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.

Concept cars are being unveiled in all sorts of places these days. Take the case of Toyota for example. The Japanese automaker recently attended a private-panel discussion hosted by Make: magazine in San Francisco to unveil the Urban Utility Concept, or U2 in short. Toyota’s purpose of attending the event was to showcase the innovative concept that aims to attract young, entrepreneurial urban drivers. The U2 Concept was developed by the company’s Calty Design Research based in Newport Beach, California.

After its appearance at the private panel discussion, the Toyota Urban Utility Concept is scheduled to make its first public appearance at the World Maker Faire in New York City on Sept. 20 and 21, 2014.

It’s an appropriate venue to make its public debut, especially with Maker Faire events being geared towards modern inventions and growing entrepreneurship possibilities.

The Toyota U2 Concept fits in that kind of environment.

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota U-squared Urban Utility Concept Vehicle.

The Swagger Wagon is rolling into 2015 with some minor changes and updates centered mainly around a few exterior cosmetic bits and a few interior pieces. The new Sienna minivan isn’t much different from the outgoing van, which debuted back in 2011. The Sienna dates back to 1998 when Toyota launched the all-new minivan as a replacement for the mid-engine Previa minivan. (Yes, the Previa’s engine sat under the front seats!) The Sienna then moved into its second generation in 2004 and onto the third generation in 2011.

Toyota decided to take an unconventional approach to launching the 2015 Sienna and has enlisted the help of three kid-caring, viral Interwebz families that will help promote the van’s image as a cool parent-mobile. The marketing strategy piggybacks on the success of Toyota’s Swagger Wagon campaign back in 2011.

Officially the new Sienna will be launched in person at the Artscape, a free-arts festival in Baltimore, MD that happens from July 18th through 20th. But for those outside of Baltimore, the parents behind “Action Movie Kid,” “Eh Bee Family,” and “Convos with My 2-Year-Old” will be touting the Sienna’s launch hard on the web.

Click past the jump to read the full review of the updated 2015 Toyota Sienna.

Ram Trucks just announced its newest product headed for the U.S. marketplace, the 2015 Ram ProMaster City. For American buyers, the ProMaster City might be all-new, but in actuality, the Class One light van has deep roots in Europe as the Fiat Doblò. The Fiat was introduced in 2000 and saw its second generation come in 2010. Now in its third generation, the Fiat is dawning a Ram grille, rear trim pieces, and an Americanized powertrain we’re familiar with in other Chrysler products.

The jump across the Atlantic Ocean makes perfect sense for Ram as its competition have developed some small vans of their own, namely the Chevrolet City Express, Ford Transit Connect, and the Nissan NV200. The American van market hasn’t been this hot since the 1970s when full-size conversion vans and hippy machines were all the rage. Now smaller yet more mature, these vans are taking care of work rather than pleasure. You won’t find any shag carpet or chrome side pipes here — it’s all about cargo capacity, interior volume, fuel economy, and overall cost of ownership.

Though Ram hasn’t release many of the important data facts like price and fuel economy, brand CEO Reid Bigland says the ProMaster City will lead the class in several key area, making it a top choice for small businesses and delivery services across the country.

Click past the jump for the full rundown on the 2015 Ram ProMaster City

Former SNL cast member, 30 Rock star and one of my personal favorite comedians is in critical condition following a serious accident this past weekend. Tracy Morgan was riding in a Mercedes Sprinter converted into a limo as it traveled down the New Jersey Turnpike in Mercer County, NJ when it was struck by a Walmart semi truck .

According to the report, Morgan’s Mercedes was stuck in slow-moving traffic when the semi didn’t see the slower traffic and failed to avoid the limo. The semi struck the rear of the limo, spinning it around and flipping it on its side, critically injuring Morgan, harming three other passengers and killing Morgan’s long-time friend James "Jimmy Mack" McNair.

Morgan is currently in critical condition in the hospital, but is showing signs of improvement as of Monday afternoon. The complete rundown on Tracy’s condition is unknown at this point, but there are plenty of rumors running around.

The driver of the Walmart truck, Kevin Roper, was charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. Reports claim that he had been awake for 24 straight hours when the crash occurred.

We’ll stay on top of this news and update you as more information comes out.

Click past the jump to see some of Tracy Morgan’s stand-up.

Source: CNN

Minivans are strange beasts, wielding a two-edged sword of unmatched utility and a soccer-mom stigma. That stigma is hard to get past for some, but once the shear versatility and people-hauling capabilities have been explored, it’s hard to consider the minivan anything less than spectacular. I spent a week behind the wheel of Chrysler’s Town & Country to experience the conundrum for myself.

I’ve driven a number of rather interesting vehicles in my line of work, so I was admittedly a little weary about piloting the mom-mobile. However, as luck would have it, a minivan was just what I needed during the week. Up first was hauling my two-year-old around town for the week. The double DVD screens truly came in handy as a loveable mouse kept her attention off the “are we there yet?” statements. Next was chauffeuring a large group of friends to a social event. We had room to spare and all were comfortable.

Finally a family trip to the beach confirmed my suspension the Town & Country could do it all. With the third row folded flat, fishing poles lying between the second row captains’ chairs, and gear for the day packed all around, the Chrysler proved its worth. What’s more, the van’s front wheel drive also proved confident in the loose sands of Daytona Beach.

