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5 Reasons Why Driving a Minivan is Badass

March 18, 2012

My best pal CC has a minivan and I love it. It doesn’t make me feel dorky. It makes me feel comfy and happy. But since I’ve been thinking about cars, talking about cars, and asking people about cars, I have learned something: many women loathe and fear the minivan.

They’d rather drive anything than a minivan because THEY don’t want to feel like the suburban soccer mom in a minivan (even if they are a suburban soccer mom). So they drive SUVs or monster trucks with extended cabs or larger hatchbacks…but NOT the minivan.

Meanwhile, it seems like an equal number of men are fine with the minivan – maybe because they see it as a great weekend hauler of people and stuff they need to bring home from the hardware store, not another step away from their younger, cooler selves.

Toyota even made a silly video about the “Swagger Wagon” where a suburban white middle class family does a rap about how cool they are in their Sienna:

Here are my 5 Reasons Why A Minivan is Badass. Let me know if you agree:

  1. It’s big! You can take ALL your friends
  2. You sit high up on the road, looking down on all those drivers in their little cars that go beep-beep-beep
  3. You can fit ALL your party supplies in one vehicle, including the barbecue you are borrowing from your brother-in-law because you let yours get rusty out in the rain
  4. Hatchback in case you need a quick exit to run from the law
  5. 47 (about) Cupholders AND DVD Players AND the cool new Entune technology (that lets you use popular apps in your car – more on that later) on some models

I asked the Toyota product specialists, Joe and Mario, what made the Sienna good for parents, not just kids, and they said:
Sienna offers the following features that are great for adults:
•Best in class styling and enhanced drivability, especially SE model
•Lounge seating in the second row
Entune system
•Dual-View Entertainment Center

Would you drive a minivan? Why, or why not? I don’t think I’d buy one, but only because I’m super conscious of gas mileage and I don’t want to drive a bigger car than I need. But would I love to have one? Absolutely.

Disclosure: I am a member of the Toyota Women Influencers Network TWIN community through a program with Clever Girls Collective. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post or payment in exchange for participating. The opinions expressed herein are mine, and do not reflect the views of Toyota or any of its brands.

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  1. wbgookin permalink
    March 18, 2012 09:58

    I have no clue why people refuse to even consider a minivan simply because it’s dorky…I drive one and LOVE it. Besides what you mentioned (particularly the space issue), I like that the rear doors slide open. It makes it so much easier to get stuff in and out when the parking lot is crowded, and being able to open/close them from the driver’s seat (or keychain) is awesome.

    But, like you said, the gas mileage stinks. I have no idea why car companies are making hybrid SUVs with tons of power over mileage. Give me a hybrid minivan that gets good mileage and I don’t care how fast I can get to 60 mph.

    • March 19, 2012 07:17

      I know why, because I live in California – if you aren’t going 70 mph by the time you hit the end of the freeway onramp, people will RUN you over. So you need that powerful engine for that brief period between the time you get on the freeway at full speed and the time you cram on your brakes so you can sit in traffic going 2 mph all the way to work.

  2. Nicole Reeves permalink
    March 18, 2012 18:56

    I love my 8yo Honda Odyssey. Although it would be great to be able to plug in my ipod (stereo system is a bit antiquated), the DVD player still works and that is gold in my book. A car is a utilitarian product for me. As long as it gets me where I”m going (and the DVD player works) I’m a happy camper. VIva La MInivan!!

    • March 19, 2012 07:18

      Yes, for most of my life “working” has been my prime car consideration. Anything else is icing on the automotive cake.

  3. March 18, 2012 20:49

    I don’t have a minivan and don’t want one for exactly the reason you described. But the silly part is, I drive a station wagon. So I have all the suburban soccer mom dorkitude, with none of the third-row seating.

  4. Lisa C permalink
    March 18, 2012 21:36

    I love my Honda Odyssey. I love the automatic side doors, and all the space, and that you are sitting up high, and the pickup is pretty good too. (I drove a Town and Country for the last week while my Odyssey was being shipped to California, and while the T+C had more bells and whistles, it had all the pickup of a golf cart.) I don’t much care about the dorkiness, but I love all the cargo capacity. The only thing that holds more furniture is a truck. I admit that the gas mileage sucks. I did look at the Sienna, but the Toyota salesman wouldn’t bargain with me on price, while the Odyssey did, so that’s what I ended up with.

    • March 19, 2012 07:21

      Interesting about the Town & Country.

      I do love cargo space. I recently bought a great big stainless kitchen island off Craigslist and when I got to the house to pick it up, there was just NO WAY to fit it in my hatchback. Had to do the “Hey buddy, can you come over with your truck?” thing to a very patient friend.

  5. Erika Miller permalink
    March 21, 2012 11:02

    Ooh! Ooh! I have a minivan, and I looove it. It’s a 2007 Saturn Relay, and it has a DVD player in the back seat (I have 3 kids) plus you can control the air conditioning separately back there. I remember as a kid always being so hot in the back seat because what was comfortable for the front seat passengers was stifling in the back (we live in FL). My ex lives 2 hours away, so when we drive the kids to visit him it’s really nice to have the distraction of movies. We took it all the way to Texas (almost a full 24 hour drive) with ALL 3 KIDS and we all survived. If that’s not a vote of confidence, I don’t know what is. It’s already got 100,000 miles on it and still runs great (knock on wood). I traded up to the van from a Ford Taurus just after I had my 3rd baby and the kids were all smushed like sardines in the back seat, and I don’t see myself ever going back. I see lots of older, snowbird couples in nice, new minivans that they drive down here for their vacations in the wintertime because they really are so comfortable. I love my van!

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