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  1. #1

    Toyota vans vs. Chrysler?

    I?ve been driving Ford Econoline vans with lowered floor since I became disabled.
    i drive out of my wheelchair and sit 55 3/4? from floor to top of head. I sit pretty tall.
    my current ford van is a 2007 ,8 cyl.,with only 129,000 mi on it.
    They no longer make these vans,2015 was last year.
    Im looking to go to a Toyota Sienna or Chrysler Pacifica.
    im thinking I?d rather go Braun conversion vs.vmi.
    what do others think bout these 2 vans?
    thanks.
    dp

  2. #2
    Big change from an older Econoline which are big and boxy.

    Both Toyota and Pacificia are very $$$.

    They both ride nice but not worth the cost. You should rent one and see who you like them.

    We have a great dealer in Phoenix that save is about $20,000 on a used low miles van in perfect shape and added extended warranty for cheap.

    https://www.azmobilitycenter.com/used-cars-phoenix-az

  3. #3
    I don't know where you are in New York, with some dealers don't even offer you the choice of VMI versus Braun. I don't know what your disability is and how much equipment you require (low effort braking/steering), but I (quad driver) was priced at 66k for the Pacifica and 64k for the sienna, and that was after 13k for a trade in.

    You may fit in a Honda Odyssey, though the new ones have very poor headroom.

    You will not be able to test drive one from the wheelchair, I don't know a dealer that will let you given all the specifics required for proper fitting. You will be able to be driven as a passenger in your desired vehicle to test.

    One thing I would recommend is that if you are in a manual chair and having upper extremity issues that you plan ahead for the possibility of driving in a power chair which will require more headroom. Thus, don't choose the one that is okay for now, but is a little snug, but offers no flexibility for the future.

    Interesting website where you can see what new and used modified vehicles are going for. It may be an option if your budget is limited.

    http://www.blvd.com/wheelchair-vans-for-sale/honda

  4. #4
    I just bought a Pacifica touring L with S package. Unfortunately, the dealer ordered the Braun fold out ramp XT !4" drop rather than the regular Braun fold out Ramp (10") drop I ordered. Am going thru the process of getting satisfaction for an exchange of vehicles. mine was a 2018 with 600 miles on it, the one I'm getting is a 2019 along with myself and Braun contributing the difference the dealer agreed to. Braun stepped up to help solve the challenge. One of the more frustrating experiences I've faced considering the money, time and frustration involved.

    Re the Pacifica van itself. I drove it home, about 100 miles, before realizing it was wrong. Once this gets all sorted out, I have little doubt I made the right choice going with the combination. More room in the back than Honda and Toyota.I think head height is higher too, or perhaps it's Toyotas height is higher. One our guys here on a thread re Pacifica said he rode as a passenger and found it easy to maneuver into place while with his Honda, it took a 4 point turn.

    Pacifica is also the most updated of the three. Some of the things I liked was the side warning light on the mirrors when a car was near me. The ease of the electronic parking brake and knob for a gearshift and easy to reach controls the accessories. I feel it would be very quad friendly. On the way home, I drove up a road that usually made my 2000 Chr. Limited VMI sound like a rattle trap. With the Pacifica, it was quiet, almost surreal.

    Honda, Toyota and Pacifica all have a superior points over each other. I think the Honda had the best interior, Toyota the ride and Pacifica space. Look up reviews asking which of the three to choose from.

    Best advice I can give anyone here is to MAKE sure with any conversion you're buying, the floor drop depth is stated on the order form. Not just the model but actual floor depth in inches. My billing and my insurances billing stated Braun Fold out conversion. Someone in the dealership added XT, which is the 14" drop floor, to the order form to Braun without changing or inquiring the change to me on the order. It would have saved a whole lot of frustration, still going on, and expense to eventually get the drop floor depth I need. If I had seen XT on any form or billing, I would have contacted them immediately.

    Re trim packages. I bought a Touring L(S Package) for the leather seats. am settling for a Touring Plus with S package. The dealer is having the seats reupholstered in Leather for an upcharge. The differences in the two trim packages are about the same except the Touring L has leather, a roof rack and a few other incentives I don't need such as a dvd player in the back.

    Just got a call from the dealer. It's going to take two days, to swap the equipment between the two vans so will have to make two trips to the big city, 100 miles each way (400 miles) He'll loan us a wheelchair van to take home so we don't have to take an extra car down and back. Finally feeling much better about this. I'm sure it was frustrating on both sides. Dang all it would have taken was checking with me or changing the billing sent to myself and my insurance. I'm treating this like it was an honest mistake but know without Brauns assistance there was a likely chance the outcome would have been different. I urge anyone looking at conversions to contact the actual conversion companies and get assigned a representative who'll give input and is a contact person if needed. I hadn't contacted my rep, he contacted me seeing how I liked the Braun conversion? I let him know; he started a case file and pushed it up to those with influence. I appreciate all Braun has done and the dealer for coming to an agreement and bringing this to fruition. Not looking forward to the two trips to the big city but it could be worse.

