Post # 1
Hi Bees! Just wanted to crowd source some information from you all 🙂
My husband and I are expecting our first kid this January. I’m also in desperate need of a new car. My current vehicle is a 2006 Toyota Corolla and it’s beat to sh!t. So time to go shopping! We always knew that we’d want to get a bigger car when we started having children anyway, so the timing is working out perfectly really. Whatever we get will technically be “my car,” but really it will be the big family car. My husband has a Jeep Wrangler (2 door) that won’t need to be replaced for a few years at least.
Well I always figured my next car would be an SUV. I want something bigger and higher up and also just easier to get car seats and little kids in and out of and still hold a bunch of stuff. Putting anything in the backseat of my tiny Corolla right now while pregnant is already challenging enough. It’s so low and cramped! So I’d been looking at different SUVs for a few months knowing we probably wouldn’t buy until around the new year because that’s when you can usually get a great deal. But for the last few months my husband has been trying to convince me to get a minivan instead…
I’ve always hated the idea of minivans because, well I think they’re hideous. Also I have no idea how many kids we’ll wind up with (we’re thinking 2 but it could just be this one, you never know) and isn’t it silly to get a minivan for just ONE child? But the sliding doors and more room in general do make it pretty appealing. Plus most of the minivans we’ve looked at are even cheaper than the SUVs. Not by a lot, but still it’s a factor. Also my SIL recently got a minivan and, while I still think it’s ugly on the outside, I have to admit the inside is really nice and spacious.
So now that I’ve kind of gotten on board the minivan train…my husband is thinking an SUV might be better! Ahh! Make up your mind dude!!
Anyway, what do you all think? What do you drive? What makes the most sense?
Post # 2
- Wedding: March 2014 - A castle
Team SUV all the way. You wouldn’t catch me dead in a minivan, lol
Post # 3
- Wedding: October 2016 - Lola's Trailer Park
SUV just for the cool factor.
Mini vans are the crocs of cars.
Post # 4
Also Team SUV. I have told FI from the very beginning that I will never be a minivan mom. Part of it is because I do in fact think they are hideous and part of it is because the people with minivans always seem to be the “go to” when a large group needs transported. (Ex: future child may have a sleepover, no worries mom has a minivan, she can just drop everyone off at their homes the next morning). I just don’t want to be a part of that lol. I also do not want a 3rd row SUV for that same reason though. SUVs also do much better in snow and ice which is BAD where I live in the winter. I have to drive like a granny in my little Fiesta so I am looking forward to having a vehicle that was designed to conquer snow.
Post # 5
Minivans have tons of room and bells and whistles, but they are fugly and suck hard to drive. Team SUV. Just make sure when you’re shopping to bring a car seat and test how much room the front passengers have to move their seat back (car seat cannot touch front seats for safety). We got a Mazda CX5 as my “mom car” and while the trunk was an improvement, there still was like no room for my husband to drive or even me to move the passenger seat back, and I’m only 5’1. That and trunk space are crucial when adding a baby and all their crap.
Post # 6
Absolutely on team SUV, as well. The sliding doors on a minivan are convenient, but an SUV, particularly in a case where you end up with just one child, is going to be more functional all around. Minivans are typically lower than an SUV… I like the height both for loading/unloading things and for the driving experience.
Post # 7
llevinso : We will be TTC in Late 2018/Early 2019 and are in the process of choosing a new car for me. I have had a prius for the last 7 years, and it has been great for gas mileage, but there is not much room, plus the low clearance makes driving in the MN winters a bear.
I have gotten on the SUV train because we want to be able to haul things with our second car. We have 2 boats, and trailers, so it would be great to haul if needed. I also like the 4 wheel drive capabilities for the MN winters. We also want something that we can have our kids in as well as our dog/kennel. Lastly, I cant stand how mini vans look. Plain and simple, I couldnt invest $$ in something I hate the look of.
Specifically we are between the Ford Edge and Ford Explorer. We will be test driving soon, but the biggest thing is trunk space. Can’t fit the kennel, its a no go.
Post # 8
we got a minivan over the summer, the honda oddessy. we are expecting #2 in a few weeks. minivans hands down have a lot more room than suvs.
we also have a dog, so i can put the back row down, still have 5 seats and have a ton of room for the dog crate, our luggage, and the baby stuff if we were to take a road trip, which we do quite often.
my supervisor has 2 teenage boys and has always driven a minivan. she said when her car was in the shop, they gave her a suburban to drive and the minivan still has more room.
minivans have changed so much, mine drives like a car and has amazing features. plus on rainy or snowy days, i can get in the van to buckle them in instead of standing out getting wet.
so for us, hands down a minivan.
when i look at SUVs, they are just higher up cars. unless you get the really big ones. so the CRV for example, 5 seats and not that much trunk space.
a few years ago, i traveled with 4 adults and we rented an suv, all our luggage barely fit in the back of the suv.
but it comes down to, you know your lifestyle. if you are against minivans, get the suv.
Post # 9
SUV. You don’t need a minivan for one or two kids. Think of it this way: a minivan is a car designed with many features that large families need. You don’t need to be paying for those features, or driving that ugly giant rock around, when you only have one or two kids.
And girl, I’m still driving my 2003 corolla! I feel ya. 😂 I spend so much time looking up SUVs because I’m finally replacing my car in the next 6 months.
Post # 10
So I was fairly firmly anti-Mommobile, until we had a rental mini van for a week with a large group. So convenient.
