Filipinos are fond of enjoying the company of others and with the abundance of festivities and holidays here, which spells more time for us to celebrate with our respective families, people-carriers like passenger vans will always have a spot in our hearts.

Not only that, but these kinds of vehicles are also good for business use. Here in our land where the odds of public trains breaking down on a Monday morning are high and the competition for public utility jeepneys is tough, alternative means of ferrying people around like passenger vans are critically needed by the masses.

Whether for personal or commercial use, passenger vans were, and are still a hit due to their utility and practicality. However, passenger vans are expensive, especially when bought brand new. If you are under a strict budget, chances are you’ve considered buying a second hand passenger van. To help you out, Carmudi lists some of the best used passenger vans in the Philippines.

Hyundai Starex / Grand Starex

Hyundai Starex

If you want a great family-carrier, this one’s your best bet. Although others would want to get its latest variant the Grand Starex which was released in 2007, know that the Starex was the best-selling van that cemented Hyundai’s success in the Philippines. Although used and depending on the condition, even a first-generation Starex can still serve well, since one of the reasons why the vehicle became a cult favorite was because it came with a lot of practical features that anyone would want to have in a passenger van.

The Starex has a 2.5-liter diesel mill with CRDi technology, linked with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. Coupled with adequate safety features, the cabin is spacious and the ride is also comfortable. More importantly, elderlies will also have a field day with stepping in and out of the Starex with its easy ingress and egress. You won’t have a problem with acquiring parts, as well. Although as any other used vehicle, utmost care and maintenance is needed for it to avoid potential problems.

Toyota HiAce

Toyota HiAce

Don’t cross this off from your list yet if you’re put off by its Frigidaire-esque visage. Although it is undeniably huge and bricky-looking, the exterior doesn’t prove to be just a façade as the inside boasts an excellent space with headroom and legroom large enough for passengers to relax in. From the first of its models which offered a diesel-powered lone variant up to the latest updates which boast new 3.0-liter engines across the line, the HiAce has continued to evolve for the market’s constantly-changing needs. Although available in the country since the ‘95, this vehicle is still as popular as before for its reliability, durability and versatility. As a people-mover, this one is a desirable choice. It’s no wonder why the HiAce is the top-selling utility van in the country last 2016.

Nissan Urvan / NV350 Urvan

Nissan Urvan

This is arguably one of the longest-running nameplates in the country. Sold since 1988, the Urvan was placed in the market as the direct competition to the Mitsubishi L300. Its older Estate (E25) and Escapade (E24) models were replaced by the NV350 Urvan last 2015, although the E25 was the first to go. Since the strength of the Urvan lies on its seating capacity and flexibility, this can be an ideal choice if you’re going to venture into operating a shuttle service.

Maintenance for this vehicle can come cheap, especially if you were to get a unit with a TD27 engine present in the Escapade models. Depending on the variant, the past models can have power steering and fabric or vinyl upholstery. However, since these are used cars, you might need to put some effort in looking for those that are still in acceptable condition. Although there are tons to choose from in the used car market, make sure to be careful of those with high mileage.

Kia Carnival / Grand Carnival

Kia Carnival

This one goes all the way back to the late 90s with the Hyundai Starex. Back in its early days, the Kia Carnival (also known as Sedona) became a hit due to the affordability and standard features equipped in comparison with its rivals. It is another ideal choice for those looking for a people-carrier, especially for those who are family-oriented, with its spacious cabin and sliding doors.

Should you choose to look around in the used car market, you’ll have a variety of choices from either diesel or gasoline variants with manual or automatic transmissions. Parts are easy to procure as well due to the number of imported units available. Although, you’ll want to be careful in getting a unit with an automatic transmission to avoid additional expenses, since these transmissions have been reported to break down.

Toyota Previa

Toyota Previa

To cut to the chase, the Previa is a good pick if you want the style, comfort, and luxury all for an affordable price. However, since comfort is its main strength, its soft suspension and pleasant ride may not appeal to you if you’re a hardcore driver. That said, this minivan is a good pick if you’re looking for a practical ride for your family, especially with kids in tow.

On the other hand, since the Previa is based from the Toyota Camry, they share parts with each other. This means you’ll have more chances of getting parts for it. However, you might feel limited since a lone 2.4-liter with VVT-i engine was only offered in our country. As with all second-hand cars, just be sure to get a unit that is still in good condition.

Toyota Alphard

Toyota Alphard

The Alphard looks the part as a luxury van, however, it’s the inside that you should look forward to the most. Not only does it look the part, but the Alphard cements its luxury van status with its interior amenities such as the dual sunroof, leather captain seats with ottoman and footrest, reclining seats, mood lighting, and DVD system. If you have your heart set on searching for a used unit, just make sure to check the features thoroughly. Also, take note that fuel efficiency isn’t part of its strengths.

Even if it was one of the most expensive vans in the market, the Alphard’s sales in the Philippines were still successful when Toyota Motor Philippines launched it in 2010. That said, you might find it difficult to find one which costs below the million line, since this one has a high resale value.

Honda Odyssey

Honda Odyssey

The Odyssey was the first Honda vehicle offered in the country with a third row seat, although only sold for a short while in the 90s. It came back in 2012 and rivaled the Town and Country and Alphard.

This eight-seater is practical and can offer you convenient features if you’re going to use it for your family. The third row is flat-folding so more cargo can be hauled. It also has a sun roof and a convenient feature that allows the sliding doors and tailgate to be closed using a key or button. However, you might have difficulty in searching for one in the used car market since only a few of them are be available. And for those who opt for diesel, sorry, you’re out of luck. Still, the 3.5-liter V6 engine can give decent acceleration and fuel efficiency with its Variable Cylinder Management or VCM.

Mitsubishi L300

Mitsubishi L300

If we’re going to rank these vans based on popularity alone, the Mitsubishi L300 would definitely steal the top spot. If you’ve lived long enough to remember this van, chances are you’ve seen them on the roads during the late ’80s to ‘90s. Or you’ve probably watched too many action flicks back in the day.

However, as ancient as this van is, we still see some of these today, specifically the oldest model in its generation. Even if the L300 had three different evolutions in the market during its decade run (which are the Versa Van and the FB body, the Exceed, and the Space Gear), it was the oldest second generation model that stood strong and successful. Not only because of its engine reliability and durability, spacious cabin, and sliding doors, but this one is as easy to maintain as it is practical.

Chrysler Town and Country

Chrysler Town and Country

Positioned as the Toyota Alphard and Honda Odyssey’s rival, the Chrysler Town and Country initially offered two variants with different standard power amenities. Its famous and handy Stow ‘N Go technology which enables the seats to be folded down the floor was added in 2005 while an optional Swivel ‘n Go seating configuration came in 2008.

Mainly, the Chrysler Town and Country deserves a spot on this list because of its innovations in the van market which can give a comfortable ride for occupants, so if you’re up for a long drive with the family, the Town and Country is an ideal choice. Its strengths lie on its smooth ride, interior flexibility, and affordability, however some of its weakness are its fuel consumption, maintenance, and reliability.

Kia Besta

Kia Besta

The Kia Besta, which was the best-selling van during the mid to late ‘90s, shares the platform with its commercial sibling Ceres. It was also the first van to offer a whooping seating capacity of 17 back in the day.

Although all models are available in two engines, it is recommended to set your sights on the 2.7-liter diesel variants, as the 2.2-liter engine can be weak. Used Besta units can also have a weak air condition, so it’s best to check first. On the other hand, the strength of the Besta, aside from its seating capacity, is that it is cheap.