10 Best Vans Under You Can Buy for $5000!
In 1990, a brand new Yugo sold for less than $5,000. But that feels like a lifetime ago. That amount will neither get a new car nor a new van today.
In fact, you are not likely to get anything after 2005 with five grand in 2021. However, all hope is not lost as we have a list of ten vans you can get without breaking the bank.
First of all, the starting price of top vans is around $29,000. So, if you can get a van for $5000, you save a whopping $24,000. Needless to say that the vans on this list are not exactly first choice, but they are highly functional.
Admittedly, there are a few concerns about purchasing old, out-of-warranty vehicles. For one, they won’t come with the contemporary infotainment gadgets, driver-assistance measures, and other features that come with most modern-day autos.
The government’s safety ratings may also not measure up to the new ones. But these challenges are surmountable and that’s what this article is for.
We’ve done the painstaking research to bring the top 10 reliable, solid, and value-packed vans that you can buy and finance for $5,000 or less. (If you care to know, we full details van rental reviews here)
How Did We Get The Top 10?
To arrive at this comprehensive list, we employed a mix of data from reliability ratings, average transaction prices, feedback from owners, users and drivers, and the automobile expertise of the writer.
We only reviewed vans manufactured after 1996, but with a cost price of under $5,000. To get these top 10 vans, we prioritized low ownership costs and decent reliability scores.
One more thing before we proceed with the list.
Once you’ve settled on your choice of a van, we advise that you take a certified mechanic with you to inspect it before you pay. This can be the difference between getting a useful, profitable car and a bad investment.
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1. 2007-2012 Honda Fit
While the Honda Fit may appear to be small (it’s a minivan), the value it brings more than makes up for it. Though sporting a compact footprint, its interior has decent cargo space. It has an impeccable reliability record and averages an impressive 31 mpg.
Drivers and owners attest to how noisy it can get if you apply your foot on the gas on the highway, it’s still a fun car to own and drive. It is highly responsive to handling and features a solid engine.
The 2007 and 2008 models, which are first-generation, naturally come cheaper than the other models that came after them.
- The Honda Fit is a reliable van.
- It’s cheap to purchase, own and run, which makes it a great choice for small and medium-scale businesses.
- It’s easy to handle and fun to drive.
- At an average of 31 mpg, it’s fuel-efficient.
- For its size, it has good cargo space.
- It’s compact and small. While this can be an advantage for small enterprises, it’s mostly a challenge for medium-scale businesses.
- Its small tires, which are a technical extension of its smallness, are prone to quick wear and tear.
- It can quickly become a noisy van, especially on the highway.
- Unlike the modern-day and, naturally, more expensive counterpart van, it lacks interior amenities.
2. 2006 Scion xA Base
The 2006 Scion xA Base is the more ordinary offer of the original Scion lineup of Toyota. It has several mechanical pieces similar to its boxy xB counterparts but differs in its more efficient aerodynamics, which results in a quieter operation.
With 105,590 in total mileage, the 2006 xA Base features a 1.5L four-cylinder engine, which runs on gasoline and has an average fuel efficiency of 30 mpg. It’s a four-wheel drive and runs an automatic transmission.
Though the cargo space is a tad too small and its interior will not exactly be everyone’s favorite cup of tea, it has very high reliability scores and has glowing reviews from owners and drivers.
Its features include a Keyless entry, power doors, AM/FM, air conditioning, anti-lock brakes, power locks, power steering, power windows, CD (single disc), front airbags (driver and passenger), and front side airbags.
- The xA Base has excellent reliability ratings.
- It isn’t just a cheap van to buy and own for your business, it’s also cheap to maintain.
- For that incredibly affordable price, it has good equipment customization levels.
- It’s a perfect choice for businesses that are just starting as well as some medium-scale ones.
- Most owners consider the dashboard layout to be weird.
- Its small interior leaves very little room for cargo space.
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3. 2011 Mazda2
The 2011 Mazda2 is another compact van that is minimalist in design but offers a great driving experience nonetheless. It’s the efficient answer to the cross-limitations of Nissan Versa and Honda Fit.
The minivan has some of the highest scores with regards to owner satisfaction and reliability. Perhaps, its only downside is limited cargo space. This, however, is not a problem for most small businesses that may not need so much.
The power of the 2011 Mazda2 comes from a 100-horsepower 1.5L 4-cylinder engine.
