If you have never owned one and you just can’t tolerate the minimal space a mid-sized SUV gives you, we can give you an idea of what makes a good minivan for you and your family. Are you looking for stow-n-go? Do you want Bluetooth capabilities? How about a sunroof? We’ll help you find the minivan you’re looking for.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Prices are constantly fluctuating, especially if a certain make and model is more popular than the others or have more features. These minivans are in the $20,000 and under range but may go a little over $20,000 as time goes by.
Best Minivans Under $20,000
|Chrysler Pacifica||18mpg city
28 mpg highway
|Kia Sedona||18 mpg city
25 mpg highway
|Honda Odyssey||19 mpg city
27 mpg highway
|Toyota Sienna||19 mpg city
27 mpg highway
|Dodge Grand Caravan||17 mpg city
25 mpg highway
1. Chrysler Pacifica 2017-2019
The Chrysler Pacifica minivan is the reboot of the Chrysler Pacifica crossover that offered 3rd-row seating. If you remember, it was more of a station wagon-looking concoction that was quite popular for large families.
It was a good concept but just didn’t have the storage space large traveling families needed. So, in 2017, Chrysler rebooted the SUV and turned it into a minivan. So what makes this minivan so special?
Interior & Features
The Stow-N-Go seats are a must-have if you are in need of extra space when the seats aren’t in use. The seats fold down into the floor so you have a flat surface inside of the van. It’s kind of like a cargo van, but fancier. You can make your dad trips to the Home Depot for home renovation materials without needing to strap anything to the roof of the vehicle.
The van itself with the seats up is rather spacious and contains cubbies, cupholders, slide-out bins, and Bluetooth connectivity. The seats are a little uncomfortable since they have to be thin enough to fit into the floor, but in newer models, Chrysler added some more padding. You can also choose between 7 or 8 seats with the optional middle seat.
Just because you’ve traded in your quick little car for a minivan doesn’t mean you have to lose the speed. No, the Chrysler Pacifica isn’t the quickest minivan on the list, but it’s not sluggish in the least.
It can reach 60mph in about 7.3 seconds. You can get the van in a hybrid with 260 horsepower or the non-hybrid with 287 horsepower. Take note that the hybrid model is going to cost more.
Not only should a minivan be space-friendly, but it should also be fuel-friendly. The Pacifica can get anywhere from 28mpg-31mpg on the highway and 18mpg-ish around town. This is much better than some mid-size SUVs and definitely better than a V8 truck or full SUV.
- Great on gas
- Safety assist features
- Plenty of smart technology
- Hybrid & gas models available
- Seats are a little uncomfortable
- Not as quick as other minivans
2. Kia Sedona 2015-2019
We LOVED the Kia Sedona. Kia has never really been known for their stylish vehicles, but starting in 2015/2016, their style turned around.
The Kia Sedona has a super sleek look, kind of like an SUV, while being practical like a minivan. It has the sliding doors, third-row seating, and a large cargo area. Let’s check out some more great features of the Kia Sedona.
Interior & Features
The Sedona offers both leather and cloth fabric. We found the leather to be easier to clean than the cloth if that’s something you’re considering. Along with the seats comes a well-organized center console and a clean dash. The flat dash contains a touchscreen radio with easy-to-read buttons.
Moreso, the seats are comfortable and there’s plenty of legroom in the front and the back. The back seat may not be comfortable for adults during long rides, but for children it’s fine. The legroom is better than that of the Sienna and the seats are more comfortable than the Pacifica’s.
Unfortunately, the Sedona doesn’t offer Stow-N-Go storage, but the back seats do fold down so that you can have just a little more space for your cargo.
The Sedona is super quick! We were unbelievably impressed with how quickly it goes from 0-60 mph. It has a powerful and smooth 3.3-liter V6 engine. The steering is nice and tight, if you like it that way. There’s absolutely no play in it. It handles great, but not as well as the Honda Odyssey does.
As far as braking goes, it has a moderately firm brake pedal and it’s better than most of its rivals. It can brake from 60 mps in 119 feet, which is pretty outstanding. It’s unbelievably easy to drive, has a smooth shift, and it’s easy to work with in tight parking spots, especially with the sensors that beep when you’re too close to something.
