Last autonews about minivans and auto makers (Hyundai, GM, Dodge, Chevy, Mercedes-BenzB, Cadillac, BMW, Toyota), photos/videos of supercars and from auto shows
AutomotoNews Frontline



Minivans/MPVs auto news

Pages:  1   2   3    ..  

Toyota Sienna Swagger Wagon rides again with Busta Rhymes

08/05/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Minivans/MPVs, Marketing/Advertising, Videos, Toyota

Let's face it: there are few things less "gangsta" than a minivan (which goes a long way towards explaining why crossovers have been gradually taking their place as the family-hauler of choice across America, but we digress). The point here is not lost on Toyota, which has embraced the uncool image of the minivan with the Swagger Wagon campaign.

We first saw the suburban-goes-urban campaign pop up with the introduction of the new Sienna back in 2010. And now that the Sienna's been updated for 2015, the campaign is back again, featuring none other than Trevor Tahiem Smith, Jr. himself... better known to most as Busta Rhymes. The decidedly white-bread video spot that follows may make you cringe, but you've got to admit that it's well done, even if it doesn't have the charm and freshness of the original.

Continue reading Toyota Sienna Swagger Wagon rides again with Busta Rhymes

Read more..


Bret Michaels Poisons Nissan's commercial trucking ops

07/31/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Minivans/MPVs, Marketing/Advertising, Videos, Commercial Trucks, Nissan, Celebrities

Bret Michaels for Nissan Commercial

Mötley Crüe isn't the only 1980s hair-metal band getting into the world of auto promotion. Poison frontman and reality show star Bret Michaels is following their lead and doing some advertising of his own. Where the Crüe have been all over the airwaves in recent years with a Super Bowl ad for Kia and music licensing with Dodge, Michaels has taken a very different route by becoming the pitchman for Nissan Commercial Vehicles.

The videos run the gamut to advertise predominantly the NV line of full-size vans, but the NV200 shows up a few times too. The star of this new campaign is Michaels' full-length music video (above) for the song Tough Love. It's basically a parody of all of those '80s rock ballads where the bands would slow the tempo down a little and reveal their softer side. Michaels rocks out at the Nissan proving grounds in Stanfield, AZ, while showing off the evaluation process and strutting around like a proper rock frontman. There are also a bunch of shorter videos (below) with the singer highlighting each part of the vans' torture testing. Although, the dialogue in these come off a bit more stilted. With these '80s metal bands getting into advertising, can it be long before Warrant is shilling for Fiat or Ratt for Mazda?

Continue reading Bret Michaels Poisons Nissan's commercial trucking ops

Read more..

GM gives China 7-seat minivan, still won't offer MPV in US

07/31/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Economy, Minivans/MPVs, China

Baojun 730

General Motors and its Chinese joint-venture partners, SAIC and Wuling, have announced a new seven-passenger minivan for the world's most populous country.

Called the Baojun 730, the budget-minded people mover will be available in four trims (Standard, Comfort, Luxury and 1.8 Comfort) and with two available engines. The base mill is a 1.5- liter four-cylinder, which GM says was developed specifically for "economy passenger vehicles." Although mum is the word on power, it can return impressive fuel economy, netting 7.1 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (33.1 miles per gallon). The other engine is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, although there's not a lick of info available on it. Regardless of engines, the sole transmission is of the five-speed manual variety.

Considering its primary purpose is to haul people and stuff, the 730's three rows of seats look reasonably spacious for a vehicle that rides on a mere 108-inch wheel base. There's no word on total passenger volume, although GM claims that even with seven passengers, there's nearly 12 cubic feet of cargo room.

Despite its status as an economy entry, there is a reasonable level of connectivity in the 730. An eight-inch touchscreen looks to be running some form of Chevrolet's MyLink system, while USB and Bluetooth connectivity will also be available. Cruise control, a backup camera and dual-zone climate control - relative rarities on a budget Chinese MPV - are also available.

Scroll down for the full press release from SAIC-GM-Wuling.

Continue reading GM gives China 7-seat minivan, still won't offer MPV in US

Read more..


Mercedes rolls out versatile new Vito van

07/29/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Minivans/MPVs, Euro, Commercial Trucks, Mercedes Benz

2015 Mercedes-Benz Vito

Mercedes-Benz may be known for its luxury cars on this side of the Atlantic, but it's equally known around the world for making robust workhorses as well: trucks, buses and vans. It has started to turn Americans on to that idea with the successful transplant of the Sprinter van to North America, but it still has a whole range of commercial vehicles it doesn't offer here. It recently rolled out the Renault-built Citan to replace its Vaneo, replaced its Viano with the new V-Class, and it has now introduced a new Vito van as well.

More utilitarian than the V-Class, the Vito is a smaller alternative to the Sprinter and hits showrooms in other global markets in a wide array of configurations. For starters, it will be available in numerous lengths as a panel van, a passenger van or as a crew cab, a configuration that combines a four-door passenger compartment with a cargo bay in the back. It's also intriguingly available in front-, rear- or all-wheel drive, motivated by a pair of four-cylinder turbodiesels displacing 1.6 liters or 2.1 liters with power ranging from 136 horsepower up to 190. Regardless of engine selection, buyers can choose from either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic.

