Monday, August 20, 2012

My name is Marie, and I've become a minivan person.

This Monday's Listicle is "10 things about my car." I'm really not much of a car person, to be honest, but we do have two vehicles. One is a white Subaru Outback...which I love for its heated seats in the winter! It's the car I drive to and from work every day. And the other one is a minivan.

We got the minivan around New Year's, and after years of resisting the minivan culture, we love it! We are not terribly picky about cars, so we were not seeking a loaded version, but we ended up with all the bells and whistles since we went through a broker and this was the best option. And for my top ten list, here are ten things I like about our minivan:

1. The entertainment system. The kiddos can watch a DVD with headphones while teenager listens to his own music in the back and we can listen to our CDs or my iPod (through an FM receiver) in the front. Love this feature.

2. More heated seats. Can you tell how much I love heated seats? I don't like being cold.

3. More space. We loved our Toyota Camry Wagon (with its third seat in the back, we could transport seven people), and it had a lot of space for a car of its type, but when we went on a longer road trip or had very many suitcases, we would use a roof bag. With the van, we have plenty of room to spare.

4. Alarm system. We've never owned a car with a security system before, and it is nice to have an extra measure of security.

5. Lots of places to put cups. In fact, probably way more than we would ever need.

6. Leg room. I'm short and don't need that much leg room, but it's nice to be more comfortable on long drives.

7. Ability to transport more people. I had my first minivan mom moment last April when I transported my nine-year-old son and his school buddies from a movie theater home to have birthday cake. It was a trip! I loved listening to their conversation and banter.

8. More storage space. I love all the cubby holes in the van...places to store maps, books, CD cases, you name it.

9. Decent gas mileage for more options. Before I started researching minivans, I thought that they got horrendously low gas mileage. I was surprised to discover that, given their size, the gas mileage is not that much worse than a sedan or wagon. It's the SUVs that have the horrendous gas mileage.

1967 Buick Special
10. Above everything else, I like the height. I'm only 5 feet tall, and I'm accustomed to feeling very short behind the steering wheel. The first car I learned to drive was a 1967 Buick Special, nicknamed "The Blue Bomber." I was tiny in that car! I tend to prefer smaller, Japanese cars because they fit me better and I can easily see over the wheel. But give me a minivan, and I feel like I can rule the roads!!

We've taken a couple of road trips in the van beyond driving to the beach or Puyallup--one to Boise, Idaho for spring break and then our recent trip up to Lake Chelan (to go to Holden Village). It's great for road trips!

Thanks to Monday Listicles (organized by Stasha at for organizing this weekly blogathon. Check out some more!


  1. I love that Buick. Wouldn't you love to have that now? Well, maybe not because it doesn't have HEATED seats. I burned out the heater on my seat. Haven't replaced it after I learned it would cost $200. Enjoy the heat.

  2. Nothing beats them for carpooling! And with carpooling, the more you give, the more you receive.

    And heated seats are also great for keeping the take-out pizza warm. :) Ellen

  3. Yes, that car would definitely be a trip now! Blew out the heater on your seat?? Heaven forbid! I will enjoy the heat--I would be the same as you--too cheap to have it fixed if it got burnt out!

    Yes, carpooling can be a good thing. My husband's the stay-at-home parent, so he's the one who usually gives and receives that way.

  4. If I need my seat heated up I just send the husband out there to sit on it for a bit. LOL But keeping pizza warm? That makes those seats quite coveted. :)

  5. Heated seats sound luxerious to this Midwestern girl who hates cold winters!

  6. Heated seats would be wonderful for Midwestern winters. I highly recommend them!

  7. You are a PNW dream mama. Subaru and a minivan :)
    I honestly think people that are against minivans have never driven one. They cannot be faulted for their practicality. And I have noticed a lot of couples in the over 55s community behind our house drive them. I think it is because how easy it is to walk in and out of a minivan. No other vehicle affords you that.

  8. Ah, a fellow Subaru lover. Your mini-van sounds like it has some majorly snazzy features. I am also a lover of the heated seats, especially since my husband likes to keep it cold in the car at all times. Great list!

  9. Yes I am, Stasha--in more ways than those. My e-mail address is organic mama! :) My mother-in-law liked our minivan a lot when she was visiting us, too--we carried a little stool to help her get up into the seat...but it was easier for her to get in and out of than a regular car.

    You can't go wrong with a Japanese car--we've had tremendous luck with Subarus, Toyotas, and now Hondas. Our minivan has almost too many snazzy features...I'm actually embarassed about it!

  10. I do love my Subaru, and no I will never drive a minivan. Maybe its because that's what I learned to drive on. And its so UN COOL when you are 16 to be driving a minivan. It scarred me for life. And how is Holden Village? We have always wanted to go to Lake Chelan just having made the trek yet

  11. I wouldn't have gone the minivan route either if I did not have three growing boys. I could just imagine them all crammed into the back of our Toyota Camry wagon, legs akimbo!

    Holden Village is wonderful! I've got bunches of stuff on my blog about Holden, including a link in the above post.

  12. We have a Honda Oddesy, too, and love it! The storage is amazing! And heated seats sound so nice. :)

  13. I will admit that when we take the family in one car out somewhere there isn't room for friends. So in order to haul friends along, we have to take two vehicles. It WOULD be nice to be able to fit everyone into one from time to time...... I still don't know that I could take the plunge :D

  14. I’m curious, have you been a fan of station wagons before you turned to mini vans? ‘Cos they fall in the same category. Anyway, the main perk of a minivan is really the space. Like you said, more storage space, more passengers, and more luggage. It is really an ideal family car.

  15. I agree with every reason that you pointed out. Like what Tyra said, what differentiates the minivan from the SUV is its space. If you want to experience SPACE then you have to try a minivan.

  16. When you purchase a car, you shouldn't just go for the one that is good looking but with great features as well. The security feature of a car is really important. This will give you the peace of mind knowing that even if you don’t check on it from time to time, your car is still kept safe from being stolen.