Minivan, suv, crossover?


#1

I would love to get a minivan, but I live on a very steep driveway to a busy road in connecticut. Unfortunately, I think I should have 4 wheel drive, which limits my possibilites for minivans.



Does anyone have suggestions for 4wd minivan like cars?



We are considering the Mercedes R series (used) just because it seems to combine all the elements of a car, minivan and suv and it prices similarly to the Sienna believe it or not…but I would like to find something less costly, perhaps I could get a new car for the same price as a used R series? But what car?



The key features I am looking for are (1) low to ground like minivan, (2) not too big,(3) bucket seats making easy access to third row in back.



The Honda Odyssey appeals to me but I am too afriad to get it for our CT driveway/winters.



Any suggestions out there? We don’t know where to start in our search.


#2

The Toyota Sienna is available with AWD. Avoid the Benz unless you don’t mind paying the high cost to maintain or repair it. You could look at crossovers, too, but the Sienna will trump them as far as passenger and cargo room is concerned. 4WD will automatically give it high ground clearance.


#3

I would recommend a Pilot much more over an awd Sienna which is I feel too much of a compromise. The tough thing is, in Connecticut, the need for any all wheel/4wd car is so limited, I wonder if you’ve really spent a winter with good winter tires. If not, I would recommend you do that first before changing cars. Backing up a steep drive with a front wheel drive car gives you much greater traction , especially with snow tires could be tried. The newer ones in just fwd with traction control are excellent as well. Try one out in the winter.

AWD gives you security, and there are lots of good reasons to have one even without snow, and a Sienna awd is never a bad choice BUT…
If you buy one as a substitute for winter tires and not in addition too, it’s a mistake
If you can’t get up your drive, you certainly can’t get down it safely either, and I feel better tires and traction control should be tried first… and both Sienna and Odyssey have it.


#4

I believe Dodge Caravan has AWD optional


#5

“I believe Dodge Caravan has AWD optional”

Not anymore, it appears.


#6

“I believe Dodge Caravan has AWD optional”

Its now called the Dodge Journey. The AWD well equipped model is very reasonably Priced. I bet you can negotiate a really good deal on one.


#7

“Its now called the Dodge Journey.”

Dodge still sells the Grand Caravan. The Journey is a crossover and seats 7. It does have AWD as you said. It is probably worth a look.


#8

The Caravan only comes in Grand Caravan size, and is no longer available with a optional four cylinder engine. The Journey which is a crossover, kind of takes the place of the short wheelbase Caravan. The Journey can be equipped with a four cylinder engine, and FWD in its base trim level, or a largish six, and AWD in its higher trim level.


#9

Yeah, I went to Dodge’s website and could only find the 3.3L and 3.8L V6 Grand Caravan in FWD trim.
Not sure when the AWD version stopped selling, but an internet search could turn up some nice used ones


#10

The best place I know of to view every possibility available as well as see comparisons is the Consumer Reports New Car Buyers’ Guide, available at the local bookstore.


#11

I’m going to recycle my question of OP…Have you tried a newer Van with traction control ? They all have it now and trying that first and finding it satisfactory, would eliminate the added expense of awd in a place that seldom needs it. It’s about hills and snow together that’s the toughest to deal with and though awd may ultimately be necessary, I wouldn’t put all my eggs in the awd basket…yet.


#12

I think the ‘stow and go’ seating killed the awd, not enough room for both.