Buy/Drive/Burn: The Cheapest Passenger Vans in America for 2021

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

We’ve been on a cheapskate (or value, if you prefer) kick lately at Buy/Drive/Burn. We’ve covered the cheapest new sedans and trucks on sale in America for 2021, and today we tackle everyone’s favorite type of vehicle: vans. But these three aren’t just any plain cargo vans, they’re passenger vans you can use to haul around your whole family.

Chrysler Voyager

The cheapest van in today’s trio comes to us from Stellantis, and is the only vehicle here without cargo van roots. The Voyager exists as a name resurrected from Plymouth, and plays down-market sibling to the Pacifica. Seating seven people, Voyager is available in L or LX trims. Said trims carry base prices of $27,535 and $30,245, respectively. Both trims are equipped with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, good for 287 horsepower. A nine-speed automatic is the only transmission choice. Six different colors are available at no cost on Voyager, with Black or Cognac interiors, also gratis. Destination charge is $1,495, which means the Voyager is slightly less expensive than its more basic ProMaster competition, at $29,030.

RAM ProMaster City Wagon

The ProMaster wagon is the middle priced offering in today’s trio. It’s available in two trims, Base and SLT. The Base asks $26,130 while SLT starts at $27,730. Both trims only seat five people, even though the ProMaster is only two inches shorter than the Transit. Standard is the 2.4-liter Fiat Tigershark engine (178hp), paired to a nine-speed automatic. Only two colors are available with no additional charge: red and white. Interiors come in Black, and are fitted with cloth seats, as vinyl carries an upcharge of $325. Including a destination charge of $1,595, the ProMaster in its basest form asks $29,325.

Ford Transit Connect Wagon

The most expensive van of today’s trio is the Ford Transit Connect Wagon, where wagon means it has rear seats. Available in XL, XLT, or Titanium trims, it ranges in price from $27,400 to $31,600. The base XL seats seven, and has the smaller of two offered engines, a 2.0-liter good for 162 horsepower. The 2.0 receives an eight-speed automatic, versus a six-speed in the larger 2.5-liter mill. Buyers can select a rear hatch or dual cargo doors for no additional charge. Nine paint colors are available for free, as well as Ebony interior materials in cloth or vinyl. Destination is $1,395, and the acquisition fee of $645 makes for a final ask of $29,440.

Three vans, all available for under $30,000. Which goes home with the Buy?

[Images: Ford, Stellantis]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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2 of 48 comments
  • Jeff S Jeff S on Mar 01, 2021

    Burn all of these they are all overpriced heaps.

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Mar 02, 2021

    Buy: - Buy Tim Healey a calendar. - Buy Corey Lewis a hobby so he has something to do other than hover over the comments like a rabid helicopter parent. - Buy an IS500 because Michael Harley, Automotive Journalist says it's a good idea... says it on every flipping page until you close the video. Drive: - Drive far far away from this rusting hulk of a website [unless and until they start to respond positively to constructive feedback, which has been offered repeatedly by numerous posters]. - Drive home from your OEM job, settle into your reclining sectional, fire up the smart TV and hook your peepers onto Vice Grip Garage. - Drive out of your way to avoid the car dealer and their questionable inventory assembled during 2020-2021. Burn: - Burn it into your head that the vehicle you are currently driving is probably the ideal vehicle for you to keep driving for the foreseeable future. [Stop burning cash on frequent trades.] - Burn bridges at your current employer (OEM, dealer) if you feel like it, for they are Very Likely Doomed. [Burn your mortgage first - you *did* pay that off, right?] - Burn gasoline, burn diesel, burn rubber (and burn oil, because let's face it, you have no grasp of the concept of preventive maintenance). [When you learn better, burn ER70S-6, burn R45, burn 6011 and burn coal.]

  • Daniel J Until we get a significant charging infrastructure and change times get under 10 minutes, yes
  • Mike I own 2 gm 6.2 vehicles. They are great. I do buy alot of gas. However, I would not want the same vehicles if they were v6's. Jusy my opinion. I believe that manufacturers need to offer engine options for the customer. The market will speak on what the consumer wants.For example, I dont see the issue with offering a silverado with 4cyl , 6 cyl, 5.3 v8, 6.2 v8, diesel options. The manufacturer will charge accordingly.
  • Mike What percentage of people who buy plug in hybrids stop charging them daily after a few months? Also, what portion of the phev sales are due to the fact that the incentives made them a cheaper lease than the gas only model? (Im thinking of the wrangler 4xe). I wish there was a way to dig into the numbers deeper.
  • CEastwood If it wasn't for the senior property tax freeze in NJ I might complain about this raising my property taxes since most of that tax goes to the schools . I'm not totally against EVs , but since I don't drive huge miles and like to maintain my own vehicles they are not practical especially since I keep a new vehicle long term and nobody has of yet run into the cost of replacing the battery on an EV .
  • Aquaticko Problem with PHEV is that, like EVs, they still require a behavioral change over ICE/HEV cars to be worth their expense and abate emissions (whichever is your goal). Studies in the past have shown that a lot of PHEV drivers don't regularly plug-in, meaning they're just less-efficient HEVs.I'm left to wonder how big a battery a regular HEV could have without needing to be a PHEV.