By on August 17, 2014

2012 Toyota SiennaThe Toyota Sienna was America’s best-selling minivan during the month of July 2014, although Chrysler’s minivan duo combined to own a far greater portion of the market.

44.8% of all July minivan sales went Chrysler and Dodge’s way, up from 38.1% a year ago. The Grand Caravan/Town & Country twins rank first and second in the minivan category through the first seven months of 2014 and have jointly increased their market share to 49% from 43.6% during the same period last year.

Meanwhile, Honda, Mazda, and Nissan have all sold fewer minivans (mini-minivans in Mazda’s case) this year than last. The Odyssey’s 7% decline equals 5530 fewer sales for Honda; Odyssey volume fell by 2355 units during the month of July. Honda’s share of the minivan segment has fallen from 25.6% during the first seven months of 2013 – when it was the minivan sales leader – to 22.3% in 2014. The Odyssey was America’s 30th-best-selling vehicle overall through the first seven months of 2013; 39th so far in 2014.

The Mazda 5’s most direct competitor may now be the Ford Transit Connect Wagon, sales of which aren’t broken out from the overall Transit Connect’s tally. Ford has reported 23,889 total Transit Connect sales this year, a 2.4% increase. 5 sales are down 13% in 2014, though July volume shot up 68% to 1547, or 3.3% of the category.

 

Minivan
July
2014
July
2013
%
Change
7 mos.
2014
7 mos.
2013
%
Change
Chrysler Town & Country
11,370 8,060 41.1% 81,246 67,439 20.5%
Dodge Grand Caravan
9,473 8,583 10.4% 81,539 68,055 19.8%
Honda Odyssey
10,906 13,261 -17.8% 74,203 79,733 -6.9%
Kia Sedona
775 1,068 -27.4% 4,351 3,630 19.9%
Mazda 5
1,547 922 67.8% 8,762 10,023 -12.6%
Nissan Quest
786 1,055 -25.5% 7,156 8,004 -10.6%
Toyota Sienna
11,661 10,608 9.9% 73,952 73,167 1.1%
Volkswagen Routan
1 155 -99.4% 1,103 1,021 8.0%
Total
46,519 
43,712  6.4%  332,312  311,072  6.8%

There are major changes planned for the structure of Chrysler/FCA’s Windsor, Ontario-built minivan lineup, yet the current results suggest a real move back to the status quo. Traditionally, when consumers thought, “Minivan?”, they also thought, “Grand Caravan.” This trend has only been emphasized by the disappearance of so many competitors. (Chrysler/Dodge combined for just 35% market share in the category a decade ago.)

Of the 1,187,790 new vehicles sold by the five Chrysler Group brands so far this year, 13.7% have been minivans. America’s third and fourth-best-selling minivans, on the other hand, generate just 8.5% and 5.4% of company-wide volume, respectively.

These are important products for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in North America, and the boldness with which the company is planning to completely alter a playing field they so thoroughly dominate lacks the caution one might see from the automakers which sell the third and fourth-best-selling minivans.

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93 Comments on “Cain’s Segments July 2014: Minivans...”


  • avatar
    mdanda

    The Sienna is an extremely well-built vehicle that is significantly cheaper to purchase and maintain than a full-size SUV. It serves families very well, and their success in the market is well-deserved.

    The last time I researched vans in earnest, the Odyssey shipped with too many bells-and-whistles that pushed it over 30K, and the other brands didn’t have the same reliability ratings. I judge a minivan by its reliability post-100K miles, and in this characteristic, the Sienna reigns supreme.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      There currently is an Odyssey and a Sienna in my extended family, owned a driven by two different daughters-in-law, and both vehicles have been absolutely superb, trouble free.

      The Sienna is currently the older of the two but in well over 100K miles of ownership since being purchased brand new, it has never had to go back to the dealership for anything. My sons each do their own oil and filter change and periodic maintenance and did so since the day they each bought their vehicle.

      There is a reason why Toyota and Honda products continue to be popular; they last and last, and retain great trade-in value.

      I have no doubt that when it is time to trade each of these outstanding vehicles in, now that the kids are older, that these minivans will be replaced by a brand new Highlander and Pilot, respectively.

