While shopping for a vehicle with ample room for passengers, many families face a few decisions when it comes to selecting the perfect fit for their brood. When considering a vehicle with multiple passenger seating, most consider a full-size conversion van or a sport utility vehicle (SUV). There are a few key differences between the two, and the amenities offered by each vary depending on the intended use and customizable nature of these large vehicles.
One thing to keep in mind when choosing between an SUV and conversion van is how each vehicle addresses the transportation needs of your family. Your checklist may include cargo space, passenger capacity, safety, cost of ownership, gas mileage, and comfort features.
While both the SUV and the conversion van have distinctly different styles, they are similar in their basic design and intended usage. Both are large-bodied vehicles with the same mechanical structure and chassis. This makes them similar in drive-style and gross weight.
The Ever-Popular SUV
Over recent years, SUVs have gained a great deal of popularity due to their size and towing capabilities. A large passenger cabin provides ample space for people as well as cargo. Also, SUVs usually sit high on the road and are often powered by large V-8 engines. The appeal for many families considering this vehicle is its size and power, which is more ideal for off-road driving. With such substantial power comes an increased use of gas, and the weight of such a large vehicle usually means a lower fuel economy.
Due to its popularity and market demand, a fully-loaded SUV can come with a considerable price tag. Basic models usually lack in-car entertainment systems, or any substantial luxury upgrades. Their use is not generally associated with comfort amenities, and may lack the overhead clearance necessary for some purposes.
The Versatile Conversion Van
Conversion vans, on the other hand, are incredibly versatile. These luxury vans offer the same multiple passenger seating with more overhead room, increased space for cargo, and variable seat configurations. The flexibility seating placement can determine the layout of the van and provides extensive options for customization. For instance, many third-row seats can fold down to create a comfortable bed space for extended trips. And with higher standing room, conversion vans provide more space to move around freely.
Conversion vans are also lower to the ground, making it easier for children, seniors, and pets to enter and exit the vehicle safely. This feature creates increased maneuverability and less chance that the vehicle may flip in an accident, thanks to its lower center of gravity. As a result, full-size luxury vans are ideal for families, those looking for a highly customizable space, or those frequently transporting cargo or wheelchairs.
Drive Before You Choose
Whichever vehicle you chose, be sure to test-drive each type before you buy. You may be surprised to learn that the one which best suits your family, or the one that is the most fun to drive, is not the one you initially expected.
While both of these large-bodied vehicle offers more cargo space and passenger seating than compact cars, SUVs and conversion vans have fundamental differences which make them uniquely suited for certain purposes. A test-drive can help determine which one of these will best fit your space, comfort, and luxury needs.