With the June numbers now in, it’s the perfect time to check out the best-selling minivans in the United States, all of which offer an impressive range of versatility and value in a Van-style package. And while it’s true that segment sales are down overall—by more than 15 percent on a year-to-date basis—there are some extenuating circumstances at work here: Not only are there no all-new models debuting anytime soon, but last year’s sales leaders, from Chrysler and Dodge, have seen volume tumble as they near the end of their lifecycles. On the other hand, June itself saw notable gains from the other traditional minivan rivals, and the automakers’ spirit of continuous improvement remains firmly intact in what’s still a very substantial chunk of the marketplace.
Heading into the second half of the selling season, it’s the 2015 Toyota Sienna that is No. 1 among the best-selling minivans, backed by 71,381 sales during the first six months of the year. That also marks a 14.6 percent gain over the same point in 2014, with the Sienna well-positioned with exclusive advantages to keep that momentum going: For one thing, the Sienna is the only minivan in the country to offer an all-wheel-drive powertrain, and its off-road credibility is likely to benefit from Toyota’s Ultimate Utility Vehicle. That SEMA-bound surprise puts the Sienna’s body atop the rugged underpinnings of a Toyota Tacoma, so expect it to also put more swagger into the retail Swagger Wagon along the way.
The 2015 Honda Odyssey is firmly established in the second position on our leaderboard of best-selling minivans, delivering 62,636 units through June and seeing volume slip by 1 percent in that period. Yet there are signs the Odyssey is turning things around, including the fact that it enjoyed a 6.5 percent spike in demand last month on the strength of 11,621 deliveries. Further, Honda’s minivan remains strong on value, too. Consider: The Odyssey was one of three Honda vehicles to be honored for its 2015 residual value by ALG, a leader in the field, and it offers plenty of purchase value as well, thanks to an MSRP of $28,975 that includes standard uplevel features like a rearview camera system and Bluetooth HandsFreeLink technology.
Chrysler Town & Country
The leader of the best-selling minivans last year, the 2015 Chrysler Town & Country has no doubt seen higher sales in the past. Yet even as some customers are preferring to wait for the all-new 2017 model—scheduled to go on sale next year—the current model has managed to deliver nearly 39,000 units during the first half of 2015 and at least stay on the podium with its third-place ranking. Additionally, for the 2016 model year, the Town & Country will be part of the Chrysler brand’s 90-year birthday celebration, getting an anniversary edition that adds a power sunroof, heated first- and second-row seats, a heated steering wheel and more to the range-topping Touring-L model.
Dodge Grand Caravan
The future of the original minivan is up in the air at this time, which helps explain why sales of the 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan are headed in the other direction. But like its Chrysler cousin, Dodge’s minivan entry—expected to be replaced by a three-row crossover this year or next—is still seeing relatively strong sales volumes, and it finished the first six months of the year with 36.876 sales, good for fourth on our list of best-selling minivans. Also in line with the Town & Country, the Grand Caravan is focusing on value for 2015. Indeed, Dodge has launched “Plus Packages” for minivan’s SE and SXT trims, bundling top features like Uconnect hands-free infotainment tech and a variety of appearance upgrades, with standard exclusives like Stow ‘n Go seating.
The 2015 Kia Sedona is a noticeable bright spot among the best-selling minivans of the year, reaping massive sales gains as a result of a comprehensive redesign introduced late in 2014. Particularly eye-catching are the new looks of the Sedona, since the fresh model finally wears an appropriately Kia-esque exterior design. In fact, that appearance is so un-minivan-like that the Sedona earned the title of best full-size crossover at the most recent Texas Auto Writers Association Truck Rodeo. That being said, the Sedona still meets minivan owners’ needs with a capable and spacious cabin along with a full range of cutting-edge safety measures. It’s all added up to a robust 476 percent rise in volume through June, reflecting 20,608 sales—more than 6,000 units above the Sedona’s full-year delivery total in 2014.
The mini minivan of the crowd, the 2015 Mazda Mazda5 is more than 20 inches shorter than the typical entries in the segment, and that also cuts down the vehicle’s cost-to-purchase as well. Thus, although the traditionally sized minivans all muster MSRPs well north of $25K, with some approaching $30,000, the Mazda5 is available from $21,240. Needless to say, the interior of the Mazda entry is likewise downsized as compared to its bigger rivals, although the Mazda5 can still carry more than 44 cubic feet of cargo behind its second row of seating, and that’s significantly more than most compact crossovers. The Mazda5 also routinely outsells one of the “regular” best-selling minivans in the country, and welcomed a 78.6 percent spike in sales volume in June.
Frankly, it’s hard to figure out why the 2015 Nissan Quest doesn’t fare better among the best-selling minivans here. After all, it matches its rivals in many key areas, offering an extensive list of safety and technology features, an unexpectedly stylish exterior design, and a roomy, family friendly cabin that includes a standard advanced climate control system with an air purifier and filter to reduce allergens and unappealing odors alike. Moreover, the Quest just followed up its win in the 2014 J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study with victory in Power’s 2015 Initial Quality Study, so it seems that those who buy the Quest also love living with the Quest. And Nissan’s minivan volume did leap ahead by 21.4 percent in June.
Ford Transit Connect Wagon
The Blue Oval’s un-minivan is more than a match for the real thing in many ways, starting with its multiple-wheelbase roster that allows owners to optimize interior volume in two- or three-row cabin configurations. But even though the longest 2015 Ford Transit Connect Wagon is about a foot shorter than a standard minivan, it’s the former with much more headroom in all rows, more available overall passenger volume, and more than 104 cubic feet of total cargo space. Furthermore, only the Ford has the EcoBoost advantage, courtesy of an available 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine with better fuel efficiency than any of the best-selling minivans on the marketplace today—highlighted by a high point of 30 mpg in highway driving.