Big families need a bit more than a sedan or compact SUV, but they also may now want a hulking full-size SUV. Fortunately, a minivan can offer all the roominess of a big SUV without all the bulk.

These three-row people haulers have been around for decades but came into favour when the Plymouth Voyager and Dodge Caravan -- and later the Dodge Grand Caravan -- arrived in the 1980s. The minivan mostly gave way to the more stylish midsize crossover in the 2000s, but they've started making a comeback in the 2020s. 

While they are gaining popularity again, not all minivans are great buys. Below, we'll look at what makes a great minivan and the four best minivans in Canada for the 2024 model year.

What to Look for in the Best Minivan

Minivans faded for a while as crossovers and midsize SUVs rolled in, filling families' driveways. This segment has seen a resurgence, thanks to more attractive newcomers like the Chrysler Pacifica and Toyota Sienna, which feature hybrid powertrains and advanced safety and entertainment tech to go along with other impressive family features. 

Here's what to look for to find the best minivans in Canada.

Safety Tech and Ratings

You're planning to haul your entire family in this rig, and you want them to be as safe as possible. Always check the IIHS safety ratings and settle for nothing less than a Top Safety Pick. Ideally, you can find a minivan with a Top Safety Pick+ rating, the IIHS' highest honour. 

You also want to search for a minivan with the latest safety features. Sure, airbags and anti-lock brakes are great, but many of today's cars have advanced features that may help keep you out of accidents. Today's most advanced safety and driver-assist features include adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, rearview cameras, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane keep assist, and more.

Seating Capacity and Arrangements

Hauling a big family is a key selling point for a minivan, so seating capacity and arrangement are critical in your buying decision. Yes, all minivans have three seating rows, but they aren't all created equal.

In some minivans, the second-row seats are captain's chairs -- standard bucket seats like in the front -- instead of a bench seat. Second-row captain's chairs are great for comfort, but they generally reduce a van from an eight-person capacity to a seven-passenger capacity. This is where a second-row bench seat becomes desirable. Adding that third seat in the second row means everyone comes along for the ride. 

You'll also want to check the third-row seat for roominess. Not all third rows have adequate legroom, and they're often too narrow to fit the three people they claim they can. Bring the whole family on your shopping trip and test-fit them in all three rows.

Entertainment Technology

Safety tech is great for peace of mind, but the "are we there yet" birds may still be calling. This is where entertainment technology becomes a key issue for minivans.

Many of today’s best minivans in Canada have awesome features to keep the kiddos entertained, including personal screens, streaming and DVD-playing capabilities, video game console connectivity, household power supplies, and infotainment systems with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Picking up a minivan with these features will help make long journeys a breeze.

Fuel Economy

A thorn in the side of the minivan segment has long been fuel economy. They're big and generally use large V6 engines for power, resulting in lacklustre ratings.

In recent years, hybrid minivans have rolled onto the scene, making these large vehicles more fuel-efficient. You must remember that even the best minivan in Canada in terms of fuel economy will still consume a fair amount more than a thrifty sedan.

Cargo Room

Hauling cargo isn't always overly important for minivan buyers, but some may prefer these larger vehicles purely for their large cargo areas once you lower or remove the seats. These people will put the cargo room higher on their list. 

These shoppers will also consider how easy it is to access the maximum cargo space. Some minivans have intuitive tumbling seats that fold into the floor with just a few steps. Others, however, require you to go through complex steps to unfasten the seats and lift the bulky assemblies out of the van.

Towing Capacity

SUVs are known to tow quite well. While minivans generally cannot match a full-size SUV, they can offer enough capacity to haul a small to medium trailer. If you plan on towing, you'll definitely want to look into each model's capacity.


Before diving into the best minivans in Canada, let's review our methodology for ranking these family-ready people haulers.

We reviewed each model's second- and third-row legroom, towing capacity, cargo capacity, and fuel economy and then ranked each. With that rank came 1 to 5 points -- more points for a higher ranking -- we then added those points up and ordered the models based on total points

Now, let's dive in!

5 Best Minivans in Canada

Looking for the best minivan in Canada? Here are some great options to consider for your next family vehicle.

