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SUV vs Minivans



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I've called it the bread box more than once... :D
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Mine's a frig on wheels!

    It's probably a rehash but I couldn't resist:

    Separated At Birth?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Cool thread, thanks for the link!
  • tsgtsg Posts: 1
    I am trading in my Chrysler Pacifica and need to figure out what to get next. My husband is leaving it up to me to figure out what to get and I am totally clueless. First, I have to decide if I should go with a minivan or an SUV. Honestly, I'd rather not get a mv - totally for superficial reasons :) (I'm only 27 with 2 kids - I don't want to go there yet if I don't have to!) However, I'd bite the bullet if it really was the most practical and economical way to go.

    Here are the things that are important to me: (I know nothing about cars so this is not a very technical list :) )
    1. At least 7 seats.
    2. Cargo space.
    3. Easy to access 3rd row.
    4. Ease of use with carseats (2 kids in carseats.)
    5. MPG
    6. I don't want to feel like I am driving a truck...would rather more of a car feel.

    So...what do you guys suggest? I need a few options to go check out (and maybe the pros and cons of each?) Thanks!!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sounds like a large crossover would serve you well.

    Check out the usual suspects: GM Lambdas (Traverse, Enclave, Acadia), Mazda CX9, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Veracruz, and Ford Flex.

    The Highlander and Tribeca are a bit on the smaller side, so I'd try those bigger ones above. The Veracruz may also feel a bit small for 7, not sure.

    You will get the 7 seats or cargo (rare to get both at the same time - see minivan for that), and everything minus perhaps the MPG. Maybe try the FWD versions of those if you don't see lots of snow.

    I looked at all of those and pretty much concluded you lose MPG and cargo space with any of those compared to a minivan, so I got a Sienna.

    The CX9 probably came closest. The center tunnel rubbed my knee the wrong way, though, and it was more money for less space.
  • igiban1igiban1 Posts: 24
    Must be the sliding doors. Bears 'dig' it. In and out quick. SUV can't match that!
  • berriberri Posts: 7,743
    I agree those are nice crossover picks. However, there is one drawback to crossovers. If she is going to be hauling extra people in the 3rd row, there isn't much room behind the 3rd row to store stuff as in a minivan, and many CUV 3rd seats are rather close to the tailgate in the event of a rearend collision.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    That did occur to me - them critters have impressive claws. Sort of like peeling open a sardine can.
  • sreddysreddy Posts: 5
    We had the same dilemma when our kids were that age. If your practical minded, mv wins hands down. If your more vain, then the SUV wins. Of your 6 important things, 2-5 mv wins easily. So our resolution to the dilemma was my wife had her car, and I had mine. The mv was the kids car! Our Odyssey just past 130K and has been the best car we've ever owned.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Agreed, and that's what I meant by "7 seats or cargo".

    With lots of stuff don't plan on seating more than 5, tops.

    My boating friend has a Sienna and showed up with his family of 4 and a Kayak - all INSIDE his Sienna. :surprise:

    It could actually seat 5 and still carry the kayak - driver, 2 behind him, 2 in the 3rd row. The Kayak lies on top of the folding passenger seat.

    Beat that. :shades:
  • igiban1igiban1 Posts: 24
    Get an Ody. It handles more like a car, and looks a bit edgier than Sienna. And don't forget to put a sticker on its rear bumper that says 'Still a Cool Mom'.
  • li_sailorli_sailor Posts: 1,081
    "While some SUV look just a boxy and un-sporty as MV, they certainly have better chances to look more exciting than MV."

    LOL, some things never change! AdventureMan! (Woman). At least it happens way less these days than earlier. And MVs are so much better today than in yesteryear.

    Enjoyed the reads.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Good to see a post from you too LI. Hope you had a good sailing season!
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I had to do a double take on that by-line! Welcome back. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • Hi there guys....I am moving to buffalo NY (lot and lot of snow) and me and my wife and our one + (one on the way) = two need a safe transportation.
    I was considering mainly SUV vs Minivan.
    I was considering Honda odyssey pilot, MDX, ML 350 (with hesitation) R320 (love the care hate the price) .

    Would the van peform well in the tons of snow?

    For safety - I realize that SUVs roll over but is it worth taking that risk ?
    I am certain that I will be replacing the vehicle in 5 yrs.

