One advantage of buying a motorhome is that the trailer and vehicle is one unit. Passengers can easily walk to the back without having to stop. If there are children in the family, you can keep an eye on them and keep the driver company at the same time. If that motorhome is a 4X4, there are even more advantages since you don't have to worry about the type of terrain.
Of all the vehicles that have been made the minivan may be the most perfect for what it does. It is able to transport 7 passengers along with some baggage and do so in a package that was no larger than needed, with all the power and amenities required to be effective.
They get reasonably good gas mileage and are not overly expensive vehicles to purchase. They are typically arranged to hold 7 passengers in a 2x2x3 configuration.
Minivans have been made by almost every major auto maker and most sell well, even with such a crowded market. There is a great demand for these vehicles due to their utility and versatility. Many people simply enjoy the higher than normal driving position without the need to operate a truck or SUV. Since it is such a crowded market, makers of minivans must pull out all of the stops when it comes to features and technology to help differentiate their model from the others in this segment.
History Of The 7 Passenger Minivan
There has always been a need to transport a families worth of passengers in comfort. Throughout the history of automobiles, there have been many attempts to do this. The first was the suburban carryall. For decades it was the largest passenger vehicle widely available. In the 60 & rsquo;s, this changed to primarily station wagons. These could transport many people with the addition, in some cases, of a rear facing seat. They were however, terribly large, poor performing vehicles that had an insatiable appetite for fuel.
The 70 & rsquo;s brought what was the first minivan though it was more of a smaller cargo van than what we typically call a minivan today. It wasn & rsquo;t until the 80 & rsquo;s that the true minivan came into being with the Dodge Caravan. Throughout the 80 & rsquo;s the minivan world was rules by American car makers. In the 90 & rsquo;s however, the 7 passenger minivan market found Japanese imports to be powerful competitors to the domestic brands. By the beginning of the 21st century, almost every major auto manufacturer had a minivan in their lineup. Soon, the American brands had fallen irrevocably behind the models being released by the Japanese and German marquees. The Korean company Kia has since added themselves to the list of top 7 passenger minivans.
Who Makes 7 Passenger Minivans?
All of the major auto brands have a model of minivan in their catalog. Some of those who are making minivans that worth note are listed below.
Honda 7 Passenger Minivans
The Odyssey is currently considered by many to be the pinnacle of 7 passenger minivans. It features a powerful V-6 engine that develops almost 250 horse power. At the same time, the Odyssey is capable of returning class leading EPA fuel economy at 28 miles per gallon highway. This is helped by its 6 speed automatic transmission. Convenience is a key to the Odyssey & rsquo;s success as well, with its advanced entertainment system that is more like a home theater than a factory stereo. In fact, the rear screen, which can be used as either a single 16.4 & rdquo; widescreen, or two smaller screens within a screen, is the largest and most sophisticated in its class. The sound system can be configured for either music in both the front and rear or as a single surround sound audio system. The driver isn & rsquo;t left out either, with an advance navigation system and multiple rear cameras to help them see what is behind the vehicle. High intensity headlights help the van to see what is actually out there at night and at the same time use less power than standard lighting systems. A powerful tri-zone automatic climate control helps keep the 7 or even 8 passengers comfortable even on long trips.
Toyota 7 Passenger Minivans
The Sienna by Toyota is the strongest competitor to the Honda minivan at present. It offers an impressive 3.5 liter V-6 engine mated to a 6 speed automatic transmission with all wheel drive available. It features four wheel antilock disc brakes to help keep the stopping distance as short as possible. It & rsquo;s all wheel drive option provides improved traction when the road has become slippery due to either ice and now, or from rain on the pavement. The Sienna offers no shortage of technology. It has rain sensing windshield wipers that will actually activate when needed. Wheels up to 19 & rdquo; are available as well as hi intensity discharge headlights mated to LED taillights. An optional audio system with ten speakers and navigation is available. As many Americans can & rsquo;t get enough cup holders, the sienna provides a full dozen in its largest configuration. Remote keyless entry is also available. The Sienna even offers a towing package which is capable of a 3500 lb. load. Options such as rear seat video screens, wireless headphones, Bluetooth connectivity, and even a dedicated IPod interface are available making this one of the most technology and feature packed minivans available.
Where To Find More Information Online
There are many places one can go online to find more information about 7 passenger minivans. Some good places to start looking are listed here.
The website located at http://www.cars.com has information on all brands of minivans along with a list of the available options and specifications for each model of minivan. They have reviews on their site as well, both from people who have actually purchased these vehicles as well as professional reviews.
You can visit http://www.honda.com for the official site for the Honda Odyssey. They have information about what features and options are available as well as the ability to build your own Odyssey online deciding exactly which options you want to include as well as any packages and the color scheme. You can then see how much the MSRP of you personally fitted minivan will be.
One of the internet & rsquo;s largest auto malls is http://www.autotrader.com. They have listing on many thousands of vehicles both used and new. They have an excellent search engine to help you narrow down the list of vehicles to only the ones you will be interested in, given your criteria.
Xplorer Motor Homes produces a series of motor homes, which are currently on the market. The Xplorer Xcursion F550 is very popular among consumers. This 4X4 motorhome features a slideout of 74 inches in length. Materials used include molded fiberglass on the body and aluminum for the inner cage as well as urethane foam insulation. If you prefer to have your 4X4 motorhome custom made, you can choose from a list of features and specifications.
