Used vans 5k and under

phantomplanetphantomplanet Member Posts: 4
edited January 2016 in General
So at tax time when I sell my truck I'm fairly certain I'm getting a mini van for the family car.  My budget is about 5k. I've been doing lots of research,but still am not sure on a van.  What would you pick and why?  What are reliable vans ?  


  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited January 2016
    I got a used '09 Grand Caravan a little less than two years ago.

    After some hard use and three or four long road trips, I'm up to 158,000 miles and it's probably worth $4,000 or $5,000 bucks.

    Compared to my brother's 2012 Odyssey, it's not as tight a driver and I have a few rattles. It's a bit roomier for the passenger up front and compares pretty well overall (mine's the SXT trim). And I'd hop in the Grand Caravan and drive it to Tennessee (from NM) tomorrow.

    We dumped an old Quest for the Dodge. We considered the Honda, the Sienna, another Nissan and the smaller Mazda5. I think the most bang for buck is with the Dodge - they are still the best seller so prices are lower than the Honda and Toyota and you can get them fixed anywhere (I had trouble finding mechanics for the Nissan in some of the boonie places I broke down in it during the last year of ownership).

    My second choice would be the Odyssey, maybe because I've driven my brother's a few times over the years and I'm familiar with them.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited January 2016
    Oh, if you can find one in your area using our Used Car tab above, you'd get a "free" extended warranty (see the screen shot below). That could help you fix an immediate lemon that breaks down in the first few weeks of ownership. Not all dealers participate in the program though.

    With any used car, paying an hour shop fee for a pre-purchase inspection can be a good investment and it also helps if the seller will share maintenance records.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    $5,000 is a bit tight of a budget for a good solid minivan that won't need some work, but I think if you really have the time, and are quite careful in your choosing, you might be able to pull that off. I agree with Steve, that domestic vehicles are probably your best shot in this price range.
  • phantomplanetphantomplanet Member Posts: 4
    Thanks guys. I was considering a Grand Caravan or Town & Country since they are so abundant it does make them cheaper to buy. There are a few Hondas around too but I've never drove any of those. I have heard bad things about dodge transmissions in the van is the only thing that scares me off of those. Other then that they seem solid and very comfortable.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Frankly I'd be more worried about the Odyssey transmissions.

    These days, most cars are pretty reliable though.
  • phantomplanetphantomplanet Member Posts: 4
    I am leaning towards town & country
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    The nice thing about used vans is that the plush ones usually don't cost much more than the base models. Good luck in your search!
  • phantomplanetphantomplanet Member Posts: 4

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