There are many different types of minivans on the market in Kenya and choosing the best one for your needs could be mind bogling. We will try to break down what to consider when shopping for your new minivan. We will mostly concentrate on Japanese models, which are some of the most popular in Kenya.
You can also read : Honda step wagon Vs Toyota noah minivan comparison
Points for choosing a minivan that you won’t regret
What can be done to avoid such a situation? Let’s take a closer look at the following.
First of all, know the “type” of the minivan
Minivans are often divided into three types according to body size, and each size has its own characteristics. Let’s start with this super basic.
・Large size (Toyota Alphard, etc.)
The largest size category. There is a lot of space inside the car, and the interior and exterior are often luxuriously made. It is ideal if you want a minivan with “large interior space” and “gorgeousness”, but on the other hand, the price is also set higher.
・Middle size (Toyota “Noah”, etc.)
It is characterized by its ease of use, which is compatible with a reasonably large interior space and small turning performance. The size is easy to use on a daily basis, and the price is more reasonable than the large size, so it is the most popular among minivans.
・Compact size (Toyota “Sienta” etc.)
It is characterized by a tight turning radius that is almost the same as a compact car, but there is more room in the car than a compact car. It is suitable for people who feel that a middle-sized or large-sized minivan is too big, but a compact car is cramped. Optimal. It is also suitable for users who mainly use it for short distances rather than long distance drives and often drive in narrow alleys.
In addition, minivans can also be classified by the number of seats.
・3 rows/7 to 8 people
This is the most common type. If you have a chance to ride with more than 6 people in total, this is the one to choose. Depending on the shape of the second row seats, the seating capacity can be changed to 7 or 8 people. The third row seats can often be stowed under the floor or on the side of the vehicle.
・The shape and size of the 2-row, 5-seater
body is exactly the same as the 3-row, 7-8-seater body, but the 3rd-row seat can be divided into 2-row, 5-seater, and the luggage space will be increased accordingly. are widely adopted. If you say “it is almost impossible for more than 6 people to ride”, this is also worth considering.
Check “Actual Usability”
Body size, number of seats, and rough specifications of the interior can be confirmed with a quick glance at the main part of the catalog. However, “easy walk-through when sliding the seat back and forth, left and right”, “position and usability of drink holders and tables”, “comfort” rather than the number of seats, “how to open the tailgate”, etc.
Therefore, it is necessary to make full use of the minivan catalog in particular as “a tool for reading the details and confirming whether it fits your family structure and lifestyle.”
Which minivan should I buy? Expert recommended car model
There are various types in the same category of “minivan”, and user preferences, family composition, and purpose of use are really various, but in order to prevent “failure”, the following recommended models should be helpful.
I want a well-balanced minivan that is neither too big nor too small!
Recommended is Toyota “Noah” or “Voxy”
It seems that there are quite a few users who regret buying an unnecessarily large and gorgeous minivan, or make the mistake of saying, “It’s too compact to fit all your luggage!”
In order to avoid such failures, there is nothing better than choosing a “middle size minivan” according to size. And among them, if you choose the most popular Toyota “Noah” or its brother car “Voxy”, you will not go wrong.
Toyota Noah/Voxy is a 5 number size minivan that has been very popular with families for a long time. However, until the previous generation, the driving support system was not good enough, but the current model, which appeared in January 2022, completely wiped out the weaknesses by installing the latest system. The basic framework that supports driving is also the latest, and the usability of the seat arrangement, etc., is well thought out, as expected of the most popular model.
I don’t know exactly what the resale value will be in a few years, but if you look at past examples, it should probably be good. It is finished in a middle size minivan.
I want a fuel-efficient minivan!
Recommended is Toyota “Sienta Hybrid”
Large minivans are heavy, so they don’t have very good fuel economy, especially models with conventional petrol engines.
However, if it is a hybrid vehicle of Toyota’s compact minivan “Sienta”, the WLTC mode fuel consumption is overwhelmingly good at 28.2 to 28.8km / L.
The Toyota Sienta is a 5 number size minivan with 3 rows/7 passengers or 2 rows/5 passengers. The previous generation Sienta had a pretty nice design, but the current model, which appeared in August 2022, has further improved its design sense, and has evolved into a “feel that goes well with European townscapes.”
