Sometime over the next year I expect I’ll be purchasing a used mini-van. They are at least $6,000 cheaper than a used SUV. They have way more room inside, and are better on gas. I guess it’s a no brainer.

I test drove a 2002 Chevy Venture on the weekend. It was priced at $11,995 and had 66,000 kms on it. (You can see it here: It was an extended mini-van. I think that’s the only way to go. You get an extra 8 inches of cargo space.

I imagine I’ll go south when I’m ready to buy. I know of two mini-van wholesalers in Toronto who sell the same van I looked at for $8,999.

We didn’t go too far in it, but far enough to discover that it was a comfortable ride, nice seats, nice arms rests, powerful air conditioning, a separate A/C setting for the back (Monty land), removable seats (it had one back bench and the middle row had 2 captain chairs. It had a CD player, lots of cup holders, tinted rear windows, and a sliding door on each side. I’d probably remove all the seats , or at least the middle ones and put Monty’s crate there.

The Chevy Venture doesn’t get great reviews from people who have them on the Internet, but I think just about every vehicle I researched was the same way. Everyone complains. People rave about the Toyota and Honda mini-vans, but they are priced ridiculously high, even if they are several years old. The Pontiac Montana looks reasonably priced as well.

If I can make the payments be just $100-150 or so bi-weekly, I think I’ll be able to do it. I just want to pay down a few things first and see if I can trim my budget anywhere else.

Let me know if you spot a bargain! 🙂