Difference Between a SUV and VAN?

By: | Updated: Jun-24, 2023
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When going for a trip, a car has always been the ideal means of moving around. This we can all agree on. The convenience and comfort it comes with are quite unmatched. But the biggest question most of us have to deal with when renting a car is which is the most ideal? Keeping in mind the different scenarios we have when renting.

For a group of five or more, you will either have to choose an SUV or a Van. The choice will ultimately be made according to your preferences. Both these two categories of cars have advantages that make them ideal for certain situations and some limitations that make them less ideal for other situations.

This article looks at both the positives and negatives associated with SUVs and Vans to help you make a better and more informed choice when you get yourself in a situation where you need a 7 passenger car rental and have to choose between them. So buckle up and let’s do this!

Difference Between a SUV and VAN


Safety is always a big consideration when one is selecting a car rental to use. You want to get the safest car possible. On safety, SUVs rank higher than Vans. This can be attributed to better visibility and having a higher riding height. Most vans have poor visibility, especially rear visibility. Although rear-view cameras have tried to correct this, SUVs still score higher than them on visibility. With visibility being crucial for driving, and without taking anything away from vans, poor visibility makes vans score lower SUVs on safety.


Before renting either, another consideration you ought to make is space. You want to travel with enough space so that you are comfortable during the trip. A spacious vehicle is also well-aerated adding to the overall good experience.

When it comes to space, vans score higher than SUVs. They are more spacious than your average three-row SUV. Their legroom and headroom are much more making them comfortable for those long trips, especially for our tall friends.

Rental price

When you compare the price of renting a 7 seater SUV and how much to rent a 7 passenger van, you will find that a van rental will be more expensive. An SUV will be around $50 per day while a van will be around $80. This may not be the final price as there may be other charges like insurance that you may require to add to this. Nevertheless, the rental price for a van will be higher than an SUV.

Luggage space

Apart from your legroom and headroom, luggage space is also an important consideration. You want to have enough space to carry as much luggage as possible to last you the duration of the trip. During your trip, you may also encounter souvenirs that you will want to bring back and they too will need space.

Vans will offer this much needed space for you. SUVs too have some reasonable space but a van’s luggage space is larger and will carry more cargo.

Handling and performance

The handling and performance of a vehicle on the road are important factors to put into consideration. Before manufacturers release vehicles, they undergo rigorous testing to ensure they meet the required standards. Only then are they allowed on the roads.

On handling and performance, SUVs and Vans seem to tie as neither has bad handling or poor performance on the road. This we can attribute to testing to ensure compliance with the different requirements before they are released for use on the roads.

Towing capacity

Depending on the brand and model, most SUVs have better towing capacity than vans. Being created for the whole family, manufacturers equip them with this ability so that they can come in handy when you require towing something on a trip.

What they lack in luggage space they make for it in towing capacity.


Accessibility is another important factor that should be considered. Vans have easier accessibility thanks to their sliding doors that make movement in and out easy, especially when parked in tight spaces.

Movement from the back row of an SUV can be quite hectic as it may involve folding seats for one to get in or out.

Off-Road capability

SUVs have better off-road capabilities when compared to vans. If your trip involves going off-road then you will have to settle for an SUV.

Fuel efficiency

For a road trip fuel efficiency of the car you intend to use is a major issue. SUVs tend to have better fuel efficiency when compared to vans. They will therefore be ideal when you intend to take a long-distance trip.


The battle as to which is better to rent between an SUV or a Van has raged for a long time, most of the time without a clear winner as the choice always depends on several factors, some of which we have discussed here. Both are car categories with their bragging rights and what makes one an option over the other depends on what you are looking for.

If you are looking for a cheap a car that will also carry a larger number of people then you will settle for an SUV.

If you want a large sitting space and cargo space then you will have to rent a 7 passenger van. The choice will ultimately depend on your needs. The next time you have to make a choice between the two, keep in mind what has been discussed above and get yourself the one that will be most ideal for your situation.

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