SUV for family

The Big Debate: Should You Buy a Minivan or SUV for Your Family?

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When you have a big family, you need a vehicle to accommodate everyone to school, sports practices, family outings and more. Obviously, a four-door sedan or mini coupe is out. Your two best options are then a minivan or SUV. 

Both vehicles are capable of having three rows, captain seats and plenty of legroom to keep everyone comfortable on the road. But which one is right for your family and how can you make the best decision? Let’s find out! 

Features that Both Minivans and SUVs Have 

SUVs and minivans have plenty of similar features that make them great picks for hauling cargo and people. Let’s take a look.

  • Interior technology. To cater to families, both SUVs and minivans have tech like rear-seat entertainment systems, surround-view cameras, USB ports and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. 
  • Safety technology. Since SUVs and minivans are meant to be family-friendly, you can expect them to have plenty of safety features like lane-departure warnings, blind-spot monitoring and collision avoidance. 
  • Fuel efficiency. While minivans are not known for giving the best gas mileage, SUVs are no better. However, minivans are not terrible on gas, and there are plenty of hybrid SUVs and crossover SUVs that match the fuel efficiency of a minivan. 

The Case for Buying a Minivan

The one caveat with minivans is that they give off the ‘soccer mom’ image that many people don’t like. In other words, they’re not cool or trendy like SUVs. However, it’s important to look at things objectively since minivans do have a lot of great features. 

  • Cost. In general, minivans cost less than three-row SUVs.
  • Space. Minivans typically offer more space than three-row SUVs, with about five additional inches of legroom in the third row. This is great for teens and older kids.
  • Accessibility. Sliding doors are a staple of minivans. You can fit into tight spaces and run errands without worrying about doors swinging open or slamming shut. 
  • High-tech features. High-end minivans have things like in-car vacuums, air-cooled seats, second-row lounge chairs and integrated window sunshades.

Now, there are some drawbacks to minivans. Compared to SUVs, they don’t have a whole lot of ground clearance. They’re also not great in extreme weather or off-road conditions. Minivans also don’t have much towing capacity.

The Case for Buying an SUV

Moving onto SUVs, there are plenty of things for families to love about these vehicles. There are many SUV options on the market, making it easy to find a size and layout that you love. Even hybrid and electric options are available! 

Here are some of the top reasons to get an SUV: 

  • Better visibility. SUVs sit taller and have a higher ground clearance, giving you better visibility. 
  • Elevated features. SUVs are focused on the overall cabin experience, which is why they include things like massaging seats, length-adjustable seats and a gauge cluster seat belt indicator. 
  • All-wheel and 4-wheel drive. Because SUVs are available in all-wheel and 4-wheel drive, they can handle rough terrain or stormy weather.  
  • Good towing capacities. If you plan on towing a boat or trailer, an SUV can handle it. Some have towing capacities of up to 9,000 pounds! 

The downside to SUVs are that they are more limited on space, they’re generally less efficient on gas and it’s more difficult to find captain’s seats. 

For many car shoppers, it comes down to features and price. Many are ultimately happy with a minivan or SUV. To shop from a wide selection of affordable SUVs and minivans, visit today.