Regardless of what some might say, size matters. And that is especially true when it comes to minivans. Weight can affect a range of factors when it comes to cars, from gas mileage to handling to engine performance. Overall vehicle weight is a smart statistic to consider when contemplating a new minivan.
In 2020 the average weight for all current minivans on sale in the United States is 4,452lbs. To put this into a bit of context, your average sedan generally weighs around 3,500lbs and some SUVs can weigh upwards of 6,000lbs. However, considering the usability and versatility of the vehicles that occupy this minivan segment, their average weight of 4,452lbs seems more than reasonable and fits comfortably between smaller sedans and larger SUVs.
Minivans’ long length means that they have a lot of room for a big family. However, with the advent of the crossover segment and its subsequent rise in popularity, the already fading minivan has been eclipsed in sales and popularity first by the SUV segment and then the crossover. Although this decrease in popularity may have driven down the number of manufacturers producing minivans, this fact doesn’t mean that minivans have lost any of their ease-of-use or practicality. In fact, while minivan sales may have slumped, they still offer some fantastic benefits.
Popular Minivans by Weight
We have split Minivans into three categories. None of these minivans have a 4WD.
2020 Dodge Grand Caravan: 4,321lbs
In its lightest form, the 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan weighs in at 4,321lbs. While the Grand Caravan can weigh up to 4,483lbs when fully equipped, at its lightest it qualifies as the lightest new minivan on the market.
With a reasonable starting price of $27,290 the Dodge Grand Caravan is positioned above the similar Chrysler Voyager but below the slightly more up-market Chrysler Voyager. And that low cost of entry is the Grand Caravan’s biggest selling point— the Dodge is built with usability as a focus, not comfort.
2020 Chrysler Pacifica: 4,330lbs
The Grand Caravan’s upscale twin, the Chrysler Pacifica, clocks in at 4,330lbs, only nine pounds heavier in its base Touring form than the Dodge. With a starting price of $34,045, the Pacifica has an over $7,000 premium on the Grand Caravan. However, what the Dodge lacks in creature comforts, the Chrysler makes up for, with a total of eight different trim levels and better overall materials and fit and finish for the interior.
2020 Chrysler Voyager: 4,330lbs
Weighing in at an identical 4,330lbs is Pacifica’s budget twin sister, the Chrysler Voyager. Offered by Chrysler as a budget brand alternative to the Pacifica but so as not to sully the Pacifica name, the Voyager fills that role with aplomb.
The Voyager has a starting price of $26,985, making it over $7,000 less expensive than the base Touring model Pacifica. And while the Voyager may offer fewer features than the Pacifica, what it does come equipped with is a hefty price cut.
2020 Honda Odyssey: 4,354lbs to 4,593lbs
The 2020 Honda Odyssey is offered in five different trim levels, from the base LX at $31,785 to the top-of-the-range Elite at $48,415. The Odyssey LX weighs in at 4,354lbs but that weight can balloon over two hundred additional pounds (up to 4,593lbs) if you choose to go with a higher-end model.
The Odyssey is known for its ease of driveability, with a smooth drivetrain and nimble steering. The Odyssey also offers respectable fuel economy, with a rating of 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway.
2020 Kia Sedona: 4,411lbs to 4,517lbs
The singular minivan offering from the Land of the Morning Calm is the Kia Sedona, coming in at a starting weight of 4,411lbs and tipping the scales at up to 4,517lbs. The Korean automaker has been selling the Sedona domestically since 1999 (sold as the fun-sounding Kia Carnival) but only introduced the vehicle to the U.S. market in 2002.
Although the Sedona doesn’t provide exceptional fuel economy or speed, what this minivan does offer is a ton of value. That, along with Kia’s 5 year/60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper coverage and 10 year/100,000 mile warranty makes the Sedona worth serious consideration.
2020 Toyota Sienna: 4,430lbs to 4,750lbs
From the Land of the Rising Sun comes the Toyota Sienna. This minivan from the perennially
pragmatic automaker starts at $31,640 and offers a plethora of creature comforts. With a starting weight of 4,430, the Sienna offers a quiet and smooth ride paired with excellent fuel economy.
The Toyota Sienna also excels in the safety department, with automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist all being standard equipment on this vehicle. Although the warranty can’t live up to the Kia’s, it does come with 2 years or 25,000 miles of complimentary maintenance.
2020 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Passenger: 5,609 to 6,413lbs
There’s nothing ‘mini’ about this $42,320 offering from the German automaker. The Mercedes Sprinter Passenger has a starting weight of 5,609lbs and that weight can climb to over 6,400lbs depending on model and options. This heavyweight van is offered in either a standard roof or high roof configuration, allowing passengers up to 6’2” to stand without crouching. The standard length Sprinter seats 12 and the long wheelbase, 170” model seats 15. Mercedes-Benz outfits the Sprinter 2500 Passenger with a range of power options, from four cylinder, six cylinder, or diesel and offers optional four-wheel drive.
