There are many transportation options available right now, and as a mother and a daycare provider, I decided that I am very interested in purchasing a van or minivan that seats a large group, at least 8. I have spent quite a bit of time researching these vehicles and I am confident that I have found the absolute best 8 passenger vans.
There are currently only two 8 passenger minivans on the market: the Toyota Sienna and the Honda Odyssey. Both of these vans are very nice and comfortable choices. There are, however, a couple of very distinct differences.
The Toyota Sienna, like the Honda Odyssey, has two full bench seats. However, the difference here is that the Sienna has large enough middle seats that three carseats can fit comfortably and safely within each bench. This makes a very big difference when transporting small children. Additionally, the Sienna has the LATCH system installed in the middle seats, the Odyssey does not have this important safety feature.
Both vans have similar great reviews. Comfort, convenience and reliability allow for high marks for both vehicles, and if you are familiar with either of these automobile companies, you will know that both Toyota and Honda are known for their dependability. With Toyota leading overall with the longest lasting cars on the road.
Additionally, both vans have great safety ratings, although the Odyssey beats out the Sienna with a 5 star overall crash rating. Honda received 5 stars in all 5 NHTSA categories (Driver Front, Passenger Front, Rollover Resistance, Rear Side and Front Side), the Sienna recieved good marks on all 5 categories, but only reached 5 stars in the Front Driver, Side Front and Side Rear categories.
Lastly, if fuel economy is important to you, take note that the Odyssey averages 18-19 mpg in the city, 27-28 mpg highway; while the Sienna is averaging 16-19 mpg city and 22-24 highway. This may not make a huge difference, but for commuters it is worth taking note.
So if you are looking for the best 8 passenger vans, be sure to check out both Toyota and Honda and see what both of these great minivans have to offer.