Minivans and SUVs are in close contention for the title of “best family vehicle.” While each gets you comfortably from point A to point B, the vehicles' horsepower and functionality may vary. If the decision between an SUV and a minivan is coming down to cost, use our guide to the cheapest SUVs and minivans to insure and buy.
For the models in our study, buying a minivan costs over $800 more than buying an SUV. In 2019, the cheapest SUV to buy is the Chevy Equinox, whereas the cheapest minivan is the Dodge Grand Caravan. The Equinox is almost $3,000 cheaper than the Grand Caravan!
Minivan and SUV 2019 list prices
|Minivan list price||SUV list price|
|Chrysler Pacifica - $26,985||Chevrolet Equinox - $23,800|
|Honda Odyssey - $30,190||Subaru Forester - $24,295|
|Kia Sedona - $27,200||Toyota RAV4 - $25,650|
|Toyota Sienna - $31,415||Ford Explorer - $32,765|
|Dodge Grand Caravan - $26,790||Jeep Grand Cherokee - $32,045|
For the most expensive models of these vehicle types — the Ford Explorer and Toyota Sienna — there’s about $1350 in purchase-price difference. So, if you’re just looking at costs, consider narrowing your search to the Caravan and Equinox.
Although list prices for SUVs and minivans can vary substantially, the difference in car insurance pricing is less pronounced. All insurance rating factors equal, there’s an average annual difference of $79 between these two vehicle types — with SUVs being less expensive to insure. Let’s look at individual models below.
Average insurance premiums for minivans and SUVs
|Average Auto Insurance Premium: Minivan||Average Auto Insurance Premium: SUV|
|Chrysler Pacifica - $1,745||Chevrolet Equinox - $1,496|
|Honda Odyssey - $1,633||Subaru Forester - $1,588|
|Kia Sedona - $1,618||Toyota RAV4 - $1,556|
|Toyota Sienna - $1,553||Ford Explorer - $1,569|
|Dodge Grand Caravan - $1,636||Jeep Grand Cherokee - $1,579|
The Chevrolet Equinox and Toyota Sienna offer the most affordable car insurance premiums among minivans and SUVs. Average annual premiums for the Equinox are about $62 less than the group average, while the Sienna costs approximately $84 less to insure per year than similar minivans.
At the end of the day, a minivan might be better for families that need car seats and an SUV might be better if you want four-wheel drive. But if your choice between a minivan and an SUV is coming down to price, consider the list price before the cost of insurance. While finding cheap car insurance will be very important once you've settled on a model, it shouldn't be a driving force behind your decision between a minivan and an SUV. If you’re still on the fence about which vehicle is right for you and your family, see our additional articles below.
Between September and December 2018, The Zebra conducted comprehensive car insurance pricing analysis using its proprietary quote engine, comprising data from insurance rating platforms and public rate filings. The Zebra examined nearly 53 million rates to explore trends for specific auto insurance rating factors across all United States zip codes, averaged by state, including Washington, DC.
Analysis used a consistent base profile for the insured driver: a 30-year-old single male driving a 2013 Honda Accord EX with a good driving history and coverage limits of $50,000 bodily injury liability per person/$100,000 bodily injury liability per accident/$50,000 property damage liability per accident with a $500 deductible for comprehensive and collision.
For coverage-level data, optional coverage (that must be rejected in writing) is included where applicable, including uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection.
National property and casualty losses information is from the Insurance Information Institute and the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters report.
For vehicle make and model data, analysis referenced the most popular vehicles in the U.S. by 2017 year-end sales according to Goodcarbadcar.net’s automakers’ data. Finally, some rate data may vary slightly throughout report based on rounding.