SUV Or Minivan: Which Is Right For Your Family?

When it comes to deciding between an SUV or minivan, the choice is no longer about which one is safer or which one gets the best gas mileage. In both cases they’re about the same with SUV’s having a slight advantage when it comes to fuel economy with the introduction of hybrid models into the market over the last 5-10 years. 

Where do the distinctions between them lie and how can you tell which one is really the best for your family? Well, for starters, you can be sure that, aesthetics-wise, it’s going to be tougher to sell much of the family on the purchase of a minivan. It’s had somewhat of an image problem over the years everyone from moms to dads to teens just finding it to be “lame” or “uncool”. 

But the good news is that the car companies have gotten the message and they’ve made improvements to the overall look and functionality of the minivan, giving it more of a competitive advantage when you put them up against SUV’s in the looks department. 

So maybe that isn’t so much of a determination as some of the other more important aspects that are up for debate. 


Here is where you start to find some real differences between the SUV and minivan. The amount of space you need may also depend on how many children you have and their ages. Families with a lot of kids or younger kids are probably in the market for a minivan because it gives the parents up front the ability to get to the back of the vehicle quickly to tend any urgent matters that can arise. 

Minivans are also versatile in that they have moveable rows of seats allowing you to adjust the size you have available to shuttle around more people or more equipment or groceries. 

SUV’s on the other hand are ideal for families with fewer kids or kids who are older. You still have plenty of load floor space to haul things that you need to take from one appointment to the next. 

Wear and Tear

Let’s face it, kids can be rough on automobiles. Whether it’s knocking the car door into a neighboring vehicle or a shopping cart by mistake or spilling drinks or who knows what else on the seats and floors, minivans offer a lot of room to clean up without having to reach into tight corners and deep nooks and crannies. 

As for those doors, minivans come with sliding doors that don’t swing back and forth. So there’s no need to worry about those car doors getting slammed into surrounding objects like you might with an SUV. 


Now here is where the differences can really start to appear and these disparities can actually hit your wallet pretty hard. Is one more expensive to insure than the other? What could you be paying for auto insurance northern VA on either of these vehicles and should that make a greater impact on your decision? 

For those families eager to save on car insurance there are some factors to keep in mind. The most important being that men typically pay higher insurance premiums than women, particularly males under the age of 25. With that being said, the insurance companies realize that SUV’s are more popular with men which can make them more costly to insure. In fact, 41% of people who drive SUV’s are men versus 36% for drivers of minivans. 

SUV’s also have higher claim rates compared to minivans because of the differences in the size and weight of these vehicles. When someone crashes an SUV into something or someone, these vehicles are known for causing greater damage versus a minivan which has less of a capacity to inflict the same level and type of damage. 

Therefore, there are few claims from third-parties when a minivan collides with property and other vehicles and passengers. SUV’s are also more likely to roll over in a crash than a minivan in the same incident. Finally, SUV’s usually cost more to repair after an accident. 

Taking all of these facts into account, a minivan is often less expensive to insure than an SUV. Minivans are also considered less of a risk to insurance providers because they are most closely associated with transportation of families. When a parent is behind the wheel of a minivan and the kids are in the car with them, they will drive much safer and the result is fewer accidents and fewer claims.

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