Minivan compared to an SUV

The differences between minivans and SUVs

Should you buy a minivan or an SUV for your family?

SUVs and minivans used to have two somewhat different purposes. These two vehicles had their own roles in the automotive world, but now the lines between those two distinct automotive roles are blurring. This has led many to wonder if an SUV could be a suitable minivan replacement. Should you buy a minivan or an SUV for your family? Let’s see if we can help you come up with an answer.

Advantages of an SUV over a minivan

Used Toyota Highlander with a family

One of the biggest advantages of an SUV is that they are typically more adaptable, rugged, and ready to go anywhere. There are very few all-wheel drive minivans ever made, whereas all SUVs that offer a third row typically have AWD at least as an option.


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This rugged nature also means you have more power under the hood and that translates to more towing capability. If you want to haul a camper, a boat, or any trailer, then an SUV will typically be the better option as most minivans aren’t rated for towing at all.

The final advantage that SUVs have come in the sheer number of options you have. Every major auto manufacturer makes at least one SUV model, if not multiple. This will enable you to find the SUV that suits your style and your family.

Advantages of a minivan over an SUV

Used Toyota Sienna with a family

The chief advantage of a minivan comes in their price. A minivan is an affordable family solution. Whether you are looking to buy new or used, the minivan is simply priced much lower than comparable three-row SUV options.


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Not only are they priced lower, but they also typically have better fuel-efficiency. They achieve this by simply having an engine that is better matched to the needs of the minivan. In other words, not concerned with the towing capability that we mentioned when talking about the SUV.

The final advantage to the minivan comes in its design. With low floors, configurable seats, and sliding side doors, the minivan is typically much easier for families to get in and out of. They also usually have better accommodations for child seats.