If Lee Iacocca were still alive...

Boreas

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I believe we would be knee-deep in off-road minivans! I would love to have a minivan with actual off-road capabilities - not just AWD meant for city streets. About the closest I can find is the old Honda Element that may be staging a comeback. It was a little too small for my purposes, but those sliding passenger doors would certainly be a must in an Offroad Minivan. Then add some practical ground-clearance and old-school 16" wheels and AT tires.

It seems the auto industry often misreads trends and tries to shove stuff down our throats we no longer want. Obviously, SUVs and big trucks are currently king in the US with sedans and minivans an endangered species. But these vehicles all fly in the face of environmental considerations, as is the increased use of plastics in vehicles that are not recyclable.

My answer in an aluminum-rich hybrid or EV 4wd Minivan - perhaps on a similar platform as the new EV Hummer. Why is the industry considering the minivan dead?? It kicked ass for several decades and still has some mileage left in the platform.
 

tubedude

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I believe we would be knee-deep in off-road minivans! I would love to have a minivan with actual off-road capabilities - not just AWD meant for city streets. About the closest I can find is the old Honda Element that may be staging a comeback. It was a little too small for my purposes, but those sliding passenger doors would certainly be a must in an Offroad Minivan. Then add some practical ground-clearance and old-school 16" wheels and AT tires.

It seems the auto industry often misreads trends and tries to shove stuff down our throats we no longer want. Obviously, SUVs and big trucks are currently king in the US with sedans and minivans an endangered species. But these vehicles all fly in the face of environmental considerations, as is the increased use of plastics in vehicles that are not recyclable.

My answer in an aluminum-rich hybrid or EV 4wd Minivan - perhaps on a similar platform as the new EV Hummer. Why is the industry considering the minivan dead?? It kicked ass for several decades and still has some mileage left in the platform.
Screw that, I want my flying car! They promised us flying cars!!
- Red Foreman
 

Chiogtr4x

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I believe we would be knee-deep in off-road minivans! I would love to have a minivan with actual off-road capabilities - not just AWD meant for city streets. About the closest I can find is the old Honda Element that may be staging a comeback. It was a little too small for my purposes, but those sliding passenger doors would certainly be a must in an Offroad Minivan. Then add some practical ground-clearance and old-school 16" wheels and AT tires.

It seems the auto industry often misreads trends and tries to shove stuff down our throats we no longer want. Obviously, SUVs and big trucks are currently king in the US with sedans and minivans an endangered species. But these vehicles all fly in the face of environmental considerations, as is the increased use of plastics in vehicles that are not recyclable.

My answer in an aluminum-rich hybrid or EV 4wd Minivan - perhaps on a similar platform as the new EV Hummer. Why is the industry considering the minivan dead?? It kicked ass for several decades and still has some mileage left in the platform.

They all died ( bought used, then I drove them into the ground) but I had 5 Dodge Caravans from about 1992-2015.

I loved them! Perfect for my job, band gigs, family- comfy to drive.

I only regret that we just did not have the $$ to keep up with scheduled maintenance or getting things repaired, asap. Miss them!
 

Chester P Squier

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When I was in the 7th grade, we were told we would have flying cars and picture phones when we grew up.

We have the picture phones.
But, come to think of it, I had cancer. And am now all clear of it, in remission. So, a cure for cancer! I'll certainly settle for that.
 

Harbinger77

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homer-simpson-car.jpg
 

Whatizitman

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Crossovers and mini-SUVs have all but replaced mini-vans. That which are left are nearly the twice the size of the original Caravan (which, incidentally, was roughly the same size as an Outback). We had one from the first year of production. It did it's job reasonably well, and survived several collisions. Horribly underpowered with the Mitsubishi four-banger. But it drove like a car and was FWD. It made a decent ski trip vehicle, which is all I really cared about as newly minted driving teenager.

The reality is the modern crossover is all around better than the original Caravans. A modern day minivan seats like 10 people or whatever. Apart from the self-designated team parents (we all know who you are), who needs that?

EDIT: Yup. Just checked. The Grand Caravan (came out in '87), was an inch shorter in length than a 2022 Outback. And two inches shorter in height. The original SWB was even shorter in length. The original goal for Chrysler was for a van-like vehicle to fit in a garage. No way I can fit a modern Caravan in my garage. Not even close. An outback can barely open its doors in my garage.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Caravan

Here is your "off road" minivan. The Sienna Woodland Edition. Mini-vans were revolutionary because they were unibody. If you want a smaller unibody off roader, Subaru cornered that market years ago.

