Mini Van — The Bump
April 2014 Moms

Mini Van

I have one babe, one St. Bernard and one Australian Shepard Mix. Currently I drive a BMW X1. It is beautiful, fun, pretty much my dream car. BUT, I can't move all my creatures. It actually doesn't even move 2 adults plus LO very well (in order to fit the car seat in the back, the front seat has to be so far up, it is basically unusable). So if it is more then LO and I, we take the other car. And even in DH's SUV it is a tight fit. So I'm going to have to trade my car in. Plus we want to have another baby in the not too distant future, so this is only going to get harder. So am I crazy for considering a mini van? I know, they are ugly and unsexy. I find I no longer care what my car looks like. I love the idea of second row captains chairs, to reduce the chance of hyper dogs jumping into the car seat. Do you have a mini van? Am I jumping the gun?

Re: Mini Van

  • We have two kids and a dog and we are getting a van - its just so much easier with car seats and all the gear you need to haul. Hubby isn't thrilled but we have agreed its not a forever choice but its what will work for now. We do also have a second vehicle though which is a small SUV.
  • I don't have a minivan but my car is tiny too. Most suv's have the same size interior as a car, unless it's a huge gas guzzling monster and that is a huge step up from a zippy little BMW. We looked at the Acura RDX, it has the third row, a lot of back seat space, and drives like a car. My husband is looking at that or the audi q7 but I like the Acura better.

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  • I have an Equinox, which wouldn't be big enough with the dogs & two babies, but the next size up- the Traverse I think is Chevy's & the Acadia is GMCs, same thing- comes with captains chairs as an option for the second row. And tons of space for stuff. Just in cases you aren't ready to pull the mini-van trigger. Although my neighbors love their minivans. They have two despite the fact that they only have one tween and one 60lb dog.
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  • No van for us yet... I have a 4runner and it works for now. The golden sits next to the carseat and the small one sits on whoever he can!! 2 car seats would be rough.
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  • I love the space of my mini van. We have 3 kids and one (soon to be 2) very large dog. Hate the gas usage but it fits our traveling needs. I couldn't see us in a SUV with having so many in car seats. 
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  • I have a Camaro 8-} but my best friend has 2 kids and a Honda Odyssey and we always swore we would never get vans. She loves it! The side doors and trunk/hatch are push button open and close it's super convenient. Definitely room for 2 adults, 2 kids, 2 big dogs.
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  • We have an suv. DH refuses to own a minivan :)
  • I have three boys and a mini van. Love all the room in it!
  • We got a mini van when we were pregnant with this baby, #3. I don't like it because I have to crawl in to buckle 2 seat belts in the back row. I've found that putting DS in through the trunk is so much easier. If I just had 2 kids in the captain seats, I probably wouldn't mind it so much. However, our rear facing car seat in the captain seat requires me to move the passenger side seat as far forward as possible, making the rider's knees touch the dash :(
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  • I have an Envoy XUV, so no third row seat but lots of room to haul things. I love the versatility of it and the 4 wheel drive (MI winter) but I am seriously considering a mini van when we pay off DHs truck. We owe nothing on mine, but hopefully I will drive it until it dies. Doubt that we would trade it in, I've put over 50k miles on it since we bought it (used) less than three years ago so not much value in it.