In addition to a wider range of powertrain and bodystyle choices, Mercedes has also redesigned the new Vito to be safer and more comfortable than the model it replaces. It has a more aerodynamic shape for a lower coefficient of drag that pairs with the new engines to help reduce fuel consumption. That's particularly important to the vehicle's competitiveness among fleet buyers, because improved fuel economy leads to reduced running costs. Further, the new Vito can be kept on the road for 25,000 miles over two years in between service intervals.

Despite the suspension that's been redesigned for a more compliant ride, the new Vito doesn't skimp on the utility. In fact, Mercedes claims it's got the highest payload capacity in its class at over 3,000 pounds and a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of over three tons, depending on spec. Read all about it in the press release below and scope out the range in the high-res image gallery above.

Continue reading Mercedes rolls out versatile new Vito van

Read more..

Washington QB Kirk Cousins splashes out on... Grandma's old conversion van

07/29/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Minivans/MPVs, Etc., Celebrities

Kirk Cousins van

The Washington Redskins might not be the best team in the National Football League, but it may have the most diverse player parking lot. Usually, professional athletes are seen driving around in luxury sedans, SUVs and exotic sports cars, but some of Washington's players seem to have a more bizarre style.

Last year, Mazda restored Washington running back Alfred Morris' 1991 Mazda 626 with around 275-man-hours of labor to bring it to better-than-new condition with quilted leather seats and an upgraded audio system. But Morris is getting a run for his money in terms of parsimonious wheels, from the team's young quarterback Kirk Cousins. Cousins showed up to training camp in a 14-year-old, seven-passenger conversion van, obtained from his grandma. His wife even recently tweeted a photo of it.

First road trip in the conversion van! Looking forward to the start of a new football season as we drive to Virginia! pic.twitter.com/YXwVGiND9I

- Julie Cousins (@juliehcousins) July 21, 2014

The van originally belonged to Cousins' grandparents. But after his grandfather passed, Cousins' grandmother had no need for it and sold the van to her grandson. Cousins told The Washington Post, "it's perfect for driving the hour-and-a-half from Ashburn to the games." He and his wife also plan to use the van for road trips.

Read more..

Washington rookie QB Kirk Cousins splashes out on... Grandma's old conversion van

07/29/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Minivans/MPVs, Etc., Celebrities

Kirk Cousins van

The Washington Redskins might not be the best team in the National Football League, but it may have the most diverse player parking lot. Usually, professional athletes are seen driving around in luxury sedans, SUVs and exotic sports cars, but some of Washington's players seem to have a more bizarre style.

Last year, Mazda restored Washington running back Alfred Morris' 1991 Mazda 626 with around 275-man-hours of labor to bring it to better-than-new condition with quilted leather seats and an upgraded audio system. But Morris is getting a run for his money in terms of parsimonious wheels, from the team's rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins. Cousins showed up to training camp in a 14-year-old, seven-passenger conversion van, obtained from his grandma. His wife even recently tweeted a photo of it.

First road trip in the conversion van! Looking forward to the start of a new football season as we drive to Virginia! pic.twitter.com/YXwVGiND9I

- Julie Cousins (@juliehcousins) July 21, 2014

The van originally belonged to Cousins' grandparents. But after his grandfather passed, Cousins' grandmother had no need for it and sold the van to her grandson. Cousins told The Washington Post, "it's perfect for driving the hour-and-a-half from Ashburn to the games." He and his wife also plan to use the van for road trips.

Read more..

Volkswagen says goodbye to Eos, Routan in 2015 updates

07/23/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Convertibles, Minivans/MPVs, Volkswagen

2015 Volkswagen Eos

Usually automakers announce changes to their lineup individually on a vehicle-by-vehicle basis, but sometimes it all comes at once - especially when the changes are ones we either expected or might not otherwise notice. That's the path Volkswagen has gone with changes to its US lineup for 2015.

The biggest change is what we already knew: that the new Golf arrives for the 2015 model year, bringing with it the new GTI, Golf R, e-Golf and Golf SportWagen (to replace the previous Jetta wagon). But there are some new details as well.

For starters, Volkswagen has finally confirmed that both the Eos and the Routan - both long rumored to be on their way out - will be exiting this year. The Eos hardtop convertible, pictured above, will linger for one last year, its Sport trim replaced by a new Final Edition with 18-inch wheels, two-tone leather interior and enhanced equipment.

Meanwhile the Routan, which hasn't actually been built in over a year, is finally dead, as VW confirms it has dropped the Chrysler-built minivan from its lineup for 2015 altogether. The German automaker has also confirmed that the Touareg is getting a facelift early in the new year, which we expect will closely follow the revisions revealed a few months ago ahead of the Beijing Motor Show.

Finally VW has announced an upgrade to its 2.0-liter TDI. Fitted to the Golf, Jetta, Passat and Beetle, the updated diesel gets 10 more horsepower with output now up to 150 hp and 236 pound-feet of torque. Scope out the full list of announcements in the press release below.

