Handling of Van/SUVs vs a Car

I have always been a car guy - rented a car for a cross country trip and I ended in getting a Mazda 5.
Initially I found myself adjusting to the new car - blind spot was one - it takes longer to take care of the blind spot and to change lane.

Otherwise, I had to be a bit more careful on curves as I can feel the center gravity gone up.

What might be a van or SUV that is more closer to giving the feel of a car?

Porsche Cayenne!
Are you prepared to pay the price for one of them?

If there is not a rule against PORSCHE SUV’s there should be.

My Highlander drives very much like a car.

The term SUV is now lost in the mix and completely washed out.
YOU will need to test drive if you want more car-like handling.
So many …eh-hem…’‘SUV’'s… are built on a car platform these days that it won’t be hard to find.

What you ARE doing right is knowing…when you even sit in the driver’s seat…that the handling will be different and you must adjust your mindset accordingly.

I have two …’’‘SUV’'s ?.. and they are day and night from each other. ( 08 Expedition, 06 Escape hybrid )
Teaching my 15 year old how to drive, that was a huge point. Different cars / different driving. Even she pointed that out to me in the first few weeks as she could really tell and feel. ( she has not yet driven the 79 pickup )

Few cars (other than BMWs) can keep up with my Outback 3.6R Limited on “the twisties” but if the OP is really looking for excellent handling, he/she needs to look at a Porsche Cayenne or the smaller and cheaper Porsche Macan.

The difference between SUV’S isn’t as big a difference as the category of CARS…or SEDANS. Can’t keep creating categories for any little difference.

The “top heavy” handling is gradually disappearing but traditional SUVs such as the Toyota 4Runner still behave like trucks.

Crossovers handle nearly the same as cars.

My experience from having owned 4 different minivans and 1 SUV is that they do not handle like cars. That isn’t necessarily bad. My wife and I prefer the higher seating position over a car. Here are my observations comparing my 2011 Toyota Sienna minivan with a intermediate size car:

  1. The turning radius is greater.
  2. The steering is not as quick.
  3. It takes more concentration to change lanes in heavy traffic.
  4. Vision to the rear isn’t as good.
  5. Forward vision is better.

The 2003 Toyota 4Runner SUV when compared with an intermediate size car:

  1. The steering is slower.
  2. The 4Runner feels more topheavy.
  3. Vision, especially to the rear is better.
  4. The ride,is stiffer.

For me, the advantages of the minivan and the SUV outweigh the disadvantages. The 4Runner is on a frame more like a truck. The handling of the similarly sized Honda Pilot may be more like a car. Consumer Reports rate the handling of the Honda Odyssey better than the Toyota Sienna.

I don’t know if any of this is helpful or not. The last 2 cars I have driven any distance were the Ford Fusion and the Dodge Avenger.

I don’t know what you classify as a van or suv, but can’t imagine one that drives more carlike than the Mazda 5.

There are so many different configurations now, including the “cross” vehicles and the “mini suvs”, that it’s getting tough to sort them all out.

My only suggestion is to read, read, and read some more, than drive, drive, and drive some more. Only in that way can you decide what’s right for you.

When my family was growing, I found a minivan to be a blessing. Now my family is grown and living elsewhere, my wife is an ex, and driving a minivan or suv would bore the heck out of me.

The Mazda CX 9 I have handles a lot like a car despite it’s size and weight.

The Mazda CX-5 handles well and is relatively inexpensive. You can get the Sport model for under $25,000 new, and the Touring or Grand Touring models for under $30,000.

@"VOLVO V70"‌

If there is not a rule against PORSCHE SUV’s there should be.

You’re going to be just delighted when Lamborghini comes out with its SUV, aren’t you. :wink:

The BMW X3 also has stellar handling, but the electrical woes that come with it make it a “don’t buy” for me.

And Bentley. They’re coming out with one too.

Given Bentley’s ownership by VW, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if that new “Bentley” SUV turns out to be a well-disguised Porsche Cayenne. The development costs for an SUV that would sell in extremely low numbers is such that I doubt if their new SUV will really be a new design in a mechanical sense.

Porsche SUV, that is just WRONG. It saved the company, made a lot of money, but that is just wrong. And Lamborghini already made an SUV, the LM002, the baddest SUV on the planet, from '86 to '93.

SUV’s, Minivans and trucks will never truly handle like cars because not even Congress (nor a Presidential Executive Order) can repeal the laws of physics.

That said, most of the car and minivan based SUV’s handle mostly car-like. Even my body-on-frame SUV handles pretty car-like, late 70’s cars, but OK. The Mazda 5 is probably as close as you can get to car-like.

The bentley SUV won’t be available until at least MY2016, so specs might change. The chassis will be based on the Tuareg/Cayenne, and stretched. The engines will be a twin turbo W12 or a hybrid with a 4.2L twin turbo V8. Since the current V8 is 4L, it appears that the engine will get a little larger. The auto journalists that follow this stuff say that Bentley is open about their plans, but anything could change up until production starts.

@Mustangman I’m afraid the Lambo Urus isn’t going to be the protoHumvee that the LM002 was. The concept looks more like a squished Ford Escape with a V10.

Truck based SUVs handle like trucks. Car based SUVs like my wife’s Venza with 245/55/19 wheels and awd handles better then many fwd sedans. I have not reach a speed yet that it doesn’t feel more stable and secure then a midsize, compact with fwd.

Every manufacture makes a Cuv with awd that feels more secure on the road then the majority of fwd cars. Take your pick. Even taller oneS are really good. You don’t have to spend outrageously either. But, they are’t cheap. Modern awd chassis found on many of these suv/CUV can run circles around most fwd sedans.
It you do get a fwd version, don’t expect anything special.

Case in point about awd. The awd Sienna minivan both out handles and out accelerates the fwd version of the same. This is usually true for all cars when offered in both versions and compared n real life situations. Running through pylons on flat ground is not real life !