Minivan love from a mom in the trenches.
It’s a well-known fact that many moms and dads would prefer to drive a cooler sport-utility-vehicle (SUV) over a minivan. I, however, have always been a huge fan of the minivan and I will tell any parent why I think it makes so much more sense than an SUV for my family, or for any family.
Not only is it more spacious, but it’s also just as fast, offers lower cost of ownership, and ensures safety as well as any family vehicle can.
Endless amounts of space
Plain and simple, the minivan has more space to store things like strollers, groceries, car seats, luggage, golf clubs, hockey equipment; you name it, the minivan is going to have room for it. The trunk of the minivan is low to the ground, like the vehicle itself, so you have all that extra space to store things versus the elevated trunk of the SUV and the virtually nonexistent cargo space of a car.
Like puzzle pieces
I’m talking about seat configurations here. I have driven plenty of SUVs this year and not one of them has the ease of use with fold down seats (or even removable seats) than a minivan. You can easily fit three car seats and still get the kids in and out quickly. It’s incredibly bothersome having to crawl through the trunk to get to the third row (in some of the SUVs we have tested). The minivan’s default configuration of two bucket seats in the second row and a bench third row makes it the most comfortable to hop in and out of for both kids and adults alike.
Save your stretches for the gym
Crawling into an SUV is like an athletic event; you need running boards or the kids need a boost. I love that with a minivan, which is lower to the ground, you just step right in.
No door dings
In the garage, where we have our family car next to my husband’s classic car, I am always paranoid about the kids damaging his car as they grab and pull open the back doors, not to mention every single time I park in a parking lot next to other cars. The sliding doors also have automatic open and close functionality making it a breeze to get the kids in and out at the push of a button (even when your hands are full).
The Honda Odyssey (a clear favorite of mine) has the best safety rating of any seven-passenger vehicle and even offers up side-curtain airbags on all three rows of seats.
No more crumbs
Only one vehicle on the market has a built-in vacuum – what a great idea for parents! For real, the 2016 Honda Odyssey has a small vacuum built into the cargo space (trunk) for those cracker crumbs and donut bits we all know are hiding under your seats.
Minivans have plenty of get-up-and-go, in fact many have more horsepower than a comparable SUV and they’re lighter on fuel consumption.
Let’s save a buck
Upfront purchase price and overall cost of ownership is generally lower for a minivan than an SUV. Combine that with fuel consumption, cost of maintenance and tires, and the minivan will usually be less costly to own.
Connie Peters is a mom of three girls in metro Vancouver, Canada. She spends her time reviewing family vehicles and writing about family travel and new motherhood atwww.modernmama.com. She is an entrepreneur, blogger, creative, sister, tea-drinker, wine-lover, purse hoarder, magazine collector and reality-TV watcher.