Home » Minivans Have The Hardest Life Of Any Car, So It’s Time To Stop Calling Them Uncool

Minivans Have The Hardest Life Of Any Car, So It’s Time To Stop Calling Them Uncool

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“Oh, I’ll never drive a minivan,” I often hear from my friends. “They’re so uncool.” This has been the refrain from pretty much anyone in the Millennium generation for decades now, and yet it makes no sense. To call a minivan uncool is like saying a decorated soldier or a weightlifter or a farmer is uncool; you don’t have to like them, but there’s no way in hell “uncool” is the right word. And so today, on the second edition of the “David’s Takes” Sunday Op-Ed, I argue that minivans are the toughest cars on the streets, and that for that alone, they deserve respect.

Stop by any car dealership and have a look around at the various different vehicle shapes — the trucks, the crossovers, the body-on-frame SUVs, the sedans, the hatchbacks, the minivans, the wagons, and on and on. The vast majority of these noncommercial machines will live coddled lives. Even the trucks, with their heated leather seats and air suspension, will likely never see a hay bale in their beds or a trailer on their hitches. Most of these vehicles will be used as commuters for the entire duration of their soft, cushy lives. But one of those vehicles will live a lifetime of suffering; it will be beaten up from the day it’s brought home from the dealership to the day it gets forklifted onto junkyard jack stands to be pilfered for parts. Even in the afterlife, it will receive only ridicule from the masses, and will never truly be appreciated for its considerable sacrifices.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

That vehicle is the minivan.

Let’s take it all the way back to day one; the van has just come off the assembly line at Windsor or Hanover or wherever, and has made its way onto a lot in Yadkinville, North Carolina, where a young couple, Meghan and Bill, are browsing for a new vehicle to hold their rapidly-growing family. “Yeah, we’re on number three and four now — they’re twins!” the couple tells the dealership salesperson. “We love our Cherokee, but it’s just not roomy enough for the car seats. We really like the van over there,” they continue, pointing.

So the salesperson lets the couple take a test drive with their kids, who have yanked open the sliding doors and are bouncing around the rear, yelling and screaming. “Mom! This thing is awesome! Look, I can even stand!”

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“Ok Kaden, that’s great, but I need you to put your seatbelt on and sit on your booster,” Meghan replies.

“But mom, we’re only going on a short—”

“I don’t care, Kaiden! Get your ass in that seat!” She’s a bit frustrated. Buying cars can be a stressful ordeal.

Kaiden pouts, but then sits and starts playing with his iPad.

An hour later, Meghan and Bill have traded in their Jeep Cherokee, and are cruising back home in their massive house-on-wheels. Meghan loves the vehicle, but you can tell that Bill’s eyes have glazed over a bit, and he feels dead inside as he stares out the window at a brand new Ford Bronco on a neighboring dealership lot.

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You see, Bill grew up with a 1991 Dodge Caravan as his family runabout, and he’s therefore got it in his head that minivans are uncool. After all, if your dad — the most uncool person in most children’s’ minds — used a vehicle to drop you off at soccer practice, then this vehicle cannot possibly be cool. This is basic math.

It’s A Grueling Life For A Minivan

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The van I grew up with. As you can see, it lived until my five brothers and I were adult enough to drive it and do dumb shit with it. Like get it stick in our front yard.

For 12 years Meghan and Bill shuttle their children around in the van they bought from that dealership, taking their four youngsters to soccer practice, piano lessons, Boy Scouts, birthday parties — the whole lot. And in this role, the minivan excels. This is why Meghan and Bill had bought the machine in the first place — to haul their kids around, and though Bill finds the van deeply uncool and even a bit emasculating, he knew there was nothing else that could do this job better. So he deals with it.

