SUV vs. Minivan:Which One is Better?
For a recent weeklong vacation, my family of six rented a minivan to carry five adults and a child. Each member of our party brought a roll-aboard suitcase and a backpack, and we had one large duffel bag with beach gear inside it. Upon landing at our destination, the rental agency put us in a 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan. As we knew it would, it easily accommodated all of us and our luggage—the latter held securely in a deep well behind the third-row seat.
Photo: Christian Wardlaw
Returning home, we picked up a 2021 Ford Expedition at the airport. This full-size SUV had the standard-length instead of the Expedition MAX extended-length body style. It held only three of the roll-aboards behind the third-row seat, and they threatened to roll right out of the SUV before we could get the liftgate closed. The rest of the luggage went into the cabin, stacked between passengers on the third-row seat, slotted between the second-row captain’s chairs, and held on laps.
The sharp contrast between the practicality of the Expedition and Grand Caravan, combined with the waning popularity of minivans in favor of crossovers and SUVs, sparked the idea for this article. However, just because the minivan proved superior to the SUV in this example doesn’t mean they are the right choice for every family.