Used Minivan - Recommendations?

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Thorsbane
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Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by Thorsbane »

Second kid on the way, looking to replace an SUV to easily get kids in and out. I'd like to get one with three rows and used (new is a bit too expensive) though I'm hoping to get one of the higher versions. Any personal recommendations?
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vineviz
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by vineviz »

Honda Odyssey. We have a 2005 Touring trim level that is still going strong, 3 children later.
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friuli_croatan
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by friuli_croatan »

How used is used? I have been looking at both the Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna in the 2004-2010 range for $10k and under.

I would stay away from anything ford, Chevy and dodge. I have read that older Kia’s aren’t very reliable in this age range either.
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Thorsbane
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by Thorsbane »

Frankly, something within the past 3 to 4 years with under 40k miles. Need something reliable since it will be carrying a baby and a toddler.
siracha
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by siracha »

I'm in the same scenario. I really struggle when prices for a used (approx. 2016) Honda Odyssey seems to be more expensive than a new Dodge Grand Caravan. Does anyone have any experience (good or bad) with the Grand Caravan?
renue74
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by renue74 »

Stay away from Nissan Quest. We had one and our friends had one.

Quote from our mechanic: "Not the best of years or model from Nissan."

I agree with the others, the Honda van is nice. The only issue I see is the darn things hold their value so well, that buying a used one, you have to pay a slight premium. :)
Rudedog
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by Rudedog »

My nephew drove his 2005 Toyota Sienna 260,000 miles, he got rid of it because he wrecked it, then he bought another one. My wife's 2007 Toyota Sienna LE is still going strong at 138,000 miles. Runs great.
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Kenkat
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by Kenkat »

We had a Caravan that we got mostly reliable 11 years of service out of with the exception of a $2,000 transmission failure around year 8 or 9. We have an Odyssey now that we bought new because used ones do not seem to be much of a savings over buying new and keeping for 10+ years. We didn’t look at the Caravan because I found the new Sto-and-go seats to be very uncomfortable if you actually wanted to sit in them.
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vineviz
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by vineviz »

Thorsbane wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:23 pm Frankly, something within the past 3 to 4 years with under 40k miles. Need something reliable since it will be carrying a baby and a toddler.
How did you come up with those constraints? They seem somewhat arbitrary, and using the Odyssey as an example means something in the $24K to $30k range most likely.

A 2014 EX-L with 60k miles can likely be had for under $19k, on the other hand, and easily has 10 years of relatively trouble free driving in it.
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RobLyons
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by RobLyons »

Toyota Sienna LE

We are on our 2nd and have been very happy with them.
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doug1022
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by doug1022 »

Toyota Sienna if you need AWD. We've had ours for 3 years and love it (as much as you can love a mini-van). We had a Honda Odyssey before that which we liked, but it wasn't great in the snow.
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by TheGreyingDuke »

I see ex-l for #33k, lx for $28k or so, new.
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greg24
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by greg24 »

Our 15 year old Toyota Sienna has been great and still running strong. Standard FWD with regular tires does just fine in the snow.
MI_bogle
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by MI_bogle »

I'm biased toward Toyota so I'd say a 2015-2018 Sienna LE. Depending on years and mileage, you can expect to pay between 17 and 25K for those model years with 15 to 45K miles on em

If you want to go with the Honda option, an Odyssey is in the same ballpark of price for the same constraints


OP, if you want the best advice, I think you should post your preferred budget AND how many miles you drive per year.

For example, Siennas are really reliable. If you buy one at 75K miles and only plan do drive 5K a year, it could last you quite some time. Or, maybe you drive 30K miles per year. That would change my advice substantially
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Chan_va
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by Chan_va »

Consider a late model Kia Sedona. We love ours - it's tech and fit/finish are a cut above, plus they depreciate quickly. You should be able to pick up a 2016 with 30K miles for about 15K.
new2bogle
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by new2bogle »

Thorsbane wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:23 pm Frankly, something within the past 3 to 4 years with under 40k miles. Need something reliable since it will be carrying a baby and a toddler.
My experience is from exactly 4 years ago. I decided on buying new (Odyssey) at the time since the price difference on 2-3 year old used mini-vans were $5,000 or less, with the used minivans averaging 35k miles. Not worth it for a family car that is abused.
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by new2bogle »

