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Edmunds Evaluation: 2006 Minivan Comparison Test

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Edmunds Evaluation: 2006 Minivan Comparison Test

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1st: Honda Odyssey

2nd: Kia Sedona

3rd: Toyota Sienna

4th: Nissan Quest

5th: Chrysler Town & Country

If there's an ever-changing segment of the automotive industry, it's the family-friendly world of minivans. In the 29 months since our last hard look at the segment, it has completely turned itself over. The Kia Sedona and Honda Odyssey have been overhauled, while the Nissan Quest and Chrysler Town & Country have been given thorough once-overs. To see which is the king of the modern mommy-mobiles, we brought the four together, along with the winner of the 2004 comparison test, the Toyota Sienna.

Each of the five vans packs a V6 engine, an automatic transmission and two power-sliding doors. Since the Sienna is the only one of the five available with all-wheel drive, we asked for one so equipped. The other four vans are front-wheel drive.

Edmunds

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Since the Sienna is the only one of the five available with all-wheel drive, we asked for one so equipped. The other four vans are front-wheel drive.

Our Sienna XLE AWD Limited tester has a lot to offer and continues to play a strong role as the do-gooder of the bunch, but its high price kept it out of 1st place.

So they spent extra to equip the Sienna with AWD, despite the rest of the competition being FWD. Then they say it didn't win because it was priced too high? Lol

Not that I really care too much about minivans.

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Interesting that arrogance has handed the minivan market completely over to the Asians. Ford and GM used to have a strong presence in this market, but gave that up in favor of gas guzzling SUVs.

This minivan is a far more important vehicle to the Canadian market than it is south of the border. Consequently, we sell more Uplanders in a month than we do Tahoes in a year!

I remember back in '98 when the Sienna was overhauled and still missed the mark. We all had a good laugh. When GM fixed the cupholders and a few other things we didn't like about the Venture in 2000, we finally had a strong contender that was arguably the best minivan on the market at the time.

Yes, things have changed. Ford is wiped out of this market: the Windstar was a strong competitor a few years back. The Uplander is a sad joke that we can only sell on price; albeit, what a price! Ten grand cheaper than a Sienna is nothing to sneeze at, but when the Sedona's numbers are climbing - well, it gets embarassing.

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At least the Honda won, which it deserved to. I never got how the Toyota would win comparisons even though the Honda Odyssey would often come out with better results, and sometimes with a cheaper price.

I :censored: hate the Sienna. I'd likely hate it less if we didn't own one, but that's because I really hate ours as well, even if ours is the previous gen.

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Without even reading it yet, the 2nd place finish just goes to show you how EXCELLENT even the Kia is. Even the last gen, which a relative has, is always impressive as hell to me, with a level of build quality & refinement that just go well beyond the pricetag. And now the new ones have all the features of the other vans--great buy.

The Honda still has one of the best packages, the Toyota has some issues but is still very nice, and the Nissan is now a really great choice too, with its upgraded materials and revised style. The Chryslers remain one of the best looking, but driving dynamics are a bit old, and the Stow & Go is great for utility, but not very comfortable.

As for the Ford and GM vans, well, they're just about as good as dead...

Minivans are still a "No!" to a lot of people, but with the switch from big SUV's to crossovers getting so strong, minivans are also benefiting lately.

Edited by caddycruiser

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The Kia is still pretty junky in terms of design, ergonomics, and looks. The first one was also an obese pig.

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The first one was also an obese pig.

215929[/snapback]

Aren't all minivans though? :AH-HA_wink:

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The Kia is still pretty junky in terms of design, ergonomics, and looks. The first one was also an obese pig.

215929[/snapback]

I have driven the new Sedona and despite its positive improvements, I can confirm what you say. Its still junky. In five years a family of four will have one reduced to rubble. The carpet and seat cloth will be shot, the plastic will be warped and brittle, and all the swtichgear will be loose and hatched. the sheet metal will be all dinged up and the paint will be dull and worn.

And the fact that the dvd's cannot be controlled from the front is laughable. Also laughable is the heavy ass folding second row seats.

The Quest is a sportier drive, but is no complete peach. But it would be the one I would pick out of the bunch to drive everyday if i had to. The domestric entries are laughable.

The Odyssey is not the kingpin everyone thinks. The interior is cheap and cheesy, plus its damn ugly. Dead fish look more charismatic.

