As minivans have increased in size and grown more luxurious, their prices have gone up accordingly. That leaves many families struggling to find a new van with anything beyond basic equipment. Fortunately, many automakers offer comprehensive certified pre-owned programs that feature well-equipped recent minivans with long manufacturer-backed warranties. We've highlighted several of our favorites, capping our budget at $20,000 to ensure affordability.

2010 Chrysler Town & Country

Minivan shoppers interested in a brand-new example of Chrysler's luxurious Town & Country will have to spend more than $30,000 for a base-level example. But a 2010 Town & Country can be had with the automaker's certified pre-owned warranty at a much more affordable $20,000, even in upscale Touring trim. In addition to standard automatic headlights, power sliding doors, power adjustable pedals and a power liftgate, the 2010 Town & Country Touring was available with Chrysler's 251-horsepower 4.0-liter V6, an engine we'd heartily recommend over the standard 3.8-liter powerplant. Certified used models also include Chrysler's three-month, 3,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and powertrain coverage of up to seven years from the first sale date or 100,000 miles.

2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

With nearly 300 listings on AutoTrader.com for certified pre-owned 2010 Grand Caravan models, it's easy to find a well-priced example nearby. Of course, we prefer the minivan's top-level SXT trim, which boasted a starting price of nearly $30,000 when new and includes power sliding doors, steering wheel audio controls and handsome alloy wheels along with a long list of available options. We're also fans of Dodge's certified pre-owned warranty, which offers comprehensive coverage for three months and 3,000 miles and powertrain coverage of up to seven years and 100,000 miles from the original date of sale.

2009 Honda Odyssey

You're likely to pay close to $40,000 for the highly equipped top-of-the-line Odyssey EX-L model, if your local dealer has one on the lot. But finding a lightly used, well-priced 2008 or 2009 model with a certified pre-owned warranty is a piece of cake. More than 100 are available nationwide on AutoTrader.com for less than $22,000. That sum wouldn't even be enough for the base LX version of the latest Odyssey, but a three-year-old EX-L comes equipped with luxurious standard equipment like leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power sunroof, power sliding doors and tri-zone automatic climate control. Also included is Honda's generous certified used warranty, which extends the minivan's original powertrain coverage to seven years or 100,000 miles.

2012 Kia Sedona

Kia's spacious Sedona is certainly the newest minivan available with a certified pre-owned warranty for $20,000. With more than 20 different listings for certified 2012 models and nearly 50 for 2011 models, the minivan should be the top choice for buyers who don't want a vehicle that has spent much time in the hands of other drivers. For $20,000, shoppers may even be able to find one or two upscale Sedona EX models, which offer leather upholstery, a power sunroof, alloy wheels and other luxurious features. But regardless of whether it's the high-end EX or base-level Sedona LX, buyers will be rewarded with the remainder of the automaker's 10-year, 100-mile powertrain warranty-arguably the best coverage in the industry.

2008 Nissan Quest

While rival products from Honda, Toyota and Chrysler easily outsold the Quest when new, we think this minivan makes a great choice as a certified pre-owned vehicle. In addition to reasonable pricing that hovers around $19,000, a certified 2008 Quest offers Nissan's excellent pre-owned powertrain warranty that's valid for up to seven years or 100,000 miles from the minivan's original sale date. Best of all, buyers interested in a used 2008 Quest for under $20,000 can easily find a luxurious SL model, which offers luxury-car features like automatic headlights, a rear-view camera, a power sliding rear door and a rear obstacle detection system.

2008 Toyota Sienna

Although a four-year-old example of Toyota's popular Sienna doesn't offer the minivan's latest body style, it's hard to beat the van's combination of standard equipment and reasonable pricing. Indeed, nearly 100 different 2008 models with a certified pre-owned warranty are currently available on AutoTrader.com for less than $21,000. That figure even includes a few high-end Sienna XLE variants, which offer Bluetooth, a power sunroof, leather upholstery, power sliding doors and sharp 17-inch alloy wheels. But no matter which certified Sienna you choose, you'll end up with Toyota's comprehensive warranty, which provides 12 months or 12,000 miles of full coverage and extends the brand's powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles.

2009 Volkswagen Routan

Volkswagen's version of the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan offers styling and features similar to its siblings but includes a highly divergent certified pre-owned warranty. While the Chrysler twins offer a powertrain warranty good for seven years or 100,000 miles but just three months of full bumper-to-bumper coverage, the Routan boasts two years or 24,000 miles of comprehensive coverage and no additional powertrain warranty. For some buyers, that's great news as Volkswagen will pay for nearly all repairs in the first two years of ownership, but undoubtedly others will prefer Chrysler's longer powertrain plan. Shoppers who like VW's idea should consider one of the dozens of certified 2009 Routan SE models currently available on AutoTrader.com for less than $20,000, as the minivan offer power sliding doors, tri-zone climate controls, 17-inch alloy wheels and steering wheel audio controls.

What it means to you: If you're interested in getting a new minivan at a great price, some of the best deals are available on certified pre-owned models.

author photo

Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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