Caroline, East Windsor, N.J.

Last year we voted the 2007 Kia Sedona as Cars.com’s Best Deal for Big Families in our Lifestyle Awards. The Sedona was also named Editor’s Choice in our Minivan Faceoff. Kia’s minivan bested the Toyota Sienna and Dodge Grand Caravan in our Faceoff thanks to its reasonable price, excellent IIHS crash-test ratings, standard options and safety features, and long-term warranty. Since the Faceoff, a redesigned 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country have become available with unlimited powertrain warranties, and there’s also a recently worked-over Nissan Quest. The Hyundai Entourage and Sedona share chassis and powertrains, as well as many of the same features, also making the Entourage an excellent value.

Despite its new competition, the Sedona is still one of the best minivans for the money. The base, standard-wheelbase model starts at $20,695 and comes with a load of safety features for its price, including an electronic stability system, antilock brakes, seat-mounted side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags. However, it lacks cargo volume behind the third row and the third row is not very comfortable. An extended-wheelbase LX model with more useable cargo space starts at $23,595. 

The Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey offer slightly higher-quality interiors and start in the $25,000 range, but the extra price doesn't mean those minivans have higher safety ratings. The Sedona and Entourage are the only minivans to earn the IIHS’ Top Safety Picks award. If you value all-wheel drive or technology like cylinder deactivation for better gas mileage (features the Sedona doesn’t have), the Sienna and Odyssey have those options, respectively, but of course at a price premium.

Update: The 2008 Honda Odyssey recently earned a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS.

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Answered by Joe Bruzek on September 28, 2007 in How Safe is This Car? , I'm Just Wondering , What Car Should I Buy? | Permalink

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