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Important features and usefulness of a Minivan

A minivan is either a one-box or a two-box vehicle primarily meant to move passengers more in number than normal cars or to accommodate more cargo space. For this, they are taller than most other cars. In technical classification terms they are called as multi-utility vehicles.

Minivans are versatile and best for family – sized transportation. No other vehicle type combines passenger comfort, cargo-toting ability, and fuel economy better. Old varieties of this type include the DKW Schnellaster, Volkswagen type 2 etc. Volkswagen type 2 had a bus like design and the driver seat was placed above the front wheel. The engine was at the rear and the front was flat-nosed. Some of today’s minivans are : Chrysler Town and Country, Volkswagen Routan, Kia Sedona etc.

A Microvan is one that comes under the Japanese ‘kei car’ classification or similar classification. A microvan is a smaller-scale minivan, with many of the same benefits, but with less space and lower operating costs. They are preferred due to their low cost and other benefits like tax and insurance. Some microvans have their engines installed in the front and the others below the driver. Both the types could either have a front-wheel or all-wheel-drive. Examples are, Subaru Sambar, Honda Acty, Mitsubishi Minicab.

A minivan is a low weight, and a fragile vehicle. Driving at high speed is discouraged because they fare very badly at collisions. A sporty minivan improves the performance in terms of driving and control but still retains the space and simplicity of a normal minivan. A Sporty minivan combines the features of a minivan and aspects of driving.

For versatile family transportation in challenging weather conditions, all-wheel drive minivans are the best option. But they are very limited and maintenance is also not economical. Examples are, Toyota Sienna, Chrysler Town & Country, Ford Aerostar,


  • Space is its main advantage. Could carry more than five people.
  • Suitable for long trips like camping since they consume less fuel.
  • The interiors can be customized to suit passengers or luggage better.


  • Since they are not heavy vehicles, they are unsuitable for bad weather and rough terrain.
  • SUV’s have successfully replaced a minivan in all its features and incapabilities.

Purchase: Ideal for a family of five or more members and for people who are concerned more about movement than performance.

Updated: March 17, 2015 — 4:20 am
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