"This 15 passenger van is an excellent choice for a family with 6 or more children. Take out the back seat and you have room for the children, their friends, their stuff, their friends' stuff and still room for the dog.
Mileage is about 15 MPG, not great compared to a Prius, but you can almost fit a Prius inside it.
After almost 8 years and more than 100000 miles, no major work has been necessary. Regular maintenance has provided an outstanding value."
"Bought our 1998 MaxiVan used in 1999 with 47,000 miles and used it for many years for hauling around our kids, teenaged foster children and dogs, and also for going on summer road trips with them. The engine size is very powerful, and even fully-loaded at 80MPH, the van seemed to float along the freeway.
Using a roof rack makes the vehicle unstable, so we took out the back bench seat to accommodate bags, food boxes, sporting equipment, camping equipment & whatever.
We also installed a tow hitch and used a Thule bike rack on the back to hold four full-sized bikes.
The best places for child safety and booster seats were in the seats closest to the windows as that's where the seat belts with shoulder straps were.
There are PLENTY of design improvements that could be made to this vehicle, and hopefully they've been made since 1998. When you want to haul tall passengers with long legs and a bunch of stuff, a full-size van is the only way to go.
We've had no problems at all with rust, but have had endless wear problems with the brakes. Always there's some part of the brake system that needs repair.
Just now, 11 years and 75,000 miles later (total miles 122,500), the transmission has gone out and we're chewing over what do next. (We don't have any kids or foster children at home any more.)"
Pros: "Room, comfort, versatility, easy tow vehicle. HD!"
Cons: "Wind noise on highway, MPG, back barn door."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is my second full size Dodge 3/4 ton van, Dodge calls it a "wagon" as it has seating and windows all around. Both based on a 12 pass setup, 127" wheelbase, the suspension package is head and shoulders better than the half ton version that sways and "wallows". The first one was a 1981, powered by a slant six and HD Torqueflite trans, it was bulletproof, had great gas mileage, but was fairly plain with a rubber floor and heavy vinyl seating. The paint quality was poor, the body needed work after 300,000 miles, but it was the family car, truck, and RV for more than 15 years. The 1996 was luxury by comparison, SLT package means power windows, locks, key-less entry, dark window tint all around, and attractive heavy cloth upholstery, chrome wheels, best of all front and back ice cold A/C. This van has the 5.2 L Magnum V8, lots of power, but averages 15 MPG, with the 4 speed OD transmission and tow package. Like it's predecessor this van at 165,000 miles has never broken down or been unreliable. We often took it to Florida for family vacations, approx. 1500 miles in 26 hours (each way). It always had regular maintenance. Now that the family is grown it doesn't get the use or the miles it used to. Rust has not been a problem in spite of New England salty winter roads and a home near the ocean. Worst problem is wind noise on the highway. Considering it's estimated value, I can't find a reason to sell it, or what vehicle could offer the versatility to replace it."