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Hello. I want and need a newer vehicle as our suburban is simply too small in terms of hauling passengers and stuff.

The way I see it, the only real choice is to buy a full sized (extended) passenger van. This narrows the field to Chevy, Ford, or Dodge. For current models, the Dodge is actually a Mercedes Benz built vehicle that is badged as a Dodge or Freightliner.

I am not a new car buyer, but would lean toward a used current year or previous year vehicle. The Dodge sprinter is nearly non-existent in the used market and sells at near it's new price anyway. The Chev/GMC and Ford can be bought for just over half the price of a Dodge Sprinter. While the Sprinter is a slick vehicle with a diesel engine, it is quirky and expensive to maintain. The fact that the diesel could run for 1/2 million miles is a plus until you realize you will have high maintenance costs for that 500K. Who wants a car to run forever if it is bleeding you dry? Another consideration is that the Sprinter averages 24mpg vs 12 for the Chev or Ford. This plus is also quickly shot down once you do the math and account for the difference in purchase price.

Comfort is another consideration. The Dodge Sprinter is very comfortable and drives/handles like a minivan. The seats and room in the rear are superior to the typical '15 passenger' benches.

I don't really know or trust the Fords. I would be very comfortable buying another Chevrolet (or GMC) as our suburban is an outstanding vehicle. Perhaps the Express is the way to go. I'd be looking for a one ton version. A diesel, if available would be great, but that option in a used vehicle may preclude availability.

Would anyone care to share your thoughts, or to organize mine a little better? ;)


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