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Working Mothers

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Waylon Allen
Waylon Allen

Best Minivan To Buy Used

When the minivan came on the scene way back in 1983, it was an unequivocal success here in the United States. As soon as Dodge and (now defunct) Plymouth began to sell the Voyager and Grand Caravan, families found much to love in their roomy interiors, fair gas mileage, and various configurations. The 80s or 90s kids undoubtedly have fond memories of piling into minivans with all of their friends and heading to school or soccer practice.

best minivan to buy used

Fortunately, many manufacturers have continued to build minivans for families looking for the ultimate companion that excels at shuttling around people and all their stuff. This article will cover the 8 best minivans based on their reliability and overall rating with reviewers and owners alike.

Chrysler knows a thing or two about minivans, and it shows in the 2015 Town and Country design. Although it pulls in a lower reliability rating than the stalwart Honda, it bests the Sienna in reliability. Its real calling card is its interior flexibility and luxurious appointments that impress owners and reviewers alike.

Stow and Go seating is a trick option that allows the rear seats to be instantly folded into the floor of the Town and Country. The minivan comes with a potent V-6 that gives solid fuel economy ratings of 18 City and 25 Hwy rounds out the good stuff. These can be found a little cheaper than the competition, making them an even better deal.

The Sienna is the other favorite minivan amongst lovers of the family shuttle. Reviewers and owners compliment the Toyota on its massive interior, quality interior appointments, and powerful engine. Plus, it boasts a high safety rating and returns a solid fuel economy rating of 19 MPG city and 25 MPG highway.

When you shop for a new or used car, CoPilot helps you know more. We search every car at every dealer so you don't have to, we give you data and insights you won't find anywhere else, and we rank every car so it's easy to find the best car at the best price.

Not a single minivan is selling for less than $30,000. Kia would hate it if we called the Carnival a minivan and not an MPV, but the base version starts at about $32,900. Others like the Toyota Sienna start at $35,285, and while it is an award-winning van, options packages can push it over the $50,000 mark for the Platinum version. The Honda Odyssey starts at $37,300, but can quickly see prices north of $40,000 when you add options.

What's New: The Chrysler Pacifica got a major refresh for 2021 with a more SUV-like appearance, a new super-lux Pinnacle trim and all-wheel drive, which is now available with Chrysler's Stow N'Go seats. It's also the only minivan on sale today available as a plug-in hybrid.

What's Unique: The Pinnacle trim converts the minivan into a full-on luxury car with quilted Nappa leather seats, second-row lumbar support pillows and premium finishes. The Pacifica also still offers a built-in vacuum.

What's New: Kia has replaced the Sedona with the Carnival name it's long used for the car abroad. It receive a major styling upgrade inside and out. Kia also won't refer to it as a minivan; the Carnival is an "MPV."

After driving and checking out today's minivan contenders, deciding on the best-looking minivan came down to two choices: the Toyota Sienna and the Kia Carnival. We give the Sienna the edge on sex appeal for leaning hard into that #vanlife dorkiness with its large, quasi-JDM-style grille.

That said, the Carnival looks premium; we had an adult chase us down on foot outside an ice cream shop to ask about it. But it's trying to be anything but a minivan, which just strikes us as a little desperate. Being comfortable with who you are is something we all need to teach our kids, and driving a van that looks like it's deluded itself that it's an SUV sends a mixed message.

The Chrysler Pacifica's Pinnacle trim brings the minivan to full-on luxury territory. You get an elegant design, quilted caramel Nappa leather and a suede headliner. The second-row seats come with matching lumbar pillows. Of course, the Pinnacle Pacifica starts at nearly $56,000 after the destination charge, so you pay for every bit of it.

The Pacifica Hybrid, the first hybrid minivan and still the only plug-in hybrid in the class, delivers more than 80 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) in electric-only mode, an all-electric range of more than 30 miles and a total range of more than 500 miles. The Pacifica Hybrid continues to be eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit, as well as any state and local credits.

The most technologically advanced minivan in its class, the new Pacifica also features the all-new Uconnect 5 system with the largest standard touchscreen in its class, a new FamCAM interior camera that allows parents to view child seat occupants in the rear and zoom in on passengers, available Uconnect Theater that offers the most built-in games, new segment-first USB Type C ports that charge devices up to four times faster and much more.

