Pity the poor minivan. Here's the vehicle that has hauled millions of soccer kids and their patient parents to countless games, practices and vacations, that has taken it on the chin from "chin man" Jay Leno and other acetic stand-up comics, and has rarely failed to please those who own them by their versatility. So maligned are many of these vehicles, that two American auto companies have dumped purist versions in favor of more crossover-style entries. A sort of "it serves the same purpose but we won't call it that" attitude.
Other car makers—particularly imports—are grabbing at the opportunity to pick up the slack by boosting their minivan selections as bait for vehicle owners who still swear by the versatility of this classic.
We honor these sometimes unsung heroes of road survival—these troopers based on common sense—whose sliding doors have spared stored items crammed inches away in tightly packed garages, whose owners have avoided potential back problems from their accessible low, flat loading floors and whose drivers can easily administer an occasional swat in the direction of a smart mouthed brat thanks to that signature front seat cross through.
We think the minivan is one of the most sensible vehicles ever invented. And we expect others do too. Just ask any parent who has survived the rigors of child rearing with the help of a dependable, adaptable, accommodating, and imminently practical minivan. Their numbers must be legion.