Click past the jump for the full review.

Korean automaker Kia Motors has officialy released details of the 2015 Sedona , its newest competitor in the minivan segment set for its global debut at the New York Auto Show happening April 16.

The news of a new minivan is good news for soccer moms everywhere since the market has grown stale over the last few years. Once the Sedona hits the market, it will be the newest game in town by a long shot with the second newest competitors – the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna – both being new for 2011.

Minivan sales have been relatively good with both the Sienna and Odyssey selling roughly 120,000 vans each in 2013. The Kia, on the other hand, has struggled. Only managing to roll 7,079 units off the lot last year, the Sedona is obviously in need of some help. Considering how well Kia’s other products are doing (think Optima ), the automaker is capable of a home run here, if they’ll cater to its audience with the right features, space, available options, and priced at the right dollar amount.

Even with an all-new van, it’s hard imagining Kia raising the Sedona’s price much past its current $25,900 starting slot, especially if it want to compete with the Odyssey, Sienna, and Grand Caravan. Stay tuned to TopSpeed for the complete coverage of the 2014 New York Auto Show in the coming weeks.

Updated 04/14/2014: Kia announced today the official details on the 2015 Sedona with just a few days before the car’s official debut in New York Auto Show.

Updated 09/12/2014: Kia announced prices for the new Sedona which is now available at dealers at a price of $25,900. Details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Kia Sedona.

The small commercial van market in the U.S. doesn’t carry the same weight as most of its peers, but make no mistake, this is an important market for small businesses looking to get a decentlypriced, high-performing hauler that can also masquerade as a nice people ride.

The 2014 Ram Cargo Van gives customers all those options and a whole lot more, all for a decent price that won’t burn holes in your pockets. First launched in 2012 for small business haulers, the Cargo Van has since turned into one of the leading models in the segment, thanks to numerous class-leading capabilities, including performance and range.

Add that to the aforementioned low cost of ownership with ample amount of cargo space to boot and you’re looking at an ideally suited ride that can meet all the needs of business owners looking for a versatile commercial van with impressive power backing it up.

Click past the jump to read more about Ram Cargo Van

Chevy has graced visitors of the Chicago Auto Show with news about its new 2015 City Express van. While we traditionally have a good idea about what is going to be revealed a few days ahead of time, this came out of left field.

The Nissan NV200 -based van is little more than a Chevrolet rebadge, but it gives Chevrolet a tool to use against the Ford Transit at a minimal cost.

If you are looking for a smaller way to haul your kids, you are still going to need to look at the Mazda5, as City Express is purely a functional machine. It has two seats, and a load of cargo room; that is it.

Still, there is a lot to love about this little Chevy, so click on through to find out all the details from its drivetrain to its max cargo capacity.

Posted on by Simona  

Do you remember the Golf Sportsvan Concept Volkswagen unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show ? Well, today it’s time to finally see the production version of this new model out for a test in blustery, winter conditions.

To no surprise, the production version looks nearly identical to the concept , with the only noticeable difference being the slightly revised fog lights on the production version.

The new Golf Sportvan will ride on a wheelbase with about 1.96 inches longer than the standard Golf and the body is about 0.3 inches wider. The most obvious of differences between the Golf and this Sportsvan is that it is taller than the standard Golf.

The new model will come as a replacement for the old Golf Plus, and VW built it as a combination between a minivan and a hatchback. Its demographic is younger families who like the roomier interior, but still prefer the compact size on the outside.

Expect the new Volkswagen Golf Sportvan to be unveiled at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show , with the first deliveries starting in mid 2014.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Golf Sportvan.

Ford is living up to the hype of Vandemonium with an armada of heavily modified Ford Transit Connect vans at the 2013 SEMA Auto Show .

It seems like an odd choice to showcase vans at the world’s premier aftermarket auto show, but the Blue Oval is determined to show that these family rides can be turned into something more than its billed and the company is going all out with it.

A total of 10 Ford Transit Connect vans are heading to SEMA, each packing its own unique set of modifications that distinct character traits, while also showcasing the surprising versatility and sophisticated appeal of the company’s resident people-mover.

Of the 10 models, Ford has already unveiled nine of ’em, including the Blood & Grease, which transforms the Trasit Connect Cargo in what’s described as a "high-end fashion boutique on four wheels".

Pretty interesting description, but its not the only model that was treated to an aftermarket upheaval.

There’s also the Impulse Marketing & Media Transit Connect Cargo, which has been turned into a baked goods delivery vehicle; the CGS Motosrports’ Transit Connect that has effectively become a mobile speed shop for the drag strip; the K-Daddyz Kustomz Transit Connect that was turned into a veritable mobile workplace for graphic design; the LGE*CTS Motorsports Transit Connect Wagon that has somehow morphed into a Cross Country cruiser with state-of-the-art technology; the Mobsteel Transit Connect Cargo that was not only lowered to essentially kiss the ground, but created as the ultimate mobile billboard promoting the Detroit Steel Wheel Company.

Those are just a few of the modified Transit Connect vans that are coming to SEMA. More are expected to be revealed in the coming days leading up to the show opening its doors in a little over a week.

Click past the jump to read about the 2014 Ford Transit Connect Cargo


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