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.

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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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Rollin Hand
Rollin Hand
2 months ago

I don’t think minivans have the hardest life, but they are very useful vehicles. Cars are often bought based on emotion or how we want to see ourselves.

Yet if you have a family and look at your needs objectively, you’ll end up in a minivan. When we were looking for the vehicle that ended up being our Sienna, literally NONE of the SUVs I looked at could compete in terms of usable space, comfort and in many cases efficiency. My only real complaint about the vehicle is that it is effing bothersome to maneuver in a parking lot.

I used to say that “no dollar of mine will ever go towards a minivan.” Now, I have suggested that if my wife wants to replace her Sienna at some point, she should just get another Sienna.

VanGuy
VanGuy
2 months ago

I will always compare the vehicle I learned to drive in–a 2010 Ford Flex–with the vehicle my parents replaced it with when it died, a 2014 Sienna (in 2018 or so).

The Flex is unequivocally the superior vehicle aesthetically, but holy shit, the Sienna got better fuel economy while feeling 100% roomier. And the middle seats could be removed, for the one time I used it to DJ a wedding.

And then on top of that, it has a completely unnecessary 250 horsepower V6 and hair-trigger pedal from a stop.

It’s cool in a way that requires redefining “cool”, which is sort of part of the problem.

But yes, I will defend minivans. (except for people who call minivans “vans”. “Van” means full-size van, and nothing less. No, not even your Astro. Shut up.)

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
2 months ago

Broseph. Two things can be true.

A minivan can be the hardest working vehicle out there, and still be totally uncool.
Minivans are 110% function, no form at all. There is absolutely no space within them to be cool. That doesn’t negate the fact that they get pounded harder than the Lexus Texas.

You can appreciate how hard they get worked, and that may earn them some grudging respect. That doesn’t mean its cool at all, though.

Jj
Jj
2 months ago

Having a rough life isn’t cool.

Nobody looks at the 28 year old cashier that looks at least 45 working the night shift at 7-11, and thinks “F**k Yeah – that’s COOL!”

Pneumatic Tool
Pneumatic Tool
2 months ago

I know I’m preaching to the choir here, and all of my brothers and sisters who have posted know the value of these things. We’ve had two – the Windstar that we brought our second home from the hospital in, and the Freestar that we inherited from my Mother-in-law as a second (actually third) vehicle. The former served valliantly as the primary family haulter through the puke and poop years, only to be replaced the day that the head gasked failed (that was fun) by a large crossover. By that point, the kids were late in elementary/early middle school – so it led a relatively charmed life. The latter was purchased by my Father-in law to be the primary hauler of the grandkids, and their cross country hauler as retirees. It served that purpose in grand style. When it was replaced by an upscale small crossover, it went to the final phase of hauler, and man did it work. Honestly, I was completely impressed at how badass this thing actually was at doing that. In that role, it completed its final mission shortly before being put to pasture – moving van for both of my boys when each moved hundreds of miles away in successive weeks. I’ve owned and cared for many vehicles in my life, but both of these “uncool” vehicles stand at the top. They live to serve.

Hondaimpbmw 12
Hondaimpbmw 12
2 months ago
Reply to  Pneumatic Tool

You obviously don’t live in the salt/snow belt. My sister’s Windstar evaporated due to the tinworm. She replaced it with a gold caravan that mostly matched some other person’s gold caravan, including the key. She recognized she was in the wrong car when she saw the other caravan didn’t have as much rust as hers.

Pneumatic Tool
Pneumatic Tool
2 months ago
Reply to  Hondaimpbmw 12

I’m in PA, so yeah, I’m in that affected region. The Winnie was a ’96 when we got it in ’99 – had it for only five years until the head gasket went. Rust wasn’t an issue on her, but she also wasn’t that old when retired. The Windstar was different. My in-laws purchased it new in ’04 and it was retired two years ago. I had to repair a rust hole in the driver’s side rear wheel well because it was technically open to the passenger compartment, and it had cancer rust in front of the passenger rear wheel (which seems to be fairly common on these).

Donovan King
Donovan King
2 months ago

Minivans are cool, end of story. I was raised in a 1998 Chevy Astro LS. That thing hauled three kids around like a boss. I drove it to high school on days when my shitboxes were dead or when I needed to haul friends to a cast party.

