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What’s a CUV? And Are Mini-Vans Coming Back?

What's a CUV? You've probably seen a ton of them on the road - but didn't know the name. In this episode of "Big Jim's Garage" we discuss a couple of CUV's (from Mazda and Toyota) - and turn our attention to mini-vans. Yeah Mini-VANS! Because lets be honest - they're not like the ones our parents drove. The Toyota Sienna is a great example of that. Check out MORE of Big Jim's Garage podcast here - including our conversation with Bob Seger about his first car. https://vimeo.com/865857993?share=copy Here's a little bit of the podcast on mini-vans: I was thinking about the history of this and it all came when I was watching National Lampoon's Vacation. The family truckster you think you hate her? Now wait till you drive it. That was the first family vehicle, right? Station wagons Everybody drove station wagons. They're horrible. I don't want one of those, you gotta get a minivan, we gotta get a minivan, we gotta get a minivan. My family, we got a minivan when our first kid was born and I remember because it had three rows. The third row seating I'm six-four and away 300 pounds and I could move some things in my life. I'm a bigger guy that thing weighed a metric ton. The third row seat I would have to put my foot on the rear bumper to pull the damn thing out. And I look at how. The second row seat was just a bench, like at a high school football game. It was not comfortable. It was practical because it was big inside and you could put stuff in there and you could put the pack in play and blah, blah, blah and we all felt like we should do that. And then, of course, we evolved into, you know, large SUVs and nobody was driving minivans. That was, oh, I'm not going to be a mom in a minivan, although, honestly, if you take a look at a large SUV, I'm going to give you an example a Suburban. Look at a Suburban. If you took a station wagon and just stretched it a little bit, put bigger tires on it and jacked it up a little bit. That's what you got, Sorry. All it is is a fancy station wagon with bigger doors and a little more roof line or headroom. That's all it is. So what's the difference between minivans now and what they were, say, 20, 25 years ago? Well, I can tell you 25, it's the number I'm using because Toyota, again with the Sienna Hybrid, xse, all-wheel drive, 36 miles to the gallon. Now I can rattle off all the bells and whistles and yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada. And if you'd like, I can 100% do that for you, because I even have copious notes on this one. For example, the rocker panels. I noticed this right away and I know you're thinking it's silly. You will notice the difference in this. You're going to notice hands-free dual power sliding doors, hands-free power liftgate with jam protection. I love this one HD Entertainment System. You can go up to 1500 watts in the sound system. In this, things I like Second row captain's chairs, these super long slide feature and heated front seats All this means and a sport-tuned suspension. What does this mean? It is light years from what you think a minivan is and when you drive one Toyota one of the things Toyota has been so good about doing in all their cars, but specifically in the Sienna, it's a driver. You feel comfortable driving this thing. I drove it to Pennsylvania and back and absolutely loved it on the freeway and on the local streets, here and again, 36 miles per gallon and everybody's comfortable. Again, you don't feel like you're sitting on a high school football game in one of these bench seats. The second row was, oh god, everybody all my kids, my wife, they're all climbing towards the back. It was just me up front and that was fine by me, but it is so comfortable. My point is minivans haven't gone away. Your perception of them's changed, and I don't know why, because if you look at at large SUVs, like I said, they're just jacked up station wagons. With Sienna, hybrid XSE could be the best minivan on the market and I'm seriously not just saying that because it's Toyota. Check it out and you tell me. But to have a hybrid platform to get that kind of mileage, wow, yeah, it's one of those things that I stop and look at. If my kids were younger, I would, I would, I would consider this more than considered. I would shop it in a minute. https://wcsx.com/podcasts/in-the-garage/

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