2021 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - Minivans

From an equipment, versatility and comfort standpoint, minivans offer better value than similarly-equipped mid-size sedans and SUVs. Despite the value proposition minivans represent, the segment, whether because of fashion or demographics, lost a lot of momentum over the last decade and a half. The Minivan section of Lemon Aid 2004 mentioned 24 different minivan nameplates, compared to the five nameplates covered this year.

Chrysler finally discontinued the Dodge Grand Caravan that debuted as a 2008 model; replacing is with a decontented Pacifica, sold as the Chrysler Grand Caravan. Honda introduced a 2021 Odyssey but quickly replaced it with a 2022 model early in 2021. In a surprise move, Kia retired its Sedona nameplate and introduced its replacement, the Carnival, as a 2022 model, in the spring of 2021. 

The safety record of minivans is generally very good, a function of their height, large size and usually careful drivers. Bulky vans with deep-tinted glass can be challenging to park, especially at night. However, rearview cameras and proximity parking sensors take a lot of the guesswork out of parking.  

Chrysler Pacifica Honda Odyssey Toyota Sienna
Chrysler Grand Caravan Kia Carnival   

2021 Chrysler Grand Caravan

 

NEW

 

 

What’s new
FCA finally stopped production of the Dodge Grand Caravan that debuted for the 2008 model year. Replacing it is the "Chrysler" Grand Caravan, which is essentially a Pacifica at a lower price point. 

Comments
The new Grand Caravan is powered by FCA's ubiquitous 3.6L-V6 that sends power to the front wheels via a nine-speed conventional automatic transmission. Active safety equipment is notably absent except as options. 

Pricing
Two trims, Grand Caravan and SXT, are offered. The SXT trim adds second-row Stow' n Go seating, a power driver's seat, alloy wheels and three-zone climate control, at a bargain price. The $1345 SafetyTec group, with forward collision, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings, autonomous emergency braking, front and rear, with pedestrian detection going forward, is good value and offered with either trim. The Cold Weather package, offered on the SXT, delivers heated front seats, a heated steering wheek, remote starting and an alarm system for $1095, which is good value. Also available on the SXT, is the $1595 Power Group. It includes a power tailgate and power sliding doors, which is reasonable value, however, power sliding door failures is one of the biggest complaints from van owners, regardless of brand, so moving the doors yourself may be wiser. 

Reliability

New model. Not rated. The Pacifica it is based on has generally been reliable. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants:  2/2/3

Engines:
3.6L-V6 (287 HP) 

Transmissions: 9A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  12.4L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  8.4L/100 km
Active Safety Features
Additional airbags

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2021
Country of Origin:  Canada

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: P

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Headlight: P

 

NHTSA Rating:


2021 Chrysler Pacifica

 

 

 

 

What's New
Mid-cycle update including a exterior styling changes and a lightly revised cabin. New for 2021 is an all-wheel drive system, compatible with the Stow' N Go seating, can be added to all trims, including the new Pinnacle range-topper. The introduction of the Chrysler Grand Caravan, has pushed the Pacifica even more upscale for 2021. 

Performance
The Pacifica delivers a surprising amount of driving pleasure for a vehicle in this category. The 3.6L V6 accelerates with verve and is nicely mated to its nine-speed automatic transmission. The Pacifica's ride-handling compromise is near ideal for a family but, its steering is precise and its brakes are strong and easy to modulate. The hybrid model is quicker and quieter than the conventional model as well as being more economical. The 16 kWh battery pack can propel the Pacifica up to 50 kilometres in full electric mode and can be recharged in as little as two and a half hours. Fuel economy of eight to ten litres per 100 kilometres once the battery pack has been depleted is quite parsimonious for such a large vehicle.

Comments
The Pacifica was expected to eventually supplant the Grand Caravan but it hasn't happened yet. The Pacifica moved away from typically minivan proportions toward something sleeker and more sporting than its predecessor and the plethora of three-row crossover vehicles potential buyers might also consider. The range-topping model has a very elegant, luxuriously appointed interior. Most Pacificas will be powered by a 3.6L V6 sending power to the front wheels via a nine-speed automatic.

