Getting a great family minivan can make daily tasks a lot easier, but it can be hard to choose between all the brands.
With the many similarities between the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, and Dodge Grand Caravan, it can be difficult to pick between the three, but this breakdown of the biggest differences may help you choose the best van for you.
Price is the first thing most people consider when looking for a new vehicle. In this case, the 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan is the least expensive on this list with a starting MSRP of $22,595, which is much cheaper than its contenders. The 2016 Honda Odyssey has a starting MSRP of $29,400, and the 2016 Toyota Sienna starts at $28,850.
The Toyota Sienna also has an option for you to upgrade to all-wheel drive. This impacts your gas mileage and increases the price substantially. The estimated fuel economy drops to 16 mpg in the city, and 23 mpg on the highway and the MSRP starts at $34,180. However, all-wheel drive gives you more control in snowy weather.
Getting a high gas mileage is important while you’re driving your family around town, and the minivan with the highest fuel economy is the 2016 Honda Odyssey. This van gets an estimated 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
The other two contenders are similar but offer slightly lower fuel economy. The 2016 Toyota Sienna has an estimated fuel economy of 18 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway (or lower if you choose to have all-wheel drive). The 2016 Dodge Caravan has the lowest of the three with 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the freeway.
The Honda Odyssey has the best technology of all three minivans. The in-car entertainment includes seven speakers with one subwoofer, 240-watt stereo output, USB ports, and auxiliary audio. It also comes with a rearview camera, two one-touch power windows, and Bluetooth connectivity.
The competitors both offer a total of four speakers and auxiliary audio input. However, the Sienna has a rearview camera, four one-touch power windows, and USB ports while the Grand Caravan features only a single one-touch power window. Both offer Bluetooth connectivity.
Vehicles are expensive, so you should find one with a good warranty to protect your investment. Warranty wise, the Dodge Caravan has the best option. The basic warranty is the same across the board for each van because all manufacturers provide for three years or 36,000 miles. The drivetrain warranty is also the same at five years or 60,000 miles. The Caravan is a better option because of the five year/100,000 roadside and rust warranty. If you live in a sunny area or near the beach, a corrosion warranty is essential.
However, the Sienna is a contender and gives Dodge a run for its money because Toyota has a two year/25,000-mile free maintenance warranty for its minivan. This can arguably be more important if rust isn’t a concern for you. Finally, the Odyssey offers a three-year/36,000-mile roadside warranty in addition to the basic and drivetrain plans.
Space and Seating
All three minivans have a foldable third row of seating for more space. The Honda and the Toyota have a removable middle row for additional room. Dodge's Grand Caravan has second-row seats that fold directly into the floor for added convenience. Despite this, the amount of room in each minivan isn’t drastically different. The Sienna has the most space with 150 cubic feet of space with the Odyssey having the next most space at 148.5 cubic feet of room. Finally, the Caravan has the least at 143.8 cubic feet.
Between the minivans, the one with the best safety ratings is the 2016 Honda Odyssey. The Odyssey has a five-star rating of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a “good” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The risk of rollover for the Honda is ranked at 12.7%.
The 2016 Toyota Sienna also has a five-star NHTSA rating but scores lower than the Honda in the frontal barrier crash test rating category. It also has a higher rolling rate at 14%. With the IIHS, the Sienna scores a “good” overall rating, but scores lower with the small overlap front test score with “acceptable.”
Finally, the 2016 Grand Caravan has the worst crash test rating of the three with a four-star rating with the NHTSA because of a lower frontal barrier crash test rating and a 16.4% risk of rollover. Additionally, it scored lower with the IIHS because of the “poor” small overlap front test results.