Minivan vs. SUV vs. Crossover SUV

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Difference between Minivan, SUV and Crossover SUV

Most of the time, people in a colloquial manner regard SUVs and Minivans as "cars" even in their formal speech. In fact this segment of automobiles does not hold a distinct identity in the minds of many. This article is an attempt to enlighten this category of automobiles and the aspects these vehicles differ at from one another.

A multi utility vehicle or minivan is similar in shape to a van designed for personal use. These are taller than a hatchback or sedan and are designed for maximum interior space. An SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) is similar to a station wagon but inherits a light truck like skeleton. SUVs claim to have the capability to be used as an off road vehicle which is one of the key reasons for their success. Besides, some SUVs also possess the towing capacity of a pickup truck and at the same time provide high interior room for passengers as in a minivan. Crossover SUV borrows features from a traditional SUV but is based on a car model. In fact these ride pretty much like cars but their outer appearance is like SUVs; however these have light off-road capabilities.


Engine Capacity

SUVs share the same engine platforms of pick-ups and are often considered light trucks. Crossovers come in a wide range of engine capacities depending upon the off road capabilities they have. Minivans are more fuel efficient and slow and under-powered when compared with sport utility vehicles.

Quality of Drive

SUVs are popular for high ground clearance, high H-point seating and upright, boxy body which makes them more likely to rollover on sharp turns due to their high center of gravity.

The crossover SUVs come in a lot of variants by combining the design features of SUVs to different degrees in each of them. Minivans have compromised the quality of drive a bit to achieve high fuel efficiency and economic transportation but at the same time many have passionately regarded the minivan as a very practical design with added safety and fuel efficient transportation. 


SUVs do have the capability to run off road but they lack the luxuries of a sedan in the same range. A crossover SUV has a good blend of additional features - Independent rear suspension, high interior room and fuel efficient engine. Minivans offer interior seating and cargo capacity with fuel efficient transportation that SUVs and crossovers can't match. 


Most SUVs are designed with a combined passenger and cargo compartment, an engine compartment, without a dedicated trunk. These have three rows of seats with a cargo area directly behind them. Crossovers use a car's basic platform for construction. Engine is kept close to the front end of the crossover with its elements grouped higher than in other car types. The rear overhang can be short as in a hatchback or long as in station wagons.  Minivans have the added interior space, sliding side doors and customizable seating. Two or three infant car seats can easily be fitted in the second row. Not many SUVs have such flexible seating.

Similarities and Differences

  • The salient features of the minivans - its practical and safe design, fuel efficiency, and affordable price make it desirable.
  • But for those looking for pure hard muscles SUV is the ultimate destination.
  • The crossover solves a little purpose of both the worlds of minivan and of a SUV.
Which automobile has the best hybrids?
  • Minivan
  • SUV
  • Crossover SUV

Discuss It: comments 1

  • Guest
  • Kate wrote on April 2010

Although the differences between these two classes are largely aesthetic, there are a few factors that separate minivans from crossovers in terms of functionality. The decision to purchase one over the other is largely a matter of personal preference.

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