Hi I am researching minivans and see that most have the power sliding passenger doors. Does anyone have these and have there been any instances where they may seem unsafe and catch little ones in them as they're closing? Is there an override, so you can use them manually? How hard are they to push back open and can kids do it themselves easily? I've never owned one and wanted some opinions. Also any opinions on the makes and models would be nice. I need to go and test drive some, but not looking too forward to dealing with the car salespeople. Thank you for any help you can give me.
We own a 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan. No automatic doors, we didn't want the possible mechanical problems, but it does have a door on each side. I love it. I have never had an ounce of trouble with it and just do routine oil changes. I did buy mine used but it was from a car rental company. Anyhow, I think we'll be done with it before it's done! The kids are getting older. Great van anyhow! Good luck with the dealers!
We have an old 1994 Previa Toyota van. (It doesn't have automatic doors so can't comment on those). However, just wanted to say that I LOVE the toyota van. It has over 200,000 miles on it and no problems whatsoever. In fact, we are planning a number of long road trips this summer. I think they just last forever! When possible, we'll be buying another Toyota van. Sharon
I have a new Chrysler Town & Country with the stow-and-go seats--and I LOVE THEM. No power doors, though, because I don't like them. The only (literally the only) thing I don't like about this van is that it beeps if you use the key button to lock the doors.
We have an 03' GMC Safari, not your typical mini-van, more like a mid-sized van. I chose it because I wanted something sturdy, strong and large to tow our camper with. And with 3 children and our tall family, we needed lots of space, too. I especially like the back storage area, which can hold 2-3 bikes, a very large wagon, or bags and boxes of groceries.
Me and my children like that it sits up higher than some of the typical mini-vans, that ride more like cars. So they are happy to be able to see out the windows easily.
The GMC Safari only has one sliding door (not automatic, as we had previous bad experiences with them on the Honda and Toyota mini vans). But I have found that in most cases I prefer having just one sliding door because I only have to keep track of that one entrance/exit location and the safety of my children going in and out, as well as everyone remembering to close the door, too.
Though it might be nice if the sliding door could be on the driver's side instead of on the passenger side? Must be a good reason why it is designed like that.
The only downside that I can see is that a mid-size van tends to drink more gas, but we trade that for the towing and seating/space capacity. It's all what you are looking for.....