Some people simply can't handle minivans. Despite recent efforts by Toyota and others to add some "swagger" to the people-movers, a sporty body kit and stylized sheetmetal can't disguise the fact that a minivan is a family vehicle above all else. There are no pretentions of off-roading ability or active, outdoorsy lifestyles in a minivan. But what they usually do provide is more functionality than a similarly priced and sized crossover.
The sacrifice consumers make by choosing an SUV over an equally capable suburban runabout like a minivan is what brings us here today. It's a choice Chevrolet and Ford buyers can no longer make, as the Traverse is now the go-to vehicle for family-hauling duties for Chevrolet and crossovers like the Flex and the new Explorer are doing the deed for Ford. Assuming you've got a garage big enough for a 200-inch-plus-long vehicle, how much do you give up in cargo room, legroom, and maneuverability by driving a crossover over a less sexy van with sliding doors?
We've gathered all the players on the minivan scene and paired them with the equivalent midsize crossover from the same automaker, where possible. With the Chrysler Aspen SUV long gone, Dodge represents Chrysler's minivan duo. Given the choice, would you choose a Dodge Grand Caravan or Dodge Durango? Toyota Sienna or a Toyota Highlander? Kia Sedona or Kia Sorento?
The minivans and crossovers on the following pages are, for the most part, priced from the mid-$20,000 range to just beyond $40,000. This guide attempts to move beyond superficial concerns about style and break down key differences between the two body styles.