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The Best Minivans to Buy in 2021

No shame in the soccer parent game: These are the best minivans for the money.

In recent years, three-row SUVs have become something of the default choice for families. But when it comes to hauling lots of people and their stuff, no other type of vehicle can provide the same amount of passenger comfort and cargo space as the minivan. They're the ultimate haulers, and they offer family-focused features such as power-sliding side doors and reconfigurable seats.

Although there are several really good minivans on the market such as the Honda Odyssey, they aren't as popular as they once were due to the proliferation of SUVs. But whether it's long-running names like the Odyssey or the Toyota Sienna, or new offerings from established players like the Chrysler Pacifica, there are still several great minivans out there to choose from. Keep reading to learn about the best minivans to buy in 2021 and beyond, as ranked by MotorTrend.

4. 2021 Kia Sedona

A worthy but often-overlooked player in the minivan category is the Kia Sedona. This model benefits from an easy-to-use infotainment system and high-quality cabin materials. It also exhibits a quiet ride and good body control. Unfortunately, the Sedona doesn't offer as much cargo space as competitors, and its third row is rather small. A new Sedona is on the way for 2022.  [Read more about the Kia Sedona]

4. 2021 Kia Sedona Pros, Cons, and Specs

Pros: Controlled ride, nice interior ergonomics
Cons: Lackluster fuel economy, tight third row

Base-Price Range: $31,575-$42,675
Available Engines: 3.3L V-6 (276 hp, 248 lb-ft)
Fuel Economy (city/hwy/combined): 18/24/21 mpg
Cargo Space (behind 1st/2nd/3rd): 142/78/34 cu ft

3. 2021 Toyota Sienna

The Toyota Sienna benefits from a spacious interior and an extensive suite of standard safety features, but it has gone a long time without a redesign. For the 2021 model year, all that changes. The new Sienna is available only as a hybrid, achieving an eye-popping 35-36 mpg in combined city and highway driving. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. Every '21 Sienna wears highly expressive new styling, while the interior offers everything but the kitchen sink, including a refrigerator, vacuum, and 10-inch head-up display. [Read more about the Toyota Sienna]

3. 2021 Toyota Sienna Pros, Cons, and Specs

Pros: Great fuel economy, cozy ride, abundant standard safety features
Cons: 2021 model is the least powerful minivan on the market

Base-Price Range: $35,635-$51,075
Available Engines: 2.5L hybrid I-4 (243 hp total)
Fuel Economy (city/hwy/combined): 35-36/36/35-36 mpg
Cargo Space (behind 1st/2nd/3rd): 101/75/34 cu ft

2. 2021 Chrysler Pacifica

Having established the minivan segment, Chrysler is now reinventing it. The brand has replaced its long-running Town & Country with a new, more compelling entry called the Pacifica. It has become the benchmark in its segment thanks to its impressive handling and extremely versatile interior. The seats can fold all the way into the floor, giving the Pacifica a major advantage over competitors when it comes to increasing cargo space. An available plug-in hybrid model allows you to drive on pure electric power for 32 miles. On 2021 models, Chrysler added an AWD option, as well as a mightily expensive and fancy new Pinnacle trim level. [Read more about the Chrysler Pacifica]

2. 2021 Chrysler Pacifica Pros, Cons, and Specs

Pros: Smooth and quiet ride, precise steering, segment-leading Stow 'n Go seats
Cons: Sometimes-clunky transmission, we experienced quality issues on our long-termer

Base-Price Range: $36,540-$54,885
Available Engines: 3.6L V-6 (287 hp, 262 lb-ft); 3.6L plug-in hybrid V-6 (290 hp combined)
Fuel Economy (city/hwy/combined): 17-19/25-28/20-30 mpg
Cargo Space (behind 1st/2nd/3rd): 141/88/32 cu ft

1. 2021 Honda Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey has long been a top competitor, as it's both pleasant to drive and practical for large families. The minivan handles well for its size, and it boasts a smooth ride and powertrain, making road trips more comfortable. Buyers will enjoy a variety of useful technologies, including an on-board vacuum, a microphone system that allows the driver to communicate with kids in the back, and a camera that looks down on the second and third rows. For the 2021 model year, Honda has implemented numerous updates, the most significant of which are more standard safety features and second-row seatbacks that fold flat for easier removal. Those excited over the Honda's built-in vacuum cleaner option (HondaVac), take note: The feature is on hiatus due to a supplier issue, but may return for the 2022 model year. [Read more about the Honda Odyssey]

