Spring is coming, whether you are ready or not, along with all that it entails. Vacations, sporting events, camping, and other outdoor family outings; you can never have too much cargo space. Late model mini-vans give you the passenger and cargo space of a van with the driving feel of a car. It is truly the best of both worlds. Right now is a prime time to save loads money on a high-quality, low-mileage, used minivan. There are hundreds-of-thousands of great minivan bargains available in March, if you know where to look for them. Use internet used car websites like BestRide.com to help you find one for yourself.
2011 Toyota Sienna
With the ability to seat seven or eight passengers comfortably, it is easy to see why the Toyota Sienna has become the favorite of soccer moms everywhere. Engine choices include a four-cylinder, in the Base and LE trim levels, or a robust V6 (that produces 265-hp) in the top-tier versions. Antilock brakes and electronic traction and stability control are standard safety hardware on all Sienna models, along with driver knee, front seat side, and full-length side curtain airbags. Interior trappings include a triple-zone climate control system, telescoping steering wheel, and power accessories. 17-inch alloy wheels are also standard equipment.
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2011 Honda Odyssey
Safety and reliability are trademarks of Honda motor cars and minivans, as well. The Odyssey has withstood the test of time and is currently in its twentieth-year of production. It comes standard with four-wheel antilock disc brakes (with brake assist), electronic stability and traction control, a full regiment of airbags, and active front head restraints. The 3.5-liter V6 engine delivers 248-hp to the front wheels via a five-speed automatic transmission. In 2011 Honda totally redesigned the exterior styling of the Odyssey and they didn’t forget the interior, either. Wider and more comfortable seating with room for eight makes this a great choice in used minivans.
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2011 Chrysler Town and Country
This is one minivan that has stood against Father Time – and won. It may be the minivan that started it all, at least in the U.S. The Chrysler Town and Country, Plymouth Voyager, and Dodge Grand Caravan are a family of really close sisters but the T&C is the pretty one. It comes with all of the bells and whistles. The 2011 version saw radical changes to the interior with a more modern and luxurious approach. Power adjustable pedals, full power accessories, auto-dimming rear view mirror, power-sliding side doors, a power tail gate, parking sensors, power driver’s seat, and a leather wrapped steering wheel are included among the laundry list of standard amenities.
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2011 Kia Sedona
Thanks to Kia’s generous 100,000-mile powertrain warranty, this particular minivan can be found with factory warranty coverage remaining. Not that you will need it. Consumers convey that this minivan is very reliable, passenger friendly, and unbelievably fun to drive. Under the hood, a 3.5-liter V6 engine provides the giddy-up-and-go using a six-speed automatic transmission to turn the front wheels. Active front head restraints, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, and antilock brakes with brake assist, are standard equipment for the Sedona. The Sedona also offers more standard features than most minivans, including remote keyless entry, front and rear air conditioning, and a roof mounted luggage rack.
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2011 Volkswagen Routan
While the Routan does offer four distinctive trim levels it does no longer offer the wide open spaces of yesteryear. Gone is the underpowered engine of the Vanagon and in its place is a brand-new 3.6-liter Chrysler V6 engine that manages 283-hp. A six-speed automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels. Although the Routan is built on the same platform as the Chrysler Town and Country it lacks some of its more amenable interior niceties. Safety features are on par, including antilock disc brakes with brake assist, electronic stability and traction control, front seat side curtain airbags, full length side curtain airbags, and driver’s knee airbag.
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2011 Mazda MAZDA5 Grand Touring
As one of the smallest entries into the minivan segment, the MAZDA5 figures to be more economical than a number of its competitors. Fuel efficiency is pretty average, at 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway, but the purchase price is considerably lower than others, such as the Chrysler and the Toyota. It is equipped with an inline four-cylinder 2.5-liter engine and five-speed automatic front-wheel drive transmission. A six-speed manual gearbox is also available on some of the lower trim levels. Full length side curtain airbags, front seat side airbags, antilock brakes, and electronic stability and traction control are standard safety features. Rear parking sensors are also available as optional equipment but don’t search for a rear view camera, blind spot warning, or mitigated braking on the MAZDA 5; unlike some of the higher priced minivans these items are not available.
2007 Buick Terraza
As one of the older entries on our list the Terazza is an outstanding value as it pertains to moving your family in style. It is outfitted with a 240-hp 3.9-liter V6 engine that also hammers out 240 lb.-ft. of torque. It uses a four-speed automatic transmission to transfer power to the front tires. The Terazza offers a particularly stylish interior, which accommodates six adults comfortably, for this segment. The seating surfaces are plush leather opulently double stitched with contrasting piping and the dash and door panels feature classic faux wood accents. Four-wheel antilock disc brakes, electronic stability and traction control, and front seat mounted side impact head and torso airbags are standard for this Buick.
