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The family-mobile for $8000 or less?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Dh just got the call from the mechanic. Our 97 Camry needs a new power steering post to the tune of $800. The front suspension is totally shot. And our mechanic is worth a pot o' gold because he says we can keep driving it so long as we top it off regularly with power steering fluid.

But this is truly our official notice: we need to save and buy another car. We've bought all our cars used and with cash. I don't expect us to change. We would love to get another Camry. But we're now a family of 4 + 60lb : and you never know what the future may hold in terms of our size

So help me dream a little. These are our top two priorities:
  1. Vehicle must fit: two maybe three car seats/boosters, dog and luggage/camping equipment for family travel
  2. Vehicle must be the tops in its class for fuel economy (ideally, I would like it to be >22/mpg)
post #2 of 16
I would go with a Toyota or Honda Mini-Van. Your family can grow and still have room.
post #3 of 16
I have a honda crv and am thinking of going to the honda mini van. Both are great deals. Reliable, roomy, great fuel economy. I average 28 mpg (80% hwy driving).
post #4 of 16
Kia is far more affordable and has better safety than the Honda and Toyota Minivans. It's very close in gas mileage as well. http://minivans.about.com/od/fueleco.../top5_fuel.htm
Our first minivan was a Honda. Our second a Kia. I'll stick with Kia...far less expensive.
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbgrace View Post
Kia is far more affordable and has better safety than the Honda and Toyota Minivans. It's very close in gas mileage as well. http://minivans.about.com/od/fueleco.../top5_fuel.htm
Our first minivan was a Honda. Our second a Kia. I'll stick with Kia...far less expensive.
I was going to 2nd the Kia Sedona. We are saving to buy that after our home purchase.

There are some newer Sedonas on craigslist in our area for under 5k.
post #6 of 16
My dodge grand caravan gets 21-23 MPG, I got a 2001 for $5000.
post #7 of 16
I got a 2002 Forester for $7500. Love it we are a family of 4 with a 100 lb pooch.
post #8 of 16
Look at used Toyota Siennas.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by claddaghmom View Post
I was going to 2nd the Kia Sedona. We are saving to buy that after our home purchase.

There are some newer Sedonas on craigslist in our area for under 5k.
Wow...why do you think they have held so little value though? No snark intended, that's a great price for a minivan...maybe too good...I am just skeptical by nature.
post #10 of 16
Volvo 850 wagon

Got ours for under $8000 with 90,000 miles and every option about 2 years ago (it was very expensive but worth it). We get 25-29 mpg and it's excellent in bad weather. Plus Volvo doesn't use all the nasty chemicals in their upholstery. I'm not sure about fitting 3 huge carseats across the back, but three Radians would fit.
post #11 of 16
1.5 years ago we got a 2002 ford windstar for $8000. I don't it but it works for our family. My DH did the research and does most of our repairs and said that there is no way he would buy a Kia. Pure anecdotal: a friend bought a Kia Sedona about 5 years ago brand new. She had problems from the begining with the heat and then the a/c. She also had a ton of problems with the dealership. When she tried to sell it after a few years due to the ongoing problems, she couldn't because she owed thousands more than it was worth.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
a friend bought a Kia Sedona about 5 years ago brand new. She had problems from the begining with the heat and then the a/c. She also had a ton of problems with the dealership. When she tried to sell it after a few years due to the ongoing problems, she couldn't because she owed thousands more than it was worth.
Kias were recently redesigned (2006, I think) and have really come along way. Of course you would have a hard time finding the newer model for less than $8000, I think.

Quote:
Kia is far more affordable and has better safety than the Honda and Toyota Minivans.
I think that's only after the redesign. I'm pretty sure the older model Kias are not 5 stars all the way across like they are now.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Following all your replies its beginning to look like we need to start saving and thinking about a minivan. Dh is anti-minivan. To him, it's the last vestige of his pre-children manhood to be lost if we buy one

We already have a Volvo 850, but the sedan. Dh might be more amenable to that. We've also considered a Forrester. Both of those though would mean leaving our Toyota-Honda mechanic.

When we were young, rich and pre-kids we looked at the Odyssey and thought all the power doors and stuff were very cool. It was awhile ago so maybe that very same van we saw years ago is in our future? Oh, and per the dh, I will be driving any soccer-mom-like mini van. I don't care if I have to drive it as I know the vehicle does not define anything about my character, gender or sexuality:
post #14 of 16
We have a Ford Escape. we dont have car seats but we have three long legged boys 14, 11 and 8. there is tons of room in the back to haul stuff and luggage racks on top. you could get an 06 or so for 8000 or less without leather or sunroof.
post #15 of 16
Try looking on your local craigslist.com for a used car. We have bought a few from there. you can buy from a dealer or individuals and you can always find one in your price range or better. Just an idea.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by aircantu1 View Post
Kias were recently redesigned (2006, I think) and have really come along way. Of course you would have a hard time finding the newer model for less than $8000, I think.


I think that's only after the redesign. I'm pretty sure the older model Kias are not 5 stars all the way across like they are now.
Yes, you'd need a 2006 or later. We bought a very low mileage 2006 for 12K this past November. Soon after everything fell apart economically and I think the new ones were suddenly pretty close to that number (maybe 16, I can't remember exactly). So I think she could possibly get a 2006 in her price range or close to it.

Our Odyssey has had two transmissions. Kia has a good reputation for repairs based on the reading I've done. Then so did Odyssey. I won't pay that much for a van again. I think a lot tend to have transimission issues in time. To get an $8,000 Sienna or Odyssey she'd have to get a pretty old model year vehicle and with vans I just wouldn't do that.

As far as holding value I was told it's because of perceived quality issues (not based in current fact) for Kia and related brands. I don't know. As I am implying I don't really care. I don't buy vehicles to resell them in great condition anyway. By the time we let go the vehicle has served much of it's useful life.

I wanted a safe van with good gas mileage and reputation for lack of repair issues and I didn't have 20k or more to spend...Kia fit the bill perfectly. It's worth checking into at least I think. She's not going to get a lowish mile/later model year Sienna or Odyssey for her price point.
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