If you're in the market for a used minivan, the choices can seem overwhelming. After all, there are lots of used minivans out there, and it can be a challenge to sort through the features, reliability ratings, fuel economy, safety ratings, and other factors to find the best one for your family. These four minivans stand out from the pack as the best picks for a used vehicle.
Introduced to American car buyers in 1998, the Toyota Sienna quickly became a favorite with families. It offers outstanding reliability, which is important when buying a used vehicle.
Why Choose the Sienna?
The Sienna is the only used minivan that Consumer Reports labels a "good bet." It's a superstar in terms of reliability with every model year going back to 2003 listed as being more reliable that average. It also has above-average safety ratings for every model year, and those made after 2005 have reinforced side impact protection.
According to Edmunds.com, the Toyota Sienna also stands out for a number of other reasons:
- It's the only minivan with available all-wheel drive.
- There are several different trim levels, so you can pick the used minivan to fit your needs and budget.
- There are both seven- and eight-passenger models on the market.
- The ride is smooth and quiet.
The cost of a used Toyota Sienna will vary based on the model year, mileage, vehicle history, options, and other factors. For comparison purposes, Kelley Blue Book says that a 2010 base model Toyota Sienna with 30,000 miles in excellent condition would retail for about $20,500.
Owners of older Toyota Siennas largely have positive things to say about this vehicle. Reviewers on KBB.com praise the reliability and features of the van, but they mention that small things can go wrong. The lift gate and sliding door seemed to be problem areas, and taller people found the van's interior uncomfortably cramped.
Dodge Grand Caravan
Since 1989, the Dodge Grand Caravan and its sister vans by the Chrysler corporation have been the best-selling vehicles of their kind. As a used car, they may not have the reliability of the Sienna, but they are also more affordable.
Why Choose the Grand Caravan?
According to Forbes.com, the Dodge Grand Caravan is one of the best used cars you can buy in terms of value. It offers lots of helpful features, such as flexible, Stow 'n Go seating that allows the owner to fold down the rear passenger seats and carry more cargo. The V6 engine is peppier than many other vans on the market as well.
According to MotorTrend, the Grand Caravan also has great crash test ratings. It earns four out of five stars or five out of five stars, depending on the model year.
Affordability is one of the reasons many people choose a used Dodge Grand Caravan. Pricing varies by the year, features, and other factors, but it tends to be consistently less expensive than its competitors. According to Kelley Blue Book, a certified pre-owned 2010 base model Dodge Grand Caravan with 30,000 miles in excellent condition retails for about $16,600.
According to owner reviews on CarGurus, the Dodge Grand Caravan has great power and makes a very practical family car. Many people say they plan to buy another one after this one wears out. There were some complaints about minor mechanical problems like the turn signal arm, but overall, owners were very happy with this vehicle.
Since it debuted in 1995, the Honda Odyssey has been a great minivan choice, especially for those who value reliability. Used Odyssey minivans are a bit more expensive than some of their domestic counterparts, but they have a great reputation and many useful features.
Why Choose the Honda Odyssey?
US News named the Honda Odyssey one of the best used minivans under $20,000, citing its reliability, eight-passenger capacity, roomy interior, and excellent safety ratings as high points for this vehicle. The Odyssey has many safety and convenience features that come standard, so you'll get a great vehicle whether you buy the base model or one with all the bells and whistles. US News also loved that this minivan is easy to drive and handles much like a car.
According to Edmunds.com, this safety standout has had standard anti-lock brakes since 1999. Rear disc brakes and side curtain airbags became standard in 2002.
The Odyssey is a bit pricier than the Grand Caravan and some other models, but it's a little more affordable than the Toyota Sienna. According to Kelley Blue Book, a certified pre-owned 2010 base model Honda Odyssey with 30,000 miles in excellent condition retails for about $19,700.
Owners on CarGurus praised the Odyssey for its fuel economy, powerful engine, comfortable interior, reliability, and good handling. They also loved the great safety ratings and said that they had peace of mind when driving a family in this car. The only major complaints were that the interior could be noisy and that the van felt heavy when going around corners.
The Kia Sedona doesn't offer the same interior features as some of the other minivans on the market, but it does represent a great value for the cost. It's a good choice if you're looking for a reliable, middle-of-the-road option that won't break the bank.
Why Choose the Kia Sedona?
The Kia Sedona is another major player on the US News list of the best minivans under $20,000. US News praises the Sedona for its practicality and value, since it comes with lots of options and a roomy interior. The safety ratings for the Sedona were good, although it wasn't as a high a performer as the Odyssey.
Edmunds.com believes the Kia Sedona offers most of what a minivan buyer would want at a low price. The 2007 through 2009 models have the most powerful engine, and those made before 2006 could be somewhat sluggish. For the money, buyers get a solid minivan with plenty of passenger room. The Kia Sedona gets three out of five stars for reliability from JD Power and Associates.
The Kia Sedona is one of the least expensive minivans you can buy used. According to Kelley Blue Book, a certified pre-owned 2010 base model Sedona with 30,000 miles in excellent condition retails for about $16,200.
Overall, owners are happy with the Kia Sedona, according to reviews on CarGurus. Owners specifically praised the value of the car, the spacious, comfortable interior, and the great ride. Some owners had problems with minor mechanical issues, especially involving the doors.
A Minivan That Meets Your Needs
Buying a used minivan involves deciding on your car-buying budget and then prioritizing the qualities that are most important to you. Whether you choose to buy your car online or from a local used car dealer, doing your homework and understanding what's important to you will ensure you end up with a minivan that will meet your needs for years to come.