Putting together a list of the top-rated minivans means taking into account a lot of different things: price, size, comfort, style, and fuel efficiency. The minivans that lead the pack are so close when it comes to many of these key metrics that it can be hard to put them in order, so we've done our best to reflect the feedback we've received from our team of test drivers along with real-world owners.
Take a look at the top-rated minivans for 2014 and see if you agree with our choices.
The 2014 Honda Odyssey came out of the gate strong for the current model year, sporting a redesign that gave it sleeker styling, a nicer interior, and even the novelty of an available integrated vacuum cleaner. The new Honda Odyssey also keeps much of what made the previous edition such a popular choice, including its 248 horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine, and now that a six-speed automatic transmission is standard on all trim levels the minivan's fuel efficiency is a strong 19-mpg city and 28-mpg highway across the board. In addition to the Odyssey's comfortable ride and strong mechanical package, it also features up to eight passenger seating and whopping 148 cubic feet of total cargo space.
It's no surprise, really, that the 2014 Toyota Sienna finds itself neck-and-neck with the Odyssey for the top spot. Like the Honda, the Toyota Sienna comes with available eight passenger capacity across three rows, and folding those accommodations forward reveals 150 cubic feet of cargo space. Fuel economy in the six-speed Sienna isn't quite as strong (18-mpg around town and 25-mpg on the highway), although it does offer more power (266 horses). The Toyota's trump card is its optional all-wheel drive system - in fact, it's the only minivan on the market that's available with the extra traction that all-wheel drive has to offer.
The 2014 Chrysler Town & Country sneaks into the third spot on our list of top-rated minivans due to its combination of practicality and a high level of equipment for the price. The Chrysler Town & Country is advertised as delivering a near-luxury experience, and while it's not as opulent as traditional premium sedan it can be ordered with nice leather seats as well as an excellent in-vehicle entertainment system. Chrysler also gives the seven-passenger van Stow 'n Go seating, which folds effortlessly into the floor to reveal 143.8 cubic feet of total cargo space. Horsepower is best-in-class for the Town & Country, showing as 282 ponies from a 3.6-liter V-6 that is managed by a six-speed automatic transmission, and fuel mileage for the minivan is listed at 17-mpg city and 25-mpg highway. As an added bonus, if you like what you see in the Chrysler but want a lower price point (and a simpler features list) you can always check out the near-identical Dodge Grand Caravan.
The 2014 Nissan Quest doesn't crack our top three, but that doesn't make it a bad choice. It just means that there's a few factors working against the Nissan Quest that balance out its more appealing attributes. For example, while the Quest features seven passenger seating it's actually a fair bit smaller inside than most of its rivals: there's only 108 cubic feet of total cargo space available within its cabin. That's one fewer passenger spot and over 40 cubes less packing room than the first two minivans on this list. Nevertheless, the Nissan scores big with styling points inside and out, along with its good fuel economy rating of 19-mpg in stop and go driving a 25-mpg on the highway. The Quest has its continuously-variable automatic transmission to thank for that particular statistic, which does a fine job of doling out the 260 horsepower produced by the minivan's 3.5-liter V-6.
Speaking of small, the 2014 Mazda MAZDA5 is the dark horse - or is that 'dark-pony' - of the minivan world. The compact Mazda Mazda5 features room for six riders across three rows, along with just under 100 cubic feet of cargo space (which puts it within 10 cubic feet of the Quest). It also happens to be the only minivan on the market that's actually fun to drive, a credit to its light weight, its well-tuned chassis, and the availability of a six-speed manual transmission in the base model (a five-speed automatic is also available). A 2.5-liter four-cylinder is included with all Mazda5s, and it produces 157 horsepower while returning 22-mpg around town and 28-mpg during highway cruising. This combination of efficiency, reasonable size, and good utility make the Mazda a favorite amongst urban dwellers.
The 2014 Kia Sedona takes the last spot on our list of the top-rated minivans, but for buyers on a tight budget it's often a compelling choice. The Kia Sedona is more affordable - especially when comparing specific equipment levels - than most of its rivals, and while it might not deliver the same ride quality or engine smoothness that other minivans are known for, it's got size where it counts. This means seven passenger seating and as much as 141.5 cubic feet of total cargo space, which is going to get you and your brood where you need to go without much fuss. A 269 horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 comes with the Sedona (as does a six-speed automatic transmission), and fuel mileage for the vehicle is listed at 17-mpg city and 24-mpg highway.