If you’re considering buying a minivan, first we have to commend you, because clearly you’re not an image weenie who fears how you might look in one of these maligned vehicles — or at least not so much of one that you’ll let it keep you from all they have to offer. What they offer, among other things, is extraordinary space efficiency, with cavernous confines for the amount of space they take up on the outside — superior to SUVs, be they hulking truck-based or more modest crossover styles. Minivans aren’t just for families, but they’re better than ever at catering to them, and we find the models that try too hard to be something else typically lose the advantages of the species.
It’s been many years since our past minivan roundup, which ended with the Kia Sedona on top. Much has happened since then, including Chrysler replacing the Town & Country with the Pacifica and, just this season, Kia replacing the Sedona with the 2022 Carnival. It was time for another look. The exact model years, trim levels and drivelines we tested and their final ranking were:
1. 2022 Kia Carnival SX, 3.3-liter FWD
2. 2021 Chrysler Pacifica Limited, 3.6-liter AWD
3. 2021 Honda Odyssey Elite, 3.5-liter FWD
4. 2021 Toyota Sienna Platinum, 2.5-liter AWD
As always, our results apply specifically to the vehicles we tested as equipped and priced — not the entire model line. Careful shoppers will view our likes and dislikes below for each car and decide what matters most to them. The Good and Bad entries are arranged in descending order of their importance to the judges — Assistant Managing Editor Kelsey Mays and News Editor Jennifer Geiger — and their influence on the results.
All judging categories could earn a maximum of 20 points with the exception of value, which allows a maximum of 40 points. The following graphic shows all categories and the various wins and losses at a glance.