I know you wonderful, intelligent people come to Oversteer for wonderful, intelligent content. Well, you’ve stumbled on an article that absolutely nobody asked for, but if you’ve even made it this far, then there must be something that interests you about minivans with non-sliding doors.
As the satisfied owner of a very not-weird Honda Odyssey, I do have an interest myself in off-beat minivans that don’t follow the typical minivan formula. To me, any minivan without sliding doors is weird because sliding doors is one of the best things about a minivan, so why would a minivan exclude one of its best features?
Anyway, here’s a list of weird minivans with non-sliding doors.
2006-2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
The Mercedes-Benz R-Class is a minivan that most car enthusiasts are familiar with, because there was an AMG variant powered by a 6.2-liter V8 engine that made 503 horsepower. However, very few AMG examples were built — and most R-Class models deliver performance pretty typical of a minivan. The weird thing about the R-Class is that Mercedes marketed the thing as a “Grand Sports Tourer,” which is a rather cumbersome way of saying “minivan.” Despite whatever MB wanted to call it, everyone else called it a minivan and its lack of sliding doors can’t hide that classification. Find a Mercedes-Benz R-Class for sale
1996-1999 Isuzu Oasis
The Isuzu Oasis was the first and only Isuzu minivan sold in the U.S. It hardly even counts as an Isuzu because it was nothing more than a rebadged first-generation Honda Odyssey. The Oasis only lived for one generation, and the Odyssey obviously evolved into the more conventional minivan we know it as today. This early version was basically an Accord with a bigger body and more family-friendly features like the third row of seats, which could fold flat into the cargo area — which was quite novel in the mid 1990s. Find an Isuzu Oasis for sale
1989-1998 Mazda MPV
Speaking of minivans that had a weird first generation and then became boring, the first Mazda MPV was quite quirky and had non-sliding doors. The first MPV has a ride height that made it a bit SUV-like, but it was still decidedly a minivan. It also had an available four-wheel-drive system with a lock mode giving it surprisingly strong off-road chops. If you’re looking for a minivan that can do some off-roading, an AWD Sienna or Caravan aren’t your only options. The MPV only saw one generation after this one, and it became a pretty normal minivan with sliding doors. Find a Mazda MPV for sale
2007-2010 Kia Rondo
The Kia Rondo’s status as a minivan is debatable. One could easily argue that this thing is just a tall hatchback or a small, oddly proportioned SUV. However, I maintain that the Rondo is a minivan — and we just don’t think of it as one for two reasons: it doesn’t have sliding doors and it’s too small. Yes, it is smaller than your average minivan, but that’s because we do this weird thing in the U.S. where minivans only come in one size. I say the Rondo has the proportions of a minivan, but in a smaller package with two rows of seats and normal doors. Kia tried to do what they said was impossible by marketing two minivans in the U.S. at the same time (the Rondo and the Sedona), and we just weren’t ready for that. Find a Kia Rondo for sale
2012-2015 Chevrolet Orlando
I know it probably sounds like I made it up, but the Chevy Orlando was a real vehicle sold in other parts of the world — including Canada. In fact, there’s even a second-gen model you can currently still buy in Asia. Why a vehicle named after a city in Florida was sold in Canada and not the U.S. is beyond me. Anyway, the Orlando was kind of like the Chevy HHR, but has decidedly more minivan-like proportions. It has what appears to be a very cramped third row of seats, with just two seats for very narrow people who don’t mind being really close to each other.