I don't know much about cars and have been passively looking for an older van for a while to get a sense of what's on the market.

There's KBB and Edmunds, but doesn't seem like their ratings for cars older than 5-7 years are meaningful. It seems like KBB just pulls descriptions from Craigslist and tries to automatically assign sentiment score to them. There's also Consumer Reports, but not sure whether they focus on older cars or not.

I've read on reddit a couple reviews of older Econolines, Expresses and Rams. But they are pretty conflicting and it seems like even within the same model (and possibly year) could be engines that vary in reliability.

So the question is whether there's a list of good reliable vans 8-12 years old that would statistically mean a higher chance of not having to spend much on maintenance. Or, alternatively, is there a good reliable source of information about the quality of specific models/engines? (As in, look up what you're potentially thinking of buying from private party.)


I understand that you want information about US market vehicles. For that, I may not have a satisfactory solution, as I know nothing about the cars sold only in the US market. However, some car models may be the same that are sold in Europe, and for these there is at least DEKRA Used Car Report in http://www.used-car-report.com/

There are two classes of vans here. One class is "small van" and the other class is "transporter". For example, for the older Mercedes Benz Sprinter model at 100-150tkm, you see that the fault index is "-" (the possibles are "--", "-", "0", "+" and "++"). Especially you should be aware of problems in the chassis/steering and the brake system. However, the newer Sprinter model at 100-150tkm is "+", so it should be a relatively good purchase.

One factor this site doesn't take into account is price. Usually, you get what you pay for and thus finding a "++" vehicle for cheap may not be the easiest possibility. So, it is easy to find a reliable vehicle but actually a less reliable vehicle at half the price may be a better purchase if you don't mind occasional time in repairs.

Also, the mileage for 8-12 year old vans may easily be over 150tkm, and for this the site doesn't provide good advice as it stops at 150tkm.

Generally, in most countries 8-12 year old vehicles are treated to be at the end of their useful lifetime. However, in some countries such as Finland that has high car taxation it is common to get rid of vehicles at 20 years.

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