Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, Kia Carnival, Toyota Sienna

From the Might 2023 difficulty of Automobile and Driver.

Like many a household trip, every thing was good once we began out. The sky was sapphire blue, Palm Springs was simply closing out its modern Modernism Week, and we had scheduled a number of days of actions designed to problem our convoy whereas highlighting how minivans have developed from bare-bones people-hauling bins to stylish and feature-laden luxurious transports.

The plan was to absorb the February sunshine within the desert, alight by way of power-sliding doorways within the valet drop-off at hip farm-to-table eateries, and take a look at the durability of the various cupholders on the twisting roads surrounding the valley. Then there was a sandstorm, a windstorm, a wildfire, an influence outage, a canceled resort, and a blizzard, all inside the first 36 hours. It was decidedly not luxurious, however you solely actually admire the consolation and leisure worth of a minivan while you’re huddled within the again throughout a shock hailstorm. If solely anybody had introduced a conveyable oven, some rooster wings, and some DVDs of Chevy Chase motion pictures, we’d have been all set for the evening. (Sure, DVDs are nonetheless a factor.)

There was a time when a minivan comparability might have featured half a dozen slant-nose, sliding-door, three-row crates, all with V-6 engines, front-wheel drive, and related costs. Lately, the minivan is a vanishing artwork type, and those who stay have branched out with electrified drivetrains, all-wheel drive, and wildly variable worth factors from the $35,000 vary all the best way as much as almost twice that quantity. We ended up with a plug-in-hybrid Chrysler Pacifica Restricted, a Kia Carnival SX Status making an attempt to cross for an SUV, a hybrid Toyota Sienna Restricted with all-wheel drive, and an old-school underdog, the Honda Odyssey Elite. All had been the highest trims or near it and loaded with choices to greatest signify the plush, pampering choices of Minivandia.

We had been diverted from our unique route, however we pulled collectively a satisfactory substitute across the unusual shantytowns of the Salton Sea and thru the sweeping roads and rock formations of Borrego Springs. We drove on a seashore of fish bones and stopped for lunch in a dive bar boasting the bottom burger within the Western Hemisphere (223 toes beneath sea degree). With their cozy seats, huge screens, and connectivity, the minivans made it straightforward to remodel our plans on the fly. It was not the journey we envisioned, however maybe it was a greater take a look at of how these household vehicles fulfill when the household trip doesn’t.

4th Place: Chrysler Pacifica

This may increasingly come as a shock. The Pacifica has accomplished properly in earlier minivan match-ups. It’s made quite a few appearances on our 10Best listing, and its quilted nappa leather-based inside within the Pinnacle trim, with the color-matched lumbar pillows, was the inspiration for this tried luxury-van tour. It’s like an S-class for seven! The issue was our take a look at van wasn’t the Pinnacle trim, so we didn’t get the flowery cushions, and it was the plug-in hybrid, so we did get a ritzy price ticket. Judged with out Uncle Sam’s potential $7500 kickback for making an environmentally centered buy, the Pacifica’s $60,075 as-tested sticker hung over the Chrysler all through this comparability.

HIGHS: Tech-forward drivetrain and cabin, quiet runner, spacious third row.
LOWS: Seats too exhausting, brakes too tender, lacking Stow ’n Go.
VERDICT: For $60K, get a Charger Scat Pack and squeeze everybody in.

Chrysler doesn’t put “PHEV” anyplace on the Pacifica, which is odd as a result of it’s the one plug-in minivan, and also you’d assume Chrysler would wish to brag about that. The Pacifica’s 3.6-liter V-6 shares motive duties with two AC motors for a mixed output of 260 horsepower. There’s so much to like concerning the thought of a plug-in hybrid. For the everyday around-town errands a minivan spends most of its life doing, the Pacifica’s EPA-rated 32 miles of electrical vary imply all the college pickups and grocery runs could possibly be gas-free, so long as you’re light on the accelerator. For household street journeys, the Pacifica hybrid might be fueled up and handled like a nonelectrified machine. Irrespective of the ability supply, the Pacifica was the quietest of our quartet with pedal pinned to the ground, with an engine word so subdued, you don’t even want the intercom possibility to talk with passengers within the third row.

2022 chrysler pacifica hybrid limited

Marc Urbano|Automobile and Driver

The Pacifica was the one van to supply wi-fi cellphone mirroring, which proved helpful when a resort known as to cancel our reservation because of an influence outage. In the course of the temporary scramble to rebook, we thought of merely sleeping within the vans, however with no Stow ’n Go second row—unavailable on the hybrid because it makes use of that underfloor house for the battery—the hybrid Pacifica doesn’t supply the welcoming flat ground of the common model. Nonetheless, the second-row seats are straightforward to take away for these of us who prefer to haul minibikes in our minivans. We additionally discovered these seats to be higher padded and extra comfy than the fold-flat variations.

Not so the plank-like entrance seats. The Pacifica misplaced factors for steering that appears like pulling towards a bungee wire and brakes that affiliate editor Austin Irwin described as “stepping in mashed potatoes.” The Pacifica was additionally the slowest of our vans. That, plus its squishy driving traits and middling inside missing in small-item storage, left us unable to justify its lofty worth level. A non-hybrid Pacifica would possible have fared higher on this pack.

third Place: Honda Odyssey

None of our minivans are brand-new beasts, however the Odyssey, specifically, is feeling its age. This technology has been hauling children since 2018, and every thing from the wedgy exterior to the busy dashboard seems previous and uninteresting. For some, the entrance seats supplied insufficient lumbar help, however in any other case they had been a welcoming place to spend a day. Pebbled plastic makes up the encircling trim. “This inside is 50 shades of grey and fewer attention-grabbing than the guide—uh, I’ve been instructed,” mentioned technical editor Dan Edmunds.

HIGHS: Storage sensible, hauls extra than individuals, sporty sound, surprisingly fast.
LOWS: Grey inside causes seasonal melancholy, dated infotainment, seems (and is) previous. VERDICT: Quick, but in addition loud and growing older.

2021 honda odyssey elite

Marc Urbano|Automobile and Driver

Shifting again to fetishes we’re comfy discussing, we appreciated the Honda’s rambunctious powertrain. Whereas the Pacifica was subdued and the Kia and Toyota each mumbled greater than growled, the Odyssey’s howling 3.5-liter V-6 and 10-speed automated had been by no means caught out, even throughout a canyon run. With 280 horsepower, the Odyssey wasn’t essentially the most highly effective van within the group, nevertheless it was the quickest on the monitor, knocking out a quarter-mile in 15.3 seconds. Whereas most van house owners may by no means deliver the revs to full tune and virtually actually gained’t hit a drag strip, we’re nonetheless giving Honda props for providing us such a sporty soundtrack.

Lest you assume we’re shedding sight of what makes a minivan useful to nonhooligans, we did discover the Honda’s helpful console, which left loads of room for passengers’ elbows and knees in addition to for big diaper totes and Ziploc luggage stuffed with Cheerios. We additionally famous that the second row strikes not simply ahead and again but in addition facet to facet and is definitely detachable, making the Honda some of the versatile vans by way of rear cargo and passenger choices. Regardless of being the quickest of the 4 and making senior testing editor David Beard shout “VTEC!” on multiple event, the Honda simply couldn’t overcome its age. We’ll welcome the next-generation Odyssey, which is bound to characteristic the model’s newest design components, with open arms.

2nd Place: Kia Carnival

If your loved ones wants the sliding-door way of life, however you like to park with the SUVs, Kia sees your cool-kid hang-ups and addresses them with a minivan that doesn’t seem like a minivan. The Carnival stood out for its fashionable exterior design, which helps this front-wheel-drive van masquerade as a sport-utility automobile.

The Kia was additionally the muscle automotive of the group, with a 290-hp 3.5-liter V-6 backed by an eight-speed automated. It wasn’t the speediest in testing, nevertheless it was the one one to mild up the tires when leaving a stoplight.

HIGHS: SUV styling, uncluttered inside, worth pricing.
LOWS: Restricted storage, cramped third row, fastened second-row seats, worst gas economic system. VERDICT: Kia makes a great minivan however a good higher SUV.

Inside, you sit up excessive, with a big padded middle console that has the very best armrests. It’s some of the spacious and trendy interiors, nevertheless it additionally affords the least small-item storage, with no cabinets, sliding drawers, or under-console pass-through.

Our SX Status had the optionally available VIP Seating bundle, which replaces the three-seat second-row bench with two reclining lounge chairs. Our crew, a lazy bunch, loved testing the loungeability, however we wouldn’t suggest the chairs for many patrons. Going full recline whereas having fun with Netflix on the leisure system requires shifting the seats all the best way again, diminishing any legroom for third-row riders. Even then, it’s possible your toes shall be touching the front-seat backrests. The VIP seats aren’t detachable for max cargo carrying, and passengers coming into and exiting the third row can’t conveniently fold them. It’s a novel idea, however higher for an govt sedan than a minivan.

