2014 Minivan Comparison Test

2014 Minivan Comparison Test

It's a Minivan Jamboree

Minivans may no longer be the default vehicle for growing families, but that doesn’t mean these practical do-it-all boxes should be ignored.

Battling an unfavorable stigma only the tourism board of Detroit would understand, there are a lot of preconceived notions about minivans. While some of these may be true, one popular myth about these vehicles is not; minivans aren’t necessarily expensive.

It’s true that they can easily eclipse $45,000, but at that price they’re practically a rolling condo complete with multiple TV screens, leather recliners and even a vacuum cleaner in Honda’s case. Fret not, frugal shoppers; you can have a minivan too. The Dodge Grand Caravan starts at a mere $21,390 after delivery, although you don’t get much at that price.2014-minivan-comparison-exterior-13.jpg

SEE ALSO: 2014 Three-Row Crossover Comparison Test 

In an attempt to combined frugality with livability, we decided to round up the three big players in the minivan segment that give families everything they need along with a few extra perks. The low $30,000 range was chosen and we sent out invites to Dodge, Honda and Toyota. Two notable manufacturers are excluded from the test: Kia and Nissan. The new Kia Sedona has yet to arrive and the Quest is a moot point in the minivan argument.

With three vans in hand, we set out to complete a variety of tests to gauge how easy they are to drive, pleasant they are to be a passenger in and how much practical space they offer. As always, a few surprises were in hand.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

  • Shiratori1

    The rationale for leaving out the Quest in this comparison is nothing short of UNACCEPTABLE and only indicates that certain reviewers at autoguide are narcissistic “my opinions/ tastes are law” trolls.

  • Rickers

    What’s the Quest? Does Hyundai make a minivan or something?

  • Shiratori1

    Trolls will keep on trolling. I have seen a few on the road, so people are buying them.

  • guest

    nissan fag strikes again!

  • Shiratori1

    A 12-year old strikes again! Who would have thought!

  • Teckler

    Your mad about the Quest missing from the test when it at sells a whopping 5% compared to what Chrysler minivans sell? Moot point in the segment indeed. Customers have clearly spoken; they don’t want the quest.
    When a mainstream vehicle like a minivan can’t outsell the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Chevrolet Corvette or discontinued Toyota FJ Cruiser, it doesn’t belong in a comparison test of front runners.
    Happy trolling!

  • Shiratori1

    There are so many things wrong and lol-worthy with your post that I’m not going to even bother with an actual response.

    What a troll.

  • Kiya Lee

    “lol-worthy”
    why is a 16 year old looking at minivan reviews anyways?

    trolls trolling trolls trolling trolls

  • Shiratori1

    Responses that have nothing to offer in terms of substance is trolling. But hey, whatever helps you sleep at night…….

  • Kiya Lee

    It would help if you knew what trolling actually was. protip: trolling is from fishing.

    Trolling is purposely saying something to get a response. Bringing up the Quest in a discussion about the Odyssey, Sienna, and Caravan is trolling, replying with “lolworthy” is trolling.

    again, why is a 16 year old on a article about minivans? Was that other guy right, that you’re upset nobody is talking about your precious nissan?

  • Shiratori90

    I’m a Honda/Subaru guy, so yeah, the joke is on you.

    Trolls keep on trolling…….

  • Kiya Lee

    what happened to your nissan in the past 3 months?

  • Shiratori90

    Yeah, no. I don’t own a Nissan, so your sad, weak sauce joke is on you.

    Trolls will keep on trolling…………

  • tommco

    I disagree. Although I own a Toyota Sienna (and am very happy with it, by the way), I’d have to say that mere market share shouldn’t dictate whether a vehicle is included in a review or not. It’s not as if Nissan is some obscure brand or is somehow an unworthy competitor, so I think it would serve the auto-buying public well if the Quest was included in the review.

  • Alex_nma

    I almost rented a Quest recently. It SUCKED! First, I say almost rented because before I got out of the airport the van started to act up and make strange noises. I went around the airport and returned it. But, I can tell you that the seat was horrilble and for some stupid reason there is almost no cargo space behind the 3rd row. The deep well that the others all have was absent. That alone is a huge negative.

  • Shiratori1

    Yeah, one anecdotal experience doesn’t hold a lot of weight to me (or anyone else who has at least half a brain).

  • ToyotaMom

    Glad to see the Sienna take the win, even if you had the SE model.

  • Sarah H

    Swagger Wagon!

  • Jamal

    The Odyssey is Number 1. You guys are just WRONG WRONG WRONG.

  • pbug56

    We bought a 2002 EXL Navi sight unseen due to the huge rep for reliability that Ody’s had at the time – before reports started popping up of the trannies self destructing, before people paid through the nose for trannie rebuilds from Honda that would fail faster than a set of cheap tires (the Honda rebuilds don’t fix the cause and wear out very quickly).

  • Kiya Lee

    should’ve done more research before buying something sight unseen. I have had my ody for 5 years w/o an issue. people who did seem to have problems on odyssey forums solved any issue by installing transmission cooler, that comes with the towing package (maybe why I haven’t had any issues).

    its funny how you decided to come in here and troll up the place because you had a bad experience with a car 12 years ago (or if you bought it recently, even more fault on you for lack of research, the tranny issue has been known about since 2005).

  • http://anotherlab.rajapet.net Chris Miller

    The Odyssey platform has been redesigned twice since the model that you owned. I had an ’07 EX-L and put 85K on before trading it in for ’14 EX-L. I had zero problems with it.

    If you look at the customer complaints sent to the NHTSA (http://www.edmunds.com/autoobserver-archive/2010/03/honda-odyssey-owners-report-transmission-troubles-inconsistent-response-from-maker.html), 2nd Gen (and Acura models with the same drive train) had serious issues with the transmission. And they were fixed in the 3rd Odyssey that came out in 2005.

