SUVs or Minivans? Which are Better?

SUVs and minivans have an old rivalry. And, the battle has come down a long way.

Look at the past decades. Back then, one could easily choose between an SUV or a minivan. In the past, minivans were not stylish. So, one could tell the difference by having a glance at the minivan but today, the market is filled with a lot of vehicles in both categories.

It can become a bit difficult for someone new to the automobile world to choose between SUV and minivan.

So, let’s discover the difference between the two body styles:

Entrance Doors:

The most noticeable feature is the way the door opens up. In minivans, the door slides open, while in SUVs — the door swings open.

Tyres and height

Another great difference is on-road and off-road performance.

Minivans are rigid. They are designed to perform well on roads and highways. While they offer incredible ride comfort with great fuel-efficiency, they are not designed to perform in off-road conditions. You cannot take them to harsh trails or uneven terrains. Sometimes, minivans find it difficult to maintain traction in mild-off-road conditions such as gravel or small rocks.

SUVs are versatile. They are designed to perform well on both roads and different trails. They will give you the optimal level of comfort on roads, while they will also maintain traction on rugged surfaces.

You can take them to discover different trails. For instance, you can drive on sand or you can even climb large rocks with a 4×4 SUV. If you live at a place which experiences frequent snowfalls, then an SUV can help you survive this type of weather.

Engine and Performance

When it comes to the engine, SUVs are our undisputed king.

They come with a powerful V6 and V8 engine and can to up to 8,000 pounds. Since they have to endure tough off-road conditions, the suspension is kept powerful.

On the other hand, minivans don’t offer an engine bigger than four-cylinder. The reason is that they are designed for practicality and comfortable on-road commutes not for adventure drives or towing needs.

So, looking at performance, both are equally good.

Passenger Space

There are different types of SUVs. Crossovers and smaller SUVs come with 5 passenger seats. Mid-size and large SUVs can accommodate up to eight people. We will compare mid-size SUVs with minivans because they fall in the same price range and have similar features.

Both mid-size SUVs and minivans come with three rows. Both vehicles come with an array of exciting features.

Minivans are more practical. Therefore, they have more space for passengers inside the cabin.


SUVs let you exchange the three seats in the middle row with two captains’ chairs. This feature is also available in some minivans.

Cargo Space

Minivans are unprecedented when it comes to comfort and space. The cargo space offered in minivans is a lot more than an SUV.

With all seats in use, the Honda Odyssey offers 39 cubic feet of space, while a mid-size SUV like Honda Pilot has 17 cubic feet of space.

158 cubic feet of space is what you get after folding all two rows.

What Should I Buy, An SUV, or A minivan?

Pros and Cons of SUVs and Minivans

Both categories have their advantages and disadvantages

Unique features of SUVs:

  • Powerful, stylish, and rugged
  • AWD SUV can take on moderate off-road conditions, while 4×4 SUVs can endure harsh off-road conditions
  • A better view of the road with elevated height
  • Different drive-train options including rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and four-wheel drive

Unique features of Minivans:

  • Easy entrance thanks to the sliding doors
  • Generous passenger space
  • Decreased chance of rollover because they are low to the ground
  • A lot of cargo space
  • Cost less than SUVs
  • More fuel-efficient

Eventually, it all comes down to your preferences and driving needs. If you need space and functionality, don’t think any further, a minivan like Honda Odyssey (see here – is perfect for you.

If you are looking for style and power with a few off-road capabilities, an SUV like Honda Pilot should be your pick.