Minivans: Ratings of Sources
Total of 19 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
Best Overall Minivans
by Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Our AssessmentConsumerReports.org purchases and tests most new vehicles. Reviews here focus on everyday comfort and ergonomics, as well as on the useful owner-sourced reliability data information that they compile. You must be a subscriber to access most content on ConsumerReports.org.
5-Star Safety Ratings
by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Our AssessmentThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the government organization that conducts official crash tests, among other functions. Not all minivans have been crash tested by NHTSA. After revamping its crash-test criteria, NHTSA made more stringent requirements in 2011; therefore, results for 2010 model year vehicles and earlier can't be compared to results for newer models. The Honda Odyssey is the only tested minivan to receive the highest overall 5-star rating.
TOP SAFETY PICKs 2012
by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Our AssessmentThe independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is funded by insurance companies and conducts its own safety tests using criteria different than that of the federal government. Crash-test scores are based on four categories: high-speed front and side crash tests, a rollover test and evaluations of seat and head restraint systems. The Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan and Volkswagen Routan all get the highest rating of "Good" in each category.
2012 Most and Least Fuel Efficient Vehicles
by U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency
Our AssessmentFuelEconomy.gov lists vehicles with the best and worst Environmental Protection Agency-estimated fuel economy. The Mazda Mazda5, the smallest of the minivans, gets the best combined fuel economy among the competition.
2012 Minivan/Van Buying Guide
by Editors of Edmunds.com
Our AssessmentIn addition to covering all new models individually, Edmunds.com editors also compile short buying guides that single out the best models within each category. This buying guide for minivans selects the Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest and Toyota Sienna as the best minivans available. The editors note that choosing the best fit is likely to be a matter of personal preference among these solid choices.
2011 Minivan Comparison Test
by Erin Riches
Our AssessmentThis recent comparison test from Inside Line assembles the top competitors in the minivan field. In determining which model is best, the test focused on the attributes that minivan buyers are likely to consider of highest importance, namely: amenities, comfort and price. The Toyota Sienna takes the top slot here, though all models' scores were close, and the editors point out that the vans tested are all "viable family transportation options."
2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite vs. 2011 Toyota Sienna XLE Comparison Test
by Chris Walton
Our AssessmentThis comparison test from Inside Line compares the 2011 Honda Odyssey and the 2011 Toyota Sienna head to head. Whereas another Inside Line comparison test in 2011 crowns the Toyota Sienna the winner, this reviewer expresses a slight preference for the Honda Odyssey, largely for its excellent road manners and good value. Ultimately, both minivans are viewed to be excellent people movers.
Comparison: 2011 Toyota Sienna SE vs. 2011 Honda Odyssey EX-L vs. 2010 Dodge Caravan SXT
by Jonny Lieberman
Our AssessmentMotor Trend tests the 2011 Toyota Sienna SE, the 2011 Honda Odyssey EX-L and the 2010 Dodge Caravan SXT to see which people mover proves best. The Dodge has since received a variety of sorely needed powertrain upgrades, suspension revisions and interior updates. Even so, the Toyota Sienna and the Honda Odyssey impressions remain relevant. The Toyota Sienna is ultimately given the nod here as the top minivan for its flexible second- and third-row packaging and "brilliant (for a minivan) driving dynamics."
2011 Chrysler Town & Country vs. Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest, Toyota Sienna
by Michael Austin
Our AssessmentCar and Driver tests four of 2011's high-profile new minivan arrivals. Unlike many other tests, where the Toyota Sienna ranks first or second, it interestingly places fourth out of four here. The winner is the 2011 Honda Odyssey, which delivers supreme versatility and is deemed "good for drivers, great for passengers." Second place goes to the 2011 Chrysler Town & Country, which is greatly improved over the prior-year's model.
