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minivan or suv?

I'm finally having my 3rd and my saab is no longer going to cut it. I always hear mixed reviews about the minivan and of course I think the SUV looks a lot better but I can't bring myself to buy something that's a gas guzzler. I can't decide. Any suggestions?

Fri. Sep 7, 11:11am

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Pros for SUV- looks cool.

Cons for SUV- lousy gas mileage, less storage space than a Mini-van. Usually quite large, can be a pain in the @$$ to park. Nightmareish to drive in the city.

Pros fo Mini-van- there's nothing better for hauling kids and stuff in the suburbs. Reasonable size. Ho-hum gas mileage.

Cons for Mini van- it's a mini van.

Other thoughts would be the new Mazda 5- it doesn't look quite like a min-van, it's not too big, frankly, it's probably what I'll replace my little subaru wagon with in a couple years.

Friday, September 07, 2007, 11:21 AM

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I've done a huge amount of research on both. The Honda Odyssey got fabulous reviews and it drives nicely. The gas milage is not awesome but it better then an SUV. I did think it had a great deal of road noise and the plastic inside was a bit cheap but overall not bad. I also really liked the Buick Enclave but not to hip on buying an American made car, and before you all jump on me, I was born and raised here in the USA and love my country but I have had a couple of american made cars and was not happy at all with them. But the Buick handled great, it was quite and its a crossover. Now I am a bit spoiled so I ended up going with a Mercedes R Class but the diesel, its quiet, handles nicely, has a smooth ride and is very comfy. Of course some states don't sell it because of emissions, but I live in the Seattle area. It had everything I wanted and good gas mileage and I can fit 7 people very comfortably in it. I would just recommend you do some research and take your picks for several test drives and see how easy it is to get in and out when full.

Friday, September 07, 2007, 11:23 AM

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Clearly the first post drives a mini van. Why exactly does driving an SUV cause nightmares in the city? I drive an RX 330 and I get 19/26 as far as gas goes. I looked at mini vans and decided it just wasn't as fun to drive, they didn't have much power, which to me is important. You just need to decide what is important to you and drive a few of each kind.

Friday, September 07, 2007, 11:27 AM

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SUVs, or Chelsea tractors as they are known around my way, are atrociously bad for the environment and they are entirely unnecessary in the city - I hardly think you're going to go off-roading there, are you?! Nor are you likely to need it to pull items out of ditches. If you can't bring yourself to buy a gas guzzler, then it's a no brainer - don't.

Friday, September 07, 2007, 11:42 AM

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isn't it amazing to think that many of our parents and grandparents had children (often more than three) and somehow made it w/out either a minivan OR an suv in their lives? Sometimes they even got away with having only one car!

I'd say scrap the new car idea and put the money away for someone's braces, college tuition, etc.

Your saab WILL cut it if you make it work. I guarentee.

Friday, September 07, 2007, 11:51 AM

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There are hybrid SUVs now, so if the reason you don't want an SUV is because it guzzles gas, look at the hybrid versions. Minivans aren't so great on gas mileage either!

Also, look at crossovers. Some have at least as much interior space as a minivan or an SUV, but may have more similar qualities to a car.

There is a Chrysler crossover car that, I was in the dealer b/c I was having my car serviced, and looked at it, and honestly, I could fold down the rear seats with about 2 fingers! A lot of cars are getting very user-friendly, so just go out and look around. You'll find something good!

Friday, September 07, 2007, 12:02 PM

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11:27- I don't drive a mini-van, but having had to pilot a Suburban through narrow city streets for work a couple times, I can tell you that the BIG suv's are a nightmare in traffic. YMMV :)

11:51- that was before the days of mandatory car seats for children under 70 pounds... It's hard enough to fit 2 carseats in a ford taurus, and that's a big car... Also,that was before the days of seatbelts, airbags, and decent gas mileage- the moster oldsmobile wagon (with the rear-facing third row of seats with no seatbelts) that my grandfather drove probably got like 16 mpg on the freeway and spewed the burnt remains of leaded gas into the air...

Friday, September 07, 2007, 12:21 PM

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Most people who get an SUV get one because they think a minivan isn't "cool". Get over it. You're a parent, your kids won't think you're cool no matter what you drive. Go with the minivan for its gas mileage, increased safety, and increased storage capacity (I know a guy who has an SUV and it can't carry as much stuff as his girlfriend's car!)

Friday, September 07, 2007, 12:38 PM

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check out and (kelley blue book). I use them both for research anytime I or someone in my family needs to buy a car. Lots of easy to understand info, comparison charts and real experiences!

Friday, September 07, 2007, 12:56 PM

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I have driven a minivn since my now 15-year-old was about 1. I would love to have a cool looking SUV, but continue with the minivans for the follwoing reasons:

1. Gas mileage and the environment. Even my Honda Odyseey, which isn;t the best, get about 22 mpg compares to 15-16 or less for some SUVs.

2. Three rows of seats plus storage. This didn;t matter with just one or even 2 when they were little, but now that they are older, the want to spread out. And more seats is a must for car pooling... another gas conservation measure. You can seat the same number of passnegers in some of the bigger SUVs but you give up the luggage space if you use three rows. Then we go on long trips, have two rows is critical for peace in the car.

Friday, September 07, 2007, 1:59 PM

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