While it may not seem like a lot, it can make for a fine driving experience and still rack up an average fuel efficiency number of up to 31 mpg (27 within the city and 35 on the highway).
This 4-speed automatic transmission van is a four-wheel drive that can seat up to 4 passengers and runs on gas. The Mazda2 operates a basic warranty of 3years or 36,000 miles.
- If a minivan can ever be called cute, it’s the 2011 Mazda2. It’s fun to own and drive.
- It has a low cost of ownership, operation, and maintenance. This is good news for small and medium-sized businesses trying to cut costs.
- It racks one of the most comfortable van interiors.
- It has limited cargo space. This can quickly become a problem as your business grows.
- Mostly due to its age, it lacks most of the modern-day tech features.
4. 2005 Chrysler Town & Country
The 2005 Chrysler Town & Country is remarkable for a lot of things. The first of which is to provide the automaker’s first innovative “Stow ‘n Go” second – and third-row seats.
To put it simply, the 2005 Town and Country has seats that you can fold the back row seamlessly into dedicated in-floor storage bins, to create more cargo room. When the seats are not tucked away, the van has about 12 cubic foot of hidden cargo space available.
The Pacifica and Voyager are the only other minivans from Chrysler to possess this feature. This feature gives the van an effective advantage over other minivans and a lot of value for 5 grand.
The minivan also features a tip-forward second-row seat, which allows the said row to be tucked easily and automatically stepping out of the way to offer better access to the last row. This last row can be flipped over to serve as tailgate seats for the minivan.
Chrysler’s 2005 Town and Country features driver-assistance and occupant-protection highlights, such as a driver’s-side knee airbag, an obstacle-detection system.
The four-wheel drive, 20-gallon minivan runs a 3.3L-3.8L V6 engine and a 4-speed automatic transmission. Its fuel efficiency is 16 mpg and 25 mpg in the city and on the highway respectively.
- It has Stow n’ Go seats, which means more cargo space.
- The hidden storage when the seats are in use is up to 12 cubic foot.
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5. 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan
The 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan shares some similarities with the same generation of Chrysler Town and Country. For one, it has the same Stow n’ Go feature and a last seat that doubles as a functional tailgate. It has decent cargo space and the NHTSA issues the van a 5-Star overall safety score.
This 2006 model of Grand Caravan has the technology of older editions like AM/FM stereo, seek-scan radio, etc., but more importantly, it also features technology absent from the previous renderings. One of them includes a Uconnect hands-free communications system with Bluetooth. For $5,000, this is a big deal.
It runs on a 3.3L 4-cylinder engine, packing two V6 units that deliver rather strong acceleration. While it is expected to think they are fuel-efficient, they fall short in that respect.
With EPA ratings of 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway, the 4-speed automatic transmission four-wheel drive is one of the least fuel-efficient vans on the list.
- This model features an anti-lock brake and side-impact airbags.
- With its Stow n’ Go feature, it has decent cargo space.
- It can soundly serve as both a cargo van or a passenger van where It can seat up to seven people.
- It has one of the most versatile interiors of all the vans on the list.
6. 2007 Kia Sedona
The 2007 Kia Sedona is a front-wheel drive (FWD) mini work van. It comes in three trims; Base, LX, and EX. Packing a length of 189.4 inches and a height of 69.3 inches, the van seats up to 7 seats and six airbags.
The third-row seat can fold into the floor, leaving room for the much desirable cargo space. So far, it has racked an average mileage of 180,000 miles. It scores very high on safety ratings, passenger accommodations, additional power, and ample standard equipment.
It runs on a 3.8L V6 cylinder gasoline-powered engine and has a fuel efficiency of 18 mpg (city) and 25 mpg (highway). Its fuel tank space is 21.1 gallons and has a base corn weight of 4365 lbs.
Kia Sedona has technologies like a 5-speed automatic transmission, an anti-lock braking system, and electronic stability control. Its cargo space is 121.3 cubic foot (when you fold seats 2 and 3 into the floor), 61.8 cubic foot (when you fold 3), and 12.9 cubic foot (when you fold nothing).
- It has a third-row seat that can fold into floor features, leaving more cargo space.
- It has power windows in the sliding doors.
7. 2005 & 2006 Chevrolet Uplander
The General Motors Company never really could have the minivan category of the automobile.
