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What Should Be Most Important

My husband and I are in the market for a new (to us) vehicle. We need something that seats at least 6 though 7 would be better. I found a Dodge Caravan that I really like that seats 7. It has 22K miles and is a 2005. The carfax report looks pretty clean. My husband hates it because none of the rear windows roll down (they are just fixed windows that weren’t meant to roll down) and the only heat/ac vents in the car are on the dashboard. We can probably get it for around $10K from a dealership.

He points out cars that fits his ‘must haves’ list (rear air/heat controls and windows that roll down for back seat passengers) which do look like nice cars and do have clean carfax reports but they have roughly 75K miles.

I really don’t know what to do. Should I push the low mileage issue or let him win on the rear heat/air and windows that roll down issue? And we would like to keep the price under $10K if at all possible.

There’s something odd about a 7 year old car with only 22k miles. And I’d certainly bend on the miles to meet my spouses ‘must haves’.

IMHO you should keep looking, as a couple, for something that will meet both of your requirements. Buying a car is a joint decision, and if you ignore his wants or push him on this decision the vehicle may just be a constant source of irritation and conflict.

What’s more important to you; a happy marraige or this 2005 minivan? If it’s truely this minivan, than you have much bigger problems than we can help you with.

I am 100% certain that we will buy the car that he likes because he’s the main one in charge of those types of decisions. I just don’t know enough about cars or money :slight_smile: to really have too strong of an influence on the final decision.

I’m just trying to understand why the car with 22K miles is a bad decision as he insists and why a car with 75K miles is better. Both are on dealership lots with similar price tags.

3000 miles per year is VERY low, make me worry about whether the van was parked for some years, or was driven very little, which requires more frequent oil changes. Do you have the maintenance records? And what do you mean that the carfax was ‘pretty clean’?

We didn’t see anything but oil changes and routine maintenance on the carfax report.

I urge you not to put too much faith in Carfax. They give the impression that they have access to the histories of cars and in truth they do not. They only have access to information that has been reported to them, and that is spotty at best. Often it’s downright incorrect.

Whatever you chosse, have it gone over thoroughly by a trusted mechanic.

This may be helpful (or not) but the 2005 Dodge Caravan doesn’t have all that good of a reliability record. You haven’t mentioned the other vehicle so I would suggest that you go to the library and look at Consumer Reports annual car issue (April I think) to compare. Also, for most cars, 75k miles isn’t all that much, but I would be suspect of a vehicle with too low miles. That causes issues too.

One more thing, while I do agree that you should consider your husbands “must haves”, he should also consider yours. Maybe he has trouble explaining his point of view, but I think the Cr car issue will be helpful. Your concerns are valid and should be addressed, but absent of further info, your husband does have valid points too.

Also, you could keep looking until you find a vehicle that both of you agree on. It will be hard to find another vehicle that is 7 years old with only 22k miles, but maybe you might find one closer to 50k miles and meets all his requirements, and has a good reliability record. Look for private sales, you usually get more for your money that way.

There are other options, I know our 03 windstar is going pretty cheap, but we will probably keep ours for a few more years. Stow and go seating in the newer dodge and maybe plymouth vehicles is a great thing!

I’d atleast hold out for a van with air vents/controls in the back. I don’t think there ever was a van with roll down windows in the back. Some might pop out a bit, but I think that’s about it.

All Caravans have vent window in the back. Starting in 2008 they are available with power windows (roll down) in the sliding doors.

I would take the 22k miles vehicle over the 75k miles vehicles with one caveat. That would be if I could verify the story about why that thing only has 22k miles on it.

Maybe it had 21,950 miles on it when a train whacked it and sent it to a back lot where it languished for years before being rebuilt.

A long time and now defunct salvage yard near me used to have half a dozen late model, low miles rebuilders sitting out front all of the time. They sold like hotcakes and somebody is ending up with them.
Whether the owners of the finished vehicles ever knew the source of their cars is unknown to me.

I agree with Texas.
3K/year means it barely blew the spiders out of the exhaust.

I drive almost everyday but still manage to only put about 3k on my car per year.

I have almost 7,800 on the odo right now after 2 years and 2 months

@bscar2 spiders must love you. :slight_smile:
I’d be worried about buying a car with low miles that hasn’t been maintained properly. For instance, I know people that somehow think that it only needs oil chances every other year-ish since they only do 100 miles a month. They also don’t do coolant changes, etc, for that reason.

If you do not get a van with rear A/C…YOU WILL BE SORRY.

Pass on this van and get one with rear A/C

I have been reading on the consumer reports website and am sad to find out that every single minivan that we have been looking at is on their ‘worst of the worst’ list. Aye aye aye!

I sure wish* we were dumb enough to let the car salesman talk us into financing the brand spanking new Honda Odyssey.

Why can’t the right car just magically appear in my garage? Where is my Fairy Godmother when I need her? Waahhhh my magic wand is missing.

*Actually, I’m glad that we are too smart for that. It just felt good to type it out and read it.

IMO your husband’s requirement for passenger roll down windows is simply code for “I don’t want a minivan.” You will have to work that out among yourselves.

I own a ’06 Caravan, bought as a left over for cash. The rear wing windows are powered, the passenger air vents are under the front seats and have their own control. I don’t carry passengers often but have never had any complaints. It has had some problems. The front disks tend to warp and pad wear is abysmal, but aftermarket rotors and ceramic pads seem to have cured that problem. The EGR valve failed and the front motor mount had to be replaced. Now pushing 80K the rack and pinion will soon need to be replaced and the A/C evaporator has a slow leak. I’ve opted to charge the system once a year for about $60 rather than pay $1100 to have it replaced. All are common problems for this era Caravan. Sounds pretty terrible doesn’t it
.
This comes to my issue with relying too much on CR for making car decisions. IMO over the years the gap between “better” and “worse” has become pretty narrow. The system CR uses amplifies the difference between the “best” and “pretty bad”. It is a kind of stack ranking where there are winners and losers even if the loser is acceptable. My Caravan looks pretty bad compared to a Honda. Still it has never left me stranded, done everything I asked, gets reasonable mileage for what it is and its paid for. At the time I bought it the Honda Odyssey was about $8000 more. Despite a few problems I haven’t come close to spending the price difference on repairs. CR is a good resource but that’s all it is. It shouldn’t be used blindly.

The first couple of years I owned my Caravan I drove less than 3K a year. I lived in the city where I worked. I walked to work most days and entertainment was also with in walking distance. Sometimes I could go a couple of weeks without driving. A local bus got me to and from the airport and the bus/train station was across the street. Ironically I used it mostly for grocery shopping.