this will be for my 2 big dogs & me—note I am finally having to say goodbye to my '79 GMC 3/4 ton, 350–this is very sad–but necessary—so I would appreciate any feedback from y’all who own/have owned/driven minivans–i have to stay under $6000.
Side air bags are relatively new. You might have to settle for an inexpensive minivan without them. Our 2003 Ods Silhouette has them. Maybe you could find a high mileage Silhouette with them. Earlier years may have them, too. You might also check the Montana and Venture between 200 and 2003. You could also check cars.com and edmunds.com to see what used vans have side air bags.
My 2000 Silo has side air bags too.
Be aware our vans and the Venture jt mentioned are not made any more. The MontanaV6 replaced the original Montana.
Although I like this van, I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone not only due to the non production issue but the fact these vans were notorious for having bad intake manifold gaskets. (1996 to 2003 and cost $600 to $800 to fix. Mostly labor)
All three had the same 3.4L engine. Everyone has their own opinions about these engines /gaskets/Dexcool coolant, but since I changed my gasket I haven’t had any more problems.
Toyota and Honda have minivans (called Crossovers today) with side air bags, but you’ll have to do some searching to find one under $6k that isn’t beat to death.
“Toyota and Honda have minivans (called Crossovers today) with side air bags, but you’ll have to do some searching to find one under $6k that isn’t beat to death.”
Cost is why I suggested the Silhouette. We bought it new because it is the most comfortable of the triplets.