Exploring the Next Generation of Wheelchair Accessible Vans - The Mobility Resource

The Next Generation of Wheelchair Accessible Minivans and SUVs

December 28, 2020

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Over the past decade, minivan models have brought us multimedia entertainment, satellite radio, GPS navigation, keyless start, backup cameras, parking sensors, and a whole lot more. The latest in minivan technology and entertainment options from ten years ago have now become standard features.

The 2010 generation of vehicles promoted electronic gadgets that added value, fun, and improved safety to our travel experience. Steering-wheel mounted controls, touchscreen satellite radio consoles, DVD video screens, and Bluetooth connectivity were some of the new entertainment extras being promoted. Now, features like power tailgates, keyless ignition, backup cameras, and parking sensors have became commonplace.

So where do the manufacturers go from here? Many would say that newer, next-gen minivan designs are becoming more and more “SUV-like” as the sport utility vehicle has clearly gained in popularity over the past decade. Soon there may not be much of a difference.

Minivan exteriors are sleeker than in years past – while newer interiors have been elevated to look more like high-end sports cars. Elaborate front grills, upgraded trim packages and flashy aluminum rim designs have added to the sportier look.

Speaking of SUVs, BraunAbility recently introduced its new Chevy Traverse wheelchair accessible SUV, an exciting addition to the mobility dealer industry.

Some of the newer minivans and SUVs coming out, like the Chevy Traverse, include driver-assistance features like automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning systems, and blind-spot monitoring. Entertainment systems now include Wi-Fi hotspots and wireless streaming to HD touchscreens. There’s also a lot more USB ports for charging electronic devices!

Honda Odyssey wheelchair vans

Hybrids and New Safety Features

If you’re looking for hybrid models, then 2021 may be the year that kickstarts your buying journey. The latest Toyota Sienna comes only as a hybrid, delivering fuel efficiency around 36 miles per gallon of combined driving. It’s unclear, however, when a wheelchair conversion of the Sienna will be ready for sale to the public.

The Chrysler Pacifica has a new plug-in hybrid version which will travel for approximately 30 miles at full charge before the gas engine comes on. That effectively makes the Pacifica Hybrid an all-electric vehicle for most short trips. Please see the Hybrid Availability note at the end of this article.

Many of the 2020/2021 models have also been upgraded with new safety technology. The rear seat reminder system is one of the main features that have received an upgrade. The system now reminds drivers that a rear door had been opened before the vehicle began its journey – which could indicate a child or pet may still be in the back seat.

A message on the dashboard display screen accompanied by a warning tone encourages drivers to check the backseat. In the future, auto manufacturers will include a combination of auditory and visual alerts to rear-seat reminders. Honda has already introduced a camera-based system on their 2021 Odyssey with a camera view of the rear seat.

See the Latest in Wheelchair Vans for Sale with a Personalized Demonstration

The Mobility Resource’s nationwide network of dealers carries the complete line of BraunAbility’s Dodge, Chevy, Chrysler, Honda, and Toyota wheelchair vans for sale, including the new Chevy Traverse SUV! Talk to a local Certified Mobility Consultant (CMC) to discuss the features you’re looking for and they can match you with the right conversion, make, and model.

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