What are the Top Minivans of 2019?
Minivans have garnered something of an unflattering reputation over the years, but the reality is that today’s people-haulers are better vehicles than you might expect. They offer an attractive blend of affordability, utility, and convenience that’s hard to match with a sedan or SUV. Simply put, even though it’s somewhat fallen out of fashion in favor of the SUV, the minivan remains the quintessential family vehicle.
So, which van should you choose if you’ve got some serious hauling to do? Here are your five best options for 2019.
2019 Honda Odyssey
The Honda Odyssey is the undisputed champion of the minivan segment. First introduced way back in 1995, the Odyssey entered its fifth generation in 2018. Not much has changed with the new year, but that isn’t a bad thing.
All Odyssey trim levels are powered by a capable and reliable 3.5-liter V6 that’s rated at 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Variable cylinder management and active grille shutter technologies help to bring the Odyssey’s fuel economy up to a very respectable 22 mpg combined. Inside, Honda’s popular minivan boasts leather trim and power controls all around. Base models feature a 5.0-inch infotainment system that includes Bluetooth functionality and two USB ports. Higher trim levels add an 8.0-inch display, smartphone integration, navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and other features.
The Odyssey was also assessed to be the safest minivan on the market in testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Helping the Odyssey’s cause is the inclusion of the full Honda Sensing safety suite on certain trim levels. This includes adaptive cruise control, lane-departure and lane-keep assist systems, pre-collision automatic braking, and forward collision warning. This combination of safety, reliability, and performance is a major reason why the Odyssey once again claims Kelley Blue Book’s Best Buy award for 2019.
2019 Chrysler Pacifica
One of the newest entries on the block, the Chrysler Pacifica was introduced for the 2017 model year as a replacement for the outgoing Town & Country. Relatively unchanged from its introduction, the Pacifica is motivated by a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine that’s good for 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. The V6 is good for 22 mpg combined.
The Pacifica is also available as the only minivan hybrid on the road. The Pacifica Hybrid mates the same V6 engine with a pair of electric motors for a combined 260 horsepower, an all-electric range of about 33 miles and an equivalent fuel economy of 82 mpg.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the Pacifica a safety rating of five stars. Available safety systems include park assist, full-speed forward collision warning with emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and more. The Pacifica also features the highly intuitive and capable Chrysler Uconnect infotainment system.
The 2019 Pacifica was named both the 2019 Family Vehicle Best Buy and the 2019 Minivan Best Buy by Consumer Guide. The Pacifica has claimed both awards in every year of its existence.
2019 Kia Sedona
It’s hard to stay competitive against the superb Odyssey and Pacifica, but Kia is hoping a new redesign will help the Sedona in 2019. The Sedona is rather stylish for a minivan, but the renovations go beyond a new look. The Kia’s 3.3-liter V6 engine now channels its 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque through a slick new eight-speed transmission. However, the new powertrain only translates to an estimated 21 mpg combined.
Where the Sedona arguably outpaces its competitors is in technology. The 2019 model is available with a pair of 10.1-inch rear touchscreens that feature smartphone mirroring and included Bluetooth headphones. Top-level SX and SXL trims also add LED headlamps and an electronic parking brake. In terms of safety, it boasts five stars in every NHTSA category except for the rollover test. The Sedona is also available with active safety features like adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and emergency braking. Kia has also included a new Driver Attention Warning system to detect drowsy or distracted drivers.
2019 Toyota Sienna
It’s been a while since the Toyota Sienna has undergone a major update. Still, there’s a lot to like about this sturdy family van.
With a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 296 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque, the Sienna boasts one of the more robust engines in its class. It also matches its competitors with a fuel economy estimate of 22 mpg. One thing that sets the Sienna apart is that it’s also available in all-wheel drive. That makes it perhaps the best option overall if you plan to do any driving in wintery weather. Expect a slight drop to around 20 mpg if you opt for an all-wheel model.
Inside the Sienna’s cavernous interior, you’ll find standard smartphone integration, a bunch of USB ports, and a 6.1-inch infotainment system that features Amazon Alexa functionality. There’s also a built-in loudspeaker if you should feel the need to have a word with a troublemaking passenger in the rear. The Toyota’s NHTSA safety rating of five stars hides some mixed results from individual tests. However, the Sienna does sport a very impressive bundle of standard safety features. You’ll find systems for active lane control, emergency braking, forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams on every trim level.
2019 Dodge Grand Caravan
The 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan is certainly getting long in the tooth after going a decade without a full redesign, but it’s still a capable minivan and a strong value overall. The Caravan’s V6 engine generates 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, producing strong acceleration at the cost of a slightly subpar efficiency of 20 mpg. Another nice touch is a set of fold-away captain’s chairs in the second row, giving the Caravan a nice blend of seating versatility and cargo space.
Unfortunately, the Grand Caravan falls significantly behind its segment mates when it comes to entertainment and safety. The 6.5-inch infotainment system is clunky and lacking in key features offered by every other minivan on the market. There’s no smartphone integration even on the highest trim level. An NHTSA rating of four stars isn’t a dealbreaker, but it falls short of the higher marks achieved by the competition. More disappointing is the lack of safety features. You’ll get a basic backup camera, stability and traction control, and a tire-pressure monitoring system, but you won’t find any of the active drive assist technologies that have become must-have features for many drivers today.