I'd give the crown to the Sienna here, mainly because it best hits the middle. My test drive in one made me want to drive screws through my eyeballs it was so boring......but I know this is what most want in a minivan. It has an inoffensive interior and decent plastics and many options etc. They upgraded the engine for 07, i think, to the 265hp thingie.

I have concluded that there will never be a fun minivan so that is why now I say go Outlook and Acadia. Minivans in SUV packages.

Edited by regfootball

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by the way, its been said the outlook / acadia have similar wheelbase and size to a minivan, this is true. I also think the curb weights are close. So I bet with the 275hp mill and new chassis, the Lambdas should outperform these vans and give better numbers.

Let's see how the Saturn Outlook stacks up against the existing competition -

Length - 200.7

Width - 78.2

Height - 69.9

Wheelbase - 118.9

Weight - 4722 lbs

Cargo vol - 117 cu ft

Seating Capacity - 7 or 8

Horsepower - 267 hp

Mileage - 17/25

2006 Chrysler Town & Country Limited / 2006 Honda Odyssey Touring / 2006 Kia Sedona / 2007 Nissan Quest 3.5 SE / 2006 Toyota Sienna XLE AWD Limited

Length, in. 200.5 / 201.0 / 202.0 / 204.1 / 200

Width, in. 78.6 / 77.1 / 78.1 / 77.6 / 77.4

Height, in. 68.8 / 70.0 / 69.3 / 71.9 / 68.9

Wheelbase, in. 119.3 / 118.1 / 118.9 / 124.0 / 119.3

Curb Weight, lbs. 4452 / 4703 / 4729 / 4518 / 4630

Edited by regfootball

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Eh weird how they have the Sienna as AWD but anyways, the right minivan won. I think the Ody is the best looking of them all, although I prefer the last gen's exterior to the current one.

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This is all very pertinent, actually. My uncle called me and asked what minivan to buy, and there really aren't any choices.

The cheapest domestic is the POS Uplander, $17.5K CarsDirect. And he already said, "No American vans."

There's the Sedona LX, which looks great on paper, $19.5K CarsDirect. It has all the right features, warranty, and specifications. But quality control is still missing.

There's the ancient Sienna LE, $21.5K CarsDirect. It's not powerful and it's dreary inside, but there's nothing really wrong with it. But to get stability control, you have to get the $25K LE #3.

And finally, the Odyssey LX. It's better than the Sienna (more power, more room, better handling, better fuel economy), and at $24K CarsDirect, it's cheaper than LE #3.

The Quest is too avant garde and has no price advantage.

So, annoyingly, I'm telling him to get the Honda, unless he can wait for '07 Sienna. Wish there were more choices in the real world....

Edited by empowah

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The Quest is too avant garde and has no price advantage.

217436[/snapback]

um, not no more, and maybe if y'all DROVE it, you'd like it. what is it with people not wanting to go out and test for themselves? arg. that aggravates me.

DON'T GET THE KIA and the Honda is not that good either. If the Nissan is avante garde, the Honda is just plain bad.

Edited by regfootball

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I may have to chew my fingers off for typing this, but the Sienna is probably the safest buy of the bunch, even though it is over priced.

You Americans are so spoiled with your cheap car prices and cheap gas. Here, a Sienna sells for $31k; whereas, the Uplander RWB is $20k. I would readily agree that the Sienna is a better vehicle, but not for $11k, plus taxes. Even if you went to the extended Uplander, it is still about $5k cheaper (plus taxes) in this market.

So, if you are a family of 5, living on a budget, facing $4 a gallon gas, which do you lease? A Sienna for $550 a month and $2k out of pocket, or an Uplander at $450 a month with $1k out of pocket?

I have had too many customers with Odysseys complaining about electrical and transmission problems. I want to like them, but don't.

As to the Sedona: I'd rather walk than drive a Hyundai or Kia.

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I may have to chew my fingers off for typing this, but the Sienna is probably the safest buy of the bunch, even though it is over priced.

  You Americans are so spoiled with your cheap car prices and cheap gas.  Here, a Sienna sells for $31k; whereas, the Uplander RWB is $20k.  I would readily agree that the Sienna is a better vehicle, but not for $11k, plus taxes.  Even if you went to the extended Uplander, it is still about $5k cheaper (plus taxes) in this market.

So, if you are a family of 5, living on a budget, facing $4 a gallon gas, which do you lease?  A Sienna for $550 a month and $2k out of pocket, or an Uplander at $450 a month with $1k out of pocket?

