Not Just For Families Anymore
When Chrysler released the minivan upon the North American car buying pubic in 1983, there was little doubt the unique body style would transform the motoring landscape for decades to come. While the 1950 Volkswagen Type 2 microbus could be declared the first mini-van, the first vehicles to be actively called “minivans” were car-based utilitarian affairs sold as the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager. The idea behind the mini-van was simple: take the utility of a full-size van, combine it with the conveniences of a passenger car, and scale it down to manageable proportions suitable for everyday errands and city driving. The success of the twin Chrysler minivans led General Motors and Ford to release the Astro and Aerostar vans just two years later in 1985. Anybody who owned one of these early automobiles will no doubt recall a vehicle that is very different from today’s vans.
Thankfully, minivan refinement has come a very long way from the days when a minivan was a small car with a box built around it. Today’s minivans have luxurious features, all-wheel-drive capability, an array of engine options, aggressive styling cues, and a staggering choice of seat arrangements. In fact, the days of the minivan being thought of a strictly a “soccer mom” phenomenon are long gone. While it is true that today’s mini-vans excel as family vehicles, minivans are often called into service as route vehicles, company cars, shuttles, light delivery vehicles, taxi cabs, and even ambulances and hearses.
This universal appeal has caused the minivan segment has exploded, and many crossover vehicles could arguably fall into the minivan category. Autotropolis.com has kept our description of the minivan strict when developing the list of top-10 minivans for 2007. The vehicles you find on this list will be “traditional” minivans. For crossover, station wagon, or SUV rankings, please visit Car Rankings portion of the site.
Computing the Rankings
A total of 10 cars were selected as the best mini-vans for 2007. Each minivan was rated on 15 individual indicators including safety, reliability, mileage, style, price, cost-of-ownership, fit and finish, drive system, telematics, performance, warranty, comfort, child friendliness, fuel selection, and towing capacity.
|Top 10 Minivans
Just missed the cut: