If you think vans are for boring people to drive their kids to and from after school practice with, then you'd be sadly mistaken. Vans are absolutely capable to combining fun and utility, and they're quirky enough for you to stand well apart from your friends if you own one. Here are some of the best vans out there, according to you.
No, the Espace F1 wasn't actually a production van—but it needs to be featured. It used the V10 drivetrain from the 1993 Williams FW15C F1, grafted into the body of a normal Renault Espace van. It could get from 0-60 in under three seconds
The name "S-Cargo" is a play on words, standing for "Small Cargo" and for sounding like the French word "escargot," meaning snail, which references the car's shape. Is it the ultimate weird budget delivery vehicle? We think so.
You can't buy VW's newest habitable van in the US, but we still think it's worth a mentioning. The California XXL comes with things like sleeping quarters, a bathroom, and even a kitchen. Perfect for spectating any race weekend.
The fourth-generation Ford Econoline could be optioned with a V10 engine. It wasn't a great V10, but does that matter? V10! You could pair that V10 with bench seats, carpet, and a headliner to make transporting all of your friends and family into an event. Hell, you could even live out of them for a while, if you were motivated enough.
The Toyota Van had a much more badass name in Europe: the Space Cruise. How can you own something like that and not feel cool? Sure, it was super odd-looking, with rear-drive and an engine stuck under the driver's seat like an afterthought. But the crown jewel was the that was cooled by air-conditioning refrigerant lines and came with spill-proof ice trays.
If you're wondering why every van on the market in the US now seems taller than they ever did, you have the Sprinter to thank. Because they're longer and taller than the usual US full-size vans, which means you can maximize both your cargo space and your road-going influence. Plus, if you get the newest Sprinter, it comes with lane keeping assists, forward collision alerts, and blind spot detection—which means it's basically an S-Class that can haul drywall.
The first generation Toyota Previa lineup included a . And the engine didn't just sit in the front like in most vans. No, it was mid-mounted and you could get it with all-wheel-drive. Then you could tell everybody that your car was basically a Lamborghini and watch their their faces when you pull up.
You could classify the Mazda5 as a and you wouldn't be wrong. You can fit six people in it, and because it's smaller than most vans, you're a lot more agile and maneuverable when you're driving through traffic or the city. You used to be able to get it with a six-speed manual gearbox, but Mazda dropped that for the 2015 model.
From the outside, the R-Class was nothing special at all. But underneath the hood of the R63 AMG you'd find a 6.2-liter V8 that made some serious power: 503-hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. And because that power went to all four wheels, you'd give a comparable 911 something to worry about if you were in the mood. With a trunkful of groceries.
The "MPV" moniker stood for "Multipurpose Vehicle," which was Mazda's first take on a minivan. And moving away from a traditional minivan also meant that it didn't have the sliding rear doors like everyone was used to. You could also get it in all-wheel-drive with a manual gearbox. It was basically a rally van.
If there was a car that could make anyone smile, it was the Volkswagen Microbus. These days, you see them painted and customized and limited only to their owners' imaginations. And with rumors surrounding the possibility of VW bringing an , we could be seeing a revitalization of sorts.