Demand for the best minivans under $30,000 has been on the rise this year, as manufacturers' efforts to make the vehicles more appealing are starting to pay off. The all-new entry from Chrysler is a case in point, but really, all of today’s minivans offer a more engaging ownership experience than you might expect from the segment. Of course, all also serve up incredibly versatile and roomy cabins that have more space for both occupants and cargo than big 3-row crossovers, and modern-day minivans can provide a wide range of family-friendly features, too. From in-vehicle vacuums to comprehensive rear seat entertainment systems to top occupant protection features, these vehicles have what most folks need to carry the most folks around in comfort and safety.
10 Best Minivans under $30,000
Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
2017 Chrysler Pacifica -- MSRP $28,595
Sure, the brand-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica sets plenty of fresh benchmarks in the segment, but what may be even more impressive is its pricing: Not only is the Pacifica one of the best minivans under $30,000—thanks to an MSRP of $28,595—it’s also some $1,400 less expensive than the Chrysler’s 2016 minivan from the previous generation, the Town & Country. Yet the entry-level Pacifica LX is packed with standard content, including a rearview camera, 6-speaker touchscreen audio, Bluetooth connectivity, tri-zone temperature controls, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. Naturally, the Pacifica also provides the latest Chrysler Stow ‘n Go seating, so owners can take full advantage of the minivan’s massive cargo capacity, which reaches 140.5 cubic feet with the rear seats stowed.
Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid -- MSRP not yet available
The game-changer in the segment is the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid that will be the nation’s first plug-in hybrid minivan when it goes on sale later this year. Now, you might wonder how that technology affects pricing, and while the exact MSRP of the plug-in Pacifica was unknown when this gallery went to press, it will almost certainly be priced north of $30K—to start. But if you’re shopping for the top minivans under $30,000 on a net basis, you can take into account the $7,500 federal tax credit, along with other state and local incentives, to lower your overall costs. And then you get all the benefits of the premium-trimmed Pacifica, along with a 30-mile all-electric driving range.
Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
2016 Chrysler Town & Country -- MSRP $29,995
Although the Pacifica has been hogging the headlines, the 2016 Chrysler Town & Country is still on sale at some dealerships across the country, and it continues to compete with the best minivans for less than $30,000. There’s also an opportunity for an extra value play here, based on the fact that dealers will be looking to clear out Town & Country models, and that could mean pricing below the vehicle’s $29,995 MSRP in some cases. Just remember that Chrysler’s old-school minivan is still the class of the segment according to a key third-party survey. Consider: The Town & Country was recently ranked No. 1 in the segment in the J.D. Power 2016 Initial Quality Study — as it was for three of the past four years.
Photo Credit: Honda
2016 Honda Odyssey -- MSRP $29,400
The best minivans for less than $30,000 include the 2016 Honda Odyssey, which slips just under that ceiling with an MSRP of $29,400. That’s for a well-equipped LX grade and covers features that aren’t standard on minivans with lower price tags. For instance, all Odyssey models come standard with a rearview camera system, something that’s particularly popular for minivan customers. The super-sized 8-inch screen for that setup is notable as well, since it furnishes guidelines to help with backing up and also serves as the Odyssey’s multi-information display. Drivers also enjoy 8-way power-adjustable seating in the LX trim, while further premium cues for this so-call “entry” model include standard 7-speaker audio, with a subwoofer, and LED light-bar accents for the rear taillights.
Photo Credit: Kia
2016 Kia Sedona -- MSRP $26,400
A few of the top minivans under $30,000 actually start well below that limit, like the 2016 Kia Sedona. All-new just last year, the Sedona has an MSRP of $26,400, and drivers will find all the basics — and then some — in the starter model. But Kia also complements that L trim with a second sub-$30K grade, too, the Sedona LX. The Sedona LX starts from $28,500, complete with all the standard L features, such as a rearview camera. Then it adds lux touches like door-mounted tweeters for its audio system, an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and a handy dual-purpose second-row center seat. It serves as both a seat and, when not in use, as a handy armrest with integrated cupholders.
Photo Credit: Nissan
2016 Nissan Quest -- MSRP $26,580
The best minivans under $30,000 have begun showing an increased emphasis on fuel economy, though you may be surprised at the segment’s leader. After all, the minivan with the highest EPA grades for city and combined driving isn’t the new Chrysler product — at least not yet. Numbers for the hybrid edition have yet to be revealed, but the gas-only Pacifica goes 18 MPG city/28 MPG highway/22 MPG combined. The 2016 Nissan Quest, on the other hand, currently rings up an EPA line of 20/27/23. It may not seem like a big difference at first, but it works out to a more than 11 percent advantage for the Quest in urban driving.
Photo Credit: Toyota
2016 Toyota Sienna -- MSRP $28,850
An upgrade in standard infotainment technology is a highlight of the 2016 Toyota Sienna, helping the Swagger Wagon stand out as a highlight on our list of best minivans under $30,000. The new Entune setup bundles a 6.1-inch touchscreen, bolstered by an iPod-compatible USB 2.0 port, advanced voice recognition, Siri Eyes Free for compatible iProducts, and Bluetooth connectivity, for both hands-free calling and audio streaming. And yes, that display does link with an also-standard rearview camera. The entry-level Sienna L is big on family-style features as well, such as standard, one-touch Split & Stow third-row seating that leaves a large rear cargo hold even when those seats are in their upright positions.
Photo Credit: Ford
2016 Ford Transit Connect Wagon -- MSRP $24,825
An alternative to the usual suspects, and one of the best minivans under $30,000 in its own right, is the 2016 Ford Transit Connect Wagon. The Blue Oval’s Euro-styled people-mover is available in 2- and 3-row configurations, with regular and extended wheelbases and MSRPs starting at $24,825 and $25,300, and despite being significantly shorter in length than traditional minivans, they have a fair amount of cabin space, and certainly more than similarly sized crossovers. For example, even the shorter models can fit up to 77.1 cubic feet of cargo, or a relatively extensive 46.9 cubic feet behind the second rows, and you’re not going to find many 2-row retail vehicles that provide more.
Photo Credit: Dodge
2016 Dodge Grand Caravan -- MSRP $22,595
For sheer value, the 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan stands out from even the best minivans under $30,000, backed by an MSRP of $22,595. That makes it the least expensive minivan in the country, and that’s with standard customer-satisfying content like third-row Stow ‘n Go seating, power windows/locks/mirrors, air conditioning, 17-inch wheels, and an audio system with steering-wheel mounted controls. Also, because of the low price of admission to the Grand Caravan roster, there’s room in the lineup for multiple models with MSRPs less than $30K, including the SXT Plus trim, boasting leather-and-suede bucket seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and 17-inch polished aluminum wheels that are accented by Granite Crystal pockets.
Photo Credit: Mazda USA
2015 Mazda Mazda5 -- MSRP $21,240
A final option for the best new minivans under $30,000 is the 2015 Mazda MAZDA5. It won’t be easy to track down, but there were a few unsold Mazda5s still being reported across the country as this story was published, and these mini minivans originally had an MSRP of $21,240. To be clear, they also had 2+2+2 seating, with the final spots best suited for smaller children, yet the nimble dimensions are ideal for customers who need to maximize versatility while minimizing their vehicles’ overall footprint.