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MV-1: Purpose-Built Transportation for Wheelchair-Dependent Passengers

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author photo by Josh Sadlier December 2014

The MV-1 is the first vehicle to be designed from the ground up to be wheelchair accessible. It meets or exceeds all relevant guidelines from the Americans with Disabilities Act, and it can even accommodate two wheelchair users at once in its spacious interior. It has also repeatedly received passing marks according to goverment crash-test standards, and that's with all the special equipment installed. There's no substitute for purpose-built design in any vehicle segment, and the MV-1 continues to stand alone as the bespoke solution for wheelchair-dependent shoppers.

Access to the van's main passenger compartment is gained via a power-retractable ramp (manual on the fleet-only SE model) that has a 1,200-lb capacity and an industry-standard nonskid coating. The large entryway (36 inches wide by 56 inches high) leads to a roomy cabin with seating for two wheelchair occupants and up to five additional passengers. There's also an optional jump seat behind the driver's seat for extra seating capacity, and there's a space next to the driver's seat for a wheelchair-dependent passenger to ride shotgun -- another industry first. The MV-1 also features touch points for sight-impaired individuals.

Power comes from a 4.6-liter Ford V8 hooked to a 4-speed automatic transmission. It's essentially the same powertrain that has proven to be exceptionally durable in Crown Victoria taxis across the country. Gasoline is the standard fuel, but a CNG (compressed natural gas) version is optional. With gasoline, the V8 makes 248 horsepower and 294 lb-ft of torque, enough to get this 5,000-lb-plus workhorse moving with reasonable authority. The CNG version drops to 213 hp and 259 lb-ft.

In addition to the bare-bones, fleet-only SE, there are two consumer trim levels available. The DX features basics such as 17-in steel wheels, cruise control and a CD audio system with an auxiliary input jack. The rather sinister-looking LX adds 17-in alloy wheels (20-in wheels are optional), a monotone exterior, privacy glass, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a driver floor mat, leather upholstery, rosewood accents, extra sound-deadening material, an upgraded stereo with a 7-in touchscreen and Bluetooth connectivity. Some of the LX's features are optional on the DX. A navigation system and rearview camera are optional on both trims.

The MV-1 is built at the AM General assembly plant in Mishawaka, Indiana -- the same factory that manufactured the Hummer H2.

The MV-1's official website has up-to-date information on dealer locations, technical specs and more.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
MV-1: Purpose-Built Transportation for Wheelchair-Dependent Passengers - Autotrader