The ideal car for a person is one that serves you better and has a considerable level of fuel efficiency. Meaning the car must not consume more in terms of fuel. You should not use a lot of money in fueling a car than maintaining it. Minivans can't be called trucks because trucks can be used anywhere as they are not easily trapped. They don't easily get stuck even in mud and are driven about anywhere.
In the energy department you might estimate or assume that most people run to buy cars which are the ultimate choice for an automotive. Well you are wrong since trucks typically outsell cars in the US. The popular two-wheel-drive Toyota Tacoma, powered by a four-cylinder, 2.7-liter engine, is the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the small pickup truck category. This is quite impressive since one can now save on the cost of full and even the maintenance of the truck of their choice. To me this is way cheap and advantageous.
A relative bought a Suburban so he could haul building materials for expanding his garage, also such that he could take 8 passengers with room for all their camping gears. Never mind that his family was only four and they seldom went camping, and the bigger garage was for parking a Suburban, of course.
If you do own a few motorcycles, an ATV, etc., and need to move them often, then by all means. However, not all owners of big pick up trucks actually need them. For daily life one can always rent a truck for the occasional cases of heavy duty hauling and be content with the minivan with what it's capable of.
To each their own, I suppose. I see no point in disputing what a minivan can do.
The Toyota Prius runs on regular grade fuel, whereas diesel fuel (here in the US) is far more expensive. Often, diesel fuel is more expensive than premium gasolene. Always take that into consideration when comparing vehicle efficiency.
No not really - that comes again, because the original list from the DoE is named: "2014 Most Fuel Efficient Trucks, Vans and SUVs by EPA Size Class"! And so you have SUVs, (Mini-) Vans and Pickup Trucks mixed.
And: I guess we all have a different idea of what constitutes a "truck" is very true, too. I as a european would't call a Ford E-350 a "passenger van", for me a Ford Transit is a (huge) passenger van. But that isn't the point - that's one's habit and flavour. But it has a huge impact on the mileage of your car / truck. You cannot have both: a huge truck (with maximum comfort and an engine with 4.0L) and a small consumption. If the truck is heavy, you need a huger engine - that's heavy too. So you need better (heavier brakes, gearbox etc.). This additional weight has to be moved and that costs the mpgs.
The same is for the cars: you can drive with a small Audi A1 - good for two persons with small luggage at about 66mpg or you take a Audi A8 with maximum comfort, space and power at 26mpg.
A minivan, like the Odyssey, or better yet the Dodge/Chrysler series with the fold-in-the-floor middle seats, is quite capable of hauling more stuff than most pickup trucks out there today. Most pickups have a back seat and a short bed. I rented a Dodge last week for my son's wedding, folded the seats flat, and hauled a lot of decorations, folded chairs & tables, flowers, signs, etc. that would have blown out the back of a pickup. You can even put a full sheet of plywood inside with the doors closed. Minivans aren't the best for tonnage, but for bulky items, they are great trucks.
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