Buying Guides

The Three Best Minivans Sold Today

The once dowdy segment gets new life

Amos Kwon, Editor-In-Chief

Minivans used to just be three-row breadboxes, but of late they've become so much more. The market was dwindling, and manufacturers needed to inject their biggest family vehicles with more features, more tech, and mostly better styling. In comes the new generation of minivans that bring all of those things and more, some even with hybrid power and all-wheel drive capability. Here are the three best minivans sold today. Granted, there are really only four players in the game, but the podium only has three spots.

2021 Toyota Sienna

Best

for Long haul drivers

  • PROS: Rakish bullet train styling looks truly unique, every model is now an efficient hybrid, interior room and styling have all been improved, great driving dynamics for a minivan, four seasons-ready all-wheel drive is available.
  • CONS: Infotainment system is better but still not great, style could be polarizing.

All Siennas are now hybrid, and that's a brilliant move for Toyota. Every 2021 Sienna is powered by a 2.5-liter gasoline engine and two electric motors for 245 horsepower. It gets an impressive 35 mpg combined, and that's great news for putting tons of miles on the Sienna. It also happens to be a very handsome minivan that dumps the look of the old one completely.

In sport XSE trim, the driving dynamics are about as good as a minivan can get with a sport-tuned suspension, thicker stabilizer bars, and revised steering tuning for a more thrilling driving experience (as much as can be had in a minivan). Although the infotainment system could be better, the interior is marvelous with huge amounts of small item storage, great Captain's Chair, and 101 cubic feet of cargo space when the third row seats are dropped into the floor with One-Motion-Stow Split & Stow 3rd Row seats. Finally, the great safety scores and the strong Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 set of safety tech should provide peace of mind for parents.

2022 Kia Carnival MPV

Best

for the style conscious

  • PROS: Looks more like an SUV than a minivan, the best interior in the segment, awesome SideFlex seating system provides multiple seating configurations, powerful and smooth gas engine provides solid launches and smooth highway cruising, a remarkable value that feels truly premium, great safety ratings.
  • CONS: No available all-wheel drive.

The Kia Carnival is one of the best vehicles we've driven this year. Not only does it provide a new take on the minivan (it's an MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle), according to Kia, but it does so with a premium look and feel with some very original styling. The 290-hp V6 engine provides plenty of punch, and it's very responsive, too. In terms of interior space and comfort, the seats in all three rows are excellent, and even the optional Syn-Tex leatherette looks and feels like the real deal. The cargo capacity behind row three is the best in its class.

The SX trim is the best choice because you get a big 12.3" touchscreen, optional rear-seat entertainment for the kids, 19" alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, a hands-free power liftgate, remote start, heated/ventilated seats, and an onboard hands-free communication system, just to name a few features. Families can take comfort in the fact that the Carnival gets excellent safety ratings in terms of crash tests and accident avoidance technology.

2022 Chrysler Pacifica

Best

for domestic lovers

  • PROS: Improved look with refreshed exterior, butter-smooth ride, brilliant Stow 'n' Go Seats, Uconnect infotainment looks great and works well, tons of charging ports, seriously roomy throughout.
  • CONS: Gas engine can sound rough, hybrid model tacks on almost nine grand.

The Pacifica might not be the best-looking minivan, but it looks better than before thanks to a revised front fascia and back end. The grille is a bit more conventional, but it looks less like the now-dead Chrysler 200 sedan. Inside, especially in higher trims like the Pinnacle, the Pacifica is stunning and has truly high-end materials like Nappa leather and brushed aluminum. The tech is some of the best in the business, and the optional Captain's Chairs are nearly as nice as the front seats.

In terms of the way it drives, the Pacifica's V6 is powerful but can sound a bit rough at times. In Hybrid trim, the Pacifica provides great efficiency (30 mpg combined) but not as good as the Sienna. It also rides smoothly and should provide a high level of comfort for mom, dad and the whole gang. The question is whether or not the hybrid is worth the extra nine grand.

What are minivan must have features?

  • Ample space in all three rows.
  • Easy access to row three and seating configuration options.
  • Family-friendly technology, charging options, and storage.
  • A comfortable ride and great long-haul front seats.