The common person may want better mileage, but in many cases the functionality and the overall capacity of a vehicle wins out over fuel efficiency. There are many choices when it comes to finding full size vehicle that can transport many passengers and still have plenty of room for some extra cargo storage. The most common vehicles that fit the bill are minivans and SUVs. There are many vehicles in these two body style categories and there is also quite a wide range of price to choose from. When you are ready to start seriously looking at the options in these full size transport vehicles, you will need to consider what features and options are the most important to you and then you can start to narrow down your search for the perfect vehicle for you and your family.
Most consumers that are looking for a vehicle to carry 7 or more passengers are looking at either minivans or SUVs, there are other vehicles that may be able to carry this many people, but few offer as many features and refined rides as these popular models. When comparing these two major vehicle categories there are many things to consider. Below are some of the most important factors to consider when you are ready to make your choice on which new minivan or SUV will be the right one for you.
Gas Mileage and Overall Fuel Economy
Depending on how often you are going to drive the SUV or minivan the gas mileage may be more important to you than some other drivers. Both vehicles will give much higher mileage on the highway like any other vehicle. SUVs offer a decent highway mileage in general, but in the city most models perform very poorly. Minivans on the other hand usually offer a much closer mileage rating on the highway and in the city. This is all very dependent on the driver's acceleration and braking habits of course, but for the most part the minivan models will give an overall better fuel economy to most any driver.
The Mazda 5 is a smaller minivan, only seating 6, but is one of the best minivans for mpg getting around 28 mpg on the highway. If you are more concerned with the seating, storage and options packages then the gas mileage may be less of a concern. However, it is suggested to consider the gas mileage and you average week of driving expense into the overall cost of ownership. The initial cost of buying a SUV or a minivan is just where the real expense of owning either vehicle begins. Common upkeep, gasoline and any associated monthly service expenses should be considered as well.
Seating and Ride Comfort
The standard ride comfort is probably better in most minivans if you compare them to lower end SUVs. However, if you are going to compare the ride of the best minivans to the high end SUVs like the Lincoln Navigator ™ and the Cadillac Escalade ™ you may find a much more competitive luxury ride. These huge SUVs do bring a more refined ride and plenty of plush seating options to make their ride just as comfortable if not more than most minivans. The big upside to the largest SUVs is that they can not only seat between 8 and 9 passengers, but they can do it comfortably. The leg room for the rear seat passengers is generally much more forgiving in the SUV vehicles. The smaller form factor of the minivan models forces them to use less cushioning and make use of their interior design to make the extra seating work in some cases. If the rear seat passengers are always going to be children this is not really a big concern. If you are going to be transporting adults often, the minivan may not be the best choice when it comes to overall seating and comfort.
Power And Performance
It is not surprise to most consumers that in almost every case the SUVs win out in this category, after all that is what most sports utility vehicles were created for. There are a couple exceptions to the rule, the smaller sports utility vehicles may actually be less powerful than some of the minivans. However, the smaller SUVs still have stronger and more rigid suspension and a more powerful drive train in most cases. The ground clearance alone takes most minivans out of the running when it comes to off road performance. There are a few minivans that offer all wheel drive, but this is definitely for better performance in wet or icy roads and is not intended for powering through muddy off road terrain. The SUV is built for any driving condition and if you are planning on using your new vehicle for any outdoor excursions then the SUV will be the style of vehicle that you will want to be looking at. Many of the best minivan models offer a very zippy and in some cases fast acceleration but this is about as much as you can expect from them.
Safety and Extra Features
There is no overpowering winner in the features and add-on category when you compare the SUV and minivan models. Each offers a huge amount of options and luxury additions that can really scale the price of the vehicles and make for a much more comfortable interior. Depending on what is important to you there is a trim package for most vehicles that will be able to suit your needs. The best minivans for gas mileage may not offer as much room and the same goes for the SUVs, but even these smaller models can be decked out with all the extras. Now when it comes to safety the minivan group usually comes out on top. The minivan is considered to be a family vehicle so year after year these vehicle perform very high is safety crash testing and they are usually offer more crumple zones and airbags than the vehicles in the SUV category.
