Recently, my neighbors bought a new Jeep Grand Cherokee, which is an SUV. The technology in this vehicle is insane. So, I’ve decided it is time for me to get a new vehicle. Currently, I have a 2019 Ford Explorer SUV. It is equipped with a conversion and a ramp that comes out the one side. Because I use a power wheelchair, I’m pretty limited in what I can get, due to what vehicles the conversion companies choose. So, here are my options in terms of minivans: the Toyota Sienna, the Honda Odyssey or the Chrysler Pacifica.
Wheelchair Accessible Toyota Sienna
The Toyota Sienna gets 36 miles per gallon. It offers a side-entry power foldout ramp. It has an ultra-wide doorway opening, as well as a wider power wheelchair ramp. There is LED lighting that illuminates the interior of the vehicle, which is great when using the wheelchair ramp at night.
Power Wheelchair Accessible Honda Odyssey
The Honda Odyssey has a heavy duty in-floor ramp that stows out of sight when not in use. This keeps the doorway clear to make entry and exit easier for other passengers. You can easily remove the front driver and passenger seats. The wheelchair accessible Honda Odyssey also features cabin and ramp lighting for navigating at night.
Wheelchair Accessible Chrysler Pacifica
The Chrysler Pacifica is available with an automatic side-entry in-floor ramp or a foldout ramp. It has features that help you park, brake and alerts you of vehicles in your blind spot. It has an extra large door space and a huge interior for navigating with your power wheelchair.
Why I Chose the Chevrolet Traverse
Recently, conversion companies started doing SUVs and my Ford Explorer was the first. Unfortunately, they stopped making the Explorer. Now, they offer the Chevrolet Traverse. Don’t get me wrong. I love my Ford Explorer but I want the new stuff. When I looked at the Chevy Traverse, I was pretty impressed. I like the body style and its much bigger inside, especially in the compartment where my power wheelchair goes. Of course, the best part is all the new technology. There is a camera built into the rearview mirror. So, if you pack a lot of stuff inside the vehicle and can’t see out the back window, you just flip the mirror. The camera comes on and displays what is going on behind you so you can still see cars and people when backing up. It’s great!
I’m excited for my new ride. It’s a new year’s gift to myself!
About Bryan Anderson: Bryan grew up and resides in Illinois. Injured by an IED in October 2005, Bryan is one of the few triple amputees to survive his injuries in Iraq. He is an ambassador for the Gary Sinise Foundation and a spokesperson for USA Cares, which is focused on assisting post 9-11 veterans. Click here to learn more about Bryan.
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