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What I am taking from this conversation though is that if I were interested in SUVs I should really slap myself in the face and stop it. I liked the look of that Mazda but all-in-all I should really consider a mini-van. The idea of driving a mini-van daily makes me cringe though, but that's just marketing. I'll actually have to try one some time.

No need to slap yourself in the face. If you really want an SUV instead of a van, then go for it.

I would definitely have chosen SUV myself, back when there were SUVs that looked like they had some Sport and some Utility. Now most of them look pretty similar to their minivan equivalents anyway, just with a flatter hood line. There are exceptions, but look at Honda's Pilot and Odyssey for example. Nobody is seeing a Pilot go down the road and thinking, "There goes an offroad ninja man's man." It's just a family hauler the same as the Odyssey is.

I should know. My wife has a Pilot. Because she couldn't stand the idea of having a minivan. And it's been a fantastic vehicle for us. But let's be honest: It's basically a minivan anyway...just without as much space, a flatter hood line and less convenient doors. But really I don't see how it's any more 'hip' than the minivan at all. Oh and it cost more.

Now if you're considering a "real" SUV - something that's actually built for performing flamboyant acts of mountain-man heroism - then don't cross-shop a minivan at all, AND don't cross-shop most of the SUVivans sold today either.

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