SUVs vs. Minivans: Making The Right Choice
by: Tom McKnight
Has your family started to cram into the old sedan like a pack
of sardines? Have members of the neighborhood car pool begun
to look suspiciously at your battered station wagon? Perhaps
its time to retire the old family car and move up to a
bigger vehicle. Often, the choice for a more spacious family
vehicle is a toss-up between a sport utility vehicle (SUV) and
a minivan. Both offer flexible passenger and cargo areas, comfortable
seating for five to eight persons, and rear-seat entertainment
systems. Although the SUV has a slightly higher risk for rollovers
than minivans do, both are equipped with similar safety features,
such as air bags and anti-lock brake systems. So, which one
deserves to park in your family garage? To come up with the
right choice, you need to look at how the vehicles styling,
fuel economy, passenger and cargo space, towing capacity, and
safety will suit your familys needs and lifestyle.
More than a matter of need, a vehicles styling is a matter
of personal preference. The SUV usually wins out over the minivan
when it comes to appearance. With its rugged, sporty styling,
an SUV oozes urban cool, unlike the minivan, which is perpetually
associated with soccer moms and suburban neighborhood carpools.
Most men would recoil at the thought of driving a minivan, so
if your husband would be sharing driving duties, you might have
to talk it out with him. Likewise, many teenagers wouldnt
be caught dead stepping out of a minivan, so if youd be
using the vehicle mainly to drop off and pick up your adolescent
children from school, youd have to consider their preferences,
Minivans give better mileage than SUVs, which have a reputation
for being gas guzzlers. If you want to squeeze more miles out
of the gasoline tank, then a minivan would make a more economic
choice than an SUV. Other ownership costs, such as maintenance
and insurance, also tend to be higher for SUVs than minivans.
Unless youre willing to pay the price for being cool and
stylish, the practical minivan is the way to go.
Passenger and cargo space
Sport utility vehicles and minivans have comparable passenger
and cargo space, but the roomy interiors of a minivan can be
a delight to young kids. Unlike SUVs, minivans also have a low
step-in height, so theyre easier for kids to climb into.
Minivans large picture windows afford young passengers
a better view of the passing scenery, therefore keeping your
impatient young ones amused for a good part of the ride.
If you own a boat and like to take the entire brood for weekend
sailing retreats, then an SUV would make an appropriate choice.
SUVs have superior towing capacities, enabling them to pull
practically anything between a trailer and a small boat. Otherwise,
if youre only schlepping groceries and your kids
soccer team, then theres no reason to overlook the minivan.
Although both have comparable safety features, SUVs have a higher
rollover risk than minivans. SUV devotees counter this by pointing
out that rollovers account for only three percent of all traffic
accidents and claiming that SUVs offer excellent passenger protection
in two-car collisions. It remains to be seen whether this supposed
collision safety factor outweighs the risk of rollovers. If
the threat of rollover accidents keeps you awake at night, then
a minivan could give you a little peace of mind.
About The Author
Tom McKnight is a freelance author and Ford Mustang enthusiast
who writes articles for http://www.Mustang-Shopper.com.