Thinking of buying a mini cargo van? Some auto manufacturers still produce minivans with family cargo space and interior extras, while others have found the larger cargo minivan more popular among buyers.
What Is a Mini Cargo Van?
Edmunds, a vehicle research website, defines a minivan as "a vehicle with a short hood and a box-shaped body enclosing a large cargo/passenger area." There are only two van models that Edmunds considers to be mini or compact, the Kia Sedona and the Mazda 5.
Other mini vans with cargo space came in mid-size and large models with higher price tags and more space. In the mid-size range are the GMC Savanna Cargo, Chevy Express Cargo, the Hyundai Entourage, Chrysler's Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, Ford Econoline Cargo, and finally, the Ford Transit Connect.
In the large category for cargo vans are the Chevy Express, the Dodge Sprinter, GMC's Savanna Cargo Van, the Honda Odyssey, the Nissan Quest, and finally the Toyota Sienna.
What About Cargo Capacity?
The cargo capacity is different in all three categories of mini cargo vans: the compact, mid-size, and large. Here's a quick look at cargo size by model. Keep in mind that base models of cargo vans do not come with many interior extras in order to keep the price affordable.
|Kia Sedona Compact||142 cubic feet|
|Mazda MAZDA5 Compact||72 cubic feet|
|Chevy Express Cargo Mid-Size||267 cubic feet|
|Hyundai Entourage Mid-Size||142 cubic feet|
|Chrysler Town & Country Mid-Size||144 cubic feet|
|Dodge Grand Caravan Mid-Size||144 cubic feet|
|Ford Econoline Cargo Mid-Size||237 cubic feet|
|Ford Transit Connect Mid-Size||135 cubic feet|
|GMC Savanna Cargo Mid-Size||267 cubic feet|
|Chevy Express Large Van||253 cubic feet|
|Dodge Sprinter Large Van||141 cubic feet|
|Honda Odyssey Large Van||147 cubic feet|
|Nissan Quest Large Van||148 cubic feet|
|Toyota Sienna Large Van||149 cubic feet|
Cargo Vans vs. Minivans
Auto manufacturers began mass-producing the minivan when it became a popular vehicle for families, car-pooling, and juggling kids from event to event. With that mass-production, the minivan gained all sorts of interior options from entertainment centers to storage compartments and even pop-up tables for during-the-ride entertainment space. Cargo vans, on the other hand, have been marketed for the construction worker, handyman, artist, and other sorts of occupations where a person's tools of the trade must have a large enough cargo area to fit their space needs. Most cargo vans come without many interior amenities, where minivans have loads of interior amenities.
Before you buy a cargo van, consider that a minivan might have the cargo space that you need once the back seats are removed. A minivan will be significantly cheaper than a cargo van, depending on the model. This will allow you to get the space you need at a much lower price. You will also have an added degree of luxury in a minivan.
Questions to Ask Before Buying a Cargo Van
If you are considering such a van to haul your stuff and want to skip the amenities, here are some questions to ask:
- What is the maximum cargo space of the van you want? How does this compare with the minivan's length and width?
- Does the dealer have a base model without all the interior amenities? If not, can the dealer order you one? If the dealer can order you one, expect an eight to 12-week wait before your cargo van hits the showroom floor. You may also asked to put down a deposit on any ordered vehicle.
- Can your dealer do a dealer trade? A dealer trade is where your dealer searches the inventory of another dealer to see if they have a base cargo van in stock similar to what you want to buy. Expect to pay a transport fee to get the van to your dealer. Depending on how far away the van is, your transport fees will range from $400 to $1,000.
- Be sure to ask the salesperson at the dealership if the cargo van you want has any rebates or incentives. In addition to basic consumer incentives, some manufacturers offer rebates to farmers and military personnel as well as other occupations.
Buying Your Van
A mini cargo van can be a great tool in helping you get from place to place while protecting your valuable cargo. Whether you go for the interior extras or just need the space, you can bet one auto manufacturer has the van you need. Take the time to compare minivans before you buy.