The SUV vs MiniVan Debate

Saturday, August 07, 2010



Jillian and I were leaving the pool yesterday afternoon and I had to laugh at the stereotypical contents of the parking lot. As you can see, an endless row of SUV's and MiniVans lay before us. As I pushed our stroller through the parking lot to our shiny and black Saturn Vue, it got me thinking about the SUV/MiniVan debate that I always have with Jeff. I am an SUV girl, Jeff likes the MiniVan. But what makes one better than the other? Taking into consideration the space needed for an infant seat (possibly two in the future), two parents, any other possible passengers, plus the ever-present stroller and massive diaper bag. Which vehicle do you think is best? SUV or minivan? Do you choose image over functionality? Are you afraid that if you buy a MiniVan the Mom jeans are next?



The reality of the matter is that a vehicle with third row seating is certainly in our future. A small SUV works for us now but I am starting to think about our future when Jillian is older and hopefully we will have one or two more babies to drive around. We will also have to consider driving around her friends, neighbors, cousins, and other family members. Packing for two road trips this Summer also made us realize how much space a family truly needs and it was only three of us!!!! We used every last square inch of the back cargo area and the two empty seats next to Jillian's car seat.

Even though I am drawn to the SUV side of the arguement, these commercials lately for the Toyota Sienna MiniVan are so cute and quite convincing!



If you drive one or the other, what feature won you over on this great debate? Please leave me a comment, I would love to hear what you think!!!

24 comments:

  1. I too am definitely pro SUV, but when we have more kids we'll see how I feel. SUVs that can fit a large family are usually huge!!

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  2. right now I have an accord, but I hope when we add future bambinos to go for a SUV.

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  3. lol...we just had this debate. The Honda Element won. It's a good mixture of both.

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  4. I'm an SUV girl all the way. Even though I know a minivan would be SO convenient, I just can't bring myself to do it. Ask me again if/when we have a third child though, and I might be singing a different tune. Our SUV has a third row, but I can't imagine trying to get a kid back there when a carseat is involved.

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  5. Girl...I live in perpetual fear that something bad will happen if I drive a mini-van. Like I will lose the last bit of youth I'm holding onto! :)

    We're going to go the SUV route and buy a mid-size while we have 2 babes and then bite the bullet and get a suburban once we have another. I'm not against other people driving mini-vans, just not me.

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  6. I don't ever picture myself driving a mini van! But to be honest, I don't see myself driving an SUV for a very long time, either. I have a Honda Accord, and it's roomy enough for the 2 children we'll have, the stroller, groceries, and all that good stuff. Someday when we're hauling our kids friends around, we'll look into an SUV, but I'm more of a large 4-door sedan kind of girl! =)

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  7. Totally an SUV girl. It has third row seating and will def be roomy enough if we decide to have another child. It's amazing how much room these little ones and all their gear take up. Randi was just one week old when we traded in my fully paid for 4 door car for our current vehicle. It was well worth it though. The pic of the women and their "mom" jeans cracked me up!

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  8. We bought a Honda Pilot when Thomas was born - the VW bug was no match for a baby :). We knew that buying a sedan wouldn't last us more than a few years room wise, so we went big to start. I LOVE this car and think I'll drive it until it doesn't drive anymore - room for 8 (but without much trunk space in the back when the third row is up), comfortable like a mini van but without going the mini van route. I have always told B I won't drive a mini van - based purely on image, but I know they are SO practical.

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  9. Since we have two teenagers (stepdaughters are almost 12 and almost 14) and a baby on the way, an upgrade is in the future. Full-size SUVs with a third row are so much more expensive than mini-vans. And even though I too think of the "soccer mom" stigma, I know that financially, it will make sense to go the mini-van route. We will be starting to look in the spring, so talk to me then, lol.

    We DID rent a mini-van when we went to Myrtle Beach. And I admit, it was a nice ride.

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  10. The hubby and I have this debate all the time. I am SUV fan, he a Mini Van...Sure the Swagger wagon sounds delightful but I still can't get past myself driving a mini van....Cringe...

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  11. We upgraded from a 2-door car to a mini-van when my little boy was one. A Toyota Sienna was our van of choice, and I couldn't be more happy! Not only is the minivan spacious and super family friendly, but I think this Toyota puts the "cool" in minivan, if that's possible. :) With 2 dogs and one little boy with another child to come in the near future, I don't see myself being without a van until their college days are here. You can't beat the DVD systems, the built-in sunshades, and the automatic doors and trunk! I think that a minivan is a mommy neccesity!

