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Used SUV or Minivan Suggestions


Tomber's Avatar
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02-01-05, 04:55 AM   #1  
Tomber
Used SUV or Minivan Suggestions

Hello.. I'm new here and looking for some advise... Before I ask my question, I'll tell you a little about myself to help get the right type of suggestions.
I'm 31 w/f, mother of three, wife of one. I'm a nurse and I work allot of overtime. I'm a big DIY type person. I keep tropical and SW fish and build all of my stands and equipment for them. I do most minor home repairs. I fix my vehicles only going to shops for oil changes and new tires. Hubby helps, but with vehicle work, I'm usually on my own! I don't like making payments on anything!!!! If I can't buy it with cash, I don't want it!!!
Now, on to what I'm looking for....
Price range $0-$5000. Good gas milage. Standard or automatic doesn't matter although I do prefer standard. Need a minivan or SUV as my hubby and kids are 5-6+ft tall!!! Plus, I have to have room for my DIY stuff and hubby's stone mason work equipment. Make and model, SUV or minivan, looks are not so important.. What is important is longjevity!!!! I hate having to work on vehicles all the time!!! Usually, one works and the other is down for repairs!!!
I need something that is going to last for a while, parts are fairly cheap, and the usual repairs need stay on the small side, ie: alternator, battery, solinoid, etc. Also would like a vehicle where getting to the parts that need to be repaired and replaced isn't a big part of the work (like side mounted engines with blown water pump gaskets!!! )
Any and all suggestions welcome!! When suggesting a type/make/model/year please be specific as to why you are giving that recommendation.
Thanks,
Tomber

 
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Tomber's Avatar
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02-01-05, 05:34 AM   #2  
Tomber
Missed the most important part... What to stay away from!!! Any lemons to avoid? Frequent in-tank fuel pump failure? Vehicles with big defects like lower engine and transmission frequently failing? Parts are way too expensive? Lots of little things always malfunctioning?
I would greatly appreciate your bad experiences, too!!!!
Thanks again,
Tomber

 
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02-01-05, 10:34 AM   #3  
car_boy_16
My aunt had a 1995 Honda Odyssey minivan that she just sold last month for $4,500. It had around 175k miles on it and it ran and drove like a new van after all those miles. She bought it around 80k 5 years back for $10,000 and drove it around our city mostly, our roads are on huge hills and have huge pot holes everywhere because of our winters with the snow plows and salt - the thing took a beating, that's for sure. I would trust this Honda anyday, I drove the thing for 2 months while my Prelude was getting a t-belt/water pump replaced and it never acted wierd, not once.
The older 95-97 odyssey's are based on the 5th generation accord chassis so they share alot of common parts. They share the same F22 2.2L 140hp 4 cylinder engine as in the accord, the same tranny, maybe with different gear ratios - but you get my point, the mechanical parts are readily available via accord if one has any problems with it which is few and far in between.
One thing though, they are pretty weak, 140hp isn't a lot of this minivan, it gets real good mileage for a van but it's pretty slow.
If one needed more power out of their 95-97 odyssey's they could take out the H22a vtec Prelude engine and basically drop it in - yes almost a drop-in swap! So from 140hp to 200hp with still a 4 cylinder.
If not an Odyssey, I would also check out Toyota Rav4's, Toyota Previas (supercharged or non-supercharged), or Honda CR-V's.
Stay away from Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth minivans - we've had 3 of them, ALL junk, especially our AWD model. Stay away from the older Ford Windstars as well, they are safe minivans but they have aweful reliability and you would probaby find yourself trying to fix all the problems on that piece too, just as you would a caravan/voyager/T&C minivan.
Good luck with your vehicle hunting!

 
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02-02-05, 12:26 AM   #4  
Get a Honda or a Toyota. I think the Toyta Previa is in your price range.

Have a mechanic or "car guy" friend check it out before you buy. If you feel motivated, search the inet for problem areas related to that vehicle.

