Justkeepsteppin's picture

O/T- Thinking of trading my SUV for a minivan...

I'd like some imput from those of you that have had or have a minivan. I've been driving SUVs for the past 5 years. It's been a pain with 4 kids under 10 years old. I'm seriously considering trading in my SUV. Like so serious that the guys at the dealership I work at are running the numbers right now to see what options I have.

Do you regret buying one or do you regret not buying one sooner?

downsouthinTX's picture

not to be mean or

not to be mean or anything....
but mini vans are a no go for me.
one of many reasons why i never wanted lots of kids.
i know people who get them for 1 kid or 2 kids.
some ladies like them because they have mom gadgets and dvd players for the kids.
some ladies just dont care and see mini vans as the "mom thing" to have.

if you want better gas mileage...they give you that. most interior features can also be found in SUV's.
if you need 4x4 for snow or country living...i would say no to mini vans.
i dont know if they hold their value or not.
mini vans trunks are generally smaller as well.
but i know i am anti dodge/Chrysler. and ford...does ford even make mini vans still?
i would go Nissan, toyota, honda.

what is NOT working on your SUV that makes it too hard?

Justkeepsteppin's picture

Haha. I work for

Haha. I work for Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep and DH is a Master Certified Ford Technician.

I was always one that said I would never have a minivan. I drove a 2006 Durango for 4 years and have had a 2014 Explorer for the last year and a half. The Explorer I have has pretty much every option. I think the only one it doesn't have is cooled seat and heated steering wheel.

It's just a pain. Both SUVs were hard to access the 3rd row without me helping the kids or them climbing over the 2nd row. I hated the way both of them drove and handled. There is just not enough room in the Explorer. 3 kids seated in one row squishes them.

Dory: Hey, look. "Es-ca-pay".
I wonder what that means?
That's funny, it's spelled just like the word "escape."

downsouthinTX's picture

i drove an expedition-eddie

i drove an expedition-eddie bauer for years and a chrysler Aspen.
they both had major issues and shops were a pain because they claimed nothing was wrong. when i drove the shop guys around they still said they could hear the noise but couldn't find it.

but if you work in that industry you might get special treatment.

Justkeepsteppin's picture

Plus DH is a mechanic and my

Plus DH is a mechanic and my dad owns a repair shop. I've never paid for repairs, just the parts at a discount.

Dory: Hey, look. "Es-ca-pay".
I wonder what that means?
That's funny, it's spelled just like the word "escape."

ksmom14's picture

Considering that you work for

Considering that you work for Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep, I'd assume you'd stick with one of those makes...however if you're not sure about switching, maybe look into the Toyota Highlander. From what I've ween it's kind of a good mix between a minivan and an SUV. Some of them come with captains chairs in the second row so people can walk between the two chairs to get to the third row like in a van.

The van we rented was a Dodge, it wasn't fully loaded by any means, but I didn't quite like some of the features, like that the kids couldn't turn the overhead light on in the backseat, there was no switch! I had to turn it on for them in the front, but then that also turned on my front overhead lights.

ksmom14's picture

I don't drive either right

I don't drive either right now, I have a small 4 door sedan. But over Xmas when we drove cross country DH and I rented a minivan and I LOVED it! The doors are awesome with kids since you don't have to worry about them hitting something when they open it! Also, the space is great, it's easy for them to get in and out, and I can close their doors myself when they forget! From a sedan to a minivan would be great, I can't tell you how it would be from an SUV tho...does your SUV have 3 rows already? I guess the size/seating could be a big difference.

downsouthinTX's picture

we rented a fully loaded one

we rented a fully loaded one this past summer.
it was OK. but trunk space was limited for a week trip and 6 people.
it didnt have lots of get up and go either.

Justkeepsteppin's picture

Both SUVS were 3rd row. I'm

Both SUVS were 3rd row. I'm thinking I'd really like them too. I've drove several. I think I was always leary because of the "mom ride" thing and the look. I'm getting to the age that convenience with 4 kids outweighs having a "cool" looking vehicle. The one I'm looking at is a loaded Luxury model with every option available for that model and it's a steal.