The Astro hauled people and hauled ass.

That Vortec V6 was stout and it could absolutely let it all hang out if you gave it a push. My dad did exactly that during a church youth group bowling trip/race back for a lock-in against the pastor in his Dodge Durango with the Magnum V8. The Astro launched onto the main road, tires squealing in an epic fishtail. It then proceeded to book it on up to triple digits on the highway on ramp. Responsible? No. Epic in the eyes of a teenager? Yes.

What else did the Astro do? Tackled dirt roads like Bo Duke traded in the General because he had kids and ended up coach of the pee-wee football team. It ran through rivers that brought water up to the doors (of course, our 2003 Buick Century also did that, but that isn’t the point).

Minivans are cool because they can do everything. Move people, move stuff, and leave rubber on the road (if you’re lucky enough to have one with rear wheel drive). When we finally let ours go with well over 100K on the clock it became a maintenance van for a local real estate company. It was still working a good decade after it left my family.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
2 months ago

Minivans are cool, but being hard working and beat on isn’t what makes them cool. So I basically disagree with the whole premise of your take David.

I am kind of love hate regarding minivans. On the one hand, they are an extremely space efficient, practical, and otherwise good two box van in a great size. On the other hand……. 1. I rather dislike any three row vehicle with two rows of doors, because why? 2. The extra height of a minivan vs comparable size station wagon is questionably useful most of the time, and is aerodynamically detrimental. 3. I detest any vehicle using a transverse V6 with a burning passion, and minivans are pretty necessarily transverse V6.

Don Mynack
Don Mynack
2 months ago

Wonder what happened to our old Dodge Caravan? We still rent them for road trips.

NC_Motorist
NC_Motorist
2 months ago

Right on David. My family is now on our second minivan, the first being a 2006 Honda Odyssey that we bought in 2016. By the time we sold it in 2022 it had a refrigerant leak, at least two oil leaks (one which produced a burning odor as oil sizzled atop the engine block), and stains throughout from my kid with a sensitive travel stomach. But I could put tons of tools and crap in it, tow 1500+ pounds, and it just kept on going. They certainly aren’t always beautiful, but as a person who values utility, ruggedness, and dependability in people as well as cars, I have a special place in my heart for all the vans out there.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
2 months ago
Reply to  NC_Motorist

To be fair, 1500lb of trailer is absolutely nothing and I would tow that behind my Accord.

Highland Green Miata
Highland Green Miata
2 months ago

David’s paint van thing isn’t far off. We had an 94 Plymouth minivan we left at the cottage after many long years of service. It had bald tires and if you tried to use the rear wiper it blew the fuse for the airbag. But all it got used for for years was taking trash to the dump. My brother called it the garbage scow. Then it got stolen (sitting up at the cottage, remember?), by a homeless guy who lived in it for a few weeks before he got arrested. And then it was returned to us, where it got in another couple of years of garbage duty. I finally sold it for $500 for someone who wanted it for… a painting van.

Highland Green Miata
Highland Green Miata
2 months ago

I have owned 5 minivans. I just traded in one Odyssey for a new one last week. No other vehicle is as versatile or practical. All the kids are gone but now I need to haul around the large dog, golf clubs, and other assorted stuff, including in-laws that can’t climb up in a high vehicle. I once drove a couch from Chicago to Nashville in the Odyssey and it was kept completely clean and well protected. A vehicle like this is an appliance. A comfy appliance. I make no apologies.

Craig Trotter
Craig Trotter
2 months ago

David, this is so true. My 2003 Grand Caravan , which I bought in 2021 for $4,000 with about 100,000 miles, has the ghost of an old Disney sticker on the back window which shows the size of the family that used to run it. I have used it as a camping vehicle in Baja, drove rideshare with it for a year (they let it slide on age presumably due to a shortage of 7 passenger vehicles in 2022), and now use it to haul cargo for a local LA area delivery company. It’s a sincere rig for sure, I love it. You get it man!

PlatinumZJ
PlatinumZJ
2 months ago

Leave it to David Tracy to make me feel sorry for minivans.

