I Hate Minivans

Posted by: , December 3, 2010 in 1:44 pm


minivan I Hate MinivansLet’s just say up front that I could easily own a minivan.  I have three kids under five and they and their gear can take up a lot of space.  Yet I don’t own a minivan.  Why?  Easy. I hate them.  I look at a minivan and think, “I am giving up now.”  I have driven minivans as rentals or borrowed them from a friend and I’m not impressed. 

I don’t feel that sense of awe at the roominess or doors that open and close automatically.  No, instead I feel that owning a minivan is like jumping down the rabbit hole of complacency.  A film student will tell you that when you do that you find yourself right smack in the middle of a Hitchcock film and who wants to be there?  Not me and not my husband.

Complacency leads to apathy and the fact that you buy a car because you don’t have to lift a door handle anymore makes me ill. It  is like a metaphor all that has gone wrong with this country.  “I love how I just push a button and the doors just open! It’s so easy!”  Yeah? Well, so is a drive-thru for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  You shouldn’t be doing that either.

And another thing.  Lately, I am bombarded with minivan commercials that smack of the ridiculous without an ounce of funny.  The car manufacturers have decided that they want to sell the minivan as something it is not.  They produce shinier paint jobs and add a sleekness to the front (as sleek as you can get in such a large vehicle), they load it up with more space, multiple television screens and back gates and doors that slide open and shut with a push of a button.  They have decent gas mileage.  All things minivans are actually known for and that’s great.  But you can’t make it cool.  Each time I see these commercials I scream, “Stop trying to sell it as something it is not!”  Don’t add candelabras surrounding it with soft music like the damn minivan is also a quiet little romantic dinner spot.  It’s not.

Admit that it is full of enough Cheerios to create a whole new box!  Lab techs could spend weeks trying to decipher all the versions of sticky a minivan possesses.  Don’t show a couple so excited about the freakin’ van that they are “making it rain” in their driveway.  It’s not a strip club on wheels.  Minivans are not sexy.  Maserati’s are sexy.  A minivan is not.  It’s an all-purpose vehicle made for toting lots of stuff around with lots of people in it.  That is all.  You can load up the back of your minivan with Costco wares but you can’t act like driving it makes you feel on top of the world.  It doesn’t.  Don’t lie.  You know it doesn’t no matter how “loaded” it is. That’s just a feeling of comfort not zing and sip.  I get behind the wheel of any minivan and I want to slump over.  I feel as if my body is sagging into the seat and the longer I drive it the slower I’ll get.  My body will no longer respond as quickly and it will soon morph into a similar shape as the minivan.  I feel like one of those characters from Wall-E who is driving the hover chair slurping all my food from a cup. That is what they represent to me and I hate them that much.

When my husband and I promised we would never own a minivan we meant it.  Thirteen years and three kids later we could easily pack it in and replace our SUV with some dual-door sliding, flip down cargo space, multiple screen and cup holder grocery getter.  We could do that.  We could tell ourselves that we feel “really good and cool” driving that thing too.  Except we would be lying.  Just like the car industry is when they produce those commercials making it look so comfy you want to lie in it with your bathrobe on.  The minivan is what it is.  I just wish everyone else would stop trying to make it something it is not.  Meaning its not for everyone and stop trying to push it on me like I have no idea what I’m missing just because I have kids.  As a car enthusiast I know.  I’m not willing to trade that exciting driving experience, the feeling of sex on wheels or rough ride of a truck for Big Gulp size cup holders and a wide berth between seats.  All that is akin to giving up the good fight.  To letting my ass expand and being OK with never losing my baby weight or tying on my running shoes again.  It’s saying I’m am just fine with the status quo and that’s just not for me.  So stop trying to tell and sell me that it is.


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4 Feedbacks to I Hate Minivans

  1. jenxrobbins on November 29th, 2010 12:58 pm

    I’m guessing this is written tongue-in-cheek itself…I don’t get all the mini-van hate? I don’t really think about whether it’s “cool” or not. It’s what fits into the budget and my kids can get in and out of it themselves. We don’t get much snow or go 4x4ing, so no need for an SUV here. Is being reasonable really so uncool? There definitely is a mini-van hierarchy, and yes there are those of us who drool over Siennas or Odysseys – and we’re not fat, sweatpants-wearing slobs. I’m also anti-drive-thru and you’d be hard-pressed to find a cheerio or any other food in my van. I’m not saying it’s for everyone, but don’t make assumptions about those who choose function over fashion when it comes to wheels.

  2. Megan Setter on November 24th, 2010 10:41 am

    I’m on the fence on this one. I’m more into the anti huge SUV league. Most of the women at my son’s preschool drive them and can’t park worth a damn. I call it the SUV hell. lol At least minivans don’t take up 3 spaces when parked. And the Hummer owners – don’t get me started! I only have 2 kids in carseats and would like a vehicle with more space, but we are still proud Corolla owners and like being all snug in the car together!

  3. sweeneys4 on November 22nd, 2010 4:20 pm

    Wow. Um. I have four kids and a minivan. I’m not fat. We don’t frequent drive thrus. I like the status quo. But if things need changin, well I guess I may buy a different car in the future…like a new mini van with all them fancy TV’s and big cup holders ooohh oooh and them there swiveling chairs so the rugrats can play games. yeeehaaa!! LOL, I know your article is a little tongue-in-cheek but geez, you sounded awfully angry. Have a glass of wine…but not in your car.

  4. ocgmom on October 29th, 2010 2:56 pm

    I also hate minivans, though I did give in and buy one with all the bells and whistles. So I feel I can say this relatively objectively: The commercials are all tongue in cheek. Sarcasm. Because everyone knows they are not sexy, fun, sporty, or in anyway fabulous. They get us from A-B with minimal fuss and with less gas. That’s it. I’m hoping you are seeing that the commercials are supposed to be funny, and are actually aimed at people who already own minivans, and they want them to buy a new one with that “one new feature they just made standard”. I am really impressed that you found an SUV that all 3 of your car-seaters can fit in, I couldn’t, though I am in the same boat as you (3 kids in car seats) I’d gladly trade my van for something cooler if we could all fit!

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