Over that time, the family puts 150,000 miles on the van. Timmy learns for the first time how to use a fork while sitting in that second row; the practice necessary to make that happen results in huge mounds of food on the van’s carpet. Kaidynne fits all his baseball gear in the cargo area, but the whole inside of the car has to deal with his sharp cleats, which do a number on the back of the front seats. The third child, Johnny, and the fourth Child, Liz, love the outdoors; they have their dad take the van out into the woods and unload/loading it with firewood and wet tents and tarps and backpacks and other equipment.

Sometimes — especially when they were young — the kids fought in the back during road trips, they had digestion-related accidents, and as they grew older, the bodily fluids that used to drench the van’s carpets with were replaced with Coca-Cola and ice cream and Gatorade.

The van shrugged it all of, and continued diligently transporting Meghan and Bill’s most precious cargo, along with their friends and various equipment associated with after-school activities.

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Then, after 12 years, the kids became teenagers, and it was time for the family to move on and get something a bit safer, as the van was now missing a lot of safety features standard in the newest crop of people-haulers.

So what happens to a minivan when it gets old and needs a new home? Does it go off into low-mileage retirement like a classic sedan might? Does it become a commuter car like the trucks and crossover SUVs it once shared a dealership lot with?

No, the van — which just spent a dozen years getting vomit and juice and the family dog’s diarrhea spilled all over it as it frantically drove around to get a bunch of kids to the right places at the right time — now enters an even tougher phase of its life, and the final one. It becomes a cargo van.

After ~15 Years Of Tough Family-Hauling, Life Gets Even Harder For Minivans

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You see, an old minivan’s value is extremely limited. Nobody’s going to buy an old one to carry their kids around to school and to soccer practice, because families typically don’t want their children riding in aging, unsafe vehicles that could break down due to age. Check out my 1994 Chrysler Voyager diesel 5-speed in the image above. I bought this thing for $600. Why? Because nobody wants it. It’s never going to be a family vehicle like it once was, and it’s never going to be a weekend toy because no matter how old it is, nobody’s ever going to consider a minivan a classic; they’re just too “uncool.” Of course, I strongly disagree, which is why I bought that one from Germany, and am treating it like any of my other vintage classic automobiles.

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Still, I’m an anomaly, which is why I knew that only two fates could befall an old van like mine. It could 1. Go straight to a junkyard. or two. It could become a cargo van for a small business.

Paint vans, delivery vans, welding services-vans, fencing services-vans, lawn services-vans — there may not be any more family-hauling duties in an old minivan’s future once it reaches a certain age, but you can bet that the vehicle’s retirement is going to be a back-breaking affair, and that the vehicle will meet its demise completely filthy, dented, smelly, and leaky. Every single ounce of utility will be squeezed out of the vehicle that raised Bob and Meghan’s family, and then that van will sit at a junkyard where nobody will pick any parts off of it because nobody gives enough of a damn to do their own repairs on a minivan, and a few weeks later the van will be a metal cube ready to be melted into an I-Beam.

How Can Something This Tough Be ‘Uncool’?

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So we can sit in our cushy full-size pickup trucks that we’ve never taken off-road or used to tow, and we can point and laugh at minivans. We can call their drivers “poor schmucks,” and tell the world that we won’t be caught dead driving these uncool, sliding-door equipped machines that our uncool parents used to shlep us around. But just know that we’re wrong. Minivans get beaten up from the day they’re purchased to the day they’re sent to the junkyard. They get scratched and bruised by kids who don’t know how to be careful, because of safety advancements they become chopped liver in the eyes of families once they reach a certain age, and then the only use for them is to haul around ladders and gallons of paint for a small house remodeling business that hires reckless teens who don’t give a damn about the junky old minivan their boss told them to use to get to job sites.

For minivans, there is no mercy. And in a country where we value hard work and sympathize with fatigue and injury, surely we can realize that we’re wrong about these big sliding-door-equipped people haulers. They’re anything but uncool.

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Matt Dieter
Matt Dieter
3 months ago

I hate minivans.

