When daily life involves driving the school carpool, sharing your commute with coworkers or hauling large amounts of cargo, there really is no substitute for a minivan or full-size van. With rear doors that slide for easy access, configurable rear seats and boundless storage cubbies, the modern minivan is tops at getting people and their stuff from place to place. Minivans get better fuel economy than most full-size SUVs, are more maneuverable and can seat seven or eight adults comfortably, with usable space left over for cargo.
While there are vans intended for commercial purposes, like the compact Ford Transit Connect and full-size Chevrolet Express, this list concerns those vans most relevant to American families. Should you not need the maximum utility of one of our recommended minivans below, the Mazda 5 compact minivan is worth a look. That is, if you can find a 2010 model still on the lot; it was discontinued for 2011 in anticipation of an all-new 2012 model.
When it comes to regular minivans, the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna rule supreme. In most cases, deciding between the two relies very heavily on personal preference, as each has a similar list of pros and cons. Both minivans rise to the top with their luxuriously quiet and smooth ride, as well as all-around comfort and versatility. The Honda Odyssey is priced a bit higher, but also offers a few extra features. The Toyota Sienna has a homier interior feel compared to the Honda's more businesslike demeanor, but its driving dynamics are slightly less engaging. In the end, you really can't go wrong with either.
The Kia Sedona also deserves consideration for its comfort, safety and value.