Automotive

*Advice* Crossover vs Minivan

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 6th, 2021 11:20 am
[OP]
Newbie
May 27, 2021
29 posts
12 upvotes

*Advice* Crossover vs Minivan

We are planning to buy a new car. However, we are confused between 3 row crossover such as Highlander and Minivan such as Odyssey.

Below is our scenario and basic analysis with pros and cons.

Scenario
  • Family of four. 2 Adults and 2 kids
  • Extended family visits sometime
  • Plan to either finance (less preferred) or cash buy (preferred) the car
  • Living in Vancouver area

Crossover vs Minivan Pros and Cons:
  • Pros for Crossover: Compact so easy to park, Better looks, Better Mileage - Can get hybrid in case of Highlander
  • Pros for Minivan: More Spacious, Bigger Trunk, Perhaps better with kids during long trips

Request to please share your experience and choice. Thanks!
49 replies
Sr. Member
Oct 21, 2006
748 posts
501 upvotes
if I'm in your situation I would get a small SUV like a RAV4. The odd time where family comes to visit or long road trip you can always rent a minivan.
Member
May 3, 2010
266 posts
106 upvotes
Brampton
6 seaters SUV with captain chair should suit your practical needs.
Temp. Banned
Jun 4, 2020
1634 posts
1657 upvotes
Clarington, ON
Have a 15 highlander. If you plan to use the 3rd row for anything bigger then a 6 year old, don't but this, get the van.
Jr. Member
Jan 18, 2012
159 posts
78 upvotes
Minivan is more practical. You also don't have to worry about door dings with the kids! But with that being said I would get a highlander way less dorky looking :)
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
17163 posts
19072 upvotes
Oakville
Highlander isn't exactly compact.
You can also get minivans in hybrid. Our 2020 Pacifica gets great mileage though.
Kids love the minivan as it's so roomy and they have lots of space.
They can also get in easily themselves.
It's nice to drive, better ride than our old Q5, but handling isn't as sporty.

Most CUV don't look cool anymore anyways. They all look the same.
Last edited by engineered on May 31st, 2021 9:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
Deal Addict
Dec 6, 2017
1192 posts
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Manitoba
My heart says SUV but my mind says :"chill the F down, you're 40...get a minivan." Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Smiling Eyes
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Oct 16, 2007
1401 posts
622 upvotes
Minivan will always be better. You can get the sienna in hybrid and AWD. The decrease in interior space isn't worth the "looks"
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Deal Expert
Jan 15, 2006
16995 posts
15599 upvotes
Richmond Hill
sunshinee wrote: Minivan is more practical. You also don't have to worry about door dings with the kids! But with that being said I would get a highlander way less dorky looking :)
I agree Highlander is less dorky, but that's not saying much LOL
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Jan 15, 2013
1673 posts
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Ottawa
EP32k2 wrote: I agree Highlander is less dorky, but that's not saying much LOL
Dorky is in the eyes of the beholder. Same can be said for the Pilot, which looks like the Odyssey without sliding doors. The offerings from Kia and Hyundai look really clunky and dated imo.
Deal Expert
Jan 15, 2006
16995 posts
15599 upvotes
Richmond Hill
sandav wrote: Dorky is in the eyes of the beholder. Same can be said for the Pilot, which looks like the Odyssey without sliding doors. The offerings from Kia and Hyundai look really clunky and dated imo.
Majority of the crossovers in the current market look dorky. There's only so much you can do with this shape. I agree, the Korean designs are terrible and always will be. None of them age well no matter which vehicle.
Deal Addict
Jul 8, 2013
1954 posts
2641 upvotes
Red Deer, AB
EP32k2 wrote: I agree Highlander is less dorky, but that's not saying much LOL
To me, a minivan looks far better than many SUVs.

Every other car is an SUV now, which is something to consider if you are the type that wants to "stand out" as the OP claims in his post. SUV looking better than a minivan? Ha ha ha.

Beauty is in the eyes of a beholder, for sure.

Lastly, a minivan will drive much more like a car as it sits lower. Sitting lower also means far easier entry for kids aged 3 to 8.
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Jan 27, 2004
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T.O. Lotto Captain
TuxedoBlack wrote: To me, a minivan looks far better than many SUVs.

Every other car is an SUV now, which is something to consider if you are the type that wants to "stand out" as the OP claims in his post. SUV looking better than a minivan? Ha ha ha.

