Fiat Chrysler Celebrates 35 Years of the Minivan
At this point in history, minivans have become an acquired taste. Just like fine scotch and the silkiest of smooth jazz, there are those who appreciate the minivan and those who don’t — likely due to some tragic flaw within their genetic makeup.
However, Fiat Chrysler still gets the minivan and, as a reminder to normal people everywhere that they also still sell them, has seen fit to release celebratory editions of the Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Grand Caravan. Proud to issue a refresher that Chrysler’s Windsor Assembly Plant gave the world its first modern minivan back in November of 1983, both of FCA’s family haulers receive special 35th Anniversary Edition models for 2019.
Granted, the math isn’t perfect. But you can’t waste time celebrating a segment that’s only slightly healthier than your average retirement home resident.
Piston Slap: Upgrading The Fleet?
I have a question about fleet replacements. Currently, we have a vehicle fleet that includes:
- 2010 Ford Explorer, 103k miles
- 2006 Ford Crown Vic, 78k miles
- 2006 Buick Lucerne, 82k miles
- 2005 Chevy Impala, 76k miles
- 2014 Ford Explorer, 40k miles
- 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan, 65k miles
- 2008 – Ford Crown Vic, 70k miles
- 2011 Chevy Impala, 18k miles
- 2014 Jeep Patriot, 28k miles
- 2014 Jeep Patriot, 18k miles
- 2014 Jeep Patriot, 23k miles
- 2011 Chevy Impala, 46k miles
- 2007 Dodge Caravan, 123k miles
- 2012 Chevy Impala, 24k miles
- 2012 Chevy Impala, 22k miles
Our budget only allows to replace nine vehicles with a 2014 equivalent version of each.
What would you decide to keep and replace? What guidelines would you consider?
Here Are All the Ways Chrysler Tried To Turbocharge the 1980s
It was impossible to escape the word “Turbo” in the 1980s.
There were Turbo Aviators and Turbo Hoover vacuums. Turbo was a character on American Gladiators. There was even Turbo chewing gum, which came with a cool mini car poster wrapper. Turbo was a helluva drug in the 1980s, and Chrysler took note.
BMW offered one turbocharged gasoline model. Porsche offered three. But Chrysler? Over a 10 year span, the Pentastar turbocharged its entire car lineup, bringing us some 20 turbocharged models powered by no less than six different variations of the 2.2- and 2.5-liter inline-fours.
The Ultimate Fit: Aston Martin Van Damn!
Introducing a brand new column at TTAC: The Ultimate Fit, where you get to figure out the unfortunate souls who would best fit for the rolling relics of the used car world.
Let’s take this 15 year old, 3-door Chrysler minivan with only 59,000 original miles. Better yet, you take it and try to find the perfect buyer.
Piston Slap: Minivan or SUV to Take the "A" Liner?
We plan on buying a hard-side folding camper (a.k.a. an Aliner) with a dry weight of about 2,100 lbs. Which minivan or SUV would you recommend?
Marchionne: AWD Minivan Will Lose Stow 'N Go or Gain Electric Motor
Move over, Toyota. You won’t be the only automaker hocking an all-wheel drive minivan when the new Town & Country arrives next year.
According to Sergio Marchionne, the next minivan will get all-wheel drive, but something’s gotta give.
Piston Slap: Why So Uncool Minivan?
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?
Piston Slap: The Buy or Rent Pitfall?
My wife and I are planning on taking a large 20 day vacation this summer where we plan on driving aver 5000 miles with our three older children. My wife drives a 2008 Ford Taurus X, which we love, but does not have enough space for a family of five for such a long journey. We were originally going to rent a minivan from the local enterprise, but a two week rental will set us back $1,300 with tax.
Piston Slap: Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire?
Here’s the situation: I own an 08 Dodge Caravan, 117000KM’s (Canada), bought used at 94000KM’s or so. It’s been good to us…but I have this feeling in my stomach that doom is pending on this van. I keep it well maintained, do my own work on it when I can. I am noticing more and more rust spots (underbody) and oil seepages under the hood (oil levels are good). It’s a base SE, no power doors or lift gate. Last time I did some brake work a bolt broke due to corrosion.
We have 2 kids and love the space of the stow and go’s and such. However, I’m no fool, this van is a liability in my mind. Am I overreacting?
Want to sell and buy a similar vintage Honda CR-V.
Dodge's Second To Last Stand: The "Man Van"
The Wall Street Journal [sub] asked several Chrysler dealers about the newest hotness being developed in Auburn Hills, and came away with the tales of a “man van” that Chrysler hopes will lend the Dodge Caravan some masculine swagger. According to the WSJ, this re-man-ification of the minivan includes:
a slightly sportier look on the outside, possibly finished off with a black-and-gray interior trimmed with hot-colored stitching on the seats and steering wheel
Oh yes, and some “edgy” ads laden with tired cliches of sexual politics. In short, they’re sending the 2008 “Caravan R/T” concept into production. But why?
Dodge's Minivan Hip Replacement
Curbside Classic: 1984 Dodge Caravan
There’s nothing truly original in the car business. Everyone begs, steals and borrows from everyone else. Or sometimes, the same (and usually obvious) idea ferments for years in various heads or companies, and then suddenly appears in the same format at the same time in totally different places. How about the modern FWD mini-van? It first bubbled up in two totally different branches of Chrysler, sat for years,and then suddenly sprang forth, one in the US, the other in France, both at the same time. Coincidence, or is it just that every idea has its day in the sun? For the minivan, that would be 1983. In France, it was the Espace; in the US it was the Dodge Caravan/Plymouth Voyager.
Hammer Time: Bye-Bye Miss Minivan Pie
It’s heartbreaking. To see a major company that literally carried a healthy portion of America’s heartland go up in Euro-flames. I remember the beauty of it. The 1990’s minivans that completely obliterated their competition. LH sedans that were state of the art for their time. Cloud cars that had more power and road feel than their American brethren. Neons that were so good that even Toyota was jealous. Believe it or not, I still think the talent base of Chrysler is there. But to get it out…