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Used Minivan Buying Guide

Used Minivan Buying Guide

Used Minivan Buying Guide

Minivans are the practical answer to the problems many families face: too many people and too much stuff to comfortably fit into other vehicles. Sedans and crossovers that fit five people won't work for families larger than that, and even three-row SUVs may not be as easy to use as the convenient, practical minivan. What you sacrifice for the problem-solving practicality of the minivan is, quite honestly, style-though many minivan manufacturers work hard to woo buyers with so many impressively cool features so that the body style of the minivan stops mattering so much.

What You Get in a Minivan

Minivans are the smart answer to many problems. Most models have three rows of seating that are accessible via sliding side doors, making the problem of small people flinging heavy doors into neighboring vehicles disappear. Those sliding doors also are often opened and closed automatically, making drop offs and pick ups infinitely easier for all involved.

Minivans often have large cargo areas in the back, which can be expanded by folding down or removing the second and third rows of seating. Some models offer seating that stores itself in the floor, making it much easier to quickly collapse them. That makes minivans quite adaptable, good for hauling large cargo as well as safely shuttling people around town. Many minivans also cater to long trips by including comfort features, like integrated entertainment systems and multiple charging stations, but these are often optional features that come in higher trims.

Types of Minivans

Unlike crossover SUVs, few manufacturers make minivans and when they do, they only make one. Currently, you can find new minivans from Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, and Kia, along with small commercial vans from Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Ram, and Nissan. But when you're looking at used minivans, you get the advantage of choosing from far more models, which may include:

  • Chrysler Town and Country
  • Dodge Grand Caravan
  • Toyota Sienna
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Kia Sedona
  • Mazda 5
  • Nissan Quest
  • Volkswagen Routan
  • Hyundai Entourage

What to Look for In Your Used Minivan

Whenever you're buying a used car, you want to make sure that you have a vehicle history report and check out the major systems of whatever minivan you're looking at buying. You can do your own inspection of the vehicle when you test drive it, testing the electrical systems, transmission, alignment, brakes, and giving the hoses, body, and engine a good overview as well. Remember that you can also ask your own mechanic to give the used car you want an inspection as well.