For decades, the station wagon was the dominant family car in America, thanks to the extra passenger and cargo room it offered compared to a similarly sized sedan. Then the minivan came along with the space-efficient innovations of a high roof and short nose, plus the convenience of sliding doors. But despite the practical advantages of wagons and minivans, most Americans now prefer the style and go-anywhere image of an SUV or crossover.
But which one is the better SUV alternative today: the minivan or the station wagon? Both of these market segments include excellent vehicles that boast compelling strengths. Let’s break down how vans and wagons compare — focusing on traditional station wagons, rather than wagon-like hatchbacks and crossover SUVs — so you can learn which type of family car belongs in your driveway.