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Old 12-03-2016, 03:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
acparker
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Utah
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Unfortunately, those Japanese cabover vans are not available in the US.

I had a '88 Vanagon Syncro that was great in the city, on snow and ice, and dirt road driving. Highway driving was high stress in windy conditions (shoebox on stilts). MPG was a solid 16 city and 18 highway. The Cd of a base 2wd vanagon was .44.

When the vanagon died, I drove a borrowed Dodge Caravan and loved the improved highway handling and much better highway mpg. I soon bought a '92 T&C. The Caravan design is versatile and the payload equals that of a 1/2 ton pickup, though that is for occasional use, unless you put in optional heavy duty springs (you need to also distribute the load to approximate passenger seating, so no heavy point loads).

I am driving a 2014 T&C now and it gets 16 to 18 (depending on the weather) around town and about 27 on the highway (over 30 if conditions are perfect). I drove an earlier model rental with the 4L V6 that performed better and got better mpg. The automatic transmission used in the Chrysler minivans is prone to failure. Why they have been unable to fix it in over 30 years is a mystery.

The hybrid Pacifica is tempting, but very pricey at $43.090 ($35,590 after federal rebate). Replacement battery pack is priced above $11,000.

I had considered a full-size van and nearly bought a very nice Chevy 12 passenger. Fuel economy would have been acceptable for mixed driving.

Last edited by acparker; 12-04-2016 at 03:02 AM.. Reason: typo
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