2017 Toyota Sienna SE ・ Photo by Toyota
The minivan category is enjoying a renaissance, with stylish new entries and refreshes from the biggest players in the class. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles continued to dominate the market in 2016, with combined sales of the new Pacifica, the outgoing Town & Country, and the Grand Caravan capturing nearly half of the market. While Dodge continues to offer the Grand Caravan as a less expensive alternative to the Pacifica, 2017 may mark its last year of production.
Some manufacturers are playing wait-and-see before diving back into the waters. Although Ford, RAM, and Mercedes-Benz offer passenger versions of the Transit Connect, ProMaster City, and Metris vans, they’re purely functional people haulers, rather than plush family cruisers.
The sleek and stylish Chrysler Pacifica was introduced in the 2017 model year, replacing the Town & Country in the Chrysler lineup. It’s the only entry on our list of stylish minivans to offer a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. The Pacifica rolls on a completely new platform and is built in Windsor, Ontario. The conventional model is offered in five trim levels - LX, Touring, Touring L, Touring L Plus, and Limited - with starting MSRPs ranging from $28,595 to $42,495. The Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid is available in Premium ($41,995) and Platinum ($44,995) trim levels, with the cost defrayed by a $7,500 federal tax credit. The EPA rates the Pacifica at 19 city/28 highway and the Pacifica Hybrid at 84 MPGe combined/32 combined on gasoline. The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica was the only minivan to be named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) when equipped with the full SafetyTec package.
Photo by Chrysler
The Pacifica’s stylish and award-winning interior is packed with creature comforts and technology. The Touring L features leather upholstery and heated front seats. The Plus adds heated second-row seats and the Limited steps it up with premium Nappa leather upholstery, an integrated vacuum, and a huge tri-panel panoramic sunroof. An 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system is standard in the Plus and Limited, with a 13-speaker Alpine audio system. A 20-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system is included in the Uconnect Theater and Sound Group option package, which adds 10-inch second-row touchscreens, USB ports, and an 115-volt outlet. All models include Stow n' Go Easy Tilt second-row seats, with the exception of Hybrid models.
Photo by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
The stylish Honda Odyssey is one of the best-selling and most distinctively designed minivans on the road today. The 2017 Odyssey is offered in six trim levels - LX, EX, SE, EX-L, Touring, and Touring Elite - and is built in Lincoln, Alabama. Starting MSRPs range from $29,850 through $45,325. The EPA rates the 2017 Odyssey at 19 city/27 highway mpg. The Odyssey will enter its fifth generation in the 2018 model year, with a stunning new model slated to reach showroom floors later this year. The last redesign was in 2011.
Photo by Honda
The Odyssey’s smartly-designed interior is designed to keep the family happy and content out the road. Leather upholstered heated front seats with adjustable lumbar support are standard in the EX-L, Touring, and Touring Elite. All models feature a 7-speaker subwoofer-equipped audio system, with the exception of the Touring Elite, which features a 12-speaker system. A DVD rear entertainment system is included in the SE, Touring and Touring Elite (which steps it up with a Ultrawide screen). All models except for the LX and EX include an 115-volt power outlet in the third row, and an integrated vacuum system is standard in the SE and Touring Elite.
Photo by Honda
The Toyota Sienna squeaked by the Dodge Grand Caravan as America’s best-selling minivan in 2016, according to goodcarbadcar.net, and is now in its third generation, with the most recent major redesign in the 2011 model year. Rumor has it that the Sienna will be refreshed for the 2018 model year. The 2017 Sienna is offered in five trim levels - L, LE, SE, XLE, and Limited, with starting MSRPs ranging from $29,750 through $42,800 - and is built in Princeton, Indiana. The 2017 Sienna sees drivetrain refinements, with an 8-speed automatic transmission replacing the previous 6-speed unit and the V6 engine benefits from a new direct injection system. The Sienna is the only 2017 minivan that’s offered with all-wheel drive. The EPA rates the front-wheel drive Sienna at 19 city/27 highway and the AWD version at 18 city/24 highway.
Photo by Toyota
The Sienna’s stylish interior includes plenty of thoughtful touches and storage. Leather upholstery is standard on the XLE and Limited, with heating and lumbar support in the front bucket seats. A heated steering wheel is standard in the Limited and the second-row captain's chairs feature lounge seating with leg support. Loading chores are eased with a 60/40 Split & Stow third-row seat standard on the SE, XLE, and Limited (which features power stow). There are three 12-volt power outlets. Want to make sure the kids hear what you’re saying? Driver Easy Speak (standard on the Sienna Limited, optional on the SE and XLE) uses a microphone to broadcast the driver’s voice throughout the cabin. There are 10 cupholders in the 7-passenger Sienna and 12 in the 8-passenger version.
Photo by Toyota
The Nissan Quest is now in its fourth generation and was most recently redesigned in the 2011 model year. The 2017 Quest is offered in four trim levels - S, SV, SL, and Platinum - with starting MSRPs from $26,580 through $43,230, and is built in Japan. The 2017 Quest is EPA rated at 20 city/27 highway MPG. The Quest was America’s slowest-selling minivan in 2016.
Photo by Nissan
The Quest’s cabin offers a host of amenities. Leather upholstery is standard on the SL and Platinum, with Quick Comfort heated front seats and power lumbar support in the driver seat. The second-row captain’s chairs slide and fold flat. The third-row 60/40 seats feature quick release folding seat backs, with a power return on the Platinum. The Quest Platinum is equipped with an 8-inch flatscreen infotainment system, a 13-speaker Bose audio system, and an 11-inch DVD monitor in the second row with wireless headsets. While the crew will spar over the pair of 12-volt power outlets, they’ll stay well-hydrated with a total of 16 cup and bottle holders.
Photo by Nissan
The distinctive Kia Sedona is now in its third generation, with a striking redesign in the 2015 model year. The 2017 Sedona is offered in five trim levels - L, LX, EX, SX, and SXL - with starting MSRPs ranging from $26,900 through $41,900, and is built in South Korea. While the top-of-line Sedona SXL is the most thirsty minivan on the market, with an EPA rating of 17 city/22 highway, the Sedona SX is rated a bit higher at 18 city/25 highway. The 2017 Kia Sedona was named a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS when equipped with the optional front crash prevention system.
Photo by Kia
Optional sliding and reclining second-row captain's chairs with adjustable low leg support are the Sedona SXL’s standout feature. Leather upholstery and heated front seats are standard on the EX, SE, and SXL, with ventilation in the SX and SXL, as well as heated second-row seats (which are optional in the EX). All trim levels include Slide-N-Stow second row seats and 50/50 split folding third-row seats.The Sedona SX and SXL are equipped with an 8-inch UVO infotainment system with navigation and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as an 8-speaker Infinity audio system with dual USB inputs. There are 12 cup holders and a total of three 12-volt outlets, with a pair up front and one in the cargo area.
Photo by Kia