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2006 Minivan Buyer's Guide

2006 Minivan Buying Guide

by Martha Hindes

There are vehicles that can roar. There are vehicles that can haul. There are ones that are trendy and some that are plain. But only one fits perfectly into what we might call the comfort zone.

What else could categorize the minivan? It does so many things so well. It can take a crowd of unruly preschoolers and pacify tantrums with a cartoon on a drop-down DVD. It can haul enough groceries for a family reunion feast. And in deft designing hands, it can sport more talent and style than some disparaging counterparts that usually wear "utility" in their names.

For sheer multi-talented use, there's nothing that approaches its purpose. Side doors slide open with the blip of a button. Floors are set low at approachable levels for real world loading. Drop-down trays between front seats give quick walk-through access. Someone must have been thinking clearly when envisioning how many ways it could serve.

As with other automotive segments, minivans were bound to evolve beyond the tried and true classic. And they have. Some have grown larger, others smaller. Some remain subdued, but others have edgy looks. All seem to have discovered a myriad of ways to add surprising elements that make one a pleasure to own. In true comfy fuzzy-slipper style, they define what multi-talented is all about. Read on...