The ‘Best Minivan’ Debate Highlights the Competitiveness of the Segment
The answer to what is the best minivan depends on who you ask. There are just four models available in the segment — the Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Pacifica, Toyota Sienna and Kia Carnival — and all stand tall in the highly competitive class. As such, there’s far from a consensus on which 2024 minivan is best.
A quick online search underscores this.
For instance, Edmunds rates the 2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid as the top minivan. Edmunds praises its tech, plug-in hybrid powertrain, 32-miles of all-electric range and, with its available tax credits, notes it is “potentially the best value in its class, too.”
However, Car and Driver puts the Pacifica in fourth in a four-horse battle (which includes the non-hybrid model). The publication still gives the model plenty of praise but gives its best minivan ranking to the Toyota Sienna. Toyota’s hybrid-only minivan is given an impressive 9.5-point score out of 10.
Motor Trend disagrees with both of those takes. It scores the 2024 Honda Odyssey with 9.1 out of 10 points, earning it top spot in the 2024 minivan battle. Motor Trend lauds the Odyssey’s spacious interior, value prospects and ample features.
U.S News & World Report sides with Motor Trend in naming the Honda Odyssey the best minivan. To boot, it earns a spot on the publication’s best cars for the money list.
Still, there’s no consensus on where the Kia Carnival lands, other than not in the top spot. Edmunds rates it fourth (tied with non-hybrid Pacifica), while U.S. News and Car and Driver give it second. Motor Trend places it third.
(To note, this writer and automotive reviewer has tested the current generation of all but the Odyssey. The Sienna and Carnival are both excellent, but if it were my money, I’d opt for the Pacifica Hybrid).
Trying to discern which minivan is best before getting behind the wheel can be confusing, as such, but all these expert rankings highlight that it’s hard to go wrong in the minivan segment.
All provide the spaciousness, comfort and safety features expected of a family hauler. They also excel in pragmaticism and provide the ease of a sliding rear door no SUV can match. They can be had for less dough than a midsize, three-row or full-size SUV. The Sienna and Odyssey both earned Top Safety Pick+ honors from the IIHS with the Pacifica earning Top Safety Pick designation.
Overall, the choice comes down to which minivan best suits a buyer’s more particular needs, including price and certain features. Ultimately, the minivan segment, though limited in numbers, is certainly among the most competitive automotive classes.