Van or SUV...

Amanda - posted on 12/29/2010 ( 62 moms have responded )

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So we have a family of 6. I also do inhome daycare. Therefore we need a rather large vehicle to haul the children to and from school as well as fit us all safely and comfortably. We were using a car for awhile there since my oldest usually rode the bus to and from school. Now we have the credit to purchase a newer vehicle, and my fiance says a van and I want an SUV! He says no because they're gas hogs, and run rather expensive. But I don't want to be a soccer mom, no offense to anyone please! I just have never really liked vans....I mean some are cute but if I have any say so I want an SUV. Preferrably a Tahoe, or Suburban. My mom and stepdad, whom is a mechanic tell us a van is going to be the better pick, but my dad says that an SUV is going to be longer lasting and sportier looking. Anyone have any say so in this? Which one do you prefer?!

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Amie - posted on 12/29/2010

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I have 4 kids. I didn't want a mini van, never did. Then we had more kids and well... SUV's don't cut it. Too cramped, not enough room for all of our luggage when we travel, gas mileage is ridiculous, so I got a Ford Windstar Sport. I like it, for now. =)

I'll need to upgrade in a couple years, it's starting to get older (it's an '03). Though factor in cost of repairs and such too, we never really had to do that - just parts costs for anything that might need fixing in the future. My FIL is a mechanic and my brother is an auto body tech so we get all our work done for just the cost of parts. My husband could do it but I'm not letting him near it since he's not a licensed mechanic or tech. =/ He does oil changes, that's about it. LOL

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Sherri - posted on 01/02/2011

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We just took my family Jodi for a weeks vacation. We had luggage for 5 people, stroller, sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, food and traveled 13hrs one way. It all fit and nobody was cramped for space so trust me there truly is loads of cargo space. No we couldn't have taken 8 people as the minivan is only a 7 passenger. But just saying MOST SUV's do not have as much storage as the new minivans. Not saying yours doesn't Jodi just saying most do not.

Jodi - posted on 01/01/2011

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@ Sherri, I actually agree with Emma. Space for a stroller and a week's worth of groceries isn't enough space for a car full of people to go away for a week and put their luggage in the back. Sorry, but my 4x4 has heaps more space than that when we have the car full (me plus 7 passengers).

Coralee - posted on 01/01/2011

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Minivan - Just drove home a loaded Toyota Sienna had the option of the highlander but when it was all laid out the van won hands down. The Sienna is not at all what it use to be.

- my lease was up on my Tundra which I loved, but I no longer required a truck. My family is planning some long haul road trips and I have to say it is a fabulous ride with tons of room. Parking is a dream. Has a sun roof and tons of cool options. Would not take it off roading but for the highway and in town it is the bomb. Plus the resale value is higher on the van :-)

Hot Chicks drive Minivans!!!

Jenn - posted on 01/01/2011

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OK - I wondered. I thought you were saying that we could all fit in our truck and I was like - HUH? LMAO!!

[deleted account]

I drive a GMC Yukon Denali and I wouldn't think of driving anything else. I love it! It meets all our current needs and there's tons of room for our family to grow. Couldn't live without it!

Stifler's - posted on 12/31/2010

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I like my SV6 sedan lol I think I'd not have any more than 3 kids just to keep it

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/31/2010

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Yeah, I really regret not getting it. My hubby is 6ft 1in so it was better for him having the minivan, but I am under 5ft and the mazda would fit my size so much more. I am getting it the next time around if they are still available at a good price that is.

Krista - posted on 12/31/2010

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Yeah, everybody I've talked to who owns one has said that they absolutely love it. It just seems really well-designed. We're not planning on having more than 2 kids, so a minivan would be a bit excessive for us, but it WOULD be nice to have the optional third row in case they have a little friend over who needs a drive home or something.

I'll probably keep this Escape for 5 years or so, and then look at trading it in for the Mazda.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/31/2010

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Krista, we actually almost bought the Mazda 5 four months ago! I have been wanting one for years! Mu hubby convinced me bigger is better (that's what she said!) and we got a certifued used Toyota Sienna instead. I love the space it gives but overall, I like the size of the Mazda much much more!

Krista - posted on 12/31/2010

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Before my folks bought me the Ford Escape, I had been eyeballing a Mazda 5. It has an optional third row, which would have been nice, because we wouldn't have needed it often, but it would have been handy when we did need it. It really does look like a great vehicle.

