Minivan Buying Guide


Being the most underrated category, minivans don’t get the appreciation they should get for the versatility, space and features they have. With a large seating capacity and great cargo area, they are a one-stop solution for families.

The rise in sales of SUVs has narrowed the market share of minivans but this does not stop the car manufacturers from producing incredible minivans. For someone practical, a minivan is a great option.

Why Should I Buy a Minivan?

If you are a person who is looking for versatility, from carrying a lot of passengers to having a lot of cargo space, you won’t get a car than this.

  • Cabins can be transformed from fully-functional to living-room plush
  • You can upgrade the seats from cloth upholstery to leather upholstery
  • Minivans have eight seats. This means they can accommodate as many people as a mid-size three-row SUV does, while minivans cost less
  • You may have to comprise a bit comfort if you opt for a mid-size SUV, while the minivan can do it for you while keeping both comfort and fuel economy

Other impressive features that minivans have to include a rear-seat entertainment system, cabin watch, cabin talks, power-operated doors, and tri-zone climate control

This versatility makes minivans a superior choice among buyers.

Features of a Minivan

Let’s see the major features that a minivan has:

Engines & Fuel Economy

Modern minivans feature a six-cylinder engine blended with an automatic transmission, which ranges from 6 to 10 speeds. Fuel economy is also quite impressive and most minivans have similar fuel-economy regardless of the brand that ranges from 20 to 22 mpg.

The fuel economy can vary depending on the type of power train drive system you have. Usually, minivans come with two-wheel drive but you can expect all-wheel drives in the future. If you opt for a hybrid minivan, it can offer even better fuel economy.

Drive Wheels

As of now, almost every minivan comes with a front-wheel drivetrain system that offers great traction on roads and highways and also maintains optimal levels of traction in slippery conditions as compared to rear-wheel drive.

The Toyota Sienna is the only minivan that offers an AWD option as of now.

Traction control also provides better traction. However, they are as good as all-wheel drive. You can enhance the grip and traction of the vehicle by fitting a high-quality tire. For instance, Falken’s Linam Van 01 is designed for vans that provide enhanced traction and great durability along with amazing mileage. These perform exceptionally well on dry and wet roads.


A conventional minivan has the strength to tow up to 3,000 pounds. This means you can easily tow a loaded large box trailer (5×10 foot). Minivans cannot match the towing capacity of large SUVs but they do well when compared to sedans.

Also Read: Pickup Truck Buying Guide


Minivans feature sliding doors on both sides which allow easy entry and exit. Usually, a button is provided to the driver which allows him to access both rear sliding doors.

This can come in handy when you are with kids or are carrying cargo. Typically, minivans also offer power-operated rear hatches. 

Some minivans will allow you to slide the center row seats forward or move to the side. This flexibility can be useful for families. 


Typically, minivans can carry seven to eight passengers depending on the seating configuration. If you have a 7-passenger minivan, it is more likely you will have captain chairs in the second. These are more comfortable than a typical bench and enable passengers to easily pass through and access the third row.


All the seats behind the front-row can be converted into cargo area if needed. Behind the third row, you will find a spacious cargo area. Honda Pilot 2020 has 38.6 cubic feet of space behind the third row. It extends around 145 cubic feet if you fold down both rows, that is quite massive. 

Usually, minivans come with deep wells behind the third-row. You can fold the third-row seats into these wells when they are not in use.


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