Q: What is a Minivan?

December 17, 2013 12:53 PM

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Minivans are ubiquitous on the roads of America. More than just a box on wheels, a minivan can help you ferry your family, goods, or services across cities and states. Parents often rely on minivans to provide the space needed for growing children to enjoy themselves without being wedged in next to their brothers or sisters, and seating options often place parents out of seat-kicking range of younger children.

The modern minivan is about eight inches taller than a standard family car. The driver sits higher than in many other family-style vehicles, allowing greater overall perspective on the road.

The spacious interior of a minivan is also a key feature. A minivan typically does not have a car trunk, but rear access and the ability to fold down or remove interior seating can provide more storage options.

Parents enjoy the peace of mind provided by driving something larger than the standard family sedan. In addition to providing a commanding view of the road, many minivans also feature back-up cameras and stability control systems. Back-up cameras help drivers spot potential hazards and prevent accidents when the vehicle is backing up. Stability control is important for tall vehicles, because it can help prevent rollover accidents.

Most modern minivans are 2-wheel drive, with front-wheel drive (FWD) being the most common setup. Front-drive can provide better fuel economy and save you money at the pump. Traction in a FWD minivan is enhanced due to the heavier part of the vehicle, the engine compartment, being located directly over the drive wheels. All-wheel-drive minivans are also available. Some minivans might also have real-wheel drive, but this is increasingly rare in vehicles of this size and class.

The storage and safety features of a minivan help ensure its appeal to families and business professionals alike. Minivans are exceptionally versatile vehicles, able to handle a broad variety of daily tasks.

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