The Escape is good as well, but wouldn't work for your needs. For an SUV, though, it's fantastic on gas. I use a lot less gas than I did with my Taurus. Mind you, the Taurus was 6-cylinder and the Escape is 4-cylinder. Plus, the Escape is a manual transmission, so that increases the fuel economy as well. Right now, I've been getting about 30MPG on it, which is quite decent for an SUV, from what I gather.

Stifler's - posted on 12/31/2010

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oh suvs can be very affordable if you know the right people muahahaha

Nikki - posted on 12/31/2010

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I don't think I could drive a van, I just hate them. I am not really a fan of SUV's either, I am shocking at parking so big cars and I do not mix well. Hopefully I never fall pregnant with triplets and need to buy a large car!

C. - posted on 12/31/2010

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See.. Hubby used to hate vans. I told him that one day when we have more kids, we're going to get one.



Anyway, after his car accident that totaled our Elantra (OMG I loved that car!!!! :'( But we were looking at the Santa Fe (the one we ended up buying), the Tucson (SUPER small-- would barely fit our full-sized stroller w/ a little extra space. It was cramped!) and the Hyundai Odyssey.. We test-drove the Odyssey, and though the hubs claimed he hated vans b/c he didn't like the image it gave (IE: soccer mom), he actually wanted one. We tried to get it, but they wouldn't go down as much as we wanted, so we got the Santa Fe.



Oh, and we also looked at a big Ford SUV, I mean it LOOKED bigger than the Santa Fe.. It had a LOT LESS trunk space.. I mean, it was almost as bad as the dang Tucson we looked at (and yep.. They actually let us put our full-sized stroller in the back to see how much room there'd be.. You might want to keep that in mind while making your decision, BTW. Just ask the salesman/woman and they'll let you.)



If my husband can learn to love a van in just a short test-drive, I think anyone would be capable of doing so..

[deleted account]

I've only owned minivans for the past 7ish years now and have no intention of buying a different type of vehicle. It just works for us.

Tiffany - posted on 12/30/2010

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I used to be VERY anti mini-van lol. But you know what, with gas prices the way they are and being projected to go up to $5 per gallon in the next 2 years, I see why many get the mini van. SUV's are huge gas hogs, not good for the environment and very expensive. Mini-vans have come a loooong way since back in the day. If you're looking for a good dependable vehicle, check out subaru or hyundai. They tend to be very dependable, easier to maintain, have excellent safety standards and tend to do well on gas mileage.

Amber - posted on 12/30/2010

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We ♥ our mitsubishi outlander. but, we only have one kid ATM. it does have the option of a third row of seats though, right now it has three in the back.

Caitlin - posted on 12/30/2010

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I have a nice extended mini van where I could have 6 passengers (our second row has captains seats, not the bench, hence the 6 not 7) and 2 120 pound dogs in the trunk area. Now, we don't have the dogs anymore, but I have a TON of room for groceries, camping supplies etc...

Sherri - posted on 12/30/2010

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Not true Jenn I have a Honda Odyssey and it has loads of cargo room I have my stroller in there and can still fit a weeks worth of groceries too. It depends if it the sport edition or the extended mini vans.

Jenn - posted on 12/30/2010

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I always said that I would never get one but right now I'd kill for a minivan! Due to a job loss a couple of years ago that sent us into massive debt, we are in no position to buy a vehicle right now and all we have is a GMC Jimmy 4x4 - which seats 4 people - we have 5 people in our house. But if I could choose and money wasn't an issue I'd go for an SUV just because they look "cool" LOL!

Stifler's - posted on 12/30/2010

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Vans have hardly any luggage room if the seats are full. I'd go a 4 wheel drive we have a 8 seater at least you can tow things in a trailer with them.

Jocelyn - posted on 12/30/2010

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I can't wait to buy an SUV.
I have two giant car seats crammed into the back seat of a Firefly. It sucks, and when I buy groceries, I can fill the "trunk" and the passenger side front seat :S If I take the dog with me, or I have a stroller, I'm hooped lol

Shauna - posted on 12/30/2010

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AWWWH- gas prices, i couldnt deal with one on a larger vehicle, i have a car and spend 200 dollars a month on gas * i have a 45 mile drive to work* let alone my husbands car.

Lindsay - posted on 12/30/2010

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I spend around $120 a month on my car alone. But, I average driving about 300 miles a week. I spend $30 +/- filling up once a week.

