3 Reasons Why Minivans Are Better Than SUVs

The minivan is quite possibly the most misunderstood vehicle classification in the world. There’s a stigma surrounding minivans that turn people off from buying them. They don’t want to look like a “soccer mom” or some other stereotype about the vehicle. Those assumptions are hurting buyers more than anyone because minivans are actually better than SUVs. The people’s alternative to minivans has been SUVs for a while, but minivans in 2021 are legitimate luxury vehicles. Here are 3 reasons why minivans are better than SUVs.

Minivans are more spacious than SUVs

The 2022 Kia Carnival MPV/Minivan driving past apartment buildings
The 2022 Kia Carnival MPV/Minivan | Kia America

Minivans have so much space you won’t even know what to do with all of it. Six adults and two children can ride inside most minivans all at once. Not to mention, the maximum cargo volume inside of minivans is either more than or nearly equal to that of large SUVs. Cargo wells behind the third row of seats are extremely convenient for anything you don’t want rolling around. Groceries, luggage, or anything else goes down into the well and won’t move. Most minivans have either two collapsable rows of seats or completely removable rear seating. This way, when you’re not hauling around a lot of passengers, you’ve got loads of space for any cargo you may need to carry.

Speaking of spacious, brand new for the 2022 model year is the most spacious minivan, maybe ever. The 2022 Kia Carnival provides 40.2 cubic feet behind its third-row seats, 86.9 behind its second row, and 145.1 behind the first. The third-row seat folds into the floor and the second row can be completely removed to maximize space. The Kia Carnival is also packed with high-end features, comfortable, and best of all, affordable. It starts at just $32,190.

Minivans are cheaper than SUVs

Blue 2022 Honda Pilot driving by a hill
2022 Honda Pilot | Honda

Most minivan models can be purchased fully loaded for somewhere in between $30,000-$40,000. That is a remarkably low price for a vehicle that can seat seven or more and comes with loads of amenities. Non-luxury SUVs offering that type of seating arrangement as well as technology often eclipse the $50,000 mark. Luxury SUVs skyrocket much higher than that. We’re looking at you, $100,595 2022 Cadillac Escalade Sport Platinum.

According to U.S. News & World Report, on average minivans cost about $6,300 less than SUVs. This is clearly noticeable just with a single automaker. For instance, the Honda Odyssey is the number one ranked minivan of 2021. It retails for a starting price of $32,290. The Honda SUV with third-row seating, the Honda Pilot has an MSRP starting at $39,060. That’s a nearly $7,000 difference in price, and the cheaper option is a more convenient and functional vehicle. Those pricing differences for Honda specifically aren’t quite as bad if you purchase the vehicles fully loaded. A Honda Odyssey fully loaded goes for $47,820 and the Honda Pilot Black Edition with everything included starts at $49,920.

Minivans are more fuel efficient than SUVs

A black 2021 Chrysler Pacific driving on a road with a fall background
2021 Chrysler Pacifica | Chrysler

SUVs, especially those in the larger segment, use a lot of gas. Bigger engines and more power mean burning more fuel. Minivans are lower to the ground and more like a car. They come with 4-cylinder or V6 engines, and just all-around get better gas mileage. Not to mention most minivans of today offer an optional or standard hybrid powertrain. The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid gets 82 MPGe which is pretty spectacular compared to the large SUV Toyota Highlander hybrid, which gets 35 MPGe combined.

The best-in-class gas mileage for a standard gas minivan also goes to the Chrysler Pacifica. The Pacifica gets 30 mpg without its hybrid system. The most fuel-efficient standard gas large SUV is the 2021 Land Rover Range Rover, according to CarFax. The Range Rover only gets 24 mpg with its diesel engine. The Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon get the same gas mileage with their diesel engine but don’t come close to minivans.

Honorable mention: sliding rear doors

A honda odyssey is parked near a grassy hill at night with the doors open
2008 Honda Odyssey | Honda

Let’s face it, if you’re buying a minivan or SUV it’s likely you have a family needing to fit inside. Sliding rear doors are one of the most convenient features of a minivan. One of the best reasons for sliding doors is for a family with kids. If you’re parked next to a Ferarri, your child will never be able to throw the rear door open and ding the side. The sliding rear door keeps your minivan safe, as well as the vehicle next to you. It also conveniently slides open wider than a normal door, making putting anything, or anyone inside much easier. Carseat placement is much easier thanks to doors like this in minivans.

People have disliked minivans for far too long, and they don’t deserve the hate. Minivans are a safe, convenient, reasonably priced option for anyone needing the amount of space they provide. In 2021 and going into 2022, minivans are filled with as much technology as any other vehicle type. Spend less and get more by choosing a minivan over an SUV. Those are our 3 reasons why minivans are better than SUVs.

RELATED: These Popular New Minivans Got the Exact Same Consumer Reports Score