Minivans are the Hottest Since the 1980s (We’re Not Kidding)

Things run in cycles. What’s hot today becomes so commonplace later on that nobody wants it. And right now the minivan is the hottest segment, and we’re not kidding.

Surprisingly, minivans are difficult to find right now

a blue Chrysler Pacifica minivan on display at an indoor auto show
Chrysler Pacifica | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

This is according to Cox Automotive, which tracks available vehicles on dealership lots. Minivans are the most difficult to find on dealership lots. There is under a 20 day supply around the country.

By “day supply” that is the dealer’s measurement for how many days it would take to exhaust supplies on lots. At 20 days, that is the lowest supply of any segment right now. For comparison, the market average, and where manufacturers like to be, is right around 30 days. 

The minivan segment hasn’t been this hot since the first Chrysler minivans came out in the 1980s. Back then, Chrysler was the only manufacturer of minivans. But other automakers joined the bandwagon quickly. 

Three minivans are newly designed in the past year

A blue 2022 Kia Carnival, which resembles an SUV and a minivan, travels on a street past palm trees and a modern building
The 2022 Kia Carnival resembles both an SUV and a minivan | Kia

Today, there are only five companies manufacturing these vans. Of those five, three have newly designed offerings. Those would be the Chrysler Pacifica, Kia Carnival, and Toyota Sienna. The other two are the Chrysler Voyager and Honda Odyssey. Honda’s Odyssey is considered the high-end of the segment. But none of them are just basic mom-mobiles anymore. 

Over the years they have fallen out of favor. It has been to such an extent that both Ford and GM no longer offer minivan choices. What everyone seems to want now are SUVs. 

Is the minivan’s surging popularity due to more people trekking to open spaces?

A white 2021 Toyota Sienna driving in the city
2021 Toyota Sienna | Toyota

But, how long will it be before they, too, become less popular? Just like station wagons and sedans before them. Whether due to the pandemic or just changing dynamics, more people are trekking out to open spaces. 

Minivans offer some of the best comfort and conveniences of any vehicle out there. Loading and unloading gear is a cinch. And it can be purchased for a reasonable price. 

“Currently, the supply of these vans is lower than full-size, midsize, and compact SUVs and well below the national average,” Brian Moody, Executive Editor of Autotrader. It also tracks new and used vehicle sales. If you haven’t looked at a minivan lately, maybe you should.

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