Fall is just around the corner, and that means fun family activities, as well. From apple picking to hayrides to Halloween, ’tis the season when kids and parents pile into the family car and go off into the crisp autumn air to enjoy the brilliant foliage — and the best way to do that is from the comfort of a spacious and well-appointed minivan.
With innovative storage compartments and numerous seat configurations, minivans are more practical and better-suited than any other vehicle when it comes to hauling costumed kids and oversized pumpkins or taking a Thanksgiving road trip to Grandma’s house. Every minivan may have its own personality, but they all maximize the family-fun factor for the fall — and for the rest of the year, too.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica
The all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica has breathed new life into the minivan segment. Aside from bringing back the catchy name, the new Pacifica has been completely reimagined from the ground up, starting with an aggressive front end. The stylish Pacifica is arguably the most head-turning minivan ever made. Power comes from a 287-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 tied to a 9-speed automatic transmission. On the road, the Pacifica accelerates with confidence and delivers carlike handling. Inside, the 8-passenger Pacifica offers a boatload of creature comforts, safety features and tech options. And Chrysler’s innovative Stow ‘n Go seats make this cabin incredibly versatile.
For kids, the Pacifica offers twin rear TV screens, an electronic version of the license-plate game and an "Are We There Yet?" app, all of which make this minivan a pleasure for kids and parents alike during long family road trips in the fall. The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica has a base starting price of $28,595.
2016 Honda Odyssey
The 8-passenger Honda Odyssey is the proverbial king of minivans. Known for quality and reliability, the Odyssey has been around for more than 20 years and will likely be around for 20 more. Well crafted from within, this spacious and airy minivan offers a long list of standard and optional amenities, as well as a host of advanced safety and technology features.
Aside from ample passenger room, the Odyssey also has one of the largest cargo areas in its class. Propulsion comes from a 3.5-liter V6 engine making 248 hp. Energy is channeled through a 6-speed automatic transmission and yields 19 miles per gallon in the city and an impressive 28 mpg on the highway. The Odyssey has a base price of $29,550.
2016 Kia Sedona
If you’re looking for a minivan that doesn’t look much like a minivan, the Kia Sedona may be the right fit. With bold and expressive styling from front to back, the Sedona looks like a rugged crossover utility from certain angles. And with the fall foliage as the backdrop, the Sedona is incredibly photogenic. Well appointed, this minivan offers lots of standard equipment, including Bluetooth, satellite radio and a sophisticated infotainment system.
Plus, the 7- or 8-passenger Sedona boasts plenty of room and flexibility for passengers and cargo alike. The second row offers lounge seats that recline and have extendable leg rests, much like a first-class airliner. Under the hood, the Sedona’s 3.5-liter V6 ties to a 6-speed automatic transmission to produce 276 hp and yield 24 mpg hwy. The Sedona offers a very solid and stable ride with responsive handling, especially in city driving. The 2016 Kia Sedona starts at $26,400.
2016 Nissan Quest
The 7-passenger Nissan Quest is not the newest model in the minivan category, so it’s often overshadowed by competitors from Honda and Toyota. But this long-standing offering enjoys lots of standard features and plenty of cargo space thanks to second-row fold-flat seats. Interior materials are of good quality, and the cabin is designed with ergonomics in mind.
Powered by a 3.5-liter V6 tied to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), the Quest makes 260 hp, which gives it plenty of pep on highways and around town. The CVT also contributes to respectable fuel economy of 20 mpg city/27 mpg hwy. On the road, the Quest delivers a quiet, smooth ride, and its easygoing demeanor makes it a pleasure to drive. The 2016 Nissan Quest has a starting price of $26,580.
2016 Toyota Sienna
Like the Honda Odyssey, the Toyota Sienna is one of the heavy hitters of the minivan segment. With outstanding owner loyalty, the Sienna has remained popular for years now thanks to its well-balanced formula of drivability, practicality, comfort and features. Standard equipment includes upscale amenities such as tri-zone climate controls and a backup camera. It also offers one of the largest cargo volumes in the minivan segment, so there’s plenty of room whether you’re carting football equipment or bales of hay.
Under the hood of the Sienna is a 3.5-liter V6 engine tied to a 6-speed automatic transmission producing 266 hp. In driving, the Sienna is smooth and compliant, and it delivers up to 25 mpg hwy. All-wheel drive is also available for when fall turns to winter. The 2016 Sienna starts at $29,750.