2022 Minivans

The minivan has changed a tremendous amount since the vehicle was introduced back in the early-1980s. Introduced by Chrysler, the first minivans were designed to offer as much passenger space as possible in a vehicle that was easier to handle for the daily drive. Prior to the Plymouth Voyager and the Dodge Caravan, a driver who wanted to haul a group of people would need to rely on a truck-based, full-size van. Those large vans were very inefficient due to their large V8 engines, but they were also difficult to maneuver in tight quarters. Plus, due to their height, many of them wouldn’t fit in suburban garages, making them less-than-ideal for the average driver in most conditions. The first minivans provided comparable interior space in a small, efficient and inexpensive package.

After the early success of the Chrysler minivans, the other automakers moved to introduce their own minivans and the segment boomed. All of the earliest minivans focused on a low price and big interior space, but over time, they gained a reputation as uninteresting appliances that were short on fun and features. The negative reputation led to the demise of some models, but those which soldiered on gained features while also offering improved driving dynamics.

Today’s minivans can be ordered to offer loads of passenger space with a low price point, but there are also plenty of models that rival modern luxury vehicles. With many drivers spending long days in their vehicles, modern minivans feature many premium technologies, ranging from plush seating to state-of-the-art infotainment systems. No longer does driving a minivan require you to suffer in an empty metal box with no power and no creature comforts, as today’s family haulers often standard and optional features comparable to high-priced luxury machines.

Pros and Cons of Minivans


  • Sliding side doors for easy access
  • Large rear door for cargo loading
  • Loads of interior space for passengers and cargo
  • Wide range of price and standard features leads to more options for more buyers
  • Premium luxury technology on high end trim levels
  • Better fuel economy than large vans or SUVs


  • Lesser fuel economy than sedans
  • Fewer brand options in the segment
  • The negative minivan stigma

The Best Minivan

While deciding which minivan is best for you comes down to personal needs and preferences, there is one that has long been regarded as the best minivan. Technically, there are several which are grouped together as the leaders in the minivan segment and those are the models from Chrysler. Since being introduced back in 1983, the Chrysler minivans have gone through a series of name changes, but they have all been innovators in the segment.

Models like the Dodge Caravan, the Plymouth Voyager, and Chrysler Town & Country have all set the standard by which all others are measured, introducing a long list of segment firsts. However, those models have all been removed from the lineup. Today’s minivan lineup from the company now named Stellantis includes the Chrysler Pacifica and the Chrysler Voyager. The Pacifica offers many features which are unavailable from the competitors, including an all-wheel-drive hybrid model, while the Voyager is the value-priced model for those drivers who need more space at a lower price point.

All-Wheel-Drive Minivans

If you live in an area that gets heavy snowfall, you may need an all-wheel-drive vehicle in the winter. If you want an all-wheel-drive minivan, there are only two options on the modern market; the Toyota Sienna and the Chrysler Pacifica. All-wheel-drive is available on all trim levels of the Sienna and all Toyota minivans come standard with a 2.5-liter hybrid drivetrain.

The least expensive AWD minivan from Toyota starts just under $37,000 while the top-of-the-line Platinum model starts just over $50,000. All-wheel-drive is also available on all trim levels of the Chrysler Pacifica, but buyers can pick between a traditional drivetrain and a hybrid system. The Pacifica comes more well-appointed than the Toyota, with many features that cannot be added to the Sienna, but that leads to a slightly higher price point. The least expensive all-wheel-drive Pacifica starts just over $38,000 while the top-of-the-line Pinnacle package starts over $53,000.

The Ford Minivan

During the height of the minivan era, Ford offered a traditional competitor to the other consumer models, but today, the Ford minivan is a bit different. The Ford Transit Connect is engineered with commercial use in mind, so it is more popular with drivers who need a small vehicle with loads of cargo space. However, the Motor Company does offer their “passenger wagon” packages that come with full interior layouts with seating for seven.

The Transit Connect is a bit smaller and doesn’t come with the same level of luxury as the traditional minivans, but it also costs considerably less than the competitors, making it a great option for anyone who wants to most passenger space in a compact vehicle for the lowest price, starting at $27,400.

