We Try It: Rockin’ the Minivan

When you get a driver’s license, it’s a mark of independence. At some point in your life, however, you realize that driving is not an independent sport. Sometimes, you need more than a two-seater to accomplish what life throws at you.

Last week, Kate D sang the accolades of  her Smart car. Today, I’m giving props to my minivan.

Really, there’s nothing mini about today’s minivan. They seat seven, they have towing capabilities, and their gas mileage leaves something to be desired.

green traffic lightHere’s why minivans rock:

Seven people can go out drinking together on Saint Patrick’s Day, and only ONE person has to stay sober!

Having a back hatch that opens at the touch of a button while your arms are full of grocery bags is fantastically convenient.

Minivans don’t get pulled over for speeding. It’s like police officers give you a free pass. “Poor schmuck’s driving a minivan, if driving 75 in a 70 makes her feel better, than so be it.”

Having doors that slide open with a touch of a button is kind of magic. It also means you can drive people to their destinations in your pajamas, because you don’t have to get out of the car.

You can buy nearly anything on a whim and haul it home yourself. Twin bed on sale and you can’t pass it up? Strap it to the top! Chaise lounge on clearance? Fold down the seats and throw it in the back!

You can also load everything you need for a week’s vacation in its cavernous space in about three minutes.

And maybe, most importantly, once you’re inside, you don’t feel like you’re in a minivan. Trust me on this one.

16 thoughts on “We Try It: Rockin’ the Minivan”

  1. I am not ashamed to admit to the amount of sex I had in the back of my minivan my senior year of high school…The beast was a bitch to park, but at least I had somewhere to make out with my girl!
    Also the speaker system wasn’t half bad, and if you popped the trunk on a nice day you could have a picnic while sitting on the back edge. My friends and I utilized that technique for eating lunch in the school parking lot.

  2. One time my older brothers, my best friend and I borrowed a BRIGHT PURPLE mini van from my dad’s car lot. We spent the night riding around, blasting rock music, doing fire drills at red lights (there wasn’t a lot to do in my hometown). One of my favorite nights.
    Mini Vans can rock out if they want to.

  3. My first car was a maroon ’89 Plymouth Voyager, handed down from my mom who’d upgraded to one of the “new” Ford Tauruses, the ones that looked like big, long spaceships. It had manual locks and windows, an awesome tape deck, and it both burned and leaked oil. If you got stopped at a light and your windows were open, you just might die of exhaust fumes. I was 17, it was my senior year, and man, life was sweet.

    I look forward to bequeathing such a mini van to my own children one day.

  4. I completely agree with the mini van love. As a early-mid 20’s woman (who is single) I get a lot of shit from my friends about driving a mom car. But, once they’ve gone on a road trip with me in the mini van, I never hear another word. Especially camping trips. You can fit enough tents, food, beer, and wine in it to last until the end of the world.

  5. I love minivans. Growing up we had a green 1996 ford aerostar. That thing last to 300,000 miles or so and was still drivable when they finally got rid of it. I mean barely drivable but it could get you from a-b. That van took us across the country twice.
    The next car my mom got was a 1997 or so green dodge van. It was more sleek looking but I really don’t think it has the reliability of the aerostar.

    One summer my car broke down and my now husband was able to get a ford aerostar for $500 and it had about 200,000 miles. I drove it for a long time until I finally got a new (well old car for $600) and gave him back his van. He drove it until the transmission went out and we moved.

    I then bought a caliber which my family calls a modern looking minivan. When really it’s just a kick ass compact car.

  6. My mom still loves her ’91 Aerostar (which has been sentenced to a life-term of hard labor as my dad’s HVAC work-beast, and is around 300k miles) but I hated that thing. We’ll see, I think the best I will ever do is a station wagon and I’m fighting that one off until 30.

    1. That’s funny.

      Station wagons were the minivans of the 70s. When I got my license, my parents said I could have the old station wagon for free or be on my own for buying a different vehicle. I declined the offer of free, and spent a chunk of my McDonalds money buying something else!

  7. I am a minivan mom, and can attest to the don’t get pulled over. I love my 2000 Sienna with all my heart. The back seats flip, push forward or pull out in a way that was do-able with rugrats in tow. Funny thing is the bumper got dented on one side and my kids told me not to fix it, because is made our white van easier to see in the sea of minivans on pick up duty.

    1. I never noticed how many white minivans there were until I had one. I have tried to get into other people’s cars so often it’s ridiculous. I almost yelled at someone the other day because I thought he was trying to get into my car. I need stickers.

      I also love the minivan because of all the stuff you can put into it. I avoided them for so long, but then I started looking at bigger vehicles and I realized that you can put a lot of stuff into a pick-up, but few people, you can fit a lot of stuff OR people into an SUV, but you can fit stuff AND people into a minivan. After that I was sold.

  8. I love minivans. I used to have to drive rental minivans for work to transport tons of stuff, and it was basically fantastic. Especially since rentals tend to have bells and whistles.

    They’ve come a long way from my mom’s green Dodge Caravan back in the day.

    I secretly am excited for the day that I have kids and get a minivan, because I secretly love them.

  9. I feel a nostalgic love for the two minivans we had when my siblings and I were children. We have a green dodge caravan, yes with sliding door. My brother even hooked it up with Christmas lights, a disco ball, a cooler and paid my sister to dress in a tux to drive him and his friends to prom.

    I did the same with the next generation white DOUBLE sliding doors caravan (2002). Great for taking all my hippy friends and I to prom and on Phish tour.

    Now I have a burning passion for my blue Subaru impreza wagon. Snow and Ice got nothing on my all wheel drive and all weather tire capabilities. If you need some one to write a piece for We Try It: Subaru addition I would gladly do it or help.

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