Best and Worst Mini Vans for your Family

Part of getting cheap car insurance quotes is driving a safer vehicle. Many families gravitate toward driving mini vans because they have enough room to fit several passengers, but some mini vans aren’t very safe. Selecting a safer mini van not only secures you a better rate on car insurance it provides you a better sense of security for you and your family when you are traveling. Each year the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety evaluates vehicles and rates them based on how safe, or unsafe they are. Below we will take a look at some of the top picks for 2011 and 2012, along with some of the less desirable and more unsafe choices.


The Safest of the Brand New Mini Vans


Honda Odyssey 2011

The Honda Odyssey earns the highest marks possible from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. You have to select the Honda Odyssey vans that have the side airbags to get the safest model. In addition to being so safe, this vehicle has a variety of other desirable features. Among the stand out features; the versatile interior with a configurable second row and easy to fold third row. It also boasts a quiet cabin and fuel efficient V6 engine.


Toyota Sienna 2011

The Toyota Sienna also earns top marks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, along side the Honda Odyssey. Like the Honda Odyssey, only the Toyota Sienna models with side airbags score big with the IIHS. With enough room to seat seven, or eight passengers, the Sienna has a roomy interior that attracts many consumers. The powerful V6 engine also boasts all-wheel drive for better handling in inclement weather making it ideal for families that live in areas with varied weather conditions.


Kia Sedona 2012

While it doesn’t make the top of the list for safety, the Kia Sedona is a close runner up to the Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna. Best of all, the Kia Sedona is much easier on the budget and it comes with an excellent warranty. It boasts a quiet cabin and comfortable ride and a 60/40 split fold flat third row seating. It may not come with as many styling options as its pricier counterparts, but upgrades are available and it is an excellent value for the MSRP.


Other New Mini Vans to Consider

You may also consider the 2011 Chrysler Town and Country, 2011 Volkswagen Routan, 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan and the 2011 Nissan Quest with side airbags also faired well in safety testing.


Used Mini Vans

If you are on a budget and you would like to purchase a used mini van you are in luck because you have many you can choose from. The following used mini vans should help you get lower car insurance quotes and they will be safer for your family.


Toyota Sienna 2004-2007

As you can see, the Toyota Sienna makes the grade both in the present and the past. There are a few years tucked in the timeline that don’t do well safety wise, but the 2004-2007 models scored well in crash safety testing and they don’t fall short on quality, or features.


Honda Odyssey 2002-2007

The Honda Odyssey is at the top of the list for new mini vans, and it also scored well for safety from 2002-2007. The Odyssey came into its own during these years with new found power and efficiency. Its lacks all wheel drive, but it makes up for it in comfort and convenience features.


Dodge Grand Caravan 2005-2007

The Dodge grand Caravan had some really good years for safety and some really bad years, but from 2005 to 2007 it really made the grade. There are several years in which the Caravan was one of the worst picks, but if you stick with the 2005-2007 models, or go with a brand new model you are making an excellent choice.


Used Mini Vans To Avoid


Chevrolet Venture 1997-2005

When it was first introduced, the Chevrolet Venture seemed to have a bright future ahead of it.

This mini van gets low marks for safety from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In fact, the van was given the label of the “Worst Performing Vehicle” the first year it was tested because the test results indicated that there would be a high risk of injury, or fatality in a front impact crash.


Dodge Grand Caravan 2001

Newer models of the Dodge Grand Caravan made after 2008 fair much better than the earlier models, but if you are looking for a used car stay away from the 2001 model. The front impact crash test ratings for the 2001 model were extremely poor. Prior and subsequent years faired better in safety testing. In fact, the 2011 models get the second highest rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.


Chevrolet Astro 1996-2005

The Chevrolet Astro model years 1996 to 2005 got poor ratings for crash safety across the board. Despite the uses of airbags, crash tests dummies hit the steering wheel during front impact crash testing of these vans because the floor collapsed and the steering wheel moved. These safety facts are identical for the GMC Safari 1196-2005 because for all intents and purposes these are identical vehicles.


Other Used Mini Vans to Avoid would include the Ford aerostar 1992-1997, the Honda Odyssey 1995-1998, Mazda MVP 1996-1998, Mercury Villager 1996-2002, Nissan Quest 1996-2002 and the Toyota Previa 1994-1997. None of these models will help you get cheaper car insurance quotes.

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