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SUV vs Minivans



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I was about to post the same thing - look at what finance incentives each has when it's time to buy.

    Pay cash on the car with more cash back, and finance the car with the more attractive loan rate. Win-win.

    The Charger is being updated soon so expect big incentives. The Pilot is also getting long in the tooth.

    Another thought - don't buy the Pilot if you don't like it. Lowering the payment won't make you happy if you don't like what you're driving. Get another CPO Armada or something.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    You mean the new for 2009 Pilot? I'm not a fan of it, but it's hardly old by today's standards. The CX-9, Highlander, and Murano are all at least as old (most older) than the current Pilot, aren't they?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Wow, is it that new?

    I guess I didn't really like it when I came out, so I'm already looking forward to the redesign.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Sadly yes; the original Pilot debuted in 2002 as a 2003 model and ran for 6 years (like the Odyssey which officially ran '05-'10).
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Central OhioPosts: 431
    What about the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, or the Chevy Traverse. Worlds better looking than the Pilot and about as versatile as a Mini Van. Give them a look at the very least.
    2012 Highlander Limited AWD V6 and 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE
  • petras2petras2 Posts: 104
    Absolutely agree with your suv/minivan comparison..I'm amazed at how many people reject minivans mainly because of their looks..for the money minivans, especially the honda lx, (base version), are hard to beat..we enjoy taking long trips in it and absolutely love the versatility it offers..
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I have one and my favorite feature are the power doors. They take no space and have huge openings, even the dog can just hop in. Much easier access.

    My only regret is not getting a power hatch (for when you have something heavy in your arms).

    Also, a good mid-size SUV will have about 70-100 cubic feet capacity.

    A similarly sized minivan will have 150. So up to double the space.

    You really have to go to a Suburban to match a minivan, and then you're vehicle is nearly two feet longer.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    A Women’s Health magazine reporter is interested in speaking with women on the appeal of SUV’s and Minivans. If you previously owned a minivan and currently own an SUV or other crossover utility vehicle and are interested in speaking with this reporter about why you chose it and what you like about it, please respond to with your name, email address and day time phone number by Wednesday, August 3, 2011.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    A reporter is hoping to interview a car shopper in S. California who is using the Internet to do automotive research. Please email by Monday, September 19, 2011 with your daytime contact info and a few words about your experience.
  • Well I personally prefer SUVs but I was practically forced to buy a minivan. I just sold my 2007 Acura MDX. SUVs are nice and make you look rich. Midsize SUVs usually have luxurious design but aren't as comfortable as minivans. Their 3rd row seating isn't very practical. If you have over two children or you travel a lot with a large and older family then I recommend a minivan. If you don't travel a lot an you have a small family of three or less then midsize SUVs are fine. Just the space becomes in an issue with midsize SUVs. Now full size SUVs are better but they have terrible fuel consumption. They also usually have very high interest rates and are very expensive. No one really buys them and they have terrible resale value. They also don't have as many features as minivans.

    Since I got rid of my X5 I just bought a Honda Odyssey Touring Elite for 43,000 dollars, which is the fully upgraded model. I wasn't so happy selling my MDX but I had to as I have one 15 year old and an 11 year old. I also travel with my cousin and his wife plus his 14 year old son. Our MDX became a headache. My son complained a so much about the third row, so we sold our MDX last week. Then we visited the toyota dealer and checked out the Sienna. Then we went to Honda and I checked the Odyssey out. I sat in the third row and man was it comfortable or what. Very easily can three full size adults fit in the third row. Now then my wife and I debated between Odyssey and Sienna. My wife and I both loved the Odyssey. It is perfect for young children if you have any, even though we don't. I love the space. The Odyssey has some really nice features such as: a cool box, flat fold third row seats, power rear hatch, power sliding doors, ultrawide rear entertainment screen, and what not! I highly recommend the Honda Odyssey 2011. AMAZING MINIVAN!!!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It was the unselfish thing to do...your passengers will thank you.
  • What made you purchase the Odyssey over the Sienna? I am thinking of going with the Sienna because I like the AWD option.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    We came out of an Ody and into a Sienna. We started toward the Sienna because of the AWD and were never happy with the snow/ice performance of the Ody even with Blizzaks. Once I gave the Sienna AWD a good look and balanced the pro's/con's we ended up with a FWD. The system is very basic, drags mpg, and the run-flats are not my cup-o-tea.

    I personally like everything about the Ody better except for the exterior styling. But given that not much changed in the overall mechanicals I have doubts the new ones are any better in the snow/ice. Ody was the worst FWD I've owned for winter performance so I guess we'll find out how the Sienna does. We drive a lot of very hilly and rarely plowed roads so really we would prefer an SUV. But the compromise of space just doesn't cut it.

    We looked closely at the Acadia but there is just not enough cargo space if you need the 3rd row, which is the only reason I can imagine buying one of these vehicles. We have several 4x4 vehicles around so we have choices if the weather turns really foul. But it never fails we'll be on a trip and hit some weather coming or going. Nice to know you can actually get home once you get off the highway. We managed with the Ody and Blizzaks but it was not impressive.
  • yousafyousaf Posts: 4
    Hmm I purchased an Odyssey and not a Sienna because Sienna does have a nice exterior from the front however the back looks kind of messed up. The Odyssey is actually better exterior. The Honda Odyssey has better interior features and a better interior design unlike the Sienna where everything looks so messed up in the front where all the AC controls are.

