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LookingToBuyAFord

Minivan vs 3 row SUV - why are minivans looked down upon?

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It seems weird to me that people look down on minivans because they are not “cool”. The 90s/00s soccer mom image has unfairly stayed with the minivan which in my opinion is the ultimate people carrier (or at least a 3rd row that can fit actual adults).

 

The only advantage I see to an SUV is looks, higher driving position and towing.

 

For example, although I like my Edge, I can’t see myself getting an Explorer or an Expedition over something like a Sienna.

 

Thoughts?

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It simply comes down to consumer preference based on individual perceptions (which is kind of restating what you said). The advantages you mentioned for SUV's are very real to many consumers (perhaps especially towing). That said, we've owned a minivan of some sort for over 20 years, alongside an occasional SUV, and for our needs, the minivan wins hands down. The new hybrid Sienna will be top of list when the time comes for a replacement, but that hopefully won't be for a few more years - which will also give Toyota some time to refine the product.

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I've had a lot of minivans over the years, from Astro's, Aerostar's, Windstar's, and a few Caravan's. They really can be the Swiss Army knife of a vehicle, easily changed from hauling people to cargo. Looking at a 2021 Sienna review, I'm a little disappointed that the 2nd row seats do not fold-down or are removable, but that may not matter to many.

 

Even my current company-issued vehicle, a Dodge Journey, can easily have the seat backs folded down to carry 8' 2x4's, and will carry 10' lengths of 1/2" EMT conduit without a problem.  People seem to forget that the "U" in SUV used to stand for Utility.

 

HRG

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I think it’s 90% just based on styling.  I’ve liked SUVs since we bought our 1993 Explorer.  Have never liked station wagon or minivan styling.  Has nothing to do with image.

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Yes indeed. minivan over SUV any day for all practical purposes and ease of access with that sliding rear door.

Whenever I read an SUV review that the 3rd row is hard to access or the seating feels like squatting b/c the floor is so high, well, get a minivan!

Unfortunately the exterior silhouette single-handily seemed to have decided the consumer preference over the years.

As of today I can only think of 4 choices if you want to buy a minivan (Sienna, Odyssey, Pacifica, Sedona), and about 10 times more choices for 3-row SUV's.

 

Perhaps the consumer taste will change over the years and the practically is the new 'cool' and minivans make a comeback, but for now, it seems people want to have a better image than a soccer mom.

 

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26 minutes ago, dlghtjr90 said:

 it seems people want to have a better image than a soccer mom.

 


I just love how people assume that other people buy vehicles based on “image” rather than just personal preference.

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I view minivans, CUVs and SUVs similarly and it has nothing to do with image.   I just have no need or use for any of them.    I don't like the higher seating position and don't need the passenger or cargo space.   I prefer a pickup truck for hauling large items like lumber, tree branches or my Mother-in-law.    Styling is not the highest priority for me but I also dislike the boxy, utilitarian appearance of any current SUV or minivan.   

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1 hour ago, akirby said:


I just love how people assume that other people buy vehicles based on “image” rather than just personal preference.

 

That's because people do buy vehicles based on "image". The growth of crossover type vehicles in the past 2 decades and the growth of pickup trucks used as personal commuter vehicles are perfect examples of that. 

 

Marketers at automakers and dealerships have done a marvelous job cultivating this "image" or fashion based promotion of automobiles.

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15 minutes ago, rperez817 said:

 

That's because people do buy vehicles based on "image". The growth of crossover type vehicles in the past 2 decades and the growth of pickup trucks used as personal commuter vehicles are perfect examples of that.

 

That's your unsubstantiated opinion.  People buy crossovers because they grew up in them, they like the higher seating position and AWD and the cargo/people capacity.  Nobody buys a regular crossover or SUV to make themselves look cool to other people.

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2 hours ago, akirby said:


I just love how people assume that other people buy vehicles based on “image” rather than just personal preference.

