For drivers who travel in packs, there are two excellent options: the three-row SUV and the minivan. But how do you know which to choose? As it turns out, the answer depends on you. Check out our comparison guide to learn more about how these models stack up - and which one is right for you.
3rd Row SUV or Minivan
The Perks of Owning a Minivan
When you choose a minivan, you can expect big savings. For starters, minivans tend to cost less than SUVs. And, because they aren't as powerful, minivans also return better fuel economy for greater savings at the pump. Minivans are tuned for comfort, which means you can expect a smooth, quiet ride. But really? People buy minivans for practicality. You'll see that inside, where passenger space is optimized with a third-row where even adults have enough leg room for long rides. Cargo space is also surprisingly impressive, often more than even the largest SUVs, and easy to access because of simple-to-remove-or-fold rows. Better than all of these? Sliding doors that open with the touch of a button, making it easy to get passengers of all sizes in and out without a hassle.
When You Should Choose a Full-Size SUV
Three-row SUVs have a certain rugged exterior style, appealing to buyers who want to see and be seen. These models also lead the way in terms of performance, whether on-road or off. Full-size SUVs have plenty of power on tap for a speedy ride. And, with four-wheel drive, you and your family can explore off-road trails every weekend. If your SUV has all-wheel drive, it'll provide enhanced traction over wet or icy pavement, thereby giving you greater control over performance. Full-size SUVs are also the right pick for boat and horse owners, typically towing thousands of pounds more than their minivan competitors.
If you're shopping for a new minivan or SUV, you can choose to add the same safety features to most models. Driver aids, such as blind-spot alert, are becoming increasingly popular, because they notify you of danger before it turns into a costly accident. When you add forward collision mitigation, your minivan or SUV automatically applies the brakes to help you avoid a crash.
Both minivans and full-size SUVs offer the same kinds of cutting-edge infotainment options. You can add a rear-seat entertainment system so your kids can watch DVDs or play video games all the way to grandma's house. Central infotainment systems include voice controls and smartphone integration technology, so you can call home without lifting a finger from the wheel.
The Winner? You Decide
Three-row SUVs and minivans have both advantages and drawbacks, which means the best option is the one that works best for you. Stylish, adventure-driven families love SUVs. If you've got a boat at home, chances are you won't find a minivan capable of towing it. On the other hand, thrifty, practical families love minivans (which, consequently, offer some adventures of their own, in the form of road-trip-friendly cargo space and fuel economy).