    Somethings I really liked about the Sienna was that it had AWD, it was really spacious much more than Odyssey, it had more trim levels and starting price for leather was cheaper, the front design I love it, and a few other minor things.

    One kind of dumb thing Toyota did with the AWD models are that they only have 7 seats if you want AWD. If you get standard 2WD then you get 8 seats.

    Overally I think both vans are very good and spacious epecially after selling an Acura MDX.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited October 2011
    Good point - I wanted AWD and 8 seats even back in MY2007, but had to compromise. We choose the 8th seat, since we also own a Subaru.

    Is that still the case with the 2011s?
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    2011+ the XLE AWD and all Ltd models come with the 7 pax lounge seating. LE AWD just has plain 7 pax seating.

    I'm guessing there's something mechanical from allowing the 8-pax seating on the AWD models. The driveshaft goes through where the spare tire would be on FWD models which is why they only have run-flats on AWD. The AWD Ltd also loses the power third row because of some limitation.

    It could also be a weight limitation since the AWD adds significant heft. Curb weight on a Ltd AWD is 335# higher than a FWD LE and 200# heavier than a FWD Ltd. That's more than one pax by most definitions.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I know on the 2004-2008 models the floor stamping was different when you compared the 7 and 8 seaters. I'm sure that plus the other things you mentioned are all factors.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    You can see that with the complexities that go into the AWD models (down to different body parts, seats, tires, etc.) why they're not offered by other brands. And even though that was the main reason we originally gravitated toward the Sienna to replace our Ody....we came home with a FWD.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yep - like run-flat tires, what I've observed to be the #1 most common complaint when it comes to Siennas.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    That was the biggest factor in our skipping the AWD. It was also a big factor when we skipped the Ody Touring back in 2005 (lack of 8 pax seating was another). At least with the Ody you could still swap out (after big $$) and install a spare. No good option for that on the Sienna without giving up valuable cargo room.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Yep - like run-flat tires, what I've observed to be the #1 most common complaint

    Funny, so it's either that the van has too many PAX or not room for enough pax. :shades:

    I'd love a 5 passenger minivan but I guess we'll have to move to France to find one. The Mazda5 is pretty close with "just" 6 seats.
  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,956
    I'd love a 5 passenger minivan but I guess we'll have to move to France to find one. The Mazda5 is pretty close with "just" 6 seats.

    I figured you had already lived there at some point. You do get around...

    15.5 XC70 T6 / 16 Soul EV / 17 Toyota 86

  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,956
    As much as I prefer the interior of the Ody to the Sienna, I think I would choose the Sienna if only because it seems to be the only minivan that doesn't consistently have transmission complaints. I think I could make a XLE AWD work.

    15.5 XC70 T6 / 16 Soul EV / 17 Toyota 86

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The powertrain on mine is a dream. Very quick, fuel efficient, trouble-free.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    We never had trouble with the tranny in our Ody over 100k miles. Had trouble with just about everything else though. :P I would just buy what you like best. We've had the Sienna in for several things already as well. Nothing major, just silly stuff that happens when you have $10,000 of electronic gizmos. Bluetooth, NAV, sliding doors, radar cruise...and the best part is the techs have no clue how to fix this stuff. Well they finally fixed the doors but the rest is just tough S#@$ I guess. At least the Honda dealer gave us a loaner! I miss the old Honda and Toyota. Too bad they're the only game for decent driving minivans.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    A reporter would like to interview anyone who has used's Car Match.

    Please email by November 4, 2011 with your daytime phone number and a comment about your experience.
  • tmakogontmakogon Posts: 74
    edited January 2012
    I'd like to start a thread to report measurements (in inches) for SUVs and minivans because the real cargo space dimensions is a consideration in purchasing an SUV for me and for friends whom I asked.

    Manufacturers usually report cargo space cubic footage, but when transporting large household items like a sofa or a painting or a dryer what really matters is how wide the cargo door opening is and how deep is the space.

    My SUV experience was that Rendezvous had much better cargo capacity than RX350. Things still fit in the RX but fewer do and much tighter, requiring multiple trips at times.
    From memory the Rendezvous had a 48-inch wide opening, and fairly tall too. It never got to carry 4x8's in it, but it was big enough and did carry a plasma TV.

    If you feel like measuring your cargo space and sharing the four measurements please post the following:
    • SUV or van model name
    • width at bottom (watch for wheel wells)
    • width at top (e.g. at ceiling or at side-folded third row seats)
    • height (watch for ceiling-mounted seatbelt spools and DVD players)
    • floor depth with second row seats folded down

    An example:
    LexusRX350 44 42 30 72
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We have some help from this Subaru dealer, but I'll contribute:

    Forester 42 39 32 70

    That's a big little SUV.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Tribeca also:

    Tribeca 43 x 32 78

    I put an "x" because width at the ceiling is not measured.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't have all the measures but a sheet of plywood fits easily inside on the flat floor, hatch closed. There's actually a little room to spare.

    So the floor is bigger than 48"x96".
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