Pricing 
Even the base Pacifica is nicely equipped. With sliding rear doors, heated front seats and steering wheel, leather seating, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking and blind spot monitors, is good value. The Touring L Plus and Limited trims are priced to reflect the value of their additional equipment. All-wheel drive versions of the Pacifica are priced $3500 higher than a front-wheel drive variant of the same trim. Significant content differences between conventional and hybrid versions of the Pacifica make direct comparisons very difficult. However, generous rebates, $5000 from the Federal government, $8000 from Quebec and $1500 from B.C., are available to Pacifica hybrid buyers.  

Reliability
Little data on relibility but few complaints have been received than normal for a new FCA vehicle. Unproven all-wheel drive system. Complex and unproven hybrid system. An FCA extended warranty is recommended if you plan to keep the Pacifica past the basic warranty period but the warranties are very expensive. Below average purchase and after-sale service experiences from FCA dealers. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants:  2/2/3, 2 3 3

Engines:
3.6L-V6 (287 HP)*, 3.6L-V6 H (260 HP combined) 

Transmissions: 9A*, E-CVT 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  12.9L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 8.4L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Optional forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot, rear cross traffic and lane departure warnings, a lane keep assist system and adaptive cruise control with stop and go
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000 

Current Generation Debut:  2017
Country of Origin:  Canada

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: n/r

Mod. Front: G

Side: n/r

Roof: n/r

Sm. Front Pass.: n/r

Head/Seat: P

Headlight: n/rR

 

NHTSA Rating:


2022 Honda Odyssey

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s new
Honda introduced a 2021 model but quickly replaced it with an early-release 2022 version. The LX and EX trims of the van have been discontinued, essentially moving the van sharply upscale but reflecting the models customers actually buy.  

Performance
Tested in Touring trim, Honda's V6 is smooth and very punchy. The ten-speed automatic works seamlessly and harnesses the power of the big V6 very well. Good fuel economy is aided by both the multi-speed automatic transmission and the cylinder deactivation system that is standard on the Odyssey. The stop-start system could lead to increased fuel economy but the system did not engage very often as the westher rxperienced during the test period required the use of air conditioning. The push-button gear selector is unusual but works well enough once you are used to it. 
The gigantic 19 inch wheels of the Odyssey Touring lend a crisp edge to its steering but Honda has managed to combine precise steering with a comfortable ride. The Odyssey's ride becomes firmer when heavily laden but never becomes uncomfortable.

Comments
Most automakers have left the minivan market but Honda is doing steady business in the segment with its fifth-generation Odyssey. 
The new Odyssey is powered by a 280 horsepower direct-injected V6 that sends power to the front wheels via a 10-speed exclusive to the range-topping Touring model.
The Odyssey offers very generous space and cabin materials are luxurious. The so-called Magic Seat centre row seats can either be used as captain seats, moved laterally together to ease access to the third-row seat, and forward to be permit front row occupants to reach second row passengers more easily. Comfort and convenience features include WiFi as well as CabinWatch and CabinTalk devices that permit the driver to monitor second and third-row passengers visually and communicate with them through the audio system of the van.
Available active safety equipment includes collision mitigation braking and road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and blind spot with rear cross traffic warnings. 

Pricing
At just over $43,000, the base Odyssey, the EX-RES, is nicely equipped, but the Odyssey lineup moved sharply upscacle this year. That said, Honda has moved to where the buyers are as they have traditionally been clustered at the high-end of the model ranges. Moving from the EX-RES to the EX-L Navi adds leather seating , a power tailgate, heated steering wheel and navigation, but deletes the rear entertainment system, making the upgrade very expensive for what you are getting. The EX-L RES deletes the navigation but adds in the rear entertainment unit, at a reasonable cost. The range-topping Touring includes navigation and the entertainment unit, blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors, ventilated front seats and wireless cellphone charging, but is significantly overpriced. The Odyssey is a very good lease value for 2022 

Reliability
Good reliability predicted. Unproven automatic transmissions. Power sliding door durability could be a trouble spot. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants:  2/2/3, 2/3/3

Engines:
3.5L-V6 (280 HP)

Transmissions: 10A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  12.2L/100 km

Highway Fuel Economy:  8.5L/100 km 


Active Safety Features: Standard forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking lane departure warnin, a lane keep assist system and adaptive cruise control. Optional blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors. 