1. 2021 Honda Odyssey Pros, Cons, and Specs

Pros: Smooth ride, slick-shifting transmission, abundant standard safety features
Cons: Ungainly exterior design, no AWD or hybrid available

Base-Price Range: $33,265-$48,995
Available Engines: 3.5L V-6 (280 hp, 262 lb-ft)
Fuel Economy (city/hwy/combined): 19/28/22 mpg
Cargo Space (behind 1st/2nd/3rd): 144.9-158.0*/88.8-92.0/32.8-38.6 cu ft

*Second row seats removed, 7- or 8-pass configuration

The Best Minivans You Can Buy in 2021

  1. 2021 Kia Sedona
  2. 2021 Toyota Sienna
  3. 2021 Chrysler Pacifica
  4. 2021 Honda Odyssey

There are fewer entries in the minivan segment than there are seats in the Toyota Sienna. Models including the Nissan Quest, the Ford Windstar, and most recently the Dodge Grand Caravan are all dead. It's unfortunate, but it's the inevitable impact of the popularity of stylish three-row crossovers and SUVs. That isn't to say that the newest vans aren't trying. Minivans have evolved by becoming the Swiss cheese of charging ports, with extra space for snacks and built-in vacuums to clean up the aftermath of those snacks. When you're in a minivan full of other people, you could be sharing something good or bad. It's like stuffing into the corner booth at a Coney Island restaurant—most people inside it can't move until someone else does, and it probably smells like hot dogs. No matter, their sliding doors and super-sized cargo area make minivans an easy choice for those with a lot to do. Here's how the competitive minivan segment ranks from worst to best.

7. Dodge Grand Caravan

The Dodge Grand Caravan won’t be here much longer, as production ended in May 2020. For now, you can still buy them at dealerships, and you’ll probably be able to rent them at airports for the next century. The Grand Caravan doesn’t offer adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear collision avoidance, or really any driver-assistance features that come standard elsewhere. But hey, you can stack sheets of 4x8 drywall in the back of it like a Gypsum King. Powered by a 283-hp V-6 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the powertrain is so old we’re surprised there isn’t a fill plug for Metamucil. Jokes aside, it still does everything a minivan needs to do. Its deep cargo tub—long a favorite hang-out spot for our staff photographers—will be missed. The Chrysler Voyager will be renamed Grand Caravan in Canada due to popularity of the name.

  • Base Price: $29,025
  • EPA Fuel Economy combined/city/highway: 20/17/25 mpg
  • Rear Cargo Space (behind third row): 31 cubic feet
  • All-Wheel Drive: not available
  • Towing Capacity: 3600 lb


6. Kia Sedona

The Kia Sedona is a confident people mover that can seat as many as eight. A 276-hp V-6 powers the front wheels, and a recently updated eight-speed automatic transmission does the shifting for you. It's not the most fuel efficient, with an EPA-estimated 24 mpg on the highway (the lowest among the group), but its low starting price still makes it an affordable option. As usual, the higher trim levels offer the most options, including reclining second-row lounge chairs with footrests. Every Kia Sedona comes with a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. The Sedona will be replaced by the newly revealed Kia Carnival that we've driven and tested. The Carnival is ranked a bit higher on this list as the Sedona slowly heads for the exit in 2021.

  • Base Price: $31,575
  • EPA Fuel Economy combined/city/highway: 21/18/24 mpg
  • Rear Cargo Space (behind third row): 33 cubic feet
  • All-Wheel Drive: not available
  • Towing Capacity: 3500 lb


5. Toyota Sienna

The new Toyota Sienna is a minivan focused on fuel efficiency and substance. A 243-horsepower hybrid is the only powertrain, giving it an EPA-estimated 36 mpg combined with front-wheel drive, an improvement of over 14 mpg from last year's gas-only model. It's now the second most efficient on the list, behind the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, and its additional wheelbase over the previous generation has improved its ride. It's also stuffed with standard driver-assistance features like automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. There's plenty of space to seat seven (or even eight with the center seat stowed), but unfortunately the second-row seats aren't stowable or removable.