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  12. We purchased an Expedition right after Littliest was born. At the time we LOVED it but hated the fact that it was almost impossible for the GPs to get in and out due to the fact at the time captains chairs in the middle did not exist. They would have to crawl in and out the back. Really! Well gas went sky high and thus a little over a year later we traded in my beloved Expedition...my very first new set of wheels....for a Honda Odyssey. As far as look she stinks. As far as functionality we LOVE LOVE LOVE her. We have had her for three years now and can not complain other than the fact she just is plain boring. I love that the boys can get in and out on their own. I love the fact that we can fit three extra people who can get in the car normally, and I love the fact that the groceries do not roll all over the back.
    Now do I still look longingly at SUVs you bet I do and once the boys get a little older this mama will be riding high once again! I honestly feel soo much safer in The Hubster's F150. I felt so much safer in the Exp. Safety rating is the same for mini and Exp but it is all in the head and the fact that we were hit from behind at 65 mph on the interstate a month after we purchased our Exp. We needed a new bumper. The car that hit us was totaled.
    Once the new Explorers hit the market we will be looking at those. Not as big as an Exp but does have the coolness factor that the mini lacks.

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  13. We have a mini-van. I prefer our lovely Honda Accord.

    Mini van (for us) over SUV - Money (minis are less). Better gas mileage (on our van than the SUVs). We love that the doors slide open too. We have room for 8 with a trunk space. Is it the right choice? For our family yes...even though I love the Honda Accord that I drive almost all the time.

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  14. I'm an SUV mom all the way. I just can't do the minivan.

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  15. SUV mom all the way. NO WAY could I ever drive a mini van. NOPE! ;) I have a Tahoe {this is my 2nd one, LOVE them} and I have two kids. My stuff fits fine. If I do have a 3rd baby, and I do need more room, I will buy a Suburban before I drive a mini van. lol

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  16. we have a pilot. needed the third row with the two car seats.... absolutely love it. and no, i will never drive a minivan... The mom jean photo/comparison is hilarious!

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  17. I drive an Expedition & absolutely LOVE IT!! I don't have any kids but if I ever do I will be keeping an SUV. I just can't handle the mini van image. I know some people love them but it's not me.

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  18. Once you have a mini van and realize how incredibly easy it is to get children in and out of their carseat, you will love it:)

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  19. We have a mini-van. I never thought I'd drive one, but after taking our first family road trip squeezed in the back seat with a car seat - I knew we needed more space. I love it!

    Oh and yes, Carys loves her glow worm. It's music always helps calm her down and it always gets a lot of kisses! I think you should give it a shot with Jillian!

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  20. I have told my husband (who is all for another SUV when we replace my current suv) that I am all for functionality. I would honestly drive the oscar meyer weiner mobile if it were easy to get two little kids in and out of. Heck, I'd drive an RTA bus if it would help me carry my groceries. I am so over brands, logos, other people's opinions...give me the mini!!

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  21. Hi Karen!
    Nice to meet you! So glad you're running with me!
    I love your blog...so much!

    We traded in our van for an SUV (small) 2 years ago. I really could go either way. At the time, my youngest was 5 and I just felt the need for change! The minivan was perfect while they were all little, but not as much of a necessity when they grew older.
    Now I look forward to the day when I can have a little sedan.

    Have a geat day!
    :) Jen

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  22. I'm with you on the whole SUV thing...I just got a new car and we bought an Acura MDX. It is a mid-size SUV with a third row that folds flat when I don't need it, which is all the time now. We also got the Acura because of its safety rating and side impact air bags...so important now that I'm always toting around such precious cargo! We had a Yukon and I just didn't want to drive another behemoth around the tiny streets in our town so I wanted something a little smaller. I suppose suburbans are great, but they're just not for me. I don't ever see a mini van in my future, I'm SUV all the way!

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  23. I always say I will never own a minivan but when the next couple of kids come, we will see if I change my tune :)

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  24. Ahhh - the great debate! I was very pro SUV and the Hubs was opposite. The Hubs won and we've had our minivan for 3 years this summer and I LOOOOOOVE it! There's so much space. I love the automatic doors, especially helpful when you have two kids and your hands are full. I wouldn't change a thing about it. We have the Hyundai Entourage.

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