time at a restaurant -- fixed that. Insurance has been cheap too, relatively. They are cumbersome in NYC.

I agree their resale value drops like a stone though
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Broke a record yesterday -- almost 4 hours to drive 97 miles. I averaged 17 mph for the first 60 miles, then things got better after Bridgeport CT on I-95 Northbound.
 

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Have you considered a Dodge Sprinter? They have a diesel engine that gets very good economy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Have you considered a Dodge Sprinter? They have a diesel engine that gets very good economy.
Thank you for the suggestion. I thought the same thing some time ago.
I looked into them, and although fuel economy is appealing, maintaining a diesel is more expensive than "gassers". So cost would be a wash. As they age, diesel motors become noisy, not a good thing for a passenger cruising van.

Passenger Sprinters (10-seaters) are better suited as airport taxis. They also look the part. Meanwhile, conversion Sprinters are very rare and hard to find.

They are over a foot (14") longer than even a Full-size Ford Van, while I am trying to go the other direction -- shorter.

I may be mistaken, but I am also weary of them for roll-overs, since they are so tall and narrow.
 

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I have owned both and driven others. They are two diffent vehilces for two different purposes. Personally most lrage vans are a pain as they age and certainly for highway travel with any cross wind ;not very good.Bsically the honda van is more likie driving a car and even less cross wind problams than the pickup trucks and large SUVs I have owned.You will just have to make up your mind on what characteristics are most important :IMO. Two different annimals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
'12 Nissan nv. Too bad they dont come with seats. Later maybe or private aftermarket that do conversion?

Or wait for Ford transit not to be confuse with current ford transit connect. Ford transit is very big in europe. I dont know why but i could be wrong. Ford transit could be overhype when it come out.

Ford Transit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thanks for the suggestions. I was looking at Nissan vans online about 2 weeks ago. First, I will not buy new. Secondly, it is as large as a Full-Size Ford Van, while I would like to get a smaller footprint vehicle, due to parking constraints. Keep the suggestions coming though...
 

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Van choice

Well, I own both a sprinter and an odyssey. For only 5 people you clearly don't need the sprinter (I have seven kids). When I only had three kids, we just removed one of the second row seats in the odyssey and used it that way. Plenty of interior room and very easy access to the third row. Also, you can get hitch mounted bike racks that carry 4 bikes (I have one and it works well). The main issue with the odyysey compared to what you are considering is the interior height - it is simply less and you can't really stand up in it. You can still move around some, but not stand up. I still have my odyssey configured with one of the second row seats removed, it just sits in the garage. It really opens up the access and floor space of the van. With the odyssey, you can still put the various entertainment options in it if you want.

I can understand the issues of driving in traffic and trip length, but I regularly take my kids on 8+ hour drives and they do great with reading and talking with each other. Long drives can be great family time if you are of that mindset and take that approach.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, I own both a sprinter and an odyssey. For only 5 people you clearly don't need the sprinter (I have seven kids). When I only had three kids, we just removed one of the second row seats in the odyssey and used it that way. Plenty of interior room and very easy access to the third row. Also, you can get hitch mounted bike racks that carry 4 bikes (I have one and it works well). The main issue with the odyysey compared to what you are considering is the interior height - it is simply less and you can't really stand up in it. You can still move around some, but not stand up. I still have my odyssey configured with one of the second row seats removed, it just sits in the garage. It really opens up the access and floor space of the van. With the odyssey, you can still put the various entertainment options in it if you want.

I can understand the issues of driving in traffic and trip length, but I regularly take my kids on 8+ hour drives and they do great with reading and talking with each other. Long drives can be great family time if you are of that mindset and take that approach.

Chris
Thanks for commenting. Is that a diesel Sprinter or gas? Do you feel that sprinter is surely-footed? I have heard that despite its height, Sprinter is very stable at cross-winds.
 
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