  • Base Price: $35,635
  • EPA Fuel Economy combined/city/highway: 36/36/36 mpg (FWD)
  • Rear Cargo Space (behind third row): 34 cubic feet
  • All-Wheel Drive: optional
  • Towing Capacity: 3500 lb


4. Chrysler Voyager

Chrysler packed the Pacifica's lowest trim levels under one roof and renamed them Voyager. It's a practical choice, affordable yet pleasant to drive. Like the Pacifica, it's powered by a 287-hp V-6 with a nine-speed automatic and has a respectable EPA-estimated 28-mpg highway fuel economy. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration are standard, but safety features like rear parking sensors with rear automated emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring are optional. The seven-passenger Voyager achieved a five-star rating—the highest possible—from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Unfortunately, Stow 'n Go second-row seating is only available on LXi fleet trims, but third-row Stow 'n Go is standard on all models.

  • Base Price: $29,030
  • EPA Fuel Economy combined/city/highway: 22/19/28 mpg
  • Rear Cargo Space (behind third row): 32 cubic feet
  • All-Wheel Drive: not available
  • Towing Capacity: 3600 lb


3. Honda Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey has been good for a long time, and we're happy to report that it's still good. Powered by a 280-hp V-6, the Odyssey is easily the top driver's choice. Its driving characteristics and shifter paddles are unexpected for a minivan, and its excellent suspension tuning makes it ride like it's meant to haul a little ass instead of the kids. The Odyssey can seat eight on all models above the base LX trim. In our real-world highway testing, the Odyssey outperformed its EPA estimate, delivering 30 mpg. We wish we could stow the second-row seats somewhere, because removing the 68-pound chairs can be a serious workout. Standard safety equipment includes automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. The Odyssey received much praise during our 40,000-mile long-term test.

  • Base Price: $33,265
  • EPA Fuel Economy combined/city/highway: 22/19/28 mpg
  • Rear Cargo Space (behind third row): 32 cubic feet
  • All-Wheel Drive: not available
  • Towing Capacity: 3500 lb


2. Kia Carnival

A replacement for the Kia Sedona is here, and it looks way too cool to be dropping kids off at school. The only powertrain for Carnival is a 290-hp V-6 with an eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. The top SX Prestige trim has heated and cooled reclining second-row captain's chairs with an ottoman for your feet. It's a little bit of a party trick, as they fill some of the cargo space and are heavy to move around. Less fancy captain's chairs or an eight-passenger setup with a third seat for the second row are also offered. An 8.0-inch infotainment screen is standard, but a huge 12.3-inch display is available on EX, SX, and SX Prestige trims. During our testing, the Carnival had more grip and stopped shorter than Toyota Sienna, Chrysler Pacifica, and Honda Odyssey but fell behind the Sienna in overall storage space. Although there isn't a hybrid version, the Carnival's EPA-estimated fuel economy matches its gas-powered rivals.

  • Base Price: $33,275
  • EPA Fuel Economy combined/city/highway: 22/19/26 mpg
  • Rear Cargo Space (behind third row): 40 cubic feet
  • All-Wheel Drive: not available
  • Towing Capacity: 3500 lb


1. Chrysler Pacifica

When you've been doing something for 36 years, you'd either better be really good at it or in prison. The Chrysler Pacifica uses everything it has learned from the past to make it the best eight-seater minivan you can buy today. The patented Stow 'n Go second-row seating is a blessing both while folded into the floor and when not in use for extra storage capacity. Every Pacifica is powered by a 287-hp V-6 with a nine-speed automatic. The one we tested on our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test returned an impressive 31 mpg, making it the most efficient in the segment. The Pacifica hybrid adds to that efficiency with an EPA-estimated 82 MPGe combined. 2021 and newer models have optional all-wheel drive, a 10.1-inch touchscreen, and updated headlights and taillights. Want to know what it's like living with one? Check out our long-term Chrysler Pacifica and long-term Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid tests. The Pacifica offers a built-in vacuum on higher trim models.

