Once one of the most popular family cars available, the minivan field has been shrinking over the years as competitors like SUVs have come along. What remains is a small but highly competitive market with only four models remaining from the different automakers. Of the four minivans for the 2022 model year, Consumer Reports, one of the go-to automotive websites for car advice, recommends all but one. Before we look at the unfavored model, first, here are the minivans that are recommended.
The 2022 Kia Carnival
The 2022 model year Kia Carnival has a V6 engine outputting 290 horsepower and 262 lb-ft torque. As such, it’s no surprise it doesn’t have the best fuel economy. What it does have is plenty of power resulting in 0-60 mph 7.0-second acceleration on the Car and Driver test track. However, its agility is somewhat wanting with some body roll and slow steering.
Additionally, buyers are likely to get frustrated by the process of removing the second-row seats to create additional cargo space. However, for Consumer Reports, the benefits outweigh the downsides enough to recommend the vehicle. They include excellent brakes, a lot of space inside the car, and responsive, easy-to-use controls.
The 2022 Toyota Sienna
Toyota’s minivan offering, the Sienna, is available with a hybrid engine combining a 2.5 L four-cylinder with an electric motor. Cumulatively, these two provide 245 horsepower to propel the wheels forward, and it’s worth noting that AWD is available despite the hybrid minivan having FWD as standard. It can also hold up to eight passengers.
Being a hybrid, it offers 36 mpg fuel economy, making it the most fuel-efficient minivan available. It doesn’t slack on the drag strip either, reaching 60 mph acceleration from 0 in 7.6 seconds, according to MotorTrend. The long stopping distances and engine noise may not be its most flattering attributes. However, it offers excellent fuel economy, ride quality, cruising range, interior room, and interior flexibility to make up for it.
The 2022 Honda Odyssey
This Honda vehicle also features a V6 engine, although it produces 10 horsepower less than the Kia Carnival’s engine. That said, it does have the fuel economy advantage using 22 mpg to the Carnival’s 21 mpg in Consumer Reports testing. Buyers will experience some body roll when cornering, and the steering is a little slow to respond, but nothing worth complaining about.
The main issue Consumer Reports has with the Honda Odyssey minivan is the un-intuitive controls. Other than that, the interior room, noise levels, interior flexibility, and ride comfort are all great.
Why the Chrysler Pacifica minivan wasn’t recommended
The 2022 Chrysler Pacifica minivan has a 3.6 L V6 engine under the hood with a power output between the Honda Odyssey and the Kia Carnival at 287 horsepower. Although this option isn’t great with fuel, there’s a plug-in hybrid version with better fuel use statistics.
Notably, the car didn’t perform poorly in the Consumer Reports road tests, and most buyers are also likely to be satisfied with it as a family car. However, the Pacifica‘s Achilles heel proved to be its terrible reliability. The last three model years of the minivan have proven largely unreliable, with the 2021 variant being especially bad. Consequently, the 2022 model year is likely to follow suit.
Positives of the 2022 Chrysler Pacifica minivan
Despite its reliability shortcomings, the website praises the Chrysler Pacifica for having a plug-in hybrid option which should significantly improve the fuel economy. Another pro is that it offers all-wheel drive, which both the Honda Odyssey and Kia Carnival lack. Additionally, it features one of the best infotainment systems in the market. Lastly, the Stow ‘n Go seats make the interior versatile and carrying cargo easier.
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