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Today's Minivan Sure Ain't Your Mom's Station Wagon

With an SUV and a car currently in the garage, we are having the talk about making the move to the mother of all family vehicles—the minivan.

Naturally, with comes the discussion about the transportation of our ever-expanding family. Currently, we have an SUV and a car; I drive the SUV and my husband takes the car.

In the past, I have said that I would never drive a minivan. Ever!

In fact, on the many weekends I was stuck in Chicago traffic, I would refer to it as "minivan hell." I was surrounded by parents who were toting the entire family into the city, but unfortunately left their driving skills at home.

So why on Earth am I ready to join the pack? Convenience, that's why.

My sister drives a Honda Odyssey and is obsessed with it. I have to admit, it is pretty cool. The interior is like a spaceship and it is incredibly roomy. I can only imagine the damage I could do at Costco if I had that thing!

Not to mention, with two kids, it will be much easier to get in and out of a minivan as we go around town. We could even go on road trips and bring the heathens! (Our dogs, of course.) 

So I did some preliminary online browsing and was surprised to find that two of the most popular brands, the Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna, were in a much higher price range than I had anticipated.

With all the bells and whistles, these puppies (not our dogs, of course) come in around $45K—far more than I thought. But keep in mind this price tag is for two of the high-end, fully-loaded minivans. We're not talking about the faux-wood side-paneled station wagon my family cruised around in when I was little. (Think: Griswolds.) These vans have just about everything!  

We are thinking about making the move this fall, when most of the car companies want to move inventory off their lots to make way for next year's models. (Translation: Far better deals with better financing opportunities.)

If you are thinking about making a similar transition, there are a lot of online resources that help you to compare models. I used this link when comparing the Odyssey with the Sienna. 

Traci Curtis April 27, 2011 at 01:36 PM
Check out the Chrysler Town & Country. I LOVE mine... I was a "never get a minivan" person and now I love it! I like that it isn't bubbly and round like most of the other minivans...
Kristi Gilbert April 27, 2011 at 02:16 PM
Thanks Traci!
chas April 27, 2011 at 06:00 PM
Love my odyssey!! NEVER did I think I would end up in a "grocery getter" but it's so nice and makes life easier. It's great for long road trips too!!
Jennifer Alsman April 30, 2011 at 07:24 PM
I am a "never get a minivan" person and we just got a Chevy Traverse with buckets seats in the second row, so it's like the SUV version of a minivan!!

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