Today, when Mr. Idgie and I were on a morning jog, a minivan drove past us a bit too fast and I may have made a derogatory remark. Mr. Idgie gave me a questioning look and the eternal debate over the relative merits of the minivan began again. Ever since the 1984 introduction of the Dodge Caravan, families have discussed style versus practicality.

This is not the first time we’ve had this debate. But strangely enough, we take counter-gendered positions. Whereas I bemoan the lack of style, Mr. Idgie is sold on the sensibility. During today’s discussion, his points centered around the practicality of the minivan–the room, the third row seating, the built in entertainment systems. He also mentioned the safety and higher roadview of minivans.However, I don’t understand what a minivan brings to the table that a station wagon or an SUV lack. For better or for worse, the minivan projects that the person driving no longer exists as an individual, but only in relation for their kids.

Perhaps my husband has been seduced by a spate of recent commercials aimed at men and making the minivan cool again¬†. Perhaps he’s just excited about his son and wants to advertise the state of our family to the world. Whatever the reason, we reached no resolution in our on going minivan debate.
Which side do you land on? Style or practicality?

5 Responses to The great minivan debate

  1. G says:

    I with you Idgie. I foresee a Suburban in my future; however, I have had many a conversation with my mommy friends about the effects of black paint, auto-sliding doors, one touch trunks, and satellite radios on the cool-factor of a minivan.

    Maybe when there’s a Baby-G I’ll change my tune, but for now…bring on the ‘burban.

  2. So here’s one counter to the idea that a minivan is the most practical solution to child-transporting. I have two kids, both of whom, until recently, required the use of a stroller. I opted for the side-by-side solution of a BoB Duallie (which turns on a dime and is totally amazing). There is absolutely no way that sucker would have fit in the back of a minivan. I have had to keep the third row in my Honda Pilot down for the last year in order to fit it in the back of the car. My rear row is essentially useless. Which is fine, I suppose, in light of the fact that kids have to be in carseats until they are almost 5′ tall, and it isn’t possible to get into the third row with both of the carseats installed.

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