The 5 Best Minivans Of 2021
Hanna Kielar4-minute read
PUBLISHED: December 27, 2021 | 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.
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