Chrysler LLC recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the minivan, a vehicle they’re credited with creating a quarter century ago. Since 1983, Chrysler has sold more than 12 million minivans worldwide. The automaker was the first to market the vehicle and leads the world in minivan innovation, with more than 65 minivan-first features. Chrysler and Dodge minivans make up more than 40% of the U.S. minivan market.
Designed for “baby boomers”, Chrysler designers and engineers realized the limitations of the full-sized van and in 1977 began developing a vehicle that would fulfill the needs of young, growing families and be a “family room on wheels.” It needed to be fuel-efficient, easy to get in and out of and family friendly. What they came up with was a flat-load floor plan with the entire powertrain in front of the passenger compartment. Chrysler engineers created a platform offering the driver a tall perspective, while providing easy entry and exit.
The launch of the minivan was a huge success. Soccer moms and harried parents could now transport their kids easier than ever and soon the vehicle was its very own segment. The minivan became a cultural icon in the ‘80s and helped solidify the Chrysler brand worldwide.
Known for its great fuel efficiency, a new world record for fuel economy was set in 2000 by a Chrysler Voyager SE powered by its available 2.5-liter common-rail turbo diesel (CRD) engine. The vehicle journeyed 1,077 miles on a single tank of diesel fuel which was a first for any minivan.