Simply because the Pacifica suffered due to its worth, the Carnival gained place for its worth. We additionally praised its cushioned entrance seats, properly weighted steering, and quiet cabin. On the street, we famous minimal physique roll, a responsive engine, and good brake-pedal really feel, but when not for the Carnival’s sub-$50K worth level, it wouldn’t have snuck previous the Honda and its extra helpful inside.

1st Place: Toyota Sienna

Awarding the Sienna prime honors proves we glance past bodily look to what lies beneath. The Toyota resembles a roast rooster—all greasy drumsticks and a fatty entrance finish. We don’t care, as a result of a minivan’s job is to make it straightforward to run one million errands whereas caring for a wide range of dwelling creatures, and the Sienna was most comfy throughout all three rows. It additionally respects your funds with its fuel-sipping hybrid energy prepare—even with all-wheel drive.

HIGHS: Fuel-savvy hybrid, four-wheel traction, a spot for every thing.
LOWS: Appears to be like solely a mother or father might love, feels like a Store-Vac, might use an infotainment replace.
VERDICT: A snug companion whether or not the street journey is nice or a catastrophe.

On the spec sheet, the Toyota was at an obstacle. Its 189-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder and electrical motors mix to supply simply 245 horsepower, however its all-wheel-drive launch meant its monitor numbers matched the extra highly effective Kia’s. Its most spectacular numbers, although, had been in gas economic system. Whereas the plug-in-hybrid Chrysler managed 24 mpg throughout our street journey, the Sienna returned 27.

2023 toyota sienna limited

Michael Simari|Automobile and Driver

We did complain concerning the droning leaf-blower engine word, however the Sienna struck the very best stability for journey high quality on the freeway and round city. “Not floppy, not stiff,” mentioned the take a look at notes—similar to correctly cooked greens. The Sienna additionally provided the very best visibility within the take a look at, regardless of having the worst-quality backup digital camera, and there’s storage, storage in every single place.

You would maintain children’ snacks organized in a single cubby, canine treats on the sprint shelf, a toy basket within the pass-through, field-trip paperwork within the door pocket, and a mini bottle of prosecco within the console for while you lastly get a break. Heck, with 18 cupholders, you can host a chardonnay-tasting celebration. The center and rear rows supply a wide range of positions, together with a pleasant deep recline. Whether or not it’s after a household trip gone improper or simply one other lengthy week of softball tournaments and emergency vet visits, you deserve a second of luxurious.

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2022 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Restricted
Car Sort: front-engine, front-motor, front-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door van


Base/As Examined: $56,090/$60,075 

DOHC 24-valve 3.6-liter Atkinson-cycle V-6, 220 hp, 235 lb-ft + 2 AC motors, 114 and 84 hp, 231 and 92 lb-ft (mixed output: 260 hp); 12.5-kWh (est.) lithium-ion battery pack; 6.6-kW onboard charger

Transmission: repeatedly variable automated 


Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink

Brakes, F/R: 13.0-in vented disc/13.0-in disc

Tires: Nexin Npriz RH7a
235/60R-18 103H M+S


Wheelbase: 121.6 in

Size: 204.3 in

Width: 79.6 in
Peak: 70.0 in

Passenger Quantity, F/M/R: 58/54/47 ft3
Cargo Quantity, Behind F/M/R: 141/88/32 ft3
Curb Weight: 5094 lb


60 mph: 7.8 sec

1/4-Mile: 16.2 sec @ 89 mph
100 mph: 20.9 sec

Outcomes above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.4 sec.

