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Best Used Minivans [2009 to 2021]: Our 5 Top Choices

Since their heyday in the 1980s and 1990s, minivans have seen their popularity plummet, as crossover SUVs replaced them as some of Canada’s favourite models. But while crossovers are designed to appeal to families seeking practical transportation, a minivan remains a better choice if interior space is at the top of your shopping list.

In the used marketplace, the relative lack of demand for minivans makes them more affordable than crossovers, but in most cases, you’ll have to live without the added performance that a crossover’s all-wheel drive can provide in poor weather.

If you’ve got a used minivan on your mind, here are five models we think are worth looking at, ranging from practical to posh. And if you're ready to buy a used minivan now, take a look at our used minivans between 2012 to 2021 here. They are pass a minimum 150 point inspection and come with a 7 day return policy.

Also, here's our guide - Buying a Used Minivan: Ultimate Guide & Common Problems

Now, let's get on with the list.

Used Dodge Grand Caravan, 2011-2020

2011 Dodge Grand Caravan | Photo: Dodge 

  • Why we like it: Simply put, the Grand Caravan is an affordable van for no-nonsense family transportation.
  • Specifications: 3.6L V6; 283 hp; six-speed transmission with FWD

Dodge redesigned the Grand Caravan into the boxy shape you see here in 2008, but made this van better in 2011 with Chrysler’s powerful Pentastar V6. The Grand Caravan offers no pretense of sportiness but it rides comfortably, and that Pentastar engine will return decent fuel economy if driven sensibly.

Look for a version with the optional Stow ‘N Go fold-in-floor second-row seats for ultimate interior flexibility. Even without this option, you get storage wells in the floor that you can use to keep valuables out of sight.

Simple looking family van with all the features

Despite its basic presentation, the Grand Caravan offered power sliding doors and tailgate, leather seating, power third-row vent windows, and three-zone A/C with manual or automatic controls, depending on trim level.

Issues to look out for: You won’t find a used minivan for less money than the Grand Caravan, but you should shop carefully for a well-maintained example. Owners complain of brakes that wear quickly and quirky transmission performance. Chrysler offered a more luxurious version of this van called the Town & Country, but its basic underpinnings don’t live up to Chrysler’s upscale aspirations.

We have plenty of used Caravans here.

Used Volkswagen Routan, 2009-2012

2011 Volkswagen Routan | Photo: VW 

  • Why we like it: Volkswagen teamed up with Chrysler for the Grand Caravan-based Routan, making meaningful tweaks to improve the driving experience.
  • Specifications: 4.0L V6, 251 hp (2009-2010); 3.6L V6, 283 hp (2011-2012); six-speed transmission with FWD

If you don’t look too closely, you might not notice the Volkswagen Routan’s striking resemblance to the Dodge Grand Caravan, thanks to VW’s styling work. Nevertheless, the Routan is based directly on Dodge’s underpinnings and was built by Chrysler at its Windsor, Ontario factory, where VW employees would inspect the finished vans to make sure they met the company’s quality standards.

Shop for a 2011 or 2012 model to get the smooth, strong Pentastar V6, which replaced an older, less-sophisticated 4.0L engine. Either way, the Routan’s suspension is dialed in better and provides sharper handling than the Grand Caravan, if not a smoother ride. Where the Routan falls short – at least by Volkswagen’s usual standards – is inside, where Dodge’s materials feel out of place.

A more premium minivan with leather and tech

Later versions of the Routan also came with more standard features: in 2010, the mid-level Comfortline trim gained heated seats, 2011 models got leatherette upholstery, and the 2012 Comfortline model added a leather-trimmed steering wheel. Regardless of model year, Highline and Execline trims are where you’ll find items like automatic A/C, navigation, and a rear-seat entertainment system.

Issues to look out for: When shopping for a used Routan, verify the condition of the brakes and transmission and look for signs of neglect in both.

Used Honda Odyssey, 2011-2017

2011 Honda Odyssey | Photo: Honda 

  • Why we like it: The fourth-generation Honda Odyssey got styling that disguised the van’s size, while carrying forward a nicely tuned chassis that provides surprisingly good handling.
  • Specifications: 3.5L V6, 248 hp; five- or six-speed transmission with FWD

Honda is known for making mass-market models that are more fun to drive than the average, and that includes the Odyssey minivan, which offers the most driver engagement of any vehicle in this comparison. Still, the Odyssey is practical for family drivers, with roomy seating in three rows and plenty of cargo space.

