Last post on Sep 12, 2013 at 7:26 AM
You are in the SUVs
What is this discussion about?
Dodge Caravan, Ford Explorer, GMC Envoy, Honda Odyssey, Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota Sienna, SUV, Van
#1385 of 1882 Past and Present Experience
May 16, 2006 (12:44 pm)
Forgive me for not reading every post if this was previously covered.
We owned 4 mini vans (Chrysler T&C and Ford Windstar) from 1988 to 2001, They are GREAT for long trips with passengers! Comfortable with front/rear HVAC and quad-bucket seats. Flexible with ability to take seats out and haul so much! Not bad on mileage (compared to most SUV).
However, mini-vans have some problems. All of ours developed interior creaking noises. It's hard to make a box quiet. At times, they were suceptable to cross winds. They depreciate more-so than most SUV. It's a personal issue, but they lack a real hood (like a car, truck, or SUV).
Since 2000, we've owned 5 SUV (Ford Explorer and Escape and Toyota Highlanders). They have a hood up front! The retain more of their value (less depreciation). They have better traction control (but several mini-vans offer it today). Again, another personal issue, but they just feel better to ride and drive.
The SUV get worse mileage. They normally costs more to purchase and maintain.
Each buyer needs to look at their own requirements and purchase what's best for them. A few months ago, we purchased our 3rd Highlander and are extremely happy with it. We considered and drove a Sienna which was nice, but not for us anymore. To each his own. Good luck!
#1386 of 1882 Re: ok [steve_]
May 16, 2006 (1:05 pm)
Let's get back to the "benefits/downsides to a minivan vs. SUV
Yeah...I knew it was just a matter of time. Though I was hoping Tidester would be able to hold Steve-O off awhile while I got the last word in.
The only SUV's with "habitable" third row seats are in the big honkin monsters that we all know and love. The third row seats on most smaller and midsize SUV's are highly intolerable IMO. If I need the use of a third row seat,with all other things being equal, the minivan is definitely the way to go.
When I crossshopped minivan Vs SUV, I test drove the Toyota Highlander. While rated highly by many, I thought the lack of interior space and legitimate third row seating a real drawback. Still a good choice though for a family of 4 or fewer.
#1387 of 1882 Re: kabash [steve_]
May 16, 2006 (3:18 pm)
when i first read the link, i thought it was 'You are what you drivel?'. seems like a perfect thread for some.
May 16, 2006 (3:27 pm)
the highlander has the worst 3rd row seat of any vehicle. it isn't a fair comparison to probably any other suv.
last fall we went to the auto show, i sent my kids on a mission: find the suv with the best 3rd row. top 3 were navigator, escalade, and aviator. the aviator is based on the '02-05 explorer. new explorer had less room. the commander was a huge disappointment too.
the only minivan i have sat in for many years is was an '05 freestar. horrible 3rd row for adults.
#1389 of 1882 Re: ok [explorerx4]
May 16, 2006 (4:59 pm)
the highlander has the worst 3rd row seat of any vehicle. it isn't a fair comparison to probably any other suv
Fair? I didn't engineer the thing. But, Toyota and it's dealerships sure don't have a problem with throwing out the 3 rows of seating advertisments, which as you implied, is quite a stretch. I suppose a couple hyperactive toddlers wouldn't mind sitting in its third row. Provided they are properly "secured", and/or medicated.
May 16, 2006 (5:20 pm)
yeah, you are right. my posts are all about me, didn't consider small kids. i was thinking i might have to sit back there.
May 17, 2006 (6:02 am)
Just a few years ago, I was one of those people who swore I would never drive a minivan.. Guess what.. Two weeks ago we bought a Honda Odyssey.. We currently have one infant, and plan on having another baby in the next year or two and my wife (petite) was already tired of trying to hoist the car seat into our Mazda Tribute (which I would classify as a compact SUV). My fate was finally sealed when we tried to load the Tribute for a one week trip to Williamsburg, VA recently. With all of the baby stuff (pack and play, toys, food, clothes, swing, stroller, etc), our stuff, and everything in between the poor Tribute was full...
So, when our trusted sedan started having issues we decided it was time for a new vehicle. My wife was pretty adamant that we should get a minivan, and I agreed as long as I did not have to drive it (at this point I thought I could still convince her to get a midsize SUV like the Pilot or Highlander). So, we started researching the Internet and then drove all of the major players (Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Kia). We ended up getting the Odyssey in the end.
As much as I tried to convince myself that the midsize SUV would suffice, I realized that a minivan was just much more practical for our needs. It felt roomier on the inside, the seats easily folded or could be removed, it was much more comfortable (third row in a midsize SUV is a joke), it had power sliding doors, it is lower to the ground and easier to put car seats in, it got better gas mileage, and in the end I felt the Odyssey drove more like my sedan than the SUV's did. I was actually shocked at how well the Odyssey handled and accelerated..