    • 0 avatar
      Chris FOM

      When we were shopping for a family hauler a few years ago my wife and I drove basically every minivan and 3-row crossover on the market. The Sienna was the only vehicle my wife didn’t even bother to take for a test drive. The interior was woefully cheap, with hard, thin, rattly plastic everywhere and the sense that it wouldn’t take any sort of wear at all. For the price they were charging, the Odyssey and T&C felt far better put together. She eventually decided on a Flex which has been an absolute home run.

      • 0 avatar
        johnhowington

        I have lived with my 2011 sienna going nearly 4 years, and I dont think i’ve ever heard someone describe it as having “thin rattly plastic everywhere.” You have a unique opinion.

        • 0 avatar
          fiasco

          I also have a 2011 Sienna, and I do think the interior is more plasticky than the equivalent Odyssey. But the Sienna has two more inches of ground clearance and AWD, which is the difference between parking the van for six to eight weeks of the year in my situation.

          Toyota did cheap out on the lower dash plastic, most of the trim around the door jamb/carpet junctions, and the rear door interior cover is something I would expect in a 1993 Hyundai.

          One thing I DO wish for is actually more plastic: a Honda Element-style interior in a Sienna.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            I have a 2004 Sienna. If they “cheaped” out on the plastic, they did it in a way that leaves it looking factory-new after a decade. Most people who ride in it assume it’s a relatively young used car.

            I’ll take this vehicle’s long term usability over the missing soft touch plastics under the dash, or whatever the complaint is.

            P.S. Mine has 125k miles on it. Now that I’ve replaced all old the wear items and fixed the squawks that convinced the previous owner to sell it, all I’ve got to do is change the oil and drive it for the next 50k or 100k miles or so. Nice!

        • 0 avatar
          Almost Jake

          I have a 2008 Sienna, which has a nice interior. However, between then and now, the Sienna interior got cheap. The 2014 I sat in the other day was a great disappointment. Lots of hard, cheap plastic.

          • 0 avatar
            fiasco

            The 2011+ Sienna got a lot of Harbor Freight grade plastic bits. Our 85k mile 2011 van in some ways looks almost as bad as my 195k mile 03 Subaru.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    “The Mazda 5′s most direct competitor may now be the Ford Transit Connect Wagon, sales of which aren’t broken out from the overall Transit Connect’s tally.

    Very difficult to find the Wagon (“un-minivan”) on the lots. Have yet to see one locally, only cargo versions. I wonder how many sales of the Wagon there *are* to break out.

    PS: C’mon VW, bring us the Caddy.

  • avatar
    Signal11

    I gotta wonder what kind of deal the guy bought that last remaining VW Routan on lot managed to cut.

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    Hard to believe Marchionne wants to give up 9500 minivan sales a month by killing the Dodge Caravan.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      Agreed. I can’t see the reasoning for that either. I get that FCA is trying to re-position Dodge as a performance brand (I guess?), but I know a lot of folks who have Dodge minivans. Maybe they could re-introduce the price special minivan as a Plymouth, and then quietly let the Grand Caravan disappear?

      I really think we need to come up with a new name for this class of vehicle. I ran across a mid-80’s Caravan the other day in a grocery store parking lot, it seemed absolutely tiny compared to contemporary ones. I think the xB a couple of parking spots away was just as big as that old Caravan!

      Just like some folks decry the loss of the small pickup, I would like to see a mini minivan again. I wonder if FCA will try selling the 500L or the Doblo passenger van version as the spiritual successor to the minivans?

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        geozinger, the mini minivan is alive and well and incarnated as the Mazda5 this time around.

        My best friend and I took a weekend trip to CA in a rental Mazda5 to bring back a Hammond M3 and Leslie 147RV he had bought from a private party online, and that little mini minivan carried the goods and hauled @ss!

        Seats six comfortably, or you can fold down all four rear seats for a huge cargo area (which is what we did). Can be had in the Sport trim with AC and Cruise Control, power windows and locks, for less than $20K. Economical 2.4 I4 gives good gas mileage, even when packed down with weight.

        Two sliding rear side doors are great for tight spaces. I’m amazed that more people have not caught on to this little gem.

        • 0 avatar
          LeeK

          It’s because of the mediocre crash test ratings, HDC. In this family-minded market segment, low IIHS numbers are the kiss of death.

