By Dave Stall.
I know no one wants to drive a minivan! I am one of those people, but I have one, and you could not take it from me if you tried! This market has been somewhat volatile as whether manufactures see a market in hauling kids, dogs, go-karts, food, lumber, flowers, etc. We have had minivan like vehicles all the way back to the 1920’s, but just called a different name. Today’s minivan is a rolling home and office and I will take a look at two of the top contenders.
2014 Chrysler Town & Country
Since Chrysler was purchased by Fiat they have done a lot of downsizing in the minivan market and they will give you one model, it will be from Chrysler and you can opt from five models. Your base model is the Town & Country Touring starting at $30,765, next is the Town & Country S starting at $32,195, then the Town & Country Touring L starting out at $33,995, and next the Town & Country 30th Anniversary starting at $35,695, followed by the Town & Country Limited starting at $41,295 plus tax and license plus delivery.
That rounds out the models available. These vehicles are all powered by Chryslers 3.6L Pentastar® V6 Flex-Fuel engine producing 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque with fuel economy ratings of 17 city / 25 highway mpg and a gas tank that goes the distance of up to 500 highway miles. The V6 Flex-Fuel engine features dual-overhead camshafts, high-flow intake and exhaust ports, Variable Valve Timing and Electronic Throttle Control backed by a six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. A stand out feature on the town & Country minivan is Stow ’n Go® Seating and Storage that includes fold-in-the-floor second and third-row seats with in-floor storage bins.
2014 Honda Odyssey
Honda has always been a family type of car company and when they decided to bring the Odyssey to market they had a big challenge on their hands and they persevered. The 2014 Honda Odyssey comes in five models, the LX start out at $28,825, the EX start at $32,125, then the EX-L starts at $35,625, then the Touring starting at $41,880 and the Touring Elite starting out at $44,450 plus tax, license and delivery. There are your options and the engine of choice from Honda is the high-output, 3.5-liter, 24-valve, SOHC i-VTEC® V-6 engine produces 248 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque, backed by a six-speed electronically controlled transmission with fuel mileage reading of 19 miles per gallon in the city and 28 miles per gallon on the freeway. One of the features that is really got customer coming to the dealership is the Honda’s Vac System, which is located in the rear with a large hose to help keep the Odyssey clean. Honda has made it easy to build your own Odyssey. Just go to the website and see for yourself.
How hard are they to drive? They are both very easy to drive, plenty of room inside for cargo and people, each manufacturer works hard to make you the customer happy with every feature you could ask for including navigation, touch screen, and safety, while they are hauling your most precious cargo. So safety is abundant, airbags surrounding the occupants, crash zones at all four corners and styling, you can go anywhere in these two vehicles and be accepted at the grocery store or your high end restaurant. So you still would not drive a minivan, well try one out and see if they don’t change your mind. Did I mention you could get seating up to eight?
Let’s go back in time, load up the family in either one of these minivans and can you say “Road Trip”?