Minivan-mom-to-be

Our family is expanding. Quickly. In a few weeks my in-laws will be moving in with us, and in the spring baby #3 is due. So it looks like we’re about to switch from the cool-mom-crossover-SUV to minivan days. We were at a an unnamed dealership looking at an unnamed minivan when the sales guy tried to ‘woo’ me with chrome wheels – because apparently those will make any minivan look sexy. Something like lipstick on a pig.

So in terms of the feel of the car (remember, I drive the coolest SUV on the road), I think I’m leaning toward a Toyota Sienna. I like the way it drives, and I want all those cool features like dual sliding doors and power liftgate. I was thinking about a Quest, but do you know that Nissan is one of those evil companies that makes you pay more for safety features? It just makes me angry. It tells the consumer that the privileged deserve to be safer than the disadvantaged. All safety features available should come standard. All the time.

Okay, getting off my soapbox now, any minivan owners out there have stellar advice to give me? We’ll probably be looking at a 2006-ish with as many bells and whistles as we can afford. Motherproof is my favorie car review source, but even that has left me confused.

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2 thoughts on “Minivan-mom-to-be

  1. “Cool-mom-crossover-SUV”? — This just makes me laugh and laugh: what’s a “cool-mom-crossover-suv”? A Hummer H2 with a purple metalflake and flames paintjob, 22″ spinners and 5 DVD screens?
    If you’re driving an SUV with booster seats and KidSongs on the CD player, do you think everyone is looking at you saying “wow, I can’t believe she has kids!”?
    This reminds me of a comment rant I made over on MetroDad almost 3 years ago (man, time flies!): http://metrodad.typepad.com/index/2004/11/wouldnt_it_be_c.html
    Cool is being able to open both doors on your van by remote in a parking lot where you’re squeezed in by two “cool” Moms in their SMAVs (Soccer Mom Assault Vehicles) and your 2 older kids can climb in to the car and their seats on their own! (instead of having to be hoisted in by you, who it sounds like will soon be hauling the baby bucket around).
    Cool is looking over at the SMAV in the next lane and knowing that you and your family, in addition to being statistically safer then they are, are spending about twenty cents less per mile to drive. Every single mile. Everyithing about SUVs are more expensive– cool is being able to save an additional $2500 a year to send your kids to college. Check out “True Cost to Own” on Edmunds.com.
    Market research by the auto companies shows that minivan buyers are influenced by features on the inside of the car (seats, DVD players, and yes, cupholders) and SUV buyers are influenced by what’s on the outside of the vehicle (does this SUV make my butt look big?).
    If you REALLY want to drive a car that says “Cool Mom”, a Saab turbo or MINI convertibles (seats four!) work, or a Dodge Magnum SRT-8 wagon (0-60 in 5.5 seconds!) is a good choice. But unfortunately, as a father of three I know that certain coolness compromises must be made, at least until that winning lottery ticket is bought. Then the nanny can drive the van while I take the Porsche.
    On a happy note, my wife dreaded the minivan (I believe her reaction was “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!”) but the addition of twins pretty much demanaded it and now she loves it- we got a Sienna and the stereo cranks. 🙂

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  2. “Chrome wheels…make any minivan look sexy. Something like lipstick on a pig.”

    Hoo hoo! I love it 😉

    I hadn’t heard before about the Nissan safety features not coming standard. That is a little creepy!

    I’m just thankful I have a DH that enjoys research of this sort. He’s already planning what we’re going to replace my car with in 2010 or so (it’s not even been made yet -!-).

    DH just replaced his. Got him to blog (sort of) for the first time.

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