          • 0 avatar

            The IIHS ratings weren’t really an issue for the Mazda5 until now. The *real* reason that the Mazda5 is not widely-embraced is the fact that, for most people, it’s just an awkwardly-styled mini-minivan. Love it or hate it, anyone can see that it doesn’t exactly align with market tastes for design…and it never did. I see it used as more of a lifestyle vehicle, often sporting cross bars and bicycles on the roof.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            LeeK, yeah, I think you are right. People who buy in this segment have premonitions of being involved in a major crash and want to buy a four-wheeled tank for protection.

            And Kyree is also right in that the Mazda5 type of vehicle is more in line with something that would be marketed in Europe, not in the US.

            That said, I found it a remarkable little vehicle, albeit a rental, for a ~1700 mile round trip.

            And we kept it running, non-stop, in shifts, except for gas and pee-breaks. If my buddy wasn’t driving, I was driving it. Made the whole round trip in under 37 hours.

            But we didn’t think about getting involved in a crash either. Just getting there, and getting back.

          • 0 avatar
            beanbear

            The Mazda5 just isn’t a compelling product for the US. Many buyers choose minivans because they have to, not want to. So there’s an “in for a penny, in for a pound” mentality, and they go full size. The price and MPG difference can be minimal, depending on the model/trim. The Mazda5 buyers I know are iconoclastic (and there are several in our town): hell bent against a full size minivan, or absolutely needed the small footprint… but needed more capability than a CUV or Jetta wagon. But tweener products rarely do well in the US, though the 5 seems to be a good enough drive to have a healthy niche.

          • 0 avatar
            tall1

            I owned a 2006 Mazda5 for 7 years, so I am familiar with the vehicle. Pros – sporty handling, corners like a 3, fits almost anything with second and third row seats down. Cons – highway noise levels too high, poor ventilation and a/c strength, engine low on power especially with full load and a/c on, poor fuel economy for size of engine and weight of vehicle (24 avg), started to rust in wheel arches after 5 years (live near Chicago but garage kept), and barely any storage behind third row. Bought it for practicality reasons but always thought it felt a bit too cheap. This vehicle is not a replacement for a minivan if you plan on using all three rows often.

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      IIRC Marchionne wants Dodge to be about value/performance and Chrysler for plush/people carriers.

      Branding correctness is going to be painful, if history repeats itself as did the Plymouth Voyager, some sales will be lost despite the same exact rebranded product in the same showroom.

    • 0 avatar

      Marchionne, imo, hasn’t proven he has the sense to run a real car company at this point. All of Chrysler’s successess have been the legacy work of Cerebus.

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        The greatest Chrysler products since the minivan have been launched under Sergio, the 8 and 9 speed transmissions.

        The Cherokee is a bigger hit than it is given credit for as expensive ones like Limiteds and Trailhawks are close to sold out, the less expensive ones sit a little bit. I expect the new sinister looking Altitude model to win men over and drive Cherokee sales into Crv territory. Even not quite peaked Cherokee has launched Jeep as the fastest growing brand in California and around the world.

        I bet the Eco diesel and 200 will prove to be big successes in the next few months. The Renegade has huge potential as does the 500X.

        The only deal more wrong about the future of Chrysler than the Truthiness About Cars website is it’s brainwashed posters.

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        Wow! This is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone describe any aspect of Cerberus’ ownership of Chrysler as a success. What specifically are you referring to?

      • 0 avatar
        beanbear

        My understanding from a friend that works at Cerebrus is they were interested in the finance unit but only took on the OEM too after Daimler sweetened the pot. Cerebrus basically gave that Daimler “divorce settlement” to the OEM to do their own product turnaround, with the intent of making it independent and public again. The 08 crisis basically kiboshed that.

    • 0 avatar
      ry6puwh7vybo8ghot8nowo9ly4ne4deth5ca7ghe6bo7he7gyc

      I spoke with Ralph Gilles yesterday. And I brought up this very subject. I think Dodge Caravan should stay. And T&C should go. I have owned 4. Three at the SAME TIME. I sold my 2003 and got a 1996 GC. 170,000 plus miles on it. Going strong.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        TWO WORDS: “PERFORMANCE MINIVAN”

        Slap a Dodge badge on it and be done. Personally I was hoping for the 3.6 V6, AWD, 9 speed auto Dodge Caravan.

      • 0 avatar
        JEFFSHADOW

        Next time you speak with Ralph, tell him to bring back the Magnum wagon! Dodge owned the market and nothing came close in style. Today it would be a slippery-shaped semi-wedge design with fine tapered side fins (1959 Dodge, anyone?). My dealership sells 300s, Chargers and Challengers. We need Magnums now!
        Of course if Chrysler cannot reintroduce that Magnum then bring back the 1978/1979 XE/GT style as in a Charger fastback coupe.

