Fall 2009 Auto Guide
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Minivan | Performance
No matter how concerned you may be or not be about fuel economy, it's a given that most drivers still want a vehicle that accelerates well. We rank the cars that deliver the most bang for the buck.

Attributes:  Price | Safety | Going Green | Reliability | Performance

Mazda Mazda5MPG: 22 city/28 highway

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While the Mazda5 offers a sportier driving experience than most minivans, it's also tops on fuel economy. The 153-horsepower, 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine gets an EPA-estimate 22 city/28 highway mpg when equipped with the five-speed manual transmission, and 21 city/27 highway mpg when paired with the five-speed automatic transmission. It seats six in three rows and includes a slide/recline/fold-flat second row and a fold-flat third row. The Mazda5 comes well-equipped with such standard features as automatic air conditioning, cruise control, CD player. Safety features include anti-lock brakes, side-impact and side curtain airbags. Go »
Honda OdysseyMPG: 17 city/25 highway

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While Honda's reputation as a brand is not built on performance, its Odyssey has been widely lauded by automotive reviewers for it superb performance and handling capabilities that make it easy to forget you are driving a minivan. It's powered by a 244- horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 that also happens to be top-rated for fuel economy. Offered with seating for either seven or eight, all Odyssey models feature bucket seats in the first and second rows with a 60/40-split folding third row. Seating for eight is available by using what's called the PlusOne center seat that stows into a recessed compartment when not in use. Go »
Volkswagen Routan251 horsepower, 4.0-liter V-6

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The Volkswagen Routan comes with a choice of two V-6 engines -- a 197 horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6 or the class-leading 251-horsepower, 4.0-liter V-6. Both are powered by a six-speed automatic transmission. New as a 2009 model, the Volkswagen Routan is a cousin to the Chrysler Town & Country/Dodge Grand Caravan, so it has the similar boxy shape, yet has Volkswagen front end styling. While it does share many of the features of the Chrysler Town & Country, it does not share the unique Stow 'n Go seating. The second row captain's chair folds over, but not into the floor, and there's no swivel option as there is on the Chrysler. Go »
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