Conversion Vans Vs. SUV’s: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Are you in the market for a new family vehicle? The choices can be overwhelming. With many things to consider, here are some of the most important factors when starting your search:

  1. Passenger and Cargo Space: Families need ample room for passengers, including kids, friends, extended family, and pets while leaving cargo room for groceries, trips to Costco/Walmart, kids sporting goods or musical instruments. The ability to store a family’s luggage when going on a trip or even just to the airport is another important consideration.
  2. Safety: A pretty big ‘no brainer’. The family vehicle must be able to keep its most precious occupants safe in the unfortunate occurrence of an accident.
  3. Cost and Gas Mileage: Raising children is expensive. Budget is going to be an important factor in the purchasing decision. What the vehicle costs, maintenance fees and day-to-day gasoline expenses are all things to consider.
  4. Comfort and Features: The family vehicle is going to get a lot of use. Trips to soccer practice, school field trips, vacations and day-to-day errands should be comfortable.
  5. Versatility: Whether it be a fancy night out or a weekend fishing trip, your vehicle should be one you can ride in feeling stylish yet practical no matter where the destination.

The automotive industry has come a long way since mom and dad’s 1950s Plymouth.

First came the station wagon…

Next arrived the minivan, and now there is the ever-popular SUV.

All three provide multiple passenger seating, interior storage space and added safety features. But are those the only three options on the market for a family car? Conversion vans offer so much and can add so many amenities to everyday family transportation. In this article I would like to take a side-by-side comparison of a large SUV and a conversion van.

Using the criteria above, I will give you the information you need to decide which vehicle is right for your family.

Features SUV Conversion Van
Passenger Seating / Cargo 5-8/34.92
cargo area space
9 and 15 configurations available/31+ cargo area
Rear Seat Accessibility Difficult Easy
Customization Options Limited Extensive
Fold-Out Bed Feature No Yes
Privacy Limited Window Tinting Luxury Blinds (Max Privacy)
Wheel Disc Brakes Yes Yes
Fuel Economy Can be up to 23h/16c Can be up to 20h/16c
Towing Capacity 8000 lbs 6500 lbs
Engine 5.3L V-8/6.0 L V-8 355 hp (GM models) 5.3L V-8/6.0 L V-8 355 hp (GM models)
Fuel Tank 31 gallon 31 gallon
2014 New Fully Loaded Price Chevy Suburban LTZ:$71,000 Chevy Express 1500: Explorer $56,995.00

Taking into account the criteria we’ve established that is important in a family vehicle, the conversion van dominates the SUV in many categories. There is more room for kids and gear. The height of vans makes for more head and legroom as compared to the SUV.

Not mentioned in the above chart, conversion vans also have a lower load floor than SUV’s, which makes easier for kids, pets, elderly people, just about everyone in general to enter and exit the vehicle.

There are endless options for customization in the conversion van. HDTV’s, video game consoles, heated seating, navigation; I-pod ports can all be affordably added to your van.

The 2014 Chevy Express 1500 conversion van came equipped with a HDTV while the Chevy suburban did not.

The fully loaded Chevy Express came at a significantly lower cost with more customizations while the Suburban was higher in cost with fewer amenities. The fuel economy is very similar.

Both the Suburban and Chevy Express pass many rigorous safety tests. Both include wheel disk breaks.

The versatility of the conversion van cannot be outweighed. Third row seats can be folded down to make a comfortable bed for overnight trips. Higher standing room and luxury blinds can allow for privacy. The conversion van is both rugged enough for a camping trip and luxurious enough for a red carpet premier.

The facts are in. But test drive each vehicle, and bring your family along. The conversion van is not an option to be overlooked. Nothing else on the market combines luxury, versatility, safety, comfort and cost efficiency quite like it.

We invite you to continue browsing our blog and knowledge center for more information about Chevy, GMC and Ford conversion vans, or contact us with either general questions, or questions about our inventory, nationwide van shipping and much more.