I said it. I have one. I tried REALLY hard to avoid this.
There comes a time in every large (ish) family’s life when you are faced with this dilemma. It usually happens with child #3 because a normal vehicle just stops being practical. You need a third row, there’s no denying it.
So you start looking at the options out there. There are plenty of vehicles that have a third row, but they all have their flaws.
1. Some vehicles have a third row that makes it so you have no leg room, trunk space or the ability to put a carseat in the third row. i.e. Kia Sorento. Not helpful when you have three kids in carseats or if you have friends that are over 5’0″.
2. The vehicle you would like (Suburban, Denali XL) would cost over half of what you bought a house for. Not justifiable to me. If I have to choose between going on vacation or driving something cool, I choose vacation every time. I would look so much cooler in an SUV but let’s be real, being cool is pretty much over after age 23. You know what’s cool at 31? Going to sleep at 9:30.
If you’ve already taken the plunge or are toying with taking the minivan plunge, this is how you deal with it.
- Don’t look back after you park. This is some serious denial of having a minivan. But it’s what I do. The less you look at it, the better it is.
- Be driving something else in your mind. In my head I’m rolling in a Land Rover, not a Honda Odyssey. Mind over matter people.
Next, let’s look at the advantages of having a minivan.
- You can haul around a LOT of people. I’m always good with being a toddler uber for friends because heck, I’ve got the space so I might as well put it to good use.
- You can bring 2 different drinks for everybody in the car. There’s something like 20 cupholders in my van so everybody can be double fisting.
- Your threat of car theft is minimal/non-existent. Nobody steals a van. I once accidentally left the side door open for over an hour in a busy parking lot and no one touched a thing. Probably because no one has any use for goldfish crumbs in their life.
- Tight parking spot? No problem! Because your doors slide open at the press of a button.
- There’s no car show to prep your vehicle for. You will never have to worry about getting an extensive detail package because Car & Driver isn’t going to seek you out for a photo shoot.
It’ll be ok if you get a van. If your friends drop you because of your vehicle then they are the ones with SERIOUS issues. Just remember, you can drive whatever car you want in your mind.