Leased our '96 Nautica '95 for 2 years and then bought it. It has been the best designed car we have ever owned. My husband has a 2008 Highlander, which he is very happy with, yet, it cannot haul as much cargo, is not as versatile, nor as comfortable for 7 people as the Villager. MPG in new cars has barely improved over the Villager after 14 years. But after 150,000 miles, the transmission is going out and other expensive things (locks, CD player, possibly air bags-- since light goes on)I hate to see it go. Wish they would still make it with the quality they made it then (plus a second slide door not yet available in 1996). Nautica drives like a luxury sedan with a height that is safer.
Luxurious ride, dependability, visibility, versatility, upgraded sound package is wonderful. Recommend captain chairs as it allows walk-thru design from front of car to third row.
Chairs slide very little for third row access, and are heavy to remove, but there is enough versatility with fold- down and forward third row for plenty of cargo without removing them. Get the later models with two side-sliding doors.