Ok guys, I need help making a decision!
I’m a mom of two, a toddler and a newborn. I made the rookie mistake of purchasing a 2011 Subaru Tribeca with third row seating thinking that I could skip the lackluster minivan life. As soon as baby two came home and we went for a family ride I realized I made a mistake-it’s too small to fit anyone else in it and the third row isn’t accessible with car seats installed in the middle row, but I can’t get the baby’s seat in in the third. It’s a beautiful car but doesn’t meet our family’s needs and gets lousy gas mileage for not having the space we need. I’m selling the Tribeca and searching for a minivan.
We are a Toyota Honda Subaru fam so our options are a bit limited in terms of minivans with lower mileage AND we really really try to not finance cars so we need it to be accessible. I like simplicity-not a lot of bells and whistles, and I need a minivan that will drive my kiddos and around town and the occasional summer trip to MI from IN.
I’ve been looking at 2009-2011ish Siennas and Odysseys with anywhere from 82-130k mi under 11,500. We’d put some $ down and finance the remainder hoping for less than $100/mo payments. BUT THEN I found a private sale single owner 2000 Sienna w 104k mi asking 3,400. I pulled the Carfax and it seems it was well maintained by the dealership it was purchased from, but is not showing records for long periods of time. I wonder if this means oil changes happened at home? One hopes?
So here’s my question: we’re going to have a used car inspection on the 2000. I’m tempted to go for it if it checks out, but fear I should just focus my attention on a newer 2009-2011 model and accept a small monthly payment?
What would Car Talk fans do? Go for a 2000 sienna if it checks out, or focus on a 2009-2011 and take on a little car payment. I’m uncertain!