Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





SUV vs Minivans

1676870727391

Comments

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,448
    several times over several years, i have studied the numbers on the nhtsa reports.
    based on what i understand about their reporting criteria, i will not be satisfied with anything less than passenger mile statistics. that would be the truth. i also realize it is pretty much impossible to measure, unlike airplanes.
    you don't have to 'check in' every time you drive or report how many passengers are with you. it does make a difference in injury/fatality rates, although not necessarily for only the driver.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    tDOHH! That would be correct. Inattentive drivers are usually not "wreckless"...but more often than not are reckless...as they "wreckmore" :confuse:
  • cpsdarrencpsdarren Posts: 265
    "several times over several years, i have studied the numbers on the nhtsa reports.
    based on what i understand about their reporting criteria, i will not be satisfied with anything less than passenger mile statistics. that would be the truth. i also realize it is pretty much impossible to measure, unlike airplanes.
    you don't have to 'check in' every time you drive or report how many passengers are with you. it does make a difference in injury/fatality rates, although not necessarily for only the driver.
    "

    I agree. The reporting by NHTSA and DOT in the FARS and WISQARs databases do have significant flaws when trying to correlate them directly to vehicle safety. That's exactly why I prefer more objective information that directly affects safety, like controlled crash testing, weight, rollover risk and safety features. Emergency handling and braking performance and other crash protection/avoidance features are also useful if you can find a good source for comparisons.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    I agree with you as well. For the sake of the argument, I think we can at least all agree that there is no significant advantage to buying a mid/large SUV over a minivan if you are concerned about safety. Honda, Kia, and Hyundai (Toyota as well if you pay for the right packages) have all seemed to make their minivans their flagships for safety. Things such as complete front and side airbags (for all three rows), traction control, stability control, tire pressure monitoring systems, and backup sensors are all available (most of these items are standard equipment).

    I think we can all agree that mid/large SUV's (including the Suburban) have no real significant advantage in terms of storage, interior leg/shoulder room, maximum seating, comfort, cargo capacity, luxury items (NAV, entertainment, etc, power doors/liftgate), gas mileage, performance, and handling, etc. In most of these areas minivans are actually superior to mid/large SUV's.

    So it comes down to styling, function (4x4, and towing), and, dare I say, image. Some people simply prefer to spend their money on a big SUV because they feel it looks "cooler". I seriously doubt the majority of folks buy a large SUV exclusively for towing purposes (no doubt there are some, but I doubt most), and there is a need for 4x4/AWD (which some minivans have), but I doubt this is a necessity for most SUV drivers. I think the big issue is that minivans tend to be associated with the "soccer mom" and folks (more than likely most men), do not want to be labeled in this regard. Again, this is my opinion, and one I have personally faced and experienced as someone who is 34 years old and never expected myself to be driving a minivan.

    The truth is that minivans have really evolved and are actually ideal for hauling families, or friends. Believe me, when we bought the van it was for my wife, but I find myself driving it more and more and actually prefer it to my compact SUV (Mazda Tribute). So much so that I am seriously considering getting rid of the SUV in the next year or so in favor of something more sporty and gas friendly. I recently read that minivans are huge in Canada (something like 10% of all vehicle sales are minivans).

    All I am saying is that if folks are considering buying a mid/large SUV and have no huge need for towing heavy trailers, they should at least look and drive a minivan. You might just be surprised at what you find.

    Per Edmunds 2006 most wanted van award:
    " The Honda Odyssey's iVTEC V6 propels the van from 0-60 in
    about 7 seconds. If you don't think that sounds impressive, keep in mind that a V6 powered Accord does it in 6.9 seconds. The Odyssey is faster than other minivans and is the most fun to drive. We've referred to it as the BMW of minivans".
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,958
    I dunno; I bet there's more women who don't want to be seen in minivans because of the soccer mom stigma than men.

    Around here it seems the guys drive the big honking pickups and the women drive the big honking (or the more compact) SUVs, but who knows. I suppose there are some studies out there somewhere. :P

    Ours is the only house in our culdesac with a minivan; the three sets of parents have 2 SUVs, 2 trucks, a wagon, sedan and a full size van between them. Naturally we're the ones without kids.

    Steve, Host
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    "I dunno; I bet there's more women who don't want to be seen in minivans because of the soccer mom stigma than men.

