This being Colorado, I see quite a few Volkswagen Vanagons on the street and in local wrecking yards. Mostly I ignore them for this series, because their local popularity means examples that show up at a Denver self-service yard get stripped immediately and aren’t very interesting photographic subjects. So far, we’ve seen just this exquisitely stereotype-reinforcing Steal Your Face Edition ’83, and that’s it prior to today’s find. An ordinary Vanagon with most of the parts gone, I’m not shooting it. A Vanagon Syncro (which I believe to be the most unwise money-pit available on four wheels or a Westfalia Camper, on the other hand, I’m always willing to photograph those rare birds. Here’s a squalid ’81 Westy that I found at a Denver yard last week. (Read More…)
On October 3rd, 1984, American Motors announced that the Renault Espace would be imported to North America as an AMC product. 30 years later, the Escpace’s minivan heritage will come to an end.
In preparation for a “stunning” new minivan, Chrysler will shut their Windsor, Ontario assembly plant for three months to re-tool for the all new vehicle, expected to be sold exclusively as a Chrysler Town & Country.
What is the deal with minivans? I was thinking the other day that as an outdoor person, minivan’s are perfect. They have lots of room for people and gear, AWD (in some cases), lots of roof space, and better MPG’s than an SUV. But apparently I can’t own one because they’re not cool. I could get a wagon though. Isn’t a minivan just a super-sized wagon?
Will minivans ever be cool to own?
Fans of the Mazda5 may not be able to buy one in the United States anymore, but Canadian buyers will continue to be able to purchase Mazda’s microvan for the foreseeable future.
Mazda’s small minivan will disappear for 2015, as compact crossover sales eat into the shrinking market share of the Mazda5.
Chrysler will hire 60 workers at its Windsor, Ontario minivan plant, but only candidates referred by current union workers will be considered for the jobs.
Toyota’s updated Sienna isn’t going to set any hearts ablaze -or convince TTAC readers of its supremacy vis a vis our beloved Chrysler minivans – but it does have one feature so compelling that I am going to get one from the press fleet just to sample it.
Reader Nicholas Naylor submits his review of the Nissan Quest
Minivans are overdue for an image makeover. Crossovers are less comfortable, less spacious, more thirsty, and absolutely zero percent cooler than a minivan (except for maybe the Flex). Yet it seems the majority of attractive MILF’s (Maternal, Image-Loving Females?) that I speak to would still never want to be caught dead driving a minivan. What gives? There’s an opportunity for a gifted designer to embrace what a minivan can do, and make it cool again, via good design, an accommodating interior, and affordability for young families. No one is doing this quite yet—but who is the closest?