My comparison: 2011 minivans

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Thread: My comparison: 2011 minivans

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    My comparison: 2011 minivans



    When a family friend of this reviewer was recently searching for a new car for his family of four, he introduced the issue upfront: “I know you think minivans trump crossovers, but my wife hates minivans.”

    Armed with a list of recommended recent-model vehicles with three rows of seats and car-like driving dynamics, they went car-shopping...and ended up with a Chrysler Town & Country. “We liked the [Ford] Taurus X but felt that the minivan was the better family vehicle,” he said.

    This reviewer reached the same conclusion last year, in a comparison review of 2010-model vans and the two current crossover SUVs that came closest to them: the Ford Flex, the boxy successor to the Taurus X; and the hot-selling Chevrolet Traverse. Neither came close to any of the minivans' interior volume and both were more expensive.

    So if you can stomach the sliding doors, and don't need all-wheel-drive or more than the lightest-duty towing in your large family hauler, the question should come down to which minivan...
    Introduction continued at link:
    http://www.examiner.com/cars-in-nati...s-introduction


    And the Cliff's Notes summary of the comparison:

    http://www.examiner.com/cars-in-nati...and-conclusion
    Last edited by bradyholt; 06-10-2011 at 04:43 PM.

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    Re: My comparison: 2011 minivans

    Fifth place: Nissan Quest



    ...the Quest is harder to ignore. Derived from Nissan's Japanese-market Elgrand, the Quest incorporates that region's preference for taller, narrower vans to occupy a minimum footprint on a crowded street. (The Elgrand, in fact, is even narrower than the Quest.) Love it or hate it, the high slab sides look like no other van on the market.

    The interior, too, is a departure from the American minivan norm. It shares the look and feel of Nissan's luxury Infiniti brand, albeit with plastic woodgrain trim rather than real wood on the dash and door panels, and the seats all fold forward flat like in an SUV.

    Alas, some conventions are so for a reason...

    Continued at link:
    http://www.examiner.com/cars-in-nati...ns-fifth-place

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    Re: My comparison: 2011 minivans

    Thanks for the well written article. I went through the Quest at the auto show and it is weird.

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    Re: My comparison: 2011 minivans

    Last place for the new Nissan eh? Not a spectacular finish. Haven't driven one myself but at the auto show I thought the interior was very nice. Even friends that were with me who are alergic to minivans had praise for the interior at least.

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    Re: My comparison: 2011 minivans

    Man, did minivans ever get huge! I'd love to see one of these (or a Grand Caravan) parked beside a 1985 Magicwagon.
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    Re: My comparison: 2011 minivans

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphibian View Post
    Last place for the new Nissan eh?
    Haha, I love people who write 'eh'!!!
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    Re: My comparison: 2011 minivans

    This thing looks like the lovechild of a Sienna and a Flex. (puke)

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    Re: My comparison: 2011 minivans

    Fourth place: Kia Sedona



    For its website, Kia chose an unfortunate tagline for the Sedona: “Your family deserves the best.” If that is your attitude, you are not a Sedona customer.

    Perhaps in recognition of this, the Sedona has been absent from other recent comparisons of minivans – some are likely content to ignore it, and cars.com even said recently that Kia declined to provide a sample for its evaluation. This 2006-era van simply doesn't offer the sophisticated driving dynamics or the spiffy interior technology of the new and improved competition, and its once-outstanding safety ratings have now been matched or bettered.

    That's not to say that the Sedona is without merit....
    Continued at link:
    http://www.examiner.com/cars-in-nati...s-fourth-place

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    Re: My comparison: 2011 minivans

    Kia Sedona Fourth Place? Beats the Quest?

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    Re: My comparison: 2011 minivans

    Third place: Toyota Sienna



    In last year's comparison, the 2010 Sienna emerged as the victor for its forgettable nature – it was perfectly capable at family-hauling duties, drawing no attention to itself for any obvious design missteps or outrageously high prices.

    The redesigned 2011 Sienna corrects one of the 2010's biggest flaws: a disconnected driving experience with over-light steering and too many floaty ride motions on the highway. This tested XLE model is still far from sporty – some reviewers swear by a new sport-tuned SE model, however – but there is a new sense of solidity in the ride and less sloppiness in the steering and handling.

    But several new flaws in the Sienna cost it the forgettable factor...
    Continued at link:
    http://www.examiner.com/cars-in-nati...ns-third-place

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    Re: My comparison: 2011 minivans

    Interesting. So I'm wondering if you put the Odyssey or the Grand Caravan/Town & Country in first. Either way, it speaks well for Chrysler that they are in the top two slots.

    Personally, I would be happier if the test factored crash safety into the rankings. But bradyholt can't do that because not all of the minivans have been subjected to all tests.

    I'm still shocked at these $35,000 and $40,000 prices. I don't understand how so many families that really need a vehicle with three rows of seats can budget that kind of purchase. I mean, obviously many thousands of families can afford it. But there are hundreds of thousands of minivans sold per year, so obviously a very large portion of the population can afford it.

    I love tech doodads, but as far as I'm concerned the only essential feature on a minivan is power-sliding doors with pinch protection. My siblings and I remember vividly all the times we slammed our heads, hands, and legs in the sliding door of our 1990s minivans, and I don't want my kids to go through that. I'm pretty sure you can get a Kia Sedona and Dodge Grand Caravan with the power sliding doors for comfortably under $30,000 - so if I were shopping today, that's what I would get. The leather seats and the DVD system would be nice, but I'd rather pocket the $10,000 difference and buy a $300 portable DVD system for the back seat.

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    Re: My comparison: 2011 minivans

    Second place: Chrysler Town & Country



    Combine the Chrysler Town & Country with the near-identical Dodge Grand Caravan, and you get a minivan that consistently outsells the competition by a healthy margin – twice the volume of the next-best on a good month.

    There's a good reason for that....
    Continued at link:
    http://www.examiner.com/cars-in-nati...s-second-place

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    Re: My comparison: 2011 minivans

    Note to the editor - at the bottom of the page for the second place Town & Country, it says, "Previous article: Third place
    Coming up next: Second place"

    Presumably that should be "Coming up next: First place".

    Your review, as always, seems pretty fair to me. Since I haven't driven anything in the competition, I can't question the particulars.

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    Re: My comparison: 2011 minivans

    Quest is the best looking of the vans shown so far, I love it. Kia and Chrysler are the most dull though, I know why people love the Chrysler vans, but they're really quite uninspired to look at.
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    Re: My comparison: 2011 minivans

    Do the second row seats in the Quest recline, and have the foot rest? Depending if I move this year I will have more and larger parking for a cars and might consider the ElGrand. It's the highest rated minivan in Japan and a lot of the praise has come from the high quality interior.
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