Kia Sedona
  • Image Credit: Kia

Kia Sedona

MSRP: $24,900 - $29,190
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg City / 25 mpg Hwy

Average Base AOL Autos Best Deal Price: $21,111

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Kia Sedona
  • Image Credit: Kia

Kia Sedona

Kia Sedona is the value play in the minivan segment, and it doesn't try to be much else. The price starts at $24,900. And if a minivan on a budget is what you need, it's okay. But the Sedona is missing some of the most modern options that delight buyers.

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Mazda5
  • Image Credit: Mazda

Mazda5

MSRP: $19,345 - $24,025
Fuel Economy: 21 mpg City / 28 mpg Hwy

Average Base AOL Autos Best Deal Price: $17,971

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Mazda5
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Mazda5

The Mazda5 is what we call a micro minivan. It is smaller than a standard minivan, and appeals to people who maybe only have two kids, but want the flexibility of a minivan without driving something as boaty. It does have a sliding door, which is key for parking in grocery store lots with small kids who need to be helped in and out of car seats.

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Dodge Grand Caravan
  • Image Credit: Chrysler

Dodge Grand Caravan

MSRP: $21,800 - $30,695
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City / 25 mpg Hwy

Average Base AOL Autos Best Deal Price: $20,099

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Dodge Grand Caravan
  • Image Credit: Chrysler

Dodge Grand Caravan

The Caravan is what our writer had sideswiped and totaled. It's starting sticker price is actually less than the Kia Sedona, and you get the benefit of Chrysler's Stow 'n Go seating system before you start optioning up. Our favorite trim level for 2011 is the Caravan R/T, the "Man Van," which has a black interior, lowered height, tuned suspension, Viper brakes and red instrument lighting. Price for this version is a shade over $30K.

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Chrysler Town & Country
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Chrysler Town & Country

MSRP: $30,260 - $39,160
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City / 25 mpg Hwy

Average Base AOL Autos Best Deal Price: $28,849

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Chrysler Town & Country
  • Image Credit: Chrysler

Chrysler Town & Country

Trimmed further up-market than its cousin, Grand Caravan, starting price is $29,995 before incentives.

The T&C, along with Caravan, got many upgrades and improvements for the 2011 model year: The new V6 Pentastar engine, steering wheel mounted controls, soft-touch door trim, blind spot monitoring and more.

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Hyundai Elantra Touring
  • Image Credit: Hyundai

Hyundai Elantra Touring

MSRP: $15,995 - $19,495
Fuel Economy: 23 mpg City / 31 mpg Hwy

Average Base AOL Autos Best Deal Price: $15,184

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Hyundai Elantra Touring
  • Image Credit: Hyundai

Hyundai Elantra Touring

The Elantra Touring is actually based on the last generation Elantra, but it is still a very nice driver and one of those cars we like to recommend people check out as an alternative to a minivan.

Touring is double-speak for wagon or hatchback. You may not like the sound of either one, but this is a seriously handy package for a small family that starts at only $15,995 before incentives.

We priced a loaded version at $19,800 but we also priced a version we liked with manual transmission for less than $17,000.

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Ford Focus Hatchback
  • Image Credit: Ford

Ford Focus Hatchback

MSRP: $16,500 - $22,700
Fuel Economy: 26 mpg City / 36 mpg Hwy

Average Base AOL Autos Best Deal Price: $16,195

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Ford Focus Hatchback
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Ford Focus Hatchback

MSRP: $16,500 - $22,700
Fuel Economy: 26 mpg City / 36 mpg Hwy

Average Base AOL Autos Best Deal Price: $16,195

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Volkswagen Routan
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Volkswagen Routan

MSRP: $26,930 - $43,240
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City / 25 mpg Hwy

Average Base AOL Autos Best Deal Price: $25,336

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Volkswagen Routan
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen

Volkswagen Routan

We like a lot of Volkswagen products, but this isn't one of them. It is a Chrysler Town & Country minivan that has been tinkered with. Yes, Chrysler literally builds the Routan for VW. We like the Chrysler T&C, but we would rather recommend the real thing rather than spending up for a VW version that doesn't offer some of the same features. A loaded Routan with navigation will cost you around $38,000.

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Nissan Quest
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Nissan Quest

MSRP: $27,750 - $41,350
Fuel Economy: 19 mpg City / 24 mpg Hwy

Average Base AOL Autos Best Deal Price: $25,444

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Nissan Quest
  • Image Credit: Nissan

Nissan Quest

The Quest is somewhat the orphan of the category. The styling inside and outside is a bit unconventional. And the rear storage area has neither the fold away third seat or anything like Chrysler's Stow 'N Go.

We just can't get there with the Quest given the superior products offered by its rivals.

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Toyota Sienna
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Toyota Sienna

MSRP: $25,060 - $40,570
Fuel Economy: 19 mpg City / 24 mpg Hwy

Average Base AOL Autos Best Deal Price: $23,159

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Toyota Sienna
  • Image Credit: Toyota

Toyota Sienna

The Sienna, and Honda Odyssey, represent two-thirds of the Big Three in minivans, with Chrysler being the market leader when you add up the sales of both Chrysler T&C and Dodge Caravan.

All the modern options, available all-wheel-drive and a pretty smooth engine. The Sienna is a very worthy choice for minivan shoppers who prefer Asian makes and like Toyota's rep for quality.

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Honda Odyssey
  • Image Credit: Honda

Honda Odyssey

MSRP: $28,075 - $43,525
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg City / 27 mpg Hwy

Average Base AOL Autos Best Deal Price: $27,634

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Honda Odyssey
  • Image Credit: Honda

Honda Odyssey

The Odyssey is the number-one choice for many auto reviewers, including our minivan loving writer.

Though a previous generation Odyssey had transmission problems that caused major repairs on some model years at around 70,000 miles, it looks like the company has sorted them out. Honda engines are the best in the business, and it's not uncommon to find owners logging more than 200K miles on their Odysseys with only scheduled maintenance.

A loaded version, though, with rear seat entertainment and navigation will have you over $40K.

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