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Looking for a new-to-me people mover

Father of 6 here, need an 8-seater vehicle to replace our aging 2002 Suburban. To get it to pass inspection next month, I would need to Bondo (again), replace 2 O2 sensors, get 4 new tires, and possibly replace the ABS module.
So we’re thinking it’s time.
Here are some of the vehicles we’re considering:

  • Another Suburban
  • GMC Yukon (XL preferred)
  • Honda Pilot
  • Toyota Sequoia
  • Chevy Traverse?
  • Toyota Sienna?
  • Others?


  • Less than ~$12,000
  • Less than 150K miles
  • Strongly prefer 4WD/AWD.
  • Roof rack, towing package


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Since space is your principal requirement, a minivan with 3 rows of seats would be your best choice. A low mileage Dodge Grand Caravan, a Toyota Sienna, Honda Odessey and a Hyundai would be among your choices. For $12000 avoid anything with All Wheel Drive since you will soon be in for major repairs.

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Well you could do a LOT of repairs to your current Suburban for $12K. That assumes it still runs well and your brake lines have been replaced - they rust out and need complete replacement. The ABS modules are not a real weak spot but they only cost $300 to buy and if you are having the brake hard lines done, that’s the time to replace the ABS…

Those Subbys can go 300K miles without a huge amount of cost. Maybe a transmission rebuild and maybe a transfer case repair. That said, another Subby sure seems to fit the bill, right? A nice one with less than 100,000 miles should come in below 12K. Bought from a private seller, hold back some cash for new tires (wait, didn’t your Subby need 4 tires??) and maybe a bit for minor repairs like O2 sensors (seems familiar…)

Maybe repair the one you know rather than buy a new one about which you know nothing?

Unfortunately most minivans sold here are 7 passenger. Similar models in Europe are usually 9 passenger.

Not much towing cap. and 4 wheel drive is rare.

I think you are looking at another suburban or a small school bus.

You might check out a gmc savanna van, awd as 2wd is not much good in the snow.

I have a nephew with 8 kids and they found an airport shuttle minibus on a Ford F250? Chassis to be very roomy transportation. Lots of room for baggage too!

Agree that the Suburban is far from finished in this world; those machines lead very long lives, even in commercial business use.

We have a minivan and there is a lot of room for cargo and people. SUVs aren’t nearly as efficient. A lot of minivans have captains chairs in the middle, though, and you need a bench seat there. You will also get better gas mileage with a minivan.

If an old style van like the Savannah mentioned by @Barkydog works for you, they are available with seating for up to 15. Remove the back bench, and you have tons of cargo room and seating for 12. That allows the family to spread out. Gas mileage should be comparable to your Suburban.

I’ll sell you my 2004 Sienna LE FWD with towing package (and 223,000 miles) for two grand, cash. :slight_smile:

Hey, no ads, @bloodyknuckles. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

8 Passengers rather than 7 is the tricky part. I think you will end up with a used GM SUV, but the current generation Toyota Highlander is available with 8 passenger seating. 2 up front, 3 in the middle and 3 in the back. It outsells every minivan and every 7 or 8 passenger crossover in America. It outsells the combined total of all 8-passenger GM and Ford SUVs. They must be doing something right. Worth a look.

@jtsanders - I know. I was joking about selling it. But I never turn down an opportunity to make some money!!!

I hope you took it as good natured ribbing. That is what the emoji was supposed to mean.

@cdaquila @lackeyjr It seems Pamela is back posting spam again.