Thorsbane wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:23 pm Frankly, something within the past 3 to 4 years with under 40k miles. Need something reliable since it will be carrying a baby and a toddler.
I question the "need" for a minivan just because of two kids. A mid-sized SUV should be just as good. Do you need the cargo space?
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Thorsbane
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by Thorsbane »

new2bogle wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:48 pm
Thorsbane wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:23 pm Frankly, something within the past 3 to 4 years with under 40k miles. Need something reliable since it will be carrying a baby and a toddler.
I question the "need" for a minivan just because of two kids. A mid-sized SUV should be just as good. Do you need the cargo space?
There's a couple reasons:

1. Our 2-car garage is smaller and hard to pull a single kid out of when we park just right. The sliding doors would make things substantially easier.
2. Our current SUV, a Hyundai Sante Fe Sport (a 5 seater), has bucket seats in the front which don't leave much room for baby seats. Our oldest's car seat was situated in the middle of the back row which worked 'okay'. The newly situated car seats barely fit and seem like more of a safety hazard.
3. A 5 seater doesn't allow us to travel together with friends. Always have to take 2 separate cars.
4. Cargo space is a major plus.

Just trying to get a sense of what are reputable brands before we start setting budgets. We'd be trading in the Sante Fe. Expect to put around 1k miles per month (12k per year) on the vehicle since it would become our traveling vehicle. Many of you have recommended new, which I guess we'd be open to since it sounds like used minivans carry value.
SimonJester
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by SimonJester »

greg24 wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:15 pm Our 15 year old Toyota Sienna has been great and still running strong. Standard FWD with regular tires does just fine in the snow.
Same with my 15 year old Sienna a few bumps and scrapes,and normal maintenance...
Ive asked DW if she would like to upgrade to something else and she is like nope its still running great...
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vineviz
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by vineviz »

Thorsbane wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:23 pm Many of you have recommended new, which I guess we'd be open to since it sounds like used minivans carry value.
As a parent of three, I can definitely endorse the minivan as a practical choice.

If you choose a brand that retains resale value (Honda or Toyota), buying new can be a good choice especially if your children are close in age. It's a car you might want to keep for 16-18 years if possible: my second child starts high school next year and the carpool will have 5 or 6 kids in it, so there's no downsizing from our 15 year old van to a sedan until the oldest graduates high school.
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psteinx
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by psteinx »

Thorsbane wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:23 pmJust trying to get a sense of what are reputable brands before we start setting budgets.
There AREN'T that many brands of minivans. Unlike SUVs, only a few manufacturers make minivans. I think right now it's Toyota, Honda, Chrysler and Dodge. Not sure if Nissan and/or Kia still make them. Used, there may be a few more choices.

My understanding is that the marketplace for used, late model minivans is thinner than for many other types of vehicles. Families likely buy their minivans and keep them for many years - less of a lease and/or trade-in mentality I would think.

If you are shopping used, especially if and as you move past 3 years old to 5, 8, 10 or whatever years old, keep in mind that the interiors in particular may have seen some hard use (families with young-ish kids), and a wide variety of bodily and other fluids may have been on various surfaces, at various times. Perhaps more of an "ick" factor than anything, but still, probably worth keeping in mind...
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by Clark & Addison »

siracha wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:23 pm I'm in the same scenario. I really struggle when prices for a used (approx. 2016) Honda Odyssey seems to be more expensive than a new Dodge Grand Caravan. Does anyone have any experience (good or bad) with the Grand Caravan?
We went through this just over four years ago. I wanted a Toyota or Honda, but didn't want to spend what they ask for a new one. I was looking for a used Toyota or Honda with less than 50k miles on it. All the used ones in my area were at least $4-5k more than a new Dodge Grand Caravan. We decided that we would save the $4-5k and get the new Dodge with a warranty (the Toyotas and Hondas we looked at were already out of warranty). I figured we'd take the chance on the Dodge with it's perceived lower reliability and even if we had some expensive repair once the warranty was out, we'd still have $4-5k to spend before we were even with the used Toyota/Honda. After a little more than four years, we've had no problems and are happy with our Dodge.
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by crossbow »

