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What Is A Minivan: The Story And Types Of This Versatile Van-Car

What Is A Minivan

Minivans are a unique example of versatility combined with family-friendliness. These vehicles have been a staple of family transportation for decades, yet people often get confused and can’t clearly define what is a minivan.

Well, you won’t have to wander anymore as we’re here to help you. In this article, you’ll get to learn all the must-know information about this type of car. We will explore the exact definition, its unique features you should be aware of as well as all the details that make it the beloved choice for families across the globe. You’ll also find the answers to all the most asked questions that will definitely help you understand whether this type of vehicle is the right choice for your next hire.

What Is A Minivan?

Mom And Daugther Washing A Grey Minivan

Minivans are vehicles that can usually accommodate 5 to 8 people. Their primary purpose is passenger transport. These vehicles are complemented by hinged rear doors and spacious cargo areas. Because of their comfort level and overall space, they’re a popular choice among larger families.

You have a wide range of minivan sizes at your disposal, from micro to compact and full-sized minivans.

Key Features Of A Minivan

Most minivans can boast high passenger capacity and easy access as their key features. With their rear sliding doors and wide entryways, every passenger can get in and out of all three rows without performing an Olympic gymnastic routine. And since we are talking about a people carrier that can accommodate up to 8 people, it’s not hard to see why this practicality makes it a popular choice for families.

These passenger vehicles can also come with fuel-efficient hybrid powertrains and all-wheel drive. They also come with three rows of seats, and you can remove or fold the last one in case you need to transport your luggage or simply go grocery shopping.

Minivan’s Evolution Through History

In 1983, two automotive legends, Lee Iacocca and Hal Sperlich, launched the Plymouth Voyager and Dodge Caravan, which made them pioneers in a whole new vehicle category. Today, that car is known as the minivan.

Why was this model such a success? Its secret was that it combined the best of station wagons and commercial vans, making it the ultimate family car. Thanks to its taller roofline, getting in and out was easy and because of  Chrysler’s K-car chassis, the ride was smoother than in the traditional vans.

As the years went by, minivans evolved. They became safer, more fuel-efficient and technologically advanced. It’s a cherished vehicle whose ample interior room makes it a perfect companion for family adventures, road trips, and overall everyday life.

Types Of Minivans

The most convenient minivan type is a compact one which offers all the practicality of a minivan but in a smaller package. 

If you want to experience a VIP treatment, you can opt for more unusual options. The most notable types are convertible, luxury, and camper minivan. These vehicles come with advanced safety systems and entertainment features. 

Minivan has gone a long way since its creation offering different modern-technology vehicles such as hybrid, electric and even self-driven minivans. Each type has the following characteristics: hinged rear doors, spacious interior room and comfortable passenger seats.

Currently, the go-to minivan providers are Chrysler, Toyota, Kia, and Honda (Volkswagen plans to put out the ID. Buzz by 2025). 

Minivans are considered to be a subcategory of vans or at least a mix of a car and a van. However, when people commonly talk about ‘vans’, they usually think of commercial, larger vans rather than small vans or vehicles like these.

Minivan Vs SUV

Minivans and SUVs are really popular choices for people in need of vehicles that are larger than a typical car.

Although both of these vehicles offer more interior room and cargo area, there are some notable differences between the two. Here are some of the features where minivans shine and come out as a clear winner in comparison:

  • Cargo space – Even though you can fold down third-row seats in both of them, minivans still generally offer more room than SUVs.
  • Interior space – When it comes to roominess, minivans are a clear winner in this category. They offer more legroom in the back row than the typical SUV.
  • Door configuration – Almost all minivans will come in a package with convenient sliding doors, making it easier to both enter and exit the vehicle. And if you have high-energy kids, the sliding door of a minivan will also reduce the risk of them accidentally bumping into the neighbour’s car on their way in and out.

And here are some instances where some people prefer SUVs:

  • Off-roading capability – SUVs have higher ground clearance and rugged versatility than minivans. They also come equipped with all-wheel and four-wheel drive options, so those who crave to explore the wilderness should probably opt for this vehicle.
  • Towing capacity – While minivans can be a good choice for lighter to moderate loads, if you’re in need of some serious towing capacity, an SUV is your go-to option.
  • Style: SUVs are generally more aesthetically pleasing and have a more alluring body look.
  • Seat & ride height – SUVs generally offer better visibility because of this.

The Popularity Of Minivans

Colleagues Carpooling In A Grey Minivan

The growing popularity of the minivans is something no one can deny. It’s expected to hit an impressive revenue of £1,443m just this year. In terms of actual minivan sales, we’re talking about 81.4 K passenger cars to hit the road by 2027. Since this market will only continue to flourish, it’s safe to say that every family looking to hit the road will have this spacious vehicle as their top choice.

As for the realm of popularity, these are the top five models that steal the show: Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Kia Carnival, Chrysler Pacifica, and Toyota Sienna. Each of those comes with its unique pros and cons, but they all guarantee safety, rear seats and a comfortable ride.

For Whom Is A Minivan The Right Pick For The Next Hire?

Minivan is the right pick for the next hire for families of all sizes as well as for people who often travel with a large group of friends. With a hinged rear door, a cabin that contains 3 rows, and adjustable seating, you won’t have to second-guess whether everyone will feel comfortable and you can focus on planning your dream trip instead.

Minivans can also be of great use to businesses that need larger vehicles with more cargo space. They can use them as a reliable transport for clients or employees.

And if you recognize yourself as one of the individuals mentioned who might benefit from a minivan hire, SDVH’s competitive prices and dependable vehicles will make your journey an absolute delight.

Frequently Asked Questions

A minivan means a vehicle that has the capability of carrying more people than a normal car. Their rear sliding doors make it easy and convenient to get in, and you can find them in different sizes. The three most popular body styles are one-volume body, one-and-a-half-volume body, and two-volume body.

The average price of a minivan is £30,000. However, if you’re looking for more wallet-friendly options, you can also rent it. Nowadays there is a wide range of minivan styles to choose from for renting. It’s a great way to both save money and enjoy all the benefits this car has to offer without buying it.

At least 7 passengers can fit in a minivan. A lot of manufacturers also offer minivans that can accommodate 8-9 people. These vehicles are extremely comfortable and can easily make driving both safe and convenient. Its large interior area is especially useful when travelling as being divided into different cars can really spoil the mood of the vacation.

Someone would choose a minivan over an SUV because of the overall convenience it offers. Compared to an SUV, the minivan comes with more cargo and interior space where you can both stretch your legs freely and put all the equipment you need to transport. Additionally, they have convenient sliding doors and lower seats & ride height making them accessible to kids.

Yes, a minivan is the same as a people carrier. They are also known as MPVs (multi-purpose vehicles), and their official definition is a large car that looks similar to a van but is smaller in size. They boast a third row of seats and can be used to transport bigger groups of people or luggage.


We hope this article not only helped you clarify what is a minivan but also gave you some helpful information you’ll find useful for your next hire. Although we are talking about a trusted vehicle that managed to meet the ever-changing needs of modern families throughout the years, it’s always good to be as informed as possible before making a choice and giving away your hard-earned money.

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