The minivan arrived in the 1980’s and quickly displaced the station wagon and four-door sedan as the vehicle of choice for busy families. After years of dominance in the market, the minivan has begun to slip in recent years, with more active families opting for SUVs. There are several reasons why this is taking place, but these four likely top the list.
Minivans Lack Traction
The surge in minivan sales took place around the same time as the widespread adoption of front-wheel drive technology, but even that has proven inferior to the all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive systems available on SUVs. Families like knowing that even when the snow is piling up, their primary vehicle will be able to get a sick child to the doctor or just get Mom and Dad home from work.
New SUV’s Look Cooler
The earliest SUVs were basically pickup trucks with beds replaced by a back seat and some storage space. They lacked the comforts found in even entry-level minivans. In time, the manufacturers adapted. SUVs were designed fresh from the ground up, incorporating all the luxuries and creature comforts of a high-end sedan or minivan and drawing more and more families to those heated driver’s seats. Minivans are looked at something that’s just comfortable, but SUV’s have been able to give you what a young family with kids needs while also not having you be embarrassed to drive it. Ask your kids as you pass new ford cars for sale if they’d rather drive in a Windstar or in an Explorer. Both comfortable cars, but one has more swag.
Fuel Economy is Improving
Another big battle for SUVs in the war for popularity has always been fuel economy. Again, the first models were modified trucks with truck transmissions and truck motors that guzzled gas. Soon the manufacturers found ways to optimize fuel economy without sacrificing performance, even in the largest SUVs. The favorable results at the gas pump put a lot of minivans out to pasture.
Larger Cargo Space Improves Convenience
A big part of the appeal of minivans over sedans was the greater capacity for hauling cargo. Families on vacation or simply hitting Black Friday found the large cargo area to be literally a big improvement on compact trunks in sedans. Now that most people seem to be traveling with more and more sports gear, luggage, or plain old groceries, the larger storage capacity of SUVs has put them ahead of minivans.
The automotive industry is in constant pursuit of the next big innovation. The evolution from sedans to station wagons to minivans was logical, and today’s progression toward SUVs makes just as much sense. Families vote with their purchasing dollar, and they are finding that SUVs can provide high performance, good fuel economy, stylish looks, and ample storage space, leaving minivans in the rear-view mirror.