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          Drove by a Magnum on the freeway yesterday. My passenger said “Damn, that is one ugly car.” I said “it has it’s fans, but I’m not one.” He’s on his second Jeep, so it’s not because of the brand. Lots of people find them cosmetically challenged.

  • avatar
    jetcal1

    If only the Mazda5 was available at the same level of power/equipment as my Focus ST. That would be the vehicle in my garage now.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      If you get the top of the line Touring trim……

      I took a ~1700mi trip with my best friend in a Sport trim version and it had everything we needed, including AC, Cruise Control, power windows and locks and big alloy wheels. The higher trim levels just have a more expensive interior. Everything else remains the same.

      What does the Focus ST have that disqualified the Mazda5 from your consideration?

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      Power: http://www.mazdas247.com/forum/showthread.php?123841829-2013-Mazda5-turbocharger-installation

      Equipment? you can only get the manual in the base Sport, everything else will be aftermarket/DIY

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    I don’t know why anyone other than Chrysler still bothers to be in the minivan segment. The Sienna and the Odyssey are not only woefully overpriced for what you’d get, the designs are very ugly in my opinion–there’s no other word to describe it.

    A fully optioned Dodge Grand Caravan (including leather, navigation, sunroof) comes in at the same price as a mid-optioned model without these features from both Honda and Toyota. A T&C usually comes in lower as well.

    It’s a crying shame the Town & Country will be the only remaining minivan from Chrysler. The Dodge Grand Caravan has become another American icon, among the ranks of other cars like the Ford Mustang or a Chevy Suburban.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      PP: “I don’t know why anyone other than Chrysler still bothers to be in the minivan segment. The Sienna and the Odyssey are not only woefully overpriced for what you’d get”

      I’d say high gross margins (Toyota and Honda) is a very good reason for continuing to sell them.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        PentastarPride – is that you “Bill From Buckhead”?

        • 0 avatar
          billfrombuckhead

          No. There are quite few Chrysler supporters, more every day jumping on the bandwagon.

          BTW, the Mopar minivans are number one and two for the year almost outselling all other minivans combined. In June Mopar sold 35,000 minivans combined in USA and Canada.

          Mopar Uber Alles!

          • 0 avatar
            turboprius

            Most of those Chrysler van sales are for rental fleets. Honda doesn’t rent Odysseys.

            I honestly don’t understand what makes the Chrysler vans special.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Bill Buckhead,
            Not clear on your intent with the expression “Mopar uber allies”. Are you saying:

            1. That FCA should form a partnership, i.e., be allied with Uber? Why would Uber want to partner up with the parts department of a foreign automaker?

            2. Are you claiming that FCA’s parts department is better than others? They kind of have to be, consdiering the quality of FCA vehicles, and the need to constantly replace parts.

            Either way, your choice of words appears poorly matched to your supposed intent.

          • 0 avatar
            koshchei

            It’s a tongue in cheek figure of speech implying fanatic loyalty to something arbitrarily designated as superior. Quit obsessing about it.

            Chrysler does produce a very fine minivan these days.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      PentastarPride, “I don’t know why anyone other than Chrysler still bothers to be in the minivan segment.”

      I know an old guy in his late sixties who buys nothing but minivans because they are easy for him and his wife to get into and out of.

      Back in the mid to late 1980’s he owned TWO Dodge Caravans (of different years), one of them a short one with a stickshift on the floor. They drove them for many years before upgrading to the His & Hers Town & Country minivans that they had for many years.

      But at some point, I don’t recall exactly when, he switched from buying Chrysler minivans to buying Toyota minivans. So there must be a reason why he chose to change brands because today he has two Toyota minivans of different model years.

      I know he and his wife always take the newest minivan on their long-distance road trips and keep the older one as grocery-getter for near-home use.

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        There are many Chrysler minivans with 300,000+ miles, they are taking over the taxi business in Atlanta and many places.

        The Chrysler is also far more fun to drive, is faster and handles better than the JapanInc 3rd and 4th place entries.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          @Bill from Buckhead:
          We cross shoped a nearly new T&C when we bought our 2004 Sienna.

          The Sienna won.