 
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02-05-05, 06:08 AM   #5  
Tomber
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I've owned lots of different vehicles in my time ranging from Chevy to Volkswagon. I've found that overall, most foreign models last longer and do better than American made, and thats a real shame!
Anyone else wanna add some advice?
Thanks,
Chele

 
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02-11-05, 07:04 AM   #6  
get a car fax

Get a car fax when you buy.It will tell you the history and is very helpful.Toyota is a good brand to get.

 
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02-11-05, 04:08 PM   #7  
Brownthree
Stay away from Ford's "Crapstar". I replaced the transmission at 51,000 miles on my 2000. I am not happy and will never buy a Ford again!

 
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02-16-05, 08:03 AM   #8  
I'm, also looking for a similar vehicle, though my price range is <= $10,000. Kind of funny reading the initial post...I am looking for a vehicle for my wife, who is 31 and a nurse. I'm the "mechanic" (parts swapper) of our house, though my wife has rebuilt carbs and wetsanded/painted cars before.

My personal choice would be an Odyssey, but they are sooooo pricey. To get under $5k, you are definately looking at the older 4cyl models. I just saw one with 201k on it for $5.5k. Unbelieveable that they are that high.

I wouldn't consider a Toyota myself. I suggest anyone who wants a Toyota do a google search for the words Toyota and Sludge...Better yet do a search on "engine sludge" without mentioning Toyota and see how many links are dealing specifically with Toyota/Lexus (Lexus is to Toyota as Lincoln is to Ford)...Then draw your own conclusions on them. If you do consider one, have it examined for sludge...if its clean, get it but use only FULL synthetic oil, or DILIGENTLY change the oil at 3000 miles and check it regularly for sludge development (don't even think about the ridiculous 7500 mile interval that Toyota recommends in the owners manual...no wonder these things sludge up). After replacing my sludged 2.2L Camry engine at 111k with a remanufactured engine, I have used Mobil 1 10W-30 EVERY time...(I can't speak for how well maintained that engine was, as I bought the car at 104k, but there are MANY accounts of low mileage, regularly maintained 2.2L 4cyl and 3.0 V6's that sludged and died.)


I'd love to hear opinions of Mazda and Kia's offerings, if anyone has any experience.

 
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02-17-05, 04:48 AM   #9  
Not to get into Car Wars here, but my wife's '95 Camry was still humming along nicely at 175,000 miles (w/5k non-synthetic oil changes) when we sold it (sent it to auction, actually, where it brought $2500) and bought her '01. There's a reason why Toyota sells so many cars: Reliability.

Did a quick check on Consumer Reports and the two top-rated minivans are the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.


Measure it with a micrometer; cut it with an ax.

 
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02-17-05, 09:48 AM   #10  
Toyota is far and away the best brand out there (excluding luxury brands). Both my wife and I have Toyota's, including a V6 Camry. With regular oil changes we have never had a problem in 6 years and the car now has over 100k miles. It runs so quiet I still can barely hear the engine at a stop light.

After putting up with problems from domestic cars for awhile I vow never to get another unless they can match the quality of their foreign counterparts. I would definitely recommend an Odessey or Sienna.

 
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02-19-05, 08:21 AM   #11  
Tomber
Thanks for all the input.. And Chirkware, I'd love to hear about the KIA's also. I don't know about everywhere, but I know around here they are having a 2 for one sale on last years models. Buy a minivan and get a free rio and the prices on the minivans are fabulous.. But something that cheap... Stinks of YUGO to me..
Anyone out there have a KIA? Wanna share some input?

 
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02-20-05, 07:50 AM   #12  
try this

Go to Google and type in Kia reviews.I did and you can spend hours reading about what owners think.(very interesting)

 
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02-21-05, 04:43 AM   #13  
Check out the predicted reliability on Consumer Reports website prior to purchasing anything. Having owned various makes/models I've found their assessments to be pretty accurate. You want something safe and reliable for your family.

 
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