I will not apologize. They are lead by unreliable-as-hell Chrysler products, and then Ford and GM both managed to make less reliable (Aerostar) and uglier (Montana) copycat models. When the in-laws went to replace their aging Town and Country, I begged them to consider something else, but no, they opted for a Grand Caravan. Less then 2 months later the rear doors were getting stuck, and now the fobs are inexplicably causing the hatch to open or doors to lock or unlock at random.

The imports got the reliability part down, but even while they pulled that off, they couldn’t battle their ultimate image problem: almost every time I see some vehicle not paying attention to the road, weaving, or about to merge on top of another vehicle, it’s been a minivan. Mom distracted in the front seat by the 2.6 kids in the back. They aren’t aware of what’s going on on the road, and barely have any idea where they are going.

Pickup drivers may be aggressive and rude, but at least that’s predictable. They’ll always do the rudest thing. Minivan drivers? Terrifying unpredictability. One moment they are just drifting a little in their lane, the next, they’ve jumped two lanes over when Mom has to help Timmy with the toy he dropped.

Last edited 3 months ago by Matt Dieter
LuzifersLicht
LuzifersLicht
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt Dieter

Sounds like you don’t hate minivans, you hate inconsiderate parents. Which is fair, everybody hates them.

Matt Dieter
Matt Dieter
3 months ago
Reply to  LuzifersLicht

I dunno. That’s a major contributing factor, but the In-laws abysmal reliability track record with theirs definitely puts me off them.

DadBod
DadBod
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt Dieter

cool, now lay down the sports car stereotypes, the truck stereotypes, and cap it off with some riffs on bicyclists!

Pappa P
Pappa P
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt Dieter

Apologize.

Carlos Ferreira
Carlos Ferreira
3 months ago

I love minivans, but struggle to think of most as cool. The Pacifica can be very cool, depending on trim and options, and of course there are the various Renault Espaces which we never got here. There are handful of others, but minivans don’t have to be cool for us to respect them

LuzifersLicht
LuzifersLicht
3 months ago

As a millenial I have the firm resolution never to disparage a minivan again. Because every minivan-driver is one less SUV driver. And SUVs are actually uncool AND silly. Imagine cosplaying an off-road vehicle because you can’t admit to yourself that you’re middle-aged now.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
3 months ago

Van Morrison was cool. Jeff Spiccoli’s Vans sneakers were cool. Van McCoy was kinda cool when “hustling.” Even Van Williams was a little cool as the Green Hornet. Minivans? Not cool. Not necessarily to be scorned, just not cool. Except for Stow-N-Go seats: those are cool.

Pisco Sour
Pisco Sour
3 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Except for Stow-N-Go seats: those are cool

<Insert Dumb n Dumber quote about totally redeeming yourself here> 🙂

Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
3 months ago

As I get older I see the use of these. Had a conversion van in the family and was like why would buy a small one?

Even Motortrend said sometime you need to take the entire crew or the family at once. The uncool mini van was the choice.

If the prices were not sky high, I would add one to the fleet as the family hauler.

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
3 months ago

Yeah, those Astro style minivans were rough. On the other hand, those Chrysler Town & Country ones were stealth luxury ultracool.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
2 months ago

They could be had with nearly 300 HP. I would get them for rentals for work because nobody wanted them. I would hoon around in them and be comfortable.

AlterId
AlterId
3 months ago

Bravo! And although I’m childless and have an energetically and emphatically inactive lifestyle, I always half-wished I’d chosen a Mazda 5 at the end of 2008 instead of my Mazda 3, and I definitely wish a similarly-sized and spirited van/MPV were available in the US today.

Usernametaken
Usernametaken
3 months ago

Given the context of audience here this take is about as hot as a bowl of gazpacho

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
3 months ago
Reply to  Usernametaken

or gestapo?

Carlos Ferreira
Carlos Ferreira
3 months ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

Those are the people that man the Jewish space laser right?

