To Minivan or not to minivan

So we are on a new vehicle quest and getting very overwhelmed in the process.  A few months ago I was determined to go Green with my next vehicle purchase when my lease was up.  I was all set…  here I come Ford Hybrid SUV.  Two kids: approx. $14,000 per year to raise, green SUV: $10,000 more than their nongreen sister, better for the environment and still feeling pretty good about not having to drive a minivan- priceless.

Well that was all fine and good before we knew about baby #3.  I think it was a week after finding out I was expecting that I ran out to the dealership to figure out if perhaps I could still go green and fit 3 carseats in a row.  Just one look in the back row and my hopes were dashed.  Now what….

So I laid out a plan of what I was looking for.  A really big back row, something that does not cost a c-note to fill ‘er up, something that does not require a fill up at every stop light, something that my three kids can not detroy with muddy feet, drippy ice cream cones, fast food which I rarely purchase (yeah right!), and can be home to many a lost toy.  So I do some research. 

I find an Acadia from GMC.  This thing it pretty cool, a crossover type, not a hybrid so forget about the environment for now but a girls got to get around right?  I think I will just stop using baggies to justify the nongreeness of this vehicle.  See, guilt can be tamed.  Well to go on about the features…  it has captains chairs in the backseat and then another row for extra guests, 7 seats in all, a DVD player, but no leather so I fear for the saftey of the fabric after 39 months of me driving around 3 rugrats.  Well the downside is that it is just not as friendly on the pocketbook as my current vehicle.  So I tell the dealer I have to pass knowing that a better car is out there.

I know most of the guys and the owner of Van Andel Flikkema so my hubby and I think maybe we can cram 3 carseats in the back of a Jeep.  I love the Jeep, always have but I strayed for 3 years for a bigger vehicle and a great deal.  So now we are back, almost.  The price is right, the carseats fit, kind of.  It is a pretty smooth ride too.  But reality starts to kick in, how the heck am I going to be lifting a baby carseat out of the middle of this vehicle everyday and how old is that going to get.  How long till someone is mad because a brother might be too close for comfort.  Plus my 5 year old who likes his independence can no longer buckle his own seatbelt because he is too close to another carseat.  Ok, maybe this is not the best vehicle for us.

So we are about to depart the dealership when I spy a minivan out of the corner of my eye.  Our awesome sales guy, Don is standing there knowing we are not coming back for the Jeep and bids us goodbye until I say hey Don, “What’s with those things?”  He sees my eye and says let me get some keys, those are going to be about $100 less a month for a payment.  I am thinking my hubby will love that.  That is the only thing my hubby ever hears, price.  He makes almost every decision in his life based on the cost of something.  And he always thinks things cost way to much. 

So anyway… on to the minivan.  We walk over and the doors open.  I have seen this before so I am not impressed but I think I see a twinkle in hubby’s eyes.  Then I know I see it when he spots the DVD player.  I am wondering if these come in yellow checker cab color so I can drive everyone around while they watch Toy Story in the back, including hubby.  I eye it, knowing it is practical, even the leather is nice.  Then we see the fold and go.  Nice but how the heck do you retrieve something out of there while driving down the highway at 60?

Don runs the numbers and it all looks good but I am still not sold.  My husband calls me an age fighter.  Not the kind that is into botox, wears skinny jeans, or shops at RUE21 but the kind that wants to stay 29.95, color my hair, and drive a non-mom car.  Not that driving a minivan makes you uncool but for me it might put me into a state of depression and in my first trimester I am not sure I am willing to risk it.  For me minivan is the final crossover from independent woman to mom.  Don’t get me wrong, I love, love, love being a mom but I just don’t want to look the part every drive I take.  I know some women who stand up and cheer the day they trade their sedans for minivans and there is nothing wrong with that but I am just not that woman! 

So after all of this we get a call back from the GMC Acadia dealership and the price is lower.  Ok call me an age fighter.  I think I am going to pick this one over the minivan.  I just can’t do it and hey this thing is still practical so what the heck.  Fight that age just a bit longer. 😛



Filed under Family Life

7 responses to “To Minivan or not to minivan

  1. I have a BINDER 🙂 full of research about squashing three carseats into the back seat of a car. Come on over, I’ll show you what I’ve got.
    At the same time; I drove my sister in law’s new 2007 Honda Oddesey. Sweet ride. It doesn’t feel like a truck like every other minivan I have driven.
    Good luck; everyone I know in the 3 child category has been where you are. I heard that with your third child, you are entitled (or destined maybe) to two things. First, is a minivan. The second is a cleaning lady.

  2. Alicia

    Just go for the minivan!! And I would agree with the Odessey — If I were working I would push for one of those! I do need to say (perhaps again?) that it was not until we had one that we fell in love with them. The first time John drove ours he declared that he would never again go w/o one!

  3. Okay, we have a mini van and although it is very convenient, I long for the day when I can drive a cute little sedan. I would have to say, if you can find another car that works for you, go for that. Just get the cleaning lady. That will make you feel much sexier because you won’t have to be crawling around on all fours scrubbing. Or maybe that is sexy for you anyway…

  4. goodideamomma

    Not to persuade you, but we love our Hyundai Santa Fe. The new models have a third row seat available and the sticker price is much less than the GMC model that you are yearning towards. I know the 2007 models are quite discounted now as dealers are making room for the ’08’s. I just wanted to give you another suggestion.

  5. bigbinder, if a third child entitles you to a cleaning lady than I am about to get KNOCKED UP cause that would sooo make it worth it!! On the minivan thing, I really am 29.95 and holding on to my sedan and my age with both hands, but I am secretly muy jealous of my brother’s new 2007 Toyota Sienna. It’s pretty sweet.

  6. cleaver mama

    NO MINIVAN!!!!!!!!! I am with you sister!

  7. mediocrehousewife

    Are we married to the same man? I’m driving a 1997 beat up Caravan right now (looks nice from the outside, but never judge a book by its cover!) Next spring, when I am officially given the go-ahead to buy a new vehicle, I’m leaning towards the Santa Fe.

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