Additional airbags: Dual front knee airbags


Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2018
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Headlight: P

 

NHTSA Rating:


2022 Kia Carnival

 

NEW

 

What’s new

Kia has abandoned the Sedona nameplate for its minivan in favour of Carnival, the moniker they have used overseas for years. Kia markets the Carnival as a Life Utility Vehicle (LUV), rather than a minivan. 

Comments

Built on a 190 mm (7.5 inch) longer wheelbase and 155 mm (6.1 inches) longer overall, the new Carnival is the biggest Kia. 
With Sorento-like frontal styling and a school-of-Telluride side profile, the Carnival is very much a Kia and also very good looking. The proportions of the Carnival suggest crossover instead of minivan, which may tempt people who really want a versatile and roomy minivan but don't buy one as it is currenly very unfashionable. 
On the premium EX+ and SX trims, the driver faces, not conventional gauges, but a low-profile, but vastly wide computer tablet. Vehicle speed and other readouts are clustered in front of the driver, with infotainment functions grouped over the dash centre stack. The tablet rests upon a low-profile, horizontally-arrayed dashboard. Mainstream models feature conventional main gauges separated by an electronic info-panel. Like other Kia-Hyundai products, controls for audio and climate are quite easily understood. The rest of the design is very interesting, yet visually calm, and cabin materials, look very attractive. 
With second-row bucket seats, the Carnival can seat seven but can welcome eight passengers if equipped with a 40/20/40 split-bench second row seat. 
Unlike Toyota, who abandoned their silky V6 for the new Sienna, Kia has retained its sonorous, naturally aspirated V6 for the new Carnival. The 3.5L-V6 produces 290 horsepower, power from with reaches the front wheels via a conventional eight-speed automatic transmission. 
A full array of active safety equipment is available on the Carnival, but much of it is optional. A forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking are standard on all trims but you have to step up to the the EX to get blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors and active cruise control. 

Pricing

The base LX model is reasonaby equipped but expected equipment such as active cruise control and blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors, aren't included until you move up to the EX trim level. Moving from the LX to LX+ adds heated front seats and steering wheel, a power driver's seat, Keyless Go, power sliding doors, three-zone climate control and wireless cellphone charging, at a reasonable price. The EX upgrade adds blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors, active cruise control and a power passenger seat, but is a bit expensive. The EX+ trim includes the computer tablet dashboard and a 360 degree camera, but is overpriced. The range topping SX trim features leather seating, heated second-row seating, cooled front and middle row seats and a memory system for the driver's seat, and is offered at a fair price. The Carnival is a very good value leasing for 2022. 

Reliability
Average to above average reliability predicted during the warranty period. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants:  2/2/3, 2/3/3

Engines:
3.5L-V6 (290 HP) 

Transmissions: 8A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  n.a.

Highway Fuel Economy:  n.a


Active Safety Features: Standard forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking. Optional blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings and active cruise control.  

Warranty: 5/100,000

Current Generation Debut:  2022

Country of Origin:  South Korea


IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: n/r

Mod. Front: n/r

Side: n/r

Roof: n/r

Sm. Front Pass.: n/r

Head/Seat: n/r

Headlight: n/r

 

NHTSA Rating:


2021 Toyota Sienna

 

NEW

What’s new
2021 marks the release of an all-new, hybrid-exclusive Sienna.

