Minivan Vs SUV Experience

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Mike Scott
Posts: 991
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:45 pm

Re: Minivan Vs SUV Experience

Post by Mike Scott » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:29 pm

Someone needs to put in a good word for the old rusty civic/corolla with a few hundred thousand miles on it. It's funny how our kids complained about being crowded in the back seat of a compact sedan but when they were buying and paying for their own cars...

Texanbybirth
Posts: 954
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:07 pm

Re: Minivan Vs SUV Experience

Post by Texanbybirth » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:36 pm

randomguy wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:47 pm
wabbajack wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:44 pm
randomguy wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:47 pm
munemaker wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:06 pm
wabbajack wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:08 pm

Car and Driver ranks the Volvo XC90 as 4.5 / 5.0 and awards it the editor's choice.
C&D takes paid advertising. CR does not. May or may not be an issue, but advertising income could potentially color reviews and recommendations.
People say that but there is a much simpler explanation. C&D is a motorist magazine. They care about how a car drives, looks and feels. They don't give a crap about reliability. CR is unique in that it is pretty much the only magazine that really weighs reliability heavily. Numbers that reviews hang out are pretty meaningless. You need to read the review to decide the reasons why the number happened match yours.
C&D also does 40k mile long term tests to determine reliability among other things. I just read their article on the 2016 Mazda CX-9 and found it insightful - and it's probably helpful to people who are in that market. Engineering is always a compromise. Decide what is important for you. Are you willing to trade marginal reliability for better driving dynamics? No? Then buy whatever CR recommends.

As an aside, when you buy new from a luxury dealer, you are also paying for a certain level of service. If you walk up to your car one morning and it won't start, you should have no problem calling an Uber to get to work and then have the dealer reimburse you and fix the problem. Speaking as someone who has had experience with Audi roadside assist multiple times (pothole damage, never reliability issues). But let's keep some perspective - the times this should happen to you while the car is under warranty is virtually zero.
Yes but those tests don't change that review number. By the time the long term test is out the latest and greatest is out with a whole new number:).And I totally agree that if you are only owning a car for 40k, reliability just doesn't matter. Nothing is really going to show up in that time period. You will have a bunch of teething issues but you aren't going to learn about the problems that will cost your a ton of money over the last 3/4s of the cars lifespan. If the toyota costs 5k and the Volvo costs 20k is that minimal or meaningful? Unfortunately we have very limited data on 80k+ mile reliability so it is hard to say if the gap is say 2k (i.e. one or two repairs more) or 15k (call it one really big one and 5 little ones) or something in the middle.
.
And for what it is worth, I will trade reliability for seat comfort these days so I doubt my next car will be another honda. Other people feel differently about honda seats:)
What do y'all think of US News & World Report rankings/reviews? They typically come up on a Google search of a specific car, along with Edmunds and C&D. I tend to read all three websites' reviews.

Rupert
Posts: 3647
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: Minivan Vs SUV Experience

Post by Rupert » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:14 pm

acegolfer wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:44 pm
Q to who own(ed) both.

My wife is not good at parking. And the public parking spaces here are very narrow. She insists SUV is easier to park because it's shorter and narrower than minivan. How's your experience?
Which SUV are you considering? Not all SUVs are shorter and narrower than minivans. I find large SUVs, e.g., Chevy Tahoe, Toyota 4Runner or Sequoia, much more difficult to park (and drive, for that matter) than minivans. They park and drive like trucks because they are built on truck platforms. Parking and driving a mid-size SUV, e.g., Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, is comparable to parking and driving a minivan. Mid-size SUVs, like minivans, are built on car platforms.

If your wife is a bad parker or if you live in a city and frequently have to parallel park on the street, I wouldn't buy anything larger than a CUV. My Honda Odyssey has a nice turn radius, a sloped hood, and nice backup and blind spot cameras, all of which help with parking. Still, you aren't going to squeeze it (or a mid-size SUV) into a space designed for small cars.

acegolfer
Posts: 1092
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:40 am

Re: Minivan Vs SUV Experience

Post by acegolfer » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:38 pm

Rupert wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:14 pm
acegolfer wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:44 pm
Q to who own(ed) both.