Rosie - posted on 12/30/2010

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our gas bill for the month for both vehicles (he has a pickup truck, i have the van) is around $150 as well. amie i agree about more room to see, i was amazed as soon as i got in! i was also afraid of a larger vehicle, but it really isn't much different than driving a car, except you can see more.

[deleted account]

See, we both drive cars (though hubby owns a truck, it mostly stays parked) and our TOTAL gas bill for the month stays around $150. I'd have a hard time getting used to paying that for only one vehicle.

Amie - posted on 12/30/2010

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Sara that may change too. I loved my car. It just wasn't practical unless I wanted to strap two of mine to the roof. LOL!!

When we were test driving though, I was surprised at how much more I could see. Now when I drive cars, I hate it. =/ I'll always drive bigger vehicles now, even when some of the kids start moving out and we can down grade again, I'll probably get an SUV then. Less kids, means less mouths to feed so we could afford the gas easily.

And I gotta say, some of the gas prices I've seen are crazy! $1.36 per liter? =O We haven't seen prices like that in awhile now. Ours hovers pretty consistently between $1 - 1.10 per liter. Which isn't much better but I only need to fill the van once every two weeks. A tank gets the kids to school all week, to every activity (sun-thurs) and all the errands I run. It's also a big tank but I'm not filling it up as often so it works. On average we spend about $180 on gas for my van in a month.

[deleted account]

Yeah, I realize we'll have to get something bigger eventually. I'm just not into big vehicles...vans, SUVs, trucks.

Amanda - posted on 12/30/2010

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i always hated vans... but we rented one on vacation in Puerto Rico, and I have to admitt, I fell in love! when it was time to trade in the pathfinder we opted for a minivan. there are days i miss my pathfinder, but the van is so much more convenient and i love it :) i'm not big into image, so i couldn't care less what someone thinks when they see me in it.

Rosie - posted on 12/30/2010

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i liked mine too, until we had vinnie. then 2 carseats and grocerys wouldn't fit very well. we got the van and i was in HEAVEN, lol!

Rosie - posted on 12/30/2010

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i'm noticing a trend with the women who don't like vans, they don't have more than 2 children. tahoes and suburbans are good, but they are hard to get carseats in and out of, easy peasy in my van. and they also take ALOT more gas. sure they're cooler looking, but when you see how easy vans make your life you won't care!
vans are safer, SUV'S don't have many of the safety features that minivans do. minivans are designed for families and manufactures know that, making safety a top priority for minivans. van all the way!! :)

Lindsay - posted on 12/30/2010

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I would say to go look at several models of both and figure out which fits your needs better. I am not a fan of vans but with 2 kids (and we are done), I have no need for one. I lovingly refer to van as life-sucking mini-vans because you sit in one and it sucks the life right out of you. But they obviously have their place and are a good option for a growing/large family.



As far as the soccer mom thing, SUVs are the trademark soccer mom vehicle around here. :)

September - posted on 12/30/2010

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A van can be just as much of a gas hog as an SUV. I like you could never drive a van, it's just not me. Go with the SUV :)

Bonnie - posted on 12/30/2010

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I don't care for mini-vans overall. I think I am sick of seeing them LOL. My parents had one when I was growing up and my husband loves them and drives one around for work. It's only for him, but because he is a community nurse he has to haul around a ton of supplies so he says it works best for him. I was driving an SUV (Ford Escape) up until September and then (as much as I loved it) I said forget it, we need something bigger. It's just too cramped for a family of four with two bulky car seats and if we wanted to take anyone with us we couldn't. So I opted to get a mini-van instead. Sooo much more space. Plus i'm still dreaming of that one more baby some day soon lol. In all honesty, I looked at an SUV (bigger one that seated 8, I believe). The only problem with the bigger SUVs (or at least the one I looked at) is that you have to put the middle seat down to get people in the back and if you would like to have car seats in the middle row, that is literally impossible.

LaCi - posted on 12/30/2010

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I have an SUV, a "smaller" one, and it is a kind of gas hog. Although its no more a gas hog than my camaro was, really. Fortunately for me, I don't really go anywhere and when I do it's close by. Class is a few miles away, grocery store is a few miles away, parks are in walking distance. So it's not a big deal, the gas costs. I think I spend about $10 a week on gas. I wouldn't want to drive a van, honestly. I know it's silly. There's just something I don't like about vans.

