From minivan to cargo van
When it comes to sheer hauling capacity, the Nissan Quest quickly disqualifies itself. Neither the second nor third row of seats folds into the floor. Instead, the seatbacks merely fold forward, creating a cargo area that's neither as flat nor as tall as in the other vans. There's also no way to remove the seats, which means that, when you're standing at the open rear hatch, the Quest seems more like a crossover or an SUV than a minivan. The benefit is an exceptionally deep cargo well behind the third row that you'll never need to empty to stow the back bench.
The fact that the Sienna's second-row seatbacks don't fold forward is also frustrating. Instead, the bottom cushions tip up and the chairs slide forward into a clumsy storage mode. For heavy hauling, the bucket seats can, thankfully, be removed. Honda's Odyssey takes the traditional tack; the third row flips back into a storage well and the second row either folds or can be removed completely.
Chrysler continues to reign supreme when it comes to versatility. The Stow 'n Go middle buckets that disappear into storage bins beneath the floor allow for a cavernous storage area without the need to plan ahead and remove seats at home. Our $40,090 Town & Country was also the only participant with a power-folding third row, despite being less expensive than both the Honda and the Toyota.