The Perfect Mix-and-Match Minivan
Using an online configurator to spec your ideal car is a fun way to start the car-buying process. But what if you weren't restricted to a single company when building your next vehicle? That's the idea I had when picking the best components from each minivan to make a supervan.
Let's start with the Toyota Sienna body for both its looks and the rigid structure beneath the body panels. While Honda and Nissan have made efforts to embolden the minivan, I appreciate the Sienna's traditional shape with modern styling cues. I could easily live with Toyota's torsion-beam rear suspension, but if we're living in a fantasy world, I'd grab the Odyssey's slightly more supple multilink setup.
Honda's smooth and powerful yet impressively efficient 3.5-liter V-6 earns the spot under the hood along with its smart and unobtrusive optional six-speed automatic. I'd ask Chrysler engineers to handle the steering and hope they threw in that fabulous heated steering wheel.
I'd pilot my people hauler from the Toyota's cockpit. Although the materials may not be as nice as the Odyssey's, the controls are intuitive and user friendly. I'd also love to have Chrysler's carlike center console for easily accessible drinks and storage. For the sake of practicality, I'd choose the second- and third-row seats of the Town & Country. A modest sacrifice in comfort is a small trade-off for the brilliant disappearing captain's chairs, and the power-folding rear bench collapses at the press-rather than hold-of a button. To keep passengers entertained, I'd opt for Honda's wide, 16.1-inch display, with its HDMI input, and twelve-speaker premium audio system.