The minivan segment is tried and true, but is one that has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years when it comes to available safety features. The level of comfort and convenience is also at an all-time high, and one manufacturer has even gone as far as integrating something traditionally found in rally cars and rugged SUVs: all-wheel drive. In today’s blog post we discuss some of the top minivans in Carvana’s inventory with the top safety features, such as the sure-footed Toyota Sienna, the bang-for-your buck Kia Sedona, and the technology-forward Honda Odyssey.
This Japanese automaker gets the distinct honor of being the only one to sell a minivan that sends power to all four wheels. In normal driving conditions, the on-demand system with active torque control behaves as front-wheel drive to save fuel and will automatically engage the rear axle during acceleration or when any slippage is detected. The current model debuted in 2010 and comes in both seven and eight-passenger configurations, the latter utilizing middle captain’s chairs rather than a traditional bench, as well as in a non-AWD variant.
There’s a long list of standard equipment, such as a removable second row and folding stow-away third row for increased storage capability, rear privacy glass, roof rails, and dual sliding rear doors so loading people and stuff into the cabin is a breeze. Propulsion is generated by a 3.5-liter V6 engine developing 266 horsepower.
Although the latest Sedona doesn’t have AWD, it does offer several other safety-oriented features. For example, the frame is constructed using 76 percent Advanced High Strength Steel, which is much lighter than traditional materials and more rigid for better crash protection and on-road handling. In addition, reinforced roof pillars help distribute impact loads, altogether helping the vehicle earn a coveted National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 5-Star rating.
On the electronic side, all grades receive stability and traction control, hill start assist and roll-over mitigation. More advanced aides along the lines of forward collision and blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert and radar cruise control can be added optionally. Of the three picks in this article, the Sedona packs the smallest displacement motor — a 3.3-liter V6 — while pushing the most horses at 276.
Always innovative, Honda has invested a lot of resources into its Odyssey minivan to separate it from the pack. The fourth generation model built until 2017 really pushed the envelope in terms of tech, including things like a multi-view camera system to help drivers navigate narrow roads and safely exit driveways; an available seven-inch touchscreen display with DVD player and Rear Entertainment System; and the famous HondaVac, a built-in vacuum cleaner found in the rear cargo area to clean up everyday spills and messes.
The Odyssey isn’t a bad looker either, boasting smoked headlight housings and matching grille and, depending on trim, foglights and 18-inch alloy wheels. Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 248 horsepower mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.