Recommendations for a small van

I’ve got a Chevy s-10 pickup,and it’s time to replace it with something better. I have a band, and we’d like to be able to take all our gear, and ourselves, (3 of us) to gigs out of town in one vehicle. I’m not looking to buy new, but would like something in good shape, not a beater. Looking to spend maybe around $6-7k.
I’m a little picky- I’m kind of old school, so I’m partial to a van, but not too big and clumsy(this will be my all purpose car also) I’m thinking a Chevy Astro, but before I commit, I’d like to hear some opinions of other options I haven’t considered. Doesn’t have to be a van, but definitely not interested in an extended cab pickup. Thanks for any advice!

Ford Guy here: Chevy Astros are bullet proof. Not literally. You know what I mean. If it does the job you want, then you won’t care that’s it’s not a particularly nice vehicle!

Personally, I’d go for an Expedition with power folding seats. You should be able to get one for the price you’re considering.

You can’t beat a classic Volkswagen Bus/Vanagon. Simple engine maintenance and classic styling.

What about something like a Subaru Outback, and a box trailer for all your gear? You get a great daily driver car, and you can tow everything out of the way when you need to. Heck, you could even rent a trailer from UHaul instead of buying one.

How about a Ford Transit Connect? Don’t know whether they’re on the used market yet in the States though.

This one is cool.

Gotta go with **Balthisar **on this. My daily driver is an Astro van that was retired from my parents’ cab company. It now has 300,000 miles on it, and I had to put a $35.00 sensor on it last week. Otherwise, it’s mechanically sound. In addition to using the van for my daily drive to work (5 miles each direction,) it’s great for family road trips: Me, hubby, three kids (including one in a car seat and a 12-year-old who is bigger than me,) one large dog, and our luggage ride comfortably. Seats are removeable for cargo space when necessary.

I do like a lot of the newer models’ fold-down seats, but haven’t found one that is as mechanically reliable as my Astro. I loved Aerostars, but the newer Ford minis have problems with their transmissions, and Dodge minivans are more comfortable than the Astro, but they seem to develop a slew of minor problems with a lot of driving.

Other benefits of van vs. truck: Cheap to insure, much easier to parallel park and to maneuver into/out of tight parking situations. Lower floor deck makes them easier to load/unload heavy equipment, also.

We’ve been very pleased with our 2001 Honda Odyssey. They’ve been redesigned a bit in recent years, though.

MMmm… but it needs to fit us AND our gear.

thanks for all the suggestions. The VW bus is very tempting, I had forgotten about those. But there’s not many near me, and I’d like to go through a dealer. I will check look at all the other suggestions today, thanks!