Minivans are affordable people carriers. They appeared in the late 70's with the Chrysler Voyager and the Renault Espace. Crossover slowly but surely taking over the minivan segment.

The last time we have seen the Honda Odyssey was when the Odyssey Concept was unveiled at this year’s Chicago Auto Show. Today, the Odyssey comes back into the spotlight as Honda has officially unveiled the 2011 Odyssey Touring Elite. Featuring a more exclusive appearance and new interior features, the 2011 Odyssey will go on sale this fall, continuing the tradition of the best-selling minivan in the U.S.

The 2011 Honda Odyssey is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine with three-mode variable cylinder management that has a fuel economy of 19/28 mpg (City/Highway). It gets a lower roofline (-1.6 inches versus 2010 Odyssey EX) and wider track (+1.4 inches) helping to create a sleeker, stronger, and more dynamic presence with improved aerodynamics.

New exterior improvements include HID front headlights, 18" alloy wheels, ventilated front disc brakes, power side mirrors with integrated turn indicators, and a power tailgate. For the interior, Honda has added a new Premium Audio System with 12 Speakers, Honda Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System, high-definition connectivity, and split-screen viewing, but also leather-trimmed seating with heated front seats.

Updated 09/09/2010: Honda today announced priced for the 2011 Odyssey that will debut at dealers on September 30. The Odyssey LX has a starting price of $27,800, while the top version, the Odyssey Touring Elite goes up to $43,250. For 2011 Odyssey will be offered in five trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, Touring and the new Touring Elite. Full prices after the jump.

Press release after the jump.

Hyundai’s bringing a new vehicle to the Paris Motor Show, and they were nice enough to give us a sneak peek of what this vehicle should look like.

Sure, it’s only a teaser sketch of the ix20, Hyundai’s new mini-MPV, but with nothing else to compare it too, this teaser sketch is about as close as it gets before we see the real thing in Paris at the end of the month.

We also don’t know a whole lot about the car because Hyundai has done a good job keeping the details under wraps, but we do know that the car bears some similarities to the Tucson – or ix35 – in terms of their design language. As for the what’s underneath its hood, it looks like it could have something similar to what the Kia Venga has: 1.4-liter gasoline engine and a 1.6-liter diesel variant that produces between 75 horsepower to 115 horsepower.

All of this, of course, is still speculation. But the good news is, we won’t have to wait long to find out the real deal behind the ix20 because Hyundai is officially pulling off its covers on September 30 at the Paris Motor Show .

Toyota will unveil the Verso-S - a minivan based on the Yaris - at the Paris Auto Show. This vehicle will take on models like the Opel Meriva and the Citroen C3 Picasso .

The Verso -S is the shortest MPV in the European B-segment with an overall length of less than four meters. With such a short length, Toyota has gone to great lengths to maximize every possible area inside the vehicle to maintain a comfortable and spacious vehicle without losing quality.

Toyota’s new minivan shows up in their usual design, but with an added amount of sportiness. The interior will see plenty of technologies for the consumer to enjoy while also providing e lengthy list of options for the customer to choose from.

Coming along to the Paris Auto Show with the Verso-S will be the FT-CH Concept , the Prius Plug-in Hybrid , the new iQ interior, and the AYGO Connect multimedia system. Stay tuned, we’ll get back with official details on September 30th.

Posted on by Michael Sheena 15

With the Kia Rondo , it seems like it came in like a lamb and went out like a lamb. Nobody even noticed until someone sent in a tip to Autoblog. Even in its demise, Kia has been wishy-washy, simply stating that “Kia has not yet decided on a 2011 model, but the 2010 is still available in dealerships” even though the website makes it abundantly clear that the Rondo is gone in the USA, stating: “All good things must come to an end.”

Kia isn’t the only manufacturer with reservations about this segment in the United States. Chevrolet has recently announced that it will not bring its people mover, the Chevrolet Orlando , to the USA. When pressed for details as to why, GM staffers offered few concrete details and hinted that they felt it would not have competed well in the U.S. market. Do they mean the product or the concept?

Hit the jump to find out.

Ahead of its world debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this year, Nissan has finally given fans of the next-generation Quest minivan what they’ve all been waiting for: a full-set of photos of the vehicle in all its uncovered glory.

Surely, the past teaser photos – or photo, since it was only a single image that was released before - of the minivan certainly didn’t do a whole lot to appease the clamoring from all those die-hard soccer moms who have been waiting with baited breath for the Quest to be revealed.

Now, the speculation ceases, at least as far as what the minivan looks like. The technical details? Well, that’s a different matter altogether and Nissan is opting on keeping the figures close to its vest for the time being despite rumors going around that the minivan is supposedly going to come with a 3.7 liter V6 engine. Purely speculation, but it’s something that would be nice to hold on to until it makes its debut later this year – and subsequent production release sometime in the spring of 2011.