Maymar
Maymar
3 months ago
Reply to  Usernametaken

A take so hot, we forgot about it for three weeks in the fridge of a 2022 Sienna.

DadBod
DadBod
3 months ago
Reply to  Usernametaken

It’s tomato soup, served ice cold!

Dr Buford
Dr Buford
3 months ago
Reply to  DadBod

You don’t make friends with salad!

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
3 months ago

Minivans are cool. It’s cool arriving at the destination rested from enough room and with all the necessary gear to boot. The visibility, oh the visibility! There’s zero question where the corners of the van are.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
3 months ago

Excellent!

Hey David, remember those pics of my ‘Cargo Van’ setup I sent you? Maybe add one to the article?

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
3 months ago

I am too old to be part of the minivan generation – I grew up in a station wagon. But I am still constantly amazed by the description of these things being beaten to hell on the insides. Why? Our family station wagon was not a disaster inside. We didn’t eat inside of it often – maybe at the drive-in theatre or the no-inside seating fast food place, but even then we were careful. I just get so confused about seeing cliches on TV about all sorts of foods inside (cereal, gum, etc.). We either didn’t eat that sort of stuff in there or (in the case of things like gum) didn’t stick it in places in the car. My parents wouldn’t put up with us trashing the car – we’d have gotten in a ton of trouble. Yes, we had the occasional accident when we were sick or something, but that’s not the same as just making a mess. I don’t get how parents allow that to happen. But then again, I’m not a parent, so I only have mine to go by.

I don’t hate minivans – they’re an appliance, and well-suited to their jobs, so what’s there to hate? Yes, they *are* uncool, but not every appliance needs to be *cool*. My washer and dryer aren’t “cool” but they do a good job, which is what I bought them for.

Autonerdery
Autonerdery
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

I feel like my parents had grosser cars before they had kids than after. My mom remembers a moldy orange with cloves stuck in it rolling around under the bench seat of the Plymouth Satellite they had pre-kids, but the worst I remember from my childhood is a tiny bit of melted crayon (like, a quarter-inch spot) in the velour of the back seat of my dad’s Celebrity Eurosport wagon. Like you, there generally wasn’t a lot of food in the car, even on long road trips.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

Yeah, that’s not what our cars were like growing up either. We were allowed to eat in them, but not until we were old enough to not make a total mess of everything all the time, and when a mess did happen, my parents always cleaned it up right away so the cars never got gross inside. But, I do remember riding in a lot of friends’ minivans growing up, and they were very often disgusting inside, dried food caked into the carpet, spills on the seats, and every surface suspiciously sticky. Even as a kid, it was gross. Some people just don’t care. I don’t think it even has to do with having kids, the kids are just a convenient/less embarrassing excuse, lots of single people have disgustingly filthy cars, too, and it’s likely that the parents with dirty minivans have always just been that way with their cars

S Chen
S Chen
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

All of the cars I’ve ever owned have been very clean inside, even when we had kids in car seats. We don’t eat inside them, and drinking is only allowed if it’s a sturdy container that fits in the cupholders. We also don’t leave trash in the car. I enforce all of this. This is why our current 2022 Sienna looks brand new inside.

Lightning
Lightning
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

That was also my experience as a Gen X kid who grew up in Volvo wagons. Maybe most families (that I knew anyway) having stay-at-home moms at the time meant the kids were more disciplined in general? I mean, we were all good kids and never did dumb shit in the car or in the house. We didn’t want to trash anything and were trained to keep things clean as soon as we were capable.

It was kind of weird timing, but my mom got a new Dodge Grand Caravan in 1996 just as the youngest of us went off to college. My parents and us Gen X mostly-out-of-the-house kids all loved its practicality and spaciousness and never had reason to develop minivan hate. It hasn’t accumulated that many miles (might still be under 100K) but still served us well when family gathered. I’ve always thought the style of that generation of Grand Caravan was very classy looking in Burgundy and with alloy wheels, and it stayed classy looking until it got kicked out of the garage in 2019 (got some sun damage after that).

