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Old 11-24-2017, 06:14 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Is the 3rd-gen Trafic really that big? I'm only used to the 1st generation which had been made in Argentina until 2002, and I still see some roaming around. European and Japanese vans tend to be at least slightly narrower on the outside than the full-size American ones.


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Originally Posted by jcp123 View Post
Vans are great. I had a Dodge conversion van, total overkill for a single guy, but for traditional SUV FE, it just offered more usability.
Yes, a full-size American van is quite overkill, but I bet a conversion van would still fare better than an SUV during road trips, since they usually get some amenities that you wouldn't fit so easily into an SUV.


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minivans have gotten so heavy (almost 5000lb curb weight for our Town + Country)
Sometimes it seems like the 'mini' was taken out of them. That's why recently I got into those forward-control Japanese vans (and their Korean licensed copies) again. Even the bonnetted ones are quite closer to the original definition of a minivan than the current oversized Chryslers.

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Old 11-24-2017, 07:09 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
Is the 3rd-gen Trafic really that big? I'm only used to the 1st generation which had been made in Argentina until 2002, and I still see some roaming around. European and Japanese vans tend to be at least slightly narrower on the outside than the full-size American ones.
It's 1" narrower, 1" shorter, and my LWB is a fraction longer than the shortest E-Series, but shares the same 3.5m WB.
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:25 AM   #23 (permalink)
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My sister complains about the fuel economy in her Traverse with three rows.

I blame the driver.
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Old 11-28-2017, 01:56 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I love vans! I do generally prefer them to SUV's sometimes even considering myself an SUV hater, even though I do like some SUV's for certain applications.

I often ponder over the idea of getting a van to replace our +500,000 miles 1985 VW Golf diesel, our current long distance companion to our Nissan Leaf. With a van I could not only go long distances on those once in a while occasions, but also haul stuff or people that won't fit in the Leaf. I might even be able to tow the Leaf with a van. Or get a camping van, sell the house and take the wife to wherever we want to go!

Some notable vans I've been interested in have been (not a complete list.)
  1. Toyota Previa. Fair fuel mileage, short body, mid-engine and supercharged. What's not to love? I've always wanted to swap a manual transmission into a supercharged Previa. But I've also wished the second generation and diesel variant Previas would have made it to the USA.
  2. Mazda5, the "mini-mini-van". I wished cars had more seats. What happened to those front bench seats? I hate having to take two cars just because there's that one extra person.
  3. Ford Transit, Dodge Promaster, Chevy Express... I've also thought of getting a BIG van. Something with 15 seats. I've got plenty of friends to take places. Why not all together? I wonder what kind of fuel mileage the new 4 cylinder diesel Chevy Express and GMC Savanna get?

The way I see it a van holds more stuff and/or people, costs less and gets better fuel mileage than a full sized SUV. For a smaller crossover I'd prefer a station wagon, which also have more space, cost less and get better fuel mileage. After living in the mountains of Colorado only all of my nearly 40 years of life I've decided that AWD and 4WD for the most part are overkill, unless you have a long driveway you have to maintain yourself. Plus there are FWD versions of mini-vans and vans if you look out for them. I once had an AWD Chevy Astro. However, I did hate the poor fuel mileage. I went from $200 per month in fuel to $15 when I got the Leaf.
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Old 11-28-2017, 01:44 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Previas roock.
  • The five-speed manual Previas (North American models) were made from 1990 through to 1993 (model year 1991 to 1993); none of these have a supercharger.[5]
  • From 1991 to 1997 (from 1992 to 1997 model years), North American Previas also came with a swivel feature on the optional middle-row captain's chairs; 1990 to 1991 production (1991 model year) had fixed optional captain's chairs.
  • Available on Previas outside the U.S., was an ice-maker/refrigerator that doubled as a beverage heater called the Hot/Cool Box.
  • The supercharged engine is different from the normally aspirated engine, owing to a slight decrease in compression ratio and stronger engine internals. The supercharger is engaged on-demand by an electromagnetic clutch, based on input from the engine management system computer (the Engine Control Unit, or ECU).
  • Previas have optional dual moonroofs: A power horizontal-sliding only glass moonroof above the middle row of passengers, and a pop-up glass moonroof above the front seats.
  • Gas mileage is below average (11-13L/100 km or 18.121.4mpg city, 10-11L/100 km or 21.423.5mpg highway); the small 4-cyl engine needs to work a bit harder owing to the power to weight ratio of the vehicle, compared with today's 6-cyl engines. The addition of the supercharger slightly improves power and gives better fuel consumption.
  • In the United States, first generation Previa model variations, in order of lowest to highest price/option features, are: DX, DX All-Trac, DX S/C, LE, LE All-Trac, LE S/C, LE S/C All-Trac (where S/C = Supercharged and AllTrac = 4WD)

What Toyota didn't make: An AWD supercharged five-speed unit with a Hot/Cool box and the Canadian dashboard with a tachometer. I'd want mine with a hippy van interior and murdered out exterior.
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Old 11-28-2017, 02:22 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I've seen diesel engines for Previas on eBay. I'd love to drop one of those into a five speed.
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Old 11-28-2017, 03:02 PM   #27 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac Zackary View Post
I've seen diesel engines for Previas on eBay.
IIRC the JDM Diesel Previa (known there as Lucida) was also slightly smaller than the regular Previa/Estima, in order to avoid the liability of an extra tax for vehicles either wider than 1.70m, longer than 4.70m, or both.
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Old 11-28-2017, 04:45 PM   #28 (permalink)
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EV conversion with a conformal solar panel roof.
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Old 11-29-2017, 10:40 AM   #29 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
 
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EV conversion with a conformal solar panel roof.
Not really my cup of tea, but maybe a hybrid conversion wouldn't be totally out of question.
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Old 11-29-2017, 12:51 PM   #30 (permalink)
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EV conversion with a conformal solar panel roof.
I've often thought of this for some of my friends and family that live in poorer countries. Typical big families (have to haul around a van to carry everyone) with vehicles driven until they die completely. An EV would require very little maintenance and the solar would basically be free fuel. Or make 3 solar panels up there that slide into one big panel that tilts. an 8ft x 20ft panel that slides into a 24ft x 20ft panel could easily make as much as 6kW, plenty of juice on sunny days to get your daily 30 miles. There are kits as low as $250 per kW now available, so about $1,500 plus frames, glass, and charge controllers.

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