Tuesday, June 3, 2008

SUV -vs- Minivan Follow-up questions...

Thanks everyone for your comments to my last post. I think on our quest for a new car, I will test drive the Odyssey. I do have a few questions though...

1. Is it easier to drive a minivan -vs- an SUV? I always have driven small cars so I am kinda freaked out by the larger vehicle.

2. How much better is gas mileage on an SUV -vs- minivan? Forced into being a one-income family at this point money is a hot topic.

3. Which is generally safer? AN SUV or minivan? I always thought a minivan would be safer, but my MIL told me never to get a minivan because they are dangerous. She got this info from her brother-in-law who owns a body shop and says the minivans look awful when they come into him.

4. What is stow and go?

5. What features do you get with a minivan that make it a much better deal?

6. If you drive a minivan, does your husband willingly drive it as well or do you have to force him?

I guess I could Google all of this, but it is more fun to get answers from actual drivers!!!


Sarah said...

While, I am not a minivan driver... I have driven a few. I usually drive small cars as well, I have a Nissan Altima, and I find that the change isn't much difference. The only thing different is that you are sitting up higher.

Minivans in my opinion give you more room in the third row as oppose to SUVs do.

Stow and go - is a feature that they are adding into a lot of vehicles. They are hidden compartments (correct me if I am wrong - anyone), but they are spaces where you can hide things. Like in the back there are compartments that you can lift up and store things in and they are out of sight.

The T&C and Caravan have this really nice feature now (that won't really be useful with infant twins but when they get older it will be nice) the second row has captain chairs that you can actually turn around to face the back row. On one of the commericals they show the family playing checkers or something on it and they have a table in between the seats.

Just my $.02.

Erin said...

1. My only SUV-driving experience has been my mom's Jeep. The van rides a LOT nicer, in my opinion... I was afraid to drive it too because I always drove cars (my last one was a Jetta too). BUt I got used to it REALLY quickly and actually prefer being up higher now.

2. I don't know actual miles/gallon, but I know I get about 300'some miles per fillup. THis is costing me about $60 every week and a half right now. My mom is paying about the same for her Jeep.

3. I dunno.. I'm pretty convinced that the T&C is really safe. There are airbags all over the place. ANd Consumer Reports loves it...

4. Already answered in the comment above mine.. but also, in the T&C, it means the whole backseat easily folds down into the floor (as do the two captain's chairs), and it's split, so you can just fold down 2/3 of it, leaving one seat up if you need to. Awesome feature and this has come in handy on more than one occasion.

5. THe biggest feature that made it a better deal was the standard third row. Also, the automatic doors and back lifegate. OMG, I had NO idea how useful this would be with kids. We also got the DVD player included with ours... but the third row and auto doors for no exorbitant extra cost were the biggest selling points. It seemed like if you added ANYTHING on to the SUV's it made the price jump a TON.

6. Tom does willingly drive it and loves it, even though he was more opposed to it than *I* was when we first started researching. He was easily convinced by the price difference as well.

I also love that the m/v is INTENDED for families... it's made so it's easy to get kids and carseats in and out. I have had to put my kids' seats in two or three different SUV's on ocassion and they are so high up that it's just annoying and impractical.

HTH! :)

Erin said...

Oh and for what it's worth, the T&C and the Caravan are the exact same car, so if you decide to look at these, you don't have to spend twice the time. The only differences are in the look of the exterior. Caravan is meant to look sportier. :) They are even the same price.

Luke's mommy said...

I have driven both; currently I have a mini van.
1. The mini van is a smooth ride and you have almost no blind spots. Plus it is easy to get in and out of (big help when your pregnant). With SUVs you have to step up into them.
2.Gas is a little better. SUV I got 17 miles to the gallon, mini van is like 20.
3. SUV's are top heavy so when you make turns you have to go slower or you feel like you could tip over. Mini vans are heavy on the bottom. Most mini vans have great crash test ratings.
4.Stow and go allows you to store thing in the floor of the car, plus you can fold the two middle seats into it as well if you need to.
5.Doors that open and close with the push of a botton!!!! So helpful with kids because you always have your hands full!!!!
6.My husband LOVES our van, it was his idea.
Hope this helps!

meg said...

5. Tim doesn't mind driving the van at all. Tim's $.02 is that he has an SUV and he's planning on going back to a car for his next vehicle. I've got the van, so we've got the family car covered. It's not that he hates his SUV, but he realized it's not all that it's cracked up to be.

danoke said...

1. We have both a CRV and the Odyssey. I think they both are very easy to handle, coming from driving a Saturn. I love being higher up and getting in and out of them especially when pregnant is SO much nicer than a car!

2. Gas mileage I am not too sure about. I drive to Towson and back to Middle River every day and fill up once a week. At the moment, it is costing about $53 to fill up.

3. I hear that minivans have gotten so much safer. I don't know much about the other vans anymore, but I do know that the Odyssey was the highest rated van for many years in safety and quality.

4. Stow and go is just what everyone has said. I will say that the T&C and Caravan have better stow and go than the Odyssey although it does have the third row that goes into the floor.

5. Features in the vans are ginormous. You can have as little or as much as you want. We didn't buy ours from the dealer so we didn't pick what we wanted, but we have leather seats, the DVD player, automatic doors (but I would definitely go for the auto back door...I don't have it but wish it would have came with it).

6. And Chris drives the van whenever we go anywhere with Carter. Our dog also loves it because she can walk around a bit if she really wanted for a longer ride.

With three car seats, the van is really the best way to go IMO. They aren't as dorky anymore. All the cool moms are driving them! :)