2020 Chevrolet Express Passenger: 5,990 to 6,022 lbs
The Chevy Express Passenger is a common sight at airports and hotels because of its economy and steadfast usability. The Express Passenger starts at $34,900 and has a weight of 5,990 to 6,022lbs. With the ability to seat up to 15 passengers and up to 341 Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Departure Warning, and Forward Collision Alert. A rear-facing camera comes standard as well as a tire pressure monitoring system. The Express Passenger is also surprisingly capable when it comes to towing. Thanks in part to a potent power plant, the Express has up to a 6,700lb towing capacity.
2020 Nissan NV Passenger Van: 6,710 to 6,978lbs
With a starting price of $36,110 and a max weight of nearly 7,000lbs, the Nissan NV Passenger Van fits squarely in the middle of our other heavyweight vans but tips the scale at over three tons. Nissan touts ‘America’s Best Truck Warranty’ with a 5 year/100,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. The Nissan is available in either V6 or V8 form, the V8 putting out 378 horsepower— and that will be needed, considering the NV can weigh anywhere from 6,710 to 6,908lbs. That extra horsepower also contributes to the NV’s respectable towing capacity of 8,700lbs.
Van Weight VS Sedan Weight VS Pickup Truck Weight VS SUV Weight
Looking into automobile weight could take you down more of a rabbit hole than you might expect— there are different values when considering weight associated with vehicles. You’ll find a lot of weights thrown at you, but which is simply the vehicle’s weight? There is GVWR, towing capacity, and curb weight. In addition to those, you may be curious about how weight differs from each vehicle class and why. Let’s take a brief look.
Van Weight: 4,452lbs
As noted above, the average weight for all-new minivans on sale in the U.S. is 4,452lbs. If that number is essentially worthless to you because you don’t have any sort of context, you aren’t alone. We can put this into perspective by comparing it to other vehicle weights.
Sedan Weight: 3,351lbs
Bearing in mind that sedans range in size from ‘subcompact’ to ‘full-size’ helps account for their range in weight. To help clue you in on this wide disparity, the lightest new car for sale in the U.S. is the Mitsubishi Mirage, a car that weighs in at a paltry 1,973lbs. In Contrast to the subcompact Mirage, the full-size $310,000+ Bentley Mulsanne weighs in at a stout 59,919— nearly three tons!
Pickup Weight: 7,000lbs
Pickup trucks are divided into ‘light duty’, ‘medium duty’, and ‘heavy-duty’ segments. Nearly all heavy-duty trucks are relegated to commercial work. Although you may expect pickups to weigh less due to their large empty beds, these trucks require bigger motors (for hauling) as well as sturdier, more robust frames and usually have a four-wheel drive which can contribute to their overall weight.
Small light duty pickups, such as the new Ford Ranger can weigh anywhere from 3,922lbs, with the largest pickups, such as the gargantuan Ford F-750 weighing in at 37,000lbs.
SUV Weight: 4,799lbs
The average SUV weight as of 2020 is 4,799lbs. As with pickups, SUV weight can vary dramatically. SUVs can weigh anywhere from 3,000lbs up to double that for the Lexus LX570 at 6,000lbs.
Weight In Regard to GVWR
Looking into automobile weight could take you down more of a rabbit hole than you might expect— there are different values when considering weight associated with vehicles. You’ll find a lot of values thrown at you, but which is simply the vehicle’s weight? There is GVWR, towing capacity, and curb weight.
GVWR is an abbreviation for ‘Gross Vehicle Weight Rating’ and while it would be understandable if you believed this is simply the weight of the vehicle, that is not the case. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating refers to how much weight the vehicle can carry, including the weight of the vehicle itself.
When researching the weight of a vehicle, the manufacturer isn’t always forthcoming with that information; it is much easier to find the GVWR or the towing capacity. When searching for unladen weight, it can be helpful to use the term ‘curb weight’.
Minivan Weight FAQs
Is vehicle weight (curb weight) calculated with gas and other fluids in the vehicle?
Yes, curb weight generally refers to a fully functional vehicle that has been brought up to operating specs with all necessary fluids, gasoline included.
How much weight can I carry before it is bad for my minivan?
When it comes to overloading your minivan, you’ll want to look at the GVWR or ‘Gross Vehicle Weight Rating’ as mentioned above. To find out exactly how much you can safely transport in your minivan, you will need to find your vehicle weight (curb weight) and then subtract that from your GVWR. That will give you the information you need.
I don’t want to rent a truck— can I transport a fridge in my minivan?
Considering most new refrigerators weigh in the neighborhood of 200 to 300lbs, you should have no issue hauling one in the back of your minivan. And because most minivans have stowable rear seats (seats that fold into the floor) getting your new fridge in and out of your minivan should be a cinch.
If you’re researching minivan weight, your options are spread across a handful of different brands. When it comes time to purchase, keeping vehicle weight in mind can help you make a better-educated choice when it comes to towing capacity, handling, and gas mileage. This info should help you get on the right track to finding the perfect minivan for your family.
Hi, I am Brad. Car Independent is your source for independent views on cars and car accessories. Whether you looking to buy a new car or something cool for your car, you have many options. My aim to help you make the best-informed choices.