Posts Tagged ‘minivan’

2017 NAIAS: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

January 10th, 2017 No comments

The Chrysler Pacific kicked off the North American International Auto Show by receiving the first ever North American Utility of the Year Award. The jury of journalists likely recognized the goodness of the overall package, but no doubt were influenced by the class-exclusive plug-in hybrid drivetrain. The Pacific Hybrid offers an all-electric driving range of 33 miles and delivers an overall EPA rating of 84 MPGe. The overall driving range with combined electric and gas power is a respectable 566 miles. The gas side of the hybrid equation is an upgraded 287 horsepower 3.6L Pentastar V6 mated to a 9-speed automatic. The battery pack locates under the floor, so minivan buyers in love with the stow-and-go seating will have to sacrifice that versatility. Eight passenger seating also is not available on the Hybrid so you’ll have to limit your passenger count to seven. It appears that with the Pacifica Hybrid, the inventors of the modern minivan are not content to give up their stronghold on the market.

2016 NAIAS: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

January 11th, 2016 No comments


It feels weird typing this, but the new Chrysler minivan that debuted today was not a Town & Country, or even a Caravan for that matter. Nope, Chrysler is naming their new family hauler Pacifica, just like the not-particularly-successful Pacifica that once fought the crossover battle for Chrysler way back when it was married to Daimler. Despite that surprising twist, the actual product looks about how we’d expect it to. Chrysler’s 200 sedan lends its look to the front end and the side and rear are fresh enough to get years down the road before demanding a facelift. The big news besides the name was the Plug-in Hybrid model that will travel 30 miles on a charge and return 80 MPGe even after firing up the 3.6 liter V6. You lose the ability to stow the middle row of seats (a Chrysler minivan trademark), but that seems a small price to pay for saving the planet. Pricing wasn’t announced but the new minivans should be at soccer games near you this fall.

Video Review: 2015 Kia Sedona SX Limited

May 16th, 2015 No comments

Minivans do not garner much favor around the Automotive Trends garage. We will agree that they serve a very practical purpose shuttling around that which is most important to us: our families. But the fact of the matter is the minivan was the first vehicle to supplant and displace our dearly beloved station wagons. And that is a sin to which there is just no atonement for. Read more…

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Video: 2012 Nissan Quest Preview

April 6th, 2012 No comments


      The cat’s out of the bag. We like the Nissan Quest. But before the comments flood in saying that we have sold our enthusiast soul to the transportation devil let’s first examine why we like this minivan. It’s good at what it does…period. Would we prefer a station wagon over this hauler of the soccer team? That goes without saying, but when it comes to upright rolling family boxes, the Nissan edges ahead.

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2011 Dodge Grand Caravan

May 11th, 2011 No comments

      Let’s get one thing out of the way. If you want the best minivan for sale today, you want a Honda Odyssey. But what if you’re looking for the best value? That’s where things get complicated, and Dodge has made the decision more difficult with an improved Grand Caravan for 2011. Read more…

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2011 Honda Odyssey

January 22nd, 2011 No comments

2011 Honda Odyssey

     If you want to understand the Honda Odyssey, you need to look at the ’96 Chicago Bulls.
     Why the sports reference? Because that’s the year Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman played on the same team, making the ’96 Bulls one of the most dominant teams in the history of sports. They won 72 out of 82 games and made the NBA championship look easy. No other team has dominated like the ’96 Bulls, and no other minivan has dominated like the Odyssey. Read more…

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2011 Dodge Grand Caravan (Preview)

October 28th, 2010 No comments

      Well, that didn’t take long. Less than 48 hours after nabbing some shots of a caravan of Grand Caravans out for a shakedown cruise, Dodge proliferated the cybernets with specs and glamor photos of its latest family hauler. Curiously, Dodge contracted a man (and only a man) and his surfboard for these photos. Sport van? Someone tried that one already. Man van?   Read more…

2006 Mazda MPV and Mazda6 5-door

February 18th, 2010 No comments

Second Time Around, Twice The Charm

    Recently we had the chance to sample two cars in Mazda’s lineup that, while unique in their own regards, still carried a bit of familiarity with them. The Mazda6 and MPV have both been welcomed into our fleet in the not so distant past, but we again open arm embraced these two like long lost friends. The MPV has little news to speak of since our last rendition in ’04, while the 6 5-door is altogether a different model in the 6 family. Speaking of families, that is exactly who we put to work in these vehicles. Lets check them out! Read more…

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2005 Chrysler Pacifica

February 16th, 2010 No comments

Another Alternative For The “Ain’t Gonna Drive A Minivan” Club

     They’re out there. They’re all around us. They are the people who will not drive a minivan simply because—it’s a minivan. Focus a bright light on them in a dark room and they’ll squirm, but admit they like the higher seating, the ample room for kids and cargo, and the comfortable ride. And they will also let you know, in no uncertain terms, they’d rather walk than arrive in the most un-cool of vehicles. It is because of people like this, and some very successful marketing, that SUVs have replaced the minivan as America’s portable people hauler of choice. Yes, you heard right. The traditional minivan segment is no longer growing by leaps and bounds. This is particularly true of the domestic vans, which face ever-stronger competition from the likes of Toyota, Honda, and Nissan. Despite a slight increase in sales so far this year, minivan sales peaked in 2000. So the segment isn’t dead by any means, but at best, future sales graphs will likely resemble a plateau, at worst, the backside of Mt. Everest. Read more…

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2005 Chrysler Town & Country

February 15th, 2010 No comments

      With the way minivans have improved in the past 20 years, it’s amazing you don’t see more of them on the road.
     Case in point: The 2005 Chrysler Town & Country.
     Far from a breadbox on wheels — as the original Chrysler minivans felt like — the Town & Country provides one of the most comfortable and convenient ways to haul a family around town or across the country. Sure, you might hear a few “soccer mom” jokes along the way, but you can’t argue with the sheer practicality that this minivan offers. Read more…