By far the most popular vehicle for handicap accessible conversion, the modified wheelchair minivan is a highly compact, convenient way to give wheelchair users freedom and independence, both as the driver or as a passenger. Here’s why most people with disabilities choose to buy a wheelchair minivan:
- Because it’s smaller than a full-size van, a multi-use modified minivan is easier to park. The minivan’s shape is taller than a station wagon or hatchback, so it provides more headroom when entering, exiting, and riding in the vehicle.
- The interior is roomy enough to accommodate the wheelchair user and other passengers, yet cozy enough that, even if the wheelchair user chooses to sit in the back, she or he is still close enough to be part of the car-ride conversation.
- Automatic sliding side doors open smoothly and handily at the touch of a button—an incredibly helpful feature, especially if the wheelchair user is also the driver.
- The entry way’s height and width are Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant.
- In newer minivan models, the passengers in the rear control the climate and audio separately from the driver’s area, so everyone is happily cared for.
- Minivans are considered family cars, which warrant the highest in safety standards. The best safety ratings are based on front, side- and rear-impact collisions in testing and rating the ability of the vehicle to tolerate an accident.
- Compared to a full-size van or pick-up truck, the modified minivan is more fuel-efficient, averaging about 20 miles per gallon. With gasoline prices steadily rising, the idea of saving money is appealing to just about everyone.
- As exterior styling continues to evolve from the “box on wheels” design of the past, the minivan is a user-friendly family car, with plenty of room to seat the wheelchair user and additional passengers comfortably while providing space for luggage and other cargo. Fuel and safety ratings are good, and the minivan handles more like a car than a full-size van or pick-up truck. That’s why the minivan is the all-around best option for wheelchair van modification!
The only drawback to a handicap accessible minivan? They’re not practical for extra-wide (30″+) or extra-tall (57″+) wheelchair users.
Learn about the manufacturers who produce the most-modified minivans on the market!