Dory: Hey, look. "Es-ca-pay".
I wonder what that means?
That's funny, it's spelled just like the word "escape."

notasm3's picture

I've had two Honda Odysseys -

I've had two Honda Odysseys - and I have no children or grandchildren. But DH and I are retired and travel a lot. The cargo space is wonderful.

Post Katrina I took the middle seats out, and it was unbelievable how much furniture would fit in there.

The seats are lower, and it is so much easier for my 91 year old friend to get in and out than in a SUV or sedan. Also lots of room for mobility devices for her like scooter or walker. We don't use the 3rd row very often, but I'm glad it's there.

DH would MUCH rather have an SUV than a van because he cares more about image than I do. I understand that - I drove convertibles for decades as I just could not accept having a boring sedan.

But at this stage of my life I prefer utility over image.

Pro: Much more usable space
Con: Image

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but rather the lighting of a fire." William Butler Yeats

Dadswifeorwhatever's picture

We bought a 2004 Odyssey

We bought a 2004 Odyssey right before we got married. My son played travel baseball then and I drove him and others around. He is 23 now and we still have it. We drive cars until they die.

It has been super reliable, has a ton of space in it. I chalk paint furniture that people discard, and the van has gotten everything in back except for one hutch that was too big. It still only has 170,000 miles on it as much as we have traveled in it. Hopefully 7 more years. I have never had a car for 20 years before.

I rented an SUV the last time I went to my home state. I'll keep my old van.

Both my DH and I don't care about image. Our next door neighbors have two BMWs. I am sure they think we are trash driving around a 13 year old van.

"f you need 4x4 for snow or country living...i would say no to mini vans." I bought ours in Chicago. Never had a problem, but Chicago is also flat.

Friends don't let friends marry men with daughters

notasm3's picture

Mine is 2006 and has just

Mine is 2006 and has just over 100,000 miles. We maintain it very well so I'm in no hurry to buy a new car.

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but rather the lighting of a fire." William Butler Yeats

renewal 11-11's picture

If you have 4 kids under 10

If you have 4 kids under 10 you need a mini van.

Justkeepsteppin's picture

That's what I told DH. He

That's what I told DH. He doesn't deal with shuttling them around much. It's a pain in my vehicle.

Dory: Hey, look. "Es-ca-pay".
I wonder what that means?
That's funny, it's spelled just like the word "escape."

momjeans's picture

My ex husband and I had a

My ex husband and I had a Honda Odyssey and I LOVED it.

He traded it in for a newer model and I borrowed it once to move a large piece of furniture. I seriously cannot get over how much I love that minivan.

The first rule of disengagement is nobody talks about disengagement.

Justkeepsteppin's picture

My MIL bought an Odyssey a

My MIL bought an Odyssey a few years ago. She bragged so much on Facebook about loving it that I seriously unfollowed her for a few months until the hype wore off. Laughing out loud

Dory: Hey, look. "Es-ca-pay".
I wonder what that means?
That's funny, it's spelled just like the word "escape."

Stillstruggling's picture

I have had a Dodge caravan

I have had a Dodge caravan for 3 years now. I don't LOVE it by any means, but it was a necessity with 5 kids (3 still have car seats). I feel like it generally gets the same gas mileage as my old car. We have stow and go seats, so now that we don't have a truck anymore, we also use it to haul stuff (like drywall) when we are remodeling.

We didn't get any extras with it because we rarely take road trips anywhere. The trunk is smaller, but I have put two kids bicycles and a scooter in it before. There is plenty of storage and easy to get in and out of since the middle row is captain seats.

The one thing I absolutely hate is that it is a hell of a lot harder to vacuum because of the storage areas in the floor.

My goal is the keep this until SS10 is at least 16 and then get rid of it.

