If you have a growing family or a Girl Scout troop, you need the versatility of a minivan. But minivans don’t always come cheap! In fact, the most expensive can easily approach $50,000. But don’t worry. Buying a used minivan that’s only a few years old can easily take a third or more off the sticker price. The main thing to watch out for in minivans is interior wear and tear. Remember, this is a family vehicle we’re talking about. Check for stains, rips, and funky smells working front to back. For more tips and advice when buying a used minivan, read on.
Minivan owners love their features. The best way to get the most cutting-edge features is to buy a used minivan that’s only been owned for a year or two. That way you might score a Wi-Fi hotspot system, great infotainment, rear-seat entertainment, and more handy tech. The Honda Odyssey broke out a rear-seat intercom in 2017 so you don’t have to yell at the kids (nor have them yell at you) as you travel.
FWD vs AWD
All-wheel drive in minivans is a rare thing. In fact, only the Toyota Sienna, to the best of our knowledge, offers AWD. We’re not so sure that rarity is a bad thing. Perhaps nine out of ten consumers believe AWD is superior, but what’s not so well known are the significant drawbacks. All-wheel drive provides better traction to help you get going, but it’s actually detrimental to stopping because AWD does nothing to help with that and vehicles with this transmission are often hundreds of pounds heavier. On top of that, there’s poorer fuel economy and greater maintenance costs, which come into play slightly sooner when buying used.
Minivans also aren’t known for their fuel economy. These vehicles are designed to be versatile, not light. But that’s all the more reason to be careful with this one so you’re not suffering at the gas pump. The Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna have had the best gas mileage in recent years, with the Kia Sedona also faring well.
All minivans seat a lot of people. Most used minivans seat seven or eight people, depending on configuration. That’s why you want to pay special attention to the middle row. A lot of buyers opt for the captain’s chairs there, which makes for a more comfortable drive, but lowers the seating capacity by one.
If you’re using all three rows of seats, most minivans have a small storage area that is taller than it is long. But if storage is a must for you, pay attention to how the seats fold down. The best minivans, such as the Kia Sedona or those with the Dodge/Chrysler Stow ‘n Go seating system fold down flat, giving you a nice level storage area.
At the Swope Family of Dealerships, we’re sure we can help you find the used minivan that’s right for you. Come take a look at our inventory and let us know how we can help you find the van you want on the Miracle Mile!