 

How many people actually take their SUVs off-road these days? And off-road means more of a muddy road or a gravel road or even a farmer's field.

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5 minutes ago, akirby said:

 

That's your unsubstantiated opinion.  People buy crossovers because they grew up in them, they like the higher seating position and AWD and the cargo/people capacity.  Nobody buys a regular crossover or SUV to make themselves look cool to other people.

 

It's not about looking cool, it's about making sure you don't look uncool. There is a difference.

 

Fanny fans are useful but no one wears them.

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3 hours ago, HotRunrGuy said:

I've had a lot of minivans over the years, from Astro's, Aerostar's, Windstar's, and a few Caravan's. They really can be the Swiss Army knife of a vehicle, easily changed from hauling people to cargo. Looking at a 2021 Sienna review, I'm a little disappointed that the 2nd row seats do not fold-down or are removable, but that may not matter to many.

 

Even my current company-issued vehicle, a Dodge Journey, can easily have the seat backs folded down to carry 8' 2x4's, and will carry 10' lengths of 1/2" EMT conduit without a problem.  People seem to forget that the "U" in SUV used to stand for Utility.

 

HRG

 

I think non-removable 2nd row seats in minivans are becoming a thing due to increasing safety standards or so I've read. I think the Kia Sedona has the same thing.

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3 minutes ago, LookingToBuyAFord said:

 

How many people actually take their SUVs off-road these days? And off-road means more of a muddy road or a gravel road or even a farmer's field.

 

Why does that matter?  They usually opt for AWD for bad weather and snow not off roading.  But they like having the ability to do it if necessary.

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5 minutes ago, LookingToBuyAFord said:

 

It's not about looking cool, it's about making sure you don't look uncool. There is a difference.

 

And there is a difference between uncool and not attractive.   I don't like minivans because I find them ugly which is personal preference and has nothing to do with image or cool vs. uncool.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, akirby said:

That's your unsubstantiated opinion.  

 

It's not opinion, but a fundamental aspect of automotive marketing. Ask any legitimate automotive marketing professional about the crossover frenzy and he or she will confirm it is mostly if not all about image. How else would these crossover vehicles that are by definition compromised products gain so much market share in the past 10 years? It's certainly not due to vehicles' functional or aesthetic aspects. A traditional AWD wagon or estate, or AWD minivan, does everything that a crossover does (in most cases better). But they aren't compatible with the so called "active lifestyle" image that's used for marketing crossovers.

Edited by rperez817

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6 minutes ago, rperez817 said:

 

It's not opinion, but a fundamental aspect of automotive marketing. Ask any legitimate automotive marketing professional about the crossover frenzy and he or she will confirm it is mostly if not all about image. How else would these crossover vehicles that are by definition compromised products gain so much market share in the past 10 years? It's certainly not due to vehicles' functional or aesthetic aspects. A traditional AWD wagon or estate, or AWD minivan, does everything that a crossover does (in most cases better). But they aren't compatible with the so called "active lifestyle" image that's used for marketing crossovers.

 

I've explained this multiple times but you continue to ignore it.   Styling is personal preference but most people like crossover/suv styling so it's not a compromise.   You have to understand that a lot of 18-30 yr olds grew up in houses with utility vehicles so naturally they'll be more prone to like them.  People also love the higher seating height whether its for easier ingress/egress or it makes them feel safer.   They like AWD for winter and poor weather driving and that's a lot easier to get in a CUV/SUV especially in smaller footprints.

 

Fuel economy is no longer a concern as even crossovers are in the high 20's and low 30s now.   Finally you can fit a lot more cargo in the same sized utility - which includes luggage on trips and normal household purchases.

 

Nobody is buying an Escape, CRV or RAV4 to show off to their buddies or because they think it makes them more outdoorsy.   And larger utilities are a dime a dozen.

