The Best 12 Passenger Van for Business and Family

The Best 12 Passenger Van for Business and Family (2022 Update)

While I have always been a fan of classy midsize SUVs with large cargo spaces and next-gen amenities, the circumstances call for some bigger solutions. Although midsize SUVs offer enough space for up to eight passengers, big families might need big vans for their road trips. Additionally, large vans are highly customizable, providing more than enough seats, as well as the ability to turn the vehicle into something more luxurious or more suitable for camping.

So, at the end of this year, my future fiancée and I had to find a used 12-passenger van for sale. Large family vans were not something we were planning on or thinking about when we started dating, but that’s how it worked out because our families together have 12 members. We’re quickly approaching our engagement party in Miami on New Year’s Eve.

I know it’s challenging to drive from Houston to Miami. It’s almost 1200 miles of cruising with 11 different people. So, I must find the best 12 passenger van for that road trip. Therefore, I made the list of the best 12-passenger vans which are currently on the market.

2021 Ford Transit Passenger Van

Ford Transit 12-passenger van

This Ford Transit 12 passenger van comes in XL or XLT trims, both of which start with 16-inch wheels. A long-wheelbase model can accommodate 12 people, and an extended-length model boasts seating for 15.

This family van is available in 3 engine configurations. The standard 3.7-liter V6 model is available with 275 hp and 260 lb./ft of torque with an available CNG/propane gaseous engine prep package for power conversion to work on compressed natural gas.

The turbodiesel option is more potent with 350 lb./ft of torque on tap, which is excellent for the 3.2-liter capacity. This 185 hp engine also comes in a biodiesel variant if you’re an environmentally-friendly person. The stronger solution in the gasoline-supply engines is the double-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that wears the EcoBoost sign. It’s much stronger at 310 hp and 400 lb./ft of torque, which corresponds to more significant loads and more folks being on board. All 3 engines apply a 6-speed automatic transmission. A great option is an available selection of rear axle proportions for different hauling loads.

On medium and high-roof designed big vans, the backup camera is positioned higher up for an improved viewpoint. Front and rear air conditioning are standard in both trims. XL variants have a 4-speaker AM/FM stereo, while XLT adds a CD player, and the feature also includes a multi-function display, lane-keeping alert, and Sync 3 infotainment. 6- and 8-speaker sound systems are available, as well. Other XLT options include cruise control, full-length carpeted floor, rain-sensing wipers, and automatic headlights.

2021 Ford Transit Passenger Van Specs

Engine typeFlex-fuel
Transmission10-speed shiftable automatic
Drive typeV6
CylindersRear-wheel drive
Horsepower275 hp at 6,500 rpm
Torque262 lb./ft at 3,750 rpm
Max. towing/payload capacity4,500 lbs./3,160 lbs.

2021 Nissan NV 3500 Passenger Van

Nissan NV 3500 12-passenger van

The 2021 Nissan 12-passenger van is a large van perfect for both fleet and personal use. It includes an adaptable seating arrangement, roof-installed curtain, additional airbags, overturning sensors for side-impact and rollover head aid for all passengers.

The key to the Nissan Passenger design is superb seating flexibility that provides 12-person carrying capacity with up to 324 possible seat arrangements.

This 12-seater van’s available technology includes NissanConnect SM with navigation and mobile applications, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, standard Bluetooth hands-free phone configuration, streaming audio through Bluetooth, and a 5.0-inch color display audio and rear-view display.

The Nissan Passenger vans are equipped with a choice of 2 dependable engines. The advanced 5.6-liter Endurance V8 gasoline engine is paired with a heavy-duty 7-speed automatic transmission, which includes adaptive shift control and downshift rev-matching.

The Endurance V8 engine features 4-valves by cylinder, variable valve event & lift, and direct injection. For use in the Nissan Passenger, the Endurance V8 is rated at 375 horsepower and 387 lb./ft of s, which made this model first in the class of power and torque.

2021 Nissan NV 3500 Passenger Van Specs

Engine typeGas
Transmission5-speed automatic transmission
Drive typeRear-wheel drive
Horsepower261 hp at 5,600 rpm
Torque281 lb./ft at 4,000 rpm
Max. towing/payload capacity6,200 lbs./2,800 lbs.

2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Passenger Van

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 12 Passenger Van

The 2021 Mercedes Sprinter is a big van built from the ground up to be a people or cargo carrier. It comes in a wide variety of models to satisfy virtually any consumer or commercial demand, including a 9 seat or more passenger trim that is the most ostentatious and comfiest full-size passenger van available nowadays. Mercedes concentrated on functionality when manufacturing the 2021 Sprinter, designing a strong plow horse that’s safe to ride and comfortable for both passengers and drivers.

Two engines are offered, an outstandingly tuned 2.1L turbodiesel 4-cylinder and a 3.0L turbodiesel V-6. The 4-cylinder is the best solution more for most family daily travel needs, but consumers who intend to load the Sprinter fully or who prefer faster highway acceleration will rather choose the larger V-6.

There is a fantastic list of customization solutions, even inside each picked trim. Focusing on the 12-passenger model, the Sprinter will fully accommodate 12 grown-ups with plentiful space for legroom. A driver will benefit from great options such as a 5.8-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth phone connections, USB, and auxiliary inputs.

2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Passenger Van Specs

Engine typeDiesel
Transmission7-speed automatic
Drive typeRear-wheel drive
Horsepower161 hp at 3,800 rpm
Torque266 lb./ft at 1,400 rpm
Max. towing/payload capacity5,000 lbs./2,500 lbs.

