Minivans used to be practical, but nothing more. When it came to buying a minivan, you sort of bit the bullet, and made the decision out of necessity. Today, however, families are choosing minivans for more than the space and sliding doors. New technology is even making minivans, dare we say, sexy. And once you see them in this new light, there’s no going back.
5 Features You’ll Find in Today’s Minivans
Take a look at some of the most popular minivans of 2017 and you’ll be surprised by what you discover. Today’s minivans aren’t the same as they were 5-10 years ago. In fact, they feel like you’re sitting in a luxury sedan or state-of-the-art SUV – only with more room.
Exactly what features can you expect from today’s leading minivans? Here are a few of the top ones:
1. Built-in Vacuum Suction
Mud, dirt, grass, leaves, spilled milk, snack crumbs, pet hair, sand from the beach…it doesn’t take long for your minivan to get trashed. But who has time to go the car wash and find coins to put in the vacuum machine? Nobody – which is why cars stay dirty most of the time. With some of the newer minivans, you actually get a built-in vacuum suction wand. That means you can deal with messes sooner (rather than never) and keep your van looking and smelling brand new.
2. Motion-Based Door Opening
Nothing is worse than having your hands full – whether with groceries or a car seat – and not being able to open the van’s doors. One neat feature that you’ll find on certain new models is motion-based door opening. Just wave your foot underneath the door when you have the key in your pocket and it will automatically open. Pretty cool!
3. Backseat Cameras
Rear backup cameras are pretty standard these days, but are you familiar with backseat “cabin” cameras? Some minivans – including new Hondas – have a camera that lets you see what’s happening in the backseat. Not only does this prevent you from having to turn your head and physically look into the backseat to see what the kids are quarreling about (safety hazard), but it also comes in handy for keeping an eye on sleeping infants.
4. Fully Integrated Entertainment Centers
Entertainment centers are no longer viewed as nice little add-ons for those willing to spend some extra money. Any new minivan is expected to have some sort of information system. What’s neat about today’s models is that they come with fully integrated entertainment centers. This means the navigation, audio, radio, video, and climate control all work together for a seamless user experience. (Many connect straight to your phone via Bluetooth, which makes it easy to send content back and forth.)
5. Hybrid Drivetrain
The new Chrysler Pacifica offers plug-in hybrid drivetrain, which is even cooler than it sounds. This means it features a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery that provides up to 30 miles of pure-electric range before the V6 engine automatically kicks in and takes over. The battery is conveniently stored under the second row of seats and can be fully recharged in just two hours.
With hybrid drivetrain, you no longer have to use gas when you take a short trip to the grocery store, or to pick up the kids from school. While it doesn’t really help with longer trips, it’s a nice feature to have if most of your commutes are nearby.
Making the Move to a Minivan
Whether you’re someone who repeatedly swore that you would never drive a minivan, or someone who has owned multiple vans in the past, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by some of the features found in today’s most popular models.
From built-in vacuum suction to stow-and-go- seating, they have everything you’ll ever want or need out of a family vehicle.