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.

We don’t know how this falls under the parameters of auto safety, but if Chrysler’s thinking of adding a new feature to the Chrysler Town & Country , we don’t think a torpedo - or two - would be such a good idea. Then again, it just might come in handy when you’re running late for your kids’ soccer practice. Or maybe not.

Let’s just hope that whoever owns this car doesn’t have a habit of being perpetually late and he or she won’t have a need to use it.

Source: Jalopnik

It’s the hip-hop video to end all hip-hop videos and the funny thing is, it features a suburban American family that takes their affection for the 2010 Toyota Sienna SE minivan to a new level. Predictably enough, the family calls themselves the ’Siennas’.

Don’t be fooled; mom and pops can both carry a tune and they’re all down and diggity with their "swagger wagon".

Despite the hip-hop beat of the music video, we’re not sure how it accomplishes the goal of appealing to middle class parents who, for better or worse, aren’t as hip to the times as the Siennas are in this video. Nevertheless, the "Swagger Wagon" is as catchy a hip-hop soundtrack as we’ve heard from a car commercial in a long time.

Watch the video and get a kick out the Siennas doing their best hip-hop impersonation.

Source: Toyota

Saab’s new 2010 9-5 sedan has been a regular fixture in so many auto shows, we couldn’t even count them anymore. Despite its continued presence, we’ve yet to see the new 9-5’s five-door variant - a 9-5 SportsCombi or a 9-5 Estate, whichever you prefer.

Then, straight from a brochure, or maybe a line-up presentation, comes this image, albeit blurry, of what looks to be the Saab we’ve been waiting quite a while for. While there hasn’t been any announcements from Saab regarding this potential five-door vehicle, we’re still free to speculate, right?

So, we’re speculating that this could very well be the new 9-5 Estate and, should our hunch prove to be right, this ride feeds into our high expectations of the car quite well. We’re just hoping that Saab sheds some light on this matter, even if it’s just a sliver of what we can expect.

Or maybe this is already it, at which we’d like to ask you folks to give your two cents on the car. Neigh or Hey?

Source: Autoblog NL

The volcanic ash that put a stranglehold on the airline industry in Europe caught a lot of vacationers and travellers off-guard. However, while some chose to just sit and wait out the whole situation, others decided that sitting and waiting for the ash cloud to clear wasn’t something worth waiting for.

A family of vacationers in Barcelona, Spain were one of thousands that were stranded because of this perilous situation. Determined to make it back to the UK as soon as possible, they decided to hail a cab from the UK to come pick them up in Barcelona. True story!

The cab’s owner, Garry Smith, took his son and hopped in their Hyundai i800 van and made the 2,500-mile trip that lasted the better part of two days. "We got the call at 9:30am on Tuesday and were on the road within an hour to collect four people," Smith recalls. "I took my son Ben so we could share the driving and booked the Eurotunnel crossing on route. When the passengers heard what car we were in they asked if we could take six people which, because of the car, we were happy to do."

The whole voyage ended up costing the vacationing family a staggering £4,600.50 - $7,050! - in cab charges, but Smith, in an act befitting of sainthood - ok, not really - decided to only charge the stranded folks £1,850 - US$2,830 - for the whole trip. According to Smith, he decided to reduce the price because, in his own words, "it wouldn’t really be fair to charge them the meter rate."


Source: Hyundai

The Fiat Panda is the perfect car for those leaving in crowed cities, but who, in the same time want to enjoy the comfort of a 4x4 model. The model is offered in two versions: 4x4 and 4x4 Climbing, with a range of two engines, two interior specifications and ten body colors.

Under the hood there is a choice of two engines: a 1.2 that develops a maximum power of 60 bhp at 5000 rpm and a torque of 102 Nm at 2500 rpm and the 70 bhp 1.3 Multijet at 4000 rpm and torque of 145 Nm at 1500 rpm. When equipped with the first power unit, the Panda 4x4 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 20 seconds and reaches a top speed of 145 km/h (when equipped with a second-generation turbodiesel engine, the figures are 16 seconds and 155 km/h respectively).

The 2010 Panda is offered with a Nav Plus infotelematic system, headlight washers and a Dualdrive electric power steering system (the latter is standard over the range). The new car is also unequalled when it comes to safety. Beginning with its outstanding braking system: on versions equipped with the 1.2 Fire power unit, all wheels are fitted with 240 mm diameter discs (the front ones are ventilated) that rise to 257 mm on Multijet versions. The Panda 4x4 offers as standard ABS with EBD complete with an antislip function during deceleration (MSR).

