Automotive

debating on mini van (toyota, honda or dodge)

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Aug 14, 2019
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debating on mini van (toyota, honda or dodge)

looking for a new mini van, debating on those three. will hold it for a long time. my two little ones are just one and five year old. Any thoughts. I look for something functional, reliable, and more affordable for a long run.
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May 6, 2019
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Pacifica phev. If you can afford it.

You will save a lot of $. If you do around 50km daily
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OdysseyCrest wrote:
Aug 15th, 2019 2:53 pm
Pacifica phev. If you can afford it.

You will save a lot of $. If you do around 50km daily
On paper I really like the Pacifica PHEV (nice looking, great mileage electric and gas) but if you research it, you'll see that, while it's mostly been very good (except the entertainment system which crashes all the time and only displays a black screen until you reset it by pulling and re-installing the fuse), based on unscientific online polls, about 5-10% of owners suffer random drive issues which leave you stranded and needing to get towed to the dealer (i.e. you get in, press the button to start and nothing happens - can't boost, can't get it to move ...). There are also a lot of reports of random check engine light which seem to come and go as you restart the car. There have also been a few reports of van fires which completely destroy the car. FCA did do a recall to fix catalytic converter overheating issues last year (if you search online, you can probably find pictures owners took of it glowing red) but apparently there's at least one owner (in Toronto I believe) who's PacHy burned to the ground after he had the recall performed. Many owners have reported having to replace the 12V (car battery not traction battery) after a year or two - if the battery gets too weak, the car will not start (most car owners don't replace batteries for 5+ years so that's quite premature). And these are cars that are all less than 3 years old and all still on warranty. According to the same online forum reports, reliability has not improved from 2017 to 2019 and it's still random which ones fail and which ones don't. Another thing to keep in mind is that they've actually sold very few of them (less than 15,000 in the US over the last 3 years based on estimates from EVsite tracking sales (FCA do not release actual PacHy sales so these numbers are based from EV rebate submission). Pacifica ICE outsells PacHy about 10 to 1. More Odysseys and Sienna are sold per month than PacHys sell in a year so there isn't all that much information on them.

Most owners do love them but quite a few have been returned through "lemon laws" and "buy-backs".

If you are the type to keep cars for a long time, IMO, the PacHy is a risky choice. Siennas have a great reputation for reliability and long life. Odysseys are also quite good (although I tend to think they don't last as long and aren't quite as trouble-free as Siennas). Caravans do not have a very good reputation for being trouble-free (although some are driven into the ground) and based on my observations, PacHys are not even as reliable as the Caravans.

FWIW, I was actually quite keen on buying a PacHy when they were introduced and I'm still hoping to buy one as I really do like the PHEV concept but I'm basically waiting / hoping that they announce that they've found the source of their random failures.
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sienna for the long haul
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michelb wrote:
Aug 16th, 2019 8:04 am
On paper I really like the Pacifica PHEV (nice looking, great mileage electric and gas) but if you research it, you'll see that, while it's mostly been very good (except the entertainment system which crashes all the time and only displays a black screen until you reset it by pulling and re-installing the fuse), based on unscientific online polls, about 5-10% of owners suffer random drive issues which leave you stranded and needing to get towed to the dealer (i.e. you get in, press the button to start and nothing happens - can't boost, can't get it to move ...). There are also a lot of reports of random check engine light which seem to come and go as you restart the car. There have also been a few reports of van fires which completely destroy the car. FCA did do a recall to fix catalytic converter overheating issues last year (if you search online, you can probably find pictures owners took of it glowing red) but apparently there's at least one owner (in Toronto I believe) who's PacHy burned to the ground after he had the recall performed. Many owners have reported having to replace the 12V (car battery not traction battery) after a year or two - if the battery gets too weak, the car will not start (most car owners don't replace batteries for 5+ years so that's quite premature). And these are cars that are all less than 3 years old and all still on warranty. According to the same online forum reports, reliability has not improved from 2017 to 2019 and it's still random which ones fail and which ones don't. Another thing to keep in mind is that they've actually sold very few of them (less than 15,000 in the US over the last 3 years based on estimates from EVsite tracking sales (FCA do not release actual PacHy sales so these numbers are based from EV rebate submission). Pacifica ICE outsells PacHy about 10 to 1. More Odysseys and Sienna are sold per month than PacHys sell in a year so there isn't all that much information on them.

Most owners do love them but quite a few have been returned through "lemon laws" and "buy-backs".

If you are the type to keep cars for a long time, IMO, the PacHy is a risky choice. Siennas have a great reputation for reliability and long life. Odysseys are also quite good (although I tend to think they don't last as long and aren't quite as trouble-free as Siennas). Caravans do not have a very good reputation for being trouble-free (although some are driven into the ground) and based on my observations, PacHys are not even as reliable as the Caravans.