    I empathize with you for the drivetrain issues that you had a decade ago. The problem you had was real and wide spread. It was also addressed in the platform change in 2005.

  • Ian

    I have a 2014 Odyssey and I LOVE IT. And my kids LOVE IT. If you’re shopping for a van, you absolutely MUST give it a try.

  • pbug56

    Nice to see your trannie hasn’t failed yet.

  • Kiya Lee

    oh, you. a new odyssey comes with a powertrain warranty (5 years), people who buy a new odyssey aren’t worrying about the transmission, go troll somewhere else.

  • Shiratori1

    Trolls will keep on trolling……..

  • larsonjs

    Why is it you can’t allow people to enjoy their vans? Did you mom fail to nurse you or something. You act like you’ve been weaned on a dill pickle.

  • Alex_nma

    I own a ’12 Odyssey and have rented a Caravan and Sienna within the past year. The Sienna has the best drivetrain, it’s not even close. The power is good and the transmission always seems to be in the right gear. In this respect the Odyssey is the worst. The power is ok, but the transmission is adequate at best. It is often in the wrong gear and because there is no manual shift option you have to gun it get it to shift. The caravan’s engine and transmission are on par with the Odyssey but at least it offers manual shifting. The one thing the Odyssey is better at is fuel economy. It definitely got better real world mileage than Caravan and Sienna.

    Once inside the Odyssety is quite nice. The Sienna is at least as nice. The Caravan has really, really cheap hard plastic all over the place.

    Styling is very personal, but I find the Sienna the best looking of the bunch. The Odyssey’s styling is not much to my liking. The funny jog in the window line is dumb. The door handles look out of place with those chrome inserts. Unpainted rear shade and door mirrors cheapen the look a lot. Honda must have saved all of $10 by not painting those parts.

    From a carrying cargo perspective, the Caravan easily wins. Stow-N-Go is a STUPENDOUS idea. I don’t know when Honda and SIenna have not come up with their own version. You only need to try to remove the seats from the Odyssey once to see how dumb it is to have to carry a really heavy seat anytime you need to carry long cargo. Not to mention that you also have to figure out where to store it.

    My ideal minivan would have the body and powertrain from the Sienna with the driving dynamics of the Odysset and the stow-n-go from the caravan.

  • pbug56

    You may like your Ody less if and when the trannie prematurely self destructs. While the worst of this seems to be 1999 through 2008, I’ve seen reports of failures as the owner takes delivery of a new Ody and leaves the dealer lot.

  • Shiratori1

    Uh, huh. Sure.

  • larsonjs

    Had 3. logged over 400,000 miles. Never a tranny problem. Are you trolling? Have you actually owned an Odyssey? I have had a 99, 2005 and now a 2013. My son bought my 05 and it now has approximately 220000 miles on it. I drove it about 3 months ago and it is as solid as the day I bought it.

  • pbug56

    I guess you never heard about the class action lawsuit on the 1999-2001 Ody trannies. And yes I have an 02 Ody, I have a Honda rebuilt trannie, gotten before I found out that these are rebuilt to only last 36k miles. Shortly after, I told my dealer I planned to add an external cooler and filter, and was advised it would void my warranty (even though they would protect the trannie from heat and debris). BTW, while still under the 100k warranty, I told the dealership that the trannie was running quite roughly, and was told – no code, no problems. Post warranty, codes showed up, thousands charged to ‘replace’ the trannie.

    BTW, Jasper and other firms do rebuilds of these trannies with modifications to fix the original defects, and much higher quality materials for the rebuild itself. Long warranties, unlike Honda.

  • TK

    I can verify that my 02 odyssey had one transmission go out at 27k, and the second at 99k. In the middle they had the recall to add an oiler to the fifth gear, but that had nothing to due with the failures. Honda did nothing and lost me as a customer. We now have an 03 and 09 sienna.

  • Dano

    OK so why wasn’t the Odyssey EX tested instead of the LX with the EX wheels added on. This makes no sense to me as the EX has MANY more amenities than either of the other two vans with pricing probably on par or below the Sienna.

  • ColumWood

    @disqus_OFnlrXQSo9:disqus This particular model was the only one Honda could source for us. An EX would have been ideal.. the LX really is quite low grade.

  • Dan

    Then how can you judge the Sienna the winner. Haven’t you heard of comparing apples to apples. Besides the Sienna has only a 3 star crash rating compared to the 5 star Odyssey crash rating. This alone should not be considered for a growing family vehicle.

  • Mike Schlee

    Safety ratings were taken into account with the scoring. The Sienna has a four star rating compared to the Odyssey’s five star rating.

  • http://anotherlab.rajapet.net Chris Miller

    If you can’t get comparable trim levels, then you wait until you can get the right vehicles. Anything else is just sloppy work. This is the first review that I have read from your site and it will probably be the last if this is how you do one. You have to ask yourself, which is more important; doing the review now or doing it later with vehicles that were more or less comparable?

  • Bill Johnston

    Maybe Honda will open their peanut butter filled ears about the lack of engine power now that the anemic 248 HP V-6 has been publicly exposed as being weak. Addition of the 6th gear as standard in the tranny only made it worse. Engine badly needs a torque and horsepower boost especially if the Ody is used in hill country. This vehicle is such a cash-cow for Honda that they haven’t paid attention to this deficit.

  • JohnJohn

    I guess you’ve never actually driven one. Plenty of power and torque. higher torque rating than toyota.

« Back
SWEEPSTAKES – OFFICIAL RULES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.

1. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. AGE/RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS, VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked