In the late 90s early 2000s buying a minivan was a rite of passage for most families. Once baby number two had showed up on the ultra-sound screen, parents would start looking for a minivan to accommodate the multiple car seats, double buggies and the many must-haves that parents of young children carry around with them each day. However, in the last few years, the word around automotive circles has been that the minivan is quickly losing favor to other types of vehicles, especially sports utility vehicles, which are decidedly more stylish. This was evident when the number of new minivans launched in the U.S. market this year dropped to a measly seven models, with key players Nissan and Hyundai taking a break from the minivan market. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think about buying a minivan, particularly when you have the need for one. Before deciding one way or another, let’s go through some basic minivan information and look at the top ten most reliable minivans so that you can choose the best minivan for your needs.
There are three minivan sizes: small, medium and large. Don’t be tempted to go for one larger that you anticipate your needs to be because as the size of the vehicle increases, the ease of driving and parking it decreases. Most minivans run on V6 engines and in terms of safety, you can’t do better than this type of vehicle. Look for extra features like power doors, which slide automatically and seating that can be adjusted easily. Sufficient air-conditioning vents in the back are also important, especially in larger vans. One key question is: How many people do you intend to fit into your minivan. Take into consideration your children’s friends, additions to the family and grandparents, if applicable. Once you know exactly what you want, it will be much easier to select one model from the best minivans available on the market.
Top Ten Reliable Minivans
Consumer ratings and reviews are a good place to start when it comes to finding the best minivans. Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna are both top picks. Both cars get top marks for being reliable, roomy and child-friendly. Next is the Mazda 5, followed by the Kia Sedona, which is more affordably priced than the others. American made cars are also good minivan choices, for example the Chrysler Town and Country, and the Dodge Grand Caravan. These cars are known for their good handling as well as excellent after-sales support. European car maker Volkswagen also has a minivan model, the Routan, which is new on the market. These seven models are the only new models for 2010, but if you are looking for an older or second-hand model, you can also consider the 2009 Kia Rondo and Mazda 5. If you are planning to wait until next year to buy your minivan, the 2011 Toyota Sienna has already appeared on the top ten list of leading car website, so it might be work a look.