          Part of it was that the T&C reminded my wife of her mother’s 2005 T&C which was enough to be a tiebreaker, but the Sienna is just a really nice minivan which does everything right.

          There were some weird choices in the T&C at the time. For instance, the arbitrarily black seats in a light colored interior made it look like a not-designed cost cutting measure, and reminded us that the vehicle was built during the bankruptcy/restructuring era. Also, those seats looked like airline seats which had been shoehorned in to a minivan – which isn’t where we wanted to spend a 12 hour prairie crossing.

          The Sienna won, and has served us as well as we hoped it would for 18 months. Since my squawk list has exactly zero items on it, I expect it to get another 50k-75k miles on just oil changes. The in-laws are looking at a Sienna now to replace their T&C.

          Overall, FCA, Toyota, and Honda ll make great minivans and they’re all great choices. You really have to reach to find a tiebreaker, because the vehicles are so good.

    • 0 avatar
      happycamper

      “I don’t know why anyone other than Chrysler still bothers to be in the minivan segment”

      I own a 2008 Sienna and just rented a 2012 Caravan for a week. The Caravan wasn’t even close to the Sienna in terms of refinement (powertrain, suspension, road noise and brakes).

  • avatar
    zach

    Toyota and Honda can do it at a profit.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    *Total minivan sales, minus the modern minivan, i.e. CUV.

    I also wonder why anyone even buys minivans other than the Chry/Dodge duo. Still don’t understand the quest, the buyers, the designers, anything about it.

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      You can only get 4 people in a D/C van with the 3rd row down. The Toyota and Honda can hold 5 in some trims.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Hummer
      Just like you don’t understand 4x4s.

      Yesterday you made a comment that Australia should have F-350 dually 4x4s with 50 odd inch tyres.

      How many 4x4s would have duallies with that size tyre? And how well does a 4×4 function off road with duallies?

      This doesn’t surprise me, a comment like this from you.

      These minivans are family friendly and cheaper to own, I do think this would influence many potential customers with a family.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Are powerful narcotics standard with the purchase of a diesel, midsize, amphibious pickup in Australia, or does a poor school system stand to blame for your poor comprehension skills?

        You act like I don’t understand the point in minivans, as if its some secret. Minivans make much more sense to me than CUVs.

  • avatar
    zach

    The Caravan looks outdated already, even the mid model has black matte door handles, no tinted windows.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      Riding in a GC a fairly recently, I agree it’s beginning to show it’s age.

      Don’t get me wrong, for what it is, it’s good. I liked the seat fabric, wood trim and plentiful cabin storage. It’s a lot of value for $20k.

      While the Pentastar is a capable engine, some additional sound deading wouldn’t hurt.

  • avatar

    I know form follows function in this segment, but there is nothing more disconcerting than seeing a Sienna – especially in base trim – plodding down the road with that hideous black maw out front and a general look where not one line has anything to do with any other. Except the Quest. And apparently no one but Nissan courtesy shuttles buy Quests.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I agree, its as if they deliberately wanted to make it look as ridiculous as they could and somehow be better looking than Quest.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I actually like the Quest with deeply tinted windows. Then it looks like some sort of freaky futuristic hardtop people hauler. Like a 1950s car stylist’s wet dream minus tail fins.

    • 0 avatar
      PentastarPride

      I totally agree with you. It pains me how people will line up in droves to buy these (and other vehicles), pay a higher price for little in return and not mind the lackluster, quirky appearances of these vehicles because Consumer Reports, MSN or their neighbor or whoever told them to do so.

      Yeah, right.

      Oh, and I honestly forgot about the Quest. I thought that Nissan stopped making them a while ago, but then again they are not as common.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I hope the 2015 Sedona can improve Kia’s fortunes in this market.

    We love our 09; it was a steal, and I’m stunned at what people are willing to pay for these vehicles.

    • 0 avatar

      Sedona is really the Great Value of minivans here, by which I mean the Wal Mart brand. You buy one, you use it, you have a ridiculously long warranty, you break it eventually, you get another one, rinse and repeat.

      The second generation is really a damn nice van for the ridiculously low money you actually spend for one. And you can’t give ‘em away at the auction, so that makes it even more of a bargain for the shopper in the know.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        The (contractor) mailman who delivers our “Rural-route for Delivery (RFD) mail” drives a Kia Sedona, and has for many, many years.

