Buying a new Minivan is an important decision when it comes to your family. When having larger families especially, having the right one could provide extra comfort and reliability on days you are taking the kids back and forth to soccer and baseball practices. As parents, we are all about comfort and what is the safest vehicle to drive in the event of bad weather.
Living in the northern states as a parent, parents want their Minivans to be reliable. Will it transport their kids comfortably? Can it fit their stroller and travel bags? Does it come with 4WD that would come in handy during the snowy winter months? Can it fit their groceries?
Minivans do not come in 4WD variant; however, some models have an option for AWD. AWD vehicles power the front and back wheels. Minivans are available with either part-time or full-time AWD systems.
When traveling in comfort, it’s important to do your research as to what different types of Minivan models are on the market. Minivans are spacious, provide comfort, and can make that yearly road trip less stressful. Especially when being on the road for hours! This year, there are 4 Minivan models that families are relying on.
Not Equipped with 4WD, But AWD
Minivans have been around for years to provide comfort, spacious seating, and more storage room for traveling. However, there are no Minivans that are equipped with 4WD. The closest thing you’ll get to is the Toyota Sienna, which is equipped with AWD. Despite having so many Minivans on the market, there are none that came with 4WD.
AWD can be a useful feature especially in the northern part of the country where there is heavy snowfall. Other vehicles such as SUVs and trucks have AWD. The one type of vehicle that is not like the rest, but has AWD, is the Minivan. What kind of Minivans have AWD?
There Is Only One
The Toyota Sienna is the only Minivan that offers AWD. Believe it or not, it’s only installed in seventeen percent of Toyota Siennas. The AWD versions of the Toyota Sienna have a seven-passenger seating arrangement. The capacity of cargo is not changed in the AWD models. The AWD models also have a lower fuel economy.
SUVs are very reliable, but it’s good to remember that Minivans can do the same type of job. The Toyota Sienna can drive sharper and it’s easier for passengers to get into and to load belongings. The Toyota Sienna can hold seven to eight passengers. With the Sienna being one of the oldest Minivan models on the market, it’s still impressive, comfortable, and offers a variety of configurations.
There are many drivers today who would rarely choose a vehicle that is not equipped with AWD. There are many pros and cons of having an AWD vehicle.
Today’s vehicles have traction systems, as well as an electronic system. This leaves the question, is AWD really necessary to have? AWD provides power to all wheels on a vehicle. In 2020, you’ll find AWD to be more common.
Provide Extra Traction. AWD is proven to improve traction. It allows all wheels to spin when approached with bad weather like slippery or slick surfaces. Having AWD can be very helpful if two wheels happen to become stuck. Many residents who reside in the northern states are familiar with slick conditions in the cold winter months all too well. If you live in this type of climate, having AWD is highly recommended.
Offer Resale Value. The majority of vehicles that come with AWD offer a higher resale value than the two-wheel-drive vehicles. The reason for this is because AWD has a higher up-front cost. When it comes time to sell your vehicle, you won’t see all of your money back, however, it will be easier to sell. In the event you choose AWD, when moving to the northern states where slick weather is known, you won’t have to worry about resale.
It Will Put You At Ease. No matter where you live, you’re occasionally going to run into bad weather. Whether it be heavy rains, strong winds, ice, or heavy snow, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you have AWD when conditions become tough. For most drivers, safety when it comes to driving in bad weather conditions is enough to make the purchase.
Does Modern Technology Help? Modern technology can’t help replace 2WD with AWD, but it’s slowly coming along. There are many vehicles that offer traction and stability. This helps keep your vehicle on the road in the event of bad weather. In addition, there is ABS, which also helps stop and isn’t limited to AWD vehicles. If you live in a climate with mild weather, you can get by with 2WD.
Higher Costs. Even though there are improved resale with AWD than 2WD, it also includes a higher price. AWD, in general, is more expensive to buy. AWD is also expensive to maintain since it offers more complexity than 2WD. This is important for customers who are in the market for a used vehicle that could be out of warranty.
Heavier Weight And Gas Mileage. With the extra cost of your vehicle coming with AWD, these vehicles are worse on fuel economy than 2WD models. AWD requires the use of more energy in order for all four wheels to maintain power. They also weigh more, which also hurts fuel economy even more. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that AWD vehicles lose 1 to 2 miles per gallon over 2WD vehicles.
To sum it up, AWD may not be for everyone. If you live in a rough climate prone to bad weather, then yes it may be for you. For people who don’t live in harsh climates, AWD may not be necessary, especially since it is more expensive and decreases your gas mileage.
Benefits of 4WD
Vehicles that are equipped with 4WD have better off-road driving. For 4WD vehicles, you’ll get better traction when driving up a hill or when experiencing off-road climates. 4WD vehicles are only a tad more expensive than 2WD depending on the make and model.
There are many variations that are used by 4WD technology. With drivers growing in numbers and the use of technology, AWD vehicles have similar technology. Features such as traction and stability are also in AWD vehicles.
Vehicles with 4WD come with a switch that is automatic. This allows a switch to go from 2WD to 4WD depending on the owner’s preference when driving the vehicle. If the sensor on the car can detect any slippery surface on the front wheels, the control will then go towards the back wheels. In the event of bad weather, this adds stability and allows the driver to focus better and the vehicle will handle the rest.
The main benefit of having 4WD is traction. In tough conditions, 4WD vehicles offer outstanding traction. This is good for off-road environments like muddy terrain, snowy hills, uneven hills, and even low traction environments. A 4WD vehicle gives you the ability to go anywhere.
Most vehicles that are made for off-roading come with 4WD. On uneven terrain, two wheels can lose their traction unlike with a 4WD system. When all 4 wheels are in operation and locked, the traction will improve tremendously allowing your vehicle to drive out a rough situation. The last thing a driver wants to encounter is slippery weather and having no control over their vehicle.
Popular Minivan Models
Minivans have family-friendly designs that come with sliding doors and call haul much more than your typical vehicle. Even though there are fewer models available to choose from, they still offer reliability and quality.
The Toyota Sienna comes with a V6 engine. It has a great safety record and has proven to keep great reliability scores. This is also the only Minivan that has AWD. The only downside to this model is that it hasn’t been updated in a few years, and is less modern.
The Pacifica is second-rated among its Minivan class. It comes equipped with smartphone connectivity, as well as Wi-Fi hot spots. Its reliability is average and has done very well when in crash- testing.
The Odyssey is one of the best Minivans out there on the market. The interior offers style, comfort, and its materials are high-quality. It also received an average rating for reliability and crash-testing. The price for a Honda Odyssey runs around $37,000 and is the second-highest in its Minivan class.
The Sedona ranks in the middle among Minivans. Compared to other models, it has less interior than the others, but that’s the only downside. It has safety features available, and it’s reliability and crash-test scores are above average.
If you’re in the market for a Minivan with 4WD, you won’t find one. There are options out there to get close to what you need. The important thing to families is to pick a vehicle that is reliable with quality to keep you and your family safe. Weigh the pros and cons before purchasing your vehicle and do your research. Even without 4WD, Minivans will still get the job done.