These vehicles are loaded with the newest safety features available too.
What The 7 Passenger Minivan Has to Offer
If you are shopping for a 7 passenger minivan you will be looking at midsize and large minivans rather than their compact counterparts. If you've never handled a larger vehicle before, it is a good idea to try one out to see what it feels like when you are behind the wheel. You will find that the 7 passenger minivan, while offering car-like handling, may feel very different in terms of how it maneuvers. If you know of someone that has a minivan you might ask them if you can take it for a ride to see how the vehicle feels or you can make an appointment to test drive some of the 7 passenger minivan models you might be interested in buying. What you lose in terms of maneuverability is made up for in the spaciousness that the vehicle can offer you and your family.
A midsize minivan will commonly sport a V6 motor while the larger vehicles might have a V8 under the hood. If you are looking for the most fuel efficient option you will want to choose the 7 passenger minivan with a V6 option. While you might find a sport utility vehicle more powerful, you will also find that an SUV is more costly to insure when compared to the less powerful, but equally stylish 7 passenger minivan. You will also discover that passenger minivans are far more fuel efficient that the conventional SUV and that the passenger van often delivers the same fuel economy of some of the hybrid SUVs on offer today.
Minivans have a lower ground clearance than an extended cab truck or SUV. This means the ease of ingress and egress is excellent, even when you have children in tow. You will need to define your vehicle needs to determine if the 7 passenger minivan is the optimal vehicle choice for you and your family.
Top 7 Passenger Minivan Offerings for 2011
Chrysler Town & amp; Country Touring
The Chrysler Town & amp; Country Touring for 2011 makes the list of the top 7 passenger minivans. This vehicle houses a 3.6 Liter V6 with a DOHC and VVT. It operates off of unleaded or E85 fuel and it has a multipoint fuel injection system. It has a 20 gallon fuel tank. It gets 17 mpg city driving and 24 mpg highway driving. It has antilock brakes, stability control, electronic brake distribution, brake assist, and it has a pearl paint exterior. This vehicle has a passenger/driver third window, a luxury trim, a roof spoiler, air conditioning, power steering, front power windows, safety airbags in all three rows of seats, a ventilation system, and it has a split bench third row of seating that can fold into the floor for extra cargo space. For more details about the Chrysler Town & amp; Country Touring 7 passenger minivan visit Edmunds.com ® at http://www.edmunds.com/chrysler/town-and-country.
Dodge Grand Caravan Express
The Dodge Grand Caravan Express for 2011 is also a good choice if you are shopping around for a 7 passenger minivan. This vehicle has a Pentastar 3.6 Liter V6 engine with VVT and a DOHC. It operates off of unleaded gasoline. It can give you 17 mpg city driving and 25 mpg highway driving. The engine can generate 283 horsepower. It comes with a multipoint fuel injection system, four wheel, ventilated, antilock disc brakes, electronic stability control and traction control, and it has rear suspension leveling features. This vehicle has a pearl paint exterior, and front/rear bumpers that match the body color of the vehicle. It has an audio system, intermittent windshield wipers, safety airbags, power steering, audio controls embedded in the steering wheel, tilt steering, and a ventilation system. The upholstery is cloth. To learn more about the Dodge Grand Caravan Express 7 passenger minivan visit http://www.internetautoguide.com/13-12-2011-23-709/2011-dodge-grand-caravan-specifications.html.
More 7 Passenger Minivan Offerings
Kia Sedona LX
The Kia Sedona LX for 2011 is another good choice if you are in the market for a superior 7 passenger minivan. This vehicle houses a 3.5 Liter V6 under the hood with DOHC and VVT. It operates off of unleaded gasoline. It gets 18 mpg in the city, 25 mpg highway driving, and 21 mpg combined. Its motor can generate 271 horsepower. It has electronic brake distribution, brake assist, antilock brakes, four wheel disc brakes that are ventilated, traction and stability control, and a metallic paint exterior. It comes with roof rails, intermittent windshield wipers, an audio system, cruise control, floor mats, a bucket driver seat, a third row of seating for passengers, and rear radar parking sensors. It also sports power steering, power locks, power windows, reading lights, audio controls embedded in the steering wheel, and a cloth upholstery. It has tilt steering, third row seats, and it has a voice activated system for hands free phone calling. For more details on the Kia Sedona LX 7 passenger minivan visit http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/overview.aspx?.
Nissan Quest S
The Nissan Quest S is fitted with a 3.5 Liter V6 with VVT and DOHC. It operates off of unleaded gas, and it has a multipoint fuel injection system. It offers 19 mpg city driving and 24 MPG highway driving. Its engine can generate 260 horsepower. It has antilock brakes, four wheel, ventilated disc brakes, brake distribution, traction and stability control, and a pearl paint exterior. It has a roof spoiler, antitheft features, cruise control, safety airbags, speed proportional power steering, tilt steering, and it has a cloth interior. The third row of seating in the Nissan Quest S is a split bench that folds flat into the floor for added cargo room too. For more information on the Nissan Quest S 7 passenger minivan visit http://www.nissanusa.com/ques