Justkeepsteppin's picture

I'm looking at a 2012

I'm looking at a 2012 Chrysler Town and Country. They're similar to the Caravan but Chrysler is upgraded with more options. Like the difference between a GMC and a Chevy.

Did you know that the new 2017 Chrysler Pacificas are now minivans that come with a built in vacuum on some models! Shocked

Dory: Hey, look. "Es-ca-pay".
I wonder what that means?
That's funny, it's spelled just like the word "escape."

downsouthinTX's picture

the one we rented this summer

the one we rented this summer was a 2016 T&C fully loaded-leather etc.
it was nice...but not cool.
we rented because otherwise we would have been piled in a pickup truck LOL
plus its better than adding miles to your car.

it did have the captains chairs someone else above mentioned. so access to 3rd row was easy.
but i have also had an SUV with captains chairs.

i never liked tahoes because the 3rd row never folds 100% flat into the floor. like an expedition.
you had to remove them. who wants to do that?
SUV where you have to fold a 2nd row seat to get in can be tricky.

i suggest you bring all your kid gear and try it out in the trunk. like if you have strollers, sports bags, sports chairs etc.
see if its usable for what your family does.

anotherstep2's picture

I have a Volvo station wagon

I have a Volvo station wagon and it was great when the kids were younger and I was hauling them around. Now it is mostly for groceries and dogs but we still use it when we all go somewhere and want to take one car. (Although half the time OSD will drive too since she "has to be somewhere later.") It is really amazing how much room there is in it. And I have had it for over 10 years with no major repair issues. It is a solid car with an excellent crash rating. I plan on keeping it until it starts "nickel and diming" me and then getting another one. Low-mileage used of course and cash on the barrelhead. It is crazy how much you save when you don't finance!

The only drawback is that it really does look like a "suburban soccer mom mobile." Sad

Goodluck's picture

Aww yes the ole'family

Aww yes the ole'family Van.

YEP we had one.

Call it a right of passage for a large family. I promise you that there will be a time you will down size.

The second type of triangulation is a cross-generational coalition in which one parent forms a coalition with the child against the other parent. This is the type of triangulation involved in the pathology traditionally called “parental alienation”.

notasm3's picture

Maybe not if there are lot of

Maybe not if there are lot of grandchildren nearby. Several of my older friends drive minivans as it's the only way they have room to take their grandchildren anyplace.

But I could probably downsize to something like the Honda CR/V - except for fitting in the scooter.

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but rather the lighting of a fire." William Butler Yeats

ntm's picture

With that many kids you go

With that many kids you go minivan. Now that we're down to one, I'm going either truck or SUV on my next vehicle.

Justkeepsteppin's picture

I've been trying to avoid it

I've been trying to avoid it for the last 2 years...

DS overheard us talking about it last night and wasn't happy. He said "MOM! I don't want to be one of those weird kids whose mom drops them off at school in a van. I'll just keep one of my skateboards in it and you can drop me off a couple blocks from the school if you get one." Laughing out loud

SS's response was, "None of us even play soccer Puzzled "

I told DH if we end up buying it I'm getting one of those I used to be cool bumper stickers Laughing out loud

Dory: Hey, look. "Es-ca-pay".
I wonder what that means?
That's funny, it's spelled just like the word "escape."

downsouthinTX's picture

kids could change their mind

kids could change their mind if they see it and all the bells and whistles?

after we rented one we joked and told the kids we liked it SSOOO much that we would get one.

ALL 4 of them said NOOOOOOO
after a week in it they still didn't want to be "those kids"

Justkeepsteppin's picture

I know they miss the DVD

I know they miss the DVD player we had in our Durango. The van has 2 dvd screen and headphones. And DS would like the rear heated seats. He always sits in the front when we go somewhere so he can use them in the Ford.

Dory: Hey, look. "Es-ca-pay".
I wonder what that means?
That's funny, it's spelled just like the word "escape."

downsouthinTX's picture

we need AC seats and AC

we need AC seats and AC steering wheels here in TX.
i dunno how many time i have burned my legs
when i got my new car i got cloth!
and tinted all the way limo black.

