We haven’t purchased a new vehicle since our 1999 Toyota bit the dust a few weeks back. My husband and I drove to the car dealership last week to check out new cars. I was all settled on walking off the car lot with a brand new SUV when the car salesman showed us a deeply discounted 2014 minivan. I really, really, really don’t want to own or drive a minivan. On a day to day basis I don’t need the extra transport room it provides, the gas mileage is terrible and let’s face it no one wants to drive a minivan.
The main perks seem to be very comfortable seating, lots of leg room for my son who is and will continue to be tremendously tall, an extra row of seats large enough to fit adults and sliding doors that make getting children into and out of car seats much easier.
My husband and I tend to hold onto cars until they fall apart, which means this car could very well be around by the time my son starts driving thirteen years from now. I’ll be honest I hate the idea of driving a minivan for fifteen years and while I think the sliding doors would make loading and unloading kids from car seats so much easier, I certainly don’t need to worry about leg room or bringing along my son’s friends in the third row any time soon.
On the other hand since I keep cars forever I can certainly see the need for such things at some point in the future.
So what do you think: minivan or SUV? If you own a minivan what do you think about it?
15 thoughts on “SUV or Minivan?”
I think if you’re going to have something for the next fifteen years, and it’s a choice between something you hate and something you don’t, go with the thing you aren’t going to be hating for the foreseeable future.
Thanks Jenny. I tend to agree with your sentiment. If I disliked the idea a little it might not be so bad, but I really do NOT want to drive a minivan and I’m not certain the features will help me change my mind at any point in the near future 🙂
We bought a new minivan and 11 years later retired it. Yes they do last a long time. I hated every moment. If you don’t like the idea now you won’t like the idea 15 years from now. Keep looking.
Thanks for your comment! I definitely fear spending money on a car that I won’t like driving and then being stuck with it for 15 yeas!
We just replaced by car at the beginning of September unexpectedly, and we didn’t even consider minivans. I just can’t picture myself as a minivan driver. I also plan to drive my new SUV until it dies, so I wanted to really, really like it and not just tolerate it. We ended up getting a Nissan Rogue after test driving 5 different small SUVs, and we are very happy with it after two months. It is amazing what features are standard in cars these days!
Since we hold on to cars forever I don’t really want to buy a car I don’t love. I’m with you, I didn’t consider a minivan until the car salesman opened the doors and led us into one 🙂
We have had a van for 9 years and love it. The sliding doors are the best, especially with young kids in car seats. That said, if you hate the idea of driving a van, I would not get it.
The majority of van owners I know seem to love driving them. That’s why I feel so torn about not choosing one. But you are right if I don’t like the idea of it now I probably won’t like driving it either.
I know all families that get minivans love having them, bc of the sliding doors, the room, ease of use for kids, etc. But you have one child, I really don’t think you NEED a minivan. Furthermore, I am with you in that I just HATE the idea of driving a minivan. Considering how much time I spend in a car, I want to be able to enjoy it. I just picture myself as feeling frumpy if I were in a minivan.
That being said please tell us which car you do end up getting! We will have to get a new car when we finally decide to start a family and we also plan on having it for a loooong time. Can’t decide whether to go new or used.
Yeah, I think it’s that frumpy mom feeling that I can’t shake. When I think of minivans I just think of crackers ground into the mats and spilled milk. I know that’s silly, but I can’t shake the thought.
We’ve purchased three or four used vehicles in the past, but we bought all of them from close family members and friends. The few times my parents bought used from strangers, (my first car comes to mind), they were fed the ‘an old lady drove it’ line, but then found out the car had extensive problems. This time around we’re buying new. I plan to keep the car until it won’t run any longer and I’ve decided if I’m going to hold it I might as well purchase new and know that it’s backed by a solid warranty.
We are definitely odd ones out then because PiC poopooed the idea of a minivan until he drove a newer one and he cannot stop drooling over them now.
Of course the one he wants is all kitted out and so we don’t want to spend that kind of money now even if we do keep it for age. I’m personally indifferent, I neither love or hate the idea of driving it, I just want to be sure that I can handle it but I figure I’d get used it just as I became accustomed to driving different sized trucks and station wagons. The funny thing is the more modern minivans get way better gas mileage than our current bigger sedan so that’s sort of an incentive for us.
Thanks for the comment. My husband also wanted a decked out van. He said we could skip the electronics packages, but he wanted all of the other extras. I agree that you will get accustomed to driving larger vehicles. I went from a Camry to a Highlander without any problem, but I must admit the minivan seemed monstrously large to me. It felt like I was sitting behind the wheel of the Titanic. It’s probably only a few inches longer, but it felt massively wide!
I completely agree that minivans seem like yachts – I think I need some time to get used to the actual reality of them myself, honestly, before I commit the family budget to one next year or so 🙂
Congratulations on your growing family! Wonderful news! We went to a minivan when our first/still only was born. I do love the sliding doors, and we can fold all the seats down and put a queen size mattress at the widest point and camp for short stints. That was my compromise to buying a camper, see if we liked camping first. It is poor gas mileage and for road trips I am tempted to take the smaller car, but comfort wins out. Some friends of ours drive a Mazda5 which looks almost like a car, but is a mini-minivan with sliding doors. I sometimes wonder if that would be a good compromise. We got a Nissan Quest.
Thanks for your comment! The gas mileage really kills me. The Toyota Highlander isn’t super either though. I think we’ll end up with a Highlander, just because I don’t want to drive a massive car if I don’t need to. I really want an SUV with sliding doors, (seems like the best of both worlds), but I believe the Mazda 5 is the only one of its kind. The problem with the Mazda 5 is the smaller leg room in the front seat. I’m 6’1” and it definitely won’t fit me comfortably 🙁