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Jul 7 2017

The Big Test: 2015 Minivans – Chrysler, Honda, Kia, Nissan, and Toyota #new #auto #parts

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Family Vacation: America s Best-Selling Minivans Duke It Out for Our Big Test Crown

Family Vacation: America s Best-Selling Minivans Duke It Out for Our Big Test Crown

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Growing up, I had a lot of fun in our family s minivans. Our family s first car was a 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan SE that my dad used to shuttle me to early-morning hockey practice. (My little brothers would hide half-eaten bagels in the seats.)

When it wasn t schlepping hockey gear and old bagels around, our family used it for our annual summer vacation from Brooklyn to Bethany Beach, Delaware. Filled with boogie boards, Game Boys, and what felt like everything my mom owned, our forest-green Grand Caravan became everything from an Army helicopter to a karaoke room as my brothers and I entertained ourselves on the journey.

To my 9-year-old self, nothing was cooler than that van and the fun-filled vacations it promised.

For most minivan buyers there’s no driving trait more important than ride and handling.

Sometime between the time our family s second minivan caught fire in 2002 (long story) and the end of the decade, the popularity of the minivan plummeted. The market went from more than 11 models at its peak to just eight or so, depending on who s counting. The meat of the market is covered by the five Big Test competitors you see here: the 2014 Chrysler Town Country S, 2015 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite, 2015 Kia Sedona SXL, 2014 Nissan Quest LE, and the 2015 Toyota Sienna SE.

Ride Handling

Although going fast can be nice, for most minivan buyers there s no driving trait more important than ride and handling—after all, poor ride and handling characteristics can result in carsick children stuck in the third row. (Ask me how I know.) To test each van s ride and handling abilities, we devised a drive loop in Los Angeles ritzy Palos Verdes area. This diverse loop included stop-and-go suburban traffic, bits of highway speeds, and a rough section of road.





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