Suggestions for economical minivan

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Ravindran, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. My honda accord is turning out to be quite expensive with maintenance work! Every now and then something is blowing up and causing me to spend too much money. I have come to a point where I don't feel it is worth to spend more money on this. I am looking for trading this with a minivan. What are good options?

    I was looking at Mazda5 which seems to be pretty cheap, fuel efficient and gives enough space as well. I would be looking at used cars with a budget of around 10k. What are good options to consider?
  2. Are you looking for a "Little" minivan like the Mazda - that's basically a sliding door station wagon... or are you looking for a bigger minivan like the Dodge Caravan?

    Personally, I have bagged on Chrysler for a long time... but recently picked up a used Chrysler Town and Country... It was in beautiful condition and prices run about 1/2 of Toyota or Nissan... Ironically, the VW van is now a re-badged Chrysler... but it runs maybe 90% of Toyota used...

    With the Chrysler - So far, so good... You get a WHOLE LOT of van for the money.... That sucker is tricked out, DVD players, power everything, leather everything, heated seats, captains chairs, card table, and the list goes on and on... It's really family friendly...

  3. Ravindran, The Consumer Reports (CR) "2015 Buying Guide" mag does not use the term mini-van for its classifications of used cars. I think that is an obsolete term in the US now. And the second problem is that they rate them in "up to $10k", "$10k to $15k. " I'll do the best I can. I think a mini-van could be classified as a SUV or Sedan, two of the three classes CR gives. The ones I will give are "the most reliable models" according to CR. Please pardon my ignorance of what these specifically are as there is no pic given and I know nothing about newer cars, hence I will give all they list. Mine are a '90 and another '90 and the third which I did not buy for myself (it is NOT me nor does it fit me for long trips at all!) but ended up with is the second newest car I have ever owned in almost 60 yrs, a 2002. I guess I never conformed to the newly established idea (a couple or 3 decades ago) that one's car had to be a sign of who they were or that a car must never have rust or dings or scratches. They are just transportation and any one of my vehicles could reliably get me to my son and his family 800 miles away and back although one is just used for hauling payloads and would only be used to do so or in an emergency.
    Under $10K= Sedans: Hyundai Sonata (4 cyl.) 2007-2008; and Acura TSX 2004
    SUV's: Toyota Highlander V6 2004; Mitsubishi Outlander 2007
    $10K-$15K= Sedans: Mazda 3 2009-2012; Infiniti G35 2006-2007
    SUV's: Acura MDX 2004-2006; Toyota RAV4 2006-2008; Honda CR-V 2005-2008

    CR Gives a paragraph after each class of why they were picked but I type very slow, very slow. As you mentioned a Mazda3 above I will say that the Mazda 3 they list is supposed to have excellent handling for two good reasons and good mpg and comfortable however relatively noisy at hwy speeds. If you will narrow it down for me to one or two I'll try to paraphrase, not quote, for you. They also give a list of about 25 of the ones to avoid called "Worst of the Worst." I hope this helps.
  4. Nothing personal John C, but CR lists the Chrysler Town and Country among the "Worst of the Worst." I noticed that you recently bought it and haven't had it a while. Hey, maybe the reason CR rated it as such has been taken care of by a previous owner. Let us hope so and prayer always helps.;)
  5. I wish I could weigh in on this. I need to research since my wife and I may be investing in a minivan as we are preparing to expand our family.

    I do remember driving a van in high school when I was in a punk band. There is nothing more annoying than having to unload and reload a drum kit.
  6. I forgot to add this. Ever since I found out that just to change the oil in a van you have to disassemble part of the engine and/or remove spark plugs and much more work than should be required just to change the oil I have stayed away from them. My wife's best friend had to take her van into a mechanic and pay about $300 every time she had an oil change; utterly deplorable and unbelievable. I guess if you have the extra money laying around whatever floats your boat, but an oil change is so simple a 10 yr old could do it; anyway on all of the cars and trucks I have had. Some people will buy vehicles now which mandate having to pay a mechanic to do ANYTHING on the vehicle now. I can't understand why people tell the manufacturers that being forced to pay all of that extra money for the vehicle's ownership is acceptable to them; esp when they are now paying upfront for the vehicle what a small home costs which APPRECIATES in value instead of instantly depreciating significantly the moment you drive it off the dealer lot and it becomes a "used" vehicle. Anyway, as it has become more and more tightly packed under the hood/cowl in recent years one should always ask how easy it is to do simple maintenance chores like changing the oil, esp for vans BEFORE they buy.
  7. Thanks for the feedback so far! I am looking for a smaller minivan.. Just like Mazda5. I just need more space to accommodate more people. We have been looking at expanding our family already. I currently have Honda Accord. It is not enough at all. As summer is approaching, I will be having friends visiting us often. That is why looking for a bigger vehicle. The other problem is, my wife does not drive. It is going to be only me. So this vehicle would be primarily used for daily office commute as well (30 miles everyday). I want something that would give good mileage as well. Something like 15mph would take a hit on my budget as my Accord gives me like 22~23 in city.

    With Sedan model, I know Honda, Toyota and Nissan have lowest maintenance. I have no idea about Mazda models and how they perform.
  8. Best vehicle I every had for home maintenance was my 1994 Jeep Wrangler. There was a ton of room in the engine compartment with the straight line six that was in it.

    Every since then I have had nothing but cars where there is no room to do much of anything.
  9. I love the English language. To me, a minivan is a small (panel) van. The Mazda5 is an MPV (multi purpose vehicle)...
    KingJ likes this.
  10. All cars on the road are good Rav. Buying used means you just need to nervously pic the one in best condition.

    The mazda 5 is an eyesore.
  11. Scion xb. Very roomy inside. I think it's made by Toyota and also good on gas. I'm thinking about getting one for work.
  12. But it's a 5 seater right? I am looking for more seat capacity. Like 6 to 8
  13. It is a tough one. We had a Ford Windstar that was fantastic. Started having some nagging problems, the interior had seen it's better days... We replaced it with a Chevy Traverse. Much about it I like, but we just got a bad prognosis from the mechanic. Nothing of immediate concern, but one of those things which shakes confidence. Cheap, reliable, good gas mileage... Not too much fits the criteria. I am beginning to form the idea that something truck based offers the reliability, but then there is the gas consumption. As for purchase price, I've seen nothing I would call cheap.
  14. Any idea about Kia Sorento? They have 0% APR for 72 months deal going on. For 2015 model.
  15. My dad has the 4 cyl. He likes it and ok gas mileage
  16. Toyota funcargo.
    Really economical. Its not a full van but can fit up to 1.5 metres with seats folded down plus plenty of headroom, and seats 5. Go for the 1.5 litre engine, or more.

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