Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Tim asks: I’m in the market for a used minivan. I live in SD and most of the vans available up here seem to be Dodge and Chrysler. Having driven these in the past, I’m familiar with their notoriously bad transmissions in earlier models. These seem to fit better into my budget in the miles/price calculation. Should I stay clear of Dodge/Chrysler?
My reply: As a general rule with any used vehicle, it is condition (including miles, service history, evidence of care or its lack, etc,) that should be the first consideration. A brutally treated/horribly cared-for Toyota or Honda can be a very poor choice vs. a well-cared-for Dodge.
That said, I’d incline toward a Toyota Sienna as the best bet of the lot. Honda Odyssey second. Kia Sedonas seem to hold up well, too. If you find a Caravan or Town&Country that appears to be in good shape – and a close inspection substantiates this appearance – then it’s probably not a huge risk to buy one.
Due diligence and caveat emptor are rules to live by!
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Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
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