Last post on Aug 11, 2013 at 2:16 PM
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Pontiac Trans Sport, Pontiac Montana, Van
#669 of 1493 Toyota Previa or Pontiac Trans Port Montana
Mar 26, 2002 (8:48 pm)
I have a 1998 Toyota Corolla and I love it. But it is too small. I bought it when we only had one child. Now we have three. We don't fit any longer. I have about $2000 left to pay on it with 70,000 miles. I found a 1993 Toyota Previa minivan with 101,000 miles on it for $6995. The salesman says he will take my car in trade and pay off what I owe, but I will owe him what he pays off. I also found a 1997 Pontiac Trans Port Montana with 99,000 miles on it that I could get for around $9,500. Which is a better deal? I like the idea of only having a few more payments for the amount of miles with the Toyota, but it is older even though it has about the same amount of miles. Which one is going to be a better car and last longer? The Pontiac looks very attractive, doors on both sides, one electric. Both cars have power locks and windows, A/C, Automatic. Both have back heater and air controls. I like the roominess of both. Both have bucket seats in the middle row. Appreciate your opinions on this to help me decide, or if you have any other suggestions.
#670 of 1493 corlissr - suggestions
Mar 27, 2002 (7:02 am)
I think that transport is a bit overpriced IMHO, but do some bluebook (kbb.com) or here at Edmonds to see what the "suggested" value is.
These probably drive, handle differently and have different features. Which do you like better?
I have a used '98 olds I got with 62k miles and fully optioned for $11k. Most of us here have not had trouble with the electric door and when you use it everyday, you discover how nice it is (this coming from a guy who thought it was bogus as first). The dual doors is a must now a days, espec. with your 3 offspring.
Toyotas are good with resale usually. The GM vans have very good powertrain reliability and excellent fuel milage for their size, as well the fact they are made for americans and not small people.
You need them to simplify the deal so you are clear on each item.
1. get the price of the van negotiated separately, in cash price, not payments
2. then negotiate the trade-in. Know your car's trade value, and have it washed and cleaned (pay if you have to get this done). Getting out of a car for the remaining payments may be a good deal or it may be a rippoff. KNow what you have left and what your car is worth.
3. There are tons of used vehicles out there with the recent low-interest rate new car deals and extended warrenty offerings. DON"T FALL IN LOVE with one, usually there are always more if you keep looking. This gives you much more leverage in negotiating than if you are in dire need of a vehicle. Your car is working and you don't have to trade, so you have the upper hand. Keep going back if you like the Pontiac but low ball them and keep walking out if they don't match your lowball offer. At the end of the month go there and get serious.
4. try autotrader.com and local newspaper classifieds for comparables on both the sell and purchase side.
5. try credit unions and carmax as alternatives to dealer financing and trade-in. I got a USED car rate at 6%, less than my home note!
see the info here on edmonds on used car purchases. there is a lot of info.
Good luck. I think you would like the Pontiac, but I suggest if you like a luxury ride, check for a used Olds too.
#671 of 1493 Corlissr-Suggestion
Mar 27, 2002 (4:49 pm)
One problem with the Previa is that it has rear wheel drive. In snowy or icy regions this leads to poor traction. In fact, my old boss had a tough time getting his Previa up his sloped driveway in the winter. The GM vans have front wheel drive, as does the Toyota Sienna.
Mar 28, 2002 (9:54 am)
I posted a question earlier about the Previa and the Transport. From reading the posts earlier about the Transport, there seems to be a lot of different problems with it and a lot of complaints. So I was wondering if anybody could tell me which would be the better value and that I wouldn't have to be taking in it to repair all the time. The Transport was listed as $11,995 and I got the price down to $9,500 and they said they would be willing to look at my car again to see if they could give me more. But, If I trade my reliable Toyota with no problems for a Transport with problems I will be very unhappy. I don't live where it snows much, western Washington, and I don't need a lot of power, but the Transport has leather seats and a lot of luxury things. The Previa is also loaded (no leather seats) power windows and doors, A/C, but only one sliding door. I don't want to be sidetracked by a lot of fancy things just to get a car with a lot of problems. Also, the previous owner of the Transport had smoke coming from the fuse box and he cut the wire. The repair bill was about $1800. I am also worried about the post earlier about all the plastic in the interior to be broken by my 3 year old. The visor is already broken, and they are suppose to fix it if I buy it. I think I am leaning towards the Previa, just because I know most Toyotas are very reliable, but if the Transport is also a reliable car, I would like driving it better. Thanks again for the suggestions.
Mar 28, 2002 (12:22 pm)
Hard to say what your experiences would be on the '97. It was the first year of production, however, for a GM vehicle, most people have found the GM vans to be great vehicles and very reliable. My dad had a '80 citation that was a clunker so GM was not my first choice. I didn't expect much when I saw one but after looking was impressed.
