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Old 07-28-2012, 10:49 PM
 
51 posts, read 60,036 times
Reputation: 18

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I keep reading everywhere that minivans have better fuel economy than SUVs, but I can't seem to find a minivan that can beat 19mpg (I'm not counting highway mileage because I almost never have the opportunity to drive on the open highway). Meanwhile, you can get a Ford Escape at 22mpg (2008 Ford Escape). So, what gives?

I have zero self-consciousness about image; I'm more than happy to drive a minivan if that makes the most sense. But, I'm not hauling around a large family---it's just me (short female, no need for legroom), kiddo (bulky carseat in the middle of the backseat), and a sizable dog (collie) in the cargo area. So, the Ford Escape has suited me just fine so far, even though I certainly don't tow anything or require off-roading (though my driveway is on a pretty steep hill). However, I'd certainly switch to a minivan if it made sense in some other way---cheaper to buy, cheaper to fuel, etc. I've read they are safer for kids, which would be a compelling reason if true. I've heard rumors that a minivan is also cheaper to insure.

Thanks!
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Old 07-29-2012, 12:47 AM
 
Location: The Old Dominion
774 posts, read 614,295 times
Reputation: 1123
Well, that was eye-opening. Minivans in the USA get horrible fuel mileage!

(The Mazda 5 shows 21mpg city)

Gas Mileage of 2012 Minivan

There are far more economical models available overseas, but I guess the mfr's figure that Americans won't buy them.

Frankly the Ford Escape is one of the least-offensive SUVs and is available as a hybrid too but you're right, minivans tend to be safer, more stable, and cheaper to insure (partly for demographic reasons). I thought they were more economical too.

Consider:

Fuel Economy of the 2012 Toyota Prius v

and

Fuel Economy of the 2012 Honda Fit

(but your dog may be too large...)

and

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/31593.shtml


I applaud you for focusing on the EPA city figure. Used to be mfr's were required to quote both, now they get away with advertising only their hwy mpg and most people drive locally most of the time.
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Old 07-29-2012, 01:05 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW / CO / SA TX / Thailand
11,270 posts, read 18,932,579 times
Reputation: 8141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archguy View Post
Minivans in the USA get horrible fuel mileage!

...There are far more economical models available overseas, but I guess the mfr's figure that Americans won't buy them.
International minivan offerings are far shorter on Safety / Emission requirements than manufacturers are willing to 'upgrade' / (submit to USA regulations). Often they are Diesel(USA is NOT a Diesel friendly place... especially CARB states)
-...but you're right, minivans tend to be safer, more stable, and cheaper to insure (partly for demographic reasons). I thought they were more economical too. Weight and projected frontal area are the big economy killers. Minivans are usually MUCH safer to occupants. SUV's have truck rating and transfer LOTS of energy to occupants in a crash = More deadly, more Physical Therapy....I applaud you for focusing on the EPA city figure. Used to be mfr's were required to quote both, now they get away with advertising only their hwy mpg and most people drive locally most of the time.
Maybe if you live in VA, (or urban east) or a big midwestern / western city, BUT... folks in much of the west drive far more Highway than City. (I try to Never live in a county with traffic lights, I'm not much for poking along at city mpg or speed)
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Old 07-29-2012, 01:15 AM
 
Location: Sacramento
8,311 posts, read 5,421,118 times
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Escape is not an SUV, it is a crossover. Car based crossovers do make more sense for people that do not need a lot of space. The extra mass and power of a minivan over an escape you cannot get around. Bigger, more powerful vehicles tend to get worse mileage than smaller, less powerful ones. And why have more vehicle than you need? I mean, good luck putting a dog in the trunk of a sedan, so those are out. You really would need either a wagon or crossover... and there are not many midsize wagons made.
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Old 07-29-2012, 01:18 AM
 
Location: Summerville, SC
3,383 posts, read 3,493,521 times
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Its been like that for awhile, people just have a wierd perception.


I have heard people give other people **** for getting like a tahoe that gets ~17-18 mpg and talk about a minivan that gets like 1-2 more mpg as much friendlier to the enviroment, even though you see old tahoes hanging around but old minivans get crushed.
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Old 07-29-2012, 01:31 AM
 
Location: ɐpɐʌǝu 'sɐƃǝʌ sɐl
14,434 posts, read 10,300,108 times
Reputation: 7267
For what it's worth, my 4 cyl Jeep Wrangler gets about the same mileage as my 6 cyl Chevy Astro. The mileage the Jeep gets would probably be lower if it were the 6 cyl model. The Astro is basically a truck with a van body, unlike most minivans, which are pretty much just cars with a van body, so other minivans SHOULD get better mileage than the Astro.

YMMV. Literally.


Sent from my GT-P7310 using Tapatalk 2
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:25 AM
 
882 posts, read 915,501 times
Reputation: 555
Quote:
Originally Posted by SentimentalDemon View Post
I keep reading everywhere that minivans have better fuel economy than SUVs
Don't believe everything you read!

It's been my experience that such "comparisons" tend to pick the extremes of both sides to make a point - in other words, YMMV. As to what you're writing about, well, there are a number of very good "small" SUVs (I chuckle @ the term "crossover" - most are about the same size as the first mega selling SUV - the first gen Ford Explorer) on the market today at a wide range of price points and equipment levels. Shop around & enjoy!

(PS - saw my 1st "new" Escape in the wild yesterday - seemed quite nice inside & out)
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:43 AM
 
3,379 posts, read 5,845,609 times
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From experience, my Dodge Grand Caravan gets between 13 and 18 mpg. The range is due to city/hwy driving and whether or not we use the A/C

In my Escape, I get between 21-24 mpg.
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Floribama
9,049 posts, read 16,465,838 times
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I own an '04 Chevy Venture, and if I go really easy on it and keep it under 60mph, I can get 29mpg on the highway. If I do 75mph on the interstate it goes down to about 24mpg.

Some of the newer crossovers like the Traverse may get just as good fuel economy, but I don't think they have quite as much cargo room.
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Summerville, SC
3,383 posts, read 3,493,521 times
Reputation: 1380
Id say a traverse is pretty close to a minivan on cargo space.


now something like an escape is a bit smaller, its basically a jacked up hatchback car that looks like an suv.

Also with fuel mileage you need to research carefully. People automatically assume a 4 cylinder version gets better gas then a v6. But there are cases where a manufacturer may have put an older design I4 that is underpowered for the vehicle, vs. A newly designed powerful v6.

Then in real world conditions you have to basically floor the 4 hanger to get results while the v6 you can baby around and get better fuel mileage.
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