If you’re in the market for a new minivan for your family this year, take heart. The ubiquitous minivan continues to maintain its popularity among practically all age groups.
Once thought of as the consummate family vehicle, minivans continue to maintain their popularity and for some models, thanks to a wealth of innovations, are likely to continue being popular for many years to come.
However, it seems that for some manufacturers, the luster may be wearing thin as their offerings no longer seem to be able to keep up with the field.
Let’s take a look at this year’s best and worst models.
Best Minivans of 2018
1. 2018 Honda Odyssey
Fresh off a complete redesign, the 2018 Honda Odyssey continues to reign supreme. The new 3.5L V6 offers a very healthy 280 horsepower, an increase of 32 hp from last year.
The cabin is spacious and offers comfortable seating for passengers to stretch out. There is still plenty of room for cargo. Best of all, you can add an optional rear-seat entertainment system to keep the kids busy on those long vacation trips.
From exceptional comfort and above-average fuel economy to the easy to use infotainment system, the Odyssey continues to lead the pack as the ultimate minivan.
2. 2018 Chrysler Pacifica
Since finding a new home for the Pacifica badge, Chrysler has continued to dazzle drivers with this amazing minivan.
Not only does this vehicle come loaded with a slew of the latest high-tech driver assistance devices in place, but it offers a comfortable ride over even the roughest of roads. Along with excellent acceleration, drivers will enjoy above-average fuel economy, well-weighted steering, and a sporty exterior package.
The only shortcomings are the lack of legroom for both second and third-row passengers. The Pacifica and Odyssey continue to battle for the top spot.
3. 2018 Kia Sedona
The 2018 Kia Sedona continues to be a good choice in the minivan market. It offers thrifty buyers an opportunity to purchase a minivan offering second-row lounge seats and a host of advanced safety features. Most drivers love the intuitive infotainment system and the attractive styling.
While the Sedona remains largely unchanged from last year's model, it continues to be very popular and has plenty to offer those looking to get a good bang for their buck. However, it does come up a bit short on family-friendly features and could definitely use a little more cargo space.
4. 2018 Toyota Sienna
For those who need a minivan that has plenty of cargo space, the 2018 Toyota Sienna might be just what you need. Boasting 150 cubic feet cargo space, plenty of room for family trips or runs to your local Costco or Sam's Club.
For those who need power, the 296 hp, V6 has more than enough power. It is also the only minivan on this list to be available with all-wheel drive.
The interior continues to be spacious and offers a user-friendly infotainment system. The only things that keep the Sedona from sitting higher on our list is the aging design and the fact it carries a higher price tag than most of its competitors.
5. 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan
Literally the "Grandfather" of the minivan, the 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan continues the manufacturer's dream of providing a reliable, low-cost minivan that is ideal for young families starting out or those who simply want a minivan on a tight budget.
While the interior may seem low-budget, there is more than ample room for seven or eight passengers and impressive cargo space. The Stow 'n Go seating still remains a very popular feature allowing you to create more cargo space in seconds.
While last year saw an upgrade to a 6.5-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system, the only major change this year is the addition of the IndiGo Blue color, which is sure to delight Wolverine fans.
Worst Minivans for 2018
Just as there are five minivans sitting at the top of this market segment, there are also five sitting at the bottom. These are minivans that despite their hype simply do not live up to expectations for one reason or another.
1. 2018 Nissan Quest
While the 2018 Nissan Quest may have survived the ax for one more model year (production ends with the 2018 model year), there are several reasons why it is on this list and being discontinued by the manufacturer.
To start with, the Quest has not seen a major redesign in many years. It is still the same quirky design it has always been. Yet this is not the only thing that leaves a lot to be desired. For example, it is one of the only vehicles in its class that does not offer seating for eight. The 25.7 cubic feet of cargo space is far less than most other minivans.
The one saving grace is the 3.5L, V6 that still offers plenty of power and reasonable fuel economy.
2. 2018 Chrysler Town & Country
The 2018 Chrysler Town & Country is essentially the Dodge Grand Caravan with a different nameplate. Despite the fact that the Town & Country is supposed to be an upscale version of the Grand Caravan, it lacks some of the most common features found in the Caravan.
For example, the Town & Country continues to have issues with excessive road noise and still suffers from ride quality. Along with poor fuel economy, it also continues to suffer from a lack of power.
One more reason this minivan finds its way to one of the bottom positions on the list is that it continues to command a higher price than many of its competitors.
3. 2018 Mercedes-Benz Metris
You might think buying a minivan made by legendary German automaker Mercedes-Benz would be a good thing. However, at well over $40,000 you may find yourself very disappointed.
The 2018 Metris has a number of issues that need to be addressed to bring it up from the bottom of the list.
Among these are the second-row seats that do not fold up. They only tilt forward as an assembly, with only one release latch on the passenger side. This means you have no access to the third row of seats from the driver's side. Along with this, the third row of seats does not fold flat for added storage. It can only be tilted and slid forward to be removed. The seats are heavy and those in the third row are virtually trapped in the seat until the second-row passengers have exited. This is only a small sample of why this is not the minivan for you and your family.
4. 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan
Yes, this classic is in our top five best minivans for 2018 but when you stop to consider there are only five manufacturers still building them for mass consumption, the Dodge Caravan with its low budget interior is going to end up on both sides of the list.
Not only are the materials used for the interior less than spectacular, but the lack of a high-tech infotainment system and advanced safety features tend to hold it back from being the landmark minivan it once was.
Keep in mind, that as with most things, you get what you pay for. If you want a better looking Chrysler product, look to the Town and Country.
5. 2018 Ford Transit Connect
This is a "gussied up" version of the Ford Transit commercial van that fits into this midsize minivan class.
While it does have a number of positive features including a well laid out dash, plenty of room, and a list of amazing options, there is a reason for it being at the bottom of the list.
The Transit offers none of the many standard active safety features. This includes things like adaptive cruise control or blind spot warning. Even adding a rearview camera is still an option. Once these features become standard, the Transit Connect may well find itself climbing towards the top of the list.