Minivans have long been desired by families for their versatility and functionality. However, the knock against them is that they lack a certain style or coolness factor. Some car shoppers feel they have to trade in their independence and be shackled to a minivan until they can downsize to a sporty coupe when their kids are grown and no longer in need of toting around town.
The reality is that minivans aren’t just for families. Their ability to carry people and cargo more efficiently and cost-effectively than SUVs makes them worth a second look for many car buyers.
If you’re wondering whether a minivan may be right for you, consider these five factors:
Minivan cabins can be styled from functional to plush from an interior standpoint. Inside space is incredibly functional and can be configured for seating from seven or eight down to just two if you need to haul cargo. Sliding doors make getting into and out of minivans easier for everyone from kids to older passengers, and make it easier to get cargo in and out of the vehicle.
Whether you’re buying for a business or for your family, consider how many people and things you might be transporting regularly to determine if a minivan is right for you.
Between $27,000-$40,000 new, minivans are more affordable than SUVs. Prices rise with add-ons like second row captain seats and rear-seat entertainment systems, but finding these features on used minivans lets you enjoy them for less.
Minivans may seem clunky and unattractive, but you won’t feel that way once you’ve ridden in a newer one. Today’s minivans have leather seats, tri-zone climate control, rear seats that recline, power doors and windows and in-car entertainment systems. Some even have built-in Wi-Fi and can tow 3,000 pounds or more. The extra space minivans supply means they can carry more luggage and people more comfortably than SUVs or car-crossover models. Most have roomy compartments beneath third-row seats, adding tons of cargo space, even when all seats are being used.
Nearly all minivans offer dual front airbags, rearview cameras and backup alert systems, three-point safety belts, LATCH child seat attachments, stability control, side airbags, antilock brakes, and other desired safety features. These features make minivans not just comfortable and flexible, but safe as well.
Modern minivans are front wheel drive, are powered by V6 engines capable of producing nearly 300 horsepower, and offer fuel efficiency better than most large SUVs. While the 16-23 miles per gallon might not be great in comparison to hybrid passenger vehicles, it’s not horrible either. The Chrysler Pacifica model is a plug-in hybrid, which means greater fuel efficiency is on the horizon.