I essentially regretted my minivan almost immediately. Sure it’s super convenient but it’s not sexy. So, I surveyed 900+ moms to ask them what they decided to buy instead of a minivan. The results were narrowed down to give you lots of minivan alternatives.

Minivan Alternatives

Here’s what they either bought instead or traded from a minivan into. 

Although many of the moms mentioned the Nissan Rogue, I only included vehicles with a third row or at least an optional third row. I figure if you need car the size of a minivan it indicates you need more than five seats. All the cars on this list have 7 or 8 seats. These vehicle suggestions are in no particular order other than the first two minivan alternatives. The top two suggestions were each mentioned more than the others. 

Honda Pilot2019 Honda Pilot Elite

It’s unbelievably comfortable, the seats reconfigure easily. Plus, it’s loaded with a ton of features. 

For moms with full hands there is a hands-free power tailgate. It’s got all the tech most would want like a touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Pilot is powered by a 3.5-liter 280-horsepower V6 engine combined with a 6-speed automatic transmission and it is available in all-wheel-drive. Most importantly the Honda Sensing safety and driver-assistance features are standard on all trim levels and include: collision mitigation system with forward collision warning, road departure mitigation, lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control.

2019 Honda Pilot an Excellent Family SUV

Toyota HighlanderTailgating with Toyota

The Toyota Highlander is well appointed SUV. They have quite a few versions including a hybrid. Here’s a look at the XSE version.

Toyota 2021 Highlander XSE

Toyota 2021 Highlander XSE

  • 3.5L V6 engine; 8 speed automatic
  • Sport-tuned suspension and AWD dynamic torque vectoring
  • New bold styling with mesh front grill, front and side rocker moldings, blacked-out accents, twin-tip exhaust, and 20-inch wheels, and two-tone red and black seats.
  • 3-door smart key system with push-button start
  • Power liftgate
  • 8-inch touch screen with JBL speakers
  • Seating for 7; SofTex-Trimmed seats, heated power front seats • 3-zone climate control
  • Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.5+), a comprehensive suite of active safety systems that includes: Pre-collision System with Pedestrian Detection enhanced with intersection support, emergency steering assist, Road Sign Assist, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Technology: Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Lane Tracing Assist and Sway Warning System, Automatic High Beams, Pedestrian Detection with automatic braking capability, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.

MSRP starting at: $43,355 MSR as Equipped: $46,526 MPG: city 20/hwy 27/ combine 23

Fun Fact: You can fit two kayaks on top of the Highlander. 

Volvo XC 90Volvo XC90

It was no surprise to me that the Volvo XC90 made the list. If I could afford it, this is the minivan alternative I would buy. I got to test it one year at the Texas Truck Rodeo and it was fabulous. 

One mom said, “I feel so secure when my teens ask to take the car out after dark. It’s literally like a tank!”.

I personally like the way the seats are built they kind of hug your body. It seats 7, is AWD, and it’s a hybrid. 

This is an expensive SUV and the starting price is $64,750 MSRP. 

Volkswagen Atlas: Best Minivan Alternative if you need a lot of space2018 Volkswagen Atlas 4Motion AWD

The Volkswagen Atlas is another one of my personal favorites. It has one of the most spacious third-rows available and can comfortably sit an adult. How do I know this? I was put back in the third row of an Atlas on a press trip once. I was irritated for a minute and then realized it was no big deal because of all of the space.

  • Base-Price Range: $32,575-$48,245
  • Available in a 3.6L V-6 (276 hp, 266 lb-ft)
  • Fuel Economy 16 city/ 23 hwy/ 21 combined
  • Max Towing Capacity: 5,000 pounds

Dodge Durango: Best Minivan Alternative if You’d Rather be in a Sports Car2019 Dodge Durango SRT

The Dodge Durango is a fantastic choice if you want a powerful SUV. It comes in several trim levels including two with intense power. The middle row is your choice of a bend or captains chairs. I recommend getting the captain chairs. 