Pretty much all of my coworkers who have raised kids didn’t go for minivans…and their SUVs/crossovers received the same level of abuse as described in this article. I’ve never had the nerve to tell these coworkers the real reason I won’t accept a ride for a lunch outing – their vehicles are disgusting. :/ I don’t recall our family vehicle achieving such levels of nastiness when I was growing up…of course, we also had a bucket with a tight-fitting lid, along with the general understanding that no messy foods entered the vehicle, trash should be removed upon exiting, and a dropcloth or other suitable cover should be used when transporting messy things.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
2 months ago

A couple finer points:

Before the 12 year old van heads to cargo duty – it’s typically bought for family use by a 2nd or 3rd owner low-income/immigrant family. Another decade of use – but in this decade the wear and tear is not just on the inside. The exterior is backed into, bumpers are ripped apart, bodymoldings and mirrors are sideswiped off – because street parking and drunken family-court inducing brawls. Tires are balding and mismatched – wheel covers are missing. Window gaskets are rotting and lighting clusters are crunched – so the inevitable duct tape and packing tape come into play. The van is NEVER washed, the wiper-fluid tank is always empty, the wipers haven’t been changed since two owners ago, the AC blows – but not cold – and at least one cylinder has lost compression due to the sludge buildup.

If it survives this decade – THEN it’s put into Cargo van use.

But you know what’s cooler than a Minivan?
It’s not a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Those are as DEEPLY uncool as “Sliding Barn Doors”, “Grey LVP” and “Word Art” in your vinyl-sided suburban McFarmhouse.

German/Swedish Station Wagon + Vasectomy after 2 = the Ultimate Family Cool.

Last edited 2 months ago by Urban Runabout
Palmetto Ranger
Palmetto Ranger
2 months ago

The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.

MDMK
MDMK
2 months ago

Funny thing with the anecdote about the husband not wanting to own a minivan is that it’s wives these days who usually decide on the family mobile purchase and reject the uncool minivan in lieu of being seen in the latest and greatest 3-row Tahoelurrander.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
2 months ago
Reply to  MDMK

“these days” meaning since the mid-90s, the beginning of the SUV Age. SUVs in their modern incarnation have always been lame mom cars.

Hondaimpbmw 12
Hondaimpbmw 12
2 months ago
Reply to  MDMK

My daughter purchased a Wrangler JKU when she sold off her 100k mile Pilot despite my efforts to talk her into an AWD Sienna to accommodate her 2 kids at home. It has the distressing tendency to pop out of 1st gear every now and again when leaving a stop.

With over 170k miles on the Jeep, she bought an Accord hybrid to cut down the fuel bills on her 50+ mile/day commute. The Jeep still sees duty as the towed behind their motorhome and other family hauling tasks when they split destinations. The Jeep struck me as singularly uncomfortable when we rode in the back seat for a 2 hr (each way) trip. All the charm of a church pew.

Andrew Wyman
Andrew Wyman
2 months ago

Finally the article to redeem our minivan brethren.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
2 months ago

The thing is minivans are uncool which was why Toyota’s “Swagger Wagon” branding was pathetic. I described our Mazda5 as relentlessly efficient because it could fit so much stuff in so little room but never as cool.
Minivans are an intellectual purchase not an emotional purchase so accept them as appliances and move on. A minivan may become a fondly remembered companion but it starts of as the automotive version of a hot water heater.

Brunsworks
Brunsworks
2 months ago

I believe at least part of the “minivans are uncool” mantra stems from carmakers noticing how much cooler the margins are on SUVs.

Another Engineer
Another Engineer
3 months ago

This article speaks to my soul and my 2007 200k Odyssey do everything only vehicle for our family. Just last week, I took a photo where they were building a house and they guy who rolled up with an identical van to mine full of tools and ladders on the roof looked to be getting a whole lot more done than the guy with the lifted offroad pickup with pristine paint and a tonneau cover.

Church
Church
3 months ago

No reasonable person thinks minivans aren’t awesome. They let their emotions (everything my parents did or bought is uncool) get the best of them. Don’t malign vehicles just because of who purchases them. Except for Teslas. That’s still okay.

