While not always seemingly the most popular segment in the United States, vans, minivans and wagons continue to be the staple people movers, cargo carriers, pet haulers and home away from home for millions of families and small business owners. This year, for the Autobytel 2013 Minivan/Wagon of the Year, the finalists chosen by the editorial team do not reflect the breadth of the category with notable entries in the cargo van and wagon missing in lieu of 3 popular and not new entries to the segment rising to the top of the heap.
Read on to see the winner and the two runners up for the Autobytel 2013 Minivan/Wagon of the Year.
Perhaps the most suprising winner in the Autobytel awards this year, the Mazda Mazda5 is the Autobytel 2013 Minivan/Wagon of the Year. The only true "mini" van on the market, the Mazda5 has a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine that comes in three trim levels. The base trim Mazda5 comes in a 5-speed manual and is a leading reason why the editorial team, commonly known to be fans of manual transmissions, topped our list. The Touring and Grand Touring trim levels offer i-stop (Mazda's start/stop feature) as an option and come in a 5-speed automatic transmission. Another winning quality of this diminuative hauler is the removable rows of seating and its 6-passenger capabilities. Perfect for the urban family who isn't always able to find parking spaces for land yachts.
Named the Autobytel Minivan of the Year in 2012, as well as a top pick in the Autobytel and AutoPacific consumer awards, the Honda Odyssey is pricier than the Mazda5 but offers a roomier ride for large families. A 3.5 Liter i-VTEC V6 that makes 248 HP and 250 lb-ft of torque makes for a powerful minivan.
"The Honda Odyssey may just appear on the outside to be a Clark Kent-like minivan but from behind the wheel, it offers all the driving fun of a well-engineered family sedan."
The Toyota Sienna ranks high with consumers and the Autobytel editorial team for many reason, especially as it is the original Swagger Wagon. Available in a mind-blowing 12 trim levels, the Sienna is a favorite for those in the front seat with its 60/60 split and has options such as recliner-style chairs, previously only seen in the luxury segment.
"It is actually athletic – for a minivan weighing nearly 2.5 tons – and it looks better than any other kid-cruiser on the market thanks to SE-specific modifications ladled upon conservative but appealing styling." - Autobytel reveiw
The editorial team of Autobytel has chosen the previous vehicles as the best of what we have seen in the category for 2013, and while there are many others in this class that probably deserve some kudos as well, we'd love to hear which you would choose for yourself. Let us know on the Autobytel Twitter or the Autobytel Facebook page.
2013 Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ
2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible
2013 Ford Fusion
2013 Cadillac ATS
2013 Jeep Wrangler
2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
2013 Porsche Boxster S
2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
2013 RAM 1500
2013 Mazda MAZDA5