Featured Articles

Minivan, Cross Over or SUV?

Posted in Car Reviews, Domestic, Domestic Review, Domestic Rides, Ford, General, GMC, Honda, Import, Import Review, Import Rides, Rides, Toyota by MrAngry | March 28th, 2011 | 11 Responses |

SUV, Crossover or Minivan

I received a phone call this weekend from a buddy who is in the market for a new car. He’s got three small kids and was wondering what would be the best choice for his next new vehicle. His current ride (believe it or not) is a 2006 Ford Crown Victoria and while it’s the size of a house, it just doesn’t offer the versatility that he and his family need. Now, while he admits to needing more space, he doesn’t want to go down the minivan road just yet as he simply feels that at 36 years old, he’s still to young. Over the course of our 45 minute call we went over the particulars of what he needed from a financial, utility and usability standpoint until we narrowed down his choices to either a new cross over, a full-sized SUV or the dreaded (not really) minivan.

Nissan Murano

Thankfully his budget is around $40,000, which means just about everything is on the table. First he wanted to know about cross over vehicles like the 2011 Nissan Murano, 2011 GMC Acadia and Ford Edge. What people need to know about crossovers is that they are not, I repeat NOT, SUV’s. Their unibody construction means that while they may be equipped with an all-wheel-drive system, they’re still not really suited for off-road use. They’re also, with the exception of the 2011 GMC Acadia, simply not that roomy on the inside due to the fact that they generally share a platform with an already existing automobile. The 2012 Nissan Murano for example shares much of its underpinnings with the 2012 Nissan Altima, a car that’s already a bit short on size. This means that if you try to cram in a car seat, a few small children and some luggage, that you may in fact find that a few problems arise.

2011 Ford Explorer

Next up were the SUV’s. Most SUV’s today, while still more suited to on-pavement running, have more off-road prowess then their smaller, crossover siblings. For 2011 there is also a whole host of new units on the market like the 2011 Ford Explorer and 2011 Dodge Durango, as well as old favorites like the Toyota 4Runner and Nissan Pathfinder. These guys are usually larger, have third-row seating capabilities, more power and provide you with larger storage capacity. The con’s are that they are pricey and generally have poor fuel economy.

2011 Honda Odyssey

Lastly we come to the minivan, a vehicle that, truth be told, I love. To me the minivan is probably the most useful vehicle on the planet as it provides the best of all worlds. Most models today come with all-wheel-drive capabilities, seating for up to seven, loads of storage, full entertainment systems and plenty of power. The downside though… they’re simply not cool. I have a feeling my buddy is going to go with an SUV as it’s more his style, but I know that deep down in his heart, he knows the minivan would be the better choice. Oh well… I tried.

Our Best Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

11 Responses

  1. Dishearten* says:

    The words minivan and love should never be muttered or proclaimed by any self respecting car enthusiast…

  2. Adam says:

    I actually had a harder time learning to drive on a circa 2000 Pontiac Montana than on a 1987 Nissan “Truck” without power steering. True Story.

  3. Gizy Sparkmo says:

    when you say most minivans come with “all-wheel-drive capabilities”, do you mean all season tires or something, cause only the Sienna even offers all-wheel drive.

  4. MrAngry says:

    Gizy – I stand corrected, currently the Sienna is the only AWD drive van available in a 2011 model. In the past models like Mazda MPV, Pontiac Montana and Chysler Town and Country all came in AWD, but sadly they’ve all be discontinued. Apparently manufacturers are going for maximization of space rather than AWD.

  5. T-Palm says:

    I love minivans too. I used to drive my parents 92 grand caravan to school and back until it blew a camshaft bearing. And minivans can be pretty damn cool, just check out the Mugen Odyssey, it’s pretty BA.

  6. eddie_357 says:

    i would rather pound tacks up my ass then drive a mini van

  7. MrAngry says:

    Seems a bit extreme no?

    • eddie_357 says:

      yes,sorry about that;booze and hating minivans combined .will try not to let it happen again,got my word on that.

  8. J D Stadler says:

    What, no wagons??! CTS-V wagon FTW!

    I dunno, if I had three small kids to consider I’d have a hard time deciding. Even CUVs (I hate that term) and SUVs don’t all have a third row so you’d be spreading three across one bench. If they’re in carseats, that’s a tight squeeze. And if they DO have a third row (like, a real one, not this bench-on-the-floor nonsense) it can be hard to get back there.

    I am NO fan of minivans but hey, you can’t beat ‘em for utility and ease of access. What about the Mazda5 or upcoming Ford C Max? They’re truly mini minivans, they;re supposedly engaging to drive (for what they are), and the Mazda5 even comes with a stick if you want it.

  9. eddie_357 says:

    maybe he should go with a hatchback or maybe a accord crosstour which has a fold down back seat to turn it into a hatch with over 50+ cubic feet of cargo space!

  10. BigRuss says:

    seeing as i sell SUVs, Crossovers, and minivans on a daily basis the new Grand Caravan has changed my mind about them… i wont buy one but if my truck was in the shop and they tossed me the keys to a new Grand Caravan i wouldnt bitch about it.. potent V6, super easy to use seats, id gladly drive one around for a few days… personally if i was to buy a BIG family car the new Durango Citadel would be my choice, 3 rows of seats(same as the minivans) super comfortable seats, all kinds of James Bond gadgets… super sweet