I’m Done With My Minivan. Now What?

I'm following my minivan being towed by a tow truck.  It was a weird sight to behold.

I’m following my minivan being towed by a tow truck. It was a weird sight to behold.

My minivan is starting to show its age.  It is 7 years old now — that’s 49 in car years — and needing more love and care than I prefer to give to a middle aged car.  I drove another minivan prior to this one, so I have officially been a minivan mom for over a decade.  It just might be time to move on.

But now what?

I enlisted my facebook friends for some input on what type of car I should graduate up to.  SUV?  Sedan? The answers were as varied as my friends on facebook.

First off, I had to immediately disqualify Bill’s input, “I hear that the Partridge Family bus is for sale,” even though that would have been very groovy.  Also, I had to laugh with young mom Meredith who chimed, “We get to graduate someday??? Wahoo!”  In only about 20 years, Meredith.

Brian and Polly suggested big trucks, F-150 and Tahoe.  I’m happy for them both, but I don’t think I’m really a big truck kind of a girl.  Er, mom.

A few moms celebrated their sedans, such as Lorie, Anne, Jessilyn, and Felix’s wife.  I’m sure they appreciate the gas mileage of these cars as compared to the gas-guzzling minivans.  And my friend Ally, mom of two teenagers, enthusiastically replied, “MINI Cooper!”  As much as I think MINI Coopers are really cute and zippy (which describes Ally perfectly), it is so small and low to the ground.  You know how it is, minivan moms — once you get a taste of riding high and mighty in that minivan, you never go back down.

Several folks like Jane and Amy went to a crossover sedan/minivan, such as Honda Fit and Mazda 5.  However, dad Shawn says, “When our kids got out of child seats, we sold our minivan and I said we’d never get one again. We got a Mazda 5 which is like a cross between a minivan and station wagon, and we loved it, but it was totaled when we were rear ended by a hit and run driver. We looked at everything and every kind of vehicle. In the end, what did we get? You guessed it, a minivan. The Mazda 5 just didn’t have the extra space like a minivan does, and we missed that.”

Likewise, my friend Erin added, “Prius V wagon. We still have the minivan, but it’s our second car and I love it.” Hmmm…crossovers might be best, then, as a second car.  I need to find myself a first car right now.  And is it just me or do some of these crossovers look like minivans that were in the dryer too long?

Not surprisingly, SUVs got the most votes.  Kristin, who got a Toyota RAV4, claims, “I felt liberated…like a ‘person’ again!” I get you, Kristin.  Both Melissa and Gayle love their Honda Pilot, and Wendy and Karen adore their Kia Sportage.  (Evidently, Kias are addicting or at least hereditary, because both Wendy’s and Karen’s daughters drive Kia Soul, aka “the hamster car”).  Laura loves her “MDX…roomy like a van, seats 7 but drives like a car.”  Diana drives a mid-size SUV and “loving it!!!” while Betsy swears that her Lexus RX is the “best car we’ve ever had.” Christy never did minivans and also doesn’t like sedans but prefers her CX-9.

I’m making a list of the desired features of my next car:

  • Roomy
  • Extra row of seats for more passengers
  • High ceiling
  • Lots of trunk space
  • Leather seats
  • Sliding side doors

Hmmmm…

It’s starting to sound a lot like a minivan.  Maybe I should keep my Odyssey after all.

What do you recommend?  And what type of car did you move up to after your minivan days were over?  Please comment below and help out this poor Panda Mom!