T Nation

Vans: Sienna or Town & Country?

Toyota Sienna or Chrysler Town and Country/Grand Caravan? The Mrs. wants to buy a van. Anyone got any recommendations? No sarcasm, please — I hate vans as much as anyone else.

As far as build quality and reliability, Toyotas are f-ing bulletproof. Almost ridiculously so. (Same with Hondas). Chryslers . . . maybe they’re not bad these days, but they’re not in the same league in that regard.

As far as specific features of those 2 models, though, I don’t know.

[quote]Damici wrote:
As far as build quality and reliability, Toyotas are f-ing bulletproof. Almost ridiculously so. (Same with Hondas). Chryslers . . . maybe they’re not bad these days, but they’re not in the same league in that regard.

As far as specific features of those 2 models, though, I don’t know.[/quote]

I don’t know why everyone bashes domestic vehicles, I’ve found them to be just as good. My parents have an old 93 plymouth voyager van and it still runs with over 500,000 km on it. As far as that goes I think most any vehicle will run that long if it’s taken care of, the problem is most people don’t know how to drive or take care of their vehicles to make them last.

The queen loves her town & Country. I must admit, I was against it at first, but it is a comfy ride. The kids like it too.

Just going on a few things: (1.) JD Power rankings, consistently over the years, (2.) a wiiiiidespread reputation they’ve built up over the years and (3.) my parents have had 3 Toyotas now, each with over 250,000 miles on them and nothing more major than the little glowing light on the cigarette lighter in the dash fading out after a while in one of them (!) – that’s it!

I’m sure American cars aren’t crap nowadays like they were 20 years ago, but I don’t think they’ve completely caught up in the quality department.

[quote]Joe84 wrote:
Damici wrote:
As far as build quality and reliability, Toyotas are f-ing bulletproof. Almost ridiculously so. (Same with Hondas). Chryslers . . . maybe they’re not bad these days, but they’re not in the same league in that regard.

As far as specific features of those 2 models, though, I don’t know.

I don’t know why everyone bashes domestic vehicles, I’ve found them to be just as good. My parents have an old 93 plymouth voyager van and it still runs with over 500,000 km on it. As far as that goes I think most any vehicle will run that long if it’s taken care of, the problem is most people don’t know how to drive or take care of their vehicles to make them last. [/quote]

My wife had a town and country for her last vehicle, absolutley loved it.

I could not objectivley comment on the Toyota, but I am sure it is a nice vehicle for more money.

I test drove the Toyota and it was awesome (you know, for a minivan). I considered both of these when I was looking (and the Honda) but I ended up getting a good deal on the MPV (would have perfered the Toyota or Honda but it was a REALLY good deal).

So I guess I would say go with the Toyota.

I would state it depends on what your plans are. If you are leasing I would buy what I enjoy and can get the best terms on.

If you are paying cash or financing it and planning on selling it within 2-3 years, I would buy the Toyota b/c first year depreciation on the Chrysler is brutal.

If, however, you plan on driving it until the tires fall off I would say it comes down to which is more comfortable/you like better combined with which one you think will have the lowest cost of ownership relative to maintenance.

I drive a 95 Chrysler Town and Country.

216,000 miles on it, original owner.

Only had to make few repairs that were above standard maintenance level. Just change the oil religiously and don’t get into accidents. She’s still solid after 12 years.

Don’t know if this might be of assistance . . .

Always check out what all the car magazines have to say before buying a car. Consumer Reports and the like can be helpful, but for in-depth, educated analysis of cars, go to the car guys. :slight_smile:

I don’t know man, I would fight to the death to NOT get a van. I mean no offense, but every person I see driving a van is balding, humping a spare tire gut, and mid 40’s. It’s the sterotype that bothers me the most I guess.

Don’t know how to link, but check out this vid…thought it was appropriate.

-boatguy

I have an '01 Toyota Sienna and it has been great. (well, as great as a minivan can be, I guess)

Back when I bought it I did a lot of research (edmunds.com, especially) and the only one rated better was the Honda with the Toyota being next best. Of course that was a while ago now.

Thanks everyone and thanks for the links. I pay cash and drive 'em until they drop. That’s what makes me lean to the Toyota.

The bigger factor might be the warranty on drivetrain: 5 years or 60000 on the T, 3 years or 36000 on the C.

After you buy the new van, make sure you pimp it out right!

I bought a 2003 T&C new. Got a good deal since it was a left-over when the 2004s came out. It had problems from the get-go. PS system failed 3 times.

Power liftgate had to be replaced 2 times. Left-side power slider 2x, right side power slider 3x. Passenger seat motor 1x, rear wiper motor, front left speaker. Pain in the f-ing ass - we traded it in on a new Sienna last year just before the warranty expired.

Our friends bought one a week before us under the same circumstances. Theirs was not quite as bad as ours, but they held onto theirs beyond the warranty and most of the power features don’t work, including the passenger window and power locks, left side power slider, rear liftgate.

My sister is on her 2nd T&C and loves it as much as her 1st.

As for my 2006 Sienna - it has been wonderful compared to the T&C. The leather seats are not quite as comfortable as the T&Cs were and the factory tires don’t wear for shit, but everything else is better.

DB