minivan at beach

Has your ever-growing family grown too big to fit into a car? Looking to combat the problem with a minivan?

If so, you’re making a good choice. Minivans are ideally suited to families, providing not only ample seating space but ample storage space and a variety of other useful amenities as well.  

That being said, not all minivans are created equal. This is particularly true when comparing used minivans to new ones. For this reason, when choosing a minivan, you need to look out for a few key features. 

Curious as to what these features are? Without further ado, here’s what to look for in new and used minivans. 

Automatic Sliding Doors 

For years, manual sliding doors were the standard on minivans. However, this has changed. Now, automatic sliding doors are what’s expected. 

These doors can be opened in a variety of ways. Not only can they be triggered proximally via their door handles and driver’s side command buttons, but they can also be triggered remotely with the use of key controllers. This allows them to be operated with minimal effort at all times.

If you have kids, these doors are particularly useful, as young children often lack the strength needed to open up manual doors. Instead, these doors allow you to just hit a button, let your children into your vehicle, hit another button, and drive off.

In short, automatic doors eliminate a great deal of the strenuous physical activity which is often needed to get everyone prepared and onto the road. In this sense, they’re absolute game-changers. 

Collapsible Back Seats 

The primary reason to buy a minivan is to optimize the amount of space you have on the road. As such, you want to buy a minivan which allows you to utilize space as you see fit. Unfortunately, some minivans — particularly those without collapsible seats — don’t allow for this. 

For this reason, when searching for minivans, you want to peruse the ones with collapsible back seats. While you’ll likely be using the seats on most occasions, being able to fold them down allows for you to transport large and bulky items from time to time. 

For instance, let’s say you’re buying a new washer. If you don’t have collapsible seats in your van, you wouldn’t be able to fit the washer in it. On the other hand, if you can fold the seats under the floor, the washer will easily fit into the back of your van. 

The vast majority of modern vans are manufactured with collapsible back seats. When perusing, you’re advised to make them a priority. 

Roof Rack 

Minivans are family vehicles. As such, they should be equipped to handle family-oriented tasks. While these tasks include short trips to school and other such places, they also include long trips across the country for vacation and the like. 

If you plan on taking your van on long vacations, you’re going to want to make sure that it’s equipped with a roof rack. This rack will enable you to transport even more cargo, ensuring that you can bring along everything you want to bring along. 

By being able to store items on top of your vehicle, you will free up more space inside of your vehicle. This will allow for more legroom, thus allowing for a more relaxing and comfortable trip. 

Passenger Air Conditioning Controls 

Another feature you should look out for when buying a minivan is passenger air conditioning controls. These controls allow passengers in the back of the van to adjust their temperature in any way that they see fit. In short, these controls allow for temperature variation throughout the van. 

This is an exceedingly useful feature for large families, as kids often tend to get cold easier than adults. See, because both driver and passenger air conditioning controls exist, the adults in the front of the vehicle can set their ideal temperature, while the kids in the back of the vehicle can simultaneously set their ideal temperature. In the end, everyone is happy. 

Rear Video 

Hoping to keep your kids occupied during long or even short trips? If so, you should make sure that you buy a van with rear video capabilities. These vans possess seats equipped with screens, allowing those in the back rows of seats to watch movies and TV shows during rides. 

While rear video systems don’t exist in all modern minivans, they do exist in many. Yes, they will drive up the purchase price a bit. However, if you have kids, it’s hard to overstate their benefit. 

LATCH Anchors  

If you have car seat-bound children, you’re likely well aware of what LATCH anchors are. These are the straps used to hold car seats safely in place. If you’ll have car seats in your can, they are an absolute necessity. 

These days, there aren’t too many vans on the market which won’t have LATCH anchors. That being said, there is a possibility of them not being installed. Pay close when looking around. 

Ample Storage  

As was noted above, one of the primary reasons for purchasing a van is to optimize storage space on the road. As such, you want your van to possess a range of different storage entities. 

Not only do you want retractable seating, but ceiling storage, chair storage, door storage, and more. Make sure that there are plenty of cupholders as well, as they help keep spilling to a minimum. 

Want to see optimal van storage in all its glory? The Mitsubishi Delica is a vehicle you need to check out. 

Need More Help Buying Used Minivans? 

And there they are, the features you need to look out for in new and used minivans. These features have become the standard in modern minivan technology. When choosing a minivan for your family, you shouldn’t accept anything less. 

Need more help buying a minivan? If so, we can help. Our website is loaded with information on used vehicles and will assist you in making it through the buying process. 

Check out some of our other articles now!