Blame on it on the Herbie series, but as a kid I personified my cars. I believed them to be as alive as any flower, bird, or bee and I regarded them fondly. Whenever we had to sell a car, I always felt something catch in my throat as I watched them leave, like a dear friend who never comes by again– because you told them to go.
While I am now fully aware that cars are simply metal objects, I can’t lie and say I didn’t feel a lump in my throat when we said goodbye last week to K’s old Toyota. It drove us around several states, saw us through difficult times, and wonderful times, and while it did not truly observe any of this, it was a constant in our lives. We knew we needed to sell it soon as it was getting up in years and with two kids we needed a car with more room. Still, when we got an unexpected offer on the car, while we were fully logically ready to let it go [and did] the childhood lump in my throat somehow returned as we drove away leaving it behind.
Now that we are a one-car family in a city that requires vehicles to access the world outside ones home, we are looking into our options [and my! the subspecies of cars are staggering]. We’ve limited it down to two types in particular at the moment: The SUV and the Minivan.
Minivan. Collective Sigh. There is no child who daydreams about the day she will own her very own minivan. [Okay well, truth be told, Waleed is positively giddy at the prospect of a minivan, but I mean a child older than two]. A minivan is by definition not cool. It’s huge and lumbering and so relentlessly practical. Marketing execs can call it a swagger wagon all they want, but its a boring bland vehicle with negative connotations. I drove a minivan in the past and found it large, boxy and uncomfortable. I was terrified to park it, terrified to make a left turn, I simply didn’t feel comfortable in any way. Yesterday however I test drove the Honda Odyssey and though I did cringe a bit as I stepped into the
spaceship car, I was surprised by the ease of driving it. It almost felt like a car. Not fully. But close. And with reverse back up cameras the biggest fear I have of getting into a huge beast like a minivan was effectively erased.
SUV. I expected to walk out of the dealership calling up K and telling him to banish any dreams he may have harbored about a minivan [though do people fantasize about about minivans?] but after the test-drive of both a minivan and an SUV I found the drives comparable with the minivan slightly more comfortable. [Though I’ve heard the Toyota Highlander is more car-like in drive so might need to test-drive the new model] An SUV certainly has the cool factor, great drive [and the sales guy said: the people will part the traffic seas for you in an SUV not the other way around].
We’re also flirting with the idea of getting a regular car, perhaps a hybrid, as its not like we need an eight seater with two children, but kids do collect a surprising amount of stuff and on the trips we take to visit family it would be nice to not have to imitate a clown car as we stuff everything and everyone inside.
As we are a one-car house the decision will likely be made sooner rather than later, but I was curious if anyone reading has any experience on the matter? SUV or Minivan? Any particular car brand? Thoughts, perspective, and advice much appreciated!