We bought our Chevy Uplander in May 2008. It was a program car, so pretty new (2008) and we got a decent deal on it. Unfortunately, we were upside down on our current car that we traded in, due to a really bad deal that my husband got on his truck in tech school. We had originally wanted to go ahead and pay off the car before we traded up, but decided that it just wasn't going to work that way after all. We were in Missouri, and had just traveled over 1000 miles with a 2 year old, 3 dogs (2 weighed over 50 lbs, and the other about 20), and a cat. It just wasn't a comfortable ride, and since we are stationed over 1000 miles from "home" it's a trip we frequently make. We decided to look at minivans, and if we could get one with a lower payment than what we had on the car, we would take it. We ended up getting a payment about $20 lower a month, so we took it, even though it added 2 years to our loan (since we had been paying on our car for 2 years). It was obviously worth more than our older car, and seems to be holding it's value better as well. We ended up with a terrible interest rate, though, because we were upside down, had recently bought a house, and had some credit card debt.
Now we're halfway through our 6 year loan, and my husband decided to check again to see if we could refinance for a lower rate (he checked once 2 years ago, and could only drop it a quarter percent). Lo and behold, we were able to get it cut almost in half and are now only paying 4.25. We're going to end up saving over $1000 on interest over the next three years. That will make quite a difference! We're also going to be paying the difference in what we were paying, and what our new payment is, directly to our highest interest debt, so it will save us even more that way.