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Discussion Starter #1
I found two vans:

96 Previa LE S/C, 107 Kmiles, $4,000, excellent condition
2009 Sienna LE, 109 Kmiles, $11,000, excellent condition

I can afford either one. Money is not a problem. But I always look for the best value, the highest return for any investment. I plan to drive either van for 100K/10yrs and then sell them.

Which one would you buy if you were in my shoes.

Thanks,
 

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I would be worried about parts availability for the Previa. I don't know where you are located, but if its anywhere that rust can eat the suspension, brake lines, exhaust system etc., that would be a major concern.

Go for the 2009.

Regards, JC
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm in Houston. The Previa is garaged all its life and is in excellent condition. One owner, no rust at all.
 

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Also consider all the safety advances since 1996:
antilock brakes
skid control
traction control
multiple airbags
designed for crashes
etc, etc, etc
 

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I'm in Houston. The Previa is garaged all its life and is in excellent condition. One owner, no rust at all.
If you want the previa offer him 2K or $2500 and maybe max out at $3K.

Regards, JC.
 

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If you are looking at it for the best value/return on investment
The Previa will cost $.04 per mile, and the Sienna will cost $.07 per mile. Assuming that you drive either one for 100K miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
JC: I will try, but I doubt he'd accept 3K. There was a 95 Previa (NON S/C) in very good (not excellent) condition with 180Kmiles. The asking price was $2,800 and it was sold in one day at full asking price.

happycamper: How do you arrive at the $0.04, $0.07 figures? Can you elaborate?
 

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okay.. I had a 91 previa and currently have a 2005 sienna le....
I bought my previa used for $1500 in 2000...with 150k miles, put in another $1k in fix,,, all new shocks/struts/strut mounts, full fluid flush, did myslef---tune up/tires/ fix SAAD rubber coupling shaft... fixed egr clog...code 71... fix blower speed selector switch...repair side sliding door slider brackets... and it ran like a champ....all the way to 280k miles when I gave it away to my cousin and it was still running like a champ...no fix or repairs needed...
my sienna curently has 120k miles on it... not much but radiator leaked, wheel bearings, sliding door problem, door weld recall. transmission slips when cold but after tranmission flush seems to cure it... power steering boot leak...did p/s flush...fixed leak...
eats tires anf brakes like really fast... but man the ride is super comfortable...

previa is 4cyclinder, chain timing, bullet proof engine/transmission
weeknes is ride is not comfortable... rides like a truck... and low power compared to sienna.
price is almost bottomed out already for used previas... 4k is very expensive....not a great deal at all..

sienna is v6 engine, more safety features, super comfortable ride like a cadillac...
eats tires/brakes really fast.
price hasn't bottomed out yet....so going to drop further when you sell....
engine/transmission .....some people have reported problems with transmission and engine I don;t know yet....
but definetly less reliable then previas engines..... used previas most are at 200k+ miles...

if you can get that previa for $3k...take previa if you don't mind loss of power/comfort compared to sienna
BTW.... previas are not rated very good for crash... potential problems and injury to driver...reported back then..

also.. previas common problems are SADD...secondary accessroy driveshaf...get a aftermarket cheap rubber coupler disc. sliding doors on sienna are problematic as is the sienna...

if money was no problem for you...I would opt for the sienna...just for the pure comfortable ride and power...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm not new to Previas. I bought a new Previa when it came out in 1991. I drove it for one year before it got stolen. The 91 Previa was normally aspirated, so it was no racer. But it was a minivan after all. I loved it and it definitely did not ride like a truck. It rode better than most cars at that time.

I'm still debating between the timing chain Sienna and the Previa. I would never consider a timing belt Sienna.

I do agree that the new Sienna has more power and comfort, but the Previa has rear wheel drive and unmatched durability. And the Previa looks like no other minivan out there. OK, that could be good or bad, depending on individual's perspective.
 

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I think most young adults, have something in their brains that tell them that minivans are not cool. And many people need to pimp up their justifications for choosing a minivan over not-a-minian. As such, many people who know much about cars and little about minvans would tell you to get an older previa. "It's mid-engine platform. It is an affordable and reliable Ferrari. It's like the ultimate drift van." Jokes aside, you are getting a minivan because it is easy on gas for the utility it provides. Although the Previa is a good vehicle. It's inefficient engine, coupled with its lack of modern safety features makes a less compelling choice.

I currently have a couple friend who own older Japanese cars that sit due to overheating and mechanical issues. Even though these cars are reliable overall, as a vehicle gets older it will be less reliable as it ages. My suggestion is that if you are going to daily drive the vehicle get something newer. If you are only using it for recreation, get the Previa.
 

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i live in Houston too! if you aren't interested in the Previa may I get the owner's contact info? I've been looking for a S/C version for awhile now.
 
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