$15,000 for a?

Hey folks, what would you buy (used) for $15,000 OTD. My needs are transporting three teenagers to school/sports, and wife to work (I work at home). Right now I’m looking at a Honda Odyssey, Lincoln Town car, Cadillac Deville, Dodge Caravan, or possibly as a dark horse a Dodge Sprinter.

Your thoughts on reliability, durability, mpg, etc… are greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

The one really you like the best. Minivans are great however you have teens who may soon drive anyway and leave soon anyway. Personally if you have an desire for a Lincoln Town car or Caddy go for it. The mileage of those listed will be close.

One note the Dodge Sprinter is not comfortable to drive, its a commercial delivery/passenger vehicle.

Do you need to carry all five plus sports equipment at the same time? Also, the amount of sports equipment is important. A runner doesn’t have nearly the amount of stuff that a football player has. You might do well with a smaller car or wagon. Gas is already over $4/gallon in rural California. You might do well to consider a small or midsize car.

We have a extended '02 Town & Country van with the 3.8 liter engine and we really like it a lot. It is the Limited version and it is very comfortable to drive and ride in. I think it is one of the best designed vans on the market. If you can find a good used one try make sure the tranny has been cared for using only the Chrysler fluid. I think you would be happy with one of these to move the family in. Lots good features come with the Limited version. I would think you should be able to get one of these that is around the same year as ours for the money you want to spend. Back when it was new this was listed for around 40k dollars.

What about a well-optioned Chevy Impala? You can get it for cheaper than a similar year Town Car or Caddy, and it’s just as reliable (if not more so) that those two as well.

aka rental car, bleech…

We bought 2 used Chevy Nova’s (aka Prisms now Pontiac Vibes) for our teen age kids for 15 K and let them “fight” over them.

2002 or 2003 Nissan Maxima in excellent condition.


Maybe so, but the Impala can seat six, has a huge trunk, decent rear seat space and is cheaper than a similar age luxury sedan.

Thanks for the suggestions. We took a look at an '04 Town car, and an '03 Odyssey today. Nobody seemed thrilled with the Honda at all, but liked the rear seat room of the Lincoln. On occasion we will be hauling six passengers to various football camps this spring/summer, so the smaller cars listed below won’t fit the bill.
Still want to check out a Deville before deciding on the Town Car though…

Any thoughts on Deville vs. Town Car???

Town Car is listed as a recommended(reliable) used car in Consumer Reports. The Caddy while not on this list is also not listed as a used car to avoid.

I would try each and see. Maybe CADDYMAN has some insight.

$15k is a great price to spend on a car especially a cushy one you like and catches your fancy. Buying the cheaper one that does not suit your fancy can be the most expensive as buying/selling is usually a money losing proposition.

J. D. Power rates them about the same between 2001 and 2004. They both rate among the best or better than most in most categories.

You’re in the wrong category of vehicle if you are looking for good. Mercury Grand Marquis is the best for those kind of bucks. The Lincoln Town Car is a more complicated Grand Marquis. Nobody knows how to do an oil change on an Odyssey. Some do; but can you find them?

The Grand Marquis vs, TC statement is correct, but if these football players have long legs the extra 4 inches in the back of the TC might be welcome. All of the TCs will have rear air suspension that self-levels. Only some of the Grand Marquis or Crown Victorias will have that. Any of them will haul a substantial trailer if you need more room for equipment.