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We are in the market for a Minivan for our three kids. and me, of course ;) the hubby probably won't drive it, he still thinks minivans are gawd awful ugly ;)

Anyhoo... our price range is not high, so we are looking for older, reliable cars.

Could you give me a clue on how to decifer whether I am getting a great previa for a good price (around $2000, or so seems to be the norm, some up to 3500, some down to 1500 for around 150K miles) or should I go with an MPV or Lumina or other car?

We are not mechanics, so most work on the car would need to be done in a shop. not to mention 3 kids 6 and under aren't too helpful under a car on jacks ;)

Thank you so much for any info you could give me.

I wish there was a mechanics forum online I could poll to see what THEY thought was the best van to buy ;)

I have been doing a lot of looking on carcurvey.org for older models and it really seems that older 5 speed caravans, Previas, Aerostars and MPVs are the ones with the best reviews. OR perhaps just the best following?

ANyhoo, hope this isn't too convoluted. I just want a good, reliable, cheap car... which may be asking for a miracle, rofl, but why not?

:)
Selena
 

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My family has put over 200,000 miles on 2 used Previas and they have been extremely reliable. I think the biggest problem we have had was an overheating problem with our 93 van, which turned out to be a piece of debris in the coolant tank.

Our 93 is almost at 200,000 miles and has needed the usual repairs...brake rotors, rear struts, fluids and belts. Keep in mind that my Dad routinely tows a ~3000lb boat with this van so everything is stressed more than normal.

I would personally steer clear of any GM or Ford minivan from the early 90's...you may save some getting one for a cheap price, but I guarantee you'll have to spend a good deal to keep it running.

I've known people who had the early 90's caravans and they wernt bad vehicles if you don't mind constantly worrying about transmission failure if it is an automatic (the Previa uses the same transmission as the Lexus LS400).
 
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