Passionate About Cincinnati
and the Moms Who Live Here

The Great Debate: Vans vs. SUVs

Back when I was pregnant with kid number 3, we were driving a smaller SUV. It had a neat jump seat in the back and it was perfect for our little family of 4; it had extra seats when we needed to give extra rides, and plenty of storage for our trips. But, it wasn’t quite big enough for two car seats and a booster and for the big kids to have a little bit of personal space. 

We did our research. My husband wanted us to get a van. I preferred a larger SUV, because I couldn’t see myself at 28 years old driving a van. I wasn’t old enough, I thought. But someone wiser than me said if I was old enough to have 3 kids, I was old enough to drive a van. True. But I didn’t have to like it, did I?!

Long story short, we got a van. I readily admit, it was what we needed for our growing family, especially with an infant. The sliding doors, plenty of space for the big kids and all the carseats, and the storage for our travels made it the perfect solution.

The van was very good to us. She drove us nearly 100,000 miles over the course of 4 years with no problems. But then we started having trouble; the air conditioner going out, AGAIN, in the middle of the summer with my in-laws in the car was the last straw. The back seat was also starting to get tight for our now 12 year old, and was becoming quite uncomfortable for her when we traveled. It was time to look at the options. Once again we found ourselves debating: Van or SUV? What would we be giving up by moving into an SUV? Was it worth it?

We knew we needed something big. Something at least comparable to the van. I preferred an SUV, but I didn’t really know WHY. Again, we did our research and this is what we considered in SUVs:

Our criteria was simple: 3 rows, captain seats, more space in the way back, equal storage, and it had to fit in the garage.  We looked at all of the SUVs out there. All.the.SUVs. Fitting into a garage was a problem, so we finally narrowed it down to the full size crossover class, which consisted of like 3 cars. From there it was relatively easy to pick our preference.

So, we officially made the switch from van to SUV. I love them both and they both had a time and place in our family. Where are my fellow SUV mamas? Anyone else having this “great debate?” 

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