There are many good things about having a minivan, like how useful it is for a family with kids. Minivans are the best way to get your active kids around the city.
They are also good for road trips because you can put your kids and their stuff in them and everyone can sit comfortably. But what about longer trips through rough terrain or mountains?
That question leads to an essential question about minivans: do any minivans have 4WD? There isn’t a minivan on the market right now that can go in all four directions.
But the closest alternatives are the Toyota Sienna and Chrysler Pacifica. These are the only new minivans that offer all-wheel drive as an option (all-wheel drive).
Background on the Toyota Sienna
The Toyota Sienna came out in 1997 and replaced the Previa, which could only drive on the back wheels. Active torque control can be added to four of the five trim levels, but adding AWD was not an option until 2020.
It’s important to remember that using AWD will lower the fuel economy, and run-flat tyres aren’t always the customers’ favourite.
Almost all trim levels of the Toyota Sienna have all-wheel drive (AWD) features. The Sienna L base is the only one that is different.
Starting at $2,540, the Sienna LE trim is the least expensive way to get an AWD minivan. It’s also important to know that these AWD features are only available on Toyota minivans with room for seven people.
Background on the Chrysler Pacifica
When it comes out in the summer of 2020, the Chrysler Pacifica will be another good option for all-wheel drive. The AWD Launch Edition comes with an AWD system that works automatically when you start to lose grip.
When the Pacifica is driving through very rough terrain, it can send all of its power to the back wheels.
The Pacifica not only has All-Wheel Drive (AWD), but it also has a storage system called Stow n’ Go. This extra space means that your family can bring more valuables and have a stress-free trip.
What is the Difference Between All-Wheel Drive and Four-Wheel Drive?
Because there is only one AWD minivan and none that are 4WD, it is important to know what the difference is between the two.
All-wheel drive is made possible by a drivetrain that uses a differential at the front, back, and centre to send power to all four wheels.
Four-wheel drive is a type of drivetrain that sends power to all four wheels with just a transfer and two differentials.
Advantages of All-Wheel Drive
So, why would you want all-wheel drive on your minivan? There are many benefits to taking your family places in a car with all-wheel drive (AWD).
The ability to speed up is the first thing that sets all-wheel drive apart from rear-wheel drive. AWD minivans can help you speed up more safely and quickly in bad weather when you need to do so.
For the car to move forward at the right speed, the weight needs to be spread evenly across all four tyres. A car with all-wheel drive can do this quickly, while a car with only two wheels in the back can’t.
Higher Resale Value
You might want to sell your minivan at some point. AWD is another long-term benefit of a minivan. If you decide to sell it to someone else, you can get more money for it.
If you live in a place with more dangerous weather, like Colorado or any state that gets a lot of snow in the winter, this will definitely help you.
AWD minivans are reliable when it comes to traction, and they also give better overall performance to the end user. With an all-wheel-drive minivan, more of the power from the engine can be used right away on the road.
With steering, the front wheels can also put more of their energy into moving sideways and less into driving and moving forward.
Disadvantages of All-Wheel Drive
We want to make sure you know both sides of the story, so here are some reasons why someone might not want to buy an AWD minivan.
Less Than Average Fuel Economy
Because an all-wheel-drive minivan weighs more than average and puts more strain on the engine, it will use less gas. The difference is usually between 1 and 2 miles per gallon.
Even though this might not seem like much at first, it can add hundreds of dollars to your total cost every year.
More Time Dedicated to Maintenance
AWD cars have differentials, which means you’ll have to change the oil more often at the shop. Even though differential fluid doesn’t need to be changed as often as engine oil, it is still something you need to keep track of.
When you have a big family, you don’t want to have to worry about your car any more than you already do.
Elevated Upfront Cost
You will have to pay more for a minivan with all-wheel drive, even though it might be worth more when you sell it.
This price could be anywhere from $2,300 to $3,500 more than what you would pay for a minivan with only rear-wheel drive.
Used Minivans that You Can Get with AWD
You and your family might not want to spend the money on a brand-new car with all-wheel drive. You can buy other useful things with AWD, such as:
Buick Terraza (2005-2006)
Chevrolet Uplander (2005-2006)
GMC Safari (1990-2005)
Saturn Relay (2005-2006)
Toyota Corolla (1990-2005)
Dodge Grand Caravan (2001-2004)
Pontiac Montana (2005-2006)
Toyota Previa (1991-1997)
Even though there are no 4WD minivans on the market, you can buy a lot of other cars, both new and used. The most important thing to keep in mind is to set your budget goals, think about what you want your minivan to do for you, and do your research.
Marketers can easily get you interested in AWD, but you should make sure you know what you are investing in.