However, there are many models that do not get as much airtime on popular advertising networks as they did years ago. The new fad vehicle is the & ldquo;Crossover & rdquo; and even though many of these vehicles get much more publicity they are very similar in many ways to the much cheaper and more functional minivans. If you are looking for a family vehicle that can not only store a lot of cargo but also carry 7 or more passengers, the minivan is the vehicle of choice. The newest minivans bring new innovation new conveniences to these classic family vehicles. Some of the most popular new features include power side doors, stow away seats and of course what minivan would be complete without flat screens in the back for the kids. These new features make the minivan a perfect choice for any busy parent that needs a little help when doing all the tasks involved in taking care of and transporting an active family.
Choosing the right minivan may take a few test drives to allow you to really get a real & ldquo;hands on & rdquo; experience. However, if you start by looking at the most popular minivan models you can narrow your search rather quickly. The best minivans offer a huge amount of value and become an all purpose vehicle for you and your family that will be able to serve you for years to come. If you have already started looking at the latest models of minivans available you may have some favorites already. Below we are going to discuss the best minivans for mpg and what other features make these 2011 models so hot on today & rsquo;s automotive market place.
Most Popular 2011 Model Minivans
The Honda Odyssey © always gets a lot of looks because Honda ™ has been a well recognized brand for bringing a lot of value and usually a very high resale value to their fleet of vehicles. Many consumers look at their minivans just because they have a good name in the industry. The Odyssey does not come with many of the standard features that other newer models like the Toyota Sienna © offer, but this can be overlooked easily if you are a loyal Honda ™ owner and fan of their ongoing solid construction and over the top quality that you know they will offer. The Odyssey is a great vehicle for any family looking for a good solid minivan, but there may be some other models that offer many more gadgets, toys and add-on options. The Odyssey does find itself in the running for the best minivans gas mileage race, the 2011 model promises 25 mpg on the highway and that is a very respectable number considering its very spacious interior offerings.
The Toyota Sienna ™ is definitely one of the front runners for 2011 and if you are ready to be taken on a luxury ride, this is the minivan for you. The latest model Toyota Sienna ™ Limited edition comes standard with many advanced features like dual moon roofs, keyless ignition, manual gear selection, rear seat entertainment system and even streaming music features. There is no doubt that this is one of the best minivans on the market today. The high end features and seemingly endless list of luxury features are however reflected in the price tag.
The Grand Caravan ™ from Dodge © usually leads the pack and 2011 is no different. These minivans offer more of the luxury features and extra safety features that most consumers are looking for. They also bring some new innovations that allow the owner to get more usable space than many of the other competing models. The & ldquo;stow n go & rdquo; seating has made these full featured minivans a favorite for a couple years running. This new seating feature allows the owner to use the seats when they have many passengers or to literally fold the seat into the floor, where a hard panel fold over the seat making a flush floor that is perfect for carrying large cargo loads instantly. There also options to get swivel seats in the back, this feature has only been seen on full size vans in the past and this can be a very nice add-on feature to some consumers.
How To Choose Your Next Minivan In 2011
Everybody has different values and needs when it comes to finding the right vehicle for them. If you know what you are going to be using your new minivan for it is easier to narrow down the features that will be important to you. Once you know exactly which features will bring more value to you and the passengers that will be traveling with you. Price has to come into play at some point, so this must be a consideration when choosing the right minivan as well. If you take many long trips, finding the minivan with the best gas mileage may be very important as well. Choosing the right minivan can be hard, but if you do your research you will be sure to find a great vehicle that can fit your budget and offer all the options you need.
Where To Find More Information About 2011 Minivans
You can of course always talk to your local dealer and see what models they are currently selling the most of or ask for their own personal opinion. They may be biased by the brands they promote, but these sales people can also offer a high level of insight in some situations. There are some great places to get more information that is totally unbiased on the internet. Listed below are some great resources ready for you to start comparison shopping and seeing which 2011 minivan is going to be the best for you and your family.
www.motortrend.com – This web site offers a huge amount of technical information and review of all minivan models.
www.caranddriver.com – Here is another great online resource for any consumer looking for more minivan comparison shopping info.