Source: Nissan
Posted on by Bryan 3

Although we think that it’s nearly impossible to have a manly minivan, certain companies are trying. Toyota is working on making the Sienna SE cool by airing commercials of dorky parents who are acting like teenagers. Apparently, Toyota believes that this will make their Sienna cool, but we think they have failed.

Now Dodge is trying with their granddaddy minivan, the new Grand Caravan . The reason people buy this sort of van is because they need to haul children. Not saying that this is a bad thing, people carriers were made for a reason. Just don’t expect to look cool or manly behind the wheel.

Yet, Dodge is trying to change all that by appealing to men. They are planning to give the Grand Caravan a sportier looking front end with a black and gray interior. Although they tried, Dodge needs to do a bit more.

The new model will be based on the Caravan R/T that was shown at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show and it could be here as early as three months. We think that this van will flop. Dodge needs to give the van an overhaul, not orange paint and body kits.

There’s nothing like attaching your brand into a movie that’s expected to be a box office hit. You know that just being mentioned in the movie is about as good as any kind of advertising will give you.

Peugeot seems to think that attaching itself to a highly-anticipated movie, like Toy Story, and making a commercial featuring the lovable Woody would go over, not just to the die-hard fans of the ground-breaking CGI movie franchise, but also to fans of anything and everything that’s involved with the automobile. So they did, and the result is a 30-second spot featuring a Pegueot 5008 and Woody, who searches the car for his hat, only to have the 5008 demonstrate a pretty nifty feature of its car, specifically the versatile seating and its rear child mirror.

We don’t really know what this commercial accomplishes other than that the tie-up with a movie like Toy Story will surely give Pegueot as much exposure as it can possibly expect. And at the end of the day, as with the tenet of commercials, exposure is the name of the game and the 5008 being seen in a commercial featuring Woody from Toy Story is about as good an exposure as the French automaker can get with these sort of movie tie-ups.

Source: YouTube

Days after BMW announced that they would be recalling their 1-Series over possible fire risks, Volkswagen is joining them on the sidelines by recalling over 15,000 of their very own Routan minivans that were manufactured between June 2008 and July 2009 because of similar fire risks that could potentially lead to something much more catastrophic.

According to Volkswagen, the problem with the Routan minivans stems from the door hinges on some models that could tear because of wire insulation and thus, could lead to a short circuit and, worse case scenario, could possibly start a fire.

The Routan’s problems have also plagued the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Chrysler Town & Country with which Chrysler issued a similar recall earlier this month that covered about 284,831 units of the two models.

Volkswagen has already announced that owners of the Routan will have their vans inspected - and if necessary, repaired - including both the wire assembly and the sliding door power drive unit, as well as two harnesses that will be tied together and be rerouted under the sliding door weather strip. All repairs will also come at no expense to the vehicle owner.

Remember that scene from Anchorman where Ron Burgundy and his news team got involved in a "News Team Royal Rumble" with its local news competition that included, among others Tim Robbins, Luke Wilson, and a Mexican Ben Stiller?

This is what this Dodge Grand Caravan commercial looks like, only that they’ve got people wearing cat, mice, and dog masks. Huh? Where did that come from? Well, Dodge is promoting their new Grand Caravan as a vehicle that "has everything, you can do anything". Apparently, that "anything" also involves showing up for a warehouse brawl while wearing Garfield on your face.

Come to think of it, they do deserve props for this out-of-the-box ’cats versus mice versus dogs’ idea. It’s different and unique, but we don’t see how this fits into Dodge’s attempt at targeting a younger audience, unless they’re also going for the young-and-weird market.

Source: Dodge

Ninety years is a pretty long time. When you live to be 90, you have every reason to celebrate and you can do it any way you can. Mazda seems to be running on this train-of-thought because they’re rolling out just about any special-edition vehicle they can, even if these vehicles don’t really count as ’special-editions’ in every sense of the word.

The first couple of models unveiled for the festivities were the Mazda3 90th Anniversary edition and the Mazda3 Sport Anniversary edition which made sense because the Mazda3 is actually one of their moneymaking cars. The latest one to be introduced by Mazda is the commemorative Biante 20S Navi Special minivan. Yes, that’s right; a special-edition minivan. Go figure.

The limited-run Biante 20S Navi will only come in 400 units and will go on sale today. Prospective buyers have the choice to opt for a 2.0-liter DISI engine linked to a 5-speed auto or a 4WD with a similar 2.0-liter DISI engine, only this time, it will be linked to a 4-speed auto transmission. Actually, apart from a voice-controlled HDD navigation system, a star-stop system, and parking assist, this special edition minivan pretty much is no different from the standard model, which once again leads us to believe that Mazda will do just about anything to celebrate birthday number 90 by slapping a special-edition tag on all of its models. And we won’t be surprised if they actually do that.

But hey, it’s not like they’re doing it for kicks, right? So, we’ll cut them a little slack.

Source: Mazda

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