So it’s official: we’re in the market for a minivan. Our legendary Passat has run its course and is no longer sufficient for conveying our burgeoning little family about town, so we’re looking to upsize (read: with two car-seats in the back and with an eye towards more some time in the next 3-4 years or so, it’s impossible to convey anyone else along with us, meaning in-law visits strain credulity. We’re in need of a third row, basically.). SUVs don’t have enough cabin room and generally tend to make even the minivans look fuel-efficient, so it’s the Daddy Van route for me.
We’re leaning towards a new Kia Sedona, what with its 5 star crash ratings, obscenely long warranty and far lower MSRP (when compared with other minivans). Yes, I know that one should generally look into late model vehicles so as to force the first owner to eat the depreciation, but unfortunately the older Sedonas were underpowered and lack the safety rating of the new model. Also, we’d lose out on the kickin’ warranty. We’ve looked around at the domestics (Chevy Uplander, Dodge Voyager, Chrysler T&C) on the market and have come to the conclusion that they are either 1) lacking in quality or 2) overpriced.
So, please, anyone with any minivan-buying experience, weigh in and posit relative plusses and minuses of our strategery.
Also, as a note to the major auto manufacturers: why are none of you producing hybrid minivans? If ever there were a class of vehicles that could benefit from a jump in efficiency with a lot of room to store batteries, it’s the minivan segment, so why no hybrids? And, why no hybrid turbo diesel/electrics? If TDIs can get 40+ MPG, why not slap an electric supplement on those badboys and take ’em to the 65+ range?