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Honda Odyssey Review - What the Auto Press Says
The 2011 Honda Odyssey ranks 1 out of 8 Minivans. This ranking is based on our analysis of 11 published reviews and test drives of the Honda Odyssey, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

Toyota Sienna Review - What the Auto Press Says
The 2011 Toyota Sienna ranks 1 out of 8 Minivans. This ranking is based on our analysis of 36 published reviews and test drives of the Toyota Sienna, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

Chrysler Town & Country Review - What the Auto Press Says
The 2011 Chrysler Town & Country ranks 5 out of 8 Minivans. This ranking is based on our analysis of 37 published reviews and test drives of the Chrysler Town & Country, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

 

Nissan Quest Review - What the Auto Press Says
The 2011 Nissan Quest ranks 6 out of 8 Minivans. This ranking is based on our analysis of 12 published reviews and test drives of the Nissan Quest, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

Volkswagen Routan Review - What the Auto Press Says
The 2011 Volkswagen Routan ranks 8 out of 8 Minivans. This ranking is based on our analysis of 15 published reviews and test drives of the Volkswagen Routan, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

 

 

 
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Honda Odyssey Review - What the Auto Press Says
The 2011 Honda Odyssey ranks 1 out of 8 Minivans. This ranking is based on our analysis of 11 published reviews and test drives of the Honda Odyssey, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

Almost every reviewer who has driven the 2011 Honda Odyssey recommends it wholeheartedly.

"From a practical standpoint, minivans have all other sorts of family transportation covered. The vans are roomier than any crossover, more economical to operate than a full-size SUV, and far more readily adaptable to cargos of people or things than station wagons,Ē says Popular Mechanics. ďIf every vehicle purchase was a purely rational decision, just about all of us would be driving minivans.Ē And, according to most reviewers, if just about all of us were driving minivans, most of us would be driving the 2011 Honda Odyssey.

Redesigned for this year, the 2011 Honda Odyssey is stuffed with features that reviewers say should please almost any minivan buyer. Thereís seating for up to eight, and thanks to a slight bump in size, every seat has plenty of room. While the base Odyssey provides practical, basic family transportation, opting for the higher trims can get you features that reviewers are impressed with. A favorite feature is the expandable second row seat available on EX and Touring trims. With it, you can widen the second row, creating space for up to three car seats or to create a DMZ between warring siblings.

If you want family-friendly cabin tech, reviewers say the Odyssey delivers with a 16.2 inch video screen and surround sound. On the road, the news is just as good. Critics call the Odyssey the best-driving minivan available. While itís not the most powerful, and no minivan is meant for the racetrack, reviewers say the Odysseyís stable, smooth and planted ride inspires confidence in drivers while keeping passengers comfortable. Cargo space is good too, with a number of small storage holds throughout the cabin, including places for purses, grocery bags and trash bags. In fact, the only big complaint reviewers have about the Odyssey is its styling.


Toyota Sienna Review - What the Auto Press Says
The 2011 Toyota Sienna ranks 1 out of 8 Minivans. This ranking is based on our analysis of 36 published reviews and test drives of the Toyota Sienna, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

The Toyota Sienna is redesigned for 2011, and reviewers agree that itís a far better minivan than before. The new Sienna loses bland styling and gains improved driving dynamics. Many reviewers say that the 2011 Sienna is the best minivan on the market.

The first change most will notice on the 2011 Sienna is the revised exterior. Muscular and shapely, the new Siennaís design infuses style into a segment marked by anonymity. Car and Driver echoes the feelings of most reviewers, saying, ďWe might go so far as to call the Sienna the best-looking minivan extant.Ē Stepping inside the 2011 Sienna reveals an all-new interior as well. While reviewers criticize some of the materials, most agree that it is well-designed with intuitively placed controls.

The base Sienna comes equipped with tri-zone air conditioning, power windows and door locks, seven air bags, cruise control, LED taillights and alloy wheels. The base Sienna is one of the least expensive minivans, but Dodge and Kia also offer minivans at similar starting prices. Although the Sienna can be quite pricey when fully loaded, most models represent a solid value for the class. The Sienna also stands out as the only minivan on the market to offer optional all-wheel drive.

New for 2011 is the sporty SE model. Reviewers say the SE, a sporty minivan, is an oxymoron that works. Itís available only in front-wheel drive with V6 power, and reviewers express great pleasure in its retuned steering and suspension setup -- though its sporty looks may not be for everyone.




