Best small minivan

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Choosing Your Ideal Hauler

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When you’re hauling people and gear, nothing beats a van—especially if a large number of humans and/or a big payload are involved. Versatility comes with a price, though; modern minivans have grown in size, limiting your maneuverability in tight spaces and in the city. However, a new solution has arrived in the form of compact passenger vans, which are much more maneuverable in tight spaces. Are vans like the Ford Transit Connect Wagon and Ram ProMaster City viable choices as minivan alternatives, or do they have some downfalls?

2014-Ford-Transit-Connect-Wagon-front-passengers-viewBetter Maneuverability (Especially in the City)

Perhaps the biggest reason for getting something like Ford Transit Connect Wagon or a Ram ProMaster City is their maneuverability around town. If you live in the city or have plenty of tight streets to deal with, a compact van is a godsend because it’ll give you the space you need for hauling people and/or gear without having to deal with the massive footprint of a modern minivan.

Superior Handling

2016 Chevrolet City Express interior 02Some small vans ride on platforms shared with compact cars. Take the Ford Transit Connect Wagon, for example. It shares its underpinnings with the Ford Focus, giving it excellent agility despite its boxy shape. Its handling prowess and nimbleness also add a layer of safety, allowing you to confidently evade obstacles with ease.

Versatility

A compact van is the best of both worlds because you’ll be able to configure it as a cargo hauler when you need to. (Some of them feature removable seats.) In case you have to haul people around, all you need to do is put the seats back in place, and you’ve got comfortable seating for up to seven depending on which van you get.

You Can Park (Nearly) Anywhere

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz MetrisDue to their smaller footprint, compact and midsize vans are easier to park, so you won’t need to go searching around for a space that’s large enough for your hulking behemoth. Instead, you’ll be able to squeeze into smaller parking spots closer to your destination, saving you time from driving around a crowded lot.

Cheaper to Buy

Because they’re essentially commercial vehicles, compact vans are less costly to buy and come with less equipment than the equivalent modern minivan, which is no cheaper than $27, 000 these days. However, fully loaded, a Ford Transit Connect Wagon or a Ram ProMaster City Wagon tops out just under the $36, 000 mark and comes with a useful multimedia interface and plenty of flexibility versus the current crop of minivans, which are at least $44, 000 fully loaded.

Modern Minivans Have More Power

One of the big benefits of a modern minivan is that the majority of them come standard with a V-6 engine, giving you plenty of power for passing, hauling, and accelerating. In comparison, compact passenger vans usually have around 170-200 hp from a four-cylinder, meaning you’ll have to work them hard if they’re packed with gear or people.

Superior Infotainment System

Automakers that continue to have minivans in their lineup tailor the cars for family duty, so they have more ways to keep everyone entertained on long road trips. You’ll also get the benefit of having the latest infotainment system, giving you access to your smartphone apps and more entertainment options to keep the little ones happy.

2016 Toyota Sienna Limited front three quarter in motion 2016 Kia Sedona SXL center stack 2016-Honda-Odyssey-front-three-quarter-in-motion-02
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