Having won the IIHS TSP award every year since 2009 except 2010, as well as a Top Safety Pick+ award in 2014, the Honda Odyssey is our co-choice for the safest minivan you can buy. Ranging from well under $10,000 for 2009 models to well over $30,000 for 2013 and 2014 models, there's a Honda Odyssey to fit most budgets.

The Toyota Sienna has won the same number of IIHS TSP awards as the Honda Odyssey; the Odyssey won first, but the Sienna has more consecutive wins. In either minivan, you're sure to find a comfortable ride and an interior designed for your daily life. The Sienna runs about the same price range as the Honda Odyssey. Picking between the two comes down to personal preference, as ultimately, there can be no wrong choice with these two exemplars of minivan safety.

The Dodge Grand Caravan, while maybe not as big a name as the Odyssey or Sienna in some circles, traces its lineage back to the original minivan, the Dodge Caravan. While it's undergone many changes over the years, the latest versions of the Grand Caravan are (or can be configured to be) feature-packed, comfortable, high-tech minivans just like all of the other vehicles on this list.

Based on the Dodge Grand Caravan, the Chrysler Town & Country is nearly identical to its Dodge-branded counterpart, except for a slightly tweaked design aesthetic inside and out. That said, Chrysler's version of the van was often better-equipped than some Dodge versions, and while that translated to a big price differential when new, now that they're used, the price difference is almost nothing. That means you might be able to get a more loaded Town & Country than a Grand Caravan of the same price.

Note that if you want to tow with a minivan, you'll need a bit of extra equipment: a receiver hitch, a wiring harness, and even an electric brake controller if you're pushing the edges of the tow rating. Be sure to check your owner's manual for the specifics. If the used minivan you're considering doesn't have one in the glove box, know that all of the owner's manuals are cataloged online, even for older vehicles, at the manufacturer's website.

The Kia minivan has had its ups and downs over the years, but the 2014 to 2020 version that was sold here in the United States as the Sedona really was a pleasant vehicle to drive. Interior quality was an improvement over the Chrysler products, and the later years that featured the Hyundai Lambda II GDi V6 engine put out 280 horsepower, fed through an eight-speed automatic transmission rather than a CVT the way Nissan did with the Quest.

After a hefty amount of screen time, I narrowed our options down to the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, and Chrysler Pacifica. All three of these vans vie for top ratings in the market year after year for safety, dependability, and tech features. There are other options to consider, but these are what fit our wants/needs the best.

The days of strictly local car-buying seem as distant as $2-a-gallon gas. Today, used-car buyers can easily access millions of vehicles from Maine to California. All of which are a few clicks away on the Internet or a phone call away from a pre-sale inspection and a hauler that will bring that dream car right to your door. But some areas of the country are better than others at offering used cars that are worth the effort to go out of state.

Lakeland, in particular, used to be my favorite place to buy four-wheel-drive vehicles that could be sold for more money up north in the New York area. Although used rental cars are always in Orlando thanks to tourism, garaged, retiree-owned vehicles make Florida a great place to shop for a modern classic. Many online sellers specializing in older, low-mileage cars and trucks intentionally make Florida their home, too.

While the 2018 Honda Odyssey is the worst year for the minivan over the past 12 years, it is not a lemon. The van gathered nine recalls and 238 complaints, which represents a tenfold increase over the 2017 model.

The 2017 Honda Odyssey stands apart as the best year available for the minivan. As the last year of the reliable fourth generation, it sorted out nearly all the mechanical problems with its brakes and transmission.

The 2017 Honda Odyssey enjoys the lowest average maintenance cost of all the years at just $296 annually. The 2017 Honda Odyssey also ranks first among all minivans for owner satisfaction and second in fuel economy at Vehicle History.

Over the years since the first 1984 Chrysler minivans, newcomers like the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna have joined in the race, adding features like all-wheel drive and in-car entertainment systems, while Chrysler's stayed at the forefront of minivan "technology" with the master touches of flexibility, from fold-in-the-floor seating to in-car wireless Internet. (The in-car picnic table? It was real, but sadly short-lived.)

New minivan buyers have fewer choices today, now that Ford and General Motors have exited the competition entirely--though Kia is back in the hunt with its returned 2014 Sedona. It's used minivan buyers that have the three-row world on a platter: with millions of sliding-side-door vehicles sold over the past decade, shoppers can choose from very inexpensive, very high-mileage examples, to lightly used models turned in off lease in favor of some hot-looking crossover. 041b061a72


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