Best minivan for price

2010 Toyota Sienna, Used Minivans2010 Toyota Sienna (Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.)

It’s time to get excited about minivans. Hipsters may think of them as the boring family wagons they grew up in, but if you want plenty of room and comfort in a vehicle that’s easy to drive and affordable to buy and run, you just can’t beat a minivan.

You won’t find another type of car or truck more comfortable on a road trip, especially with kids. Most minivans sold in the last 10 years have built-in DVD systems that Mom or Dad can control from up front. They seat seven or eight passengers more comfortably than just about any SUV (unless you buy something like a hulking Suburban). And few crossover SUVs have any room left for luggage once the seats are loaded up. Minivans do.

If your weekend schedule includes frequent trips to the local big-box home improvement center, you don’t have to worry about your fix-it cred with a minivan. With all the seats folded, most minivans can hold full sheets of plywood, just like a pickup. Try that with a crossover SUV. You can even roll out a couple of sleeping bags in the back and go camping in your favorite national park.

Only a few automakers have remained faithful to the minivan class.; crossover SUVs have taken their place in many manufacturers' lineups. Fortunately, the carmakers still in the game have historically built the best vans, so there are plenty of great models to choose from, especially if you’re buying used. Here are the eight that rose to the top of the .

2010 Kia Sedona, Used Minivans

The previous generation of the Toyota Sienna was the gold standard among minivans. Its first-rate reliability put it a notch above other people-movers. So did its Lexus-like ride and interior materials, which included beautifully pleated optional leather seats and wood inserts on the steering wheel.

Even if its engine sounds like a distant sewing machine, it packs a wallop when you boot the accelerator. The handling is also smooth and predictable.

Like other Siennas, this generation is available with all-wheel drive, which makes it an even better SUV substitute. You can find one for well under $20, 000. The Sienna was updated for 2009 with a slightly more powerful engine and better fuel economy. In 2011, it was completely redesigned, but critics believe those improvements were somewhat negligible.

If you’re looking for a minivan with all the features but don’t want to break the bank, the Kia Sedona is hard to beat – just as when it was new. Want dual rear DVD screens? A sunroof? Heated leather seats? Check, check, and check.

2010 Kia Sedona (Kia Motors America)

2010 Honda Odyssey, Best MinivansWhere the Sedona falls down is the driving experience. For starters, the pedals are too close together, creating a problem for some drivers. It doesn’t handle as well as other minivans, and the ride can feel a little rough. But those are esoteric criticisms for a minivan. The Sedona delivers all the space and features that minivan buyers – and passengers – expect, and for very little money. It’s easy to find a Sedona for well under , 000. That’s a bargain that will make any minor sacrifices seem well worth it.

The Sedona was updated for 2009 with more horsepower and a six-speed automatic transmission, which helped improve performance.

Toyota updated the Sienna for 2011. It became bigger and more conventional. It’s still a nice minivan, but it no longer has the posh Lexus-like interior finishes and ride of earlier models. It’s more like the Camry of minivans. Like the Camry, it offers the best reliability in its segment.

As with the earlier generation, this generation of Sienna minivans was (and still is) the only minivan available with all-wheel-drive. Some versions were sold with four-cylinder engines, though that engine has to work extra hard to pull this big barn along the highway, and, consequently, it doesn’t get much better gas mileage than the V6. The four-cylinder option didn’t last long. These newer Siennas can sell for up to $30, 000, but you can find 2011 models for half that.

A church-quiet interior and unflappable ride make this Odyssey one of the smoothest long-distance cruisers on the road. Its sedan-like handling helps it remain unperturbed by rough pavement or sudden changes in direction. The Odyssey's dashboard controls are straightforward and easy to use. Higher-end models with cylinder deactivation get slightly better fuel economy than base models.

The second row can be configured with two separate captain-style chairs for adult passengers, a two-person bench for younger kids with an aisle down the side to ease access to the back, or as a full three-person bench with a small removable perch in the center. A handy well under the floor gives rear-seat passengers an easy and secure place to stow belongings, or it can easily hold the center bench seat. These Odysseys cost a little less than equivalent Siennas, with prices in the range of $12, 000 to $20, 000.

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