The minivan market is doing very well in America. Chrysler’s Pacifica is a smash hit with sales of just under 30,000 units in the US last quarter, up 9% over 2019’s Q4. Now with AWD, even more shoppers will opt for a Pacifica instead of an SUV. The Toyota Sienna is an all-new design this year. The Sienna offers AWD so it's great in the snow, and the Sienna's hybrid drivetrain will save owners $14,000 in fuel. All of this is fine and dandy, but will the darn thing fit inside your garage? We are here to answer.
Will Your New Minivan Fit Inside Your Garage
We’ve backed minivans from all of the major brands into our garages and have then measured how much extra space is required to reasonably make the vehicle fit. Driving in nose-first is also a good approach. Whichever makes you more comfortable. After we measured how much space was needed, we added a smidge more space just to be certain a typical driver could manage the task. We then created this easy to use chart that you can use at home.
How To Measure Your Garage To Tell If A Minivan Will Fit
Simply measure the width and length of the space you have using a tape measure. May as well go ahead and measure height as well, but that is not going to be a problem unless you have an unusually small garage height.
As you can see, the widest minivans are about 94 inches wide including mirrors. For these, add a minimum of ten more inches in order to be sure you can fit the vehicle inside with the mirrors open. So, your garage needs to be 104 inches wide.
As a reality check, we backed a 2021 Honda Odyssey into our garage and then measured the width of the opening. Sure enough, 104 inches. If you have a garage that doesn't offer the space needed and plan to put the vehicle in the garage only occasionally, it is possible to fold the mirrors and then put the vehicle inside. Just have a spotter help you.
One last note about width; If you purchase a Tesla Model X minivan, remember that its rear doors don’t slide like the others in our grouping. Rather, they open up. That gimmick sure looks cool at the dealership. But it means you need more space beside the vehicle for entry and exit. It also means you can forget about using a roof-top kayak or bike rack.
Is Your Minivan Too Long To Fit In the Garage
We would suggest that you need at least 18 inches of added space length-wise (front to back) when parking inside a garage. Two feet is more reasonable. You won’t be able to open the tailgate with that amount of space, but you can park it without hitting anything. Place a 2x4 across the path where the tires near the rear of the garage stop best. Then use contractor’s adhesive to glue the board to the floor. That is your stopping point. Folks who park nose-in often hang a tennis ball from the ceiling at the perfect stopping point and watch as it comes into contact with the windshield.
Beware Manufacturer's Minivan Specifications - They Are Wrong
We have found that most minivans will fit most modern garages. Older ones are hit or miss. We suggest that you ask your dealer about the width of the van including the open mirrors to verify that our chart is correct. Every manufacturer tries to hide the true width of these chubby family haulers so as not to scare off buyers. The widths listed on spec pages don’t include the open mirrors.
Related Story: Will a Full-Size SUV Like An Aviator Durango or Telluride Fit In My Garage?
If this was helpful to you, or if you have tips for fellow owners about parking, feel free to post a comment below the story.
John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. Following his engineering program, John also completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin