Which Mini-van should I buy?

by confusedjw 18 Replies latest jw experiences

  • confusedjw

    Can those of you with Mini Vans help? I'm looking for a used one. (3 years old, 50,000 miles)

    If you have had one would you buy it again? What did you like not like about it?

    I'm inclined to the Toyotas, but they are pricey. I liked a Mazda I looked at. The Windstar is interesting but the 3.8 engine scares me. (We are on our 4th Taurus wagon - which have been great, but want something higher in the air)

    Thanks for the advice folks

  • RunningMan

    I had a 98 Windstar for two years. It was fine while I had it, but was showing some disturbing signs from the transmission. Some friends of ours with a Windstar just put a new $3,000 transmission in theirs. It wasn't very old.

    I also had a 00 Montana for three years. It worked very well. I had a few electrical problems, mostly surrounding the power sliding door. The white letter General tires that came with it were crap, and went individually, long before they should have.

    I now have a 03 Tahoe, which isn't a mini van, but is has just about as much interior space - more in some ways. So far, it's been perfect.

    If I were to buy a minivan today, particularly a used one, I would go with the Honda Odyssey. It is very intelligently designed, rides smooth, and has a good repair record. I looked at the Toyota, but it felt a little small to me. That may have just been an illusion. Toyota typically has the best repair record.

  • ThiChi

    I drive a Scion xB, lots of room, good MPG (35) and the price is right.......

  • Special K
    Special K

    We have a '98 Dodge Grand Caravan.

  • Special K
    Special K

    When we were shopping for a used van, I used to talk to people who had them and asked them what they liked or disliked about their vans.

    The biggest complaint I got was that many wished they had bought the extended van."grand" because it gave them more space in the back for groceries, hockey bags, luggage etc.,.. baby strollers, etc. They could hardly get anything in the back of them.

    So, that is why we bought the Dodge GRAND caravan. Also we needed lots of leg room for our too older teenagers who are both pushing 6 feet tall. We went with the Quad seating. 4 buckets and a straight back seat for our 9 year old who likes it back there with his toys, etc. The quad seating also seems to keep them more contented.(nobody is touching against anybody)

    For bigger trips and vacations, we also bought a car top carrier with fittings for the van and that just attaches nicely to the roof (easily) and we can put a ton of stuff up there.

    It has a 6 cylinder engine and lots of power for us plus we could haul a camper if we wanted to.

    We are very happy with our grand caravan except for gas mileage but hey.. what are you gonna do. We too had a Taurus sedan for 12 years..until it rusted out and could not be resurrected again.

    Good luck shopping

    Special K

    p.s there is a website called epinions.com that you can research pretty much any vehicle or anything. We always find that an interesting site.

  • blondie

    We have a 1994 Mercury Villager with 220,000 miles on it...it should last at least till 300,000 miles. Just normal upkeep costs, new tires, oil changes. The Nissan Quest is a mirror image of the Villager

    Or try a Toyota Sienna. Odysseys are nice too. Both cost a little more...but last longer. Think of the repair record.

  • franklin J
    franklin J

    We have 3 small kids ( 13,10,5) and started 8 years ago with a Grand Voyager. The car was loaded and handled better than any other car I have ever had. It was great with kids; groceries; dog; long trips; soccer field days and I was not embarassed to let a valet park it when my wife and I went to a " mom & dad" dinner. Front seat was 2 captains chairs ( standard) back seat was also captains chairs and 3rd seat was a reclining bench seat. Each kid has their own space and there is no fighting . The only issue was that it had only one passenger side door which created issues reaching the child car seat.

    Last spring we traded it in for a Chrysler Town & Country LX; with 2 back passenger doors and four wheel drive. This car is great. It has all the same seating arrangements as our previous van with a few gimmick extras like a compass and outside temperature gauge; 110 plug outlets for traveling TV or VCR/ DVD . The larger vans have plenty of back storage and heavy roof racks for additional luggage.

    It works for us.

  • frogit
  • Special K
    Special K

    Hi Franklin

    you wrote:

    The only issue was that it had only one passenger side door which created issues reaching the child car seat.

    That would have been a problem for us too. Our van has sliding doors on both sides of the vehicles. Whew. ...

    Special K

  • hillbilly

    I have owned 2 GM Astros... very happy with both... owned a Honda Oddesy...head and shoulders abouve the GM product... a little more? Yep. but the resale was great... Hondas are tough as nails and the ride and finish was superior to the GM product. The Honda was buit in America too

    That being said , the Honda was a "people hauler"... If i was towing a small boat or trailer or a lot of cargo, I would have stayed with the Astro... an S-10 pickup with a van body..

    Hill ( dont worry , I have owned nearly 20 GM cars in 25 years class)

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