Family Favourites: 2016 Minivan Roundup
While the rise of the SUV has dented minivan sales, the quintessential family vehicle still has some life left in it. Here’s a rundown of what you’ll expect to see in dealerships this year.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica
The replacement for the venerable Town & Country, Chrysler is hoping the sleek Pacifica will stoke some ardor in what’s normally a low-key segment. It’s more than just a looker, though. The Pacifica comes with an optional hybrid engine that allows it to travel nearly 50 kilometres on electric power alone. Read our full review in CAA Magazine’s Fall 2016 issue.
Price (Base): $43,995
Engine: 3.6 L V6 (287 hp) or 3.6 L Hybrid V6 (260 hp)
Transmission: Gas-powered: nine-speed, hybrid: electrically variable
Fuel Economy: Gas-powered: 12.9 L/100 km city, 8.4 L/100 km highway, hybrid: as good as 2.9 Le/100 km
Special Features: Need a little extra space? Chrysler says the Pacifica has 243 possible seating and cargo configurations.
Chrysler, Toyota and Honda have long dominated the minivan market. But Kia, as it normally does, is shaking things up with the Sedona. For several thousand dollars less than its competitors, you get plenty of power, loads of space and standard goodies like a back-up camera.
Price (Base): $27,895
Engine: 3.3 L V6 with 276 hp
Transmission: 6-speed automatic Sportmatic
Fuel Economy: 12.9 L/100 km city, 9.5 L/100 km highway
Special Options: The Sedona’s second-row seats come with optional leg rests, allowing the kids to slip into recumbent bliss on long road trips.
With good pickup, a plush interior and Honda’s famous reliability, the Odyssey is consistently ranked as one of North America’s best minivans. It’s also one of the safest vehicles on the road, earning top honours from Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.
Price (Base): $30,790
Engine: 3.5 L V6 with 248 hp
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Fuel Economy: 12.3 L/100 km city, 8.5 L/100 km highway
Special Options: The Odyssey’s optional 16-inch rear entertainment screen can be divided in two, allowing one child to watch a movie while the other plays a video game.
Comfortable, reliable and brimming with tech, the Sienna is one of the few minivans that offer all-wheel drive, making it great for Canadian roads in the winter. Plus the sportier SE edition, with its precise steering and tighter suspension, might actually make you forget for a moment that you’re driving a minivan.
Price (Base): $31,675
Engine: 3.5 L, six-cylinder with 296 hp
Fuel Economy: 12.5 L/100 km city, 8.5 L/100 km highway
Special Options: Like gadgets? The Sienna has an onboard vacuum and an intercom that allows parents to chat with their kids in the third row.
Dodge Grand Caravan
Canada’s best-selling minivan might not be long for this world. With the debut of the Chrysler Pacifica, execs have mooted the idea of killing off the budget-friendly Grand Caravan. But until that happens, the vehicle that made minivans a thing remains a solid option.
Price (Base): $24,290
Engine: 3.6 L V6 with 283 hp
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Fuel Economy: 13.7 L/100 km city, 9.4 L/100 km highway
Special Options: If you’re on a budget, the Grand Caravan is hard to beat. Dodge is advertising 2015 models for just $19,895, less than half the price of the new Pacifica.
Every price listed is the manufacturer’s suggested retail price and does not include delivery or taxes.