10 Best Old Vans with Good Gas Milage

Vans are convenient for carrying people and cargo, going camping, and traveling on long road trips. If you’re looking for a used van, these 10 are reliable options. This article will explore good choices for vans that were made in or before 2007.

When it comes to cargo space, this article will refer to cubic feet. For reference, one cubic foot equals about 1.5 five-gallon water jugs. When referencing how long a van lasts on average, this article assumes regular, proper maintenance on things like fluid changes and other scheduled maintenance.

1. Honda Fit

Originally made in 2001, the Honda Fit has been a popular choice for a van since its inception. Honda is well known for reliable and fuel-efficient cars. The Honda Fit is no exception, boasting an impressive 32 miles per gallon in the city and 38 on the highway.

However, like any car, it comes with issues. One downside to the Honda Fit is that the breaks tend to wear down quickly. Another issue is failure of the automatic transmission computer system, but it’s still one of the better choices when looking at used vans. It typically lasts around 190,000 miles before major engine work needs to be done.

With proper maintenance, this van will last you a long time. Some of the original models from 2001 are still on the road. It typically sells for around $4000, which makes it very affordable. It also has ample cargo space–up to 110 cubic feet.

2. Ford Econoline

The Ford Econoline was manufactured starting in the 1960s and is still in production today. However, the Ford Econoline gets the lowest gas mileage compared to the others on this list. It gets an average of 14 MPG in the city and 18 on the highway.

The Ford Econoline is also a durable van. Some Econoline owners claim the van lasts over 500,000 miles without needing any extensive repairs. Some of the common issues with older versions of this van include the transmission and electrical system, but it is a reliable choice.

This van has more storage than many others on this list. It can hold up to 237 cubic feet in the regular length and 278 in the extended version. Used Ford Econolines cost around $7000. It’s a good choice if you’re looking for a cargo van that has proven its reliability over decades of use.

Also read: Are Fords Expensive to Maintain? (Exact Costs)

3. Chevrolet Express

The Chevrolet Express was made from 1996 to 2013. This van is larger than the minivans on this list, but it still gets good gas mileage. The Express averages around 20 miles per gallon in the city and 26 on the highway

Consumers can find older versions of this van for between $6000 to $9000.

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These vans have about 250 cubic feet of cargo room, one of the best vans for storage on this list. This also means that it’s a longer van, making it harder to maneuver in tight spaces. The Chevrolet Express is also known for being a durable van. It often lasts over 300,000 miles. There have been some complaints about the electrical system, premature break wear, and oil leaks, but it’s still a good choice overall.

4. GMC Savana Van

The GMC Savana was made 20 years ago, so there are many used models available on the market. This van is known for being durable and lasting over 200,000 miles.

This is a cargo van that has up to 260 cubic feet of cargo room. This is a common choice for a work or transportation van that needs to haul large groups of people or tools and supplies.

One of the most common problems people have reported is faulty taillight wiring and that it’s easy to damage the electrical components under the carpet while cleaning the van. Vehicle technicians also highly recommend servicing the transmission every 30,000 miles to prevent major problems.

Average prices for older models of this van are higher than other vans on this list. the average price range for a used Savana is $5000-$8000. For gas mileage, these vans average 16 miles per gallon in the city and 23 on the highway.

Also read: Can a Car Last 400k Miles? (7 Cars That Do)

5. Toyota Sienna

The Toyota Sienna has been a popular van for years. With average gas mileage of 19 in the city and 27 on the highway, it is one of the most fuel-efficient, older vans. It also has a long lifespan; Toyota Sienna’s often last up to 300,000 miles without any major engine work.

The common issues of this van are the body panels are notoriously easy to dent and scratch, which can affect your resale value or if you’re looking for a used van with good looks. Other common issues include electric door sliding problems, oil leaks, and dashboard cracks.

This van has about 39 cubic feet of storage with the seats up and 148 total cubic feet of cargo space. Those looking for a quality used sienna can expect to pay about $3000-$5000 for a model made in 2007 or before.

6. Kia Sedona

The Kia Sedona is another quality, inexpensive van. This van has a good track record of being durable, and many models will last over 100k miles before needing extensive repairs. The most common problems reported are faulty and noisy starting, AC compressor failure, and software updates to prevent transmission problems. All these problems are relatively minor and inexpensive to fix compared to other major repairs with other vans on this list.

