There are so many vehicle body styles out on the market today, but how do you choose which one is best for your family? Here are some of the key strengths that the sedan, SUV/crossover and minivan segments offer as your next daily driver.
A sedan is the best option if mileage is a priority for you and your crew. If you live in an area with high gas prices or you have a long commute, you can go with fully-electric or plug-in hybrid variations for even more efficiency. According to Kelley Blue Book, the 2019 Toyota Prius Prime and 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid were the top most fuel-efficient sedans of 2019. The first model achieves 133 MPGe combined while the second one achieves 58 MPG combined.*
If you only have one or two children, chances are that you don’t need (or want) a lot of extra space in your family-hauler. Sedans are definitely more compact than larger SUVs or minivans, and their concise profiles make them a wiser choice for city life. These models’ smaller dimensions help them maneuver more easily in street-parking situations or through narrow city streets.
SUVs offer a cooler aesthetic than minivans do if you prefer to avoid the “soccer mom” vibe, as Parents magazine confirms. They offer a higher seating position so you can more easily see over lower vehicles on the road ahead and have a bit more legroom than a lower-sitting sedan or minivan.
If you care more about engine might than mileage, then SUVs generally offer more potent powertrains than sedans or minivans do. Per Car and Driver, the Jeep® Grand Cherokee Trackhawk takes first place for being the most powerful SUV for the 2019 model year with 707 horsepower. Additionally, the SUV/crossover segment typically offers the added traction of all-wheel drive for more peace of mind when driving in bad weather. This option usually isn’t available in the sedan or minivan categories.
Minivan models have less ground clearance than an SUV. This lower vehicle height makes it easier for kids and dogs to get in and out of the vehicle. It also makes it easier to load and unload the van without straining your back.
If you have a large family, then a minivan will typically offer you more room than an SUV will. For instance, the Toyota Sienna yields 150 cubic feet of maximum cargo space behind the first row while the same area on the Ford Explorer is 81.7 cubic feet, according to Motor1.com.
Minivans also come with built-in features that sedans and SUVs lack. Available power-sliding doors that you can access with a key fob or a wave of your foot under the door simplify the process of buckling young children into car seats. Some models even have built-in vacuums to make it easy to keep the interior tidy. Another popular element of minivans is a recessed cargo-area floor for extra storage space.
Ultimately, only you can decide which body style will suit your family’s needs, preferences and lifestyle the best. However, comparing the key qualities of each segment will definitely help you choose which one to bring home.