For All Van Kind
Three premium minivans with luxury features that elevate them to multifunction image-makers for business and weekend transportation are the Buick Terraza All Wheel Drive CXL, Chrysler's Town and Country Limited and the Honda Odyssey Touring minivan.
Buick's Terraza is a sporty, all-wheel-drive van with ample cargo room--136 cubic feet and a flat floor with the second and third rows removed, covered removable storage compartments, and leather seating for seven passengers. The second row of captain's chairs has utility tables, and dual power sliding doors provide easy entry/exit. Also included: one-year OnStar Safe/Sound subscription, remote entry, power door locks and eight-way seats with memory. The Terraza has a 3.5-liter 200-horsepower V-6 engine, traction control and automatic level control. Estimated mpg: 17 city/22 highway. Price: $34,750
Chrysler pioneered large, covered storage areas under the floor as well as seats that fold flat and hide away. The Town and Country Limited provides all this for seven people, plus overhead storage. Cargo space is 160.7 cubic feet, while the engine is a 3.8-liter 205-horsepower V-6. Bluetooth technology connects hands-free cell phones, signal lights flash when sliding doors open, sensors warn of rear obstacles and a stainless steel roof rack adds pizazz. Estimated mpg: 19/26. Price: $35,995
The eight-seater Honda Odyssey Touring minivan, redesigned for 2005, is sophisticated, powerful and fuel-efficient. The powertrain is a 3.5-liter 255-horsepower V-6. With a removable second row of seats and a split third row that folds flat, cargo space measures 147.4 cubic feet. Safety features include Stability Assist, traction control, rollover sensors that deploy side curtain air bags and run-flat tires that last up to 125 miles. In-floor bins and a rotating tray provide storage. Power-adjustable pedals, front/rear parking sensors, a power tailgate, and navigation and entertainment systems are standard. Estimated mpg: 20/28. Price: $38,295
Editor and consultant Jill Amadio has been reporting on the automotive industry for 26 years.