4 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing Between a Minivan or Three-Row SUV for Your Family Road Trip

When it comes to renting a minivan or a three-row SUV for your family road trip, there really is no right answer. Both options come with their own separate advantages, so you really just need to consider your own needs. To help determine whether a minivan or a three-row SUV would work best, just ask yourself the following four questions.

1. How Much Cargo Room Will You Need?

Three-row SUVs and minivans both pack plenty of cargo room, certainly more than you'll find with a sedan or a compact. However, it's worth remembering that a three-row SUV will have sacrificed some of its cargo space to make room for that third-row. This is because the third-row is meant to be used some of the time instead of all of the time. If you're going to be travelling with all seats occupied, you'll find significantly more cargo room in a minivan.

2. Will You Be Taking Any Outdoor Toys?

Conversely, SUVs are usually better at taking cargo on the outside. If you want to carry bikes or light watercraft either on the roof or on the back of the vehicle, you'll probably be hard pressed to find rental minivans that offer the necessary attachments.

3. What Kind of Roads Will You Be Driving?

SUVs were originally designed to be taken off-road. They've now become just as popular with Hollywood celebrities and everyday families alike for their higher ride height and greater sense of space. However, they still retain the ground clearance and larger wheels that made them good for off-roading, and most rental SUVs will come fitted with either four-wheel drive (4WD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). Remember, plenty of Australian sights, particularly towards the centre of the country, are accessible only with an AWD or 4WD vehicle. If you want to head off-road, you should get an SUV.

However, minivans tend to get slightly better efficiency ratings, and they perform more like regular cars. If you'll be keeping to the highway and the city streets, a minivan will be preferable.

4. How Old Are the Occupants?

Minivans are designed, first and foremost, as people-carriers, so they offer enough space across all three rows for occupants to stretch out and relax. Three-row SUVs usually offer fairly small rear seats – these are to be used more for children than for fully-grown adults.

Minivans are also better for driving seniors. This is because they have sliding doors that open along the length of the vehicle, making it easier for passengers to enter and exit.