My wife is not good at parking. And the public parking spaces here are very narrow. She insists SUV is easier to park because it's shorter and narrower than minivan. How's your experience?
Which SUV are you considering? Not all SUVs are shorter and narrower than minivans. I find large SUVs, e.g., Chevy Tahoe, Toyota 4Runner or Sequoia, much more difficult to park (and drive, for that matter) than minivans. They park and drive like trucks because they are built on truck platforms. Parking and driving a mid-size SUV, e.g., Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, is comparable to parking and driving a minivan. Mid-size SUVs, like minivans, are built on car platforms.

If your wife is a bad parker or if you live in a city and frequently have to parallel park on the street, I wouldn't buy anything larger than a CUV. My Honda Odyssey has a nice turn radius, a sloped hood, and nice backup and blind spot cameras, all of which help with parking. Still, you aren't going to squeeze it (or a mid-size SUV) into a space designed for small cars.
Currently, her car is Kia Sorrento. When she does 90 degree front parking, the car is rarely parallel to the parking lines. Sometimes, after parking, she realizes that the car is not centered so she gets back in the car and parks again. This happens a lot especially, when the car parked next is not parallel to the lines.

When getting out of the parking space, she needs 2-3 turns, even with the help of back camera.

We are considering Kia Sedona (or similar size mini-van, which is 1' longer than Sorrento) for our next car.

nguy44
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:52 pm

Re: Minivan Vs SUV Experience

Post by nguy44 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:29 am

I am reviewing this thread with a lot of interest. Since I retired my wife and I have discussed adding a third affordable (newly used) vehicle, either a minivan or SUV. Its primary use would be for hauling home improvement project stuff and vacation travel to state parks, camp sites, etc.

We are currently leaning towards a minivan. When the kids where young we had a minivan (Dodge Grand Caravan) that worked great for family trips. We also used it for day biking trips. At times it was more convenient to put the bikes in the back than use a rack. However, while our camping has been either tent or lodge/cabin, we have discussed renting a popup trailer at times, and it seems SUVs would be better for that from a towing perspective. We did once own a Saturn Vue, we liked it but we fell victim to that awful transmission issue it had.

Decisions, decisions... these posts are definitely helping us, thanks.

Impromptu
Posts: 353
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:09 pm

Re: Minivan Vs SUV Experience

Post by Impromptu » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:46 am

randomguy wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:36 am
Impromptu wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:33 am
As you will tell from my review below, I am firmly on the minivan side.

I purchased a 2018 Chrysler Pacifica. Technology, comfort, luxury, safety, responsiveness, passing power. It crushes the SUVs in every category except for ground clearance and towing capacity of larger SUVs. The adaptive cruise control is amazing, whether driving 2000 miles across country or in stop and go traffic. Lane assist? Take my hands off the wheel and it will turn the steering wheel to keep me in the lane. On the second time it steers it sounds an alarm to possible wake me up (I did controlled test to see what it would do). It will parallel park or reverse park into a parking stall for me. The multiple surround cameras that are stitched together to give me an overhead (drone) image is fun and useful for manuvering. The 2 TV screens with built in wireless headphones are great. I have plugged in my video game console to one of the screens and played on the road. Providing unlimited data on a 4G LTE wifi hotspot for $20/month is great, so teenagers can stream their youtube and Netflix choices. I like being able to control some features from my phone, as well as the text alert I got when my wife inadvertently set off the alarm. It also allows you to track it and police to find it quickly. As for cargo, I have folded the rear and middle seats flat to carry 4X8 furniture items with no problem. They are the easiest seats I have ever folded up or down.

Of the things you listed pretty much none of them are reasons to get a minivan. They are reasons to buy a modern sedan, suv, or van since they are all pretty much standard tech on top end trims. Well other than maybe the vacuum cleaner:)
I mentioned the following things that are better in a minivan than an SUV or sedan:
Overall Comfort.
Comfort for tall and/or large people
Ease of having disabled grandparent enter the vehicle.
8 seats that adults can sit in
Safety (To explain why minivans are safer than SUVs, it is thought that the higher ground clearance of SUVs causes them to roll more frequently, resulting in worse injuries and more fatalities when compared to minivans. There may also be an element of overconfidence.)
Cargo capacity and ease of using that cargo capacity. So incredibly simple. The Pacifica has the stow and go seats, which is heads and shoulders above other folding seats.
Entertaining children with 2 screens that can show 2 different programs.
Tech is generally more advanced than standard on other vehicles of similar price.
Your child not hitting the car next to you with the door.
I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

