The minivan has become a family favorite since first introduced by Chrysler over twenty-five years ago. The following 2009 minivan reviews provide combined opinions from both experts and consumers.
The Minivans of 2009
One fact for all minivan owners is that once they choose and own a particular make and model, they are dedicated customers. As families and lifestyles change, so has the minivan - offering everything from full entertainment systems, navigation equipment, and even pop-up tables and swivel seats to accommodate passengers on long drives. If you're looking for a used minivan from 2009, you'll have some great choices. Each of the minivans reviewed below have similar options and features. Choosing the right minivan often depends upon lifestyle, safety, affordability, gas mileage, and fuel efficiency.
Dodge Grand Caravan
Chrysler offered the Dodge Grand Caravan in 2009. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA, the Grand Caravan is at the bottom when it comes to crash testing safety, a feature that's important to potential minivan owners. Consumers say it's sort of clunky to drive and lacks quality interior features. With only an 18-miles-per-gallon combined fuel efficiency and with difficult-to-remove rear seats, the Grand Caravan is not a first pick for 2009 says Mother Proof, a consumer testing organization.
Many consumers don't know that Volkswagen's Routan is built in the same factory and has the same frame as the Dodge Grand Caravan. What's different? For one thing, the price for a 2009 model can be several thousand dollars more expensive. Along with the same frame, the Routan has the exact same engine as the Grand Caravan and shares the 18-mile-per-gallon combined fuel efficiency rating. While the interior features are fancier, Car and Driver magazine calls the Routan, a "Chrysler minivan dressed up in prettier Volkswagen materials."
Once again, Honda has come through when it comes to the best selling minivan on the market today. The 2009 Odyssey is a favorite with both experts and consumers. It is considered to be the full-size minivan to own. The Odyssey is tops in safety, interior features, and agility and can seat up to eight people comfortably. Mother Proof says this minivan drives like a car, and its combined fuel economy is a little higher at 20 miles per gallon.
In 2009, Toyota came in second in minivan sales with the Toyota Sienna. Lower in price than the Honda Odyssey, the Sienna has a combined fuel economy of 20 miles per gallon as well. Foreign auto dealers love their cup holders, which is evident in both the Odyssey and the Sienna. They also take up room to add ashtrays where US auto makers are skipping this feature unless requested. The Sienna came in second in crash and safety testing, and if you want a four-wheel drive minivan, Toyota makes the only one in the Sienna.
The Mazda5 is not really a full-size minivan, but it is adequate for smaller families. Priced lower than most other models, this six-passenger minivan is sportier in both interior and exterior features. With an 18-19 mile per gallon combined fuel efficiency and a lower price tag, the Mazda5 saw high sales in 2009. All the other minivans reviewed here seat seven or eight. However, the Mazda5 seats only six, and Mother Proof says that six is a tight squeeze.
Kia jumped into the minivan game with the Rondo wagon. Kia says this minivan can seat seven passengers, but lacks a rear sliding door, giving it more of a wagon look. With the same size engine as the Mazda5, fuel efficiency is 18 miles per gallon, but safety is worse. The 2009 model lacks what other minivans from this year offer: an electronic stability control.
Unlike other 2009 minivans, this model doesn't offer a short wheel-base version. According to the NHTSA, the Entourage offers great safety and perhaps the roomiest third row on the minivan market. Nice features on the Entourage are the standard power rear windows and its roof rack, which is available even on the base model. The Entourage has a combined fuel efficiency of 18 miles per gallon but offers seating only for seven.
Chrysler Town & Country
The Town & Country gets a combined fuel efficiency of only 18 miles per gallon, much like it's sister the Dodge Grand Caravan. The Town & Country was the first to introduce swivel and stow and go seats and larger storage areas. This top of the line minivan remains a favorite for consumers but doesn't do as well in crash testing as the Honda Odyssey.
Lacking what experts call, "good safety features," the Nissan Quest is the roomiest 2009 minivan on the market. It offers a combined fuel economy of 19 miles per gallon. Consumers are fond of the Quest, but Car and Driver magazine wasn't impressed with interior features and didn't like Nissan's recommendation of only purchasing premium gas for this minivan.
Wrapping Up 2009 Minivans
Most families who purchase minivans do so as a lifestyle choice and for the cargo and passenger space. Each manufacturer has its ups and downs when it comes to the minivan; however, both the Kia Rondo and the Hyundai Entourage had poor resale values and required more repairs than other minivans. For more 2009 minivan reviews, visit Edmunds or check out LoveToKnow's article on Minivan Comparisons.