Automotive

8 seater SUV or Van - what are my top 3 options?

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  • Oct 3rd, 2021 11:18 pm
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Jul 7, 2020
887 posts
490 upvotes
No single recommendation on Subaru Ascent ;) Does it mean that we need to stay from this?
Deal Fanatic
Sep 10, 2008
9584 posts
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Kitchener
nowhere2010 wrote: No single recommendation on Subaru Ascent ;) Does it mean that we need to stay from this?
You asked for top 3 options and the top 4 or 5 options for carrying people and stuff are all minivans.
Sr. Member
Sep 26, 2013
540 posts
1056 upvotes
I still don't understand the mini van love. I personally can't take the mini van look. If space is really important with 8 seats, why not consider a full size SUV like the experdition? it has more power, better looking and same or more space vs a mini van.
Deal Guru
Jun 24, 2006
13378 posts
7642 upvotes
azraelluz wrote: I still don't understand the mini van love. I personally can't take the mini van look. If space is really important with 8 seats, why not consider a full size SUV like the experdition? it has more power, better looking and same or more space vs a mini van.
While I agree with you on this for sure, the budget is $55k max. Not sure where full-size SUVs start these days, but it will be more than that.

If OP goes that route, they are certainly looking used.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
12991 posts
7772 upvotes
Brampton
azraelluz wrote: I still don't understand the mini van love. I personally can't take the mini van look. If space is really important with 8 seats, why not consider a full size SUV like the experdition? it has more power, better looking and same or more space vs a mini van.
Because full-size SUVs start at 50k-60k
Minivans top out in that price range.

Not to mention many of them while just being able to beat a minivan or a unibody based Mid sized SUV in interior volume are significantly heavier and larger exterior wise.
The main reason to get one would be if you needed the towing capacity.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
7131 posts
4030 upvotes
Ottawa
azraelluz wrote: I still don't understand the mini van love. I personally can't take the mini van look. If space is really important with 8 seats, why not consider a full size SUV like the experdition? it has more power, better looking and same or more space vs a mini van.
I think it really depends on your priorities.

Personally, I couldn't care less about the "mini van look" vs the look of a full size SUV - to me, the vehicle is a tool and I select the one that best serves my need and it doesn't really matter what it looks (although, IMHO, I don't see a large SUV as significantly better looking than a minivan). SUV does have more power (also something else I don't really care about). As far as the space, you really need to objectively compare both, full-size SUVs do have 3rd rows and are large but the 3rd row typically isn't nearly as easy to use / access as a minivan and while some large SUVs are about the same or slightly bigger (a Suburban has slightly more cargo space than an Odyssey), the cargo space in a minivan is often more usable because the floor is lower so you get a lot more height (i.e. tall items (like a big screen TV) will fit upright in a minivan but can only be carried flat in an SUV. And other than the Suburban, most large SUVs (Expedition (about 3/4), Tahoe & Expidition Max (about 4/5), Armada (about 2/3) have quite a bit less space than minivans and when all 3 rows are in use, the difference is often even greater. Minivans don't get great mileage (although the Sienna and the Pacifica Hybrid are as good or better than many compact cars), they get way better mileage than any large SUV (Driving a Suburban will likely cost almost double in gas as the Odyssey does and almost triple what a Sienna would cost). You could also argue that minivans tend to drive more like a car than SUVs but you'd really have to compare specific models.

SUVs do have a huge advantage in towing capacity as well as offroad capacity so they are a better option for some but for many consumers, minivans might be a better option if you can get past the minivan stigma.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Sep 3, 2003
12861 posts
1961 upvotes
Toronto
azraelluz wrote: I still don't understand the mini van love. I personally can't take the mini van look. If space is really important with 8 seats, why not consider a full size SUV like the experdition? it has more power, better looking and same or more space vs a mini van.
Vanity to others matters more to you than it does to others. Let's get real: nobody looks cool these days in their cookie-cutter CUVs and SUVs. Be pragmatic with a van, as it'll likely be the best at its job.

An Expedition will have the room inside, but the exterior footprint is massive, compared to a minivan. If space is the priority here, it's a pretty inefficient choice.
Deal with it.
Newbie
Nov 9, 2012
13 posts
23 upvotes
OTTAWA
The love is based on the best, most practical tool for the job at a great price. Nobody is fooling anyone (except perhaps themselves) with a 3 row SUV. You're not suddenly driving a Porsche 718 because you passed on the van for a 3 row SUV.
Sr. Member
Feb 14, 2010
843 posts
839 upvotes
Toronto
nowhere2010 wrote: No single recommendation on Subaru Ascent ;) Does it mean that we need to stay from this?
Ya don't kid yourself here. The Subaru Ascent is a great unibody SUV but space is limited.
Went to the Autoshow and sat in almost every unibody SUV. Traverse, CX-9, Telluride, Ascent, Pathfinder, Atlas, Highlander, Pilot.
Traverse, Telluride, and Atlas was the best in terms of leg room and cargo.