Thorsbane wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:23 pm
new2bogle wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:48 pm
Thorsbane wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:23 pm Frankly, something within the past 3 to 4 years with under 40k miles. Need something reliable since it will be carrying a baby and a toddler.
I question the "need" for a minivan just because of two kids. A mid-sized SUV should be just as good. Do you need the cargo space?
There's a couple reasons:

1. Our 2-car garage is smaller and hard to pull a single kid out of when we park just right. The sliding doors would make things substantially easier.
2. Our current SUV, a Hyundai Sante Fe Sport (a 5 seater), has bucket seats in the front which don't leave much room for baby seats. Our oldest's car seat was situated in the middle of the back row which worked 'okay'. The newly situated car seats barely fit and seem like more of a safety hazard.
3. A 5 seater doesn't allow us to travel together with friends. Always have to take 2 separate cars.
4. Cargo space is a major plus.

Just trying to get a sense of what are reputable brands before we start setting budgets. We'd be trading in the Sante Fe. Expect to put around 1k miles per month (12k per year) on the vehicle since it would become our traveling vehicle. Many of you have recommended new, which I guess we'd be open to since it sounds like used minivans carry value.
1. Our 2-car garage is smaller and hard to pull a single kid out of when we park just right. The sliding doors would make things substantially easier.
You may want to check how much wider a minivan might be compared to your current vehicle. I had the same thought as you (that sliding doors would be magical). However, when I parked a friend's minivan in the garage, the additional width of the minivan over the car I was contemplating replacing made it even more difficult to get out of.
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by crossbow »

vineviz wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:33 pm
Thorsbane wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:23 pm Many of you have recommended new, which I guess we'd be open to since it sounds like used minivans carry value.
As a parent of three, I can definitely endorse the minivan as a practical choice.

If you choose a brand that retains resale value (Honda or Toyota), buying new can be a good choice especially if your children are close in age. It's a car you might want to keep for 16-18 years if possible: my second child starts high school next year and the carpool will have 5 or 6 kids in it, so there's no downsizing from our 15 year old van to a sedan until the oldest graduates high school.
If I'm buying a car to keep for 16-18 years, why would I bother with resale value? The value of the car could drop 90% within the first year and it wouldn't matter since I'm not selling... :confused
lexie2000
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by lexie2000 »

Kenkat wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:35 pm We had a Caravan that we got mostly reliable 11 years of service out of with the exception of a $2,000 transmission failure around year 8 or 9. We have an Odyssey now that we bought new because used ones do not seem to be much of a savings over buying new and keeping for 10+ years. We didn’t look at the Caravan because I found the new Sto-and-go seats to be very uncomfortable if you actually wanted to sit in them.
I believe there is/was an engineering flaw with the Caravan transmission. We bought a Caravan new and before it hit 100K miles, it was on its third transmission. We know other people who had the same problem. It appears to have been an engineering flaw that Dodge/Chrysler did not stand behind so for that reason alone, I'd be inclined to look at the Honda and Toyotas instead.
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vineviz
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by vineviz »

crossbow wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:17 pm If I'm buying a car to keep for 16-18 years, why would I bother with resale value? The value of the car could drop 90% within the first year and it wouldn't matter since I'm not selling... :confused
I guess I was assuming the van will be sold at some point (I've never owned a vehicle that I DIDN'T sell to someone else when I was done with it), and also implicitly assuming some degree of correlation between resale value persistence and expected longevity of the vehicle.
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ncbill
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by ncbill »

Clark & Addison wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:58 pm
siracha wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:23 pm I'm in the same scenario. I really struggle when prices for a used (approx. 2016) Honda Odyssey seems to be more expensive than a new Dodge Grand Caravan. Does anyone have any experience (good or bad) with the Grand Caravan?
We went through this just over four years ago. I wanted a Toyota or Honda, but didn't want to spend what they ask for a new one. I was looking for a used Toyota or Honda with less than 50k miles on it. All the used ones in my area were at least $4-5k more than a new Dodge Grand Caravan. We decided that we would save the $4-5k and get the new Dodge with a warranty (the Toyotas and Hondas we looked at were already out of warranty). I figured we'd take the chance on the Dodge with it's perceived lower reliability and even if we had some expensive repair once the warranty was out, we'd still have $4-5k to spend before we were even with the used Toyota/Honda. After a little more than four years, we've had no problems and are happy with our Dodge.
When we bought new 15 years ago it was more like a $10k difference between our loaded Dodge Grand Caravan versus a loaded Honda/Toyota minivan.

