Well, we finally did it. After debating for months about whether or not to get an SUV, a truck, or a minivan, we’ve decided that a minivan makes the most sense right now in our lives with Seryn and our frequent travel and storage needs.
We’ve test-driven many vehicles in our quest, including the Hummer H2, Toyota Sienna, and others. The Hummer H2 is a funny vehicle.. exhorbitantly overpriced, absolutely horrible gas mileage (6mpg, so low in fact, that they can’t even print the mileage on the invoice sticker), and its heavy as a tank. Unfortunately, its about as useless as a tank too. Hummers are really REALLY fragile too. They are so vastly different from the original Hummer, that its funny they chose to use the same name.
The Toyota Sienna was a really nice van too. Smooth ride (though a bit loud in the cabin), lots of power outlets, and an obscene amount of cupholders. I think I counted 18 of them throughout the car. It doesn’t really look like a minivan either, which is a plus, but at $42k for the options we wanted, we might as well just get a full-blown Toyota Sequoia instead.
We also had the pleasure of renting a “Dodge Grand Caravan” for a trip to Buffalo, NY.. land of snow. For the most-part, Erika and I liked it. It was fairly roomy (though we packed it fully of Christmas goodies, luggage, and Seryn’s stuff), and it had the “Stow-n-Go” seats that fold flat under the floorboards. Of course, we got the “baby blue” model. Yuck.
The van handles and drives well, even for a 2-wheel-drive model (AWD is available, but not on the rental we had). There was room to get up and walk around inside, and the captain’s chairs were fairly comfortable. Its still a minivan, but it wasn’t bad.
So today we went down to the local Chrysler dealer and looked at their “Town & Country” minivan.
Note: The Chrysler Town & Country and the Dodge Grand Caravan are exactly the same, except for the company logo on the front grille. Everything inside is identical… seats, dash, floormats, everything!
The vans they had were fairly nice, though we didn’t get to test drive it. We decided that we could save about $12,000 if we went with a 2005 program version, vs. buying a brand new 2005 off of the lot. With the savings, we could also end up trading up for their “Limited” model, with leather, sunroof, and all the extras.
So that’s what we did, and the dealer is trying to find one in our color and style for us as I write this. We put a deposit down to secure the van if he can find it, and if he can, we’ll probably be proud owners of a new 2005 Chrysler Town & Country minivan.
NOT in baby blue, of course.