        He seems quite happy with the utility of this “cheap and unloved” minivan.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      It looks like they got the formula right this time. It’s quite handsome, and loaded with features.

  • avatar
    turboprius

    Odyssey sales should be going up. The Sienna and the Quest, while good vans, are four years old and unchanged. The Odyssey, the obvious class leader, just had a refresh last year that helped it a lot. I sided with the Sienna before, but after the refresh, I LOVE it.

    My uncle has a 2014 EX-L that I spent about an hour in a couple weeks ago. Comfy ride, plenty of interior room (they basically designed it with everything I’d want in a backseat), more space for three people in the second row than most other cars, comfortable seats, HondaLink, high tech safety systems (such as the brilliant LaneWatch), and a plethora of other features, all for 35 grand. My neighbor’s EX that she bought right when the freshened ones came out is also great.

    If someone asked me what family vehicle they should buy, I’d say the 2014 Odyssey. I was hesitant last year when recommending to my neighbor (because CR reliability scores for the 2011), but the reliability is a lot better, and for the price, they’re definitely worth it. Hands down my favorite vehicle (currently) that can seat more than five people.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Sorry but the Odyssey looks like a bloated whale going down the road. Have they fixed that issue with the cylinder deactivation? I was following one the other day and at random times would have some puffs of blue/black smoke come out from the tail-pipe.

      Sorry but these things are getting priced stupid, $35 grand is not a bargain.

  • avatar

    That’s fine by me, as long as Chrysler then offers the Town & Country at a lower price. Honestly, most people seem to understand that the GC and the T&C are the same thing, so I doubt anyone’s going to get bent out of shape because his new minivan will say Chrysler instead of Dodge.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Kyree S. Williams,
      I do think most would realise that the Fiat/Chrysler vans are the one of the same.

      Nowadays with platform sharing it does create more competition within.

      Even here in Australia the BT-50 and Ford Ranger are the same expect for the skin and interior. It’s odd that Mazda has consistently sold the BT-50 for much less than the Ranger with the same amount of bling.

      The differences between these two vehicles is marginal but not worth the thousands of dollars difference between them.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I rent weekly from National. When possible I get the T&C. Usually are leather with heated seats, back up camera very easy to navigate center stack for Bluetooth etc.

    These ride great, easy to drive and for the size are reasonable on gas, and plenty of giddy up. We have a Burban for towing the camper and family duties, if we did not need the towing we would have one of these. Even in rental spec I think they make a great value in the slightly used market.

    I have only known one person who had a Siena, they were really unimpressed with it. Too expensive and two trips on a hook in five years or so.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t know about the Sienna (which is about to get a *major* refresh), but I’ve had nothing but pleasant experiences with the latest Chrysler minivans. The Pentastar engine and transmission combo is smooth both in town and on the highways, and they’re both very comfortable, livable vehicles…exactly as minivans should be.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    ~300HP
    Tows 3500 lb.
    $18,500 after rebate.

    Dodge Caravan AVP. Find a better value under $20k. I dare you.

    • 0 avatar
      ry6puwh7vybo8ghot8nowo9ly4ne4deth5ca7ghe6bo7he7gyc

      Exactly. Agreed. Autotrader searches consume my nights sometimes. :)
      My 1996 Grand Caravan ES had a MSRP (I still have sticker/munroney) of $29,000 ! Woah. Sure, loaded; but that’s a lot in 96.

  • avatar
    Ion

    I’ve never seen a standalone Chrysler or Dodge dealer. I’m sure they exist but for the 95% of the people who bought their Mopar minivan price was likely the brand decider.

    • 0 avatar
      koshchei

      This is true. I don’t know enough about MOPAR brand loyalty to really comment about the Dodge/Chrysler thing, but when we got out T&C, it was based on the trim options rather than the front clip.

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    Hey Tim Cain how about some positive news about FCA? Like they were only 13,000 retail units behind Ford last month or that they fleeted less cars last month percentage wise than Nissan or Hyundai or that they are gaining retail market share from everybody.

    Odd how in June, Mopar minivans sold 30k units in the USA and not a word on TTAC but Toyota outsells Town and Country one month by 300 units and that rates an article? So far this year, Add the Routan and Town and Country/Grand Caravan are spanking all of Japaninc van combined. like those numbers JapanInc fanboys?

    And another thing JapanInc fanboys, the new 200 is now rated safer than any zaibatsu appliance!

