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Written by The Van Lover   

Mini Van Manufacturers

Who makes the best minivan? Some would say Chrysler for the features, some might say Honda for the ride comfort and reliability. What would you say? I have personally owned Chrysler Mini Vans for years?  Why? Because you can get a fairly low mileage used Chrysler Minivan cheap. Keep this in mind of you are purchasing a new mini van; the resale value of Chrysler products is poor.  The functionality, ride, space, and features is excellent.  The reliability is average at best.  If you buy a used Chrysler mini van you can almost certainly plan on spending money having the transmission replaced at or before 100,000 miles in my experience (Replaced 3 of them so far).  The engines are average, but if cared for will run to 150,000.  Why don't I just by a Honda Odyssey?  Because for the additional price I can easily afford to deal with the cost of replacing parts on the Chrysler. The Town and Country model is the best product to try and find used.

Don't believe the mileage hype of some manufacturers.  If you go easy on your mini van you can expect mileage in the 18-20mpg range.

Brands/Makes/Models of Minvans

  • Chrysler Town and Country
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Dodge Caravan
  • Mazda 5
  • Toyota Sienna
  • Kia Sedona
  • Hyundai Entourage
  • Volkswagon Routan

Yes I know there are products from Chevrolt like the Venture, and Ford Freestar, and a host of discontinued models.  But in the interest of factual reality we are choosing not to list crossover type vehicles or vehicles which nobody is really buying.

The following information is provided by Edmonds.com

What You Should Know Before Buying a Minivan/Van

Size/Market Segment: Minivans come in three sizes: compact (small families only), regular (medium-size families) and large (more space and amenities for larger broods). Full-size vans are larger and less maneuverable; they're for very large families and contractors.

Price: Plan to spend $19K-$25K for a minivan with basic features and up to about $40,000 for one that's equipped like a luxury car. Full-size vans start in the mid-$20Ks and top off in the mid-$30Ks.

Engine/Fuel Economy: V6 power is the standard among minivans, though a couple smaller models offer four cylinders. Expect adequate-to-brisk acceleration and over 20 mpg on the highway. Full-size vans carry heavy loads, so they generally require larger V6, V8 or even V10 engines; diesel engines are also common.

Safety: Minivans are some of the safest vehicles on the road, though shoppers should look at crash test scores and availability of features like side curtain airbags and stability control. Full-size vans offer basic safety equipment only.

Family-Friendly Features: Key items to look for in a minivan include power-sliding doors, easy-to-adjust seats, rear air-conditioning, an entertainment system, storage containers and so on. Full-size vans offer a few luxuries but are low on conveniences.

Versatility of Interior Seating: Plenty of vans allow you to remove the rear seats, but family buyers should zero in on minivans with easily reconfigurable second-row seats and third-row seats that fold into the floor. Some minivans offer fold-flat seating in both the second and third rows. A few offer a second-row bench seat option (in lieu of captain's chairs) for larger families.

Passenger Capacity/Interior Space: Minivans can seat seven or eight in comfort and are designed to allow parents to move about easily to tend to young children. Full-size vans are cavernous; they seat at least seven and up to 15 passengers.

Cargo Capacity: Minivans can hold more cargo than most SUVs, though bigger families will prefer the added luggage space of the larger models. For those with lots of heavy stuff to haul, nothing beats a full-size van.

Do You Need All-Wheel Drive? A few minivans and full-size vans offer all-wheel-drive systems — worth considering if you live in a particularly cold, snowy climate. Keep in mind that AWD vans get lower gas mileage.

Operating Costs: While SUVs may seem like the more stylish choice for family transportation, minivans are definitely the more financially savvy choice: They cost less to buy, insure and maintain. They seat more people comfortably in their roomier cabins. And they use a lot less gas. Full-size vans are truck-based; fuel costs can be high, but time-tested components keep repair bills down.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 09:46
 

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