    Kersey has bought out Braun and VMI so will be offering both versions at their dealerships. I use a ZX-1 power assist now so if there is a difference in ramp angle, no big deal. If I have to eventually drive from my chair, with the ZX-1 I won't have to change to a powerchair. If I do, I'll sell this one and buy one that fits. A question was asked why buy a new one if the old one runs fine. Easy answer is cause it's going on 20 years old and I can afford it. I'll sell or give my old one away to a local who isn't as fortunate as I am blessed to be.
    Last edited by Patrick Madsen; 07-02-2019 at 08:10 PM.

  5. #5
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    dumb question if it run good work great why buy new

  6. #6
    I've heard people say both are better than a Chrysler Town and Country or Dodge Grand Caravan. But that's not saying much. The Econoline isn't a looker. But it's a good candidate for an inexpensive restoration. Have you priced how much it would cost to restore your econoline? On my Econoline, I am restoring the entire interior, entire exterior (paint and Line-X), rebuilding the transmission, suspension, exhaust, and AC, audio, plus major tune up of electric, fuel, and brake systems. The van will be pretty much new except for the body and motor (only 65K miles so leaving the motor as is). I could do all this plus much more (like a new motor) 2 to 3 times over for the cost of a Pacifica. Are they that good? Not in my opinion.

    The only drawbacks are limited parking choices, gas mileage, and old style. But the old style can work in your favor. A retro van customized and restored into mint shape is way cooler than a stock Sienna or Pacifica IMO.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by August West View Post
    I've heard people say both are better than a Chrysler Town and Country or Dodge Grand Caravan. But that's not saying much. The Econoline isn't a looker. But it's a good candidate for an inexpensive restoration. Have you priced how much it would cost to restore your econoline? On my Econoline, I am restoring the entire interior, entire exterior (paint and Line-X), rebuilding the transmission, suspension, exhaust, and AC, audio, plus major tune up of electric, fuel, and brake systems. The van will be pretty much new except for the body and motor (only 65K miles so leaving the motor as is). I could do all this plus much more (like a new motor) 2 to 3 times over for the cost of a Pacifica. Are they that good? Not in my opinion.

    The only drawbacks are limited parking choices, gas mileage, and old style. But the old style can work in your favor. A retro van customized and restored into mint shape is way cooler than a stock Sienna or Pacifica IMO.
    The only bad thing if you get in a wreck the ins. well only pay you what the van is worth. Which if its 5 years old they well junk it and pay you the actual cash value of your van most of the time.
    Art

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Art454 View Post
    The only bad thing if you get in a wreck the ins. well only pay you what the van is worth. Which if its 5 years old they well junk it and pay you the actual cash value of your van most of the time.
    Do you not have agreed value policies over your way Art?

    I like your style August as that is the way I would go too.
    It is what I immediately thought of when reading dpatrick's opener.

    I like the Econoline. As I recall, they were a popular custom van at one time; weren't they?
    Modern vehicles have too much doo-dads and electrics for my liking, too much to go wrong- and it does according to our local AA man.

    Good luck with yours Patrick.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by slow_runner View Post
    Do you not have agreed value policies over your way Art?
    I think if you told the insurance company that you want to insure it for more they will be glad to provide the service (take more of your money).

    Quote Originally Posted by slow_runner View Post
    I like the Econoline. As I recall, they were a popular custom van at one time; weren't they?
    Modern vehicles have too much doo-dads and electrics for my liking, too much to go wrong- and it does according to our local AA man.
    Seems like the older they are the more desirable they are. Best thing is that your local mechanic can fix just about anything. No one except the dealers can fix some problems on the newer vans. Of the 10 vintage vans at this Las Vegas auction 4 are Econolines or custom Fords.

    https://www.hagerty.com/articles-vid...ans-to-auction
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by August West; 07-03-2019 at 03:13 AM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by August West View Post
    I think if you told the insurance company that you want to insure it for more they will be glad to provide the service (take more of your money).
    Seems like the older they are the more desirable they are. Best thing is that your local mechanic can fix just about anything. No one except the dealers can fix some problems on the newer vans. Of the 10 vintage vans at this Las Vegas auction 4 are Econolines or custom Fords.
    https://www.hagerty.com/articles-vid...ans-to-auction
    If it is agreed value then that is fair enough. Right off = agreed value pay out.
    I had an older Ford Transit, the uglier MK1 not the later square faced unit, that I slotted a Falcon 200 motor into. There used to be a nose extension that allowed a straight drop-in but that caused too much weight out front.
    Standard 4 speed Transit box and a MK3Zephyr diff head in the rear.
    I built mounts, modified the sump that allowed the engine to sit back over the cross member. It steered beauty; no power assist needed. Between the driver and passenger seat sat a 'customised' wash-room laundry tub that covered the engine intrusion & box.
    Cheviot Turbo mags too.
    I recall removing the tyres so I could get that van through the garage doors.
    We took the children to a few places in that old van....
    If there had been an Econoline available down here, that would have been my preferred choice.
    Last edited by slow_runner; 07-03-2019 at 03:53 AM.

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