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View Poll Results: Which car would you pick?
New 2015 Sienna 9 23.08%
Used 2013 Town & Country 5 12.82%
New 2014 Prius C 8 20.51%
Other 17 43.59%
Voters: 39. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-30-2015, 06:19 PM   #21
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We bought a new Sienna in 2000 when before our second child was born. It was around 28k and 15 years later, still runs well.

Our approach with cars is to buy new and drive them forever. My kids are about four years before they are out of the house and I think the Sienna can easily make it.

And having a minivan is great. You never have to worry about space, just throw it in the car and go.
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Old 04-30-2015, 06:55 PM   #22
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Kia Sedona gets my vote.

We only had one kid yet never regretted owning a minivan during those years, It's not just the kid .... but also the luggage on family trips, sports gear, musical instruments, the family dog, groceries, your kid's friends, camping/fishing gear, etc etc
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Old 04-30-2015, 07:45 PM   #23
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I have personally owned a Prius (a regular one, not the C), a Town and Country minivan, and a Nissan Quest minivan.

We have 3 kids (well the youngest is 18 now). I loved having the Minivans. They were great. I felt more secure in them, than in a small car. The Quest was a better vehicle in terms of reliability than the Town and Country (but this was all years ago so not applicable to current models).

I loved the Prius for its fuel economy. Our son who is in college still drives it (and loves the fuel economy). If I was getting a Prius now I would get the top of the line though. I didn't get navigation when I bought it and I've regretted it ever since. Yes, I could use my phone (what my son does) or use a separate Garmin (what I did) but the navigation built in is more convenient.

We looked at the Sienna about 3 years ago when I was getting a car (I ended up with an Explorer) and at the time some of its crash test results for the front seat passenger weren't good. I think it may have improved since then but I do recommend looking at crash test rankings.

While I loved the fuel economy of the Prius I tend to prefer heavier vehicles particularly when driving kids. I currently have an SUV and think that is a great option as well. For our next vehicle, we are looking at the Subaru Forester or the Honda CRV both of which are great values and can now come with adaptive cruise control and many other safety features.
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:55 PM   #24
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Prius- to small.

I'd go with the Sienna. Do your own maintenance. Oil and filter changes.
skip, expensive Dealer recommended services, ie 36K miles, etc.

Do not buy extended warranty. And you should be good to go.

Even if you only have 1 child. In the future, you may be transporting other
children, sports equipment, (bikes, etc.).

Above all, Do not buy a Honda Odyssey, new or used. Transmissions are
chronic issue. Personel experience.
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Old 05-01-2015, 05:27 PM   #25
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AnonEMouse,

Just wondering how that Prius C test drive went. Your opinions, yay or nay
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Old 05-02-2015, 12:45 AM   #26
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Town and Country - for the fold and go storage.
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Old 05-02-2015, 01:43 AM   #27
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You're primarily going to use it to commute 40 miles a day and run errands around town? Get a Prius V. You get a wagon with awesome gas mileage.

Or... Get a used Subaru Outback. Nimble, all-wheel drive, plenty of cargo space and plenty of room for four tall people.

If you really want a minivan, take a look at an Odyssey. Ours is a 2006 and has given us 128K trouble-free and comfortable miles. You can't really find used ones around here, as people tend to keep them forever. We test drove the Sienna but the handling felt mushy, and friends of ours who have them lament the gas mileage they get. Our odyssey, while not great, gets 24 mpg on the freeway (70 mph with the ac on) and 20 or so around town. My friends with Siennas get about 5 mpg less. Is that car or driving style? Hard to say. Plus, with the rear seats down or removed, our odyssey gives us the payload of a full size pickup truck.

We love that thing.
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Old 05-02-2015, 03:23 AM   #28
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I violated all the rules of RE...blew my budget in my second month!! while I didn't really need a new car.... I traded a 10 year old sentra for a new Outback Premium. By far this is the most expensive car we've ever bought and we really did not need it... but I tend to buy cars new and keep them 10 years or more... expect this will be longer.
For us... this will work great with out outdoor adventures... decent mileage, AWD... good for bad weather... etc.

oh... you meant for you (I knew that... but I needed to come clean with blowing my 1st year budget)... new/used: I've always had problems seeing the value in a newer used car from dealers. Usually many of the cars were one or two years old and higher mileage for the age. The warranty mostly gone... the discount minimum for the mileage in my opinion. For the outback... the newer technology improvements are worth buying new based on the cost differences IMO.

