Automotive

what is the most reliable used minivan?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 13th, 2019 2:21 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 24, 2017
9 posts
19 upvotes

what is the most reliable used minivan?

Greetings RFD'ers

I never thought I'd get a van... but now I'm shopping for a van. I have a wife, a baby, another baby on the way and two in-laws living with me. I looked into seven seater SUVs, but it looks like vans just do the job better; or at least more conveniently.

So we just went to the Chrysler/Dodge dealer and looked at the Pacifica and the Caravan (a mid-tier one as the wife wants a rear camera) and it looks like after taxes the price would be 30-35k for the Caravan vs 40-45k after taxes for the Pacfica. The 2017 Odyssey would probably be around 40k and the Sienna, Sedona, etc are probably in the same ballpark. I'm sure I could bargain that down a bit but it's still a lot of money. So now I'm looking into the used car market.

I'm looking for recommendations for which minivans would be a reliable pick assuming the car is certified pre-owned and a 2013-2015 model. For example, on autotrader it looks like an Odyssey would cost about 25k and a Grand Caravan about 19k... but would a 3-year-old used Caravan be a reliable option?

Thanks in advance.
21 replies
Sr. Member
Jul 19, 2014
999 posts
194 upvotes
Snow Road Station, O…
2017 Dodge Grand Caravan Canada Value Package Van is 27000+taxes , you can do better . An econo grocery getter that meets your family needs
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 24, 2017
9 posts
19 upvotes
Hi NoS. Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately, the Grand Caravan Canada Value Package does not come with a rear view camera. But I just found out that I could get one from Costco or Bestbuy and have it installed for just a few hundred bucks. So a barebones Grand Caravan with an aftermarket camera is definitely an option as well.

Cheers
Sr. Member
Nov 26, 2013
750 posts
661 upvotes
Winnipeg
Doesn't that era of caravan have some serious brake maintenance issues? I would recommend an ~2013 Sienna or Odyssey. It's not as cheap, but I'd depend on it far more than a Caravan.
Deal Guru
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Dec 2, 2008
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GTA
self converted 6mt honda odyssey..................
Deal Addict
Nov 4, 2004
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I'd suggest Toyota or Honda. I know someone with an '07 Sienna with over 300k on it and it still runs fine.
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Deal Guru
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Dec 2, 2008
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doctorgonzo wrote: I'd suggest Toyota or Honda. I know someone with an '07 Sienna with over 300k on it and it still runs fine.
sienna has horrible control arm bushing labour rates.......... yes its a wear and tare part............
Deal Fanatic
Apr 5, 2016
5281 posts
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Calgary/Vancouver
My dad still has a 1999 caravan and still going strong. Just go for the caravan, I doubt you'll even get repairs worth the $10k difference. They are treated as disposable vehicles. Once kids are at a certain age, most families ditch them for other cars.
Deal Fanatic
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Dec 1, 2013
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misaok wrote: Hi NoS. Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately, the Grand Caravan Canada Value Package does not come with a rear view camera. But I just found out that I could get one from Costco or Bestbuy and have it installed for just a few hundred bucks. So a barebones Grand Caravan with an aftermarket camera is definitely an option as well.

Cheers
Make sure you don't pay more than 23-24k for a 2017 Grand Caravan Canada Value Package before taxes.

http://www.ontariochrysler.ca/new/Dodge ... f5ef98.htm
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Deal Addict
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Mar 8, 2002
4232 posts
871 upvotes
Ottawa
To answer OP's question:

Reliability - Odyssey and Sienna: http://www.truedelta.com/Honda-Odyssey- ... on,113-275
Reliability - Caravan and T&C: http://www.truedelta.com/Dodge-Grand-Ca ... ison,73-71

Winner: 2011-2016 Sienna.

