|Honda's new Odyssey is as stylish as it is accommodating. (Photo: Simon Hill, Canadian Auto Press)|
The Caravan and Voyager immediately overtook Volkswagen as the minivan of choice thanks to their more car-like driving experience and lower, garage-friendly overall height. They were soon selling in numbers that inspired manufacturers around the world to rush their own versions of the people-carrier to market.
But even at the height of their popularity, minivans were encumbered by a dowdy image that manufacturers were constantly trying to shake with often-bizarre styling exercises - the futuristic, low-slung Pontiac Trans Sport, the jellybean-on-wheels Toyota Previa and the "I'm-not-a-minivan-I'm-an-SUV" Chevrolet Uplander all come to mind.
These days the lustre seems to be off the minivan market, and manufacturers that jumped onto the bandwagon during the segment's heyday are abandoning it in droves. Ford, GM and Hyundai have all stopped selling minivans, steering customers instead towards SUVs and CUVs. Chrysler and Volkswagen economized their minivan development <Read More>