Crossover vs. Minivan vs. SUV 2008 Comparison Test

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"""What's the best car?"" It's a question that often comes up in casual conversation with people we've just met. Normally, we'll respond with something along the lines of, ""It depends on what you use your car for.""

But the question had us thinking. What is the best choice for most people? You know, a typical family doing typical things like home improvement projects, picking up relatives and all their holiday gear at the airport, transporting the kids to kung-fu class....

Once we ruled out off-roading and towing as specialized activities, we settled on a framework. The vehicle had to accommodate at least seven typical adults and still fit in a normal garage. This still didn't narrow the field much, as you can find dozens of full-size SUVs, crossovers and minivans that all fit the bill.

So here we have assembled the best and most sizable examples of their respective classes of full-size SUV, crossover and minivan to determine if bigger is better, or if crossing over truly hits the sweet spot, or if the lowly minivan has enough capability.

Among full-size SUVs, we settled on a 2008 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4x4 packing $5,545 in options including navigation, a towing package, parking sonar, power-adjustable driver seat, running boards, cold-weather package, cargo mats and a roof rack. Total bill: $43,605.

GM's Lambda crossovers have quickly made a name for themselves as front-runners among crossovers, and so we threw into the mix a 2008 GMC Acadia SLT-2 AWD equipped with goodies totaling $3,165. A panoramic sunroof, 19-inch wheels, a towing package, fancy paint and a head-up instrument display bring the Acadia's total to $42,180...

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