Common Minivan Dimensions

Dustin Hawley | Feb 22, 2021

Minivans have a special place in the world of family-friendly cars. Automakers have been keeping consumers on their toes with different vehicle models over the years, but the introduction of the Chrysler minivan in 1983 created a whole new category that still exists today. 

minivan dimensions

Minivans are lower to the ground than a truck or van. Their rear doors slide open for easy access. It has a flexible seating configuration that appeals to families and individuals alike. So while they are neither car nor truck, it can be difficult to assess these utilitarian vehicles’ size accurately. 

Let’s discuss some standard minivan dimensions and specific measurements behind some of the segment’s most popular vehicles. 

Minivans: A Brief History - Find the best car deals!

Also known as multi-purpose vehicles (MPV), or “people movers,” minivans allow drivers to pack all their cargo, from supplies to people, without losing any of the comforts of a standard passenger vehicle. Although the 1936 Stout Scarab is considered a minivan pioneer, Chrysler started the official revolution in the 1980s, when minivans began to be offered to consumers on a much larger scale than they had previously. In the late ’70s, Chrysler started to work on a goal of designing “a small affordable van that looked and handled more like a car.”

The term minivan came out of comparison with vans, as they were smaller than the standard van, yet larger than a car. In fact, some early versions of minivans, such as the Ford Aerostar and Chevrolet Astro, utilized a compact pickup truck platform. 

The highest selling year for minivans was in 2000 when buyers bought 1.4 million units. However, that figure dropped significantly as the emergence and popularization of SUVs began to take place shortly thereafter. 

Features Of A Minivan  - Find the best car deals!

One of the defining principles of a minivan lies in its design, which is specifically sized to ensure that it can fit inside a typical garage door opening. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of their main features:

  • Minivans are comprised of three different body style options: one-volume body (without a hood), one-and-a-half-volume (half-hood model), and a two-volume body (with a hood).
  • They have hinged or sliding rear doors.
  • Minivans have increased seating capacity, usually up to a total of 9 passengers.

Most minivans nurture a passenger car-like stature and performance, with lower gas consumption and a bit brisker performance with smaller engines. For most people, driving a minivan is as simple as driving a passenger vehicle, but with the added benefits of increased seating and cargo capacity. 

Standard Minivan Dimensions - Find the best car deals!

If you are curious about a minivan’s dimensions, we have prepared a detailed list of some of the most popular minivans worldwide. The length of all 2020 minivans is somewhere between 200 and 203 inches. 

Lengths Of Popular Minivans

The cargo area is typically between 56.5 and 59 inches in height, and there are 84 inches from the rear door to the driver’s seat on average. Standard minivans measure between 61.5 and 66 inches in width, with 142 to 149 cubic feet of average cargo space. 

All these design choices unmistakably affect the exterior design of the vehicle. However, smart stylistic decisions still make them relatively aerodynamic and modern-looking despite their average height of 6 feet and an average width of 5 feet. While at that, the wheelbase is usually around 7 feet.

It’s also worth noting that a minivan is not an oversized vehicle. According to regulations, an oversized vehicle is categorized as a minivan’s dimensions over 85 inches in height, wider than 80 inches, or longer than 240 inches. Since none of these figures apply to the dimensions of a minivan, it would not be considered an oversized vehicle. 

Minivan Cargo Space  - Find the best car deals!

As a result of their height, length, wheelbase, and width compared to standard passenger vehicles, minivans tend to be quite spacious. Specific models even offer the option of folding the second-or-third-row seats into the floor, creating additional cargo space on demand. 

As mentioned above, there are three different layouts of minivans. Let’s take a look at the average dimensions of the cargo area (length-width-height) for each:

  • Average Dimensions for a Compact van: 87”-59”-49”
  • Average Dimensions for a Double-cab-in van: 71”-57”-49”
  • Average Dimensions for a Double-cab-in van (extra-long): 85”-57”-49”

Summary - Find the best car deals!

The market for minivans has never been as diverse as it is today. With plenty of different vehicles to choose from, consumers have much to think about when defining their best options and most suitable configurations for their wants and needs. If you're looking for a family-friendly vehicle with a lot of space, a minivan might be the perfect solution. 

Now that you are familiar with the dimensions of standard models, you’ll have a strong fundamental understanding of how a particular minivan will fit your desired location and if its size will have a tangible effect on your everyday driving needs.

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