Ultimate Minivan Shootout: Overview
by Patrick Olsen
Our AssessmentCars.com teams with USA Today, "Motor Week" and a suburban family from the Atlanta area to deliver this minivan comparison, which includes all the major players with new-for-2011 entries -- Toyota Sienna, Dodge Grand Caravan, VW Routan, Chrysler Town & Country, Nissan Quest and Honda Odyssey. The Sienna ends up at the bottom of the group, in sixth place, as many reviewers were disappointed by its "loud engine noise" and unimpressive interior quality. The Honda Odyssey comes out on top here for good handling and ergonomics.
2012 Automobile Magazine All-Stars
by Editors of Automobile Magazine
Our AssessmentEach year Automobile Magazine rolls out a list of All-Stars, the top award given to editors' favorite cars and trucks. The 2012 Honda Odyssey is named the best minivan, as it was last year in the same list. Automobile Magazine editors are impressed by "how well it drives while executing the usual chores," and its ability to be an ideal "cargo van, soccer shuttle, pulse accelerator, and sensible commuter."
CG Best Buy: Minivans
by Editors of ConsumerGuide.com
Our AssessmentConsumerGuide.com tests all new vehicles, and provides concise reviews on each model, giving numerical scores in a variety of categories. The best models within each class get their "Best Buy" designation. The Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, Honda Odyssey and Mazda5 are all named Best Buys.
Minivan Comparison Rematch: 2011 Honda Odyssey vs 2011 Toyota Sienna
by Frank Markus
Our AssessmentIn this real-world comparison test, Frank Markus (who mentions he helped design minivans in his career) takes advantage of a holiday-season family visit to put the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna through their people-hauling paces. He takes into account his family members' opinions on each vehicle as he totes adults, kids and stuff through wintry conditions. The Honda Odyssey wins out over the Toyota Sienna thanks to its slightly better interior comfort, a simpler navigation interface, better estimated economy and a better on-road feel.
The Top 10 Cars of 2011: Auto Excellence Awards
by Editors of Popular Mechanics
Our AssessmentPointing out that the minivan is perhaps the most versatile type of vehicle on the road, editors here say the Toyota Sienna actually totes more cargo than the large Toyota Sequoia, a vehicle that gets far worse gas mileage, has less versatile seating and costs far more. Popular Mechanics also loves the 2011 Sienna's updated styling and the fact that it can tow up to 3,500 pounds. This list was compiled for the 2011 model year, and Popular Mechanics does not name any minivans to its updated list for 2012 (as there were no minivans redesigned in 2012).
10 Best Family Cars of 2012
by Editors of Kelley Blue Book
Our AssessmentKelley Blue Book chooses 10 vehicles its editors consider to be best for families, and the 2011 Honda Odyssey takes the No. 2 spot amid a list that provides limited details on each model. Calling it "the gold standard of minivans," editors cite good handling, high comfort and solid entertainment options for kids as the key selling points. The list does have a somewhat arbitrary quality to it, with vehicles like the Honda Civic and Volkswagen Passat sedan.
The Best Vehicles by Class: 2012
by Editors of GreenerCars.org
Our AssessmentGreenerCars.org is part of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, an independent nonprofit that publishes annual ratings of cars based on fuel economy and how well they meet low-emissions standards. For 2011, the Honda Odyssey comes out on top of the minivan segment with a "Superior" ranking.
Minivans vs. Crossover SUVs: Which Is Better for Families?
by Joe Bruzek
Our AssessmentWhile now a couple of years old, this analysis of what type of vehicle is best for families (SUVs or minivans) is still an insightful piece. Older 2010 models are used as examples here, but the pros and cons discussed in making the choice are as relevant as ever. The editors conclude that "minivans still get the advantage as the quintessential family-hauler."
Long-Term Road Tests
by Chris Walton
Our AssessmentAmong the models featured in Inside Line's long-term test fleet are the 2011 Toyota Sienna and 2011 Honda Odyssey. Long-term test blogs offer valuable data on the everyday experience of living with these vehicles.
New Car Reviews
by Editors of Autoblog.com
Our AssessmentAutoblog.com is a good source for both the latest automotive news and reviews of new models. Current reviews of the most popular minivans are available. Reviews entail a detailed write-up and expansive photo galleries of each vehicle.