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

I personally did not grow up in minivans, but I knew a lot of people who did. I think the incredible beating minivans have taken from the 90’s onward has a lot more to do with the lifestyle of literally living out of a vehicle than anything. And that comes down to one major thing:

Modern youth sports.

When I was a kid, endless travelling for youth sports was pretty rare. I played whatever the season was, in local rec center programs, the school teams, etc. Now most people I know with kids that do any activities spend damn near every single weekend and evening driving from thing to thing. They eat half their meals in the car, they’re getting changed in the car, they have piles of sweaty clothing and equipment, in the car.

Codfangler
Codfangler
3 months ago

There was a stereotype that “Soccer Moms” drove minivans and no one wanted to be a Soccer Mom. My experience at doing the youth sports shuttle runs for my grandchildren is that there aren’t many minivans in the parking lots around the fields, Soccer Moms drive SUVs.

Minivans are particularly good for folks who regularly carry three children. You put one child in the from passenger seat, one in the driver’s side second row seat. and one in the driver’s side third row seat.

When they are buckled up, they can’t touch each other and it is a little easier to maintain some sort of order in the vehicle.

I might be driving a minivan now, but they are a little too big for my tight garage.

Clark B
Clark B
2 months ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

I grew up in a wagon too, a 2001 V70 my mom got when I was nine (my mother hates minivans) and it was always clean. We could eat pretzels or crackers in it on road trips, but otherwise no one ate in the car. Drinks were limited to water. The idea of grabbing fast food and eating in the car was abhorrent to my folks, and even to me as a kid. I didn’t want to mess up the car! This is probably why I have always kept my cars meticulously clean.

I didn’t have a ton of friends growing up, but I remember turning 16 and starting to ride around in other people’s cars more often. I was so confused. People just drove around with the floorboards full of trash??? I started detailing cars around that time and the minivans I would get from neighborhood families were possibly biohazard zones. I get that kids are messy, but Jesus fucking Christ that shit was awful.

Vanillasludge
Vanillasludge
3 months ago

Minivans have been long superseded on the uncoolness meter by SUV’s.

Said meter was completely shattered by the advent of the German “coupe-suv”. Never in the history of uncool has anything been as uncool as that.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
3 months ago
Reply to  Vanillasludge

IDK. I’m pretty uncool.

Jimal
Jimal
3 months ago

When we getting ready to return our Pasat TDI (the perfect long-distance cruiser,BTW) to Volkswagen during Dieselgate, I broached the topic of replacing it with some sort of minivan, and was immediately shot down by the Mrs. We ended up with a MAZDA6, a fine and sexy car, and roomy enough for the car seat and booster we needed in the back for our girls, but then a year or so later we became a lot more directly involved in my mother-in-law’s life, and had to start toting her around places. Next thing you know, MIL is in the front seat, and Mrs. is “riding the hump”, one-cheeking it between the car seat and booster, unable to sit, let alone buckle her seat belt. After doing that for a couple months, the idea of a minivan didn’t seem so awful. Traded the 6 for a Pacifica at our local CarMax, and we never looked back. It’s not quite the cruise missile as the Passat TDI (Connecticut to North Carolina on one tank is hard to beat) but it’s more than comfortable enough for our kids growing up, and Stellantis reliability has been pretty much a wash for Volkswagen reliability.

D M
D M
3 months ago
Reply to  Jimal

When they bought back my dieselgate tdi sportwagen, we went straight to a Pacifica. It’s not cool, but it’s freaking amazing.

Hauling kids? EASY. The latch hooks for child seats are easy to access. Loading it’s easy with the sliding doors. When they get older, you can bring half the soccer team. Play them movies on the head rest to keep em quiet.

Got a toddler that likes to opens doors into other vehicles? No worries, remember they slide.

