Last updated: November 26, 2015 at 13:26 pm
Insurantly Reviews some of the Best Mini Vans and SUVs
The minivan and the SUV will always have a face-off because of similarities in features, pricing, and type of buyer. Top rated minivans will always be compared with the SUV ratings in the same manner that all sports cars are compared to each other – usage and driver type. Historically, minivans came ahead of the SUV so in many cases, buyers will favor the SUV because of its more modern and sportier look.
Top Rated Choices from Consumers
In 2014, the sale of minivans increased by 4.5% with the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Chrysler Town and Country being the top choices. For SUVs, the best compact SUV was the Honda CR-V which isn’t surprising since it has enjoyed this spot for the past 3 years.
Its closest competitor among SUVs is the Ford Escape followed by the Rav4 and the Chevy SUV, the Equinox. The popular full size SUVs remain the same in 2014 as previous years, namely the Ford Explorer and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Between the best luxury SUVs and the best minivans, the choice boils down to image and budget. The luxury SUV and other SUVs tend to look less like a “mom and pop” vehicle with more power and space while the minivan retains its “mom mobile” reputation.
One of the top rated minivans is the 2014 Chrysler Town and Country which sells anywhere from $30,000 to over $41,000. In price, its SUV equivalent is the Ford Explorer which is not best SUV having been bested by the Ford Escape and the Honda CR-V.
In fact, in terms of price, there is no minivan that follows the $23,000 to $30,000 price tag of the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V. The 2014 top SUV sellers closest minivan counterpart is the Dodge Grand Caravan which retailed from $20,000 to almost $30,000.
Also to be considered among minivans is the Honda Odyssey because it has a hybrid SUV version and the Hyundai minivan bestseller, the Entourage.
Comparison of Gas Mileage
Since fuel prices fluctuate without much advance warning, knowing the fuel consumption can keep the value of your investment steady for the next few years. Unlike in the 90s, SUVs are no longer the gas guzzlers they used to be resulting in a minivans vs SUVs mileage contest.
At least one SUV can now go toe-to-toe with the minivans. The Ford Explorer has gas mileage of 20 city and 28 highway which is similar to the Mazda 5’s 21 city and 28 highway mpg.
Of course, the Mazda 5 is the last minivan in a list of top rated minivans but is the closest to achieving a 30 mpg highway common in SUVs. Thus, it is more practical to buy an SUV if your top concern is fuel mileage.
According to a 2008 publication of Injury Prevention, minivans are safer than SUVs because records up to that time show that more children survive a minivan crash than an SUV crash. However, the report is over 7 years old and new technology and engineering designs have changed to make the SUV a safer vehicle.
However, it has been proven that the taller the vehicle is, the more chances of experiencing rollovers in a collision. Minivans tend to have a lower frame and automatic sliding doors but are not as comfortable a ride as the SUV nor easier to handle. SUVs are heavier and more prone to rollovers but are all-terrain with AWD which is a better option for those who live where snow and ice make driving risky.
In recent years, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has reported the biggest decline in death rates for passengers and drivers of SUVs or only 18% for SUVs compared to 59% for passenger cars like sedans.
The Best Among SUVs
In spite of higher insurance rates, the SUVs still enjoy higher appeal among consumers across the board from small SUVs, crossovers and to luxury SUVs. As a guide, the best crossover SUV that can serve as an alternative to the minivan and still provide excellent power, features, and space is the Ford Explorer while the best midsize SUV is the Ford Edge. The best small SUVs include the Subaru Crosstek and Toyota SUVs like the RAV4.
Among luxury SUVs, one cannot avoid mentioning and possibly considering the M-Class, GL-Class, and G-Class which are the top of the line in Mercedes SUVs, the Lexus SUV or the RX 350, and the Audi SUV or the Q7.
These 3 luxury SUVs enjoy excellent resale value, outstanding handling, luxurious interior with impeccable accents and features that command a very high price tag.
Buying Used: Minivan or SUV?
The decision will ultimately depend on use. If you need to space, ample seating, ease of getting in and out of a vehicle, and a budget of under $15,000 minivan is possibly your best bet. If you have a higher budget, you should consider an AWD SUV and focus on model years between 2007 to 2010.
With a smaller SUV, you might not have to spend as much but the third rows of the smaller SUVs will be an issue since it can be a choice between more cargo space or seats and seats that have limited leg room and difficult accessibility.
Another factor to consider is the mileage. How many miles is on the meter and whether you have any doubts regarding mileage tampering. Minivans and SUVS both tend to have high mileage but more so for SUVs because they are considered as “adventure vehicles” and used for long drives.
Comparative Insurance Costs
Both minivans and SUVs are categorized as family cars and enjoy some of the lowest insurance rates although the minivan has a slight edge. Minivans insurance rates are around $200 cheaper based on 2014 quotes which is equivalent to approximately $17 a month lower than rates for SUVs.
Insurance companies also take into account the fact that men prefer the SUVs while majority of parents, who are deemed safer drivers, opt for the minivans. Thus, the SUVs tend to be in more crashes with higher number of insurance claims which affect SUV insurance rates. SUV ratings also reveal a trend towards higher fuel consumption and costlier repairs .
In the secondary market, the best used SUV insurance rate decreases significantly based on several years ownership and comes closer to the insurance rate of minivans.
SUV and Minivan Car Insurance Rates
Both minivans and SUVs are categorized as family cars and enjoy some of the lowest insurance rates. On average the Minivan may have a slight edge in lower car insurance costs. Minivans insurance rates are around $200 cheaper based on 2014 quotes which is equivalent to approximately $17 a month lower compared to the average cost for an SUV.
Insurance companies also take into account the fact that men prefer the SUVs while majority of parents, who are deemed safer drivers, opt for the minivans. Thus, the SUVs tend to be in more crashes with higher number of insurance claims which affect how an insurance company quotes you a rate on an SUV. SUV ratings also reveal a trend towards higher fuel consumption and costlier repairs .
Depending on how “new” your mini van or SUV is you may consider full coverage. If you are driving an older vehicle perhaps a solid liability plan with an affordable deductible might be all you need. Talk to your insurance agent about this option as it could save you quite a bit on your monthly payment.
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