Wednesday, June 14, 2006

To Van or NOT to Van

We are no more than 4 months away from having to purchase our next vehicle because our 2003 Jeep Liberty lease will be up in November. We are visiting uncharted territory because we have owned our 2000 Neon for 5 1/2 years and the Liberty for 3 1/2. Rare especially since we had 10 cars the first 6 years of our marriage.

We think we would like a 7 passenger vehicle for those times that grandma and grandpa come to town, but that limits our choices on affordability. The obvious vehicle that would meet our needs is a mini-van. You can find a 6 cylinder Dodge mini-van for about $16,000 pretty well equipped. About a $7,000 savings. Kelly Blue Book rates the Honda Odessy as the best value taking into consideration overall costs in 5 years, but it would take about $10,000 more to buy that vehicle.

We could also forget about the 7 passenger thing since it really comes into play 2-3 times a year and buy something more economical. We are drawn to the new Dodge Caliber which is replacing the Neon. It would sell for about $15,000 for a basic one. Then I think only $1,000 more for a van with lots more equipment and practicality.

We are not in a hurry because both our vehicles are running just fine and we have 3,500 miles still to put on the Jeep. We could also buy a Jeep Wrangler and have a "fun" vehicle to drive around. Remember, I do have Jeep in my blood. I sold them and have owned 4 different Jeeps.

Help, the clock is ticking.

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