The fuel economy isn’t anything to write home about, but it gives you around the same performance as the lower-end model Chrysler Pacifica does. Around town, you will see about 18 mpg and on the highway we have gotten around 25 mpg. You can turn the eco mode on to save a couple mpg, but it wasn’t too much.
- Stylish cockpit
- Smooth opening doors
- Comfortable seats
- Tons of features for the money
- Versatile second-row seats
- Optional middle seat
- Less cargo space than competitors
- Unimpressive fuel economy
3. Honda Odyssey-2014-2017
You see these minivans all over the place-old and new. The Honda Odyssey is a solid choice if you’re looking for optimal safety and reliability.
As the years go by, the style on the inside and outside gets even better. Not to mention, Honda’s last forever if well maintained. This minivan makes running errands or traveling long distances easier.
Interior & Features
The Odyssey can seat 7 people unless you opt for the middle seat to accommodate one more person. Cloth seats are standard, but the fancier models may have leather seats, but it’ll cost you a tad more.
Additionally, there’s plenty of legroom for third-row passengers and the middle set of seats can be arranged in a number of ways. You can move your child closer to the front or you can make a bigger pathway to the rear seats.
If car seats are an issue for you, don’t let it be. The Odyssey has five lower anchor sets so you can attach five car seats. The 2017 model outperforms in crash tests and received the highest score in every simulation for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The rearview camera comes standard, but other models may have blind spot monitoring, lane departure warnings, and rear parking sensors.
The 248-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine has a 6-speed transmission standard with the 2017. The V6 engine is able to handle all driving situations and the transmission shifts without a hiccup. Pair these two together and you get a high fuel economy rating.
The Odyssey has a comfortable and smooth ride on both even and uneven surfaces. However, there is a bit of a body roll when taking corners at a high speed. However, the steering stays sharp and the brakes are very responsive.
The Honda Odyssey will get an average of 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Definitely a little better than the Sedona, but not by much, and it matches the Pacifica and Sienna.
- Strone engine
- Good gas mileage
- Great handling
- Comfortable seating
- No AWD option
- Second-row seats are hard to remove
4. Toyota Sienna 2015-2017
The Toyota Sienna is a great choice for those looking for top notch safety and reliability. In 2015, this van got a facelift and total interior makeover along with a revised suspension.
The one thing that makes the Sienna stand out from the rest is the AWD option. Most minivans are front wheel drive, making them a little tough to use in the snow.
Interior & Features
The Sienna can fit 7 people in a standard setup, but some trims come with the removable center seat that now makes it large enough to fit 8 people. The compact seat fits nicely between the second-row captains chairs. Additionally, all of the back and middle seats offer full latch child-seat connectors.
Now, let’s take a look up front. There’s a simple infotainment system with a standard 6.1 inch touch screen. The physical buttons are easy to each and you will find that there is Bluetooth, USB, and rearview camera capabilities. There are also upgrades in certain trims that offer smartphone integration and driver easy speak.
Lastly, the cargo space. Without laying down the seats, you will find more room for groceries and other items than that of the Odyssey or Pacifica. You can expand it from 39.1 cubic feet to 150 cubic feet by folding the third row split & stow seats and taking out the captain’s chairs. There are plenty of storage cubbies placed throughout the van.
The Toyota Sienna has an upgraded powertrain in the 2017 models with a more powerful V6 engine. It has a 296 horsepower engine that allows the van to accelerate easily. The front wheel drive comes standard, but some of the higher trim models can have the AWD option. Again, this is the ONLY minivan that has this option.
When it comes to highway performance, the Sienna is stable, responsive, and comfortable. The Sienna SE will have a firmer suspension.
You will find that this make and model minivan has an 8-speed automatic transmission as opposed to the traditional 6-speed. This increases fuel economy, giving you 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. This is typical for a minivan, as you’ve probably seen with the others on the list.