Rupert
Posts: 3647
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: Minivan Vs SUV Experience

Post by Rupert » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:30 am

nguy44 wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:29 am
I am reviewing this thread with a lot of interest. Since I retired my wife and I have discussed adding a third affordable (newly used) vehicle, either a minivan or SUV. Its primary use would be for hauling home improvement project stuff and vacation travel to state parks, camp sites, etc.

We are currently leaning towards a minivan. When the kids where young we had a minivan (Dodge Grand Caravan) that worked great for family trips. We also used it for day biking trips. At times it was more convenient to put the bikes in the back than use a rack. However, while our camping has been either tent or lodge/cabin, we have discussed renting a popup trailer at times, and it seems SUVs would be better for that from a towing perspective. We did once own a Saturn Vue, we liked it but we fell victim to that awful transmission issue it had.

Decisions, decisions... these posts are definitely helping us, thanks.
You can tow a small pop-up camper with most minivans. I think the Odyssey and Sienna both have towing capacities of 3500 lbs. Anything heavier than a small pop-up, and, yes, you need the SUV.

jeffG
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:27 am

Re: Minivan Vs SUV Experience

Post by jeffG » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:59 am

My wife loves minivans and we have had one of them continuously since 1984 when we bought our first dodge short wheel base when we had our third child. We have bought both used and new and run them till around 200K miles. All were/are Plymouth, dodge and chrysler. Lately we have bought new. My 2008 Chrysler was rated to tow 3600 lbs. and twice a year, I would tow my pontoon boat in and out of storage. Not the best vehicle for it (front wheel drive on a boat ramp is always risky) but it worked fine. towed a loaded uhaul trailer 800 miles to dallas and back again one year. I didn't get the towing package on my new pacifica, so it's only rated at I think 1,500 lbs. Now we have 5 grandkids and it's nice to be able to take everybody in one car when they visit. Also being fairly tall (6'5") minivans are very comfortable to me for trips. More so than most SUV's until you get into the full size SUV's or pickups.

Rupert
Posts: 3647
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: Minivan Vs SUV Experience

Post by Rupert » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:21 am

acegolfer wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:38 pm
Rupert wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:14 pm
acegolfer wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:44 pm
Q to who own(ed) both.

My wife is not good at parking. And the public parking spaces here are very narrow. She insists SUV is easier to park because it's shorter and narrower than minivan. How's your experience?
Which SUV are you considering? Not all SUVs are shorter and narrower than minivans. I find large SUVs, e.g., Chevy Tahoe, Toyota 4Runner or Sequoia, much more difficult to park (and drive, for that matter) than minivans. They park and drive like trucks because they are built on truck platforms. Parking and driving a mid-size SUV, e.g., Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, is comparable to parking and driving a minivan. Mid-size SUVs, like minivans, are built on car platforms.

If your wife is a bad parker or if you live in a city and frequently have to parallel park on the street, I wouldn't buy anything larger than a CUV. My Honda Odyssey has a nice turn radius, a sloped hood, and nice backup and blind spot cameras, all of which help with parking. Still, you aren't going to squeeze it (or a mid-size SUV) into a space designed for small cars.
Currently, her car is Kia Sorrento. When she does 90 degree front parking, the car is rarely parallel to the parking lines. Sometimes, after parking, she realizes that the car is not centered so she gets back in the car and parks again. This happens a lot especially, when the car parked next is not parallel to the lines.

When getting out of the parking space, she needs 2-3 turns, even with the help of back camera.

We are considering Kia Sedona (or similar size mini-van, which is 1' longer than Sorrento) for our next car.
Given those facts, I would be concerned that your spouse would hit the cars in adjoining spaces when getting into and out of parking spaces in an SUV. The SUV will be more difficult to park than the comparably-long sedan because she won't be able to see how close the front of the SUV is to the adjoining cars and to objects (walls, other cars, etc.) in front of her. The sloped hoods on minivans somewhat alleviate this problem and, I think, make them more like cars than SUVs are. If I were you, I'd rent an SUV the size you are considering for a week or two and let her drive it.

randomguy
Posts: 6296
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:00 am

Re: Minivan Vs SUV Experience

Post by randomguy » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:26 am

Impromptu wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:46 am
randomguy wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:36 am
Impromptu wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:33 am
As you will tell from my review below, I am firmly on the minivan side.

