Auto LoansBest Cars

Best Minivan Options for Families in 2019

best minivan

Minivans have long been the favorite car of the parent who wants plenty of room, good mileage and user-friendly tech features. However, the growing popularity of SUVs has signaled the decline of the minivan with fewer options remaining for families.

We spotlight four of them and what a minivan offers that many SUVs can’t or won’t: comfortable seating for eight and features including built-in vacuums. In some cases, minivans beat comparably-sized SUVs in mileage.

Mileage was a factor for our list — at least one model on this list comes in a plug-in hybrid version — as were ratings by Kelley Blue Book (KBB) experts, consumers on Edmunds and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). (Ratings are up to date at time of publication.) See our Methodology for more.

In short, the 2019 minivans that made the cut are ideal for families who simply need the space and comfort of the classic vehicle.

  • Best minivans for families

    Best minivan options for families

    2019 Chrysler Pacifica

    • MSRP: $26,995
    • 4.5 out of 5 by KBB experts; 4.5 out of 5 by Edmunds consumers (4 reviews)
    • 5 stars NHTSA; IIHS Top Safety Pick
    • 19 city/28 highway/22 combined MPG

    The Pacifica offers a lot for parents who want all of the comforts of a minivan for a lower price. Its base cost undercuts its top competitors for families looking to save money, while the availability of a plug-in hybrid (starting at $39,995) is perfect for families who also want to increase their fuel economy. The only hybrid minivan on the market, it boasts a whopping 82 MPGe.

    For those looking at the base Pacifica model, you’ll be pleased to hear that it comes with blind-spot monitoring, but loses out on more advanced safety features, such as automatic braking and forward-collision warning, that come standard on its (more expensive) Toyota rival. Honda’s rival Odyssey shares something in common with the Pacifica, in that both offer a built-in vacuum on upper trim levels. However, the Pacifica also has “Stow ‘n Go” seats that fold into the floor, opening up a smooth, flat surface for transporting large objects. A seating downside: the standard configuration is for seven; if you want eight, an optional second-row bench is only available starting with the LX trim, driving up the starting price to nearly $30,000.

    Chrysler has another minivan, the Dodge Grand Caravan, but we didn’t include it on this list because its KBB expert rating fell below our cutoff. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will be rolling out anniversary editions of the Grand Caravan and Pacifica this summer.

    2019 Kia Sedona

    • MSRP: $27,200
    • 4.3 out of 5 by KBB experts; consumer reviews unavailable on Edmunds
    • 5 stars NHTSA
    • 18 city/24 highway/21 combined MPG

    The 2018 Kia Sedona was an IIHS Top Safety Pick and the minivan’s 2019 version picks up where its younger counterpart left off. It also received 5 stars from the NHTSA. This year’s model seats up to eight passengers, though just like the Pacifica, it means upgrading to the next trim level ($30,000). What many rivals lack is Kia’s standard 10 year/100,000 miles warranty. At the same time, the Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid may be a better option for mileage-minded families, while the Honda Odyssey has a better resale value and the Toyota Sienna comes with an all-wheel drive option.

    2019 Honda Odyssey

    • MSRP: $30,190
    • 4.6 out of 5 by KBB experts; 3.9 out of 5 by Edmunds consumers (31 reviews)
    • 5 stars NHTSA; IIHS Top Safety Pick
    • 19 city/28 highway/22 combined MPG

    The Honda Odyssey might just be the most highly rated minivan on the market today, and with good reason. Although its consumer score on Edmunds was slightly below our values as of press time, it’s earned the highest value on this list by KBB experts. Redesigned in 2018, favorite features of the Odyssey include the built-in vacuum we mentioned earlier, Magic Slide second-row seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, although none of these are available on the base trim. The Toyota Sienna, below, may offer all-wheel drive, but it doesn’t offer AndroidAuto. Like others on this list, standard seating on the base Odyssey is for seven.

    2019 Toyota Sienna

    • MSRP: $31,115
    • 4.4 out of 5 by KBB experts; 4.3 out of 5 by Edmunds consumers (3 reviews)
    • 5 stars NHTSA
    • 19 city/27 highway/22 combined MPG

    Adventurous families might opt for this minivan instead of its lower-priced competitors because of its available all-wheel drive. The interior of the Sienna is quite comfortable and roomy, offering to seat up to eight (though not on the base model) and space big enough to transport large sports equipment, surfboards or even furniture. The Sienna isn’t for budget-conscious families — it has the highest price on this list — and if you really want the all-wheel drive, that’ll cost extra. Still, it’s a winner in the minivan category, thanks to Toyota’s standard safety features and general durability. Families looking for added traction, such as the all-wheel drive, will definitely win big with the Sienna, while those who want a better infotainment experience should probably go for the Honda Odyssey instead.

    Financing the best minivans for families

    Before shopping for a family minivan, shop for an auto loan. Potential lenders include a credit union, bank or online lender. Apply to a few in order to compare offers and see which one is best for you before stepping foot onto the car lot. Dealers are often able to raise your APR and make a profit off your loan, not just your car. The best way to avoid this is to go in with a preapproved auto loan in hand, so you know what APR you deserve and ask the dealer to beat it. On LendingTree, you could fill out an online form and receive up to five potential auto loan offers from multiple lenders at once (based on your creditworthiness), instead of filling out five different lender applications.

    Methodology

    Although the minivan market is smaller than ever, there are some truly stand-out models on this list. In order to come up with the best minivans for families in 2019, we looked at ratings from Kelley Blue Book experts and consumers on Edmunds. Each car selected had to have a score of at least a 4 out of 5 in order to qualify (with the exception of a 3.9 for the Honda Odyssey). Each car must also be at least a 4-star safety rating from the NHTSA, when available, or be a top pick by the IIHS. The MSRP for each vehicle on this list is for the base trim.

 

Compare Auto Loan Offers