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Would You Like Sliding Doors on the Ascent?

  • 馃挌 Holy crap! That would be amazing!

    Votes: 10 24.4%
  • 馃 Maybe. I could take it or leave it.

    Votes: 6 14.6%
  • 馃槨 You want them to do WHAT to my beautiful SUV!?!?!

    Votes: 25 61.0%

  • Total voters
    41
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We went the SUV route because there wasn't a minivan with enough ground clearance and traction, even with winter tires, to make it up to our place in the hills. There is still nothing that equals a minivan for passenger space and cargo, which is what 95% of the people need them for anyway (There are a small percentage of people who tow & off-road, so a minivan would likely not be a good choice).
Sliding doors are one of the greatest inventions I've ever seen, especially with kids in crowded/ narrow parking lots/ spaces on windy days. It's one of those things if you tried it, you would have a hard time going back, especially when you're trying to put a kid in a booster seat in a narrow parking spot.
The problem is 70% of the population will never consider anything with sliding doors because of the so-called minivan stigma attached to it. I still miss my Honda Odyssey quite a bit, it was great on gas and fun to drive.
And with Subaru's theme of all-wheel drive and ruggedness, I think would be a tough task to pull off something that was sort of minivan-esque successfully. You would end up with something like the Mazda MPV from way back that was all-wheel drive (which actually kind of had the quirky Subaru styling from that era).
I also think with the relative increase in fuel economy from SUVs over the past decade, that there are more feasible arguments for buying an SUV than a minivan. And with the perceived need for all-wheel drive, an SUV seems to fit the bill quite well for most people these days.
The 1st gen MPV didn't have rear sliding door, it was a traditional hinged door.

Also, the MPV wasn't AWD. It was a part-time 4WD system.

Back in the day, adding AWD or 4WD to a minivan also came with a lift compared to the 2WD counterpart.

But, you still have the Toyota Sienna with the AWD option, and the next gen Sienna hybrid (only) will have an AWD option.
 

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It's interesting that Sienna sales dropped (and continue to) when the new batch of 7/8 seaters (Ascent, Teluride, Palisade, etc) hit the market. Wondering if there's a relationship.


I think the minivan stigma really hurts. While a sliding door does not define something as a minivan, it definitely creates the perception, because of the strong association.

Obviously, this is not a minivan. (and wow this is cool)
5519

 

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But, you still have the Toyota Sienna with the AWD option, and the next gen Sienna hybrid (only) will have an AWD option.
Pacifica is also available with AWD.
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I also believe that the current (and growing) crop of 7-8 seat mid-size SUVs have taken the wind out of what was once a very healthy market for minivans and that's why there are far less choices in that category. For some families, they are still essential and those available will continue to fill the need as long as there is demand. They really are very good as "people movers". But mid-size SUVs have also come a long, long way. Hence, we have our beloved Subaru Ascents to enjoy. :) :D
 
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I think the above is all very true. I still think there's a little bit of false security with all wheel drive ( This coming from a person whose 3 cars are AWD-two of which arguably have the best systems available- the Subaru, and the JLR system), as I think many people forget they still have to turn and stop in potentially unfavorable conditions, acceleration and traction are just one component.
We've also advanced to the point where, with the exception of a few high-end automakers, the flagship models are now SUVs. And you can get almost the same second row space in $30-45k SUV as you can in a full size luxury car. No, the experience isn't going to be quite the same, but for somebody who's never sat in the back of an executive equipped s-class with heated and cooled rear seats, nobody would ever really notice the difference.
That kind of space has pretty much always been available in a minivan, and on paper they do make the most sense, but then again a car purchase is often as much emotional as it is sensible. I would have loved to have gotten another minivan (the previous generation sienna was nice, but it was a snoozer to drive, and the Pacifica, like the sienna, didn't have enough ground clearance), but the ground clearance issue was the biggest problem for us. Getting stuck in the winter on a back road in the Berkshires is not an ideal thing, winter tires wouldn't make a difference when you're high centered.

It'll be interesting to see if the wagon, which is my favorite body style for a car, or the minivan will ever make a comeback. As we go more hybrid / electric, I guess the body style will mean less to people on paper, as even with relatively inefficient vehicles, plugging in doesn't seem to have the same emotional toll as filling up.
Either way, this isn't a criticism towards one body style or another, just some thoughts and observations. I'm glad we have all these options available.
 

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Many years ago I was riding with a friend in his new minivan (growing familly). Not having previously thought about minivans I was noticing them on the road an remarked how many of them had dents and dings in them. I came to think of them as the manatees of the road.
 

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Keep in mind that AWD and higher ground clearance don't have to be part and parcel. AWD has benefits in many situations including wet road performance or areas like where I live that have very light winter conditions. Minivans tend to be low to the ground because that makes it easier for the tasks that they excel at including "people moving". But I'd want a more capable SUV for "mountain living" in cold climates for sure!
 
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I imagine the engineering involved to allow for sliding doors while maintaining structure, especially for off-road but also safety, at the same time it would need to open enough to allow the third row to be accessed, would drastically change the look of the vehicle. So I would not be interested. If they could somehow make it happen without any drastic styling changes, I wouldn鈥檛 say no. I was considering a minivan (sliding doors would work a bit better in the garage) before realizing I鈥檇 miss the awd and ground clearance that I had with my Ridgeline.
 

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How about a clean-sheet design in the other direction? A 2-door full-sized wagon like the Chevy Nomads of the 50's.
 

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If anything a gull wing door as an option... But even Tesla made their next SUV all typical doors.

I would like a rear door with hinges on the opposite side like on a Rolls Royce.

:)
 

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I imagine the engineering involved to allow for sliding doors while maintaining structure, especially for off-road but also safety, at the same time it would need to open enough to allow the third row to be accessed, would drastically change the look of the vehicle.
exactly my earlier point about the Pacifica. They shouldn鈥檛 have even used the same name because it鈥檚 not even close to the same vehicle. If Subaru ever went the sliding door route I don鈥檛 think they should put it on anything called Ascent
 

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I get where you're coming from but it won't happen on the Ascent. That'd be a different/future model.

All I want is a heavy duty minivan. Hold the whole family + cargo, sliding doors, have 300+hp, tow 5000 lbs, reasonable gas mileage, optional/standard 4wd.
 

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You're safe then....they haven't made minivans since about 2016 under the Dodge nameplate. :D
Are you trying to lure me into a false sense of security??? Lol. Wiki tells me they never stopped.
 

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Strange. Very strange...and it also looks like it's only available in certain states. I can't say I've seen one on the road. Just Pacifica which is much nicer. (for a minivan :) )
 
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That would be a big no!!! That is the stupidest Idea I have ever seen!!!! I travel with my 2 male Standard Poodles and my female Weimaraner-Standard Poodle mix in my Touring Model Ascent. I like the plain doors that just open and close like regular car doors! I sure as HOLY HELL don鈥檛 want mini-van sliding doors to screw up their routine their when they get in and out of my Ascent!!! And I sure as HOLY HELL don鈥檛 want to drive a minivan type of vehicle!!!! I have been a Subaru driver since I got my Loyale Wagon when they first came on the market.
 
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