It didn't seem like long ago that the age of the full size van was on its way out. Many manufacturers pulled out of the van and minivan market in favor of the in demand sport utility craze and those manufacturers that continued to produce new cars for sale hardly made any new updates to those models, if at all.
Many local auto dealers also backed down support for what long had been the favorite of family vacations everywhere in favor of fuel efficient hatchbacks or roomy SUVs as well. You could still find vans under 30k if you wanted, but you might have to ask the salesmen to point you to the back of the lot, or make do with a smaller selection.
This maybe all about to change however, as the van landscape seems set to have a major infusion of new blood, specifically in the commercial van market or large passenger categories. Who's leading the charge? Expect to see car search engines soon stocking up with vans from Nissan, Ram, and possibly Chevrolet as they look to find a new car for sale to replace the retired HHR.
The Nissan is the farthest along set to debut in 2012 as the NV1500, NV2500, and NV3500 cargo vans. Expect your first glimpse of them to appear as shuttle vans for airports and local auto dealers and priced competitively to the Chevy Express van for sale in your area. Starting price on local car search engines and dealerships is expected to be just under $25,000 for the base model NV1500.
And Nissan isn't the only automaker to take note of the aging utility van lineup. Now under the ownership of Fiat, Chrysler is taking steps to engineer some of their European Fiat models to live up to the Ram nameplate and also compete in the vans under 30k segment. Their entrance in the market is expected to hit auto dealers in 2013 and will offer smaller versions then their Nissan counterparts to match up against the Ford Transit Connect vans.
Chevy is also pondering a similar path as Chrysler for a compact van expansion. Already producing the Chevy Express van for sale in many areas, Chevrolet would pair it possibly with an import van of its own to take over for the HHR panel edition which was phased out. If all goes according to plan, it could be the largest full size van and compact van expansion in years.