Need to pack for a trip? Third row disappears and you can just toss everything in the back. Then it gets around 30 mpg on the highway despite being halfway quick (280ish HP) and the size of a small house.

Trips to Lowes or the landfill? Oh yes. All of the rear seats fold into the floor and it turns into a cargo hauling beast in less than a minute. Was a godsend getting rid of crap while decluttering to move house last year.

Parents visit to see the grandkids? No problem, it holds seven and they won’t have problems climbing in/out because it’s not too high or too low and the openings in the back are huge

Chrysler reliability? Anecdotal, but 6 years and 75000 miles and I’ve had no issues on it except one of the headsets for the rear seat entertainment and that was because my kids actively broke it in two.

Of course it’s not as engaging to drive or as fuel efficient as the VW, but with the price of diesel it’s pretty close in $ for miles on a trip. And for driving 6-8 hours with the family, I can’t think of anything I’d rather have. You might even still like your kids at the end of the journey. I don’t give a rats ass about cool (not that any of the minivan denial vehicles are cool either).

Man/woman up and buy the van, people. It makes life easier and no one is fooled by the 3 row crossover anyway. It’s just a van but more expensive and it’s worse at the things you actually use it for. Put the money you save towards something fun to drive on the weekend.

Jimal
Jimal
3 months ago
Reply to  D M

Dealing with Stellantis era reliability is helped by the fact that I do a lot of my own work, but at just over 104k miles I’ve replaced the main and auxiliary batteries a couple times after being stranded, and I’m regularly resetting the TCM because they’ve never figured out the shift logic. Plus I’m hoping against hope that the oil cooler/filter housing isn’t leaking, because I don’t want to take the intake manifold off again after doing so twice recently to replace spark plugs and one of the VVT actuator seals, which was leaking.

Compare that to the Passat, which had its AdBlue heater fail out of warranty but before Volkswagen extended the warranty.

CUlater
CUlater
3 months ago
Reply to  Jimal

Huh, that’s interesting… I also went from Mazda to Pacifica. The 6 was fun and died too soon via getting totaled, but I have no regerts going to the PacHy. 😉

Jimal
Jimal
3 months ago
Reply to  CUlater

That’ll do it every time. Glad to hear your PacHy is treating you well. Touch wood.

Cool Dave
Cool Dave
3 months ago

My wife and I have discussed the merits of a minivan and realistically if we ever get rid of her Subaru a van would be a pretty likely option.. we only have two kids but the versatility is hard to ignore.

Raptor
Raptor
3 months ago

Two consecutive great takes, David.

Minivans are awesome, and are objectively better than SUVs in almost every category (except for off road driving and towing). The overall package is unparalled– good fuel economy, lots of cargo room behind the third row, smooth ride, comfort in all three rows for adults, reasonable MSRP, good power, ease of access, etc.

Every SUV on the market is compromised as a people mover/family car in some way. Suburbans/Tahoes/Expeditions can comfortably swallow adults in the first two rows, but the third rows in both were historically a bit cramped for the size. The gas mileage, too, is atrocious for vehicles that spend much of their time shuttling around the city. Unless you tow or go off road, they aren’t the best family car.

The Pilot/Highlander/Telluride/Explorer/CX-9 class of vehicles is similarly compromised. All have third rows that are more cramped and harder to access than what you would find in a minivan, and the cargo room behind the third row is about half (optimistically) of a minivan due to the high floor. Plus, they have no sliding doors.

I currently own a 205k mile Toyota Sienna like the one pictured above, and it has been great for our family. I spent my teenage years in a Ford Excursion (the absolute biggest family SUV ever made) and loved it, but as an adult ended up buying a minivan for our family because it was the only car that checked all the boxes– mpg, handling, three rows of usable space, cargo room, etc. I fully support people’s right to buy what they like and won’t shame them for it, but I regularly try (and succeed) to talk people into minivans when they have kids.