Jlbfinch's picture

I really want one. Right now

I really want one. Right now we're a family of six with two SUV's (neither of which have third row seats). We can't go anywhere as a family without taking two vehicles. My inlaws have a Honda Odyssey and I'm so jealous.

Justkeepsteppin's picture

SUV cost a lot more than

SUV cost a lot more than minivans Eye-wink You could probably trade for one. We have a 2016 on the lot where I work for $18,000 with low miles. The Explorer we bought cost around $27,000 for a 2014.

Dory: Hey, look. "Es-ca-pay".
I wonder what that means?
That's funny, it's spelled just like the word "escape."

still learning's picture

Favorite most smooth driving

Favorite most smooth driving mini van was the 96' Nissan Quest with 2 pilot seats in the middle row, it seated 7. We usually left the pilot seat on the side sliding door side out of the van unless we would be at full capacity. Kids could get in and out easily, 80 yr old MIL too.

Minivan all the way:

Better gas mileage
Easier to navigate and park
Easier to enter and exit
can shuffle the space
Great for shopping

I have an xterra now since only 3 out of the five kiddos need to be shuttled now, 1 is off to college this year so I downsized. Still miss that minivan though.

And now I'll do what's best for me.

Peridwen's picture

I have a 2006 Chrysler Town

I have a 2006 Chrysler Town &a Country with dvd, navigation, wireless headsets and all power doors. LOVED it! Currently trading it in since I was offered a free 2010 Ford Expedition and with BS4 in a booster seat, I don't need the easy 3rd row access any more. It's much better in the winter on the icy roads, which is the only reason I agreed since our city is crap at plowing.

I'd take another minivan in a heartbeat.

anniegetyourdrinkon's picture

I have a Nissan Quest and

I have a Nissan Quest and LOVE it!

SMto2's picture

With 4 fairly young ones, I

With 4 fairly young ones, I don't blame you a bit!! If I were in your situation, I'd go with what works best for my family & best fits my budget. Minivans are extremely kid friendly.

Acratopotes's picture

I will not be caught dead in

I will not be caught dead in a mini van - cause I'm not a taxi.....

I have a SUV, might scale down to a 2 seater..... yes I do not care, we are only 2 people in the car.... thus no place for a third Eye-wink

I will personally come glue your fingers together permanently - SuperJew

and that's for any stirrers

Justkeepsteppin's picture

Unfortunately I am a

Unfortunately I am a taxi...For at least 5-6 more years when DS gets to start driving. I miss my pre-DH vehicles. Single cab Dodge Ram with bed length chrome double roll bars and loud exhaust and a T-top Camaro. Still have my truck parked in the back at the house. I saved it to be DS's first vehicle.

Dory: Hey, look. "Es-ca-pay".
I wonder what that means?
That's funny, it's spelled just like the word "escape."

Goodluck's picture

acratopotes I have to tip MY

acratopotes I have to tip MY hat to you !!!

Notasm...Oh noooo way are we going to concern ourselves with accommodating several Grandchildren in our thought process with transportation. Eye-wink THAT is for the mommy and daddys to do. Eye-wink You can usually fit 2 car seats in a back seat anyway. IF kids other than our own dont fit guess they are riding with us.......

The second type of triangulation is a cross-generational coalition in which one parent forms a coalition with the child against the other parent. This is the type of triangulation involved in the pathology traditionally called “parental alienation”.

monkeyseemonkeydo's picture

The Toyota Sienna is an

The Toyota Sienna is an amazing van, loved everything about it when I rented it once. That would be my top pick but I'm no Ford/Chrysler fan.

I have to drive my df's explorer around, I hate it.

I'm going for a 2015/16 Subaru Outback in a month. Can't wait!

*Cyber Bullies, the Bored, the Weak, and the Pathetic*