Kia Sedona Review - What the Auto Press Says
The 2012 Kia Sedona ranks 3 out of 8 Minivans. This ranking is based on our analysis of 44 published reviews and test drives of the Kia Sedona, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
Reviewers say that the 2012 Kia Sedona offers a lot of value for the money, but is starting to feel dated compared to the competition.

If you need a minivan and are hoping not to have to demolish your kidsí college fund to get it, reviewers say the 2012 Kia Sedona is a good option. The Sedona is not only has one of the lowest base prices in the class, but it also has a strong V6 engine, long list of standard features, comfortable seating, good handling and a quiet ride. In short, reviewers say the Kia Sedona checks all the boxes when it comes to family transportation.

What works against the Sedona is the fact that much of the competition has been updated. In 2011, the Honda Odyssey, and Toyota Sienna were redesigned while the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country received refreshes. Reviewers say that all four of these other vans benefitted from the changes, and now have modern layouts and top-notch interior tech. For 2012, the smaller Mazda5 van is also redesigned. The Kia Sedona hasnít had a major refresh since 2006 (though it did get a new engine in 2011), and reviewers say that itís beginning to look dated. They also complain about some interior materials that look and feel cheap.

The 2012 Kia Sedona makes a lot of sense for families who put budget before anything else, but reviewers recommend checking out the more up-to-date competition to see what youíre missing.

Other Minivans to Consider

Mazda Mazda5 Review - What the Auto Press Says
The 2012 Mazda Mazda5 ranks 4 out of 8 Minivans. This ranking is based on our analysis of 12 published reviews and test drives of the Mazda Mazda5, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

The 2012 Mazda5 is small for a minivan, but delivers big performance.

Parenthood can seem like a Dora The Explorer-led march into lost identity. Skinny jeans morph into mom jeans, whining replaces wining and dining and pulse-pounding automotive performance gets passed over for practicality. It doesnít have to be that way. Reviewers say the 2012 Mazda5 has the practicality parents need and the fun-to-drive personality most minivans lack. While the Mazda5 may not free you from the grips of SpongeBob, it will make tackling the twists in the parenting road a lot more fun.

The 2012 Mazda5 isnít without compromises. Itís fun to drive, less expensive and gets better fuel economy than most other minivans, but doesnít offer as much space. The 5 doesnít offer interior bells and whistles like a navigation system. But, reviewers think the 5 may be just what minimalist families are looking for. Edmunds says the 5 ďhas everything you need and enough passenger and cargo space for most young families. Essentially a design hybrid between a minivan and a wagon, the Mazda 5 is a great alternative choice and definitely worth a look in these lean economic times."

For some families, however, the Mazda5ís lack of space will be a deal breaker. Unlike most minivans, which can seat up to eight people, the 5 seats six in three rows. The third row seat is also very cramped. And, when that third row is in use, cargo space is limited. If seating and cargo space are why youíre shopping minivans, you probably wonít like the 5. Competitors like the Kia Sedona and Honda Odyssey have more of both.

Of course, not all families will want the added space that other minivans offer or anything to do with a minivan at all. The New York Times says, "For someone like me, a person not easily persuaded to buy a minivan, the 5ís size makes a good compromise. Iím at the point that every new parent reaches, Iím guessing, where you welcome anything that will make your parenting life easier." The 5ís smaller size makes it easier to maneuver in urban spaces than other vans. It also has the best fuel economy ratings in the class and the lowest price. If youíre dreading buying a minivan because of how they drive or donít quite need all the space and seating they offer, reviewers say the 2012 Mazda5 makes a great choice.

 


Chrysler Town & Country Review - What the Auto Press Says
The 2011 Chrysler Town & Country ranks 5 out of 8 Minivans. This ranking is based on our analysis of 37 published reviews and test drives of the Chrysler Town & Country, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

With lots of updates for 2011, the Chrysler Town & Country is more competitive, but reviewers still prefer other minivans.

