Most Reliable Minivans

By Suzanne Kane

Families with passenger requirements larger than a sedan or wagon may find a viable alternative in the most reliable minivans. You want a minivan with a proven track record of reliability, and these choices are among the best.

Sources for this information include Edmund’s 2010 Used Car Best Bets, Consumer Reports Best and Worst Used Cars and J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Most Dependable Vehicles.

  • 2003-2008 Honda Odyssey – With the most-powerful V6 engine in the segment, the Honda Odyssey minivan from model

    years 2003 to 2008 is one of the most reliable minivans available today. Top safety scores, Honda’s legendary reputation for reliability and durability, roomy interior and many available features are all icing on the cake. Edmunds says, “You’ll probably have to lay out a few more greenbacks for one of these vans [minivans], even in the used market, but consider it money well spent.”

  • 2005-2008 Toyota Sienna (FWD) – If you’re looking for Lexus-like ride and comfort in one of the most reliable minivans,

    you should definitely check out the Toyota Sienna with front-wheel drive (FWD). Consumer Reports singles out the 2005-2008 model years, saying that “its well-mannered suspension and refined V6 engine, along with very good reliability, are among its strong suits.” Siennas built after the 2004 model year are more powerful and roomier than earlier models and have all-wheel drive optional. In its 2011 Most Dependable Vehicles study, J.D. Power and Associates lists the 2008 Toyota Sienna as the highest-ranked midsize van. Sienna earned a perfect five-star rating in all categories: overall dependability, powertrain dependability, body and interior dependability and feature and accessory dependability.

How did other minivans do in the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Most Dependable Vehicles study? In terms of feature and accessory dependability, the 2008 Honda Odyssey received five stars while the Chevrolet Uplander received four stars. Both Odyssey and Uplander received three stars in each of the other categories (overall dependability, powertrain dependability and body and interior dependability). Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan and Nissan Quest ranked below these minivans (although the Nissan Quest did receive a four-star rating in powertrain dependability).