Just another Minnesota Mom blog.

Now I drive a Minivan.

Posted: June 5th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Out and About | Tags: cars, Day to Day, Family, Feelings, Grand Caravan, minivan, Mom card, Mom stuff, Montana, road trip, Saturn Vue, Stuff You Need, Virginia | 12 Comments »

In 2004 we bought a car. The second car we’d ever purchased together. The first we purchased on our terms, when we weren’t in desperate need of a car because ours had died. We saw a sale, we had a trade-in, we went and got ourselves a new car.

It was a Saturn Vue.

We loved that car.

It took us back and forth to Minnesota when we were moving from Missouri.

It took us east to Virginia, both before and after we had kids. The worst leg of a road trip ever was spent in it when we were stopped in traffic for an hour because of an accident heading into Louisville with no more water, no more bottles and two screaming 11 month olds who wanted to eat. The first thing we did when we found an exit was stop to get water and then stop to get beer for when we got to the hotel. It was the longest 60 minutes of my life.

We drove west to Montana with three kids and although the seating was a bit more cramped than it was when it was just the two of us, we still had room to add a few more things on our trip home.

It was the family car.

But, it died. Unexpectedly. And with gusto.

It didn’t just die, it died hard. And all at once.

So, we had to bite the bullet. We had to get another car. We had to look at…minivans.

Now, I am not necessarily a minivan person. I liked the Vue. It was compact but it fit everyone and all of our stuff, even if it was tight.

But, the siren song of the minivan is hard to deny.

More space! Smoother ride! A place for all of your kids and their friends! And did we mention SPACE?!

So we went looking.

We did some research and were priced out of our top 2 choices pretty quickly (Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey) our third choice was the Chrysler Town and Country and our 4th choice was the Dodge Grand Caravan.

We found a few we wanted to look at, nailed down the dealerships we were going to, pulled our Carfax reports and went on our way.

The one we really wanted, the one that looked so perfect on paper ended up being a dud. It only had seating for 6, all captains seats and there is no way our stroller would have fit in the back. Boo. I’m not sure how this is possible, it’s a minivan…where is all the space?

We looked at a few more and then finally found one we can live with. It has a few more miles than we originally wanted, but not too many more. It has the 3rd row bench seat and 4 captains chairs. It’s got the Stow & Go seating which is pretty cool. It’s got the doors that open automatically which wasn’t on my list but I guess is a plus. And, it was lower than our price range, so huge plus.

It has more space than the T&C, but seriously….unless I drop the seats into the floor I’m not seeing the extra cargo room (and if you do that you lose that under seat space, so it’s kind of a draw). Yes, it has more space in the passenger area. It will be a lot easier to ride in on long trips for sure. I’ll give it that. But, with three kids in carseats, I kind of have to have all my seats up. So where is all of this extra space?

Do I like the minivan we got? Yes. I think it will end up being a great car for us. I’m not knocking this purchase at all. I think it was necessary and I think we made some good decisions. Plus I have the contact from  All Tune & Lube  repair shop, so the future repair don’t worry me at all.

I thought I was going to have this big a-ha moment ofBut, I’m feeling really underwhelmed.

“OMG I can’t believe we’ve lived without this for so long!

And I’m not.

Certainly I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Are they going to come take my Mom card now?

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12 Comments on “Now I drive a Minivan.”

  1. 1 Amelia Sprout said at 11:26 am on June 5th, 2011:

    I don't get them at all. They don't get great gas mileage, and they aren't all that. I'm also not the car pool type. We went with a small car, little storage space, but it fits the tall people and the car seats. I know I'm not the normal, but it is nice to see I'm not alone and not being all over the minivan bandwagon.

  2. 2 morgan said at 11:57 am on June 5th, 2011:

    I'm not on the minivan bandwagon either but I feel that one will be our next purchase. We have 2 now in car seats, and a third due in October so our suv that seats 5 is getting a little tight,, And by a little tight I mean no room in the front or back.

  3. 3 erinclot said at 12:49 pm on June 5th, 2011:

    We had it pretty good with the Vue- they fit 3 across and I could put them all in while standing outside of the car. Now I have to get in and crawl in back and they aren't all right here behind me when I'm driving. I'm grateful we were able to get it, don't get me wrong. But really? REALLY? More space than a car for sure, but I'm not sold. Yet.

  4. 4 Andrea said at 12:51 pm on June 5th, 2011:

    Is it bad that I’m not a mom, don’t even know if I want kids and I love minivans? I think once you go on a longer trip the minivan love will set in. Enjoy the little extra space even if it doesn’t seem like much.

  5. 5 erinclot said at 2:12 pm on June 5th, 2011:

    I think I'll actually like it more for the day to day than long trips. I just can't wrap my head around where we are going to put everything when we travel- it's all going to be at peoples feet! instead of in the back out of the way. My husband so kindly pointed out that we really only travel for 2 weeks out of the year, so the day to day is more important. But I think we're going to have to use a luggage carrier on top 🙁

  6. 6 Jes said at 10:00 pm on June 5th, 2011:

    As someone who has travelled a lot in vans as a child and teenager, I can say that the stuff really does crowd around your feet. The "space" really isn't storage, but space in the cabin for people to sit. That's really it. So I definitely feel you when you say you are underwhelmed.

  7. 7 erinclot said at 7:26 am on June 7th, 2011:

    Thank you! There is a lot of space in the cabin for sure, just not where I'd like the space I guess.

  8. 8 Rachel said at 10:03 pm on June 5th, 2011:

    Like I said…will never get a minivan! I think I would be the same way!!

  9. 9 erinclot said at 7:28 am on June 7th, 2011:

    I think if we had the option to get something else (and filling up the gas tank wouldn't maim us financially) we would have skipped the minivan and looked at a Suburban or something.

  10. 10 Kate said at 7:20 pm on June 6th, 2011:

    When your kids are old enough to open their own doors, you will love the automatic sliding side doors. No worries about them slamming doors into the cars next to you:)

  11. 11 erinclot said at 7:29 am on June 7th, 2011:

    I think that's a good way to look at it. Boys (especially mine) aren't the most delicate of creatures.

  12. 12 GeekAaron said at 9:39 am on June 10th, 2011:

    I actually look forward to buying a minivan. I have driven a Saturn VUE for 5 years now, and I like it, but we are planning on having a third child, and I am concerned about them fitting comfortably in the back seat. Also, the vehicle I drove when I learned to drive was a 1986 Plymouth Voyager, so I am pretty comfortable with minivans. My wife on the other hand, does NOT want to drive one.


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