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The minivan will get better mileage and less emissions. The minivan will have more seating flexibility, and easier access to rear rows. The Minivan will have larger sliding doors and a lower step-in height making loading and unloading easier. The minivan will have better handling and braking. According the the IIHS, Vans over 4000 lbs (Includes Odyssey, Windstar, Grand Caravan etc) are in the best group for lowest death rates ( http://www.iihs.org/sr_ddr/sr3507_t1.htm ). The minivan will have lower tendency to rollover. Odyssey and Windstar also get top crash ratings across the board, something matched by very few SUVs of any size. The minivan will also be less hazardous to other vehicles in a crash, as the unibody design tends to crush to absorb energy instead of acting like a battering ram. Similarly equipped, minivans tend to be a bit less expensive, though this can vary depending on trim level.
On the other hand, the SUV will be much better for towing. With 4WD, it will also be much better for serious off-roading and very severe weather. The also don't have the family "image" of a minivan. These are not small considerations, especially if you must do heavy towing or off-roading on a regular basis. In those cases, a minivan is probably not an option.
Again, there are exceptions, I only state some generalizations for sake of debate. Which is right for you depends mostly on your specific needs.
Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - email@example.com.
As you said, each family has different needs. IMHO, the most important thing for my family is safety and that includes seatbelt systems and easy access for proper carseat installation every time. Motor vehicle crashes ARE the #1 cause of death for ages 1-14. Also, while the big SUVs can accomodate 1 more passenger than most minivans, keep in mind that many DO NOT have a lap/shoulder belt in the rear center seat. Such a position is unsafe for kids in boosters and adults, and is only useful for a harnessed carseat.
We find the cargo space in Odyssey very similar to Expedition and the eariler Suburbans (don't know if 2001/2 has more room than the 2000).
No need to restate the other points that have already been stated regarding safety, but here's some more food for thought:
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