  I have had too many customers with Odysseys complaining about electrical and transmission problems.  I want to like them, but don't.

  As to the Sedona: I'd rather walk than drive a Hyundai or Kia.

217520[/snapback]

yeah but if you can't stand sitting or riding in the uplander, and its seating isn't as useful, and it isn't as spacious, and its engine is woefully deficient, then you're foolish to waste money on the inferior product you would be unhappy with when for a bit more money you would get something that better suits your needs and you WOULD be happy with it. with an uplander you'd end up with big time buyer's remorse.

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Req, have you driven a 2007 Uplander? I would hardly call 242 hp "woefully deficient." I clearly said the Sienna was the better vehicle, but we don't all have thousands to throw away. For many, average families, the Uplander will do fine.

I, for one, am looking forward to the upcoming replacement, but in the GTA, the Uplander outsells the Tahoe and Suburban by, like 5:1.

The Uplander has many clear wins, including a larger gas tank (where does the Sienna seat disappear to, I wonder?), more comfortable 3rd row seating, more functional spare tire, OnStar, etc., so it isn't all doom and gloom.

I respect people's disdain for all things minivan on this site, but for many in the Rest of the World, the minivan is an important vehicle in the market. It is a shame that Ford and GM wasted an opportunity that was theirs to lose 5 years ago.

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Req, have you driven a 2007 Uplander?  I would hardly call 242 hp "woefully deficient."  I clearly said the Sienna was the better vehicle, but we don't all have thousands to throw away.  For many, average families, the Uplander will do fine.

  I, for one, am looking forward to the upcoming replacement, but in the GTA, the Uplander outsells the Tahoe and Suburban by, like 5:1.

  The Uplander has many clear wins, including a larger gas tank (where does the Sienna seat disappear to, I wonder?), more comfortable 3rd row seating, more functional spare tire, OnStar, etc., so it isn't all doom and gloom.

  I respect people's disdain for all things minivan on this site, but for many in the Rest of the World, the minivan is an important vehicle in the market.  It is a shame that Ford and GM wasted an opportunity that was theirs to lose 5 years ago.

217535[/snapback]

i am a minivan proponent and almost bought one and i can tell you from the uplanders dysfunctional seating (lame ass thrid row) and horrible cabin alone the sienna is worth the extra money. i've been in plenty of uplanderterrazamontanarelays, they are always used as dealer shuttles by my pont. dealer.

hey fly, that uplander is sexy. don't you see all the chicks pulling up to the bar with them whne they go out clubbing?

my aztek is far better looking than that uplander, even if its the same vehicle

Edited by regfootball

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hey fly, that uplander is sexy.  don't you see all the chicks pulling up to the bar with them whne they go out clubbing?

217543[/snapback]

Yeah, but they're all like 45.

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Speaking as a minivan owner, I am not all that impressed with ANY of the Edmunds choices.

The Toyota and Honda are overpriced and ugly, the powertrains are good, hte resale is high, but I will drive it until it dies.

The Kia is a joke. It looks nice, the price is right, but geez, what a rattletrap. Our local Kia dealer is, for the second time, offering a "buy one, get one free" deal on its vehicles. That doesn't really inspre any product confidence. Maybe in a few years, if the product improves. I compare them to Hyundai of about 15 years ago.

The Nissan is a nice van. They fixed the interior this year, it has a strong powertrain, the added style is nice, might be my choice of the bunch.

The Chrysler is all that is wrong with MINIvans. I have a short wheelbase, soon to be non-existant in the marketplace. The T&C is a long wheelbase luxo barge, not a basic family hauler.

The Saturn Relay is something I have actually looked at as a replacement for my Caravan, but it is narrower, the reliability isn't any better than what I have, but I think it is relatively attractive.

I am hoping the 2008 Mopar twins are nice, because I am running out of options if I want to buy a new MINIvan.

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What are you talking about? The Uplander is damn sexy and that alone sells it.

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217530[/snapback]

You gotta be f**king kidding me? LoL :P

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What are you talking about? The Uplander is damn sexy and that alone sells it.

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217530[/snapback]

:rotflmao:

I dunno fly... I think this one looks better...

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Hmm... then again, I'm really diggin' this...

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GM offers plenty of vans to match everyone's personality and pocketbook!!!

Edited by Captainbooyah

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:idhitit:

217610[/snapback]

I think it's time someone started a "What WON'T reg hit" topic. 8)

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