Consumer Reports lists the reliability of the Vans as above average. The interior/exterior trim was something that people had trouble with. But if you're going to have trouble with a vehicle, wouldn't you rather it be that mud-flap came loose and needed reattaching (like on my van)or some major drivetrain problem that leaves you on the side of the road?
The electrical systems of these vans is pretty complicated - at least my GLS is. All those electrical gizmos and power equipment see to that. Re: burning fusebox - You might be buying a lemon, I'd get someone at another dealer or something to check it over before you sign on the dotted line. I have read here stories where the orginal batteries leaking acid, and that on one occassion dripped on and shorted out the wireing harness. You'd need a decent skilled mech to get it all solidly wired back up again so the connections wouldn't be half-asked(G). You might also need to get the alternator serviced (common problem), but I have not heard of other electrial items giving trouble. The headlight leaking water is not a electrical problem and can be easily fixed.
Personally I find the Toyota vans reliable but about exciting to drive and look at as watching paint dry. granted we're talking minivans, but the toyotas are DULL. I don't know what you look like, but I'd feel like a real dud driving one of those things around.
Also, I'm trying recall the specifics of the Toyota model your' referring to, but I think it has a big motor hump inbetween the seats and a old van style access from inside the van. I belive it has a very weak 4cyl motor that will be slower than molassas in January. I find the Old's flat floor and 4 bucket seat arrangment wtih the asile down the middle very handy, and the 3.4 v6 to be economical and very peppy - more than my dodge truck with a 360cid v8 ever was.
you may think I'm biased against imports, but I'm not, I also own a '00 maxima SE.
If you like smaller, underpowered vans like the Toyota, also see the Mazda MPV - not a bad design but over-worked motor IMHO.
Also, compared to other "active" boards, the GM vans have few complaints. I doubt the low production Toyota vans of that vintage even have a forum. Also see the Olds and Chevy van archives
#674 of 1493 Corlissr - suggestion
Mar 28, 2002 (12:45 pm)
The way you make it sound is that your only going to get $2000 for a 1998 toyota. I would put the car in the paper, you should get alot more than that. Without looking up any numbers, I would think the car to be worth $5000 to somone. Also, look around for a lower mileage van. We have a 98 montana with 48k miles that my wife loves(I rarely drive it). There are to many used cars out there to settle on the deal you mentioned.
#675 of 1493 1999 Pontiac Montana and the Coolant problem read please
Mar 30, 2002 (3:10 pm)
My moms Montana with 32k, 1999 Montana. Had coolant problem, went to dealer they recommended the 30k mile checkup. 150 miles after the service no oil was on the dipstick and it was losing coolant. Brought it back to them.
Gaskets replaced, coils replaced which appears to be a problem in all Montanas. My mom told them she wants a new engine they are giving her one.
They will give her a new engine 0 miles, and will extend the warrenty another 5 years on the powertrain.
I just want you guys to know so you can get the same thing she got. Don't put up with the crap that some of the inferior dealers tell you. This appears to be a problem for sure.
Hope this helps you.
#676 of 1493 extended warrantys from sams
Mar 30, 2002 (3:12 pm)
If you need to look into extended warrantys, sams has one that has no deductable for about 1100.00 7 years/100k miles most other firms only have 6 years. You can take your car anywhere you want even the dealer no deductable. You have to ask sams about the 7 year/100k and no deductable its not on their site. Just call the 1800 number on your sams card and pick extended warrantys.
Hope this helps you guys.
#677 of 1493 corlissr
Mar 30, 2002 (9:08 pm)
Dirkdaddy gave you some good advice. I want to elaborate on a couple of things.
First, if you are really considering letting your Corolla go for only $2000 for a 98 with 70K mi. Respond back to me, I'll give $2,500 right now easy. (Hell I'll even come to Washington to pick it up.) In other words you are taking a beating on that car that you don't need to. Believe me I am currently in the market for a used Corolla/Prizm, and the car should be an easy!!! sell at $5,000 or more depending on condition.
Check out Edmunds TMV on your Corolla you will be very suprised.
As far as the Previa vs. Montana debate you are having: I would shop around a little more. I am very confident you can find a GM van that is newer than 97 with less mi for less than $9,500.
I think that because the one you are considering is a 97 (the first year of production) it is more likely to have some maintenance problems than subsequent years.
A good resource I have found is MSN carpoint for checking the reliability history of any vehicle. Go to MSN.com and click on autos, then go to used and find your vehicle. Then just click on reliabilty reports for the year you are considering.
As far as the Previa is concerned, they are not bad vans, but working on them is difficult at best if you do your own maintenance, the engine is under the floor of the van, lying on its side.
Also because it is a 93, the A/C system has the old R12 refridgerant. If youe ever have any problems with the AC system it will make the cost of repairs significantly higher.
#678 of 1493 RE: fuel filter replacement
Apr 02, 2002 (6:33 pm)
Sorry for the late respnse, I have been busy. No special procedure for depressurizing system just replace filter by squeezing clips and then crank engine. I have not seen any leaking fuel yet. good luck