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What's New for 2021

Chrysler Pacifica

The Chrysler Pacifica is the biggest news in the minivan world for the 2021 model year. Not only did the top-selling minivan get a facelift on the outside and new technology inside, but the new model year brought about a hybrid drivetrain and optional all-wheel-drive. You can still get the Pacifica with front-drive and without the hybrid system, or you can opt for all-wheel drive. Hybrid models come standard with front-wheel-drive.

SEE ALSO: 2021 Chrysler Pacifica AWD Review: First Drive

Best of all, the Pacifica Hybrid offers up to 33 miles of all-electric driving, making it an even greater commuter vehicle. Where the Pacifica really outshines the competition is between the doors, as no other company offers a minivan with the level of interior luxury of the Pacifica. From the premium UConnect infotainment system to the premium leather-wrapped surfaces, the Pacifica Pinnacle is the ultimate modern luxury minivan. The standard, front-wheel-drive Pacifica starts at $35,045 while the all-wheel-drive models start at $38,040. The Pacifica Hybrid starts at $39,995.

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Toyota Sienna

The Toyota Sienna is all-new for 2021 and the biggest news is the standard hybrid drivetrain on all models. The 3.5-liter hybrid drive system offers 33 miles per gallon combined, making it the leader among the minivan segment while 243 system horsepower lead to an exciting driving experience. For those who need all-wheel-drive, that is available on every trim level while front-wheel-drive is standard. Of course, the new Sienna has loads of interior space, but there is a varying level of technology depending on the trim level chosen.

SEE ALSO: 2021 Toyota Sienna Review: First Drive

New for 2021 is the Platinum model, which incorporates all of the best interior gadgets that Toyota has to offer. Along with those interior nicities, the Sienna also offers a long list of modern safety technology, including Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection/Lowlight Detection, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Lane Trace Assist, Automatic High Beams and Road Sign Assist. The 2021 Toyota Sienna starts at $34,460.

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Honda Odyssey

2021 Honda Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey was refreshed for 2021, starting on the outside. A new grille, front fascia and lighting signature provides a fresh look for the exterior while the cabin benefits from new folding second-row seats. There is also a new standard Rear Seat Reminder system which can be integrated with the available CabinWatch child monitoring system.

SEE ALSO: Honda Odyssey vs Toyota Sienna: Which Minivan is Right for You?

Further safety improvements for the 2021 Odyssey include upgrades to Honda Sensing which add Low-Speed Follow, Pedestrian Emergency Braking and Traffic Sign Recognition to the spread of safety technology. All 2021 Honda Odyssey minivans are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that delivers 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque with help from a 10-speed automatic transmission. The 2021 Odyssey pricing starts at $31,790.

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Kia Sedona

The Kia Sedona is relatively unchanged from 2020, with only some minor tweaks to interior color packages for 2021. All new Sedona models are powered by a 3.3-liter V6 that delivers 276 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque. All Kia models offer an impressive amount of premium content for a low price. In the case of the Sedona, key features are the hands-free rear “Smart Power” lift-gate, “Slide-N-Stow” second-row seating, a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system, and a premium infotainment system. The 2021 Kia Sedona pricing starts at $30,400.

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Chrysler Voyager

The Chrysler Voyager is essentially a budget line of the Chrysler Pacifica. The two are based on the same architecture with the same 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, but the Voyager comes with fewer standard high end features inside and out. There is a minimal amount of chrome and 17-inch wheels are standard, but the cabin still features a 7-inch infotainment screen with the UConnect 4 system with room for seven people. You can even add features like an overhead rear seating area entertainment system, but you cannot get leather seats or the higher end infotainment systems. For those, you need to step up to the Pacifica. However, the Voyager starts at just $27,235, making it the best choice for anyone shopping for a minivan on a tight budget.

What’s Coming in 2022

2021 Kia Carnival front three-quarter

It looks like the biggest news for the minivan segment in 2022 is the arrival of the all-new Kia Carnival. This next-generation minivan should be heavily revised inside and out, allowing it to better compete with the top minivans from Chrysler and Toyota. We can expect that the new name will be accompanied by new levels of interior technology and more power, as the Carnival is likely to come with a larger, more powerful engine than the Sedona.

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