We bought a 2012 Odyssey EX-L last summer. Why? In the end, the seats were the most comfortable of any of the vans we looked at. And the lower-end Caravan models we looked at were missing basic features like auto headlights and auto dimming mirror.
Member
Apr 18, 2011
333 posts
107 upvotes
Toronto
I would go for a Toyota Sienna 2014 and newer model years.
Member
May 30, 2013
446 posts
499 upvotes
Markham
Don't buy Dodge if you want reliability.
Deal Addict
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Aug 3, 2014
1251 posts
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Toronto, ON
+1 for the Toyota Sienna.

It also is the best looking out of the three :)

The current generation Caravan is living an extended life now, its been out for 10 years already!
_______
Speedkar99 | YouTube
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Feb 13, 2015
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doctorgonzo wrote: I'd suggest Toyota or Honda. I know someone with an '07 Sienna with over 300k on it and it still runs fine.
+1 Friend of mine has an 06 Sienna, looks MINT, and drives like brand new. If you can find a sienna or odyssey with good mileage and proper maintenance records that is the way to go.
😎Thanks RFD😎
Jr. Member
May 3, 2016
148 posts
201 upvotes
If you want basic, no-nonsense transportation, go for the Caravan. There's a reason why you see them everywhere. It's cheap and gets the job done. Has a big cargo space too! (Fits sheets of drywall/plywood no problem).

HOWEVER, the Caravan is one of the oldest minivans on the market right now and the crash test scores reflect that. It gets a poor rating in the small-overlap crash. Granted, this is a very tough test but it is very realistic.

If you want reliability, go with Toyota/Honda. But Toyota has the slight edge in reliability. Also if you want AWD, the only choice is Sienna.

If you want latest technology, go for the Pacifica.

Also, have you looked at the Kia Sedonna? It looks very nice for the price...

A van is a family vehicle and personally, I would spend a little more to get something safer and newer with more technology (like Android Auto/Apple Carplay).
Banned
Feb 8, 2017
186 posts
134 upvotes
Most reliable would be Toyota. Either RAV4 or Sienna.
Deal Addict
Nov 4, 2004
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Crixus45 wrote: Most reliable would be Toyota. Either RAV4 or Sienna.
Uh, RAV4? That's not a van. It's even small compared to other CUVs.
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Jan 27, 2004
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doctorgonzo wrote: I'd suggest Toyota or Honda. I know someone with an '07 Sienna with over 300k on it and it still runs fine.
My cuz has one over 300k. He destroys it with his handy man business and it just keeps going. He removed the seats and it works very well as a material and tool hauler.
Deal Guru
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Mar 31, 2008
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Won't your in-laws contribute in the purchase? Since they'll benefit? Or is it one of those you're completely benefiting and hence require you to drive. What's your expected daily use?
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 24, 2017
9 posts
19 upvotes
at1212b wrote: Won't your in-laws contribute in the purchase? Since they'll benefit? Or is it one of those you're completely benefiting and hence require you to drive. What's your expected daily use?
The in-laws came from overseas to help us with the kids. My wife and I currently have 2 cars, I'll drive one to work and the second will now be driven by the in-laws as their primary vehicle (they will make the payments as well). The van will be used by my wife a few times a week to drive the kids around town and by the whole family on weekends for short trips. I don't foresee any really long car trips for a few years at least. So we'll probably drive the car less than 10-12k per year.

I am just trying to narrow the search parameters a bit with respect to possible used vans and although I haven't ruled out a new van either. After reading all the helpful posts on this forum and poking around on a few other websites it basically sounds like the Sienna or the Odyssey would be my best bet used and after test driving almost all of them over the past week, they would be my best bet new as well. The difference in price is about 10k between a new base model and one from 2013 or so (damn you Honda/Toyota for holding value so well!).

The Chrysler Pacifica was nice as well but untested. I want to only buy one van in my lifetime so I want one that will last 10 years or so. I didn't like the small third row seats on the Kia Sedona. The Dodge GC was really great bang for your buck but unfortunately I can't make myself unsee the small overlap crash test video on youtube. So I guess the Dodge is out.

It really looks like it'll boil down to A) Honda vs Toyota and B) new vs used. I imagine that many a dad has faced this exact question before...

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