We know minivans aren't all that exciting, but automakers take the sliding door segment very seriously. Chrysler takes special pride in its minivans, which makes sense because Team Pentastar all but invented the segment. Toyota takes just as much pride in the Sienna, which continues to sell well in the face of months of parts shortages due to the Japanese earthquake.
Somewhat lost last week among all the news of collapsing truck and SUV sales, was the continued decline of the minivan segment. Minivans have seen sales declines for years as their obvious functional advantages over SUVs has been overwhelmed by their image shortcomings. Unfortunately, the ease of getting rug rats in an out of a van also tends to bring with it a relative thirst for fuel. The Dodge Caravan with a 4L V6 is rated at 16/23mpg by the EPA, which is better than most SUVs but - if you do
General Motors and Ford Motor Company minivan sales are being hit hard. The two automakers, in addition to others, are being faced with declining sales (to the tune of 9.6 percent so far this year) in the segment long preferred by soccer moms who didn't hop on the SUV bandwagon. Taking the place of minivans are cars, which are more fuel-efficient, and crossovers, which boast SUV-like styling with the handling and fuel efficiency closer to that of a car than an SUV.