- Compact but with room for improvement: what makes a van a minivan?
- Minivan, MPV, Campervan: That’s the difference
- What minivans are there?
- Which minivan is the best?
- Small, Smallest Smallest: What is the Smallest Mini Van?
- Conclusion: ideal family companion in the city
Compact but with room for improvement: what makes a van a minivan?
Handy on the outside like a small one, spacious on the inside like a big one: no vehicle class combines this contradiction better than the mini-van. The segment is based on small and compact cars – but compared to these, minivans are more or less extended upwards: With a Length of up to about 4.50 metersthey are mostly up to the roof more than 1.55 meters high.
Its good amount of space makes the little brother of the van particularly popular with families who often travel with a lot of luggage. Another plus: The small turning circle, which makes the minivan the ideal companion in narrow inner cities. The agile miniature vans need between 10.5 and 11.5 meters to make a 360 lap. For comparison: the large-capacity VW Sharan needs almost 12 meters of space, the Bulli competitor Opel Zafira Life almost 13.
Despite the short length, the minivan definitely scores with a large trunk volume, which, depending on the manufacturer, is between 400 and 500 liters. A comparison with the thick competitors from the SUV segment shows that true greatness comes from within. The VW Tiguan holds just 400 liters measured up to the luggage roller blind. Slightly less than the 405 liters of trunk volume in the Mercedes B-Class – however, the Swabian minivan weighs almost 120 kilos less, which is reflected in the CO2 balance accordingly.
A small drawback: the additional space at the top doesn’t do much if you have to squeeze into a narrow middle seat in the rear. Lots Minivans are rather narrow in the passenger area – some of the middle seats are not suitable for child seats at all. For families with more than two children, it is certainly advisable to take a look at the next larger vehicle category.
Minivan, MPV, Campervan: That’s the difference
The vehicle types in the van segment can hardly be separated from one another really sharply.
What goes through as a minivan for one person belongs to the large-capacity van for the next those who google “minivan” are often actually looking for a smaller camper. And the manufacturers themselves are often not very precise with the type designation – for example, the BMW Active Tourer cannot officially be called a minivan, because that could scare off BMW’s sporty clientele.
Basically, however, it can be said that a comfortable third row of seats can usually be integrated into a large van without any problems – this is difficult if not impossible in a minivan. Large-capacity vans are also suitable for subsequent expansion as campers – minivans, on the other hand, are not. If you want a full-fledged lying area in the rear, you simply need more than 4.50 meters in length. High-roof station wagons, such as the VW Caddy, which is 4.50 meters long and an impressive 1.80 high, are therefore particularly suitable for converting campers.
If you need a lot of space and don’t feel like doing the time-consuming construction yourself, you’ll go straight to the campervan anyway. Inexpensive smaller variants then run under the name “Vanster”such as the Vanster Jumpy station wagon from Pössl, which is available for €27,990.
What minivans are there?
The most frequently registered new cars in the minivan segment in 2021 were next to Mercedes B-Class and Renault Scenic among others Peugeot 3008, Dacia Lodgy and Kia e-Soul. At the beginning of 2019, the Mercedes B-Class, the Opel Meriva, the Renault Scenic and the Ford C-Max were in the lead.
Minivan customers benefit, among other things, from the low weight of the vehicles. As a result, the small van not only often has an advantage over its heavier counterparts in terms of fuel consumption. The small compact also has its lightweight at home early on in the electronics sector because larger and heavier electric vehicles require larger batteries. And that increases the weight and cost of the vehicles. There are now, among other things, the Mercedes B-Class as an electric drive, the Kia e-Soul and also a number of hybrid minivans, such as the Peugeot 3008 or the BMW Active Tourer.
the trend towards automation doesn’t stop at the minivan either: the sportier models in particular score points with their comfortable transmission. These include the BMW Active Tourer, which is only available in the automatic version, or the Mercedes B-Class with a 7- and 8-speed automatic transmission.
And even All-wheel drive fans will certainly find what they are looking for in the minivan division: The Peugeot 3008 – which, admittedly, in the second generation can only just be passed as a minivan and tends more towards an SUV – impresses with the typical driving stability and the extra power that characterizes 4×4 drives.
Find minivans and vans on AutoScout24 now.
Which minivan is the best?
Not only the sales figures in the new car sector speak a clear language – also as a used car is the When it comes to popularity, the Mercedes B-Class is virtually unbeatable. In the vans category, the B-Class W246 came out on top in the 2021 TÜV report – as was the case in 2020 and 2019. In the test, only 2.2 percent of the two to three-year-old vehicles had significant defects. If you don’t have a problem with the attached pensioner image of the reliable B-Class, you won’t go wrong when buying a used car. However: According to the TÜV, the popularity of the B-Class among older vehicle owners also leads to particularly conscientious vehicle care – anyone who neglects their Benz will probably not be happy with the TÜV winner either.
The good news: With the latest generation, the B-Class has also made a clear leap into the modern age in terms of looks. After the facelift, the front hood and side line score points with a fresher contour. The bonnet is flat, but the shoulders are strong. And the renewed infotainment system with touchscreen makes it clear that Mercedes not only wants to get away from the pensioner image, but also wants to poach a bit in the territory of the competition – the Golf Sportsvan and the 2 Series Active Tourer from BMW.
In front modified headlights provide sweeping accents – especially in the higher-priced model variants. The new “Multibeam” headlights not only look sporty, they also react quickly to the current traffic situation. 84 LEDs per headlight ensure a fine and particularly even light pattern that can adapt to almost any driving situation. With a surcharge of almost 1,500 euros, the multi-beam headlights are not exactly cheap, but definitely a sensible security investment.
Next to one Pleasantly large selection of petrol and diesel engines between 109 and 190 hp the B-Class now also offers the B 250 e plug-in hybrid with a system output of 218 hp. The top speed is reached at 235 km/h. Purely electrically, the Mercedes manages to reach 140 km/h before the petrol engine latches on.
Small, Smallest Smallest: What is the Smallest Mini Van?
Square. Practical. qubo In the city takes the 3.95 meter long Fiat Quboabout as little space as a VW Polo. But the airy interior offers far more space for bulky luggage. Despite the compact exterior dimensions, this minivan aka high-roof station wagon has thought of everything that makes the van category so appealing to practical families.
Side sliding doors, folding and removable seats and a trunk volume of 330 liters, which can be increased to 2500 liters with the rear seats removed, speak for themselves. The Qubo swallows almost everything that needs to be stowed away over the rather low loading sill.
With so much practicality, one thing is clear: the Qubo is unfortunately only available without a sports badge. The chassis doesn’t exactly encourage a sporty driving style. Nor the engines. They deliver up to 95 hp and can run on petrol and diesel. At a Starting price of €13,410 However, the lack of sportiness can certainly be overcome.
Conclusion: Ideal family companion in the city
What large-capacity vans lack in terms of maneuverability and station wagons in terms of spaciousness, the minivan combines in its model range. Small turning circle, large trunk volume and practical features such as sliding doors make the small van the ideal companion in city traffic for the small family.