CC Outtake: Dodge Maxivans – Long and Longest (Longer is Absent)

There are at least three different lengths of Dodge Maxivan/Maxiwagon: Long, longer, and longest. The two bookends are conveniently parked together here. But fear not; I do have a picture of the longer one too. And there’s probably even a somewhat longer one.

The Maxivan/Maxiwagon was of course an extended body version of the new Dodge van that arrived in 1971. It also came in short (109″ wb) and medium (127″ wb) lengths. The Maxivan shared that 127″ wb, but also got an 18″ extension behind the rear axle. That’s the long version (212″ overall length), on the left up there, and here. It’s easy to spot in the passenger van version as it has no glass in that extension.

Here’s the longer version: for 1978, Dodge came up with a new rear end cap, eight inches longer than the old one, resulting in a total stretch of 26″, and a total length of 224.7″.  The side windows also changed, the new rear extension got a wrap-around window, and the side door was now right behind the front door, but some of those changes actually happened over two years. And the front end got a bit a bit blockier. But let’s not get too picky on those details here.

Things get even more complicated starting in 1994, as the front end was restyled in the aero fashion of the times. But it was strictly an external face lift, as things inside were still mostly stuck in the 70s. I suspect that new front end might have added an inch or two in length, but I can’t find the stats readily right now. Somewhat longer?

But in 1998, there was another face lift, and although the basic styling was similar, this one involved much more under the skin. The front end is longer, and that allowed the engine to be moved forward, which finally reduced that huge “dog house” engine cover in the front compartment. And the whole front compartment was completely re-done, with all-new dashboard and other elements. The front passenger’s seat was moved forward because there was finally room for it, as the engine was offset to the right and used to eat massively into the legroom area (as Stephanie knows all too well from our Chinook). The driver’s seat might have been moved up a bit too. The outside rear view mirrors were also now the modern style mounted near the front of the window, which had lost its vent pane.

The result is that the longest Maxivan was now 231.2″ long overall, or some 20″ longer than the…long version.

Still confused? Here’s my CC on the Maxivan/Maxiwagon, but I don’t guarantee results.