As usual, my wife was right.. The minivan is much more practical for a young family and I do not feel that I compromised too much on getting the Odyssey. A funny thing happened along the way.. I actually prefer driving the minivan to my Tribute.. Now if I can just convince my wife that, now that we have the minivan, it is time to trade the Tribute in on a smaller sporty car (RX-8, 350Z, heck maybe even a Honda Civic SI coupe)....
#1392 of 1882 Biggest problem is labeling
May 17, 2006 (8:11 am)
The biggest problem is categorizing all of these vehicles and then making statements and assumptions about these categories.
Eveyone seems to say minivans get better mileage than SUVs. On average that's probably true as the SUV category includes Hummers, Expeditions, etc. but it also includes CRVs, RAV4s, Pilots, etc. And yes, a RAV4 gets better mileage than most, if not all minivans. Oh, and it weighs less, is probably safer to other drivers as a result, handles better and outperforms most minivans. Yet I see people with one kid get minivans. Should we condemn them? Why not get a Highlander Hybrid in that situation? Isn't that the BEST vehicle? Heck, why not just get a sedan?
My point is that this perception that "all SUVs are gas guzzling, overweight, unsafe and overkill is incorrect on its face. True some SUVs fit that statement but why condemn a whole segment of cars. I own two SUVs and feel comfortable that I made a smart choice.
#1393 of 1882 Re: Biggest problem is labeling [01mdx]
May 17, 2006 (9:30 am)
I don't disagree with you on the labeling statement. As for comparing a minivan to a RAV4 or CRV, that is not a fair comparison. Below are some quick numbers I pulled from Edmunds. As you can see, the minivan offers much more space than any SUV (compact, midsize, sedan, and full size). As far as MPG, the minivan clearly comes out ahead of all of the SUV's and is only 1MPG highway worse than the Accord V6 sedan listed below. All of the vehicles below have a V6 except the CRV. I did not compare the minivan to the Hybrid Highlander too be fair (price wise). What you also don't get from this comparison is how ridiculously small the third row seating in the Highlander is compared to the Odyssey.
Look, everybody has different needs and wants and it would be a rather sad world if everybody drove minivans. But if somebody is buying a mid or full size SUV because the need for seating and/or storage space, the minivan is a better alternative in many respects. It was engineered and built to be a people mover. I also challenge you to drive the Odyssey and Pilot back to back and tell me which one is faster and handles better. You would be surprised...
Front Head Room: 38.9 in. Front Hip Room: 54.5 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 56.9 in. Rear Head Room: 39.1 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 56.5 in. Rear Hip Room: 53.5 in.
Front Leg Room: 41.3 in. Rear Leg Room: 39.4 in.
Luggage Capacity: 33.5 cu. ft. Maximum Cargo Capacity: 72 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 5
Front Head Room: 41.1 in. Front Hip Room: 59.7 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 62.1 in. Rear Head Room: 40.6 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 62.2 in. Rear Hip Room: 58.3 in.
Front Leg Room: 41.6 in. Rear Leg Room: 38.7 in.
Luggage Capacity: 26.6 cu. ft. Maximum Cargo Capacity: 128 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 8
Front Head Room: 39.2 in. Front Hip Room: 57 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 63.5 in. Rear Head Room: 39.6 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 63.1 in. Rear Hip Room: 64.4 in.
Front Leg Room: 40.8 in. Rear Leg Room: 40 in.
Luggage Capacity: 38.4 cu. ft. Maximum Cargo Capacity: 147 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 8
EPA = 20/28
Front Head Room: 40 in. Front Hip Room: 55.1 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 57.9 in. Rear Head Room: 39.8 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 57 in. Rear Hip Room: 54.9 in.
Front Leg Room: 40.7 in. Rear Leg Room: 36.4 in.
Luggage Capacity: 10.5 cu. ft. Maximum Cargo Capacity: 81 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 7
EPA = 19/25
Front Head Room: 38.3 in. Front Hip Room: 54.6 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 56.9 in. Rear Head Room: 36.8 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 56.1 in. Rear Hip Room: 53.5 in.
Front Leg Room: 42.6 in. Rear Leg Room: 36.8 in.
Luggage Capacity: 14 cu. ft. Maximum Seating: 5
#1394 of 1882 Re: Biggest problem is labeling [01mdx]
May 17, 2006 (9:59 am)
Car based SUVs like Pilot, MDX, Murano, Highlander, Freestyle and others may be more like minivans than SUVs. Some even share the corporate minivan chassis. The lack of a sliding door and more rugged looks are the only real thing keeping them SUVs in name. I think these are great alternatives to the truck based models for those who don't do heavy duty towing or off-roading.
I might condemn people with 2WD Suburbans, Expeditions and the like, especially when no hitch is to be seen and they are sitting in commuter traffic every day in an urban area. I'd have no complaints if they traded in for a Highlander Hybrid...