I grew up mostly with large SUVs (like suburbans) And while the SUV was functional, the van, despite how totally uncool, worked much better. No swinging doors to hit someone else’s car in the parking lot (most SUV doors are huge!), the SUVs I like don’t have a third row of seats at all, or if they do you totally lose the trunk or it is a beast of a car I could never park. Mini vans have a third row an actual adult can sit in, and still have a trunk.
We are a Toyota family since my husband works for them. A Siena starts at $30k. A Sequoia(the SUV with a full third row) starts at $48k. Even a 4Runner which is Toyota’s midsized SUV is $35k base. So that alone makes the choice for us a lot easier. I can get a top of the line van, heated leather seats, nav, entertainment system and all that for what a base model SUV of the same size costs. Gas mileage is also better in the van usually.
I think a lot has to do with what you plan on and your family though. We want 2-3 kids, have big dogs and like to do stuff like travel and camp, so we really want to have a family car with an actual trunk and full third row, I loathe third rows that are like 6 inches wide and useless. But I know plenty of people who have a couple kids who function perfectly fine with a small/mid-sized SUV like a Rav4 or Highlander.
Despite how much my teenaged-wants-to-be-cool self will cringe, when we have kids we will probably get a van. And frankly, I hardly look at the outside of my car, I am much more concerned with function and for our lives a van will work just fine.
Post # 11
We don’t have kids yet, but I have heard from several friends that SUV’s get tricky with kids. A lot of carseats are big enough that you have to push the front seats really far forwards, in order for them to fit. Also, if you have a bench seat in the 2nd row (as opposed to captain style seats), once you put carseats in, it’s really hard to have anyone ever crawl into the 3rd row, basically making it useless. I’ve also heard it’s hard to lift a heavy carseat into a higher SUV, and its a PITA to have to hold the carseat with one arm, open the door with another arm, lift the carseat in without banging the doors, etc.
I think some SUVs are more kid friendly than others, but I’ve heard rave reviews about mini-vans (aside from the ugly factor).
ETA- I recently went out of town and somehow got stuck with a rented minivan (for just myself!) and was totally annoyed when i first saw it. However, after driving it around for a couple days, it was really nice!! It drove really well and was super comfortable. I could accelerate quickly, turn easily, etc. None of the ‘mini-van’ sterotypes were true haha. and I loved that I could push a button and the doors slid open in the back. It made loading luggage/my work bag/ boxes of event stuff SUPER easy to load. I drive a SUV at home for reference.
Post # 12
I am a mom of 2 (3 and 16 months) and have an SUV (Volvo XC60) that I LOVE. I also HATE minivans. So with that said, there are a couple of things in my life that are harder because I have an SUV and not a minivan.
1) 2 car seats in an SUV takes up the entire back seat. So if we are traveling with just the 4 of us, we’re fine. And my Volvo has plenty of trunk space. But my mom lives nearby and we frequently want to do things with the 5 of us – which doesn’t work with my SUV; we have to take 2 cars, which is doable but annoying. We have talked about getting an SUV with the 3rd rom (like the bigger verios on my car, the XC90) but to get to the 3rd rom, you have to fold down the second row, which doesn’t work with car seats installed.
2) An SUV is higher. My 3 year old, could climb into a minivan herself and get in her seat alone while I got the younger one in the car. With the higher SUV, and that my DD is tiny, she can’t climb into the car herself. Once in, she can get into her seat alone, but she still needs help getting into the actual car.
3) DH is 6’1″. He can’t sit in the drivers seat with a rear facing car seat behind it. There isn’t enough room to move the seat back. So we had to turn DD forward facing sooner than I would have liked (she was 2 but I would have done it longer since she is small). But we had to so that DH could drive his car.
4) If we go on vacation with my mom (so 5 of us), we’d need to rent a car, likely a minivan, so that we have enough seats and enough space for luggage and all the other crap that you take to the beach with 2 kids 🙂
So you have to think about your lifestyle. None of these things crossed my mind until we’d had the SUV for a while and until we had our second kid.
Post # 13
EEK. I don’t have children yet, but I have two fur babies.We road trip to my parents house once a month (6 hours) and our SUV does the trick just fine. Pleanty of cargo room, 3rd row seating (Removable), leg room, its safe, and its not god awful ugly. Ours is a Lexus GX 470. Husband is looking for a new truck now that its paid off lol They never make up their minds for long
Post # 14
When my kids were little, we had the minivan vs. SUV debate. I loathed minivans due to the look and general soccer mom appearance. My husband was totally for a minivan. “Look how much space it has and it’s so much cheaper than a SUV!” So I told him if he wanted a minivan for his vehicle, we would just get him the minivan and I could get a much more affordable car or begin driving his not-so-inexpensive truck. He quickly came around to allowing me just to pick out what I wanted. He didn’t want to drive around in a minivan anymore than I did!
If this is going to be your day today car, make sure it’s something that you actually like. And just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you have to go into full Minivan and mom jean mode.
Post # 15
I finally ditched my series of minivans for an SUV last year. If you don’t attach too much of your personal identity to your car the minivan is the way to go:
-Cheaper to buy, cheaper to insure, cheaper to drive. I’m constantly shocked by how often I’m at the gas station filling up my SUV.
-Those power doors are amazing when you’re carrying a baby, purse, diaper bag, briefcase, etc.
-it’s easier for children, older people, and anyone with an injury to get in and out of a minivan. Sure, there’s a third row but it’s really not that easy for anyone to get to it.
-Having all the seats able to fold down into the floor is really amazing when you have to move things (like a crib or a dresser or a rocking chair). I could fit a hell of a lot more in my minivans in general than I can in my Acadia.
I’m happy to have an SUV now that I’m not juggling babies/toddlers or driving kids on field trips and fully appreciate how much easier a minivan made my life when I was.