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Need a new vehicle - your suggestions?

My 11 year old Plymouth Grand Voyager finally came to its final rest. I need a new vehicle. I know nothing is perfect but I’m trying… I would really appreciate hearing your suggestions on vehicles that worked well for you.

We have owned Mazdas, VWs (not again), Dodge, and Toyota.

We currently have a used Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

I’m looking for new or used, although probably used due to budget $10,000 - $22,000.

Vehicle is used mainly for driving around city/suburbs, carpooling, also used for mountain (onroad) driving, and one or two long trips per year

We live in a state that sees all the seasons

Need to fit at LEAST 5 comfortably, preferably 7

Inexpensive to repair (relatively)

Good gas mileage

Prefer car platform but am open to try something else, don’t want a large gas guzzler

I’ve looked up used Honda Odysseys but have seen a lot of complaints about expensive cracked motor mounts and transmissions, not sure how prevalent that really is

Views on leasing to save money? We were hoping (in denial) to get another 2 years out of our van

If you have some suggestions (aside from “get real!”) I’d love to hear them, thanks

It seems a van is still your best platform. do you drive little enough that you could lease?

How about a mildly used Kia Sedona? OR even a new one, based on the upper limit of your budget (which is a big range). You get the new car 5/60 bumper to bumper and 10/100 warranty (what’s cheaper than free?) and maintenance items are also cheaper. It has traction control, and if you add good winter tires in winter, would be fine in the snow.

Leasing won’t save you money, just pushes the money requirement later.

How many people/how much luggage on your long trips? If you had extra room in your Grand Voyager then maybe a Mazda 5 or Kia Rondo, otherwise you’d be better off with an Odyssey or Sienna. Get a Consumer Reports buyers guide for more info on your options.

Leasing is NEVER a good idea. The ONLY thing leasing does is get you into a bigger vehicle sooner…But financially it is probably one of the WORSE decisions you can make…It’s GREAT for the dealer…but lousy for the consumer.

Sounds like a Mini-Van is your best option. I don’t know of any vehicle that can seat 7 comfortably that’s NOT a van. Yes I can seat 7 in my 4runner…but the operative word there is COMFORTABLE.

Leasing is more expensive over the long term.

In addition to the problems you have read about, high end minivans, like the Odyssey and the Sienna are expensive to maintain, mainly because parts are hard to get at. However, since you want to seat so many people, I think you should look at the Toyota Sienna.

Ok, you guys have talked me out of the leasing option. We’ve never done it and since we didn’t expect to have this additional car payment we thought it might be an option. So skip the leasing!

Consumer Reports said the best used year for the Odyssey was 2006 but I saw a lot of complaints on this forum about the mounts and transmissions from that year, but again don’t know percentage wise how that rates.

The Sienna is a bit smaller I think, but I’ll check it out. Toyota’s woes in the past year+ have made me a little more skeptical, but maybe I shouldn’t be?

I thought I was done with a mini van and was hoping for some miracle options out there, but in reality maybe they just don’t exist.

Unless the polling sample is valid, I would trust the repair polls generated by CR over complaints from a forum. Odysseys and Sienna are the two best games in town for a minivan and I would choose either based upon personal preference. Good gas mileage is relative, and minivans are fine when you’re carrying people. If not, they are poor people/mile vehicles. I would be very tempted to pick up a used Caravan that I used seldom and a used Corolla for bugging around town. Buy, buy, buy !
Why aren’t you now using the Highlander that way with a compact on the side ?

The Kia Rondo is a nice little van. It will seat 7, but you lose your cargo area. My BIL has one and they like it a lot. It has also been reliable for them. They can seat 7 adults but it’s tight. You could get a 2009 LX for about $13,000 and an EX for under $15,000. Test drive one and see if it is large enough for you.

Looking at CR the Sienna is good overall, for years, and it’s pretty close to the same size as the Odyssey. The Toyota ‘problems’ are overblown and don’t apply company-wide, regardless.