Kia Carnival

The 5 Best Minivans Of 2021

Hanna Kielar4-minute read
UPDATED: December 12, 2022


Minivans can be a great choice for road trips, daily family drivers and even single adults with cargo to haul.

So, what's the best minivan for you? It needs to have a combination of safety features, fuel economy and affordability. The best minivans of 2021 combine as many of these elements as possible.

Table Of Contents

    What Matters Most For Minivans

    Finding the nicest minivans available for 2021 takes some research. You want to find a vehicle with compelling safety features, passenger amenities and the latest tech, along with good fuel economy and overall value.

    Our minivan ranking covers the top-rated minivans for each category and provides a list to help you choose your next family ride. The top-rated minivans have a good or better rating from the NHTSA. They were chosen based on manufacturer information, features, and IIHS Safety Ratings.

    1. Honda Odyssey

    Best for: Family-friendly features

    MPG: 19 city | 28 highway

    The Honda Odyssey is a practical choice for families who need a mid-priced minivan that's reliable for daily use as well as longer family road trips. The spacious interior is endlessly reconfigurable for passengers, cargo, pets and hauling a variety of items (you know, those hauls from the home improvement store or big grocery shopping trips). Among the features that make this possible, are the second-row Magic Slide seats that come standard on the EX and any trim levels above. They also move side-to-side and fore-and-aft if you just need a little extra space for a single trip. Put the kids in the second or third row of seats, and the in-cabin camera lets you keep an eye on them while you're driving, making the Honda ideal for field trips and family outings.

    2. Kia Carnival

    Best for: Driver-assist features

    MPG: 19 city | 26 highway

    The Kia Carnival is replacing the Sedona as Kia's mainline minivan for 2022, but the 2021 is still positioned as a competitor for its manufacturer's other family minivan. Closely following the similar box design of Kia’s Telluride SUV, the Carnival's large wheels and crossover-style proportions are a bit reminiscent of family-friendly SUVs. Inside the cabin, Carnival drivers get a large suite of assistance features, such as an automated emergency brake system and a packed navigation assistance center.

    Dual screens display digital gauges that are easy on the eyes, and the latest models of Carnival boast an infotainment center that wouldn't be out of place in your den at home. Advanced touchscreen controls add convenience for the driver managing multiple apps, while smart voice controls allow hands-free phone and message communication.

    3. Kia Sedona

    Best for: Child-seat accommodations

    MPG: 18 city | 24 highway

    The Kia Sedona is ideal for families with kids, whether you're a daily home-to-school taxi or you make long-distance road trips on a regular basis. The base LX model is affordable and offers plenty of convenience features. Top-level SX has passenger-friendly extras such as reclining second-row seats with footrests of their own, which can be great for older kids who don't need car seats. Trim levels EX and above feature standard roof rails for the extra luggage kids bring with them to camp and sports tournaments, and heated front seats make things more comfortable on cold school day mornings. Automated emergency braking, front and rear parking sensors and a blind-spot monitor help keep you and your whole family safe in hectic stop-and-go traffic or cluttered parking lots.

    4. Toyota Sienna

    Best for: Road trips

    MPG: 36 city | 36 highway

    Toyota is celebrating 2021 with all-new styling and a new powertrain for its Sienna minivans. Making the jump to an all-hybrid lineup, the Sienna has a more stylish body design and wider, sporty front grille.

    The 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid engine system sips gas at 36 mpg highway and city, which is far and away the best set of numbers in the minivan class. All-wheel drive is also an option for all 2021 trim packages, which can come in handy for off-road adventures, such as camping and trips to the beach.

    5. Chrysler Pacifica

    Best for: Quiet ride

    MPG: 19 city | 28 highway

    The Chrysler Pacifica hasn't been seriously redesigned for several model years, which has allowed the manufacturer to spend time changing cabin features and amenities to give the vehicle a quiet, refined interior look and feel. Decent insulation and the arrangement of the undercarriage drivetrain minimize noise inside the cabin. Not only is this more restful for long trips, it also makes it easier to hear the movies and music the Pacifica streams on the front and rear infotainment screens. The in-cabin air filtration system is redesigned for 2021, further reducing noise, and at low speeds, the highly tuned V-6 or optional plug-in hybrid engine reduces noise further. The versatile Pacifica even tows well enough to earn a spot on our list of best towing vehicles.

    The Bottom Line: Find The Right Minivan For Your Needs

    Minivans have continued to improve on many fronts across the board. From the massive fuel economy of the Toyota Sienna or cargo space of the Honda Odyssey, to the smooth serenity of the Pacifica, the best minivans are attractive to a wide variety of consumers. If you're in the market for a new or used minivan, it's important to do your research and know what you want in a new family traveler.

    We'll Find It For You

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    Hanna Kielar

    Hanna Kielar is a Section Editor for Rocket Auto℠, RocketHQ℠, and Rocket Loans® with a focus on personal finance, automotive, and personal loans. She has a B.A. in Professional Writing from Michigan State University.