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Are you worried about finding the right minivan to haul your mountain bike around with? Is the safety of your mountain bike and your minivan both your top priorities?
Well then this article is for you!
The best minivan that you will want to get when you are a mountain biker is the Chrysler Pacifica. This model comes with all the bells and whistles that you could ever need as well as has the option to fold all of the seats into the floor giving you tons of room for gear!
If you are on a budget then you could also go for the Chrysler Voyager or Dodge Grand Caravan as both of these models also offer the Stow and Go seating (folding into the floor) but don’t have as many high end features so they are cheaper to buy.
Mountain biker’s choice: The Chrysler Pacifica
The Chrysler Pacifica is the perfect choice for every mountain biker due to its appealing features. Although it’s more expensive than the other two models mentioned above, you can always choose those cheaper models or buy a used Pacifica as well.
To see why this minivan is such a good choice for mountain bikers let’s look a little bit more carefully at this model
Specifications of the Chrysler Pacifica
- This minivan is available from $34,000- $49,000 MSRP but deals are run quite often by the dealers.
- It is available in six trim levels: L, LX, Touring Plus, Touring L Plus, and Touring Elite.
- It comes with a 3.6L V6 engine, 287 horsepower, and a fuel economy of 19/28mpg
- 9-speed automatic transmission
- The stability it offers is great
- Great traction
- Tire pressure monitoring
- Comes with a pre-collision safety feature
These features make Chrysler Pacifica a great choice for every terrain and weather. It should be the top choice in every adventure lover’s list.
Important minivan features for mountain bikers
If you are a mountain biker then there are some features on the Chrysler Pacifica that make it the perfect minivan for you!
Some of these features include:
The Chrysler Pacifica is always one of the top minivans due to its spacious cargo area. It is a 7-passenger vehicle and it comes with a 40.9-inch front headroom. It will give you enough room to store two mountain bikes directly inside of it with all of the rear seats folded down into the floor.
Mountain bikes are usually 69 inches long but the height of a mountain bike can vary quite a bit depending on the handlebar and seat height. However, you can easily get multiple mountain bikes standing up inside of a minivan even without removing the tires on the bikes. You can also lay down the bikes and fit more in there however you risk damaging the paint on your bikes doing it this way.
Because of the option to lay down all of the seats it makes the Chrysler Pacifica a great choice for all the mountain bikers out there.
With the improved ‘Stow and Go’ feature, the seats can be easily stowed down into the floor in a matter of minutes or you can leave a couple seats up and still have enough space for gear and additional people.
The Pacifica also has hidden storage areas under the floor of the second row seats for additional storage (or to stow the second row seats in).
After configuring the Chrysler Pacifica (laying down all of the seats) you can store up to six mountain bikes if you have the front tires removed.
How much room will be left depends on the gear and people you have to take along.
Investing in a bike rack for the rear of the minivan will allow you to haul extra people while still taking your bikes along with you.
Great Family Car
The Chrysler Pacifica is a family pleaser. It received the “Best Family Car” tag multiple times over the years. It has rear door safety locks and child seat anchors and the seats are very comfortable.
Many trims also come with a massive sunroof and it has a ton of luggage storage space for when you go on long trips.
The vacuum cleaner is between the second and third rows. Chrysler is unique as most other minivans come with the vacuum cleaners assembled in the minivan’s cargo area not in between the rows
The Chrysler Pacifica is comfortable and stylish and it is perfect for long trips with your bikes inside or on the back. In terms of buying it for your mountain bikes, the “Spacious” feature is the most notable as you can easily lay down all the seats and pack all your needed gear inside.
Way to go Chrysler!
Factors to consider when choosing a minivan for your mountain bike
Obviously buying a minivan for your mountain biking expeditions is a pretty expensive purchase. So rather than simply taking my word for which minivan is the best for your mountain bikes here are some factors that you can look at yourself when making the decision.
Type of bike you own
Mountain bikers love challenging themselves and as adventure lovers, they love trying out different terrains.
Each mountain biker’s requirements will differ especially by the type of bike that you use.
If your mountain bike is extremely large (as most are) then you will want a minivan that it can fit easily inside. That is why I feel the Chrysler Pacifica (or Voyager) and Dodge Grand Caravan are the best since all of the seats fold into the floor giving you plenty of room.
The Dodge/Chrysler minivans are the only ones that offer both the second and third row of seats to fold into the floor.
Long-Distance or Local Mountain Biking
Trail and weather conditions will act as decision influencers. Any minivan with or without a bike rack would do if you are going locally but with long-distance mountain biking, your options are more limited.
You will need more space for your bikes, cargo, and people. This is again where having the seats fold flat into the floor (or leaving the ones you choose up) makes a big difference.
People and gear also take up a lot of space so it’s important to have the room and configurability that you need.
Obviously all minivans are similar in the comfort department but since the Pacifica comes with so many trim levels it’s entirely possible to upgrade or downgrade the model to fit the comfort you want while still staying in your budget.
Most minivans will have a variety of trim options on it but the Pacifica allows you to pick and choose what comfort package you need and which to leave behind.
All Wheel Drive
The last factor that I will mention is AWD. Now certainly you might not need this if you only stay on pavement and never have to park anywhere off of it, however that is pretty unlikely.
I would 1,000% recommend getting a minivan with AWD on it so you have less chance of getting stuck in a mud/gravel parking lot if you get caught out in a freak rainstorm (or snowstorm)!
There are currently only two minivans that offer AWD instead of FWD and those are the Chrysler Pacifica and the Toyota Sienna.
However, the Sienna doesn’t have foldable second row seats so that is why the Pacifica was the winner overall in my opinion.