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2007 Ford Freestar
Offered in three trim levels, the Freestar is a good value in some circumstances. It lacks some of the passenger comfort and legroom that several of its competitors have and I really don’t understand why. On the exterior it seems to be as large as any entry in this segment, larger than most. There is ample space in the front seats and adequate cargo area, as well, but the placement of the second row just seems to be a little “off.” You can purchase these reliable minivans for a song and they are great if you have small children, especially if they are still confined to auxiliary seating devices (they are easy to reach). The Freestar is available with two different engines; a 3.9-liter V6 or a 4.2-liter V6, which coincidentally I don’t get either. Between the two engines you get a grand total variance of a third of a liter and 8-hp. What is up with that?
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2008 Hyundai Entourage
This is a safe and reliable minivan that is also an outstanding bargain. It earned a perfect five-star safety rating in frontal and side impact governmental crash testing. It comes standard with front head side curtain airbags for all three rows, active front head restraints, front seat side airbags, antilock brakes with mitigated braking, and electronic stability and traction control. The interior of the Entourage is not lavish but it is certainly not poor quality and the adjustable second row seating affords you added comfort. A 3.8-liter V6 that produces 250-hp and 253 ft.-lb. of torque is standard with a five-speed automatic transmission putting the ponies to the front tires.
2007 Saturn Relay
The Relay is the sister van of the General Motors minivans listed in this segment. It comes with a 3.9-liter V6 engine and front-wheel drive four-speed automatic transmission. Standard safety equipment for the Relay is limited to four-wheel antilock brakes and electronic stability and traction control. Side impact airbags are optional for the front two rows of seating but the third row is unprotected. The Relay is available in three trim levels, simply named One, Two, and Three. The Relay One lists air conditioning, an eight speaker audio system, and power accessories as standard equipment. Upgrading to the Relay Two will yield all of the above and a rear DVD based entertainment system, cruise control, tinted glass, and keyless entry. The Relay Three adds alloy-wheels, power sliding rear doors, dual-zone climate control, and second row captains chairs among its upgrades.
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2006 Pontiac Montana SV6
The Montana shares many of the same features as the other GM minivans in this segment with only small differences in styling and appointment. Most notably, the front grilles are more complicated and the two-tone body moldings serve to break up the swine shaped appearance. This older version, built on the GM minivan platform, has seen its fair share of problematic conditions. The standard 3.5-liter V6 in this van falls short of the optional 3.9-liter found standard in some of the later model GMs. The interior is spacious with room for six adults comfortably. Side impact airbags for the first and second row and antilock brakes are standard and StabiliTrak electronic stability control is available on select models.
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2007 Mercury Monterey
The Mercury Monterey is the upscale cousin of the Ford Freestar, described earlier. It is available wit a 4.2-liter V6 standard and a four-speed automatic transmission, which delivers power to the front wheels. Unlike the Freestar, the Monterey is available in one trim level and one trim package. It is squarely aimed at the luxury minivan market. Full power accessories, an analog dual-zone climate control system with ambient temperature display, dual power sliding side doors, 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, an in-dash multi-CD changer, tinted glass, power adjustable driver’s seat, a leather wrapped steering wheel with wood accents and integrated audio controls, and cruise control are standard equipment. Available options would have included heated one and two-tone leather front seating, leather passenger seating, automatic dual zone climate control, a rear DVD entertainment system, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Factory installed mobility features including upgraded rear suspension and a more powerful charging system are also available on select models.
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2008 Chevrolet Uplander
Key selling points for the used Uplander include a powerful 240-hp 3.9-liter V6 engine mated with a front-wheel drive four-speed automatic transmission, split folding third row seating, DVD entertainment system, a GPS navigation system, folding convenience trays with cup holders between the front seats, rear park assist, and ample storage compartments. The Uplander is the updated version of the GM minivan, which has been in the making for well over a decade. Gleaning from the many shortcomings of previous models, Chevy has created a minivan to meet the masses. Sure, it has a snout like a little SUV, but it drives like a car with the storage capacity of a van and room for six adults comfortably and seven, possibly. Safety features vary with trim levels. Base trim includes antilock disc brakes and electronic stability and traction control, LS and LT trim adds side airbags for the front passengers and second-row side airbags, which protect the head and torso of the rear outboard occupants, offered as a separate option. Long and regular wheel base models are available used.