Press release after the jump.

For the big families out there Fiat has created the new Doblo - vehicle designed to meet a need for functionality and comfort that makes the most of interior space and can accommodate up to seven people.

The new Doblo will be offered with a choice of 4 power units at its launch: a 95 HP petrol engine and three diesel Multijet engines, 90, 105 and 135 HP, which will later be joined by a Natural Power engine with dual fuel system (petrol and methane) and an additional diesel engine with Dualogic robotized gearbox.

It features a a central shield and side bumpers perfectly integrated with the body, pronounced wheel arch and sloping shoulder. The interior was designed to offer functionality and create attractive, welcoming environments through combination of colors, materials and trims.

Press release after the jump.

Seat unveiled today the new generation Alhambra, a Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) that comes with new design, inside and out, and new improved engines. Compared to the old model, the new Alhambra is 22 centimeters longer and nine centimeters wider.

The 2011 Alhambra features an arrow-shaped bonnet, hallmark grille and highly distinctive front skirt, a sleek side profile with sliding doors, a muscular spoiler on the rear edge of the roof and expansive light clusters.

The new Alhambra is offered with both TSI and TDI engines, with power ranging from 150 HP to 200 HP for the TSI engines and from 140 HP to 170 HP for the TDI engines. The minivan also features stop/start system and brake energy regeneration and an SCR catalytic converter (Selective Catalytic Reduction), making even the diesel model one of the world’s cleanest MPVs.

Press release after the jump.

A very successful model on the European market, a new generation Touran made its world debut at the Auto Mobil International in Leipzig. The new minivan shares the same design DNA with the latest models from Volkswagen and features improved engines and technologies.

Starting with the engine, the German company added a new entry level model: a turbocharged direct-injection 1.2-liter TSI engine that delivers a total of 105 HP and 175 NM of torque. Besides this one, Volkswagen is also offering eight other engines, with power ranging from 90 HP to 170 HP.

Up front, the new Touran features new bumper, radiator grille in glossy black with chrome trim, engine bonnet, wings and headlights. On the rear it gets a restyled roof edge spoiler that reduces air turbulence in the rear section and helps to lower the new Touran’s Cd value from 0.32 to 0.29.

The interior also gets new materials, instruments, decorative accents and controls.

UPDATE 08/06/2010: Volkswagen has released prices for the 2011 Touran. The base model will start at £17,585, while a fully loaded Touran with 2.0 liter TDI engine will cost £25,535.

Press release after the jump.

Volkswagen is set to unveil tomorrow at the Geneva Motor Show their next generation Sharan MPV. Available in three equipment versions, the Trendline (base version), the Comfortline (mid-level version) and the Highline (the most exclusive version), the Sharan MPV is likewise scheduled to go on sale this summer.

In addition to the three equipment versions it is set to come in, the new Sharan will also be offered with a choice of four engines, both direct injection turbo petrol (TSI) and turbo diesel (TDI) with outputs ranging from 140 horsepower to 200 horsepower. All of these engines will be made available in combination with the direct shift gearbox (DSG) systems.

Measuring 4.85 m in length, 1.9 m in width and is 172 inches tall, the next generation Sharan features the brand’s new front fascia, first used in the new generation Golf. Also a first for the MPV is the use of sliding doors at the back.

Press release after the jump.

Every now and then, we chance upon a vehicle in one of these auto shows that capture our imaginations for an entirely different purpose. While these types of cars aren’t exactly common items in these type of auto shows, their appearances have no other purpose but to liven up the proceedings.

And on cue, the Chicago Auto Show featured one display that most definitely falls under this billing. Underneath all the cosmetic add-ons is just an ordinary Volkswagen bus. But, as the display proudly shows, it’s also the decked-out ride of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

That’s right. It’s those bandana-wearing, karate-chopping mutant turtles. The display came courtesy of the Volo Auto Museum, which makes you wonder out of all the cars they could have exhibited at the Chicago Auto Show, they had to go with the Turtle Van with a matching five-foot tall Ninja Turtle decked out in full battle gear.

Don’t worry, we’re not complaining. After all, in a show featuring some of the newest cars to come out of the woodwork, you’re going to need some time for comic relief, which you can achieve just by looking at this Turtle Van.

Source: Jalopnik

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