In fact, at highway speeds, the Grand Caravan is one of the noisiest used minivans around. The engine and transmission noise in the cabin can drive you insane if you ride long enough. When you throw in the wind and road noise that join the cacophony, you can see why this used minivan should never leave town.
The Routan was designed to offer a firmer suspension for a more fun driving experience. Another fail. When compared to Kia and Honda used minivans, the firmer suspension makes for a clumsier experience all around. These shortcomings put a lot of pressure on the powertrain to offer a glimmer of hope for this used minivan. Nope, nope, nope.
Another party trick of the 488 is its ability to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied petroleum (LPG) in addition to regular pump gasoline. That’s thanks to the stainless valves and hardened valve seats. A forged crank, rods, pistons, full-length cooling jackets, and cast-iron head and block ensure maximum durability and longevity even in high-stress situations. Just add your choice of intake manifold, carb, and all the regular bolt-ons we talked about earlier, and you’re good to go.
Beyond having Chrysler underpinnings that will be serviced by Volkswagen certified mechanics, you get a rebadge that is even worse than the original. The nicest thing that can be said about the Town & Country is that it offers Stow ‘n Go seating and great seating versatility. VW somehow managed to keep the system, but eliminate the versatility.
You get the same 3.6L engine found in the Dodge and Chrysler minivans on our list. The only difference is that it is now in a slightly heavier minivan. We couldn’t leave you with a cloud of gloom and doom over the entire world of used minivans. So, here is the best used minivan in our opinion…the Kia Sedona.
This Bronco came with a part-time four-wheel drive system and a V-8 under the hood. You could choose from a 5.8L 351M and the 6.6L 400. A C6 automatic transmission came standard or you could pick the optional 4-speed manual. This is the last generation of the Bronco to have a solid front axle, making it great for off-roading.
Stoppe’s shop could further customize a Baja with a large selection of optional parts. Roll cages, winches, and off-road lights were popular, as were suspension upgrades. The Baja cost almost $2,000 more than the standard Bronco, which was big cash back in the day; its high price limited sales. While not a huge seller (only 650 were produced) this is one of the coolest old Ford trucks on our list.
The single engine option in the latest models is a 3.6L V6 that offers 283 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The powerplant is mated to a six-speed automatic. The duo offers 25 mpg on the highway. That is solid fuel economy, if you can stand all of the cabin noise.
The Nite was sort of a half-assed attempt at a special edition. The upgraded features were an upgraded paint and decal job along with some forged aluminum wheels. A blackout trim on top of a black paint job made it stand out and a decal running down the side that transitioned from blue to magenta gave it a menacing look, but that is where the upgrades ended. The suspension was also tightened up but this was hardly a performance pickup.
Volkswagen took a Chrysler Town & Country platform and offered the world the Volkswagen Routan for the 2008 through 2013 model years. Few buyers were impressed. Even fewer used minivan buyers should be.
With so many used minivans on the North American market today, we decided to narrow our list to the used minivans that should have an average retail value between $6,000 and $15,000 according to KBB.com and nadaguides.com. Our assessment of the quality of these used minivans is based on information from Consumer Reports, owner reviews, and professional reviews.
We will never understand why this isn’t always a default option on all new vehicles capable of off-road driving. There are times when you will need slow and steady power coming from both wheels on each axle. A limited slip differential will keep some of the single side spin down but a full locker is much better in terms of 4×4 Jeep mods. Locking both wheels to spin in unison is an easier way to get out of sticky situations. When combined with the use of a properly anchored winch, there’s almost nowhere you can’t go.
The beauty of a crate engine is that it can go into any vehicle you want. The engine gave out in your truck? Maybe it’s time for an upgrade. Want to make a V8 Pinto? Go right ahead.