Source: Chrysler

5. 2024 Chrysler Grand Caravan

The Grand Caravan is a model exclusive to Canada and little more than a scaled-down Chrysler Pacifica. The first notable difference between the Grand Caravan and Pacifica is the powertrain, which lacks optional all-wheel drive (AWD) or a hybrid powertrain. It comes in front-wheel drive (FWD) only and with a traditional V6 engine.

You’ll also notice the painted instead of polished wheels, halogen lights instead of LEDs, a 7-inch touchscreen instead of a 10.1-inch screen, and it lacks the standard SafetyTec package the Pacifica has.

The Grand Caravan also lacks some of the Pacifica's standard safety and driver-assist equipment, but it still includes standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

The Grand Caravan shares all the same measurements as the Pacifica. It leads our list with its 1,633-kg towing capacity but comes up short everywhere else. It's 992 mm of second-row legroom and 929 mm of third-row legroom are last and next to last, respectively. Its 914.6 litres of minimum cargo room and 3,978 litres of max cargo space are also last and next to last, respectively.

However, it includes the same standard 3.6-litre V6 engine with 287 horsepower and a smooth nine-speed automatic transmission. That's great power, but its 10.6 L/100 km fuel consumption is the second worst on our list.

Fortunately, a new Grand Caravan starts at over $2,400 less than the base 2024 Pacifica. This makes it a great option for those who like the Pacifica’s style but have a tighter budget.

You can save even more by opting for a used Grand Caravan too.

Source: Chrysler

4. 2024 Chrysler Pacifica

The Chrysler Pacifica minivan arrived in 2017, though its name dates back to a crossover from the early-2000s. This remains one of the most stylish minivans on the market and one of the more technologically advanced.

Inside, it has a standard 10.1-inch infotainment screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, Bluetooth, and more. You may even find upgraded models with a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system and Uconnect rear theatre system with two 10.1-inch touchscreens, HDMI inputs, a Blu-ray player, and other goodies to keep the kiddos occupied. 

The base Pacifica has a 287-horsepower 3.5-litre V-6 engine and an optional all-wheel-drive (AWD) system for those slippery Canadian winter roads. 

Want to save some cash at the pump? Opt for the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid instead. This plug-in hybrid minivan delivers 260 hp from its V-6 engine and electric motor and offers up to 51 kilometres of all-electric range. When running on electricity, it delivers a fuel consumption equivalent of 2.9 Le/100 km.

With the battery depleted, the Pacifica Hybrid delivers a respectable fuel consumption rate of 8 L/10km combined — 2.6 L/100 km better than the standard Pacifica and second best on our list.

The Pacifica's measurements perfectly match the Grand Caravan, which were less impressive than others on our list. The Pacifica is also quite pricey, with the base model starting from $55,690 and the hybrid model starting from $62,865 before government incentives. However, you may be able to find a used Pacifica and save a bunch.

Source: Kia

3. 2024 Kia Carnival

In the middle of the pack is the 2024 Carnival, which replaced the Kia Sedona in 2022. This new minivan gives the Korean automaker an up-to-date model in this resurging class.

The neatest thing about the Carnival is how Kia carefully designed it with the harder body lines and more upright design of an SUV, helping it cater to a larger crowd. Plus, its $40,244 starting price makes it even more enticing. You may even be able to snag a used Kia Carnival and save even more cash.

Under its hood, the Kia Carnival features a 3.5-litre V6 engine with 290 horsepower that flows through an eight-speed automatic transmission and out to the front wheels. It’s the least fuel-efficient of the bunch at 10.7 L/100 km, but it has plenty of punch. Unfortunately, this doesn't translate into a high towing capacity, as it is only rated up to 1,587 kg -- second worst on the list.

Inside, the Carnival can seat up to eight people and has the second-best second-row legroom at 1,029 mm, but its third row is the worst on our list at just 903 mm. Although it lacks legroom, the Carnival makes up for it with the No. 1 rating in cargo room, with 4,110 litres of max cargo capacity and 1,139 litres behind the third row.