Also– they are so cheap. We sold our 2018 Camry at the height of the car price bubble to cash in on the ridiculous prices and replaced it with this old van to tide us over until new/lightly used car prices come down and we could get something newer. We paid $3400 for a well-cared-for 2005 Sienna with 180k miles on it; two years and 25k miles later it is still going strong. Even if it died tomorrow we will have gotten our money’s worth out of it.

Last edited 3 months ago by Raptor
Cerberus
Cerberus
3 months ago

This is the kind of thing I love to read—a great ode to an unsung hero. I don’t know how a CUV ever got considered to be cooler than a minivan, which is the same thing that does a better job of it. The minivan is more honest about what it is along with being a better match for the intended job. Maybe it relates to all the people trying to prove their lives are more interesting than they are on social media. It shows that a large number of people hate that kind of honesty and can’t accept what they’ve chosen for their life is dignified and valid as it is (kid vomit on the floor and all) and needs no apology. Why the self-loathing or regret? It’s the vapid, flaunting over-consumers who should be the ones apologizing and this is coming from someone who has never for a moment wanted to have a family.

The other unfortunate thing about the decline of minivan sales to CUVs is the later life of them serving as dirt-cheap utility vehicles for small businesses must be heading to an end (along with the rest of the low end used market).

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
3 months ago

I tried to get my sister-in-law to consider a minivan when baby #2 had arrived. I told her she would love it once she found out how much better it was for the job than an equivalent SUV. It would handle every thing the family needed until the girls were grown and no longer needing to be hauled from place to place. She couldn’t get past the minivan stigma. The Passport she bought instead is a hell of a nice vehicle, but an Odyssey would have gotten the same or better mileage while being easier for the kids to get in and out of and having the choice between a useable 3rd row or a shit ton of cargo space behind the car seats. Probably would have cost less, too.

MrLM002
MrLM002
3 months ago

Minivans are also likely furnished by idiots, likely afraid of the Chicken Tax.

Anyone in there right mind who is building a car where lots of smelly liquids will be spilt wouldn’t pick PERMANENT CARPET as the flooring material!

Bedline the hell out of the floor!

VINYL seats designed to have LITERALLY NO CREVASES!

The best minivan is a cargo van with windows and removable seats.

You sick bastards who keep buying Minivans are the reason why they end up so disgusting over the years. I wonder how many years it’ll take before you figure out why everyone hates your shag carpeted bathroom, and your couch cushion toilet seat.

Cerberus
Cerberus
3 months ago
Reply to  MrLM002

I agree with the minivan celebration, but this was funny! (And I totally agree with the point about the carpet. Not just for minivans, either.) Also, I had looked into buying a cargo Ford TC for the economical versatility, but damn those things weren’t cheap even for the stripped out ones or used, even with a bunch of miles (granted, it was peak used car pricing). What did I buy instead? A GR86. Just try to figure me out, advertising algorithms!

Thomas Benham
Thomas Benham
3 months ago
Reply to  MrLM002

I’ve always questioned the use of carpet in automobiles. Then they decided to protect the carpet with mats… made…of…carpet? Rubber mats make more sense. But rubber floors would really be the answer.

A. Barth
A. Barth
3 months ago

Kaden

Kaiden

Kaidynne

That’s quite the appellation trail.

Autonerdery
Autonerdery
3 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

I really needed it to change every single time. He got so close.

Slower Louder
Slower Louder
3 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Would proudly buy and drive a hypothetical Kia Kaidenne or its SWB sib the Kaidette. They would be available in a rainbow of colors, everything but white, gray, or black.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
3 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Missed the chance for the other kids to be Braxton, Paxton, Jaxton, and Tractor.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
3 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Any kid I’ve ever met with some form of “Aiden” either as a name or contained in their name has been, well, not the nicest of people.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
3 months ago

The “I wouldn’t be caught dead in a minivan” thing long predates us Millennials being in the soccer taxi demographic, the trend really started once the Ford Explorer hit the market in the early ’90s. Minivans immediately went from being the most versatile family vehicle ever designed and a godsend for harried parents to completely uncool overnight. I remember my mom complaining about her coworkers giving her crap about buying a Lumina APV in 1994, they all had SUVs back then and couldn’t understand why she would want a van that made it obvious to everyone she had kids.