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Bill,
      These jingoistic posts of yours really do nothing but tell us that you are anti-Japanese.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      S
      H
      I
      T
      HEAD

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      *uckhead,

      I’ve got an HVAC tech who looks exactly like your avatar and thinks exactly like you. Sometimes I can’t not talk to him.

      Stop haunting me.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      What’s the second paragraph?

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      @billfrombuckhead:

      I’m actually rooting for FCA, and think they’re making a lot of the right moves for their situation. They’re also selling some interesting vehicles as they become a truly global company.

      BUT, your nonstop pumping of the brand doesn’t agree with reality, and I often feel the need to correct the record, or point out things that the competition does well.

      A more realistic tobe fron you would actually increase the amount of praise FCA receives. Because they do have some great products, and they’re making some great business moves – and their introduction of smaller diesels is intriguing.

      But, no, I can’t let unrealistic praise go unchallenged.

  • avatar
    Rday

    Just sold my 2010 Sienna lte. It was one of the best vehicles I have ever owned. Never took it in for any problems. it was troublefree. Owned a GC and was quite disappointed in it. Would only consider toyota for any new vehicles. Resale on the GC was absolutely terrible. Half of what a comparable honda or toyota would have sold for. unless it sells for half of what a sienna sells for, you would have to be a fool to buy chrysler.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      @Rday…

      June 2003 purchased a 2500 ram cummins 5sp. For 28k after rebates etc.

      Traded to a dealer in January 2010…..19.5k

      Perhaps your experience was poor, but that is not universal.

  • avatar
    mcarr

    With 4 kids, I have a definite need for a minivan. 3 row crossovers do not have the interior space needed and full sized suv’s don’t get nearly the same mileage. I tried a Mazda 5 for a few years, it was a nice car, got great mileage around town and handled nicely, but there is just zero cargo space. Traded it for a 2013 T&C and it’s been night and day. The T&C nearly equals the Mazda 5 highway fuel economy, which is amazing for such a large vehicle. It also handles very well, so well, that I don’t miss that aspect of the Mazda 5 one bit. The T&C is way more luxurious too. The Toyota and Honda interiors feel cheap by comparison, and the price tag leaves you feeling dizzy and nauseous. This is my first Chrysler product, and if all goes well, it won’t be the last.

    • 0 avatar
      ktm

      I own a 2012 Mazda5 Grand Touring. I’ll concede many of the points you bring up about the T&C when compared to the Mazda5, but I enjoy the handling aspects better and the GT is significantly more luxurious than a base T&C for nearly the same money.

      Leather, two rear captains chairs, Bluetooth, automatic headlights, rain sensing wipers, traction control, sunroof (without giving up headroom), heated seats, just off the top of my head. Now, saying that, is it a great people hauler? Only if you are carrying 4 people.

      I describe the Mazda5 as one of the best 4 person cars on the market, cross-platforms. The two rear captains chairs can go all the way back and even 6′-2″, 275 lb individuals can cross their legs in comfort and leave you plenty of cargo room in the rear for bags.

      Fold the seats down and you get quite a bit of space for those Ikea, Home Depot, landscaping (15 two cu ft bags of wood chips) runs.

      The Mazda5’s ride is firm on the 17-in. wheels and handles very well. It has a very tight turning radius (tighter than a Prius’) and can do a U-turn on a neighborhood street without the need for a three-point turn. Visibility is great and it really drives like a car.

      However, it is down on power, the fuel economy is not that great when compared to the larger minivans on the market, and it only seats 6 but not very comfortably. If you seat 6, it has very little cargo space remaining so long trips are out of the question.

      For a family of 4 it is a great choice if you do not want something large like the T&C, Sienna or Odyssey, but there are compromises.

  • avatar
    taxman100

    My wife just totaled our 2011 Routan. Like every vehicle, it had a few quirks, but we could drive it the 13 hours to Boston in one day, with no problems.

    We have two kids, and are considering downgrading to a used Mazda5, and banking the difference. My wife is terrible at parking a huge minivan in the garage (as my trash cans show, as well as hitting the garage with the passenger mirror), and our needs have changed – my Mother in law moved here, and this was our last trip to Boston, so the only extended road trips would be once a year to the beach.

    Currently she is using my old “back-up” car – a 2002 Grand Marquis, as the family truckster. I’d be content to just use it, but she wants something newer than 13 model years old to be our main car.


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