The ramp is what I was most drawn to. It has the feature that recognizes the need for different ramp extension needs. Do you only have room for 4 feet? Do you have room to extend 6 feet? It knows and can adjust which is a nice feature especially because you never know if someone is going to park too close to the side of your vehicle and leave you with too little room to extend a ramp. I also like that it has an over-ride feature in the floor and comes with it's own tool to manually over-ride the ramp if it malfunctions in any way so that you do not wind up stranded. It also has a kit in the trunk that allows you to instantly inflate a tire to fix and plug a flat so you also don't wind up stranded with a wheelchair user. A bag in the back hangs for storage for your wheelchair tie-downs, lap belt and shoulder belt for your wheelchair user.
|Ramp Controls on Side of Door|
|No Front Passenger Seat|
It is really nice to drive. It feels much more like driving my former SUV, a bit higher up than a van. The power is sufficient and doesn't make you feel like you are driving something that can't get up and go. Parks nicely and much the same any SUV and van does. People definitely notice it, there are less than 1000 of them all across the US, so this is not the car for you if you'd like to blend in.
I'm a bit leery of it's trade-in value or potential if you wanted to trade it in on a new or different model down the line. Obviously there are a lot of factors that play into any trade in for a vehicle, but if you plan to put a lot of miles on it, I gather most dealers wouldn't be interested in buying back or trading a vehicle with 80,000+ miles on it. Do special needs families even have the capability to really trade one handicapped accessible vehicle for another financially? Not really sure I know the answer to that. Most families I gather do the best they can to obtain one, no matter how hard and run it until it won't run anymore. Financially I assume, it just isn't an option to upgrade or trade vehicles in on a regular basis.
|Bag in the trunk for wheelchair tie downs|
I think the MV-1 is a model that is more designed for a person with disabilities that is much older than child age, or an adult spouse, or even for example a disabled Veteran who even has the ability to still drive but needs to do a wheelchair transfer to get into a driver's seat. Kid-friendly? I'm thinking overall probably not so much. And I think the market on the MV-1 will be limited because it is likely not to be very appealing to a family with a child with special needs in a caregiver role. The MV-1 is perfect for an adult who is able to drive and can transfer to drive.
|Floor Tie Downs/Anchors|
It would be a vehicle that would be easy to keep clean with tracking in mud, dirt and debris from wheelchair wheels. I also like that the MV-1 is soon to come with roadside assistance and if it needs maintenance or service that someone comes to your home picks it up, leaves you with another vehicle to fill your handicapped accessible needs until your car is ready to be returned to you. You are really on your own if you have a conversion vehicle that needs service, and would have to likely coordinate a time to be without a vehicle that would have a ramp for a certain amount of time.
The MV-1 sales approach is also very different in the fact that they are really relying on word of mouth to talk about it for sales. It doesn't really have the market for a sales commercial, in fact many people may not even know of it's existence. The price tag used is around $40K; the price tag new is around $55K. There are a variety of different lending options, even including the option to lease. Yet even at that price, I think they recognize that it's going to be a difficult price point for many with special needs. We are simply a community of limited resources. And by nature of the daily price tags that we are faced with it is hard for the average family to move forward with a purchase of that magnitude even with a variety of lending options.
Overall I think the MV-1 has some decent potential. Is it going to be the first choice for many special needs families? I'm thinking maybe not. They do have plans to expand some of the MV-1's features. In 2017 they even anticipate making a AWD or 4-Wheel Drive Model. I think they also need to consider making an upgraded dash, including a more modern stereo, consider a glove compartment, the option for a built in entertainment center since the chairs are one piece and eliminate the ability to strap a portable one to the back of the driver's or passenger seat. It needs just a touch more to reach a wider market. But like just about anything you'll find pros and cons, and features that either fit or don't fit individual needs. At least it's an option, and we certainly need more of those within the special needs community.
Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.