The Carnival also comes well-equipped with its standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, drive mode select, rear occupant alert, lane-keep assist, lane-follow assist, automatic emergency braking, rear parking sensors, and more. In higher-trim models, you get a 12.3-inch touchscreen, smart cruise control, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and more.

The Carnival also has plenty of standard safety gear, including lane-keeping assist, lane-follow assist, and rear parking sensors. Plus, you can find models with even more, such as automatic emergency braking.

Source: Kelley Blue Book

2. 2024 Toyota Sienna

Toyota released an all-new Sienna minivan for the 2021 model year. With this redesign came an all-new look inside and out and an advanced hybrid powertrain with available AWD. 

This powertrain comprises a 189-horsepower 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and a 180-horsepower electric motor. Combined, these units deliver 245 horsepower, putting it slightly below the Pacifica Hybrid. You can get the Sienna in FWD or AWD.

While it has no electric range -- it can travel short distances at low speeds on electricity alone -- the Sienna does deliver in the fuel economy game; it delivers a stellar consumption rate of just 6.6 L/100 km combined with FWD and 6.7 L/100 km combined with AWD. Both are best on our list by a wide margin.

Inside, the Sienna LE and XLE have eight-passenger layouts, but the higher trims are all for seven passengers. This cabin's standard features include loads of tech, such as a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system, satellite radio compatibility, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa connectivity. 

The Sienna also has an optional rear-seat entertainment system with an 11.6-inch high-definition display, a Blu-ray player, and HDMI ports. 

The Sienna has plenty of seating. Its second row is in the middle of the pack with 1,015 mm of legroom, but its 983 mm of third-row legroom is tops. However, it falls short with just 2,860 litres of cargo room (worst in the class). This lack of cargo is mostly because the second-row seats aren't removable. Instead, the back folds flat, and you can slide items on top of it. 

Towing also leaves much to be desired, as it comes up worst on our list at just 1,585 kg.

Safety tech is no sweat, with the Sienna's standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and automatic high beams.

A new 2024 Sienna starts from $48,015.08, but you may save a few thousand picking up a used Sienna.

Source: Honda

1. 2024 Honda Odyssey

Topping our list is the 2024 Honda Odyssey.

The Honda Odyssey has been a staple in the minivan segment for many years and has always been one of the best options. The 2024 Odyssey lacks the sharp looks of the Pacifica, but it matches it in so many other areas and still looks good inside and out. 

Unlike the Pacifica, if you forgo the optional captain's chairs, the Odyssey has room for up to eight passengers, giving it a broader customer base. In the second row, passengers get a whopping 1,038.8 mm of legroom (best on our list), while third-row riders get an equally ample 967.7 mm of legroom (second best on our list). 

Cargo room is also plentiful at up to 929 to 3,984 litres. However, hitting the maximum cargo room means removing the second-row seat, which is a bit of a challenge.

The old, low-feature LX and EX models are gone, making the better-equipped EX-L model the base. While this is great because it includes a standard 10.2-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a full assortment of safety and driver-assist technology, it also drives the base price way up to $54,092.50. Fortunately, you may find a used Odyssey for much less.

On some models, you may also find a rear-seat entertainment system with a Blu-ray player and a 10.2-inch flip-down screen. 

The Odyssey also comes standard with all the safety tech you'd expect. This includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, and a rear-seat reminder.

The Odyssey lacks underhood tech, as a 280-horsepower 3.5-litre V-6 powers it -- no hybrid or plug-in hybrid help. The Odyssey is also only available with front-wheel drive (FWD) and has no AWD option.

Get the best minivans in Canada at Clutch

Get the Best Minivans in Canada at Clutch

Ready to buy a minivan as your next family vehicle? At Clutch, we have some of the best minivans in Canada available in our pre-owned inventory

Our high-quality pre-owned minivans have been through a 210-point inspection and reconditioning process to ensure it's ready for the road.

When you order your pre-owned minivan online with Clutch, you skip the hassle of going to the dealership and negotiating a good price. At Clutch, you always get a great price and no negotiation is necessary. 

Trading up into a newer minivan with more features? Clutch can also handle trade-ins, and you can get your offer online. If you're satisfied with our offer, we'll pick up your trade-in vehicle and apply the trade-in value to your purchase.