Beauty is in the eyes of a beholder, for sure.

Lastly, a minivan will drive much more like a car as it sits lower. Sitting lower also means far easier entry for kids aged 3 to 8.
Stick a bed in the back and do van life for funsies!

Now thats unique!
Sr. Member
Jan 20, 2012
927 posts
568 upvotes
Toronto
Minivan, owning both 5 seats Highlander and RX. Tested both the 7-seat version. And being shovelled at the 3rd row in an Acura MDX. I will buy a Minivan for it's space.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
17163 posts
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Oakville
TuxedoBlack wrote: To me, a minivan looks far better than many SUVs.

Every other car is an SUV now, which is something to consider if you are the type that wants to "stand out" as the OP claims in his post. SUV looking better than a minivan? Ha ha ha.

Beauty is in the eyes of a beholder, for sure.

Lastly, a minivan will drive much more like a car as it sits lower. Sitting lower also means far easier entry for kids aged 3 to 8.
There aren't many cool looking SUV IMHO. There's Jeep, but they're terrible for anything but off roading. Porsches look good (except for the previous gen Cayenne, which looked like Hyundai), but I can't thinking of anything under $50k that look good.

Yea, my 3 year loves getting into the minivan. He can open and close the power door himself, and I don't have to worry about him banging cars when opening the door. Being able to remotely open and close all rear doors is pretty nice too, especially when my older kids forgets to close their door.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
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Mar 7, 2007
4757 posts
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Review the actual way you use your vehicle.

In my case, in the winter, I have no passengers (from my home to GO train station, car is parked there the whole day, then from GO station back home).

The rest of the time, most of the time, I have 2 or 3 passengers.

And we drive less and less every year, as we started working from home (way before the pandemic).

In terms of size, if I am honest, a small inexpensive sedan would be the best fit for me. Maybe a Corolla!! Anything bigger is going to be a "want", not a "need".
Sr. Member
Oct 29, 2009
631 posts
311 upvotes
lookatami wrote: Crossover vs Minivan Pros and Cons:
Pros for Crossover: Compact so easy to park, Better looks, Better Mileage - Can get hybrid in case of Highlander
A Highlander is not compact. It will be no easier to park than a minivan. It's also not going to give you any better mileage. The Pacifica is also offered in Hybrid. For a young family the ONLY things an SUV offers over a minivan is image/appearance/sex appeal and maybe towing capacity in some cases. The minivan is more practical for just about everything else.
Pros for Minivan: More Spacious, Bigger Trunk, Perhaps better with kids during long trips
Do NOT underestimate the value of sliding doors. Life with kids is way easier with sliding doors and makes it way easier to get people/things in/out of the vehicle. And if you are the type to care about other human beings, I can guarantee you if you buy a SUV there will be times that your kids throw open the rear doors and dent the vehicle beside you. That does not happen with sliding doors.

It really comes down to what you want. If the relatively low sex appeal and suburban mom/dad image of a minivan will bother you then buy an SUV, otherwise you won't be happy. But don't kid yourself into thinking they are as practical as a minivan. They are not. For maximum flexibility/practicality for a family you simply cannot beat a minivan. That's what they're built for.
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User avatar
Sep 9, 2012
4721 posts
3950 upvotes
Oakville, ON
lookatami wrote: We are planning to buy a new car. However, we are confused between 3 row crossover such as Highlander and Minivan such as Odyssey.

Below is our scenario and basic analysis with pros and cons.

Scenario
  • Family of four. 2 Adults and 2 kids
  • Extended family visits sometime
  • Plan to either finance (less preferred) or cash buy (preferred) the car
  • Living in Vancouver area

Crossover vs Minivan Pros and Cons:
  • Pros for Crossover: Compact so easy to park, Better looks, Better Mileage - Can get hybrid in case of Highlander
  • Pros for Minivan: More Spacious, Bigger Trunk, Perhaps better with kids during long trips

Request to please share your experience and choice. Thanks!
Picking up or dropping off the extended family at the airport? Minivan = no problem. Crossover = dilemma….6 people and no stuff vs 4 people and luggage with 2 staying at home.

Minivan has room to max out on people and still carry luggage/stuff in the back. Crossover with 3rd row you have limited options as the area behind the 3rd row won’t fit much more than a couple of backpacks, so you have to trade off people capacity against luggage capacity.

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