As consumer needs and tastes change as far as vehicles are concerned, so does what automakers produce. While the station wagon was the most popular family vehicle in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, their presence began to dwindle once minivans and SUVs debuted in the 80s. Today, the station wagon is nearly extinct, replaced for the most part by the crossover SUV. While it has been a long-standing tradition for the growing family to graduate from their two-door coupes and sports cars to minivans as their family grows, today that trend is shifting as well. The number of minivans available on the US market for 2015 has shrunk to 12, while the available number of SUVs has grown to 112. If the sheer number of choices is not enough reason for you to buy an SUV instead of a minivan, here are a few reasons why you should be buying an SUV instead of a minivan.
Buying an SUV gives you more choices
As mentioned above, for the 2015 model year there are only 12 choices of minivans across all automakers. While like any vehicle there are a number of variations for each model, it does not come close to the 112 models and seemingly endless variations of SUVs available. In addition to the limited variations, equipment is typically limited on a minivan as well. There remains only one automaker that offers a minivan with all-wheel-drive, where nearly every SUV is offered in a choice of front- or rear-wheel-drive, all-wheel-drive, or four-wheel-drive.
With the most common reason for purchasing a minivan being the ability to accommodate more than five passengers, with the wide range of SUVs available that is no longer a valid argument. With SUVs ranging in size from subcompact crossovers to full-size models on truck frames, the ability to accommodate up to nine passengers is possible. SUVs also have the same functional seating such as fold down or removable seats to allow for more or larger cargo when needed. SUVs also vary much more in look and overall style whereas most minivans look very similar, just with different badges. While a minivan is designed to be a concrete-friendly people and cargo mover, an SUV adds the ability to be a weekend warrior.
SUVs offer more to a larger number of buyers
Most single people, couples, or small families have no need for a minivan. An SUV on the other hand appeals to nearly anyone. From individuals looking for a versatile vehicle that is just as at home driving to work as it is hauling a trailer for a weekend excursion to larger families that want an alternative to the limited choice of minivans, the SUV is a perfect choice. With a range of sizes, configurations, engine sizes, options and accessories, and SUV offers the freedom to almost build a vehicle to fit your exact needs. Those shopping for an SUV will also find that they are typically much better equipped even on the base models than an entry-level minivan and usually at a comparable, or lower price. The popularity of SUVs has increased competition among automakers to offer more for less, which is a bonus for consumers.
For those that enjoy weekend getaways, own a boat or trailer, or simply like to venture down the road less traveled, a minivan is just not designed to fit the dual purpose an SUV can. An SUV gives you a vehicle that can serve as a daily people mover as well as a comfortable, capable vehicle to enjoy a weekend trip to the woods, the campground, or the lake. Most minivans are not made for towing and their lower stature can also make towing larger boats, campers or trailers a challenge. As far as cargo room for equipment, an SUV offers just as much space as a minivan and for those that need extra cargo hauling capability, the number of accessories available for SUVs far exceeds that of any minivan.
SUVs have a larger fuel economy range
If you have shopped for a minivan, you know that engine choices are very limited. Most minivans come standard with a four-cylinder or six-cylinder engine without much variation. This means that consumers have less freedom to choose a drivetrain combination that will fit their driving habits. SUVs on the other hand are available in four-cylinder, six-cylinder, eight-cylinder and even diesel, hybrid and electric engines. This wider range allows consumers to choose the vehicle that offers them the power they want or need to tow, plus an engine that fits their driving habits. With the ever-increasing improvements in both hybrid and diesel technology, an SUV can offer comparable fuel economy to a car with all the function and capability that buyers are looking for.
While we may be a bit biased when we suggest buying an SUV instead of a minivan, there are many things that simply make an SUV a better choice. Just because you have a family does not mean you have to settle for a cookie-cutter minivan just to fit in. SUVs offer more as far as style, capability, function, and fuel-economy options that can help you choose a vehicle that fits your wants and needs much better than the typical minivan. If you are in the market for a family vehicle and have been researching minivans, we challenge you to venture outside the minivan trap and check out a few SUVs and compare. Stop keeping up with the minivan pack; blaze your own path for you and your family in an SUV instead!
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