Rolling Begin, 5–60 mph: 8.1 sec

Prime Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.4 sec

Prime Gear, 50–70 mph: 4.8 sec

Prime Velocity (gov ltd): 106 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 183 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.79 g 


Noticed: 24 mpg

75-mph Freeway Driving: 33 mpg
75-mph Freeway Vary: 540 mi 


Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 30/29/30 mpg


2021 Honda Odyssey Elite
Car Sort: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 8-passenger, 4-door van


Base/As Examined: $50,965/$51,420

SOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, direct gas injection

Displacement: 212 in3, 3471 cm3

Energy: 280 hp @ 6000 rpm

Torque: 262 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm 


10-speed automated


Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink

Brakes, F/R: 12.6-in vented disc/13.0-in disc

Tires: Bridgestone Turanza EL4 40
235/55R-19 101H M+S


Wheelbase: 118.1 in

Size: 205.2 in

Width: 78.5 in
Peak: 69.6 in

Passenger Quantity, F/M/R: 58/57/48 ft3
Cargo Quantity, Behind F/M/R: 141/87/33 ft3
Curb Weight: 4599 lb


60 mph: 6.7 sec

1/4-Mile: 15.3 sec @ 94 mph
100 mph: 17.3 sec

Outcomes above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.

Rolling Begin, 5–60 mph: 6.9 sec

Prime Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.5 sec

Prime Gear, 50–70 mph: 4.4 sec

Prime Velocity (gov ltd): 111 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 184 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.76 g 


Noticed: 20 mpg

75-mph Freeway Driving: 30 mpg
75-mph Freeway Vary: 580 mi

Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 22/19/28 mpg


2023 Kia Carnival SX Status
Car Sort: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door van


Base/As Examined: $47,565/$49,285

DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, port and direct gas injection

Displacement: 212 in3, 3470 cm3

Energy: 290 hp @ 6400 rpm

Torque: 262 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm 


8-speed automated


Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink

Brakes, F/R: 12.8-in vented disc/12.8-in disc

Tires: Goodyear Assurance Finesse
235/55R-19 101H M+S


Wheelbase: 121.7 in

Size: 203.0 in

Width: 78.5 in
Peak: 69.9 in

Passenger Quantity, F/M/R: 62/59/46 ft3
Cargo Quantity, Behind F/M/R: –/87/40 ft3
Curb Weight: 4782 lb


60 mph: 7.5 sec

1/4-Mile: 15.8 sec @ 91 mph
100 mph: 19.5 sec

Outcomes above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.

Rolling Begin, 5–60 mph: 8.0 sec

Prime Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.9 sec

Prime Gear, 50–70 mph: 5.2 sec

Prime Velocity (gov ltd): 118 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 191 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.78 g 


Noticed: 19 mpg

75-mph Freeway Driving: 28 mpg
75-mph Freeway Vary: 530 mi

Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 22/19/26 mpg


2023 Toyota Sienna Restricted
Car Sort: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door van


Base/As Examined: $51,730/$53,855

DOHC 16-valve Atkinson-cycle 2.5-liter inline-4, 189 hp, 176 lb-ft + 3 permanent-magnet synchronous AC motors, entrance: 180 hp, 199 lb-ft; rear: 54 hp, 89 lb-ft (mixed output: 245 hp); 1.5-kWh (est.) nickel-metal hydride battery pack 


CVT/direct drive


Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink

Brakes, F/R: 12.9-in vented disc/12.5-in vented disc

Tires: Goodyear Assurance Finesse
235/55R-19 101H M+S


Wheelbase: 120.5 in

Size: 203.7 in

Width: 78.5 in
Peak: 69.7 in

Passenger Quantity, F/M/R: 58/58/47 ft3
Cargo Quantity, Behind F/M/R: –/75/34 ft3
Curb Weight: 4811 lb


60 mph: 7.5 sec

1/4-Mile: 15.8 sec @ 88 mph
100 mph: 22.1 sec

Outcomes above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.

Rolling Begin, 5–60 mph: 8.5 sec

Prime Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.9 sec

Prime Gear, 50–70 mph: 5.8 sec

Prime Velocity (gov ltd): 117 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 190 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.78 g 


Noticed: 27 mpg

75-mph Freeway Driving: 33 mpg
75-mph Freeway Vary: 590 mi

Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 35/35/36 mpg 


Headshot of Elana Scherr

Senior Editor, Options

Like a sleeper agent activated late within the sport, Elana Scherr didn’t know her calling at a younger age. Like many ladies, she deliberate to be a vet-astronaut-artist, and got here closest to that final one by attending UCLA artwork college. She painted photos of vehicles, however didn’t personal one. Elana reluctantly acquired a driver’s license at age 21 and found that she not solely liked vehicles and needed to drive them, however that different individuals liked vehicles and needed to examine them, which meant any person needed to write about them. Since receiving activation codes, Elana has written for quite a few automotive magazines and web sites, protecting classics, automotive tradition, know-how, motorsports, and new-car critiques.   

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