 

The exception would be Bronco, Bronco Sport, Wrangler and maybe Raptor but again most of that just comes down to a styling preference.   I love the Bronco look but would never need to take one rock crawling and I certainly wouldn't buy one to impress anybody.   Just because you like Sedans doesn't mean Crossovers are inferior.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, LookingToBuyAFord said:

It seems weird to me that people look down on minivans because they are not “cool”. The 90s/00s soccer mom image has unfairly stayed with the minivan which in my opinion is the ultimate people carrier (or at least a 3rd row that can fit actual adults).

 

The only advantage I see to an SUV is looks, higher driving position and towing.

 

For example, although I like my Edge, I can’t see myself getting an Explorer or an Expedition over something like a Sienna.

 

Thoughts?

An SUV with a Sliding rear door would be fantastic.  It's the best of both worlds.

Someone here mentioned a planned Flex with a sliding van door, Ford should have stayed the course.

suv-with-sliding-doors-2016suv-with-slid

Edited by probowler

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, akirby said:

 

That's your unsubstantiated opinion.  People buy crossovers because they grew up in them, they like the higher seating position and AWD and the cargo/people capacity.  Nobody buys a regular crossover or SUV to make themselves look cool to other people.

I'm not attributing this to you, but I'm sure people on this board have called Jeeps image purchases before.

Wranglers definitely fit in the "Cool vehicle" category. They suck on the road, and most people don't use them off-road to their full potential... but people want cool cars.

Edited by probowler

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, probowler said:

I'm not attributing this to you, but I'm sure people on this board have called Jeeps image purchases before.

 

Did you miss the part where I said Broncos and Wranglers are the exception?

Edited by akirby

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3 minutes ago, akirby said:

 

Did you miss the part where I said Broncos and Wranglers are the exception?

Whoops, I reply to messages as I go down the thread. Hadn't seen that one yet 😄

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1 minute ago, probowler said:

Wranglers definitely fit in the "Cool vehicle" category. They suck on the road, and most people don't use them off-road to their full potential... but people want cool cars.

 

There is a difference between - "hey that looks cool I'd like to own one of those" and "I want to buy one of those to impress other people".   It's the latter I don't think happens as much as people think.

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51 minutes ago, probowler said:

An SUV with a Sliding rear door would be fantastic.  It's the best of both worlds.

Someone here mentioned a planned Flex with a sliding van door, Ford should have stayed the course.

suv-with-sliding-doors-2016suv-with-slid

 

They have those - it's called a minivan ;)

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1 hour ago, akirby said:

Just because you like Sedans doesn't mean Crossovers are inferior.

 

While I do like sedans, that vehicle type lacks the cargo hauling versatility that crossovers offer. A more appropriate comparison for crossovers would be minivans and wagons. Compared to those, crossovers are definitely inferior from a functional standpoint. Minivans offer more interior room for a given vehicle footprint, while wagons offer better ride and handling.

 

From an aesthetic standpoint, both minivans and crossovers are uglier than a regular wagon/estate/shooting brake. Even the best looking crossover to date, Ford Mustang Mach-E, lacks the elegant, well proportioned styling of these wagons.

2018-Jaguar-XF-Sportbrake-S-AWD-front-th

mazda_6_tourer_review_59.jpg

maxresdefault.jpg

db2020au00956.jpg?itok=8PyeeJ8Z

p90352582_highres_the-new-bmw-3-series.j

 

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1 hour ago, probowler said:

An SUV with a Sliding rear door would be fantastic.  It's the best of both worlds.

Someone here mentioned a planned Flex with a sliding van door, Ford should have stayed the course.

suv-with-sliding-doors-2016suv-with-slid

 

 

The looks of an SUV with the accessibility of a minivan - this solves everything.

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22 minutes ago, LookingToBuyAFord said:

 

They have those - it's called a minivan ;)

 

1961070540_PepeHisss.jpg.454e886cc82afd626941f199a1c4b6eb.jpg

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