minivans

minivans

  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.

Posted on by Bryan 14

Dodge has just given us some images and details on the new 2011 Grand Caravan. For some time, theGrand Caravan has been less than grand, but Dodge hopes that this newest version will change that and put them in front of Honda and Toyota in the minivan game.

The van will pack Dodge’s new Pentastar V6, as well as a revised suspension that Dodge hopes will make the van more pleasing to drive. We haven’t been told what was changed, but the press release says that “virtually everything” was updated.

The motor is the 3.6-liter V6 and that will be connected to a six-speed automatic. That motor will replace all three of the previous motors. The V6 puts out 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, the same numbers as the new Avenger.

While we aren’t sure if a V6 only van will sell well, we are sure that buyers will love the new interior with top-notch materials, better seats, and redesigned gauges. The outside of the Grand Caravan will get some LED taillights and a new front fascia.

We’ll have to wait and see how the van compares with the new offerings from Honda and Toyota, which have been stellar.

Hit the jump to see the press release.

Posted on by Bryan 5

We know that Toyota is planning on creating a larger version of the Prius , the most popular hybrid in the world. We’ve seen some spy spots and some billboard photos of the hybrid MPV before, but this is the first time that we’ve gotten a good look at the new Toyota.

The good people over at autoblog.it have managed to get their hands on a photo of the Prius MPV and it appears to be a seven-passenger, three-row vehicle, or basically a minivan. It will be shown in the flesh for the first time at the Detroit Motor Show .

The website says that the new Prius MPV will get a 1.8-liter hybrid, the same as in the normal Prius. The power output might be pumped up to 138 horsepower, as it needs to cope with the larger size and weight of the much larger MPV body.

Stay tuned for more information.

Source: autoblog.it

Chevrolet unveiled the Orlando concept at the 2008 Paris Auto Show two years ago. This concept was their first seven-seat multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), and now, at the same show, the company will unveil the production version Orlando. Sales in Europe will begin in early 2011.

The production version will receive a lower roofline and a crossover inspired silhouette, but it will also get a recognizable Chevrolet ’face’ that is illustrated by the split radiator grille and bow-tie badge. The interior of the car will also feature a Corvette inspired dual cockpit and ambient blue backlighting in the center console.

Under the hood there will be a choice of three of Chevrolet’s latest fuel efficient engines: a 1.8 liter gasoline engine with power output of 141 hp and two diesel units, the latest version of Chevrolet’s 2.0 liter engine with outputs of 131hp (low output) or 163 hp (high output).

Updated 10/01/2010: Chevrolet has just debuted the Orlando, a vehicle that won’t in the United States any time soon. General Motors once said that the vehicle would be making the trip overseas, but that didn’t work out so well. Still, a smaller minivan never hurt anybody and the Europeans sure do love these things. The Orlando uses a seven-seat configuration and a few Eco-friendly motors. The first is a 141 horsepower 1.8-liter petrol four-cylinder and the other two are diesel motors with either 131 or 163 horsepower. The interior is function and not to bad to look at. It uses stadium seating to give third row occupants a nice view of the road ahead, not that most adults could fit back there. With the rear seats up, it appears that there is little cargo room to speak of. The Orlando is scheduled to go on sale this month.

Press release after the jump.

Chrysler is in the process of unveiling a whole army of refreshed models for 2011, and one of those models is the 2011 Town&Country. This year’s Town and Country will receive many changes to the exterior, interior, and even the powertrain. The new model will go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The 2011 Town & Country will be powered by a new Pentastar V-6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, producing 283 HP and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. The interior gets a new instrument panel and instrument cluster, upgraded cloth and leather seating materials, new “soft touch” door trim and new heating and cooling control system. The pièce de résistance for all of the revised Chrysler models is the new Chrysler Brand steering wheel with integrated controls that allows the driver to operate the radio, cruise control, handsfree phone, and other vehicle functions while keeping their hands on the wheel.

The list of standard equipment will include Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection, SIRIUS Backseat TV – both of which are exclusive to Chrysler Group minivans - voice command functions for radio, iPod/mp3 players, phone, navigation and information, and the SafetyTec bundle.

Press release after the jump.

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.


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