These days, if you can believe it, there are only four minivan models in the American automotive market, thanks to automakers generally shifting to producing more trucks and SUVs. Of the four minivans available, two are offered as hybrids, but only one of those comes as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) model. Let’s take a closer look at the four minivans out there and where they fall on the hybrid spectrum.
A look at the Toyota Sienna hybrid minivan
As vehicles go these days, the Toyota Sienna falls more toward the affordable side. According to Edmunds, it starts at just over $35,000. For that price, you get seating for eight, a 245-hp powertrain, and a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 lbs. You also get a remarkably smooth ride.
Because the Sienna is a hybrid vehicle, it’s not surprising that this minivan scores well in fuel economy. It averages around 36 mpg on the highway and in the city. It also comes with a three-year, 36,000-mile basic warranty for added peace of mind.
The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is the lone PHEV minivan on the market
If you’re looking specifically for a plug-in hybrid minivan, you have one option: the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. Edmunds pegs the MSRP for this minivan at $54,000, although you can likely count on reducing that significantly through the federal EV tax credit.
The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is slightly smaller than the Toyota Sienna and seats a total of seven passengers. It gets around 30 mpg and has an electric range of approximately 32 miles. The minivan’s ability to switch seamlessly between gas and electric, depending on what it determines is best, can help alleviate range anxiety.
The Pacifica is capable of 260 hp, putting it just slightly ahead of the Sienna in terms of power. Its regenerative braking system continually recharges the battery when the brake is applied, as is the case with most hybrids.
These two minivans aren’t available as hybrids
Maybe you’re in the market for a minivan but aren’t quite convinced yet that a hybrid is for you. In that case, you have two options: the Honda Odyssey and Kia Carnival.
Let’s start with the Odyssey. One distinct advantage that Honda’s minivan has is its relative affordability. The 2023 base model starts at $38,635, saving you a bundle over the Pacifica Hybrid and even the standard non-hybrid Pacifica. The Odyssey is also the most powerful of the minivans we’ve discussed thus far and is capable of an impressive 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque.
Because it’s not a hybrid, it’s no real surprise that the Odyssey doesn’t fare quite as well in the area of fuel efficiency. It gets an estimated 22 mpg, which is still not bad compared with many other larger vehicles on the road these days.
Finally, there’s the Kia Carnival, the least expensive of all the minivan options. It has an MSRP of $32,600 for the base LX trim. Despite being less expensive, the Carnival outscores the Odyssey regarding engine power. It’s capable of producing an impressive 290 hp. However, we should note that that doesn’t mean the Carnival has the quickest acceleration. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 7 seconds, while the Odyssey is capable of the same feat in 6.5 seconds.
All in all, there’s a limited range of options for anyone interested in a minivan these days, especially for those seeking a hybrid model. Nevertheless, the options that do exist, we have to say, have a good deal going for them.