I’ve got a major dilemma.
My family desperately needs the space upgrade that a minivan can provide and my wife refuses to drive one. To her minivans are the “mom jeans” of transportation and she is not ready to let go of her low-rise denim just yet. I see her point, and I feel it too. In a way it’s like buying a minivan is buying your own tombstone and saying “yep, I’m officially old.”
The practical side of me is winning out though, and so now I need to convince her that buying a minivan is not putting the nail in the proverbial coffin of cool. I’m just not sure which one of these features will be the one to win her over.
Let’s face it, the more we can separate the kids the less annoying they will be to each other and to us. Minivans offer much easier access points — think sliding doors — than regular four door vehicles. Parental assistance is not required for a child to access the third row of seats and anything that kids can do themselves is one less strain on our day.
You can also haul anything. I’d take an MV (that’s street talk for minivan, yo) over a pick-up to haul some chairs or giant tubs of whatevers. No need to worry about tarps or weather.
Pretty much all vehicles now come with front and side airbags as well as anti-lock brakes. For that there is no distinction between a minivan and other large automotives. Minivans however do have safety features that SUVs don’t. They are much lower to the ground, for one thing. The lower a vehicle is to the ground, the lower the possibility of a rollover incident.
Minivans have been proven to be safer in general just based on design. In fact, a study showed that children in a minivan are 35% less likely to be injured than children in an SUV in the case of accident. The mortality rate in an SUV is also 24% higher than in a minivan. That statistic right there should be enough to convince any mom to cross over to the dark, uncool side.
Road trips with kids can really take a toll on your sanity. A root canal is more enjoyable than hearing “How long until we get there?” every 20 minutes on a 9 hour trip. Minivans can now come with DVD players, flip down movie screens, USB ports, and gaming capabilities. The older kids can play games while the little ones can watch cartoons. It’s like being able to send them to their own rooms to play at home. Everyone is content … at least until hunger or full bladders strike.
When the kids come out of their electronics daze and remember that they are indeed a part of a family unit, vans with swivel seats and pop-up tables allow for board games to be played or coloring to be done. The kids might even forget for a few minutes that they can’t get along.
To haul the kids and their friends or half the soccer team or the entire dance troupe, you need a big vehicle. An SUV with a seating capacity of six or eight is going to be a huge gas guzzler. Minivans are more fuel efficient.
Efficiency is not just about fuel: It’s also about capacity. The more you can fit inside that vehicle the fewer trips you have to make. Most minivans have removal or stow-and-go seating which makes it a great option for hauling stuff other than people.
Hopefully when I present this information to my wife we can get past the “I Hate Minivans” song that plays on a loop in her head every time I bring the subject up. I read that “mom jeans” are in style, so maybe I will buy her a pair and tell her how good she’d look wearing them in a hot new minivan.