    I used to be one of those people who said I would never drive one, I like big vehicles too much. However, the advantages others have listed are making me consider it, especially since my MIL drives one.
  • I'm over the uncool factor, I'm just struggling with the overkill factor. I'm trying not to over react and buy more car then I need. I have a bit of a problem with being EXTREME... For example, we decided planting a couple of apple trees would be neat. Started out reasonable enough, we thought 2-3 would be good. But then somehow we spent all summer building an eight ft tall deer fence around probably close to an acre and planting 16 trees. Lol. Our "orchard" is beautiful though. So I'm trying to figure out if I should get a midsized SUV or wagon and save the mini for the next round or if I should just bite the bullet and do it now. I'm thinking we should just go for it now, seems unlikely I will regret having the extra space and the mileage isn't that different. BTW we are thinking a Toyota Sienna because they offer AWD and our driveway can be a bitch in the winter.
  • We went from a Mazda Protege to a Dodge Caravan.  Only 1 baby so far and no dogs, but the space difference is crazy.  We would have to take the wheels and basket off of the stroller to fit it into the trunk of the car.  So much nicer to just open the back hatch and put the stroller in there.  Growing up we always had mini vans so it never crossed my mind that it wasn't cool or anything like's a vehicle.
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  • I have an Acadia, which my husbad always says is a taller van, and I love it! My next car will for sure be a mini van. I'm a mom of three kids, I'm done pretending to be cool.
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  • Love having a minivan. 3 in car seats made it almost a necessity. I could care less what anyone thinks about what I drive.
  • Love our mini van. No dogs but I see a minivan as way more useful than an SUV. I mean you can call it unsexy or a mom car or whatever you want. But guess what? My doors open & shut with the push of a button. I could have 5 kids in car seats and still have room for a Costco run. And it drives more like a car and less like a truck.

    I think saying you don't want a mini van on principle is silly.


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  • Recently bought a 2005 town & country. And I LOVE it! I love the sliding doors, no more worrying about hitting the car next to me while unbuckling kids.
    Lots of room for groceries, extra seats for friends, drives smoothly, and does great on gas.
    Once I got it I fell in love and I'm not going back! With 3 little ones in car seats it's nice not having them all squished together.

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    DD1- 2009, M/C- 2011, M/C- 2012, DD2- 2012, DD3- 2014

  • bacorreabacorrea member
    edited September 2014
    I have DD, a St. Bernard mix and a German Sheppard Mix and we bought a Grand Caravan (would have LOVED an Oddsey, not in our budget though). So yeah, I'm "that" Mom with 1 kid and a mini van, and it's FREAKING awesome.

    ETA oh and we got one with captains chairs, because awesome.
  • I drive a big dodge truck With 2 kids and a dog and I love it! We get snow 7-8 months out of the year and 4 wheel drive is a must. It's Not your average mommy car but I love it.
  • I think the Highlander has an option for captains chairs in the second row if that is important to you.

    DH has a new Pilot and it is pretty roomy but we rarely use the third row and when you do have it up there is minimal storage.

    A few of my friends have large families - 4+ kids - and they all either drive huge SUVs (Tahoe, etc.) or minivans.

    My dad is a cyclist and has an Odyssey - he can fit his bikes and all if his stuff in the back of his can when going on an out of town ride. Whenever we take a trip together we are always asking him to bring some of our stuff down because he has so much room.


  • steph1977 said:

    I'm rockin' a Honda Odyssey. I love it and it's SO much easier than my SUV, especially with 2 kids. Road trips are a breeze. Do it - you won't regret it.

    Seriously, I love my Odyssey more than any car I've ever had and I really liked my others!

    Ditto!! We have two car seats and a golden retriever and the odyssey is perfect.
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  • We just went through the whole car/future children issue. LO's car seat was an uncomfortable squeeze in DH's car, so it was time to sell it. Originally I was going to get a new Explorer (yay!) and he would drive my Escape. 

    Well, when we looked at the Explorer, we wanted to make sure a rear facing car seat would fit behind DH in the driver seat just in case we ended up needing two rear facing car seats at the same time (not planning on it for our time frame but things happen). Anyway, we could not fit a rear facing seat behind him comfortably in the drivers seat. 

    Neither of us wanted a mini van, so we bought a used Expedition. DH has much less of a drive than me, so he uses it during the week. It's a gas guzzler, but his other car took premium gas, so it ends up not costing much more to drive than before.
  • I would love a minivan, but we're going to end up with a giant SUV because we also need towing capability that you can't get in a minivan.
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