If you’re a busy Mom (or Dad) on the go, whether it’s hauling kids to three different types of practice or carrying around a carload of friends, then you know your standard car isn’t going to cut it. There are two schools of thought on how to accomplish safely getting your family from a to b. The first is to buy the massive SUV, spend a fortune on gas, and never be all that comfortable driving it. The second school of thought it to bite the bullet and buy the minivan. Minivan Moms, this one’s for you!
The minivan fell out of favor when the kids of Generation X were growing up and didn’t want to lose their cool factor by driving the mom-mobile. This is when the huge SUVs came in handy, but with the increase of large SUVs on the road, the amount of accidents caused by people that couldn’t handle the size of their vehicle also increased. Big SUVs are full of blind spots that make maneuvering in and out of traffic somewhat of hassle, not to mention trying to park one with children yelling in the background. If you’re currently driving a big SUV, but want something a little more fuel efficient and a little smaller that can still fit your busy family, a minivan may be the way to go.
With better lines, and less “mom-like” features, minivans have upgraded! They’re full of tech-heavy upgrades, fantastic sound systems, better exterior designs, and a ton of different convenience features for parents on the go. Gone are the days when driving a minivan meant a loss of cool points, and long gone are the people that car what you’re driving if its comfortable and will get you from one place to another.
Honda’s minivan, the Odyssey, comes fully backed by Honda’s reputation for making good cars that last. The 2015 model was the IHS top safety pick, so rest assured that the family will be traveling safely. Honda offers this van in five different trim levels, and moms, get this; the Touring Elite version has a built it vacuum cleaner to suck up all the cheerios, goldfish crackers, and French fries that are dropped between your home and the gym. Each trim level has a solid V6 engine to offer plenty of get-up-and-go, and 248 horses to ensure you’re never struggling to meet maximum speed when merging on the highway.
Safety features are amazing in the Odyssey as well, with a multi-angle backup camera, blind spot monitoring on select models, and dual stage front airbags that inflate based on the severity of the collision. A mass of side curtain airbags and front side airbags round out a cushion of protection for your family. Honda also features lane departure warning, front collision warnings, the LATCH system for safely installing a car seat, and vehicle stability control, making the Odyssey one of the safest ways to get your family where they need to be.
Auto manufacturing giant, Dodge, has been producing the Grand Caravan minivan for years, and it has remained on of the bestselling models to date. Now available with second and third row seats that fold flat into the ground with very little effort, space is never an issue with this van. With seating for seven and plenty of cargo space, this vehicle is perfect for a large, or small, family. An abundance of cup holders and the handy observation mirror make it possible for the kids to be happy with drinks and for you to make sure nothing is going awry in the back seats.
Dodge also didn’t skimp on the safety features, with a plethora of both front and side airbags. The aforementioned observation mirror is a great way to keep an eye on the kiddos while still keeping both eyes on the road. Traction control and stability control also offer a feeling of safety during inclement weather and unknown roads. Blind spot monitoring and backup assist can also help with the tricky task of managing to back up while kids demand your attention.
Toyota also quickly leapt into the minivan game with the Sienna, a truly blissful ride in comfort and entertainment. Featuring a pretty impressive sound system, and optional entertainment features, the Sienna has ways to keep your family busy during a lengthy road trip. With automatic sliding doors and keyless entry, this little powerhouse offers maximum convenience for the parent that has to carry a child and all their stuff to the car. Also featuring three AV outlets, the Sienna has enough to power for when the dreaded batteries die on the toy of the moment.
Toyota came through in terms of safety as well, making back up cameras standard on every model. They also include their STAR Safety System that includes ABS, stability control, traction control, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, and smart stop technology. Packed with driver knee, full side curtains, and driver and passenger airbags, the Sienna is banking on safety during most collisions. Different trim levels also include fantastic safety features like lane departure warnings and blind spot monitoring.
Busy parents on the go don’t want to think about how far the can go until they have to fill up that massive SUV again. Minivans are not only packed with cool features that they didn’t used to have, but they’re also more fuel efficient and have enough space to accommodate your family’s every need. Try one on for size, but don’t be afraid to admit you like it.