Minivans for sale
Finally, you’re settling down, and have a family of your own. You begin to bear the responsibility of supporting your children. Now you need a vehicle that can move the little ones around Kitchener-Waterloo, and maybe their friends sometimes, without forsaking practicality. The answer? MPVs, or minivans. A decade or two ago, these were dreary, but now, for under $20,000, you can easily find an exemplary used minivan that won’t constantly leave you yearning for sedans or coupes.
Dodge Grand Caravan
As the name aptly indicates, the Dodge Grand Caravan is Dodge’s (or Chrysler’s) interpretation of a luxurious used minivan. Basic 2014 SE Grand Caravans can be found for $15,000 while stretching it to $20,000 can net you a 2016 SXT Grand Caravan. Both will be 5th-generation models with little differences barring equipment.
Still sporting Dodge’s iconic ‘crosshair’ grille, the Grand Caravan dons a tastefully understated, if uninspiring aesthetics. You’ll find a similar story inside though, where sensibility and accessibility triumphs above all else. You can expect a two-tone cream and black interior with a dash of chrome and wood trim inside. Material choice, in general, is solid, with comfortable cloth seats appropriate for long journeys. Leather seats are also available for the top range R/T.
Space is, of course, abundant front and rear. The third-row seats are suited more towards children, and they can be folded flat with a few straps and lever pulls. The best feature you’ll find here are the ‘Stow’n Go’ second-row captain chairs which will quite literally fold in one lever pull and can be stored underneath the passenger footwell for a flat cargo area. It’s standard for all Grand Caravan models except for the base value trim, where it’s optional.
The powertrain offered here is very simple, you only get one option. The 3.6-litre naturally-aspirated V6 producing 283 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque with a 6-speed automatic delivering power to the front wheels. It pushes the Grand Caravan along at a satisfying pace, and its secure handling with manageable ride quality means that its overall a positive experience.
While the SE trim will offer you the bulk of the 7-seater minivan experience, but you’ll want the SXT at least. The SXT will net you alloy wheels, roof rails, complete power windows, larger floor console, power tailgate and sliding door, with optional rear-seat DVD entertainment and a rearview camera. You’ll want to find one with the 6.5″ UConnect infotainment touchscreen too, which is well-received in its operation.
A less commonplace option would be the now-defunct Mazda5. It may be for you if you want something a bit smaller and less conspicuous than the Dodge Grand Caravan. You can find 2012 Touring Mazda5 for around $12,000, while $20,000 can find you a 2017 Grand Touring Mazda5. Both will be last-generation models.
While the Mazda5 is smaller minivan than its contemporary rivals, it employs a quite space efficient packing solution, thus you can still expect quite a lot of room here. The interior is smart and sleek with intuitive controls on the dashboard. The seats are again, wrapped in cloth, but comfortable. Leather upholstery is standard on GT models.
There is still quite a lot of passenger room here, but the Mazda5 is a 6-seater at heart. Cargo room is very respectable, the second-row captain chairs are very capacious, while the third-row seats are easy to access with a lever pull ample room for kids. You can fold all the rear seats, but it doesn’t quite go completely flat for the second row, and the folding solution isn’t as simple as the Grand Caravan’s.
Underneath that bonnet is a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated inline-4 that puts out 157 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque that sends power through either the optional 5-speed automatic or the standard 6-speed manual.
Driving the Mazda5 though is where you’ll really appreciate its smaller dimensions. It’s plenty agile, swiftly manoeuvring through tight urban streets. It’s an entertaining drive but still reserves comfort for the passengers onboard. The automatic transmission delivers crisp and timely shifts. The inline-4 has valour, offering punchy acceleration for a van, but it’s not rapid.
Over the years, the trim offered on the Mazda5 has changed. The basic GS trim has a very respectable kit, but the top of the line GT trim will give you all the luxury you need: Power moonroof, 17″ alloys, leather upholstery, xenon headlights, and more.
These two are equally compelling used minivans options that will appeal to different people. The Chrysler Town & Country is an honorable mention as an alternative to the Dodge Grand Caravan, since they’re close siblings. If you really want to know though, If you are around Cambridge Ontario you can always come down to Garston Motors to take a closer look.