FWIW, I was actually quite keen on buying a PacHy when they were introduced and I'm still hoping to buy one as I really do like the PHEV concept but I'm basically waiting / hoping that they announce that they've found the source of their random failures.
We’ve had our 2017 PacHy for 27 months now with 60,000km and zero issues. If I didn’t have one, I’d be worried based on some of the issues and stories you see posted. Kind of sucks that the 2017 didn’t have CarPlay or Android Auto, but there seems to be zero UConnect or infotainment issues at all with the 2017. I’m still surprised that of all companies FCA made a PHEV minivan and no one else has yet to do or even announce one.
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joey003 wrote:
Aug 16th, 2019 8:46 am
We’ve had our 2017 PacHy for 27 months now with 60,000km and zero issues. If I didn’t have one, I’d be worried based on some of the issues and stories you see posted. Kind of sucks that the 2017 didn’t have CarPlay or Android Auto, but there seems to be zero UConnect or infotainment issues at all with the 2017. I’m still surprised that of all companies FCA made a PHEV minivan and no one else has yet to do or even announce one.
There are always rumors that Toyota will add a Sienna Hybrid option (although it would likely be an actual hybrid, not a PHEV) but so far that hasn't happened. I looks like Toyota isn't planning on releasing a redesigned Sienna until MY2021 (although again Toyota tend to keep these things pretty quiet) which would mean that a possible Sienna Hybrid would likely be at least 1 year away and even possibly more if they stagger the release (i.e. new Sienna for MY2021 and then Sienna Hybrid on the new platform a year or two later).

My gut feeling is that Toyota is slowly going to hybrid on all their vehicles so I do think it's coming (I actually wouldn't be surprised if they stop offering ICE only on pretty much all their models and all Toyota / Lexus will be sold as hybrid only (no more ICE or hybrid choice)
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Oct 15, 2008
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Toyota is a foregone conclusion here. I think the Sienna is also the only minivan that has an AWD option.
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michelb wrote:
Aug 16th, 2019 9:02 am
There are always rumors that Toyota will add a Sienna Hybrid option (although it would likely be an actual hybrid, not a PHEV) but so far that hasn't happened. I looks like Toyota isn't planning on releasing a redesigned Sienna until MY2021 (although again Toyota tend to keep these things pretty quiet) which would mean that a possible Sienna Hybrid would likely be at least 1 year away and even possibly more if they stagger the release (i.e. new Sienna for MY2021 and then Sienna Hybrid on the new platform a year or two later).

My gut feeling is that Toyota is slowly going to hybrid on all their vehicles so I do think it's coming (I actually wouldn't be surprised if they stop offering ICE only on pretty much all their models and all Toyota / Lexus will be sold as hybrid only (no more ICE or hybrid choice)
I am actually waiting to buy my next minivan until Toyota releases a hybrid Sienna. I currently own a 2011 Honda Odyssey - love the vehicle and it's been very reliable.
I normally trade/sell my vehicles at 9 years of age - this time (since a Sienna hybrid is rumoured to be a year away) I decided to keep the Odyssey for an extra year - just sunk a couple of thousand into new all weather tires, timing belt, tune up, serpentine belt etc.

I currently own a 2017 RAV 4 hybrid and love the vehicle - hence the wait for the Sienna Hybrid.

One other factor that influenced my decision to wait is the fact that the 2019 Honda Odysseys get poor reviews due to issues with the electrical system
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Am I the only one who thinks the Caravan is a solid choice.
It's super long in the tooth so for once in Chrysler history most of the bugs have been worked out.
So it's actually pretty reliable.

The thing is cheap.

It's got tons of space and can be outfitted with the latest tech (but then it's no longer cheap)

The Pacifica Hybrid is a terrible choice. Reliability is poor and ROI is bad without large rebates.
The Pacifica gas is better in reliability but...

The Sienna... I'd go for it if AWD is a deciding factor otherwise it's very hohum.

Honda Odyssey is a great all round van but pricey it's where I would put my money If I had too much of it.

IMO it's a toss up between the Odyssey and the Pacifica but long term reliability of the Pacifica remains to be seen. Honda for the most part has worked out most of the kinks of the transmission.
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tebore wrote:
Aug 16th, 2019 9:48 am
Am I the only one who thinks the Caravan is a solid choice.
It's super long in the tooth so for once in Chrysler history most of the bugs have been worked out.
So it's actually pretty reliable.

The thing is cheap.

It's got tons of space and can be outfitted with the latest tech (but then it's no longer cheap)

The Pacifica Hybrid is a terrible choice. Reliability is poor and ROI is bad without large rebates.
The Pacifica gas is better in reliability but...

The Sienna... I'd go for it if AWD is a deciding factor otherwise it's very hohum.

Honda Odyssey is a great all round van but pricey it's where I would put my money If I had too much of it.

