When family needs dictate a larger vehicle and you’re not keen on getting a crossover or SUV, maybe a fully-decked-out minivan from prior years is just what will do the job. After all, hauling kids and gear and groceries and stuff needs easy access, cargo room and passenger-carrying capability. New minivans may be out of your reach price-wise, so used is the practical way to go.

Here we take a look at the top 5 used minivans loaded with features. These aren’t going to be the stripped versions. They’ve got all the bells and whistles. They cost more than base models, but try comparing them to similar trims brand-new. These could very well be the best family bargain around.

2011 Toyota Sienna Limited – Overall, the Toyota Sienna belongs on any family’s minivan shopping list. For 2011, the Sienna debuted its third generation, one that continues to this day. There’s only a single engine, but it’s a powerful V6 that produces 266 horsepower – enough to get the minivan going wherever you want it to go. Go for the Limited trim to take advantage of the best the Sienna has to offer and, if inclement weather is a concern, opt for an all-wheel-drive model. Limited has dual sunroofs, a power-folding third row and premium audio. Options include adaptive cruise control, navigation system and a rear-seat entertainment system. What about price? Look for 2011 Toyota Sienna Limited models to run between $31,677 to the vicinity of $32,900.

2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite – Years may come and go, but the Honda Odyssey retains its place among the top minivans for its car-like handling, comfortable cabin and ability to seat eight passengers (although the eighth seat is on the smallish side). The Odyssey also comes with a long list of standard safety features, making it desirable for family buyers. Powerful V6 engine and excellent safety scores are other pluses that make the Honda Odyssey a prime minivan choice for families. For all the goodies, go for the Odyssey Touring or Touring Elite, featuring 18-inch alloy wheels, navigation and rear-seat entertainment systems standard. Elite has xenon headlights, a blind-spot warning system, upgraded rear-seat entertainment system with a 16-inch HD widescreen video monitor and premium 650-watt, 12-speaker surround sound audio system. As for range of prices, they’re from around $26,000 (Touring) to $35,991 (Touring Elite).

2011 Chrysler Town & Country Limited – With a restyled exterior and greatly improved interior, along with a new 3.6-liter V6 engine and retuned suspension, the 2011 Chrysler Town & Country is also a lot more enjoyable to drive. The Town & Country is considered the more high-end of the two minivans from Chrysler, the other being the Dodge Grand Caravan. The 2011 Town & Country Limited is the model’s top trim, including keyless ignition/entry, upgraded leather upholstery, xenon headlights, navigation system, rear-seat DVD entertainment center with two display screens, Sirius Backseat TV and a nine-speaker premium audio system. Pricing ranges from about $23,988 to right around $30,000.

2011 Kia SedonaOffering slightly more power than the Honda Odyssey and with similar fuel economy, the 2011 Kia Sedona also boasts excellent safety scores. Standard safety features are plentiful, including satellite radio, a six-speaker stereo with USB port, Bluetooth and rear parking sensors. Optional features include a back-seat DVD entertainment system, navigation, dual-power sliding doors and in-zone air conditioning. The EX trim is the top of the lie, adding 17-inch alloy wheels, heated sideview mirrors, power tailgate, power rear quarter windows, power-adjustable front seats, trip computer, and more. For family practicality, excellent warranty and value, the 2011 Kia Sedona is one used minivan worth looking for. Pricing ranges from about $16,500 to $21,991.

2011 Nissan Quest LE – Fully redesigned, the 2011 Nissan Quest aimed to go toe-toe with the frontrunners in the minivan segment. Pluses include quiet and smooth ride, roomy seating, excellent continuously variable transmission (CVT), precise steering and handling. It does have less cargo space than competitors and only seats a maximum of seven passengers. The Quest LE is the top trim, featuring xenon headlights, power-return third-row seats, a blind-spot warning system, rear-seat entertainment system with 11-inch widescreen, a 13-speaker Bose surround-sound system with 8-inch display and satellite radio, driver memory seats and much more. Used pricing is in the vicinity of $30,000.


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