The Odyssey’s V6 features a variable cylinder management (VCM) system that saves fuel when cruising under light throttle. In early fourth-gen models, the top Touring trim is the most efficient Odyssey, thanks to a six-speed transmission that replaces a five-speed in lesser configurations.

2011 Honda Odyssey gained significant updates

In 2011, Odyssey’s base LX trim came with dual-zone A/C and a power driver’s seat, while EX brought three-zone automatic A/C, heated front seats, and power sliding doors. Among Touring’s other additions were larger wheels, xenon headlights, navigation, and a blind spot monitoring system.

A 2014 refresh made the six-speed standard in all trims and introduced a built-in vacuum cleaner for the Touring trim and a power front passenger seat for base models.

Issues to look out for: When shopping for a used Odyssey, watch for issues with the VCM system and the engine drive belt tensioner pulley. Also, verify with the seller – or through a pre-purchase inspection – that the transmission has been maintained according to Honda’s guidelines, to ensure it lives up to the company’s reputation for reliability.

Used Toyota Sienna, 2011-2020

2011 Toyota Sienna | Photo: Toyota 

  • Why we like it: Toyota brings its rock-solid record for reliability and fuel economy to the minivan segment in the Sienna.
  • Specifications: 2.4L four-cylinder, 187 hp/3.5L V6, 266 hp; six- or eight-speed automatic with front- or all-wheel drive

Toyota redesigned the Sienna into its third generation in 2011, making it larger and more practical than ever before. The third-gen Sienna also offered its first-ever four-cylinder engine, in addition to a 3.5L V6 carried forward from the previous version of this van. An optional AWD system made the Sienna the only minivan of its day to offer all-wheel traction. In 2017, Toyota upgraded the Sienna’s transmission to eight gear ratios from six.

The Sienna is powerful with the V6 engine, and reasonably efficient, but won’t satisfy driving enthusiasts the way the Honda Odyssey does. A four-cylinder Sienna was the most fuel-efficient minivan you could buy at the time, but Toyota discontinued that configuration in 2014 due to a lack of demand.

Sienna XLE adds lounge seats, sunroof, and rear-seat entertainment

Entry-level Sienna LE models came with standard alloy wheels, where most competitors had steel wheels with covers. A front wiper de-icer was another nice touch. If you move up to XLE and Limited trims, you’ll find items like second-row lounge seats, a sunroof, rear-seat entertainment, navigation, and a woodgrain/leather-trimmed steering wheel.

Issues to look out for: If the van you’re looking at has a power tailgate and sliding doors, verify that all operate smoothly and without any cranky noises. Also, listen for clunks or clicks from the steering as you turn the wheel, as these sounds could be evidence of a known issue with the steering column.

For a newer model, read our full 2021 Toyota Sienna XSE FWD ReviewOr shop for a used Toyota Sienna here.

Used Kia Sedona, 2015-2021

2019 Kia Sedona | Photo: Kia 

  • Why we like it: The handsome Kia Sedona is South Korea’s value-packed pitch to drivers looking for family-friendly transportation.
  • Specifications: 3.3L V6, 276 hp; six- or eight-speed transmission with front-wheel drive

The third-generation Kia Sedona is, in our opinion, one of the best-looking vehicles that has ever graced the modern minivan segment. It’s also a strong value that offers more upscale features than most of its competitors. In 2015, the Sedona SXL trim level came with 19-inch wheels, lounge-style second-row seats with aviation-style headrests, Nappa leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, and a dual-panel sunroof. The top SXL+ model added navigation and a suite of active safety features.

Closer to the bottom of the range, the Sedona LX boasted power-folding side mirrors, heated front seats, a wiper de-icer, and auto-dimming rearview mirror, while LX+ added passive keyless entry and power sliding doors.

2019 Kia Sedona received a styling refresh & improved transmission

In 2019, Kia updated the Sedona’s styling, replaced the six-speed transmission with an eight-speed, and added the option of LED headlights.

A newer eight-speed Sedona will be a bit more fuel efficient than a six-speed version. Kia says the SXL trim uses significantly more gas than lesser configurations, but doesn’t say why. Either way, the Sedona is a smooth driver that boasts a nicely finished interior, even in entry-level trims.

Issues to look out for: When looking at a used Sedona, check for proper operation of the power sliding doors and tailgate (if so equipped), and the air conditioning system. Also, have a mechanic test the electrical system during a pre-purchase inspection, as dead batteries are a common complaint.

Ready to buy a used minvan?

Big SUVs don't always offer families the features and cargo a minivan can. And a pre-owned van is much more affordable. Take a look at all our used minivans here, each with a 7 day return policy and fully certified before delivered to your home. 

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