William Domer
William Domer
2 months ago
Reply to  Church

Always malign Teslas. A new mantra, thanks. Also: I would love the Toyota hybrid Sienna that I saw at the Chicago Auto Show. I am totally thinking that a minivan would be the perfect van life redo. Just put the expedition tent up top and load the the van up. If the weather is shit (I am looking at you SW America in January) sleep in the van. Also a lift kit would be potentially cool a’la the Dakar Porshe. But never that bloated BMW “coupe” thing.

Church
Church
2 months ago
Reply to  William Domer

When I was a kid, we took our Caravan camping all the time and never needed any lift kit. We got off the beaten path just fine. I was sure we would get it stuck once or twice, but always managed it. Just be careful picking lines and never go too deep into muddy tracks.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
2 months ago
Reply to  William Domer

Minivans have decent ground clearance stock, and any kind of lift sacrifices CV axles life. I’d leave it.

Bizness Comma Nunya
Bizness Comma Nunya
3 months ago

I couldn’t agree more with this article. MINIVANS ARE THE SHIT!

Growing up in a family that had Suburbans and a Wagoneer, they were great at hauling our family of 5 plus a german shepard around… but did they do it better than a contemporary (extended body) minivan? No. Were the Suburbans more reliable? No.

Minivans are truly the best family haulers… crossovers come close, but not close enough. I mean, i get it, if you’re a younger person it’s not cool… but if you are someone over the age of, say, 30 and you still are concerned about a car making or breaking your cool factor… you’ve already lost that battle.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
2 months ago

Well, no, suburbans are not better for a family of 5 than a minivan. But for 6+ they certainly are.

Bizness Comma Nunya
Bizness Comma Nunya
2 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

True, but getting to that point means you need church van haha

Last edited 2 months ago by Bizness Comma Nunya
Spoons Are Not Forks
Spoons Are Not Forks
3 months ago

A couple of years back, we had to make a pilgrimage up to Minnesota, during the summer, so treatment at the Mayo Clinic could happen. We were up there for three months for the treatment, so we brought a lot of things with us: three children, guinea pigs and cages, bikes for the children and myself, and all that jazz you would need for three months. Obviously, not all this stuff would fit in our B5 Passat, so I got a roof rack and a trailer to haul us up North. Our trusty steed was bought the car the year prior for $500. Salvage title. It looked like a $500 car, but it ran fine, had heat, and even the AC worked. I was told that the engine was replaced at 132k and there was ~150k on it now. I assumed that the timing belt was done when the engine was replaced. Also, it had made this trip a couple of times.
The trip went great, and the treatment went well. Kids had a blast in Rochester, and the park system and bike trails were pretty great. I did have to drop money at the dealer a couple of days before we headed back since an axle seal decided to not hold in oil anymore. That hurt, as I usually do all maintenance myself.
On the trip back, however, things did not go so well… I was thinking about the maintenance I had to do on the Passat when we got back home. I had checked the timing belt to see the condition when before we headed to Mayo, and it looked fine, but I wasn’t totally positive it was done and thought maybe it should get done. Literally five minutes after I thought about this maintenance, I lost all power on the free way… because the timing belt snapped.
We were only 3 hours into our 10 hour drive back home when this all went down, but luckily we had family two hours away. AAA to the rescue! and had the car and trailer towed there.
My dad drove us back home and we were able to fit everything in his van that fit in the trailer and passat, except for my bike, as he did not have a hitch, so we couldn’t bring the trailer back with us. This utility converted my wife into “maybe minivans aren’t so bad after all.”
We now own a minivan. Even though we were able to get by with a sedan for many years as a family of 5, the van just makes life that much more easier.

Oh, and if you are wondering about that rust free, but salvaged Passat? Its resting in a salvage yard somewhere around Milwaukee. Even though it had every suspension part replaced, brand new EVAP system on it, and a bunch of other parts, it wasn’t worth reviving so far away. Still sad about it. Sadder that Mercedes didn’t hit me up about it when I emailed her saying she could have it to revive her cars.

William Domer
William Domer
2 months ago

How is the Passat rust free? And even that would not be enough to tempt me to the dark (VW) side

Spoons Are Not Forks
Spoons Are Not Forks
2 months ago
Reply to  William Domer

The Passat spent it’s winters in the south, where we currently live. That is how it was rust free, or at least upper Midwest rust free.