The car I traded (for almost nothing) likely had 5 or more low maintenance years to come... really did not need replaced) .. but of course the dealer double the price they paid me.. they need to make money too.

all and all... buy an outback... new... drive it for 10 or 20 years and have fun. take the kid to see the national parks... glacier NP sounds really kewl. It is on my short list.. but I'm an old guy.

The real question here is what do you want to optimize? money? low maintenance car usage? having the latest tech? etc.... this really determines new/used.. how long to keep a car... and how long to keep it.

but when you are done looking.... but an outback
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Old 05-02-2015, 07:25 AM   #29
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Quote:
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I'd go with the Sienna. ..........Do not buy a Honda Odyssey.......
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Originally Posted by bssc View Post
Town and Country - for the fold and go storage.
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...........If you really want a minivan, take a look at an Odyssey. .............
If only there was a minivan with folding seats like a Town and Country, handling like an Odyssey and reliability like a Sienna.
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Old 05-04-2015, 12:46 PM   #30
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If only there was a minivan with folding seats like a Town and Country, handling like an Odyssey and reliability like a Sienna.
and with the price of an Elio.

We planned to test drive the Prius C, Mazda 5, and Outlander, but ended up only being able to drive the Mazda 5. We'll try the other vehicles next weekend.

But after more research and consideration, a Prius C is likely not practical for us despite its attractive price tag and reliability. The commenters here made a good point that longer-term a larger vehicle seems more useful (space for more passengers, equipment, luggage, etc.). So we're now considering the middle of the road as some have suggested.

We're going for "good value," so the Mazda 5 and Outlander seem to be the best candidates now. Both have 3 rows of seating with the ability to fold the back two rows flat. The Mazda 5 is a mini-minivan with sliding doors and 6 seats while the Outlander is an SUV with 7 seats.

The downside is, even thought these are Japanese brands, these aren't Toyotas, so reliability is lower. Plus the Mazda 5 has been discontinued, with this year being its last. I worry about being able to find parts later on when needed. On the plus side the price is heavily discounted because of this. We need to take a first-hand look at both to make a final decision though.

Does anyone know of any similar vehicles that costs low $20k and below? For the price of equivalent Toyota/Honda models we might as well get a lower-end Sienna.
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Old 05-04-2015, 02:38 PM   #31
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Town and Country - for the fold and go storage.
Ditto. Unrivaled versatility for storage/hauling. Load 4x8 plywood or paneling flat without having to remove/store seats. And I consistently get 24-26mpg on highway trips fully loaded (tho no cartop carrier nor hitch).
But for long trips with adults those folding seats are not quite as comfy as fixed seats of Sienna/Odyssey or earlier vintage TC's.
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Old 05-05-2015, 07:33 AM   #32
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I'd get an F-150 super crew to haul a toddler around in, but in your case get the prius. Better for shorter trips and your work commute.
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Old 05-05-2015, 04:40 PM   #33
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I drove a rented Prius C from Houston to Indianapolis in one day. While it was not as terrible as I thought, I would not want to drive that car on a daily basis. 0 to 60 in a week and a half, and I'm pretty sure I would die in an accident. Very cheaply built, and I don't think there's enough space in that tiny little thing to tote a kid and groceries. Maybe in the Prius V...
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Old 02-03-2016, 01:04 PM   #34
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Just to conclude this thread, we ended up buying a Honda Odyssey around August 2015. We were originally going to get a Sienna, but by August its price had shot up and oddly enough the Odyssey ended up being cheaper. I say "we," but I still think the Prius would've been a better deal.

But let that be a lesson to other car buyers - don't buy into the hype of when the best time to buy a car is. Various sources said end of summer (when new models came out), specifically August, was the best time to buy, but prices for all the cars we looked at ended up much higher than in May. Even though the Odyssey was cheaper than the Sienna in August, it was still $1,000 higher than the Sienna in May.

Anyway, we have taken the Odyssey on a few road trips since and the expanded space does provide more elbow room and space for luggage and stuff. It's a bit overkill for daily daycare trips and grocery runs though.
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Old 02-03-2016, 01:34 PM   #35
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But let that be a lesson to other car buyers - don't buy into the hype of when the best time to buy a car is.
Or the hype about buying a new car.
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