The Sedona has plenty of cargo space, with a total of 121 cubic feet of total available space. All these things make the Sedona a popular choice for those looking for an affordable van that can haul cargo or people. Used Sedonas from the late 2000s are often priced under $4000 and as low as $2500 for quality used models.

Also read: Is Buying a Car with 200k Miles Bad? The Facts

7. Chrysler Town and Country

The Chrysler Town and Country is one of the most well-known vans on this list. Made from 1990 to 2016, it was one of the most popular new passenger vans on the road and is still a common choice for used vans. This van gets good gas mileage, with 22 miles per gallon in the city and 28 on the highway.

One downside to this van is the ride becomes rougher with time. If owners want to fix this problem, they often must swap out the suspension system, which can cost around $1000.

Another common issue, especially with models from the late 1990s, is shuddering and hard shifting. This is often caused by transmission problems, which can be expensive to repair. Many owners report this problem at around 100,000 miles.

Chrysler Town and Country’s most reliable older models are from the early 2000s. For these models, you can find one with less than 130,000 miles for under $8000.

This van has 33 cubic feet of storage space with all the seats up and about 126 cubic feet of cargo room with the seats down. That is enough to store some luggage, camping gear, and even surfboards.

8. Dodge Caravan

The Dodge Caravan is another popular passenger van and has been in production from 1984 to 2020. This van gets good gas mileage, with 21 miles per gallon in the city and 28 on the highway. These vans have about 160 cubic feet of cargo room with all the seats down; that’s more than vans of similar size like the Chrysler Town and Country.

It’s not uncommon to hear about a Dodge Caravan that lasts up to 300,000 miles. Driving an average of 15,000 miles per year means this van can last up to 20 years.

Common problems with the Dodge Caravan include rough shifting, coolant leaks, and power window switch failures. All these issues most commonly occur after about 100,000 miles.

Used Dodge Caravans of 2007 or before cost between $3000 and $6000. This makes it a very affordable option for those looking for a tried-and-true van that can last a long time.

9. Chevrolet Uplander

The Chevrolet Uplander was made from 2005 to 2009. It was marketed as a van/SUV crossover, so it has a sporty look compared to other vans. It has decent gas mileage, with 16 miles per gallon in the city and 23 on the highway.

This van lasts an average of around 150,000 miles. Though this average is only based on the few years Chevy made this van.

This van is known for having electrical problems, especially with the door locks and windows. Other common issues are transmission problems and coolant leaks.

This van comes with a quality built-in entertainment system. It also has a lot of cargo space, with up to 136 cubic feet. You can find a used Uplander for about $5000, but many times they are priced for over $10,000 for one with lower mileage. Uplanders are harder to find because they were only made for a few years.

Also read: Do Newer Cars Last Longer than Older Ones? The Facts

10. Nissan Quest

The Nissan Quest is a viable choice for those searching for a reliable van. This van is known for being durable and lasting well over 100,000 miles before any major engine issues occur. Many Quests can last 200,000 miles or more with proper maintenance. The Quest has been manufactured since 1993 and has remained popular today because it is affordable, reliable, and easy to drive.

It gets an average gas mileage of 19 MPG in the city and 26 on the highway, and it has 158 cubic feet of cargo volume.

The most common problems reported for the Quest are starter failures, engine mount failures causing a thumping noise, and uncommon timing belt noise. Though some of these issues sound serious, they are easy to repair on a budget. One of the models with the best reviews is the 2004 Quest. These vans usually cost between $2000 and $5000.

What is the Average MPG for a Van?

The average older used van gets between 15-25 miles per gallon. This number can vary depending on the size and type of van, as well as how old it is. Vans that are from 2007 or older tend to have lower gas mileage than those made in more recent years.

The gas mileage also depends largely on how much weight the van is hauling. The more weight, the worse the gas mileage will be.

What are the Pros and Cons of Buying an Older Van?

The pros of buying an older van are that they are less expensive than newer models. Also, if you don’t need a van with advanced technology or safety features, an older model will do just fine if it’s in good condition and has been well-maintained.

Older vans also have less technology running them, which means they are easier to repair for the DIY mechanic.

The cons of buying an older van include lower gas mileage, more maintenance issues over time. Most times when you buy an older van, you won’t know its full history. So, there may be issues you don’t know about or perhaps it has not been properly maintained.

Choosing the Right Older Van

The best advice is to look for a van with lower miles, a clean history, and consider having a mechanic take a look at it before buying it.

Older vans can sometimes outlive newer ones. When deciding what van you want to buy, the vans on this list offer options that have proven themselves over time.