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Old 03-20-2021, 10:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Most economical minivan?

Bigger family = more seats would be nice in family car. And my family is getting, well, bigger.

I've always loved the design and look of the Previa. But we are talking about an older vehicle that might just need a bit of TLC, or a new engine, transmission, brake system, electrical system and so on and so forth. Still, a super charged Previa would be awesome. A manual transmission with a swapped in S/C engine would be even better.

Another minivan that has interested me, but is probably a step backwards in terms of comfortable space, is the MAZDA5 mini-minivan. 6 speed manual, need I say more? If only it came with the 7 seat option in the USA. But my poor teenagers will probably hate me if I get one.

Looking at newer (circa 2015) minivans it looks like Edmunds True Cost to Own calculator places most minivans around the same TCO, whether we're talking about the Honda Odyssey, the Dodge Grand Caravan or the Ford Transit Connect. Only the Toyota Sienna had a significantly higher TCO, according to Edmunds. Of course that's within a 5 year period. If the Toyota lasts longer, it could be the cheaper option in the long run.

Well it's either a minivan or getting the wife or one of the boys to learn to drive the second car...

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Old 03-21-2021, 12:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you have to 'get' a teenage boy to drive, we are truly living in modern times.
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Old 03-21-2021, 11:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Well the best is the new 2021 Toyota which is hybrid only. That won't be less expensive to own because of it's high price compared to buying a 10 year old Chrysler. Those vans were the same from about 2011 on with the new 3.6 motor. You should be able to find a very nice one well under $10,000.
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Old 03-21-2021, 03:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I keep being tempted to get a super charged Previa. I've heard the S/C Previas actually get better fuel mileage then the N/A Previas. There's a nice one for sale for a couple grand in Albuquerque. I wonder if I could talk him down to $1,500. But first I need to sell one of the cars I have now. I don't see the point in having three.
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Old 03-21-2021, 07:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hadn't it been for the extremely space-constrained engine bay, I must confess I would want to pick a Previa as a base for a project.
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Old 03-21-2021, 09:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The streets of Eugene/Springfield used to be full of Previii, a local taxi company liked them. You don't see them so much any more.

One would make a nice donor for a Tesla-based EV conversion.
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Old 03-22-2021, 12:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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How about the Pacifica Plug-in? I think it's the only PHEV minivan.
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Old 03-22-2021, 01:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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How about the Pacifica Plug-in? I think it's the only PHEV minivan.
That would be nice. But I do believe they're a bit on the expensive side. It would take many years to recoup the initial expense. And there's the unforseen cost of a possible battery replacement or two.

I think Nissan sure got me fired up about battery replacements. With something like an old Prius, I know what it costs and will likely keep costing for years to come. But when Nissan Leaf batteries started costing nearly $9,000, I've since become a bit skeptical about the technology, although we did really enjoy our Leaf when we had it.
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Old 03-22-2021, 09:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I recall back when I converted the ranger that remanufactured chevy volt packs were available in auto parts stores for $10K, new were priced at $20k from chevy. Got mine salvage for much less.

Build it and they will come.
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Old 03-22-2021, 10:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Oddly the Dodge Caravan is about as reliable as a Toyota van and likely is the path of least resistance

Most vans suffer rust issues before the engine dies.
Ford is so bad the rear axles snap.

Sadly Toyota’s 3 row Prius V does not exist on this continent, maybe you could import seats like the think guys?



:0 50mpg seats 6

If your into mods the Miles Zx40 4 passenger van has the same motor spline as a Nissan Leaf and Honda Insight

Could build yourself a small efficient rig

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