So you think you’re so cool because you’re a Texas SUV-driving mom? Maybe so, but I say those who dare to drive a minivan are way cooler. Before you stop reading, you aren’t allowed to disagree until you’ve driven one. Nor are you allowed to disagree until you’ve tried loading young children into one. That’s right, I’m touting the minivan.
Here in Texas, only the brave go against the grain and opt out of an SUV. Call me subversive because I don’t even have children and I drive a minivan! (I think there are only three of us in the world).
Now mind you, the minivan craving caught me totally off guard. I loved my little SUV and thought minivans were bulky and cheesy, that was until I started helping with carpool—loading and unloading preschoolers at The Children’s Center (where I taught Bodyrhythmics for 9 years).
It was there that I discovered…aaah…the magic door. For those who have missed out on this secret, the long doors and the rear liftgate of most minivans open automatically with the simple touch of a button. Kids can literally jump in and out with no help (no lifting required). With a nice low entry, even the littlest ones can get themselves in and out of the car (yes, it does have to be in park and yes, it does have super duper sensors if something is in the way).
I happened to drive a minivan as a rental on a fluke and fell in love with the “controls,” reminiscent of the Starship Enterprise. I felt like Captain Kirk and since Mr. Lisa (aka, Robert) is a huge fan of Mr. Spock, we were sold on the Nissan Quest.
Robert wanted me to get a white one but since the van is a tad bulky, I thought that might look like an ambulance. I opted for black using the logic we women try with black clothing–It makes you look slimmer, right? The van is still huge and it just looks like an over-sized hearse. I nicknamed it Darth Vader.
Robert rightfully claims that since a car depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot so we should get a slightly used van still under warranty. Silly Mr. Lisa! Don’t you know that a used minivan includes pre-squished raisins in the seats, ground up goldfish in the crevices, and who-knows-what in the carpet? Alas, I know too much. A fresh new van it would be.
At the time (6 years ago, I’ll drive it ‘til it dies), the Nissan was the hippest of the vans. At that time, it was the only one that offered rear radar and a backup camera. Some would argue that’s a huge safety feature for families with toys and little ones in the driveway. Robert, on the other hand, found it a must-have for me, since I once backed straight into our closed garage door–doh! (It was cold and it got stuck, ok.)
But really, it’s actually easier to back into a parking spot at Target using the backup camera and guide lines. You just line ‘em up with the parking slot and back into it. No 10-point turns required.
I must add that I also love the Quest’s sunroof-type windows that span the entire length of the van. I’m all about natural light.
But my main reason for the Nissan was the seat configuration. My minivan is the official Kindermusik “cargo van” so I needed a middle row that folded nearly flat and the Quest did this best. The passenger seats in my van don’t haul children, but I keep the middle row folded down for hauling all the wonderful different precious cargo: hula hoops, jingle bells, drums, scarves, sticks, books, shakers… for my precious little ones in Kindermusik.
This post brought to you by Miss Lisa, who you know is pumpin’ up the tunes as she cruises in her minivan.