I purchased a 2018 Chrysler Pacifica. Technology, comfort, luxury, safety, responsiveness, passing power. It crushes the SUVs in every category except for ground clearance and towing capacity of larger SUVs. The adaptive cruise control is amazing, whether driving 2000 miles across country or in stop and go traffic. Lane assist? Take my hands off the wheel and it will turn the steering wheel to keep me in the lane. On the second time it steers it sounds an alarm to possible wake me up (I did controlled test to see what it would do). It will parallel park or reverse park into a parking stall for me. The multiple surround cameras that are stitched together to give me an overhead (drone) image is fun and useful for manuvering. The 2 TV screens with built in wireless headphones are great. I have plugged in my video game console to one of the screens and played on the road. Providing unlimited data on a 4G LTE wifi hotspot for $20/month is great, so teenagers can stream their youtube and Netflix choices. I like being able to control some features from my phone, as well as the text alert I got when my wife inadvertently set off the alarm. It also allows you to track it and police to find it quickly. As for cargo, I have folded the rear and middle seats flat to carry 4X8 furniture items with no problem. They are the easiest seats I have ever folded up or down.

Of the things you listed pretty much none of them are reasons to get a minivan. They are reasons to buy a modern sedan, suv, or van since they are all pretty much standard tech on top end trims. Well other than maybe the vacuum cleaner:)
I mentioned the following things that are better in a minivan than an SUV or sedan:
Overall Comfort.
Comfort for tall and/or large people
Ease of having disabled grandparent enter the vehicle.
8 seats that adults can sit in
Safety (To explain why minivans are safer than SUVs, it is thought that the higher ground clearance of SUVs causes them to roll more frequently, resulting in worse injuries and more fatalities when compared to minivans. There may also be an element of overconfidence.)
Cargo capacity and ease of using that cargo capacity. So incredibly simple. The Pacifica has the stow and go seats, which is heads and shoulders above other folding seats.
Entertaining children with 2 screens that can show 2 different programs.
Tech is generally more advanced than standard on other vehicles of similar price.
Your child not hitting the car next to you with the door.
The stuff in bold from your post is all standard stuff that I was talking about. Notice how it is most of the post:). Minivan sliding doors are awesome and cargo carrying is unmatched for the size. The rest gets subjective in a hurry. I would much prefer spending 8 hours driving in an XC90 with comfortable seats and great NVH than any minivan out there (well maybe the R350 but they don't like calling that a minivan and it is old). Safety wise rollover is a pretty much solved problem. If you look at the death rates of SUVs and minivans you will see a huge overlap. Things like the dodge caravan are really unsafe compared to something like a honda pilot. And I have found the most advanced tech is on the newest model to be refreshed rather than a specific type.

RootSki
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:52 am

Re: Minivan Vs SUV Experience

Post by RootSki » Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:30 am

Impromptu wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:46 am
I mentioned the following things that are better in a minivan than an SUV or sedan:
Safety (To explain why minivans are safer than SUVs, it is thought that the higher ground clearance of SUVs causes them to roll more frequently, resulting in worse injuries and more fatalities when compared to minivans. There may also be an element of overconfidence.)
Please tell me which minivan is safer than the Volvo XC90.

User avatar
queso
Posts: 611
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:52 pm

Re: Minivan Vs SUV Experience

Post by queso » Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:32 am

RootSki wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:30 am
Impromptu wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:46 am
I mentioned the following things that are better in a minivan than an SUV or sedan:
Safety (To explain why minivans are safer than SUVs, it is thought that the higher ground clearance of SUVs causes them to roll more frequently, resulting in worse injuries and more fatalities when compared to minivans. There may also be an element of overconfidence.)
Please tell me which minivan is safer than the Volvo XC90.
All of them. Oh wait, sorry, you said "safer" not "more reliable". :D

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