I think Millennials took cues from our parents, they started hating minivans and loving SUVs, and we’re just repeating a learned pattern at this point

My parents really loved that van though, they’re both retired and empty nesters at this point, but they still occasionally mention that they’d really like to have another minivan.

Hondaimpbmw 12
Hondaimpbmw 12
2 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

My sister married again after her girls married & moved out. Her husband was the school debate coach and they bought a Windstar (white). They called it (of course) Vanna White. Her younger daughter complained “all those years we rode around in compact cars and you buy a minivan when we move out”. She seemed a little miffed. If we didn’t want to tow a camping trailer, we’d have a minivan instead of the F150.

Óscar Morales Vivó
Óscar Morales Vivó
3 months ago

Not-mini vans also get a bad rap in the US but are still the true workhorses of working class America.

They are all bought to do a job and they keep doing it until it’s physically impossible for them to do it anymore.

Plus you don’t get your shit stolen from the open bed, nor does it get rained on.

Widgetsltd
Widgetsltd
3 months ago

I just LOVE the names that you gave the children in this story! I’m a 2-time minivan owner. First, a used 1996 Caravan LE in candy apple red tricoat JUST LIKE the one we saw in ads and on billboards. Its replacement was my VTIP-van: a 2008 Grand Caravan SXT 4.0L/6-speed. We still have it, although with both kids in college these days we plan to move my wife into an EV soon and keep the van as a beater. All these years living in SoCal means that the black trim is peeling but there is zero rust. And hey – at least 10k of the 175,000 miles were spent towing my racecar around.

Citrus
Citrus
3 months ago

Theory: The sustained popularity of CUVs is an indication that today’s new moms have better relationships with their own mothers.

Because minivans became uncool when a new generation of moms didn’t want to become their mom, and their mom drove a minivan. The moms with minivans didn’t want to become their mom, who drove a station wagon.

Now moms are driving what their moms drove and seem cool with it. If this wasn’t the case we would be in a perpetual repeating wagon to minivan to CUV cycle.

Last edited 3 months ago by Citrus
Chronometric
Chronometric
3 months ago

Minivans are despised for same reason as Nickelback – because a cool kid somewhere decided they are not cool. Since we ourselves are not cool, blindly going along with that opinion associates us with said cool kid and identifies others to whom we can feel superior.

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
3 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Slight problem with your theory, the only thing that was ever cool about Nickelback was the ambient temperature of their homeland. They sucked right out of the gate, those goofy Canucks.

Last edited 3 months ago by getstoneyII (probably)
Chronometric
Chronometric
3 months ago

Nothing was ever cool about minivans either but they weren’t initially labeled as actively uncool.

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
3 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

A minivan never got booed on Thanksgiving though, lol. Petition-level hate…

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/detroit-lions-fans-furious-about-nickelback-halftime-show-booking-242465/

Craig Trotter
Craig Trotter
2 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Well said.

V10omous
V10omous
3 months ago

I have never understood the minivan hate, at least among men.

There is no more tangible proof of masculinity than fathering enough descendants to fill a van.

Despite both being extremely male-coded, my F350 and Viper don’t actually prove anything about my virility, but my Sienna sure does.

Mall Explorer
Mall Explorer
3 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

i think you’re onto something here. I personally had no problem with the idea of a minivan; it’s my wife who completely discounted the idea. She didn’t want to be the type of person who drives a minivan; i.e. a woman whose highest calling is being a mom. So instead, she and every other mom in suburbia gets to pretend that an RWD biased 300hp wagon is somehow not a mom mobile, and every other dad gets to cosplay an LEO.

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