Van VS Minivan (Differences and Similarities!)

Last Updated on April 29, 2021 by

On the one hand, a van is a vehicle widely used for specific purposes, in addition to transporting goods or people. In some cases, this vehicle is used as mobile studios for television stations, or as a means to deliver packages for postal services. On the other hand, a minivan combines some features of a van with many aspects of a sedan.

Van VS Minivan – Some differences

FeaturesVanMinivan
Miles per gallon


Payload capacity

Transport capacity

Price range

Uses
24 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway


2,000 lb.


8 – 15 passengers


$36,110 – $47,655

Transportation of medium or heavy cargo, large contingents of passengers, as a business vehicle
19 mpg in the city, 28 on the highway

850 lb.

7 – 8 passengers

$27,400 – $53,390

Family vehicle, for light cargo transport

Are Minivans Worth It?

Sometimes a van can be too big a vehicle for some people. Instead, a minivan is a perfect choice for couples having their first baby, or already going through their second. Even large families can count on an excellent design and good space for all the luggage and family members.

1. Convenient Access

First of all, these types of vehicles can offer an excellent amount of space when it comes to entering the vehicle. Some of today’s options include electric sliding doors that are also automatic. So, people who have to put a lot of luggage next to the baby can take advantage of this feature.

Even these vehicles are considered too much and offer a low height to enter the interior. So, if the person who enjoys an entrance accommodates the vehicle, a minivan can offer it. Also, older people with knee or hip pain will appreciate the ease of getting into a minivan.

2. Great Interior Space

Compared to sport utility vehicles and other options, minivans offer one of the most spacious interiors. It is because of this that these vehicles are chosen by the numerous family. However, it is necessary to consider that the largest amount of space is offered only for passengers.

Also, the space for carrying luggage is usually the same as other sport utility vehicles. The boot loads all the luggage and it much more convenient than any other option. Many people even find that minivans have plenty of hidden storage space located underground.

3. Good Level Of Flexibility

A minivan can offer excellent flexibility for different people and their needs. As we have mentioned, it is one of the best options when it comes to transportation, such as a large family. However, we should also mention that people who share the daily commute to work can also use this vehicle for that.

On the other hand, a minivan that includes a third row of seats offers the possibility of having these seats fold up or be removable. This reduces passenger space but increases storage space for various items. Some vehicles even include a removable center seat in the second row of seats. So, if you need even more space, you can bring this seat along, too.

4. Good Cost-Benefit

Sometimes an entry-level minivan can offer excellent benefits for about $20,000. In contrast, a mid-size sport utility vehicle with the same features is available for $30.000. Here, the difference is that a minivan does not provide the off-road capabilities offered by the other vehicle.

Instead, removable seats and power sliding doors can be more than enough for many people. There are even some vehicles that include built-in vacuum cleaners for more comfortable use. So, people who only need the space offered by a minivan will be able to optimize their budget when buying the next vehicle.

5. Wide Range Of Features For A Family

A minivan usually includes a wide variety of features to meet all the needs of a family on a trip. Some options include optional rear-seat entertainment systems, convenient air outlets, and a generous amount of cup holders. Each of these features is implemented with children in the back and adults in the front.

Sometimes, the second row of seats offers individual seating only. This allows the children to travel much more comfortably without disturbing each other. However, a minivan is not as efficient when it comes to transporting a family. Therefore, we must mention some important points.

6. Disadvantages When Driving

As you will notice, a minivan is a really big and spacious vehicle. Of course, the large interior space is a great advantage that, at the same time, causes a disadvantage. Sometimes the large size of a minivan could make driving difficult. If the driver has not adapted to a large vehicle, then parking may be somewhat difficult.

Driving difficulty increases in street parking spaces or when maneuvering in tight garages. So, an experienced driver or one with a lot of practice should consider purchasing this vehicle.

Is Van Worth It?

Sometimes the space that a minivan can offer may be insufficient when it comes to transporting 8 or more passengers. In these cases, a much larger vehicle is certainly needed which provides other advantages. So, this is where the van comes in to solve these inconveniences. Today there are vans for different purposes all over the world.

1. The Wide Level Of Versatility

As with a Minivan, the vans can be used not only for passenger transport. In many cases, it is required to transport important loads of different sizes. An example of this is some postal services such as Federal Express. Because it is a world-class courier and parcel service a minivan simply offers insufficient space.

So, a van is required to be able to deliver messages and parcels more efficiently. Of course, these vans are also often used for the transport of several passengers. Hotels and airports are the places where vans are used.

Contingents of people usually travel all together between a hotel and an airport. So, it may be necessary to transport between 8 and 15 people together with all the luggage. In these cases, a minivan is not enough for the space requirement of all those people. That is why vans are used in many airports, workplaces, excursions, and other similar areas.

In short, a van is often used in a much wider variety of applications than a minivan. While a minivan is often more familiar, a van is often more businesslike in many cases.

2. Increased Driving Safety

Another important aspect is that a van is a much safer vehicle and provides greater protection to everyone inside. Since it is a larger and heavier vehicle, people are better protected when colliding with other vehicles. So, the risk of having a fatal accident in a van decreases considerably.

Besides, it is necessary to mention that the center of gravity is higher in a van than in a minivan. This is necessary so that the vehicle can carry 15 passengers and all the luggage without damaging the suspension too much. These vehicles can support more than a ton on each trip.

Additionally, many commercial vans include safety equipment. On the one hand, this prevents the uninsured cargo being transported from being a problem. This includes some cargo barriers behind the front seats. These cargo barriers can also be included right behind the rear seats if the van includes them.

So, in the event of a rollover, collision, or sudden deceleration, the passengers or driver are not injured by the cargo. Sometimes that safety equipment also has doors to allow access to the vehicle’s cargo compartment. This way the driver should not get out of the vehicle and enter the van from behind.

3. Using A Van As A Motor Home

Today, many people decide to use a van and transform it into a mini motorhome. This is often done as a necessity or as a fun experience. Either way, a van with only one row of seats can provide a great deal of transportation space. In particular, this is the space that people use to transform it into a whole motorhome.

Beyond that, a van is a larger vehicle and of course requires more fuel to operate. Compared to a minivan, a van consumes much more fuel per mile. This, in turn, can increase the cost of maintenance due to increased tire wear, among other considerations.

On the other hand, people can reap some benefits from living in their van. Those who wish to travel to several states should consider that some camps in the United States are free. So, parking in one of these places can be a great way to save some money.

Also, many motorhomes and van owners mention that Walmart provides free overnight parking. Of course, this is not a great advantage although it is a good way to save some dollars. However, it is always an excellent way to visit new horizons and expand the uses of a van.

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