  • Base Price: $36,690
  • EPA Fuel Economy combined/city/highway: 22/19/28 mpg (GAS ONLY)
  • Rear Cargo Space (behind third row): 32 cubic feet
  • All-Wheel Drive: optional
  • Towing Capacity: 3600 lb


Every 3-Row Mid-Size SUV for 2021 Ranked from Worst to Best

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Whether you should buy a minivan is one of the great automotive conundrums for parents. After all, minivans may be the most practical and spacious family vehicles you can buy. Want three-row flexibility? Unlike most crossovers, minivans pack three legitimate rows for adults — with space behind them for more stuff. With versatile seating and cargo alignments, minivans offer the flexibility to get things just right. When three-plus children enter the picture, it's hard to argue against buying one.

Why doesn't everyone own a minivan, then? Well, emotions — not just cold reason — factor into car buying. Buyers who grew up with them in the 1980s and 1990s perceive the minivans their parents drove to be irredeemably dorky and the ultimate automotive concession to family life. That bias against the minivan is so strong, even normcore fashion and the mad penchant for peculiar Rad-era vehicles have not revived them. The compromise choice is often a three-row family crossover — more or less a minivan on stilts — which at least provides a modicum of adventure.

Should you buy a minivan?

The classic car-person counterpoint would say you should absolutely buy a minivan over a crossover, but that's not really true anymore. Three-row SUVs are about the most important vehicles in the lineup besides full-size trucks. Manufacturers pour development resources into them.

Minivans proffer little if any advantage in terms of driving dynamics, fuel economy or affordability these days. Plus, every company that builds a minivan today also has an excellent three-row crossover option. Whether you should buy a minivan, really, will come down to personal taste.

So what's the best minivan to buy?

For this story, sampled the four primary minivan options on the market: the Kia Carnival, the Toyota Sienna, the Chrysler Pacifica and the Honda Odyssey. Here's what you need to know.

Toyota Sienna

Current Generation: 4th generation (new for 2021)

What's New: The Sienna is all-new on the TNGA-K platform for 2021. A new Woodland Special Edition packs all-wheel drive and a lift kit.

What's Unique: The Sienna has a standard hybrid engine that can be paired with all-wheel drive.

Powertrain: 2.5-liter inline-four hybrid, CVT, FWD or AWD

Horsepower: 243

EPA Fuel Economy: Up to 36 mpg city, 36 mpg highway

Towing Capacity: 3,500 lbs

Seats: 7 or 8

The Fancy Trim: Platinum ($49,900)


Honda Odyssey

Current Generation: 5th generation (new for 2018)

What's New: Honda gave the Odyssey a mild styling facelift for 2021 and added Honda Sensing safety tech to all trims. 2022 models, sadly, will not have the family-friendly HondaVac built-in vacuum.

What's Unique: The Odyssey handles nimbly in corners. It also has a flexible "Magic Slide" second row of seats offering different configurations.

Powertrain: 3.5-liter V6, 10-speed automatic, FWD

Horsepower: 280

EPA Fuel Economy: 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway

Towing Capacity: 3,500 lbs

Seats: 7 or 8

The Fancy Trim: Elite ($47,820)


Chrysler Pacifica

Current Generation: 1st generation (new for 2017)

What's New: The Chrysler Pacifica got a major refresh for 2021 with a more SUV-like appearance, a new super-lux Pinnacle trim and all-wheel drive, which is now available with Chrysler's Stow N'Go seats. It's also the only minivan on sale today available as a plug-in hybrid.

What's Unique: The Pinnacle trim converts the minivan into a full-on luxury car with quilted Nappa leather seats, second-row lumbar support pillows and premium finishes. The Pacifica also still offers a built-in vacuum.

Powertrain: 3.6-liter V6, 9-speed automatic / CVT (for the hybrid), FWD/AWD (FWD only for hybrid)

Horsepower: 287 (260 hp for the hybrid)

EPA Fuel Economy: Up to 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway (82 mpge - hybrid)

Towing Capacity: 3,600 lbs

Seats: 7

The Fancy Trim: Pinnacle ($54,095)


Kia Carnival

Current Generation: 4th generation (new for 2022)

What's New: Kia has replaced the Sedona with the Carnival name it's long used for the car abroad. It receive a major styling upgrade inside and out. Kia also won't refer to it as a minivan; the Carnival is an "MPV."