Even today a new Dodge Grand Caravan (older design) may be a better choice over the new Pacifica (new design, drives better, still many bugs)

I'd still buy the longest OEM extended warranty I could for either:

https://www.chryslerwarrantydirect.com
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Kenkat
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by Kenkat »

lexie2000 wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:57 pm
Kenkat wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:35 pm We had a Caravan that we got mostly reliable 11 years of service out of with the exception of a $2,000 transmission failure around year 8 or 9. We have an Odyssey now that we bought new because used ones do not seem to be much of a savings over buying new and keeping for 10+ years. We didn’t look at the Caravan because I found the new Sto-and-go seats to be very uncomfortable if you actually wanted to sit in them.
I believe there is/was an engineering flaw with the Caravan transmission. We bought a Caravan new and before it hit 100K miles, it was on its third transmission. We know other people who had the same problem. It appears to have been an engineering flaw that Dodge/Chrysler did not stand behind so for that reason alone, I'd be inclined to look at the Honda and Toyotas instead.
Yes, the repair shop said “we see a lot of these”.
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by tacticalretreat »

We have a 2014 Dodge Grand caravan with ~90k miles with no issues so far. We bought it used at a significant savings over Honda or Toyota. Also the stow and go seats were important to me because I use it to haul sheets of plywood and drywall from time to time and I like not having to remove the seats from the vehicle.
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by TheHouse7 »

My DW and I are interested in a minivan, but I am hesitant to spend that much money on a used(or new) one when she drives 6k miles a year. Toyota seems leagues ahead in this thread. :beer
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crossbow
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by crossbow »

Everytime I start looking at a minivan, I ultimately ask myself if I want to trade less-than-ideal MPG for the luxury of space at this point in our lives, and the answer is no. Maybe when our third child arrives that will change. We do mostly city driving so a hybrid or plugin would be great, but the only offering on the market now is the Pacifica which has mixed reviews online and I personally don't like the design.
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by Trader Joe »

Thorsbane wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:01 pm Second kid on the way, looking to replace an SUV to easily get kids in and out. I'd like to get one with three rows and used (new is a bit too expensive) though I'm hoping to get one of the higher versions. Any personal recommendations?
Toyota Sienna, any year. Best decision I have ever made.
Polymorphic
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by Polymorphic »

I think the Odyssey and Sienna are both great choices. Only downside to the buyer is that they command a premium even when used.

I've owned three Odysseys, and I'm rather partial to them. The second one (a 2019) sacrificed itself to save my entire family from serious bodily injury or worse. The cops, firefighters, and EMTs marveled that we walked away from that wreckage. One policeman said it was practically an ad for Honda.

Buying another one was an easy decision.
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by bikechuck »

siracha wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:23 pm I'm in the same scenario. I really struggle when prices for a used (approx. 2016) Honda Odyssey seems to be more expensive than a new Dodge Grand Caravan. Does anyone have any experience (good or bad) with the Grand Caravan?
I had a very poor experience with a Grand Caravan with multiple things always going wrong with the doors, lights, air conditioner and transmission. I replaced it with a Honda Odyssey and have had a much better experience.
Polymorphic
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Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

Post by Polymorphic »

siracha wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:23 pm I'm in the same scenario. I really struggle when prices for a used (approx. 2016) Honda Odyssey seems to be more expensive than a new Dodge Grand Caravan. Does anyone have any experience (good or bad) with the Grand Caravan?
I'll add that after our 2019 Odyssey was totaled, our interim rental vehicle was a brand-new Dodge Caravan.

I ended up taking a highway trip with that Caravan, and found it was far less refined and more aggravating than the Odyssey in every way. More road noise, worse handling, touchy throttle (i.e. non-linear gas pedal response), brain-dead infotainment system, less comfortable seats in all rows, folding the third-row seats took five steps instead of one step like in the Odyssey, etc.

So while an Odyssey is more expensive, you are paying more because you are getting more.
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