I recently got time in the new 2021 Hellcat version. Here it is:

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

The 2021 Durango SRT Hellcat

  • The Durango SRT Hellcat features the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® V-8 with 710 horsepower and 645 lb.-ft. of torque.
  • 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds
  • NHRA-certified quarter-mile time of 11.5 seconds • Top speed of 180 mph
  • 2021 Durango lineup introduces an updated aggressive exterior with a forward-leaning profile, new front fascia, LED low/high headlamps, signature LED daytime running lamps (DRL), grille and rear spoiler.
  • Performance-inspired interior features a new driver-oriented cockpit, including a new instrument panel, wrapped and accent-stitched mid bolster and console, upgraded door panels, and the all-new five-times-faster Uconnect 5, with the largest-in-class 10.1-inch touchscreen.
  • MPG: 12 city/17 hwy/13 combine

Fun Fact: No SUV in the world can tow more or carry more with a faster quarter-mile time than the Durango SRT Hellcat.

MSRP starting at: $80,995 –  MSR as pictured: $90,315. The other versions are much, much cheaper. This is the most expensive one they make.

Kia SorentoKia Sorento

The Kia Sorrento is laid out well and the price is more reasonable than some of the others. We spent a week in this vehicle a few years ago and we enjoyed it thoroughly. It’s extremely comfortable and well outfitted if you get the higher trim levels. The one pictured here is a 2019. I prefer it over the new design, although I know the consensus was the newer one was preferred. These start out at $29,390. 

Subaru Ascent2022 Subaru Ascent

The Subaru Ascent is the largest SUV Subaru makes so if you need that third row and want a Subaru, it’s this one. It only comes only in AWD which is handy.

The Ascent has comfortable seats, it’s good-looking, and you can get a Harman Kardon stereo in it.

It provides a smooth ride, yet precise handling. The third-row seat is tight.

  • Price Range: $33,345-$46,495
  • Engine: 2.4L turbo H-4 (260 hp, 277 lb-ft)
  • Fuel Economy: 20-21 city/26-27 hwy/22-23 combined mpg
  • Max Towing Capacity: 5,000 pounds

Mazda CX-9Mazda CX-9

Mazda’s three-row SUV has been put onto the Top Safety Pick + list meaning it’s super safe. It is outfitted with Mazda’s i-ACTIVSENSE system which includes advanced smart city brake support with pedestrian detection, smart brake assist with collision warning, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning with lane-keeping assist, high-beam headlight assist, an adaptive front lighting system, and traffic-sign recognition.

One mom said it was, “Sporty and zippy with three rows of seating.”

  • Price Range: $35,335-$48,475
  • Engine: 2.5L turbo I-4 (250 hp, 320 lb-ft)
  • Fuel Economy: 20-22 city/26-28 hwy/23-24 combined mpg
  • Max Towing Capacity: 3,500 pounds

Hyundai PalisadeHyundai Palisade

Hyundai is just knocking it out of the park lately and that includes the Palisade. It’s one of the more reasonably prices SUVs which makes it automatically a favorite amount Moms. Both the second row and third row have optional captain chairs and are operated at the push of a button and fold flat. 

  • Price Range: $33,710-$48,935
  • Engine: 3.8L V-6 (291 hp, 262 lb-ft)
  • Fuel Economy: 19 city/24-26 hwy/21-22 combined mpg
  • Max Towing Capacity: 5,000 pounds

Jeep Grand Cherokee LJeep Grand Cherokee L

One of the most popular SUVS of all time is the Jeep Grand Cherokee so it’s no surprise that so many moms recommended it now that it’s got a third-row option bumping it up to six seats. It’s got 4wd off-road capability in a nicer-looking package. Prices start out at $36,995, towing capacity is 6,200 lbs, and it gets 19 city and 26 highway MPG. 

Nissan PathfinderNissan Pathfinder

My own mother loves Nissan so I was not surprised to see this one make the list. The Pathfinder is roomy and the second-row was designed with some seat-folding tech that makes accessing the third row a little easier.

  • Price Range: $33,075-$46,400
  • Engins: 3.5L V-6 (284 hp, 259 lb-ft)
  • Fuel Economy: 19-20 city/26-27 hwy/21-23 combined mpg
  • Max Towing Capacity: 6,000 pounds

Ford ExplorerFord Explorer

The Explorer is basically the best-selling SUV of all time. (Even I used to have one of these.) The new versions are built on an all-new rear-wheel-drive flexible architecture for an improved ride, handling, and capability. The standard engine is a 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder unit producing 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Again if you get a new one there’s better safety on them, the Co-Pilot360. This includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, post-impact braking, and a rearview camera with a lens washer. The lens washer is a life saver when driving through dirty snow. 

