Minivans used to be the top choice for vehicles. They’re spacious enough to accommodate families or a group of friends on a road trip, they’re safe, and flexible so you can even use it to carry a cargo. However, gone are the days when minivans were considered cool.
Now, there are plenty of exceptional vehicles with the same features that used to make minivans the top choice. Looking for the right minivan alternative can be tricky so we did the research for you and collected these practical, family-friendly vehicles.
1. Chevy Suburban
Chevy Suburban vehicles are SUVs that are somewhat expensive; in fact, they are more costly than almost any other minivan in existence. However, once you consider what they offer, you’ll soon discover that they are well worth the price you pay for them. First of all, they have a lot of cargo area. Second, they offer three-row seating and, third, their hauling and towing capabilities are just the same as those of a full-size truck.
- It handles very well.
- It has a very luxurious interior.
- It has numerous safety benefits.
- It starts at around $51,000, putting it out of reach for a lot of car buyers.
- Its MyLink system has had several complaints.
- Its response time is a bit slow.
For families that have boats or trailers to tow, the Suburban beats a minivan every time and it offers dozens of other advantages as well. It also has a lot of features that are there just for convenience including rearview cameras and rear parking sensors, three climate zones, satellite radio for the passengers to enjoy, and even two USB ports.
2. Dodge Journey
With its muscular styling and the convenience of a regular minivan, the Dodge Journey is a very reasonably priced vehicle, starting at around $21,500. It has three-row seating and a platform that resembles a car. Its gas mileage is exceptional, especially if you choose the one with four cylinders. It also comes with the option of an all-wheel drive, making it convenient to drive in all types of weather conditions.
- Its touchscreen is more than eight inches in size.
- It is very affordable.
- You can choose one with six cylinders.
- It doesn’t get around turns quickly.
- It runs a bit sluggishly at times.
- It lacks some of the newer safety features.
The Dodge Journey also has numerous trim colors to choose from and it provides riders with a very smooth and quiet ride every time. It can get from 0 to 60 MPG in under eight seconds and the V-6 option provides you with a lot of power and maneuverability regardless of where you’re going.
3. Ford Flex
Ford has had several types of minivans in the past and their newest one is called the Flex. The Flex is a vehicle with an attitude with its three roomy rows of seats, low ground clearance, and a very bold style. It also gets relatively good gas mileage, up to 18 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway.
- You can see above most other vehicles.
- Extra-large brakes for good stopping ability.
- The frame is very wide and stable, similar to a Lincoln Town Car.
- The tires can be expensive to replace.
- It is super-large and can resemble a hearse.
- It may take a while to learn to maneuver because of its size.
The Flex also offers an all-wheel-drive feature and has a starting price of around $30,000, which is reasonable for most drivers. The visibility on all sides of the vehicle is excellent and you can go from 0 to 60 MPG in roughly six seconds. It also provides for a very smooth and relaxed ride once you get behind the wheel.
4. GMC Acadia
The main advantage of the GMC Acadia is that it can seat eight full-size adults very comfortably so your children will always be comfortable in it regardless of how old they get. It has roughly 24 cubic feet of cargo space and comes with Wi-Fi Internet connection ability. It is small and light but very fuel-efficient and comfortable to drive.
- It offers three rows of seating instead of two.
- It comes with options such as all-wheel drive and all-terrain capabilities.
- It is lighter than many other vehicles.
- Some models have low towing capabilities.
- It takes up a lot of space when you go to park it.
- It can be a bit on the pricey side.
If you want a vehicle that can seat your kids comfortably for a very long time, the GMC Acadia will suffice. If you want the upgraded models, they can cost you around $50,000 but this doesn’t mean that you have to spend that much to get what you want.
5. Honda Pilot
The Pilot has been redesigned and offers three-row seating and a starting price of approximately $31,000. It can be a bit of a challenge to get in and out of but it offers a total of eight seats and its third row is very roomy. It is considered a midsize SUV but offers many of the advantages of a full-sized SUV or station wagon.
- It is reasonably priced.
- It offers good response time.
- Maintenance requirements are minimal.
- It has so-so gas mileage.
- It does not always accommodate an extra-tall person.
- Limited colors are available.
Most drivers of this vehicle have been happy with the roominess of it as well as the smooth ride, the ease of driving it, and the lack of maintenance required until the mileage gets quite high. In fact, overall, the Honda Pilot has a lot of satisfied customers so it is definitely one car worth considering.
6. Kia Sorento
With a starting price of around $30,000 or less, the Kia Sorento is a great deal regardless of how you look at it. It is quiet, smooth-riding, and has three rows that seat a large number of people comfortably. They offer excellent warranties — up to ten years and 100,000 miles — and they are very user-friendly as well.
- It has a top safety designation from IIHS.
- It offers extremely comfortable seating.
- It offers a lot of towing capability — up to 3,500 pounds.
- Limited ground clearance makes its off-road capabilities very poor.
- The second row of seats isn’t very large.
- The exterior isn’t flashy or that attractive.
The Kia Sorento has a great cabin design, very good gas mileage, great control features, and numerous trim options. It is an attractive, comfortable, and efficient vehicle that is always a smart option for people with all types of preferences and tastes.
The Mazda5 resembles a minivan but it isn’t. True, it does have sliding doors and three-row seating but it is much less expensive than most minivans. It is also very maneuverable and has great handling capability. You can even drive it in tight spaces.
- It has standard features that are usually considered upgrades in other vehicles.
- It offers great handling and steering capabilities.
- It has a stylish, modern look.
- There are not very many choices when it comes to engine types.
- It has less cargo space than other SUVs or minivans.
- Entertainment options are somewhat limited.
Of course, with a starting price of approximately $22,000, the Mazda5 is affordable for nearly everyone, especially if you wish to purchase a foreign-made vehicle. It also gets 21 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway, which isn’t bad for a vehicle this size.
8. Nissan Pathfinder
The Nissan Pathfinder is a very versatile vehicle, making it a great alternative to the minivans that are available now. With gas mileage up to 20 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway, it also has three-row seating and a very roomy interior. The cargo area is also quite large and it boasts a lot of modern technological advances as well.
- It is very family-friendly with features such as USB ports and low sightlines.
- It is an excellent value for the money you pay.
- It is an extremely comfortable vehicle.
- It is sometimes difficult to maneuver turns and changing directions.
- Entertainment systems are somewhat dated.
- It can be a bit bland in its looks.
The Nissan Pathfinder usually starts at around $30,500 so it is very reasonably priced. It is also easy to drive and gets relatively good gas mileage, making it a great vehicle for couples and families alike.
9. Toyota Highlander
The Toyota company makes great vehicles and their Highlander is no different. It consistently gets great marks in nearly every category and you can even get an all-wheel-drive option if you wish. The Highlander can also tow up to 5,000 pounds, making it great for boat owners.
- It offers great comfort and value.
- It offers magnificent cargo space.
- It offers great towing capability.
- Some models cost a lot of money.
- The hybrid models don’t have as much of a towing capability.
- Customers have complained about having to get various parts replaced shortly after purchasing the vehicle.
If you’re looking for something that offers great value, driving enjoyment, safety, and comfort, you can’t go wrong by buying a Toyota Highlander. There is even a hybrid model available in case you’re interested in a more eco-friendly choice; much as with other Toyota models, it is a great deal for the price you pay.