Most reviewers agree that the 2011 Chrysler Town & Country is a comfortable minivan that buyers can option with features that any family would want. However, even with upgrades for 2011, the Town & Country falls short of class leaders in the minds of most reviewers, especially since the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna were completely redesigned this year. Edmunds says, "The multiple mechanical changes make the 2011 Chrysler Town & Country a contender. But segment leaders like the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna are still steps ahead through their enhancements for 2011"

What the Town & Country has that its competitors donít is a flexible an innovative interior. While most minivans have third row seats that fold into the floor, the second row seats in the Town & Country fold into the floor as well. This Stow Ďn Go seating system makes switching the Town & Country from a people hauler to a stuff hauler easy and quick. In most vans,the second row seats have to be manually removed. Theyíre usually heavy and awkward. The downside of the Stow Ďn Go seating system is that Chrysler designers had to skimp on seat padding in order to get chairs that could fold into the floor. Most reviewers say their kids didnít notice, but adults might.

In the end, reviewers say the 2011 Chrysler Town & Country is a nice van with an innovative interior, but on the whole, reviewers say the competition offers more refinement, better reliability records and value.


Nissan Quest Review - What the Auto Press Says
The 2011 Nissan Quest ranks 6 out of 8 Minivans. This ranking is based on our analysis of 12 published reviews and test drives of the Nissan Quest, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

Car reviewers say that the 2011 Nissan Quest is a decent minivan, but others in the class are simply better.
Itís tough to beat a minivan when it comes to practicality, and unfortunately for the 2011 Nissan Quest, itís tough to beat class-leading minivans like the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. Reviewers say that the redesigned Nissan Quest is a good minivan. Itís pleasant to drive and has plenty of space for the whole family. But, alongside class leaders, the only thing that makes the Quest standout is its somewhat odd styling.

"If your focus for a new minivan is concentrated on passenger comfort and driver engagement, the 2011 Nissan Quest is well worth consideration,Ē writes Edmunds. ďBut you'd be remiss not to investigate the top-ranked Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, both of which can seat an additional passenger and have larger maximum cargo spaces." In the end, itís not that the Quest is a bad van; itís just that others in the class are very, very good.


Dodge Grand Caravan Review - What the Auto Press Says
The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan ranks 7 out of 8 Minivans. This ranking is based on our analysis of 34 published reviews and test drives of the Dodge Grand Caravan, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

The Dodge Caravan is practical and kid-friendly, but with subpar performance and interior materials, it may leave parents wanting more.

For 2011, Dodge has updating the Grand Caravan, trying to keep up with competition from Honda, Toyota and Kia. Still, Edmunds says, "While the 2011 Dodge Caravan and its twin, the Chrysler Town and Country, are much improved, they still come up a bit short when compared to the Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest and Toyota Sienna, all of which have been redesigned for this year. The Odyssey and Sienna remain the segment leaders, with better all-around capabilities, more refined drivetrains and additional available features." Other reviewers agree that the Dodge van is much improved, but that others in the class are better.

One place the Grand Caravan outdoes the completion is in interior versatility. The Dodge Grand Caravan has optional Stow Ďn Go seats, which fold directly into the floor. They take the Grand Caravan from a seven seater to a two seater quickly, but some reviewers complain that to fit the seats in the floor, Dodge skimped on padding. Additionally, some of the controls are anything but intuitive. In the end, while reviewers like what Dodge is trying to accomplish with the Grand Caravan, most agree that the execution falls flat, and that there are better minivans to choose


Volkswagen Routan Review - What the Auto Press Says
The 2011 Volkswagen Routan ranks 8 out of 8 Minivans. This ranking is based on our analysis of 15 published reviews and test drives of the Volkswagen Routan, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

The Volkswagen Routan is a decent minivan, but reviewers say itís pricy and outclassed by competitors from Honda and Toyota.

The Routan is one of the few vehicles on the road today that's sourced directly from one company and sold by another. The Routan is a VW, albeit one that's heavily based on the Chrysler minivans -- the Chrysler Town & Country and the Dodge Grand Caravan. Initially, the Routan differentiated itself from its Chrysler cousins by offering a more upscale interior. For 2011, however, the Chrysler Town & Country got a revamped interior, leading many reviewers to question if going for the Routan is worth it.

The Routan benefits from the introduction of a more powerful an efficient 3.6-liter V6 engine. Of course, the Grand Caravan and Town & Country get the same engine. Reviewers say that while the Routan drives slightly better than the Chrysler minivans, it still lags the Honda Odyssey, which they call the best-driving van in the class. The Routan also has more comfortable seats than the Chrysler vans.

The bottom line is, if you're shopping minivans, the Routan is a solid choice, but so is almost every other van in the class. Make sure you shop around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

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