2022-toyota-sienna-woodland-special-edition-009-scaled-1619530727.jpg
 
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imwjl

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Sprinters can be a true 4x4. New minivan platforms are AWD via hybrid (Toyota) and my reading up on others suggests EVs will have the dual motor schemas their makers have for their platform.
 

Boreas

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Crossovers and mini-SUVs have all but replaced mini-vans. That which are left are nearly the twice the size of the original Caravan (which, incidentally, was roughly the same size as an Outback). We had one from the first year of production. It did it's job reasonably well, and survived several collisions. Horribly underpowered with the Mitsubishi four-banger. But it drove like a car and was FWD. It made a decent ski trip vehicle, which is all I really cared about as newly minted driving teenager.

The reality is the modern crossover is all around better than the original Caravans. A modern day minivan seats like 10 people or whatever. Apart from the self-designated team parents (we all know who you are), who needs that?

Here is your "off road" minivan. The Sienna Woodland Edition. Mini-vans were revolutionary because they were unibody. If you want a smaller unibody off roader, Subaru cornered that market years ago.

2022-toyota-sienna-woodland-special-edition-009-scaled-1619530727.jpg


Sorry but that wouldn't qualify as off-road for my purposes - beach use in deep sand and Jeep trails requiring high clearance. Off-highway perhaps. Those have been around for a long time, but don't have the ground clearance.
 

Boreas

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Sprinters can be a true 4x4. New minivan platforms are AWD via hybrid (Toyota) and my reading up on others suggests EVs will have the dual motor schemas their makers have for their platform.

All well and good, but I need ground clearance as well. Think of a Wrangler with a Minivan on the frame.
 

Whatizitman

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Sorry but that wouldn't qualify as off-road for my purposes - beach use in deep sand and Jeep trails requiring high clearance. Off-highway perhaps. Those have been around for a long time, but don't have the ground clearance.

Well, than you have your answer to both questions.

Again, the minivan was unibody construction. It was not truck-based. That's why it was revolutionary as a family hauler and became a suburban icon.

If you want high clearance, 4WD, otherwise truck-like construction and capabilities, you want a truck or SUV. Not a minivan.
 

schmee

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The minivan isn't dead. The 4wd version may be , but they are out there.
My buddy has a Dodge 4 x 4 minivan.
I live on a dead end road with 3 houses . The hill is VERY steep with a 90+ degree turn. . I've gotten home in 8+" of snow with my 2WD minivan with studded tires. I finally got stuck 100 ft from the house one year when the snow was dragging the undercarriage too much.

But even 4wd minivans sit a bit low for the ultimate snow vehicle. That's where 4 runners, etc take over. But the Ford Excursion or the Chevy Tahoe etc are where it's at if you want the room

The industry is too focused on features and toys for me. Pop up nav screens like your F-18 fighter etc. NO THANKS.

I will be SOLD when they make them very basic. On -off switches. No computer chips thinking for me. No fancy trim or designs. Windshields that aren't 3 feet from hood to top! (can't clean mine, can't reach it!) An EV could be very simple. But NOOOO!
 

Whatizitman

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All well and good, but I need ground clearance as well. Think of a Wrangler with a Minivan on the frame.

Sprinters (the 4wd ones, not the AWD) have pretty good clearance.

Maybe you were are wanting the VAN part of the minivan equation more than anything. The US has very rarely ever had production based 4WD full size vans. Many had regular vans converted by companies like Quigley. That was rare and expensive enough. But it's quickly becoming even more rare, as the auto manufacturers are discontinuing traditional van platforms for good. Ford, most notably. Full size vans from here on out will be some combination of unibody design. Or otherwise only heavy duty commercial fleet sales, only.

If you want truck-like off road performance in a van, you either got to go with a sprinter, a modified Transit, or older converted van. If you want a mini-van for off road, you have Outbacks, RAV4s, larger body on frame SUVs, etc...

No actual off road mini-vans. Not in the US, anyway. There are plenty of suitable replacements, though.
 

Whatizitman

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Toyota and Chevy played with 4wd in the 80s and 90s. But that was then, and this is now.

van.jpg


1994_Chevrolet_Astro%2C_front_%282%29_6.14.21.jpg
 

tubedude

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Me too, but at the current rate, I doubt I will last that long - or won't qualify for a license!
We screw the pooch in two dimensions. Can you imagine the chaos in three? It would look like a scene from The Fifrh Element, with flaming cars called home by gravity.
 




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