- Strong engine
- Good fuel economy
- AWD option
- Family-friendly design
- Second-row seats hard to remove
- Some modern features no available
5. Dodge Grand Caravan-2017-2018
If you’re on a really tight budget and just need a minivan to get you from here to there, then this is where the Dodge Grand Caravan comes into play.
Brand new they are generally very affordable, so the used models are even cheaper. They have plenty of features that would be handy and they are literally everywhere!
Interior & Features
The Grand Caravan can fit seven people in three rows. Unfortunately, unlike the other models on the list, this van does not offer the optional 8th person middle seat. However, the van does offer third row stow-n-go seating. Since these seats do need a little less cushion so they can fit inside the floor, they are a touch uncomfortable.
The good thing about the Caravan is that it has a simple infotainment system. It’s not as sophisticated as other models, especially the Sedona or Pacifica, but it’s good enough for those who don’t really depend on it for much. The infotainment system has a 6.5 inch touch screen and six-speaker stereo.
Lastly, on some models, there’s an optional rear-seat entertainment system and sri-zone automatic climate control. You may also be able to find a Caravan with a remote starter, which is handy for winter.
The engine on the Dodge Grand Caravan is one of the strongest in its class. It features a 283 horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine. It can accelerate quickly from a standstill, but the engine may be a tad noisy under hard acceleration.
The ride is comfortable, but not as comfortable as the other minivans on the list. It doesn’t perform well on rough pavement and has a large turning radius. This could make it difficult to navigate in parking lots.
Well, the Dodge Caravan has a subpar fuel economy. It only gets around 17 mpg around the city and 25 mpg on the highway. It’s about the same as the Kia Sedona, but it’s very inconsistent.
- Cheaper than other minivans
- Stow-n-go seats in the back
- Power sliding doors
- Spacious cabin
- Strong engine
- Subpar features
- Poor turning radius
- Poor handling
Buyers Guide: How To Choose A Used Minivan
Choosing a minivan for your family can be tough, but not if you have the right amount of information about each one. Let’s take a look at what makes a good minivan and how to choose the safest and most reliable make and model at a price you can afford.
We all know that minivans aren’t going to get the greatest fuel economy, but that shouldn’t hold you back. Minivans with a V6 engine and automatic transmission will have better fuel economy.
The Pacifica and Odyssey outperform the other minivans with their impressive fuel economy. You’ll find that most minivans will get around 18 mpg city and 27 mpg on the highway, with the exception of the Grand Caravan, which gets a little less.
Almost every minivan on the market comes with front wheel drive. This is more space-efficient and gives better traction than a rear wheel drive vehicle in slippery weather. However, the Toyota Sienna offers an AWD option. Additionally, you could opt for a van with traction control, such as the Kia Sedona, to give you extra grip on slippery conditions. However, it isn’t as good as AWD vehicles.
A feature that many minivan owners love is the sliding doors and automatic back hatches. Not all minivans will have automatic back hatches that come standard with it, but most of them will have power sliding doors.
The power sliding doors are perfect for those who are carrying children or bags to the car. You can simply press a button on the fob and the doors open for you. On the Sedona, all you have to do is pull the handle just a little and the door does the rest.
Do you travel a lot? Have kids who play sports? If so, this is something to consider. Cargo space is a must-have if you need a lot of room. Look for a van that offers removable seats or stow-n-go seating. You can either take the seats out or fold them down into the floor to add more cubic feet of space.
All newer minivans come with dual front airbags, side airbags, and three-point safety belts in the outboard seats. You will also find that they come with stability control, anti-lock brakes, head-protection airbags, and backup cameras. The rearview cameras can help prevent accidental back-overs. Vans, such as the Kia Sedona, has a parking sensor that tells you how close an object is to the front or back of your vehicle.
Additionally, this is more of a convenience feature, but also for safety, you should consider Bluetooth technology. This allows you to hook up your phone to the car for hands-free talking. Your phone call will come through the speakers and you can speak as you are driving.
More so, look for buttons on the steering wheel. That way you don’t have to continuously lean forward to press the buttons on the dash to change the station or turn up the volume.
Do you have a minivan that is not on the list? have a suggestion or tip? let us know in the comments.