Moms love the push buttons for 2nd and 3rd row that bring them up or down. Plus, the 3rd row stows completely flat. When the 2nd row folds it is level with the 3rd row to make it all flat!

  • Price Range: $33,470-$55,725
  • Engines: 2.3L turbo I-4 (300 hp, 310 lb-ft); 3.0L turbo V-6 (365-400 hp, 380-415 lb-ft); 3.3L V-6 hybrid (318 hp, 332 lb-ft)
  • Fuel Economy: 16-27 city/23-28 hwy/19-27 combined mpg
  • Max Towing Capacity: 5,600 pounds

Kia TellurideKia Telluride

Kia Telluride is built in America and it has 3rd-row seats that go flat. The middle seats can be a bench or captain’s chairs. It’s a gorgeous car and very affordable. There’s been a waitlist to get one of these for a while now thanks to the value: tones of features versus the price.

Moms seem to really appreciate the Telluride price ($33,415-$43,715) and the features. 

  • Engine: 3.8L V-6 (291 hp, 262 lb-ft)
  • Fuel Economy: 19-20 city/24-26 hwy/21-23 combined mpg
  • Max Towing Capacity: 5,000 pounds

Cadillac XT6: Best Bougie Minivan AlternativeCadillac XT6 a luxury minivan alternative

One mom with teens said, “Never would have thought to be driving a Cadillac, but it has everything we need. Space for future college trips, plenty of room with a movable reclining second row. And USABLE with ample leg-room third row.”

The XT6 is a 3-row luxury SUV with the option of having captain’s chairs on the second row. It’s so safe it’s on the Top Safety Pick+ list. The XT6 has a distinct look thanks to its great big grille flanked and headlights of your choice. Safety features include forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, front, and rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and a rearview camera with remote wash. The price starts out at $48,595.

GMC AcadiaGMC Acadia

The GMC Acadia is the luxury version of the Chevrolet Traverse, in that they both share GM’s C1 platform. It’s fairly spacious and great for hauling cargo thanks to the fold-flat second-row seats. It can go from zero to 60 mph in 7 seconds making it ideal for those moms with a lead foot. It has a 3rd-row option available. 

  • Price Range: $34,800 – $49,495
  • Engines: 2.0L turbo I-4 (230 hp, 258 lb-ft); 2.5L I-4 (193 hp, 188 lb-ft); 3.6L V-6 (310 hp, 271 lb-ft)
  • Fuel Economy: 19-22 city/26-29 hwy/21-25 combined mpg
  • Max Towing Capacity: 4,000 pounds

Lincoln NavigatorLincoln Navigator

Lincoln Navigator has an optional 30-way adjustable, massaging front seat which several moms highly recommended. Moms also love being able to use the phones as keys. The new models have more standard safety tech, a 20-speaker Revel audio system, and a powered 3rd now. 

  • Price Range: $76,705 – $100,000
  • Engine: 3.5L twin-turbo V-6, 450 hp, 510 lb-ft
  • Fuel Economy: 16 city/20-22 hwy/17-18 combined mpg 
  • Max Towing Capacity: 8,700 lb

Ford ExpeditionFord Expedition

I almost didn’t include this one because it’s what my ex drives and he is a douche bag, but since most people that drive them are not, here ya go! Many moms recommended the Ford Expedition and these are the reasons why. The third row is easy to deal with thanks to a power push button. It has a remote start remote-start, a massive sunroof, removable seats, and lots of extra space. 

Ford Expedition has a powerful twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 and an easy-to-use infotainment interface. Prices start at $49,625 and it has a towing capacity of 5,900 to 6,000 lbs. 

Acura MDXAcura MDX

The Acura MDX starts out at $47,200 and as a 3rd row. It can seat six and if needed seat seven, all the rows go flat as well. It has a large back area for those that need a lot of space. It has a V6 engine and gets decent gas mileage, 19 city / 26 highway.

So there you have it, all our favorite minivan alternatives. Have you bought an SUV instead of a minivan? If so tell us what you bought and why in the comments below.  

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