2021 Ram ProMaster Passenger Van

Ram ProMaster 12 Passenger Van 2018

The 2021 Ram ProMaster is the people-carrying model of the ProMaster Cargo Van. The 2021 Ram ProMaster comes in versions 2500 and 3500. Both 12-passenger vehicles have a high roof, allowing people to stand up inside the van, and a 159-inch wheelbase. The 3500 version, however, also has an extended-length body. Only front seats are provided since Ram expects that owners will outfit the van to their needs. Features and engine choices are available equally on both the 2500 and the 3500.

Ram ProMaster Window is a 3.6-liter V6 engine that generates 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Power is transfer to the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Other standard options feature 16-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, passenger-side sliding side door, power front windows, cloth bucket seats, keyless entry, power locks, rear-view camera, 4 -speaker audio system with USB or auxiliary audio inputs, and a 5-inch touchscreen.

Available features include alloy wheels, daytime running lights, fog lights, a driver-side sliding door, power-folding and heated side-view mirrors, windows for the side and rear doors, cruise control, rear parking sensors, heated seats, a cargo partition, suspension driver’s seat, swivel seats, adjustable lumbar support, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and interior wall paneling.

Standard safety options for the Ram ProMaster feature front, side and side curtain airbags, hill start assist, traction control, antilock disc brakes, and stability control with trailer sway control and rollover mitigation.

2021 Ram ProMaster Passenger Van Specs

Engine typeGas
Transmission6-speed automatic
Drive typeFront-wheel drive
Horsepower280 hp at 6,400 rpm
Torque260 lb./ft at 4,400 rpm
Max. towing/payload capacity5,100 lbs./4,010 lbs.

2021 GMC Savana Passenger Van

GMC Savana 12-Passenger Van

Mechanically identical to Chevy Express, the 2021 GMC Savana Passenger Van variants are now rolling in 2500 extended and 3500 in standard and extended wheelbase. LT and LS trims are also available. The LS includes vinyl seats and the V6. The diesel is available as a choice, as the 6.0L V8. Cloth seats, carpeted floor, auxiliary rear heat, and AC are optional as well. The LT trim has keyless entry, cloth front bucket seat, full carpeting, rear AC, and tilt steering as standard. At the same time, the 3500 variants are equipped the same way but can tow more weight.

The identical 4.8L V-8 and 6.0L V-8 feature in the GMC Savana deliver 285-hp and 342-hp, in that order. The clear-cut winner is the 6.0L V-8, getting only a marginal reduction in gas mileage but benefiting from a considerable and much-needed increase in power. For improved hauling, whether cargo or passenger, the larger V-8 is a better solution.

The 12-seat passenger system presented in the Savana has a bunch of interior space that provides comfy seating to all passengers. The seats provide a similar experience to its Express brother, as well as the rest of the Savana’s vast interior.

The Savana 3500 Passenger comes with many safety features such as StabiliTrak, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, and front, side, and curtain airbags on all variants. The 2018 Savana 3500 Passenger van arrives with the new 4.3-liter V6 engine paired to the 8-speed automatic transmission. New standard equipment includes dual composite headlights, hill start assist solution, LCD screen in the rear-view mirror, rear camera, and OnStar.

2021 GMC Savana Passenger Van Specs

Engine typeGas
Transmission8-speed w/OD
Drive typeRear-wheel drive
Horsepower275 hp at 5,200 rpm
Torque298 lb./ft at 3,900 rpm
Max. towing/payload capacity6,300 lbs./3,210 lbs.

2021 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van

Chevrolet Express Passenger Van

While every other van maker upgraded their passenger or cargo vans every single year, the 2021 Chevrolet Express van players have been in the same jersey for the last 17 years. Unlike the Ram ProMaster Nissan NV and Ford Transit, the Express Passenger van doesn’t bring up an extended roof. But it still offers many desirable features, such as the ability to carry 12 or 15 passengers. Available in 2 wheelbases and configured as the 2500 or 3500, the Chevy Express van’s performances are marvelous. In contrast to the Mercedes Sprinter, there is no all-wheel-drive feature, but the Chevy van offers a potent 6.0-liter V8. It’s also well-known for up-fitters and fleet managers nationwide.

Two gasoline-powered V-8’s are available, the base model engine being a 4.8L V-8 with 285-hp and 295 lb./ft of torque. A better solution than the base model, with similar gas mileage, is the larger 6.0L V-8. Producing 342-hp and 373lb-ft of torque, the 6.0L is much better equipped to handle highway acceleration and heavy cargo.

There’s enough room for the passengers in this Chevy passenger van, but the seats provide pure comfort compared to the more comfortable Ford Transit 12 passenger van. Seats never seem like they lack room, but long trips with a full cabin can affect passenger comfort. Standard safety features include 6 airbags, blind-spot mirrors, and the conventional ABS and stability control systems.

2021 Chevrolet Express Passenger Van Specs

Engine typeGas
Transmission8-speed shiftable automatic
Drive typeRear-wheel drive
Horsepower276 hp at 5,200 rpm
Torque298 lb./ft at 3,900 rpm
Max. towing/payload capacity10,000 lbs./3,060 lbs.

Conclusion: What is the Best 12-Passenger Van in 2021?

There is a wide variety of 12-seater car solutions available on the market, and your final choice will depend on your unique needs and expectations. While some families will enjoy a comfortable and spacious Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Passenger Van, others will fall for cutting-edge technology provided by the Nissan NV 3500 Passenger Van. Overall, whichever model you choose from this 12-passenger van comparison guide, you’ll be impressed with its features and power.