Comments
Like the new Venza, the Sienna is built on the Toyota’s TNGA-K platform. Sadly, Toyota’s punchy 3.5L V6 is no longer available. Given the chronic shortage of hybrid powertrains on the RAV4, it is surprising that Toyota has chosen hybrid power exclusively for the 2021 Sienna. Though the new Venza has migrated to a Lithium-Ion battery pack, Toyota has retained its proven Nickel-Metal Hydride battery pack for the Sienna. The 2.5L gasoline four and electric motors combine to produce 245 total system horsepower. Power reaches the front wheels via a CVT automatic; on all-wheel drive models, power is delivered to the rear wheels by electric motors. Toyota expects the new Sienna to post a combined 7.1L/100 kilometre combined fuel economy figure. Properly equipped, the new Sienna can tow up to 1590 kilograms (3500 lbs).
Toyota's comprehensive Safety-Sense 2.0 collision avoidance system is standard for 2021. Automatic rear braking is included on premium trims. The new minivan is equipped with middle-row side airbags, a driver’s side knee airbag and an airbag embedded in the front passenger seat-cushion. 
The new Sienna is fronted by a slim grille that sits above a massive air intake. The side profile has more character than the outgoing model, with prominent blisters surrounding the rear wheels, like Toyota's Highlander. Dimensions are essentially unchanged from the last Sienna.
The driver faces clearly-marked analogue gauges. A large free-standing infotainment screen resides at the top centre of the dashboard under which there are straightforward climate controls. Minivan owners appreciate a sense of openness, so it is odd to see Toyota crowd the once-clear space with a wide, high-mounted centre console that would be more appropriate to a sports car. The rest of the cabin design is sober and traditional, and the interior fittings look more upscale than the last-generation Sienna.
The Sienna LE and XLE seat eight, whereas premium trims accept seven occupants. Range-topping models will be available with second-row footrests that deploy from the seat cushions, like a living-room reclining chair. The new Sienna will offer seven USB ports and up to 18 cupholders. Available equipment includes a digital rearview mirror, a 1080p rear entertainment unit, an on-board vacuum cleaner and a refrigerator.

Pricing

The Sienna is marketed in parallel L (uxury) and S (port) streams. All-wheel drive, standard on the Platinum trim, is a $2000 on all trims except for the XLE, where it is priced at $2400. The base LE, with alloy wheels, power sliding side doors, power tailgate, heated front seats, a power driver's seat and three-zone climate control, is nicely equipped. Moving up to the XLE brings a power sunroof, foot-triggered sliding side and tailgate doors, a power passenger seat and a number of other comfort and convenience features, but is short of value for the money. The Limited adds navigation, a JBL-branded audio system, a power steering wheel, a 360 degree monitor, leather seating, middle-row seats with recliner-chair-style footrests, hands-free cellphone charging as well as numerous minor equipment, which is worth about $8000, but it priced at $13,200. On the sport-themed models, the base SE, with navigation, sunroof, foot-gesture-open sliding doors and tailgate, a power driver's seat and middle row captain seats, is very well equipped and will suit the needs of even aspirational buyers. With a JBL-branded audio system, a rear entertainment unit and wireless cellphone charging, the XSE trim is very well equipped but significantly overpriced.
The Sienna has been selling well but long delivery delays, up to three months, are common. The Sienna is a very good lease value for 2021. 

Reliability
Above average reliability with few issues reported if the van is serviced according to the recommendations of its maker. Power sliding doors are now more durable on the Sienna than on other minivans equipped with this feature. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants:  2/2/3, 2/3/3

Engines:
3.5L-V6 (296 HP) 

Transmissions: 8A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive*, all-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy: 12.4L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  9.36L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Standard forward collision warning, including pedestrians, autonomous emergency braking, a lane keep assist system and adaptive cruise control. Optional blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings  
Additional airbags: Driver's side knee airbag and a passenger seat cushion mounted airbag

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2011
Country of Origin:  United States 

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: A

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: M

Head/Seat: G

Rear: G

Headlight: A

NHTSA Rating: