In October we paid cash for a new (to us) minivan. Here are some thoughts, about the minivan, six months later –
Value – I think that we got a great deal. By going with a used van, our total costs were about 60% less than they would have been, had we gone with a new van.
Ride – Our minivan is a Chrysler – and it has a quiet, comfortable ride. In fact, when you sit in the front seat and crank it up, it’s hard to tell if the engine is running, it’s that quiet. The front seats have plenty of legroom, but the back two sets of seats are a little cramped. We own the ‘base’ model – and it’s short for a minivan. But, our kids are small and there is more than enough room for them and their friends. In fact, due to the fact that it’s smaller than our old van, our daughter, who sits on the very back bench seat, can look over and check on the new baby.
Features – The van came equipped with satellite radio and the middle seats have built-in child restraints. Other than that, the van has pretty basic features. With three kids and ball practice, the cloth seats work just fine. We wish that the van had power-doors, but when trying to save money, there are times when we must with the fact that we can’t have everything that we want. I would love to have a factory-installed navigation system, but, for now, we just use our inexpensive, portable GPS. – So far, the van hasn’t given us any problems. The tires were new when the van arrived and windshield wipers are in good shape. The oil has been changed twice and it has a new air filter. From time to time, there is a ‘squeaking noise’ that comes from the inside of the the right-rear door. When we take the van in for it’s 60,000 mile tuneup, I’ll ask our mechanic to take a look at the door. Other than that, everything about the van is great.
I must say, we have really enjoyed our new (to us) minivan. I was hesitant about purchasing an automobile sight-unseen, but everything has worked out, really well. My wife loves the van and she even lets me drive it, from time to time.
Side note – For those of you who might be interested, baby number three hasn’t been born yet. My wife is resting in the other room, as I type this, so I’m trying to be very, very quiet. In fact, just to be on the safe side, I’d better go outside and vacuum out the van, just in case ‘today is the day’! New babies rock!