By Jen Mearns of The Undomestic Goddess
The time has come. Your family has outgrown your cute little car or small SUV. It’s not fair. In the 80s three kids could fit in the backseat of a car, easy. Only the baby had a car seat. But nowadays the car seats have taken over. Eight years they have to sit in at least a booster! You have to make a decision. Will it be a $50,000 gas guzzling SUV to keep your street cred? Or will you choose the more economical and fuel-efficient minivan? The choice is yours. Here are some pros and cons of the minivan as I see them.
The minivan is designed for families. It’s roomy and can seat up to seven people, legally. At least twelve if not everyone wears a seat belt.* The sliding doors allow easy access for babies and children in car seats. The magic button you push to open the doors instead of wrenching your shoulder is like a miracle. You can hold thirty pounds of reluctant two-year-old and several bags of groceries and manage to open the door with minimal fuss. You can store all of your family’s junk, from diaper bags to musical instruments to sports equipment, easily. It might corner like a barge, but you won’t have to leave behind a kid or two just to fit your eldest’s hockey equipment.
Con: Shaped Like an Egg
Let’s face it. Minivans aren’t the most attractive car on the market. In fact, aside from the Toyota Scion SUV (the “Toaster Car”), it may just be the least attractive. Van makers have made attempts at modernizing the look of the minivan but it hasn’t quite lost its egg-like shape. It may be slightly more aerodynamic than an SUV but you’re not going to fly the thing. In fact, because of the pastel colors of many minivans, you could go to a mall parking lot and host the worst Easter egg hunt of all time.
Pro: Car Theft is Unlikely
No self-respecting car thief is in the market for a well-loved mom-mobile. Minivans are far down on the list of desirable cars. You might have the occasional break-in looking for electronics but it’s highly unlikely he’s going to boost your car. Gone in 60 Seconds would never have worked if they were jacking minivans. For one thing, it would have taken them three blocks to get up to speed. They’d have had to rename the movie, Gone in Like Half an Hour.
Con: You Will Lose Your Street Cred
If you’re the kind of person this is important to, might I suggest not purchasing a minivan? You can rest assured that if you’re the leader of your local gang, you will lose all credibility if you buy one of these. No one looks cool laid back, music blasting in a 2014 Dodge Caravan. Or if business is good, a 2018 Honda Odyssey. If your reputation as a sports car enthusiast is important, well, honestly, it’s unlikely you’re reading this anyway.
Pro: Survival Chances Are High
If you’re ever stuck in a snowstorm in the middle of January on a deserted highway, chances are you have enough snack remnants, juice boxes, and baby blankets to keep you alive for at least three or four days. You can live off stale Goldfish and Juicy Juice while waiting out the storm. Wrap yourself in three or four baby blankets and you’ll be toasty as a roasted marshmallow. It’s likely you even have reading material. “Brown Bear, Brown Bear,” anyone?
A minivan is a good investment, overall, for a large family. Just don’t have too many kids or you’ll be in church van territory. Your street cred will be in the toilet driving one of those bad boys!
*The author recommends that everyone follow the law and wear their seat belt. The author was simply pointing out that in a bind at least twelve people can fit in a minivan.
This post was originally published on The Undomestic Goddess.
Image credit: Cory Doctorow / Flickr
About the Author
My name is Jen Mearns and when I’m not wrangling three boys under four, I’m wrangling animals while pet sitting or most happily, writing. You can find my stuff on Scary Mommy, Pregnant Chicken, Hew View From Home, BabyGaga and Swaddles N’ Bottles. You can also find my personal blog, The Undomestic Goddess, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter @jennmearns, and Instagram.