Wednesday, December 22, 2010

In Defense of Our Minivan

Way back before children, Bry and I imagined the life we'd live. We wished for beautiful children playing soccer in the backyard of our nice house with a decent size kitchen and yard with the medium sized mutt of a dog we'd rescue from the SPCA frolicking at our ankles while the suv was parked in the driveway. So far, we've got the kids (one of whom is obsessed with soccer), the nice (okay, potentially nice) house, the dog is on hold until all kids are out of diapers, and we had the Ford Escape in our driveway.

For a while, it was as close to perfection as we imagined, and then Bryan got in a car accident and all that changed.

He's fine, but his car- a 2004 Saturn Ion- was not. After the insurance company assessed the damages, we realized it was probably not really worth it to fix the car. After a week of debating and Internet research we decided-gulp- to get a minivan.

Somehow, someone or groups of someones decided that minivans were bad. Obviously these people did not have more then one child in a car seat at a time.

The reality of the situation is that for many the purchase of a minivan is equated with the loss of being "cool" and also the acknowledgement that one is now an adult. Driving a Porsche = luxury and decadence while driving a minivan = responsibility and reliability. Being responsible is a bad word, I guess. When you are single, the idea of needing room for car seats and a trunk large enough for a double stroller does not enter your mind. However, when you've got two kids still in diapers and car seats and strollers and all their other stuff your opinion starts to change. You long for a car that can fit all their things, the possibility of another child, and yet still have room for more then one other grown-up.

We had discussed getting a new SUV with a third row. Having seen the commericals for the Chevy Traverse, I was smitten. This could be the car that saved us from minivans. It could fit seven (or eight) comfortably. I could have room for two car seats plus all their stuff and still have more then one other adult in the car with us.

Sign me up for the Traverse.

Well, the price tag of the Traverse and every other SUV made my eyes bulge. Most start at $30,000! Factor in the fact that this was an unexpected car purchase, so our purse strings were crying- NO! NO! NO!.

Of the 40 SUVS with third rows, only 14 are under $35,000 and if you look at those, only one is under $25,000- the Dodge Journey. The third row on most of these cars involves folding down a seat. If we had two car seats attached, how easy would it be to access the third row? My guess it would be a production of epic proportions.

So price and design took us out of purchasing a SUV, leaving us with one option: the minivan.

We settled on a 2010 Kia Sedona which is by far the best bang for your buck in terms of minivans. I never thought I'd be happy about owning a minivan, but I honestly am. It has enough room for the four of us, two car seats and all that other crap, plus enough room in the back row to fit three other people comfortably. I can safely get Mo and Maeve in and out of the car when we park on street, and I look forward to possible car trips now that there is enough room for everything.

The anti-minivan stance is just plain silly when you think about it. Bry was so freaked out about what having a minivan meant that I really couldn't wrap my head around it. But I guess, I kind of figured it out. Buying the minivan was the last big step making us grown-ups. I guess for some people it's buying your first home, for others the birth of their first child, and for Bry it was the minivan.

We're officially grown-ups now!

We'll have to wait until we have that empty nest to get the two seater Porsche.


  1. We too have been looking at minivans. We are going with the Honda probably sometime in January.
    We bought a Hyundai Santa Fe right before Kaiden was born and (at the time) thought we would get YEARS and YEARS of use out of it. We quickly learned once Maddey was born that we needed to upgrade. Kaiden's feet are now squished against the front seat when he sits.
    Like you, I tried to convince myself that a bigger SUV was the way to go....but after trying to get in and out of a few (high step and no comfortable way to the third seat) I came to grips that the minivan is the way to go.
    I am now totally excited about it....rear entertainment, bluetooth, automatic doors and LOTS OF ROOM!
    All hail to the minivan! It's so funny to see what we get excited about now that we are moms! Oh, how life changes!

  2. Oh, I officially love you- a fellow mini-van lover! I wrote a post on the Ultimate Mini-Van and it was about ways we could try to improve on already near-perfection. haha! We're grown ups now. Mini-vans are cool. :)


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