I grew up working on these generation VAG products. I tell everyone to run when they come up for sale, but I figured it wouldn’t be too bad for myself, since I knew how to maintain it, theoretically. And it wasn’t bad, just need to assume the service position for anything up front.

If the timing belt snapping would have happened closer to home, I would have either sourced another engine or had the head rebuilt.

Mike Honcho
Mike Honcho
3 months ago

Mr. Tracy, what you have just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent article were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this thread is now dumber for having read through it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Another Engineer
Another Engineer
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Honcho

Give us 1500 words on why full size pickups are the ideal family hauler.

Brunsworks
Brunsworks
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Honcho

It was funny when James Downey said it because his character was responding to something that actually was idiotic.

You are responding to something sensible, and you, sir, are no James Downey.

Moonball96
Moonball96
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Honcho

Who hurt you Mike?

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Honcho

Is this a serious and unironic claim? You actually believe this?

Pisco Sour
Pisco Sour
3 months ago

Back in 2017 I was one of those “minivans are emasculating” people. My wife had wanted one for years. Then, when my dad was about to die of cancer, we needed to make the drive from Southern California to the midwest and we couldn’t do it in our Cruze. So we impulse-bought a 2016 Grand Caravan based on urgency and need.

My mind changed so fast. We absolutely loved that car. It took us to the midwest and back on that trip, to Colorado twice, to Utah, to Arizona twice, to Vegas many times, to northern California, and many many trips to the desert and the mountains around here. Never flinched. Always available. Anyone who doesn’t think Stow-n-Go is cool…well, you just don’t like cool stuff I guess. We had to rebuild the transmission, sure, but even with that it never once left us stranded, never once failed to start. It kept my family safe.

Two weeks ago, it was totaled. I would be lying if my wife and I did not shed tears when we went to the collision shop to get our stuff from it (I was out of town when it happened so it was the first time I saw it). My son, when we told him it could not be fixed, was inconsolable. We had to reassure him that Blackinho (our portuguese nickname for the black van) was not going to a crusher but instead going to be used for parts to fix other vans that need them. He slept last night with the license plate from the van next to his bed.

This past weekend we went car shopping for the first time since we bought the van. We looked at what would work for our family (4 plus frequent visitors, so third-row seating was a must).

We came home with a 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan, which my daughter has named Kevin. I am trying to push for KeVan.

Minivans are cool.

William Domer
William Domer
2 months ago
Reply to  Pisco Sour

Agreed

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
2 months ago
Reply to  Pisco Sour

I’m glad to hear that you have converted to the light side.

I hope your visitors aren’t too frequent, because I wouldn’t wish sitting in the third row of a 2008+ Grand Caravan on anybody over 4′ tall.

Pisco Sour
Pisco Sour
2 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

My nephew sat back there by choice for years (he’s about 6 foot 1) without complaints. The kids are still young enough that you can slide the captains chairs forward without it being an issue.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
2 months ago
Reply to  Pisco Sour

Wow, that surprises me. Was it Stow and Go? I think that’s standard, so it would have been.

My family had a 2008 Grand Caravan with Stow and Go, plus swiveling captains chairs in the 2nd row. The 3rd row was absolutely miserable on road trips, the seats were a terrible shape, much too low to the ground, and had severely awful leg room. The leg room would be significantly better without the 2nd row swivel chairs.

The 2003 Grand Caravan which preceded it had regular non-stow n go benches for both the 2nd and 3rd rows, and it was rather comfortable in all seats. The 3rd row sat much further off the floor, had a much better shaped and more padded seat, and had greatly superior leg room. It also was significantly quieter in the back: I think stow n go involves removing a lot of noise insulation in the back.

Pisco Sour
Pisco Sour
2 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Based on what you said, I wonder if it’s the swivel feature that made it so awful in your 2008. Our seats are Stow-n-Go but they don’t swivel. They just slide forward or backward.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
2 months ago
Reply to  Pisco Sour

The 2nd row swivel seats compromised the 3rd row leg room, but the 3rd row just had awful geometry and padding anyways.

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