After their last stint in the 2008 model year when they released their three-row crossovers for families and small businesses, the company stopped minivans production.
Thankfully, the minivans from before are still available for less than $5,000 and they are worth every penny.
The 2005 Chevy Uplander featured a novel front-end design and the 2006 model came with the rugged look of a sport-utility vehicle (SUV). Although it is a minivan, the 2005 Uplander offers SUV functionalities.
In addition, it features a PhatNoise entertainment system with cutting-edge voice-recognition technology. It also has an inbuilt mass media storage as well as a playback capability for digital movies and music.
Its cargo space grosses a volume of 136.5 cubic foot and the minivan itself is 191.0 inches long and 70.5 inches tall. Uplander runs on a standard 3.5L V6 gasoline-powered engine, a StabiliTrak stability control, and a Versatrak all-wheel drive.
- With a sitting capacity of 7, the minivan has ample passenger space.
- It also features a great cargo space, good news for businesses—small, medium, and even big.
- It comes with sliding doors.
8. 2004 Nissan Quest
Many van users have complained about the dour style of most minivans since they were first invented a couple of years ago. Thankfully, that’s not something you would have to worry about with the 2004 Nissan Quest.
You’d understand once you’re sitting behind the wheel and see first hand the incredibly exotic driver’s cubicle. The 2004 Quest offers great value for $5,000.
The interior design is one of the chief factors that make the minivan a great minivan. For instance, the instrument panel is situated to the top center of the vehicle’s dash, relocated from being directly in front of the driver like in other models.
Other features like the climate vents, transmission lever, and center-stack controls are safely and stylishly mounted on the flat end of a bulging stump on the minivan’s floor.
That’s not all.
The outward appearance of the 2004 Quest is equally as bold, if not more. The front-wheel minivan runs on a 3.5L V6 gasoline-operated engine with a fuel efficiency of 17 mpg (city) and 24 (highway).
It has a 4-speed automatic transmission and a 20.1-gallon fuel tank capacity. The total interior volume is up to 212 cubic foot.
9. 2006 Mazda MPV
All vehicle enthusiasts know that Mazda is renowned for producing vans with zoomy driving dynamics. Naturally, it’s the leading feature of the 2006 Mazda MPV.
While its 3L V6 engine, with 200 lb-ft. and 200 horsepower won’t exactly produce the topnotch power that’s in vogue these days, the impressive curb weight of 3,772 more than makes up for it as far as minivans go.
The fuel efficiency of the 19.8-gallon fuel tank capacity minivan is 16 (city) and 23 (highway). 2006 Mazda MPV is 189.5 inches long and has the capacity to hold 127 cubic foot of cargo.
It makes use of a rack-and-pinion steering system, including a solid suspension system and MacPherson struts, stabilizer bars at each end, and a rear torsion beam. Mazda MPV minivans come with fitted driver seats that enjoy excellent lateral support, especially when taking a sharp bend.
- Sophisticated interior design as well as outward build.
- It has a decent driver’s assist feature for its model.
- It doesn’t have as much space as most minivans in its model year.
- The engine is only fair when compared to what’s currently obtainable.
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10. 2003 Toyota Sienna
In 1997 when Toyota launched its first-generation Sienna, it was a cutting-edge sensation wrapping up the Millenium. In fact, the 2003 Sienna won the J. D. Power Quality Award during its reign.
At some point, Consumer Reports has also named Sienna as the Most Reliable Minivan of the calendar year.
Many features that made it a well sought-after minivan in its time are still relevant today. It gets a 5-Star on Overall Safety Score from the NHTSA. Hence, the minivan is a bargain at $5,000.
Sienna has a curb weight of 3,932 lbs and a fuel tank capacity of 20 gallons with a car mileage of 159,584 miles.
Using a 3L V6 gasoline-operated cylinder engine, the 5-speed automatic transmission minivan turns in fuel efficiency of 19 mpg (city) and 24 (highway). Its towing capacity stands at an average of 3,500 lbs.
Vans are important for running many small and medium-scale businesses. The gag, however, is that these businesses may not have $30,000+ to throw on a brand-new van – either standard or luxury specs.
That’s why it became imperative for us to come up with an alternative means of getting a van without breaking your pocket. This article contains the top 10 vans you can buy for less than $5,000.
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