    Thank you guys for your help !!
  • hause7hause7 Posts: 153
    I know it's not one of your choices, but I would suggest an AWD Sienna. Speaking from personal experience, owned an 04 Limited AWD, that thing drove great in snowy/rainy conditions. I remember going to visit family in Washington state and the 700 mile drive there we encounter some really snowy weather and it just drove through it like it was nothing. The only time we had a little trouble was when there was nearly a foot of fresh snow, but that was expected since it's not a true 4WD, but it made it. For snowy weather we would have kept it, but we live where we have to drive to see snow, so we switched it for a FWD XLE, shows you how much we love the SIenna. You should test drive one and see how you and your wife like it. :)

    Also, the Run-flats can be switched with regular tires, that's what we did to avoid the hasel of Run-flats.
  • We looked at the Sienna but wifey just hated the interior. She loves the odyssey but I am afraid if it would handle buffalo snow ! :(
  • Sorry, You've already lost. If you don't get the Honda, You'll never hear the end of it. Yet, a co-worker of mine has a 2003 Odyssey, the transmission went bad. Was quoted $7,000 to fix. She found a guy that fixed it for "only" $6,000. Run THAT one by wifey. You might get lucky. Don't worry about the snow. Just put on the best snow tires you can find. It'll do just fine. (I owned a mini-van in Syracuse)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I haven't read of transmission problems in the Odyssey in several years, since the redesign really.
  • My wife was hesitating to give up her SUV and Lexus for a minivan. We got a 2010 Honda Odyssey Touring. She is completelt bowled over. My daughter used to motion sickness everytime she set her feet in the SUV. Not anymore. Now, she is looking forward long distnace drive to meet het grand parents. Both Ody and Sinenna are very spacious, kids friendly and rides as smoothly as a luxury car. Go for a Minivan and you won't regret. MV are little noisy.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Family of 4, so you may not need something as big as an Ody.

    There are lots of good roomy crossovers, some even offer a usable 3rd row - Pilot, CX9, Veracruz, GM's Lambdas, and Ford Flex.

    You can probably even go smaller - CR-V, Forester, RAV4, Equinox, etc.

    We have a Forester and a Sienna. The Forester is just right for the 4 of us, but we use the van when the nanny comes along, or friends.

    Forester aces every single IIHS test, even the new roof crush standards, offers 8.9" clearance for that snow, and AWD is on every model.

    In snow it kills our FWD Sienna, no contest. Get AWD - Buffalo gets tons of snow.

    Good luck!
  • My wife is completely against going with a mini-van idea. Seems like the mosts logical choice with two kids and elderly mother in law. Price, gas mileage and so much easier to park compared to my crew cab pickup. She is just dead set against the idea. Any suggestions to win her over.
  • As a mini-van owner, I must say that your wife may be right. The current trend seems to be that mini-van are beginning to fall out of favor, even with soccer moms. Sadly, It's all about "image" which is too bad because I really enjoy my old Nissan Quest and I don't even have a family. I think you should consider these options: 1st is the Nissan Highlander. 2nd is the Chevy Traverse. Although I never thought I would recommend am American brand, the Chevy deserves serious consideration. Both these models tout themselves as "mini-vans for people who hate mini-vans", Wife would be happy. All will be right with the world.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Show her a model with power sliding doors and a power liftgate.

    If you really want to impress her, show her the power folding 3rd row on the Sienna. That might knock her socks off.

    "Just say, bear with me, we'll look at one single van, if you don't like it I promise we won't look at any more."

    Then make sure you show her one with all the gadgets, like Navi and a backup cam as well.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    You could visit the dealer and set up an appointment and get the salesperson to park a Sienna and Sequoia side by side (or whatever make/model you want). Matching colors of course.

    Then tell your wife you found a SUV to try and go visit the dealer. Have the salesperson confuse your wife with a lot of patter at the meet and greet, and then "accidentally" get her to sit in the minivan parked next to the Sequoia. Maybe she won't notice the bait and switch until after she falls in love with it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I love it. Enough of us are involved that now it's officially a conspiracy! :D
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    All the car designers already put camo all over their new cars to hide the looks from all the spy photographers.

    We need to cobble together a minivan camo kit.

    This is really a Honda Odyssey:

  • well guys the sienna is out of question - the interior just did not do it for us.

    We are really down to two choices - MDX vs Odyssey. My question is
    1. Given the new MDX 09 - will it be as safe as Odyssey?
    2. How will MDX perform in long rides - will it be as comfortable as Odyssey minivan?
    3 Most important - will the odyssey peform as good as MDX in the buffalo snow?

    Thanks guys...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    1. Most likely, yes. Both were on IIHS' 2009 Top Safety Picks list. Both dropped off in 2010, and for the same reason - neither scored a Good on the roof crush resistance test:

    2. I haven't driven the new MDX, but it should be a bit firmer, but still comfy. Acura uses more sound insulation, too. Drive it because sound quality is largely subjective.

    3. SH-AWD is going to beat FWD easily. Having said that, a good set of snow tires would serve the Ody wel.

    Best of luck shopping.
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,602
    Steve -- You Lie !!!! Everyone knows the new sienna when they see one.
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