While they may not be glamorous, super-fast or have the cachet of a sports car, Best Cheap Minivans are often a family necessity. Some buyers are now choosing minivans as an alternative to big, expensive SUVs. Fortunately, there are some excellent choices out there that fulfill more than just basic necessities. Today’s minivans offer consumers style, comfort and, best of all, attractive used car prices.

Here are three of our top picks for Best Cheap Minivans, backed by reviews from the automotive experts.

  • Mazda Mazda 5 Edmunds “Consumers’ Top Rated for 2009” singles out the 6-passenger Mazda Mazda 5 in the minivan/van category. Edmunds reports “it’s also a lot more fun to drive than traditional family vans, a trait that wins big points with owners.” Plusses include easy-opening, dual-sliding doors, “diminutive size [making] parking lot forays a snap,” cargo capacity with all rear seats stowed, many available features. Room for improvement includes more useful front-seat interior storage cubbies, tinted windows, more powerful engine, and an additional seating position. Consumer Search comments that Mazda 5 “is sporty-looking, easy to maneuver, gets better gas mileage…and it costs thousands less than other minivans.” U.S. News and World Report calls Mazda 5 “a fun choice among family haulers…winner of the U.S. News Best Car for the Money award for compact crossovers.”
  • Kia Rondo Edmunds says the 7-passenger Kia Rondo crossover/minivan is “a vehicle with a good amount of functionality and flexibility for its size and price…it’s nimble and filled with clever storage space.” Editors like the choice of inline-4 or V-6 power, long warranty coverage, good outward visibility and high-quality interior design, but knock Rondo’s “pizzazz, questionable resale value.” Although it “doesn’t handle quite as nimbly as the Mazda 5…it’s easy and intuitive to drive.” U.S. News and World Report comments “Kia Rondo gives buyers a safe, budget-friendly and versatile option, but others in the class are sportier.”
  • Hyundai EntourageConsumer Guide lists the 2007-2009 (2009 was its last year) Hyundai Entourage as a Recommended Pick. For 2009, the nod comes for “size, utility and standard safety features.” Furthermore, say CG editors, “Warranty coverage is impressive, and they beat every comparably equipped vehicle on price.” Edmunds says “…if it’s maximum value you’re after, the affordable and universally competent Hyundai Entourage won’t steer you wrong.” The 2008 model won a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Other contenders for Best Cheap Minivans include Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, Kia Sedona, Nissan Quest, Toyota Sienna, and Volkswagen Routan.

See the top 10 cheapest minivans

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