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Spacing Out

There's plenty of elbow room in these cargo-friendly minivans.

By Jill Amadio • Aug 1, 2004

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Need cargo room? Like 160 cubic feet? That's how much spaceChrysler's 2005 long-wheelbase Grand Caravan minivan supplieswhen its second and third rows of seats are folded and stashed awayin bins built into the floor. Pull on three numbered straps, andyou have a flat floor to accommodate boxes, containers and otherinventory. The seven-passenger Grand Caravan's third row is a60/40 split bench that can be flipped to function as tailgateseating. Other features include easy entry into the third row,side-curtain air bags on all three rows, rear park assist warning,sliding side-door alerts and Bluetooth for hands-free cell phoneuse. The base engine is a 2.4-liter I-4 with 150 horsepower and 167pound-feet of torque. Price with destination fee: $22,295.

Mercury's response is the 2004 Monterey, a newlong-wheelbase minivan with luxury features and a third-row benchthat, like the Grand Caravan's, folds into the floor. Thevehicle boasts front and rear parking sensors to warn of obstacles,power-adjustable pedals with memory and a power liftgate. Theengine is a 4.2-liter V-6, delivering 201 horsepower and 263pound-feet of torque. A stability-control system, optionalself-sealing tires and three-row rollover sensor system are amongthe safety features. Power sliding doors are standard. Maximumcargo space is 134 cubic feet. Price with destination fee:$29,995.

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