IMO it's a toss up between the Odyssey and the Pacifica but long term reliability of the Pacifica remains to be seen. Honda for the most part has worked out most of the kinks of the transmission.
I think the Caravan is a solid choice IF you are looking at the base model and don't care about anything more than basic features. From what I've seen, other than core functionality, it's not that reliable and things break down quite a bit.

I agree that compared to the Odyssey and Pacifica, the Sienna is dated and hohum but I still think it's the most reliable one and long term, I think it's the best choice.

You mention the Odyssey is pricey but I think comparably equipped, the top trims are all around the same price (although perhaps you can do more negotiating on the Caravan and Pacifica - I really haven't compared "out-the-door" pricing on comparatively equipped vehicle). If you want the most value, I think it's hard to beat the "Grand Caravan Canadian Edition" but I think it's quite bare.

FWIW, my friend has a fully loaded 2019 Odyssey and they do not like it - it was recently in an accident and they were really hoping it would get written off (Actually, much to my surprise, the crash was around May 8th and they are still waiting for parts apparently and have been driving a rental for over 3 months now ...)
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joey003 wrote:
Aug 16th, 2019 8:46 am
We’ve had our 2017 PacHy for 27 months now with 60,000km and zero issues. If I didn’t have one, I’d be worried based on some of the issues and stories you see posted. Kind of sucks that the 2017 didn’t have CarPlay or Android Auto, but there seems to be zero UConnect or infotainment issues at all with the 2017. I’m still surprised that of all companies FCA made a PHEV minivan and no one else has yet to do or even announce one.
Because most minivan buyers are after one thing. Either the cheapest caravan or they want a honda/toyota overpriced van and since honda/toyota are making a killing on selling overpriced vans, why change the business model that would getting little sales or potentially eat away at their cake. It would take some cash to design a honda/toyota phev and it would probably cost in the $65-70k range for you and me.

Not many folks would probably blow that much cash on a van, let alone getting a $50k honda/toyota van. The ones that do believe these products are reliable and the caravan is not. lol
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joey003 wrote:
Aug 16th, 2019 8:46 am
I’m still surprised that of all companies FCA made a PHEV minivan and no one else has yet to do or even announce one.
Because FCA doesn't have a single hybrid in their line up.

If you look at FCA's line up, they don't have a single platform that isn't over 2 decade old.

They can't hybridize ancient platform from MB, so 300/Challenger/Charger/Grand Cherokees are out.

They can't hybridize existing FIAT platform, so Renegade/Cherokee are out.

They already selling 500e at a lost to stay in Cali.

So removing 2nd stow and go to accommodating a giant battery is probably cheapest way to get a PHEV out there. It's just too bad that it's so expensive.
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Xtrema wrote:
Aug 16th, 2019 11:14 am
Because FCA doesn't have a single hybrid in their line up.

If you look at FCA's line up, they don't have a single platform that isn't over 2 decade old.

They can't hybridize ancient platform from MB, so 300/Challenger/Charger/Grand Cherokees are out.

They can't hybridize existing FIAT platform, so Renegade/Cherokee are out.

They already selling 500e at a lost to stay in Cali.

So removing 2nd stow and go to accommodating a giant battery is probably cheapest way to get a PHEV out there. It's just too bad that it's so expensive.
That's what surprised me the most - they don't have a single hybrid like so many other manufacturers do, so I was surprised to see them go at it.

Anyway, I totally forgot about the 500e. So they do have some form of electrification I guess.

Yeah, with the 14K incentive at the time it worked so well. But now without it it's a whole different story unfortunately.
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joey003 wrote:
Aug 16th, 2019 11:27 am
That's what surprised me the most - they don't have a single hybrid like so many other manufacturers do, so I was surprised to see them go at it.

Anyway, I totally forgot about the 500e. So they do have some form of electrification I guess.

Yeah, with the 14K incentive at the time it worked so well. But now without it it's a whole different story unfortunately.
I think we are in an odd transitional period. Economy is going down the shitter. Nobody got $ for R&D new stuff but to stay alive they must throw buckets of money into EVs. It's going to be interesting for auto industry for the next decade. I won't be surprised if we are down to 3-4 global players and everything will be come sub brands or disappear all together.

Before he passed, Marchionne saw this coming and that's why he's pushing for more mergers besides the fact that they are really looking for a partner in sharing cost developing a future platform that FCA can use.
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Functional. Reliable. More affordable.

Using those three criteria the Caravan is your only option. The Sienna and Odyssey will cost significantly more brand new than the Caravan. Even right now the Caravan has discounts ranging from $6,000-$12,000 which even apply when using the 4 year 0% finance option (so no additional cash discount). The Caravan is a reliable and popular choice, and because of the low purchase price you can also buy used ones for less as well.

If you had criteria around higher levels of quality, better resale / holds value better, etc. there may be another choice. But for what you are telling us you want the Caravan is really the winner.

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