Report: Most popular minivan models growing about 24 percent

Analysts say minivans cheaper to operate, have low insurance rates, practical

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ®


A few decades ago, they were known jokingly as the "Mom Mobile." Then, they lost a popularity contest with SUVs.

But now, the minivan is making a comeback.

Paul Taylor, a economist for the National Dealers Association, says the most popular minivan models are growing about 24 percent overall.

Moms weigh in

"The technology nowadays with the doors that open on the side automatically, great for carpools, great for bags full of groceries, that kind of thing. You can put everybody in and they don't have to touch each other," said minivan owner Emily Mutterperl.

"The convenience of the doors, the kids can get in and out, it's lot to the ground so they get in and out and easy," said minivan owner Jennifer Villanueva. "They you can press the button to open and close the doors, both sides open."

Julie Cassin, a mother of four, says she'd volunteer to sell minivans.

"My sister had an SUV," said Cassin. "The seats came so far in the back that there wasn't any trunk space. It's just very convenient for traveling, and for groceries and strollers."

A more fuel efficient option

Analysts say minivans are not only more fuel efficient, but offer a lower sticker price for practicality.

"Comfort and the ability to carry the entire family and the capacity, combined with reasonable fuel economy is the real attraction here," Taylor said.

Ford and GM stopped making minivans, but Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan and Honda still do.

There is one place, however, people won't see a lot of minivans this weekend: The Woodward Dream Cruise.  Vintage Corvette owner John Bridges sums it up.

"I think the minivan is an atrocity to all auto vehicles of any type," said Bridges. "Why is that? It's not a car, it's not a truck, I don't play soccer, and it's just a box."

Other benefits? Analysts say minivans are cheaper to operate and have some of the lowest insurance rates.

Regardless, Auto Analyst Michelle Krebs says the minivan is now just 4 percent of the market, down nearly half of what it was ten years ago.

What do you think? Are you a proud minivan owner?                                       

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