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Minivans: Comparing notes Essay

In today’s market of skyrocketing fuel prices, Americans must exercise the utmost in practicality and utility. In more affluent times, Americans would go out and purchase one car for the family and another for personal use. In lieu of the station wagon, the minivan would be the middle ground for the average American family to combine both function and utility. Three American models are in the market, two from the local shores and one from a foreign maker. How do these three rate against each other? 2009 Toyota Sienna (2009 Toyota Sienna. Source: U. S. News & World Report, 2008).

The 2009 Sienna, according to surveys on several minivans in the United States, ranks second in the survey (U. S. News and World Report). The Toyota minivan does exhibit a very comfortable, safe and steady ride, with sufficient power under the hood (U. S. News). True to its function, the Sienna does afford enough space in the car for families and cargo (U. S. News). Mothers, usually very fickle about their car choices for safety reasons, picked the functionality of the steering of the Sienna, alleviating fears over rollovers of the van (Mother Proof).

As such the Sienna ranks just below the Dodge and Honda vans but ahead of the Chrysler in the American minivan market (Toyoland). (2009 Honda Odyssey. Source: U. S. News & World Report, 2008). Ranked number one in the surveys, the Odyssey gives a superb mix of power, vehicle handling and versatility in the minivan category (U. S. News). Among the features in the Odyssey absent from the spartan Sienna are the lavish interior features, such as DVD players and conversation mirrors to monitor the children in the back (U. S. News).

In safety, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rated the 2009 as well as the 2008 models, naming it the top scorers in the safety category (U. S. News). However, slight transmission and car suspension issues tend to impact negatively the overall experience of the Odyssey (U. S. News). (2009 Chrysler Town & Country. Source: U. S. News & World Report, 2008). The Town & Country is ranked number four in the minivan category after the 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan (U. S. News).

Car writers are particularly engaged with the Swivel n’ Go seating arrangements, which afford the option of the second and third row seats to face each, with a preference for a table for eating or leisure purposes (U. S. News). Though the Town & Country has not been officially tested, insurers have assessed a “Good” rating on the minivan for safety features, inclusive of side and front air bag equipment and Electronic Stability features that bar the vehicle from rolling over (U. S. News). It is wise to go over with the family what brand to buy when considering in purchasing a minivan.

One must research carefully what features that the family would consider comforts on road trips, or just plain largesse. Price must also be a primary consideration, not only in purchase price but also in upkeep of the vehicle, what would strain the already tight family budget. Then with knowledge in hand, the purchase of the minivan would be less of a guilt than knowing what you will buy will be beneficial to the needs, not wants, of the family.

Works Cited

Mother Proof. “Sienna has Mom thinking about buying this minivan”. <http://www. motherproof.com/car-reviews/new/2009-toyota-sienna/> Toyoland. “Toyota Car Updates”. <http://www. toyoland. com/future. html> U. S. News & World Reports. “Toyota Sienna-what the auto press says”. <http://usnews. rankingsandreviews. com/cars-trucks/Toyota_Sienna/> U. S. News & World Report. “Chrysler Town & Country-what the auto press says”. <http://usnews. rankingsandreviews. com/cars-trucks/Chrysler_Town-&-Country/> U. S. News & World Reports. “Honda Odyssey- what the auto press says”. <http://usnews. rankingsandreviews. com/cars-trucks/Honda_Odyssey/>


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