I respect your opinion, but don't agree with it (aside from significantly more fuel efficient above 65mph)
The ETC on 5th gen is not at all responsive if you compare it to our cable controlled throttle on 4th gen...
Handling and ride depend on model and suspension (and tires), the brakes are a big improvement on latter 5th gen with HD brakes.
The throttle has some lag if you baby it, if you drive it harder often, it adapts to driving style and it is perfectly responsive.
A base SE 5th gen rides and handles far better than the rolly nature of the 4th gens. A GT feels like a f$%#ing race car compared to the sloppy nature of 4th gens.
I know people like to wax poetic about the wonders of the 4th gen, but they were just as trouble some, had underpowered engines, and drive like wet noodles at best.
I'm sorry, but 3rd and 4th gens both drive like hot garbage from an actual enjoyment standpoint. The little bit of added response from the cable throttle is far negated by the pure lack of performance from the anemic 3.3/3.8s that powered most of them.
I have owned and dailied every generation of these vans.
1st gens started the light/tossable/fun minivan.
2nd gens (specifically the Sport models
) were the last of the true "light/tossable/fun" minivans.
3rd and 4th gens bloated but failed to compensate for the bloat with better drivelines, suspension, brakes, so they ended up just feeling like obnoxious pigs on the road.
5th gens got completely revamped, better suspensions, better brakes (even the low models without HD are better than 4th gens
) better engines, an updated transmission, better interiors, better noise suppression.
6th gens (Pacifica
) take those improvements and refinements even further.
I personally won't touch 3rd/4th gens anymore because they just feel like such a chore to drive.