Continue reading Volkswagen says goodbye to Eos, Routan in 2015 updates

Read more..

Trio of cheesy classic VW buses stolen, recovered

07/20/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Time Warp, Minivans/MPVs, Etc., Government/Legal, Marketing/Advertising, Volkswagen

Cheese Vans Stolen

Three customized Volkswagen Buses (pictured above) made to look like blocks of Tillamook cheddar cheese are safe again after being stolen on July 12, and two men are in police custody for the alleged theft.

The cheesy cadre of VWs, their custom trailer and a Ford F-350 to haul them were on a promotional tour when they were stolen from a hotel parking lot in Manteca, Oregon. Police began searching for them, and the group of bright orange Volkswagens wasn't too hard to sniff out. The three vans with an estimated value of $100,000 each were recovered undamaged on July 14 from a storage center in California about 50 miles away from where they were taken, according to Oregon Live. It reports that one of the men arrested rented a space there.

Unfortunately, the trailer and pickup used to haul the classic VWs weren't so lucky. Prior to finding the vans, police discovered the other vehicles burned out. It appears the alleged thieves tried to turn them into grilled cheese...

Read more..

Mobility Ventures adds luxury model to its lineup of wheelchair-accessible vans

07/18/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Minivans/MPVs, Plants/Manufacturing, Tech, Ford, GM, HUMMER, Luxury

MV-1 LX

Mobility Ventures, the Indiana-based maker of vehicles designed and built to accommodate people with disabilities, is adding a luxury model to its lineup. Called the MV-1 LX, the vehicle joins Mobility Ventures' portfolio of purpose-built vans with wheelchair ramps.

The LX model adds more standard equipment, including leather seats, rosewood interior accents and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. It also adds 17-inch aluminum wheels, a navigation package with a seven-inch touchscreen, a rear backup camera and Sirius Satellite Radio. Other features include a body-colored grille with chrome accents, turn signals mounted in the mirrors and a two-stage power wheelchair ramp.

The LX is on sale now. Mobility Ventures also sells a more basic DX variant to consumers, an SE model designed for fleet use and a taxi.

All versions come with a 4.6-liter V8 engine sourced from Ford rated at 248 horsepower and 294 pound-feet of torque that runs on regular fuel. The same engine, converted to run on compressed natural gas, is an optional feature and makes 213 hp and 259 lb-ft. The LX variant can achieve a speed of 99 mph, compared 80 mph for the other models.

Mobility Ventures is owned by AM General, which builds the MVs in Mishawaka, IN. AM General is best known for making Humvees for military purposes and for building the Hummer H1 and H2 SUVs for General Motors.

The MV-1 line was previously produced by an entity called the Vehicle Production Group, which contracted production of the vans to AM General. When VPG went out of business due to cash problems, AM General bought the assets and resumed production.

The company now has about 100 dealers across the United States and Canada that sell MV-1s. Mobility Ventures markets its vehicles as an alternative to retrofitted vans, and has designed them to meet or exceed passenger guidelines set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Scroll down to read the official press release.

Continue reading Mobility Ventures adds luxury model to its lineup of wheelchair-accessible vans

Read more..

2015 Toyota Sienna SE keeps the swagger, adds thoughtful updates [w/videos]

07/17/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Minivans/MPVs, Toyota

2015 Toyota Sienna SE

2015 Toyota Sienna SEToyota found huge success with its "Swagger Wagon" rap video for the 2011 Sienna SE. It showed that a minivan could actually sort of maybe be fun and didn't have to be a lame vehicle for people who long ago lost their sense of humor. Now that there is a slight refresh for the 2015 model, the company is trying to capture that effervescent image again with a bunch of videos aimed at families.

For the latest launch, Toyota is partnering with some family-friendly online video stars and having them show off the Sienna's features. It's releasing YouTube videos from the creators of Action Movie Kid and Convos with My 2-Year-Old and a Vine from Eh Bee Family, and they all hope to show that it's cool to be a family with a minivan.

In terms of actual changes, though, the update is pretty light aesthetically, but the new tech inside seems aimed directly at mom and dad. However, unless you've got a sharp eye, spotting the exterior refresh might be tough. Toyota is tweaking the front end slightly by adding a dark mesh grille and trim. The headlights are also slightly reshaped to incorporate a new strip of available LED running lights.

As they say, it's what's on the inside that counts, and there are two, new features that parents with precocious kids are really going to love. First, the Driver Easy Speak system puts a built-in microphone near drivers that projects their voice through the rear speakers. That means no more yelling to sit down. There's also an optional pull-down mirror that lets drivers check out what rear passengers are doing without turning around.

Other interior updates include more soft touch materials and a standard panoramic backup camera. The optional 4.2-inch multifunction display can show navigation directions, and the optional seven-inch infotainment system gets capacitive switches with swipe controls.

The 2015 Sienna SE will make its public debut at Artscape, a free arts festival in Baltimore, MD, that runs from July 18-20. Scroll down to watch the videos and read Toyota's full announcement.

Continue reading 2015 Toyota Sienna SE keeps the swagger, adds thoughtful updates [w/videos]

Read more..

Pages:  1   2   3    ..