Minivans may be fewer and less popular than in their 1980s heyday, but for new families and empty nesters, the minivan can seem like the ideal new vehicle. It's a paragon of flexibility--or should be. And minivans are among the safest cars on the road--or should be.
Only a few new minivans remain on sale in the U.S. market, but among them, two choices stand out, with a third waiting on more data.
Which new minivan should you buy? The Car Connection has some help. Finding your way to the best new minivan can be as time-consuming as studying a few of those important factors and letting them lead you through the process.
Or you can take our shortcut. We've looked at the data, we've considered the ratings we apply to every new vehicle we review--and have come up with this buying guide, to help you find the best minivan you can buy more quickly.
To qualify as one of our Best Minivans To Buy 2015, a vehicle must:
- must score at least an 8.0 rating on The Car Connection's full review
- must have a base price of less than $100,000--twice the amount we allow for our Best Car To Buy competition
- no reported score lower than four stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Keep in mind, these minivans may finish with higher scores than our annual Best Car To Buy winner -- because that vehicle is chosen from brand-new or significantly changed vehicles in a model year. These rankings pit all vehicles against each other, regardless of how many years they've been on the market, and they're open to every vehicle on sale during the current model year.
After vetting all the minivans offered for the 2015 model year, we've narrowed it down to the following set of vehicles, and given our insight in the bottom line from our original review. They're ranked in the order of scoring as of our latest update. Since our reviews are updated frequently for safety data, late model changes, or fuel-economy revisions, the order may change occasionally.
We've also considered a brace of new compact vans with strong commercial roots, but none have met our ratings requirement or really, the all-around standard set by conventional minivans.
By those standards, these vehicles stack up as the best minivans and vans on the road today:
The 2015 Toyota Sienna only lags behind its main competitors in seating flexibility and fuel economy, while a freshened interior and massaged exterior keep it at the forefront of minivan stylishness—if there is such a thing. Read more »
The 2015 Honda Odyssey is at the pinnacle of minivan design, offering practical features in a space-efficient package that's more rewarding to drive than most other vans, SUVs, or crossovers. Read more »
This vehicle does not earn a score of 8.0, but its score may rise, pending further crash-test data.
2015 Kia Sedona
2015 Kia Sedona
The 2015 Kia Sedona brings a stronger seating and infotainment game to the minivan niche, and almost closes the refinement gap in the process. Read more »