Also sat in every minivan and I was like why would someone settle for less of everything and yet willing to pay more for it.
All the minivans also have the upgraded V6 engine option while some of these unibody SUV had 4-cylinder turbos with the v6 for more money.

I do however recommend an used Ford Expedition Max
Deal Addict
Nov 8, 2005
3202 posts
2692 upvotes
azraelluz wrote: I still don't understand the mini van love. I personally can't take the mini van look. If space is really important with 8 seats, why not consider a full size SUV like the experdition? it has more power, better looking and same or more space vs a mini van.
Because many people that have families don't care how they "look" when they drive. Their priorities are efficiency, usable space, and price. Every dollar you spend on something vain is a dollar you could spend on your family.

Minivans start at 35k and go to 55k. Full sized SUVs start at 55k and go to well over 100k. Full sized SUVs use much more gas, and aren't as comfortable to ride in. Minivans also have automatic sliding doors for kids, some have vacuums, and their seats are more easily configurable. SUVs have more power (which will likely never be used) and can off road I suppose. But I'd love to hear from anyone that goes off reading in their Suburban, or Ford Expedition Max. That would be hilarious.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2015
8855 posts
5122 upvotes
Canada, Eh!!
If you need a certain type of vehicle to feel cool... you'll never be cool.
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Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 25, 2014
3810 posts
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Toronto, ON
I like minivan especially if I am the passenger. My next vehicle will be minivan.
Deal Guru
Jun 24, 2006
13378 posts
7642 upvotes
tim-x wrote: Because many people that have families don't care how they "look" when they drive. Their priorities are efficiency, usable space, and price. Every dollar you spend on something vain is a dollar you could spend on your family.

Minivans start at 35k and go to 55k. Full sized SUVs start at 55k and go to well over 100k. Full sized SUVs use much more gas, and aren't as comfortable to ride in. Minivans also have automatic sliding doors for kids, some have vacuums, and their seats are more easily configurable. SUVs have more power (which will likely never be used) and can off road I suppose. But I'd love to hear from anyone that goes off reading in their Suburban, or Ford Expedition Max. That would be hilarious.
Interesting.... Does this count as off roading in my full size SUV? What exactly is hilarious again?

https://photos.app.goo.gl/C9MfAQ89V3ExaYraA
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Deal Guru
Jun 24, 2006
13378 posts
7642 upvotes
tim-x wrote: Haha nice. But I would argue no it doesn't. An AWD Sienna could do that too. But it looks fun.
Sure it can....

Would like to see that attempt actually. I have chains.
Deal Addict
Nov 8, 2005
3202 posts
2692 upvotes
Gutty96 wrote: Sure it can....

Would like to see that attempt actually. I have chains.
You're entitled to your opinion. I dont think you need to have an off road vehicle to drive in snow in a field.

My point was those that 99.99% of those that buy an Expedition or Tahoe will never take it off road, essentially negating that usefulness over a van. The only advantage is that they tow more, which to some some be worth the extra 30k upfront cost and the extra 2k a year in gas.
Deal Guru
Jun 24, 2006
13378 posts
7642 upvotes
tim-x wrote: You're entitled to your opinion. I dont think you need to have an off road vehicle to drive in snow in a field.

My point was those that 99.99% of those that buy an Expedition or Tahoe will never take it off road, essentially negating that usefulness over a van. The only advantage is that they tow more, which to some some be worth the extra 30k upfront cost and the extra 2k a year in gas.
My point is, an AWD van would not get through the first ditch. Not really and opinion, lived there the majority of my life. I know what can and can't go where.

Agreed though, most don't bother. They just want to have the look.
Deal Addict
Nov 8, 2005
3202 posts
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Gutty96 wrote: My point is, an AWD van would not get through the first ditch. Not really and opinion, lived there the majority of my life. I know what can and can't go where.

Agreed though, most don't bother. They just want to have the look.
Fortunately where I live all the fields have entrances from the roads. No need to go through a ditch to twirl around in a field.
Deal Guru
Jun 24, 2006
13378 posts
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tim-x wrote: Fortunately where I live all the fields have entrances from the roads. No need to go through a ditch to twirl around in a field.
No road there, just a private driveway, so if you want in the field, through the ditch you go.

There is a lot more field than that, and bigger hills, that's just the best I could do driving and holding the camera.
Deal Addict
Nov 8, 2005
3202 posts
2692 upvotes
Gutty96 wrote: No road there, just a private driveway, so if you want in the field, through the ditch you go.

There is a lot more field than that, and bigger hills, that's just the best I could do driving and holding the camera.
Don't get me wrong, I think those vehicles are sweet. I'd love one. I just couldn't justify the extra cost unfortunately and I wouldn't be happy with some mid level crossover pretending to be a full sized SUV so I went with the practical choice. To me it's all or nothing, and with the price of vehicles I actually want these days, I went with the "nothing" option (minivan and econo car for a family of 5).

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