Once upon a time, minivans were the go-to vehicles for those in need of room for lots of people and the flexibility to carry cargo. This makes them great for families, but what if you don’t like minivans? Today there are lots of alternatives with plenty of three-row SUVs on the market. They have the passenger capacity, cargo room, and features that families love. Here’s our list of the 10 Best Minivan Alternatives.
10 Best Minivan Alternatives
Photo Credit: Mazda
2017 Mazda CX-9
Those looking for more fun than a minivan typically provides will love the 2017 Mazda CX-9. This is a brand known for building cars for people who like to drive and its three-row SUV is no exception. The CX-9 has seating for up to seven passengers and a beautiful interior that is downright luxurious in higher trim levels.
The base Sport starts at $31,520 while the luxurious Signature comes in at $44,315. All-wheel drive is optional across the lineup and there’s good cargo room with a maximum of 71.2 cubic feet behind the first row of seats. Available features include a power rear liftgate, three-zone automatic climate control, Nappa leather seats, and a Bose surround sound audio system.
Photo Credit: Ford
2017 Ford Expedition
The 2017 Ford Expedition has room for up to eight passengers and combines good cargo capacity with the ability to tow a heavy load. This full-size SUV is available with a long wheelbase for even more room with 130.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row, 85.5 cubic feet behind the second row, and 42.6 cubic feet behind the third row. If that’s not enough, it can also tow up to 9,200 pounds.
The base Expedition starts at $47,125 while the luxurious Platinum EL is priced from $66,860 with advanced safety including forward sensing, reverse sensing, and blind spot with cross-traffic alert. Sync 3 with voice recognition is standard on higher trims with optional dual headrest DVD screens.
Photo Credit: Honda
2017 Honda Pilot
The 2017 Honda Pilot has available seating for up to eight passengers with ample cargo room and strong safety ratings. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a 2017 Top Safety Pick+ with its top rating of 'Good' in all crash tests and 'Superior' for available front crash prevention technologies.
There is 109 cubic feet of cargo room behind the first row, 55.9 cubic feet behind the second row, and 18.5 cubic feet behind the third row. The base LX model starts at $30,745 with standard daytime running lights and multi-angle rearview camera. The top Elite is priced from $47,220 and includes collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning as standard features.
Photo Credit: Kia
2017 Kia Sorento
The 2017 Kia Sorento adds a more affordable three-row SUV to our list of minivan alternatives. The base Sorento L has a starting price of $25,600, and the fully-loaded SXL is only $44,100. If you don’t want the third row, then the Sorento is available with two rows and seating for only five passengers. There’s also a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive along with a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds.
There’s 73.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row, 38.8 behind the second row, and 11.3 behind the optional third row. Available features include an upgraded Infinity 10-speaker audio system, dual zone automatic climate control, and third-row air conditioning with controls.
Photo Credit: Toyota
2017 Toyota Highlander
The 2017 Toyota Highlander makes the cut with seating for up to eight passengers and a long list of standard safety features to set your mind at ease. It comes with a choice of either front-wheel or all-wheel drive and optional captain’s chairs instead of a bench seat for the second row.
Every Highlander, even the base model, features Toyota Safety Sense P which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, and dynamic radar cruise control. There are eight different models from which to choose including three hybrid trims. Pricing starts at $30,630 for the base model and tops out at $44,760 for the Hybrid Limited.
Photo Credit: Chevrolet
2017 Chevrolet Tahoe
Plenty of standard features and seating for up to eight passengers earns the 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe a place on our list of minivan alternatives. This time there’s a choice of rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive and standard safety and technology features included that are not often found in base trim levels.
OnStar with 4G LTE and a built-in wifi hotspot are standard. There are five USB ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also standard across the Tahoe lineup for easy smartphone integration. There is 94.7 cubic feet of cargo room behind the front seats with a towing capacity of up to 8,600 pounds. Daytime running lamps, forward collision alert, rear park assist, and teen driver mode are also standard on the Tahoe.
Photo Credit: Hyundai
2017 Hyundai Santa Fe
The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe offers a choice of either front-wheel or all-wheel drive with a starting price of $30,800 for the base SE model. The top SE Limited Ultimate comes in at $39,400 making the Santa Fe an affordable choice even in its most luxurious configuration. Hyundai keeps things simple by bundling options into packages rather than offering them piecemeal.
There’s a total of 80 cubic feet behind the first row, 40.9 behind the second row, and 13.5 behind the optional third row so it is a little smaller than the full-size SUVs on our list. Standard features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with a 7-inch infotainment screen and a six-speaker sound system.
Photo Credit: General Motors
2018 Chevrolet Traverse
The Chevrolet Traverse is all-new for the 2018 model year with seating for eight passengers and best-in-class cargo space of 98.2 cubic feet behind the first row. There’s a hands-free liftgate for easy loading and a unique way to know exactly where to hold your foot under the bumper to make that liftgate open - the Traverse projects an image of the Chevrolet logo on the ground in just the right spot.
Smart Slide seating gives easy access to the third row by sliding and tilting forward and even works with an empty car seat still in place. Storage abounds with underfloor storage in the cargo area and even a spot hidden behind the infotainment screen. Pricing starts at $29,930.
Photo Credit: Dodge
2017 Dodge Durango
The 2017 Dodge Durango is a minivan alternative that offers room for up to seven passengers with 84.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row. It also offers up to 7,400 pounds of towing when equipped with the optional 5.7-liter V8 engine, with pricing starting at $29,995 for the base Durango SXT and climbs up to $42,095 for the Durango R/T.
The Durango R/T gives performance enthusiasts a chance to enjoy some power even behind the wheel of a large SUV. The V8 engine produces 360 horsepower with 390 lb-ft of torque and still manages highway fuel economy of up to 22 mpg making it fun and affordable for family road trips.
Photo Credit: Volkswagen
2018 Volkswagen Atlas
The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is an all-new model marking the first time VW has built a three-row SUV. It has room for up to seven passengers with a choice of either all-wheel or front-wheel drive. Base price on the Atlas is $30,500 and the top SEL Premium with all-wheel drive comes in at $48,490.
The Atlas is roomy with 96.8 cubic feet behind the first row, 55.5 cubic feet behind the second row, and 20.6 cubic feet behind the third row. There’s also an optional hands-free power liftgate that makes it easier to load. Standard across the Atlas lineup are LED headlights and LED daytime running lights, panoramic sunroof, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.