What's the Best Minivan in Canada Right Now?
Posted on August 12, 2021
Ah, the minivan! The vehicle that people graduate to when it’s time to pack in the fun and get serious about adulting. In this blog, we will try to make a decision easier for you and walk you through the best minivan available in Canada.
At least, that was the concept of what a minivan meant to consumers. A lot has changed since Chrysler first introduced the minivan to the world almost forty years ago. Now, more and more people are getting wise to the idea that the minivan is made for more than carting the kids around town. Some iterations of the minivan are even, dare we say it, cool.
The fact is that the minivan is the height of practicality. If you want a vehicle that can do it all, this is the one. Load up some cargo or carry around a bunch of friends, the van is the vehicle with the plan.
What’s the best minivan out there though? We’re jumping into a CarHub rundown. Full disclosure, CarHub is a licenced dealer of Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and RAM vehicles, so we carry a large number of Chrysler Pacificas and Dodge Grand Caravans. That being said, we maintain an unbiased approach when discussing vehicles.
The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica has taken the minivan game in bold new directions. It’s a minivan that won accolades from critics and pundits alike for its push into luxury territory. For a minivan, this one’s a head-turner.
The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica comes with a 287 hp 3.6-liter V6 engine, which is more than up to the task of grocery grabbing and light towing. It also has an available hybrid powertrain that kicks up the fuel efficiency in a big way and adds some environmental benefit.
In a segment that is dominated by SUVs, the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica’s low center of gravity and independent suspension lend a smoothness to its handling that uses an independent suspension that lends a smoothness to its handling that is abnormal for minivans. The Pacifica’s low centre of gravity lends itself to handling that is tighter than most SUVs on a winding road.
The cabin is where the luxury gets kicked up a notch. The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle comes with Nappa leather upholstery and even second-row lumbar pillows for the added comfort of your passengers.
The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica will get you 32.3 cubic feet of space with all seats up, and 140.5 cubic feet with the seats folded behind the first row. Plenty of space for all of your hauling needs!
The Stow-and-Go seats fold neatly into the cabin floor, to pump up the amount of cargo space at your disposal.
A steady stalwart of the minivan scene, the Toyota Sienna remains a solid choice for anyone who is looking for extreme practicality in a vehicle choice.
For the environmentally and fuel efficiency conscious, this is the first year that the Toyota Sienna is available exclusively as a hybrid. Its 2.5-liter gas-powered four-cylinder is accompanied by a pair of electric motors that make for a combined 243 horsepower, which is up to any light towing task.
All-wheel drive availability lends added handling and performance value to the Sienna which is bolstered by a multi-link rear suspension system that makes the Sienna a smooth sailor on the road.
The 2021 Sienna offers up 101 feet of storage space and a second row that is fitted with a slider to allow for easy back-row access. The second row can also be fitted with footrests that make it feel like lounging in an easy chair. Paired with no less than 18 cup holders, the Sienna presents an excellent passenger experience.
The Honda Odyssey has made a name for itself as a stable, excellent-looking minivan over the years. The 2021 version of the Odyssey is no different. This year saw a minor facelift for the model, which served to give the Odyssey an even more streamlined and modern look than it had in the past.
Looks are important but its performance that’s the real kicker when it comes to any vehicle and the Odyssey doesn’t lack in this regard. The Odyssey comes stocked with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that is capable of pumping out 280 horsepower and 262 lbs-foot of torque. Paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission, the Odyssey packs enough punch for city driving and highway hauling in equal measure. The Odyssey comes standard with 19-inch wheels for rolling over the road with panache.
The Odyssey boasts a quietest-in-class cabin and second-row Magic Slide seats, which can slide in multiple directions to give options for numerous configurations. Removing the second-row seats will give lots of cargo space but this will require a bit of arm strength. Unlike the Stow’N’Go seats in the Caravan, the middle row seats in the Odyssey will need to be pulled out of the vehicle and they weigh no less than 68 pounds each.
An in-cabin camera will let parents keep an eye on what’s going on in the second and third rows, making the Odyssey an excellent choice as a family vehicle. An excellent safety rating and an infotainment system that features an 8-inch screen and a system called Display Audio plus rear cabin screens for rear passenger streaming round out the family-friendly features.
Chrysler Dodge Grand Caravan
After three decades of being Canada’s favourite family mover, the Dodge Grand Caravan made a leap to a new name this year as the 2021 Chrysler Grand Caravan. The name change did nothing to affect the incredible value that the Grand Caravan has been known for since its inception.
Standard features in the Chrysler Grand Caravan continue to include seven-passenger seating, push-button start, keyless entry, and the Uconnect 4 system, with a seven-inch touch screen complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone capability.
Under the hood, the Chrysler Grand Caravan features a 287-hp 3.6-liter, workhorse of a V-6 engine. The heart of the Grand Caravan is good for carrying you around town or kicking up the revs to hit the highway. If you’re in the Grand Caravan’s performance as a trailer hauler, you can read our rundown of the Dodge Grand Caravan towing capacity.
Bells and whistles that are available in the 2021 Chrysler Grand Caravan include 17-inch aluminum wheels, an active grille, automatic headlights, body-coloured mirror caps, and power-adjustable front seats, with eight driver and four-passenger positions to choose from.
With four respected vehicles up for judgement in this round of the CarHub comparison series, the conclusion must be met that each of these excellent minivans offers comfort, reliability, practicality and affordability that has become the trademark of the minivan. With features that vary from vehicle to vehicle dependent on their respective brand, the real work is delving into what suits your needs in a minivan. Is it towing capacity? Passenger comfort? Performance and handling? Safety? Whatever the answer is, each of the vans reviewed will be up to the task but there may be one that matches your needs more than any of the others.
Interested in checking out a 2021 Chrysler Pacifica, 2021 Chrysler Grand Caravan or (if available) 2021 Toyota Sienna or Honda Odyssey today? You can book an appointment to speak with a CarHub Product Advisor today or stop in at either of the CarHub locations to speak with us in person!