Full-size: Nissan NV
Minivan: Ford Transit Connect

This was a tough decision to make. The full-size van voting came down to two top contenders, the NV and the Sprinter. The NV is the better value, but doesn't have a diesel and its V-8 gets poor fuel economy. The Sprinter is expensive and has fewer passenger van options, but has a diesel. The NV wins it for value and choices -- you can get a V-6 or V-8, 1500, 2500, or 3500, and you can tow up to 9500 pounds with it. The "minivan" winner is the Ford Transit Connect, which is more miniature van than minivan. It's built for work and has a payload capacity of 1600 pounds. Things will get interesting when the Nissan NV200 and Ford Transit go on sale.


PASSENGER van
Vehicle Chevrolet Express/ GMC Savana Chrysler Town & Country Dodge Grand Caravan Ford E-Series
Base price $29,935/$29,935 $30,930 $21,430 $29,165
Wheelbase 135.0-155.0 in 121.2 in 121.2 in 138.0 in
Engine 5.3L OHV V-8 3.6L DOHC V-6 3.6L DOHC V-6 4.6L SOHC V-8
Opt engines 6.0L V-8 $1890; 6.6L TD V-8 $17,585 None None 5.4L V-8 $3475; 6.8L V-10 $3895
Power, SAE 280 hp (310, 323, 260) 283 hp 283 hp 225 hp (255,305)
Torque, SAE 296 lb-ft (334, 373, 525) 260 lb-ft 260 lb-ft 286 lb-ft (350,420)
Airbags Front Fr, side, f/r curt Fr, side, f/r curt Front
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 245/70R17 235/60R16 235/60R16 225/75R16
Fuel cap 31.0 gal 20.0 gal 20.0 gal 35.0 gal
Fuel econ, city/hwy 13/17 mpg (11/16,N/A) 17/25 mpg 17/25 mpg N/A
Seating cap 15 7 7 15
Curb weight 5226 lb 4652 lb 4510 lb 5750 lb
Payload 3461 lb 1400 lb 1540 lb 2825 lb
Cargo cap 216.2-252.9 cu ft 143.8 cu ft 143.8 cu ft 256.5 cu ft
Vehicle Ford Transit Connect Honda Odyssey Kia Sedona Mercedes-Benz R-Class
Base price $23,855 $28,580 $25,390 $51,115
Wheelbase 114.6 in 118.1 in 118.9 in 126.6 in
Engine 2.0L DOHC I-4 3.5L SOHC V-6 3.5L DOHC V-6 3.5L DOHC V-6
Opt engines None None None 3.0L TD V-6 $1500
Power, SAE 136 hp 248 hp 271 hp 302 hp (210)
Torque, SAE 128 lb-ft 250 lb-ft 248 lb-ft 273 lb-ft (400)
Airbags Front Fr, f side, f/r curt Fr, f side, f/r curt Fr, f side, f/r curt
Brakes, f/r Disc/drum, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 205/65R15 235/65R17 225/70R16 255/50R19
Fuel cap 15.4 gal 21.0 gal 21.1 gal 21.1 gal
Fuel econ, city/hwy 22/27 mpg 18-19/27-28 mpg 18/25 mpg 15/19 mpg (18/24)
Seating cap 5 8 7 7
Curb weight 3400 lb 4337 lb 4374 lb 4960 lb
Payload 1600 lb 1500 lb 1532 lb 1635 lb
Cargo cap 129.6 cu ft 148.5 cu ft 141.5 cu ft 87.3 cu ft
Vehicle Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Nissan NV Nissan Quest Toyota Sienna
Base price $40,800 $25,930 $28,560 $25,370
Wheelbase 144.3, 170.3 in 146.1 in 118.1 in 119.3 in
Engine 3.0L DOHC TD V-6 4.0L DOHC V-6 3.5L DOHC V-6 2.7L DOHC I-4
Opt engines None 5.6L V-8 $1900 None 3.5L V-6 $1240
Power, SAE 188 hp 261 hp (317) 260 hp 187 hp (265)
Torque, SAE 325 lb-ft 281 lb-ft (385) 240 lb-ft 186 lb-ft (245)
Airbags Front Front Fr, side, f/r curt Fr, f side, f/r curt
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 245/75R16 245/70R17 225/65R16 235/60R17
Fuel cap 26.4 gal 28.0 gal 20.0 gal 20.0 gal
Fuel econ, city/hwy N/A N/A 19/24 mpg 19/24 mpg (17-18/23-25)
Seating cap 12 12 7 8
Curb weight 5700 lb 3049 lb 4371 lb 4275 lb
Payload 2840 lb 3925 lb 1451 lb 1660 lb
Cargo cap 141.3-187.2 cu ft 323.1 cu ft 108.4 cu ft 117.8 cu ft
Vehicle Volkswagen Routan
Base price $27,750
Wheelbase 121.2 in
Engine 3.6L DOHC V-6
Opt engines None
Power, SAE 283 hp
Torque, SAE 260 lb-ft
Airbags Fr,side,curt,knee
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 225/65R16
Fuel cap 20.0 gal
Fuel econ, city/hwy 17/25 mpg
Seating cap 7
Curb weight 4494 lb
Payload 1200 lb
Cargo cap 144.4 cu ft