Caitlin - posted on 12/30/2010

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I like my mini van. With younger kids, I think it's more practical because I need to be able to crawl through to strap them all in or clip in car seats and such, so the mini van works for me now.. When they are older and are in boosters and can clip themselves in, I may change my mind but I LOVE the flexibility of the van. I can fold down or take out the seats if I'm going to get lumber from the store and need more space, the trunk is already pretty darned big even with all the seats up, I can fit a 2 week grocery order in there with the double stroller and the emergency kit. I don't care about the soccer mom image, its what works for me (and when we bought the van, we also had 2 120 pound dogs to drive around, which played into our decision a lot.

C. - posted on 12/30/2010

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Haha.. Well it USED to be $60/tank b/c when we were out here the first time, gas was almost $5/gallon (I think it was just under $4.50 to be more precise). It has since dropped (thank you, Jesus), so we were able to save some money that way, but hubby was going back and forth to work and we had to take it out to the dealership a lot b/c he was driving it so much, so we were filling up pretty much everyday. The fact that he got a Honda w/ great gas mileage and I haven't been driving much, we're saving a lot on gas. He only fills up the Honda maybe once a week and we fill up the Santa Fe maybe once every couple weeks.

[deleted account]

Wow that would be nice. Our car costs us about $70 to fill and we do that every fortnight if we don't drive anywhere. If we make a few extra trips we need to fill it more often.
But at $1.36 per litre what should i expect. :(

Jodi - posted on 12/30/2010

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I'd kill for $50 for a tank of gas......Admittedly mine has an extra tank installed (it is a true 4WD with the extra fuel tank), but the second tank is smaller than the main tank and it costs me about $140 to fill up.......I fill up about once a month or so, unless we do a big family trip.

C. - posted on 12/30/2010

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We have a mid-size SUV and yes it is a gas guzzler (2007 Santa Fe). We looked at full-size SUVs and they really didn't look that much bigger at all (so maybe ours is more like a mid-full size).

But anyway, back to the gas.. It costs us almost $50 for a tank of gas. This is the reason my husband bought a small Honda to take to work, so he saves a LOT of money on gas now.

I would definitely get a van if you have that many kids to tote around. Gas prices and space.. A van would definitely be worth it. And a lot of the vans out now are really nice, too. We actually looked at some when we were out looking. We ended up w/ the SUV b/c we couldn't quite afford a van, though.

Sherri - posted on 12/29/2010

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Minivan they are so much easier to get car seats and children in. Just my preference. I am also very very short so getting into a large SUV is extremely hard for me, I also agree I would never be able to afford the gas for one.

Jodi - posted on 12/29/2010

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Yeah, the Prados are pretty expensive. We bought mine as a 4 year old car and it was $42K then (although ours is a deluxe model). We were just lucky that we were able to arrange a finance lease through the business :) The business owns it outright now. It's probably getting to a point where we will need to upgrade soon (it's an '01 model, so a bit long in the tooth), but so far, we haven't had any issues with it, so we are just waiting for a while (having a holiday instead this year!!).

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Jodi, i really wanted a prado but the cost of even a second hand one was out of our range so we settled for a Kluger and i love it.

[deleted account]

Hubby drives his Dodge Caravan happily. I hate it. It's a no-frills model, but I still hate it. I do love my Ford Escape though, but it's a mid-sized SUV and not enough space for your family. On the other hand, my dad carts all of us around in his Ford Excursion and I LOVE that! Yup, it is a gas guzzler, but he simply did not find an yof the space capacity he needed in an mini-van. It was either the full sized SUV or a full sized van.

Jodi - posted on 12/29/2010

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I love my 4x4. Obviously brands are different in Australia, but we decided on an 8 seater Toyota Prado rather than a van. I find that it was roomier - our kids are a lot older, and with 2 growing boys, I feel they get more leg room :) When we bought, we really took their growth into consideration. Also, there was more luggage space even when the extra row of seats was flipped down. A friend and I and all our kids (a total of 6 kids) went away for a weekend recently and we were able to fit ALL of our luggage in as well without resorting to a roof rack or trailer.

But then, we've used it for 4WD trips as well, which we would never have been able to do with a van, so it has a dual purpose for us too.

Jess - posted on 12/29/2010

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I live in a Australia, so I'm not sure what these would be where you, but my pick would be a Subaru Tribeca or a Mazda CX9

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