Because it is a compact minivan with a 5-number size (roughly speaking, the total width is 1.7m or less), it is not very suitable for users who always carry 7 people. However, in many households, even if it is a minivan with three rows of seats, there should be more opportunities to ride with three or four people. In that case, if the 3rd row seats are stored under the 2nd row seats, the empty space can be used as a large luggage compartment, so it seems that there is no particular problem due to the compact body size. .
Also, if you can be sure that “more than 6 people rarely ride!”
In any case, the Sienta Hybrid is a highly recommended minivan that has very good fuel efficiency, is compact but can be used widely, is really easy to arrange seats, and can run normally without feeling bad.
I want a minivan with a cool design!
Recommended Honda “Step Wagon” or “Step Wagon Spada”
It may not be a story limited to minivans, but in recent minivans in particular, the design of the front mask is aggressive (aggressive), and it is becoming more common to have a so-called “horror-type” face. .
Such front masks are certainly popular these days, but there must be more than a few people who feel that they are a little disgusting.
In such a case, Honda’s “Step Wagon” or its advanced line “Step Wagon Spada” are highly recommended.
To be precise, it’s a few months late, but the Honda Stepwagon, which appeared around the same time as the current Toyota Noah/Voxy, is a latest-generation minivan with roughly the same size and functions as the Noah/Voxy. As for the power unit, petrol engine and hybrid are prepared like Noah/Voxy (* Honda’s is a two-motor type called e: HEV), and various usability and driving performance are said to be “well, roughly the same” as Noah/Voxy. can do.
The biggest difference is the “design”.
In contrast to Toyota Noah/Voxy, which adopts a fairly aggressive front mask, Honda Step Wagon’s is extremely simple, especially the basic line of “Step Wagon AIR” is the ultimate in simple beauty.
However, the Step Wagon AIR is somewhat unsatisfactory in terms of equipment content and driving support system, so the real recommendation is the advanced custom line “Step Wagon Spada”.
Usually, such “advanced custom line” often has a slightly oraora taste, but the Stepwagon can be said to have a sufficiently simple and beautiful design even if it is a Spada.
If you look only at various usability, driving performance, and fuel efficiency performance, there is no problem with the most popular Toyota Noah / Voxy, but “not limited to Noah / Voxy,”
I want a minivan that can be used offroad!
Recommended is Mitsubishi “Delica D: 5”
Many people want to use a minivan not only for shopping, transportation, and long-distance driving, but also for outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, and snowboarding.
In that case, a “4WD minivan” is recommended, but the 4WD system that a typical 4WD minivan uses is not a full-fledged one, and is commonly called “lifestyle 4WD”. It’s so simple and auxiliary that it’s easy to get lost.
For this reason, if the road is slightly rough, it is of course more advantageous than the FF minivan. Some of you may have made the mistake of getting stuck in a small gap (tire stuck in snow or mud).
However, the Mitsubishi “Delica D: 5” is almost the only “minivan with a truly usable 4WD mechanism” in Japan.
In addition to the 4WD system itself, the approach angle (the angle at which the front wheels can overcome obstacles in front) and the departure angle (the angle at which the vehicle behind the rear wheels, such as the rear bumper, can overcome obstacles without contacting them) are fully developed. target. Therefore, although you can see various minivans at auto campsites near cities, the more you go to the hard interior, the more minivans you see only Delica D: 5.
If you want to enjoy light camping, other 4WD minivans are perfectly fine, but if you want to enjoy the relatively hard outdoors with your family, this is definitely recommended.
I want a minivan that the whole family can spend comfortably!
Recommended Toyota “Alphard”
“I thought I didn’t need such a big minivan, so I bought a middle-sized minivan, but it didn’t fit all my luggage.”
If you want the whole family to be able to spend time comfortably and still have plenty of room to carry your luggage while traveling, there is no choice but to choose a “Large Size Minivan”. At that time, Toyota’s large size minivan “Alphard” is recommended.
The Alphard mainly has a fairly aggressive design around the front, and in conjunction with that (?), there are a small number of users who repeat rough driving, so the general public’s reputation is not so good.
However, at the moment, Toyota Alphard is the only minivan that can fulfill the job of “I want the whole family to be able to spend time comfortably, and I want to load luggage when traveling,” which I mentioned earlier.
There is also the “Nissan Elgrand”, a minivan with a similar size, which is not a bad car, but because the design year is not so good, there are some complaints about the driving assistance system. However, with the Alphard, you can get ideal results in a sense, “big and spacious, good driving, and sufficient driving support system.”