A Minivan Size Comparison Guide

June 25, 2014

One of the determining factors when buying a minivan is the minivan size. There are plenty of different options to choose from as far as amenities go, but the size of the minivan will determine if it is the right choice for you. The minivan has become a very popular family vehicle. They are used for traveling, shuttling people to various activities, or even camping with a few people on board. If you are shopping for a new, or used, minivan, here is a quick guide of minivan size comparisons.

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Full Size Minivan

A full sized minivan is predominately used for transporting large families, or for businesses that cater, or need to transport service personnel. This van is much larger than the other minivans which means larger engine and less maneuverability. These full size minivans are also at the high end of the price range with up to a $40,000 pricetag. They can come equipped with all the luxuries of a luxury vehicle. Models of this type of minivan size would include a Dodge Journey or a Chrysler Town & Country.

Mid Size Minivan

Some midsize minivans are comparable to a full size van, but have a little less room in them. For example, the Honda Odyssey sports enough room for 7 to 8 passengers, but with a little less room for each. A third bench is usually optional for this type of passenger capability. Unlike the larger full size minivans, the third bench will take away from the cargo area. However, newer models have become incredibly stylish and provide much of the same luxuries as the full size models.

Compact Minivan

A compact minivan is a new breed of van. They are the combination of the SUV vehicle with the capacity of a minivan. The exterior presents a much different look than what the normal minivan would look like by adding some stylish flair into the mix. This type of minivan size has only been available since early 2000, but was more readily available in European and Asian countries. Much loved for the style, the compact minivan also brings something that was not seen before in a minivan; fuel economy. Some of the models in the minivan size can range up to 30 MPG in the city. For those who do not need to have the functionality of a large, full size minivan, this new breed will still give seven passenger seating with a third seat. If you do not need the passenger capacity, you can still use this compact minivan as a cargo hauler when the seats are flat on the floor.

Needs Determine Size

When you are in the market for a new minivan, you will need to look at what your needs are before you actually jump into one. The three size classes are there to target different aspects of the buying community. Where do you fit into this community? Do you have a large family? Do you want cross country trips in comfort? Are you simply driving around town as a shuttle for groups of kids? Look closely at the different minivan sizes before you make a decision on your next minivan purchase.

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Related Questions and Answers

What Style and Size of Minivan Provide the Best Fuel Economy?

The best minivan fuel economy can be found with compact models included in the minivan class. These small minivans are closer in size to crossover vehicles than traditional minivans, but they feature sliding doors to access the passenger area. They can even include three rows of seating to accommodate seven or eight passengers, just like their larger brethren. Compact minivans like the Mazda5 and Kia Rondo provide the best fuel economy because they offer a range of four cylinder engines. These minivans can even be ordered with manual transmissions, so fuel conscious drivers can get every last mile per gallon out of the gas tank.

What are the Top 3 Rated Family Minivans?

The top three rated family minivans are manufactured by Honda, Toyota and Kia, respectively. The Honda Odyssey offers both four- and six-cylinder engines that provide ample power when necessary, and good fuel economy when driving at highway speeds. The range of engines and trim levels gives the Odyssey base MSRPs between $26,000 to almost $41,000, depending on options. The Toyota Sienna also offers four- and six-cylinder engines aimed for more budget conscious shoppers, with base, pre-options MSRPs ranging from $24,500 to nearly $38,000. Budget-conscious shoppers are likely to prefer the Kia Sedona, which offers similar styling and safety features to the Honda and Toyota models. The Sedona starts at a base MSRP of about $22,000, while the MSRP can top out at $28,700 before options if you want some luxury features.

What are the Most Popular Minivan Features?

Popular minivan features are those centered on improving the comfort and convenience of a van. Video entertainment systems are available from the factory in most minivans, and aftermarket options are available for those who want the newest minivan features, but do not have the latest van models. Power sliding doors make it easier to get passengers in and out of the van, and the feature also keeps children from slamming the door too hard or getting their fingers pinched while shutting it. Remote start lets you warm up the van and get their air conditioning or heater going before you get in the van.

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