Average minivan gas mileage

Challenge_minivan_mileage.jpgMinivans are family-hauling stars, but where they don't shine as brightly is in fuel efficiency. Large, heavy and V-6-powered, the minivan class gets an average combined EPA rating of 20 mpg. How does that translate to real-world driving?

The Ultimate Minivan Challenge
Results | Mileage Test

During the Ultimate Minivan Challenge, we took five minivans on a 135-mile road trip from the rolling rural roads and highways of southeastern Wisconsin to the city streets and suburban boulevards in and around Milwaukee. Our fuel-economy route was split into five legs and at the end of each, drivers swapped cars to account for varying weights and driving styles.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears; graphic by Paul Dolan

Our mileage results were a bit different than the EPA ratings: In first place, the Dodge Grand Caravan returned an observed 23.9 mpg using our pump fill-up calculations. Despite the fact that its Chrysler sibling uses the same 3.6-liter V-6, the Town & Country tied for third place with the Odyssey and came in just behind the all-wheel-drive Sienna with an average of 23.7 mpg.

The Challenge's winner didn't get a lot of help from its mpg score. The Kia Sedona's persuasive blend of comfort, features and utility earned it high marks, but its mileage was less than impressive: Its average of 23.3 mpg landed it in last place.

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