Minivans May Be the Least Cool Car Out There, but Here Are 4 Benefits of Driving One

When I found out I was having twins at a time when I already had a toddler in tow, I knew that trading my Toyota Camry for a minivan was inevitable. I loved my Camry, but it was not equipped to fit three car seats in a single row, so I basically had no choice but to go the minivan route.

At first, I wasn’t happy.

See, I’m a city girl. I grew up getting places on foot or by subway, and I promised myself I would never cave and move out to suburbia. But I ended up doing so in my 20s because I had a choice of either cramming myself and my husband into my tiny studio rental or moving into his spacious detached house. Buying a minivan was only going to propel me even further into the “uncool mom” category, and I wasn’t ready for it.

But I have to be honest. While I sometimes grumble about driving a minivan, there are some benefits to owning one. So whether you’re in a situation where you actually want a minivan or you’re like me and you’re basically being forced to buy one, here are some of the perks you might enjoy.

1. They can hold a lot of passengers

My minivan can hold up to eight passengers. And you wouldn’t believe how handy that can be now that my kids are school-aged and coordinating carpools to after-school activities are a must.

Granted, as the person with a minivan, I often end up having to shuttle extra kids home since my car has the room. But it’s nice to be able to load in a bunch of kids knowing that there’s a dedicated seat — and seatbelt — for every one.

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2. They come with lots of storage

My family takes a lot of road trips. And it’s during those travels that I find myself appreciating my minivan the most. Not only is the trunk huge, but I have the option to fold the third-row seats down, cram my kids into the middle row, and use the entire back of the car for storage.

Not long ago, we purchased a new TV, and thanks to my minivan, we were able to take it home ourselves without having to pay for delivery. The extra storage also comes in very handy when I do a larger Costco run.

3. They can be easier to park

Minivans are large by nature, so you’d think that would pose a challenge when it comes to parking. But because the back doors slide open instead of swinging outward, it can actually be a bit easier to squeeze into a tight parking space, since you can get out without slamming your door into the car next to you.

Now that said, I’ll be the first person to tell you that those sliding doors are a mixed bag. They may be good for small parking spots, but they jam often and cause me a world of hassle. So if I’m being honest, I’d say the sliding doors are actually the worst part of owning a minivan. But I’d be remiss not to mention the benefit they offer.

4. They’re generally cheaper than three-row SUVs

You might spend more on a minivan than a smaller car. But Kelley Blue Book reports that on average, minivans cost less than SUVs with three rows of seating. And the lower your car’s purchase price is, the less your auto insurance might cost you.

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Of course, the amount of money you spend on a minivan will depend on the model you choose and the features you decide to pay for. It’s possible for a three-row SUV to cost less than a minivan if you go bare bones on the former and upgrade the latter. But generally speaking, a minivan is your most cost-effective choice.

There are definitely times when my minivan makes me feel extremely uncool. Thankfully, as a self-proclaimed bookworm who spends many an evening curled up on the couch with a warm mug of tea, that’s not exactly a problem. But while your new minivan may not exactly be the envy of your neighbors, you may find that it’s a vehicle worth driving for the convenience and storage alone.

So don’t get too down on yourself if you end up becoming a minivan owner. It’s really not all that bad.

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