    Around here it seems the guys drive the big honking pickups and the women drive the big honking (or the more compact) SUVs, but who knows. I suppose there are some studies out there somewhere."


    You know, you might have something there.. My wife takes my son to a neighborhood play group with other stay at home Mom's, and amongst the group there are 2 Ford Explorers, 2 Honda Pilots, 1 Tahoe, a couple large family sedans, and our minivan.. Not very many pickups here in Northern VA, but a bunch of mid/large SUV's. I am seeing more and more Odyssey's and Sienna's on the road, but amongst our friends in our age group we are the first to buy a minivan...
  • cpsdarrencpsdarren Posts: 265
    Very true. I know a number of moms who won't be caught dead owning a minivan. They still all rave about the space and convenience of a minivan compared to their wagon/SUV/sedan. Image and all-wheel drive are big sellers, far more so to most buyers than safety and utility.

    My image is already ruined being a stay-at-home dad, so no big deal to me in driving a minivan for the safety and utility. Still, I have to say I was pretty close to buying a Highlander Hybrid, despite the extra cost and feeble 3rd row and cargo space.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,958
    At least you can say the "Dad" part ... I'm just a stay at home bum. I usually say snowboard bum to try to help the image a little. :shades:

    The immediate neighbor/Mom & Dad both work at home and the Dad next to him raises the kids while the wife works (mostly at home). The Mom across from them stays home.

    The UPS driver doesn't sneeze on our street without 4 or 5 sets of eyes knowing about it.

    Steve, Host
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,448
    there is a significant segement of vehicle buyers that prefer rwd based vehicles. all luxury cars have this design.
    suv's definitly look 'cooler' than minivans, and fashion is a factor is many vehicles purchases. if it was all about function, everyone would be driving extended scion xb's.
    from my experience, my explorer is overall the best handling vehicle i have ever had. it doesn't have the highest skipad or slalom numbers, but it can't be tripped up by pot holes or frost heaves, even in the corners.
    the 4wd system works great in rain or snow. wheelspin is just about absent unless it is in 4wd/auto.
    i've driven through ontario, canada many times, minivans have always been popular there, but they used to be the ford(aerostar) and chevy(astro) varieties back when the rwd/awd versions were available.
    i am not against anyone driving a minivan, if that's what they want. to me fwd is ok in a small car, but anything bigger, yuck!
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,677
    Ours is the only house in our culdesac with a minivan; the three sets of parents have 2 SUVs, 2 trucks, a wagon, sedan and a full size van between them. Naturally we're the ones without kids.

    That is about the mix on our street and most of the neighborhoods around us.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,448
    my oldest got their driver's license last month and usually drives the explorer.
    after seeing the explorer pulling into the garage;
    me: you ok driving the explorer?
    kid: yeah. the funny thing is i thought i liked driving moms escape better.
    me: liked?
    kid: the explorer is easier to drive when i am trying to park it, the gas isn't as jumpy. i just feel more in control.
    me: i feel the same way. i have to get used to the gas pedal on the escape.
    kid: when i am going onto the highway it is easier too. i can get up to speed and and don't feel like i am pushing it. the other thing is how it turns. i can't believe i could make a u turn without having to back up too.
    me: it has a great turning circle.
    kid: mom's escape doesn't have the seat that slides back when i open the door and goes forward when i put the key in the ignition.
    me: welcome to 'spoiled'. :)
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,677
    All I am saying is that if folks are considering buying a mid/large SUV and have no huge need for towing heavy trailers, they should at least look and drive a minivan.

    I have to agree with you on the Odyssey. We even went so far as to go down for a test drive of a Touring model. We sat in it as it was already sold, so no test drive. When I looked at the price and they had added $3000 dealer markup, I about croaked. I have never in my life paid MSRP let alone a dealer markup. I told him if I could buy one at invoice it would be a decent deal. He was quite rude and we left. I was just getting over my horrible experience with a Honda Accord, that I had bought new in 1978. So I guess the next time I talk to a Honda dealer I will be well into my 80s.

