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

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
buy drive burn the cheapest passenger vans in america for 2021

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]

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  • 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.]

  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?
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