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Minivan or SUV?

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  • Minivan or SUV?

    In general, what are the tradeoffs? Which would you buy?

  • #2
    What particular models are you looking at? I don't think there's quite as much variety among minivans but there's a huge variety among different classes of SUVs.


    • #3
      Minivan: Honda Odyssey or if you need 4wd due to frequent snow Toyota Sienna.

      Lifting kids into SUVs is not practical and minivans hold more since they are basically boxes on wheels. Also SUVs drive like a truck while vans drive like a sedan.


      • #4

        In general, what are the tradeoffs? Which would you buy?
        Click to expand...

        I love my 2014 Odyssey. Bought it pre owned in 2016 20,000 mi for 20k. I love driving it. My wife hated it initially. Didn't conform with "looking cool/being cool narrative." But it's grown on her.


        • #5
          I was just choosing over this same option. I was strongly considering a Model X or even a Escalade ESV platinum.

          However I did a lot of research a chose to go with a Pacifica limited.

          I have been anti minivan since I can remember. However I have
          5 kids and 2 that are under 2.

          So minivan for now. When the kids are big enough to climb into a full size SUV own their own then I will switch over to the SUV.

          Minivan fully loaded was Atleast 55k cheaper and honestly is way more practical. Very comfortable, and great on gas.

          Sad to admit it but the minivan gets 2 thumbs up from me


          • #6
            I'm a fan of a SUV (owned two Toyota Sequoias) but I live in a high snow area and need a high clearance vehicle.

            I also needed lots of space for MY three kids, the neighborhood kids and the large dog!

            Bought most recently my 2015 Sequoia, pre-owned, was a rental car with 30K miles, and got for less than 1/2 of what I could have purchased a new 2017 Sequoia (bought it Feb of 2017)


            • #7
              I have a Sorento -- small SUV but managed to sneak in 3 rows -- and an Odyssey.  Also w/3 kids, two of whom need big/bulky car seats.

              The Odyssey is more practical and easier to use when the whole family is together .  Easier to have extra people join us and easier to travel with the kids.  The Sorento, as a small SUV, is more fun to drive, but if I had some giant SUV the driving experience would not be nearly as fun.

              A giant SUV may have the storage space but it will use more gas, be harder to drive and harder to get people in/out.  IMO it's mostly for people that are worried about the minivan image.  But when I see those giant SUVs the awareness they are getting 10 miles/gallon makes me a bit nauseous.  I'm not an environmentalist by any means, but if you're just hauling kids and going on road trips, the minivan is the more practical and better option.
              An alt-brown look at medicine, money, faith, & family


              • #8

                In general, what are the tradeoffs? Which would you buy?
                Click to expand...

                Had Honda Odyssey totalled in an accident last year. Wife wanted a luxury SUV. Got the Acura MDX hybrid. Within a couple of weeks of driving it both of us wished we had gotten another Odyssey.

                Nothing like a minivan for transporting people or going on long road trips.


                • #9
                  Neither SUV nor minivan. Station wagon. The Volvo 740 or V70 used to be the gold standard, but now a Subaru takes the cake for safety, reliability, and durability.

                  The Mercedes E class station wagon is awfully nice, especially if you can lease an AMG model as a business expense. Same for the Tesla Model X.

                  Minivans have become entirely too expensive. A Honda Odyssey is $40-50K. Likewise, the nice looking Pacifica hybrid is $50K. It’s a great design, but I would want to keep a $50K purchase for at least a decade and I don’t trust Fiat Chrysler’s build quality for more than 3-5 years. The lease terms for Chrysler minivans are quite unfavorable. What I really want is a Toyota or Honda minivan with the Pacifica’s 45+ mile pure plugin electric range but with Honda or Toyota reliability and durability.


                  • #10
                    Minivan.  The sliding doors are wonderful.  All cars should have them.

                    My Odyssey holds an amazing amount of cargo in the rear trunk space, and I can drop the 3rd row seats down if I need more space.  It handles well.   If you need 4 wheel drive, get the Toyota Sienna.   I'm sure that's a great vehicle as well.

                    My wife has an SUV.  I don't see the point.  No more room than a sedan, but heavier, more expensive, and prone to roll over.


                    • #11
                      -More practical (like having an enclosed pickup)
                      -sportier to drive (low center of gravity, better handling)
                      -very focused on comfort and convenience (automatic sliding doors)

                      As others have said, SUV is a catch-all term for tall vehicles. Most crossover type SUVs have less cargo space than a full size car and require folding seats down to carry anything. The larger body on frame SUVs have terrible handling.

                      Go test drive a new Chrysler Pacifica.


                      • #12
                        Minivans are very practical.

                        Others have posted above about their merits if you have small children, and I fully concur.

                        Minivans are also great if you have older kids. Our Sienna has seen many trips as a cargo van moving kids in and out of student housing at college.


                        • #13
                          I just love me a minivan, and I don't even really need one.  Ease of entry, sight lines, comfort, cargo space, sliding doors and other creature features are just some of the pros.


                          • #14
                            Not in the market and never though about it much until I recently Uber'd in a minivan. I was amazed by the space and rear seating comfort. If SO is worried about the "cool factor", just Google Image "Honda Odyssey Racing"!


                            • #15
                              WCICON24 EarlyBird
                              Nothing beats a minivan in utility and versatility.  It is a swiss army knife on wheels.  We keep our 2004 Odyssey around because of that reason.  She's a wonderful workhorse and never complains.

                              That said, if you're weather/rural/mountain folk <2% folk in general, but a higher population represented here, SUV may make sense in durability if more than occasional unpaved roads or more than soccer field off roading.