    Minivans have lots of usable room. I need more place to haul dirty stuff. A crew cab PU, as many people are finding out, is the IDEAL vehicle. You can haul 5 or 6 comfortably and a dozen bales of hay or a load of sand. Perfect, maybe that is why the Ford "F" series is the number one vehicle in sales. More than Camry & Accord combined.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,677
    I have rented several Explorers in Hawaii. One time budget gave me an Escape and said it was the same class vehicle. NO WAY, I took it back and demanded the Explorer I was promised. They got one to me that evening. What a BIG difference. I liked the Explorers I have rented. Also got a Chevy Trailblazer once and liked it. NO mini SUVs for this kid. I'd rather drive a full size car than a small SUV.

    PS
    Looks like you are going to need a new Explorer :)
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,448
    hopefully those explorers were a v-8 with towing package.
    if not, it gets better. :)
    i think it is funny my kid(s) like rwd better the fwd. i guess most don't get that opportunity. :)
    we try to provide my kids with a lot of experiences, and let them decide what they like.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    My first couple cars were RWD, and I liked them, but modern sporty FWD vehicles can be just as much fun to drive.

    My first car was a Mazda RX-7 and that car was a complete blast to drive :) Hindsight 20/20 I don't know what my parents were thinking.. My son's first car will be something nice and safe (maybe a used AWD Subaru or something)....
  • cpsdarrencpsdarren Posts: 265
    When I looked at the price and they had added $3000 dealer markup, I about croaked. I have never in my life paid MSRP let alone a dealer markup.

    That's a lousy dealer, unless it was when the new Odyssey rolled out in late 2004. It's not uncommon for any highly anticipated all-new model to command a premium for a few months after it debuts. Today, buyers are paying invoice or much less in some areas. I paid $300 under invoice back when the 2006 was released in October of last year, now I'm seeing people report deals for $1000 or more under invoice.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Agreed. I also paid under invoice (about $600) on my Odyssey. The other thing about Honda is that they package their vehicles with many standard features and only have a few different models/packages to pick from. It simply makes shopping easier. By comparison, when we were shopping for minivans, Toyota and Chrysler seemed to have an infinite number of packages and options making it difficult to get exactly what you were looking for.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,677
    Honda can go broke for all I care. Good vehicles or not I refuse to be treated rudely by a lowlife car dealer like Tipton Honda in El Cajon, CA.

    I ended up buying an MB Cruiser conversion van. It is built on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis. It is twice the size and gets an Honest 24 MPG. Just got back from a 3000 mile trip through Texas. The nice thing diesel was cheaper than gas. Many Odyssey owners are reporting under 20 MPG which I consider poor. I never got less than 21 MPG with our motor home. Plus it is fully self contained. American and Japanese automakers really need to do something about the lousy mileage in their larger vehicles. If Mercedes can build an 8000 lb vehicle that gets 25 MPG I would think it easy to get 30 MPG from a 6k lb vehicle.

    I am leaning toward the MB ML320 CDI when it arrives this fall. When someone brings out a decent midsize PU that is diesel I will sell the GMC hybrid and buy the diesel PU.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,677
    I am sure they were V6 2WD. All I needed was the extra ground clearance for all the gravel roads on the Big Island. I can see why they have maintained a sales position at the top or near the top for many years.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    I have had many a bad dealer experience in my life as well, and can understand your frustration. The worst dealer experience I ever had was at a Nissan dealer (followed a close second by a Ford dealer and a Toyota dealer). My recent Honda purchase was the easiest and most pleasent dealer experience I have ever had (Hendrick Honda), probably because it was mostly handled over the Internet. This is my first Honda, as I had two experiences similar to yours where I was looking a a brand new model year Honda and the salesman just did not want to sell me one (arrogant). Needless to say, I never even consider going to that dealer anymore.

    As for MPG mileage, I have filled up twice now with my Odyssey and am aveaging 19.2MPG in mostly (90%) city driving with the A/C on (and I am not exactly a lightfoot with the gas). We are taking a road trip this weekend so I will see how the van does on the highway but I am expecting 24-26MPG.

    Many Odyssey owners are getting the EPA numbers after their vans are broken-in. It also comes down to your driving style. If you drive mostly city and acclerate very quickly (like I do) from stops then getting 19-20MPG is pretty realistic (in any vehicle).

    Honda is planning a diesel version of the Odyssey in the near future:
    link Future Honda Engines
Sign In or Register to comment.