What's Unique: Sophisticated exterior styling, and being tnly minivan with a Sport mode paired with a punchy V6 engine.

Powertrain: 3.5-liter V6, 8-speed automatic, FWD

Horsepower: 290

EPA Fuel Economy: 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway

Towing Capacity: 3,500 pounds

Seats: 7 or 8

The Fancy Trim: SX Prestige ($46,100)


The best-looking minivan: the Toyota Sienna

After driving and checking out today's minivan contenders, deciding on the best-looking minivan came down to two choices: the Toyota Sienna and the Kia Carnival. We give the Sienna the edge on sex appeal for leaning hard into that #vanlife dorkiness with its large, quasi-JDM-style grille.

That said, the Carnival looks premium; we had an adult chase us down on foot outside an ice cream shop to ask about it. But it's trying to be anything but a minivan, which just strikes us as a little desperate. Being comfortable with who you are is something we all need to teach our kids, and driving a van that looks like it's deluded itself that it's an SUV sends a mixed message.

As for the others? The Chrysler Pacifica is sleek and stately as well — although it arguably became less attractive after its 2021 facelift. A distant fourth is the Honda Odyssey, which looks as though someone is trying to twist it counterclockwise.

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The best minivan to drive: the Kia Carnival

The Kia Carnival noses out the Honda Odyssey for the best-driving minivan. The Odyssey feels relatively light and nimble in corners, but the Carnival delivers a poised, well-balanced ride — more than a bit reminiscent of the Telluride — with a robust V6 engine and a legitimate drive mode selector that includes a Sport mode.

The Pacifica is pleasant to drive as well. But it's a bit on the beefy side, checking in at nearly 5,000 lbs in either AWD or hybrid form. The Sienna delivers a comfy ride, but the power from its 243-hp hybrid is only adequate, you have to live with that annoying CVT drone, and it doesn't deliver the same road feedback as the others.

The fanciest minivan inside: the Chrysler Pacifica

The Chrysler Pacifica's Pinnacle trim brings the minivan to full-on luxury territory. You get an elegant design, quilted caramel Nappa leather and a suede headliner. The second-row seats come with matching lumbar pillows. Of course, the Pinnacle Pacifica starts at nearly $56,000 after the destination charge, so you pay for every bit of it.

The Kia Carnival, Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey each have a well-appointed top-tier trim with leather or leather-trimmed seats and tech starting a little below $50,000. But none of them levels up to the Pacifica in terms of material quality or price point.

The most spacious minivan: the Kia Carnival

Every minivan offers a spacious, super-practical cabin — that's why you buy one. But the Kia Carnival has the most space. The 40 cubic feet of trunk space behind the third row is massive. You can also fold the third row flat and remove the second row for a massive potential 145.1 cubic feet.

The Pacifica and Odyssey deliver similar total cargo space, but they have smaller space behind the third row. The Toyota Sienna loses out on overall volume, with just 101 cubic feet. But it will be comparably sized for most owners most of the time. unless you're clearing out all the seats and cramming as many items as possible. And it also offers a smart storage solution with a two-level center console.

The most fuel-efficient minivan: the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

That said, it's going to depend on how you drive it. The Pacifica can have a PHEV option with around 32 miles of electric range. So, in theory, many buyers can do school runs and grocery store trips with EV mode in perpetuity by charging when you get home. An alternative, if you do a lot of long road trips, is the Sienna, which only comes as a (mild) hybrid and delivers a legit 32-plus mpg all the time in real-world driving.

The Carnival, non-hybrid Pacifica and Odyssey don't match up on efficiency, earning fewer than 20 mpg in city driving.

What is the best minivan to buy? The Toyota Sienna

This is a tough decision. All four are solid choices. The Kia Carnival looks great, feels premium has a ton of space and is available for an affordable price point. The Chrysler Pacifica delivers a great combination of luxury, tech and capability, though you can't get AWD and Stow N'Go seat with the fuel-efficient PHEV. And the Odyssey, while excelling at the basics and packing Magic Seats, isn't quite as fresh as its more recently-updated foes.

But the Toyota Sienna provides something most of the competition — minivan or three-row SUV — does not: outstanding fuel economy and all-wheel drive in the same vehicle. That's the sort of game-changer that can bring buyers into the minivan fold.

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