#MomLife Lifestyle

Oh No, This Mom Does Not Do Minivans

June 26, 2017

Thank you Autotrader for sponsoring this post!

On Father’s Day we all went to see Disney Pixar Cars 3 –what a great motivational movie!  When we left the theater my husband shared how motivated he was to get back on the road with his bike. I think the new character Cruz Ramirez may have had something to do with that. She was everything you would want in a friend – her enthusiasm is infectious and she was super encouraging to Lightening McQueen when he was what I would call depressed. Hubby hasn’t been on his bike at all this year and his new found motivation got me thinking about cars and my cars and what not. Mater reminds me of my car, no not because he’s old and Rusty, but because he’s a reliable friend. I’ve had some good times with my cars back in the day…

In high school I got my first car, it was the smallest car ever, a white Dodge Neon.  I thought I was so cute in my tiny car and as a sophomore in high school I drove that car all over my town. I couldn’t stay home. I didn’t know anything about car maintenance and I drove that car to the ground and during my first semester in college my Neon took its last breath. Where was Luigi and Guido when I needed them? (Cars inside joke!). I went on autotrader.com in search of a car that I could afford on a college student budget. I found another tiny car, a gold Nissan Sentra in the neighboring town. It was affordable, had decent mileage and it was in really good condition. I took much better care of this car and passed it down to my mom after my college graduation because my dad got me a Ford Explorer as a gift.

Question: What was the first car you ever had?

When you go from a Neon and Sentra to Ford Explorer you feel like the queen of the road. Something about sitting above everyone the road makes you feel powerful. I found my next car on autrotrader.com, a Nissan Murano that I had for many years until we went from a family of three to a family of four.  Suddenly my big car didn’t feel so big. When family came over they would have to squeeze in the middle of a newborn car seat with the base and a rear face toddler car seat. Talk about tight.  There was only one thing to do-get a larger car.

On Father’s Day we went to see Cars 3

My husband asked me the craziest question ever, “Do you want to get a mini van?”

Oh No, This Mom Does Not Do Minivans! What do I look like driving a mini van?

For families with larger hauling needs, passenger space is paramount. But there was no way I’d be hauling a minivan around. While the practicality of minivans is indisputable,  when I checked autotrader.com I quickly learned they aren’t your only option for transporting a big family and relatives and friends. In fact, there are many great alternatives that provide more capability, personality and style.

Using the autotrader.com advanced search filters I immediately selected a vehicle with a 3rd row.  This immediately narrowed my search down to ONLY the cars that would give me the space for family, friends, and cargo when needed.  We decided on a Toyota Highlander which totally fits my personality, lifestyle and style. It’s comfortable, has a great modern look, it’s reliable and it has so much space! Our car has been a part of the family for a year now and my kids love it.  It’s been there for us on our many adventures to the beach and water parks, road trips out of state, carpooling to extracurricular activities, and when we have friends and family along we have 3 seats for them!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Nikki June 26, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    The Toyota Highlander is a great choice! We are big fans of anything by Toyota, their cars last forever. I am hoping to get a new (or new to me) car within the next year. My current car is like 16 years old, and while it’s definitely a Mater (loyal, yet a little rusty), I fear the time is coming to put it out of its misery. I’ll keep autotrader in mind!

  • Reply Ladonna Maxwell Dennis June 26, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    The first vehicle I had was a Ford pick-up truck. It caught fire one night when I was out on my lunch break at work. I’d left it running and the float in the carburetor got stuck. I’ve heard a lot of positive things about autotrader.com! We used to be a minivan family, until our kids got out of high school!

  • Reply lisa June 26, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    I love the Toyota Highlander ! I agree, I’m not a mini van gal either ,with a big family like mine we had a Suburban truck for years and we loved it. That trucked hauled everything we needed from family, toys, furniture, and much more. Since all the kids have grown up, we went to a Buick. I do know that autotrader is a good resource for finding information on vehicles.

  • Reply Ali Rost June 26, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    I made it 40+ years without owning, driving, or being seen in a mini van. That all changed last year. True story. I needed to haul a few big things across town, so reserved a truck at our local car rental. When I showed up to pick it up, they said no luck, it was having problems but guess what? They had a brand new mini van. I panicked, begged them for anything else .. nope. So they put all the seats down and I ventured forth. I kid you not, it was crazy how much I could fit in that darn thing and it drove like a breeze. I still will never own one .. but at least my maiden voyage turned out pretty ok!

  • Reply Melanie June 26, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    We had a Toyota Highlander for years. It was my favorite vehicle. Then I had triplet boys, and we were forced to get a minivan. There are still days that I hate that I am driving it, but then I remind myself to be thankful that we have the kids and something to drive. I am not a minivan person at heart, though!

  • Reply Jenn June 26, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    I am cracking up, because this grandma drives a Grand Prix, and will never own a mini van. I do like some of the new features, but I like fast car. I like a smaller, but powerful car. My Grand Prix does me just fine.

  • Reply Censie Sawyer June 26, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    YES!! Moms do not need to drive a mini van. so many other options now! I adore your shoes by the way!! I love my SUV that has a 3 row. It is perfect for us and I dont have to drive a minivan! HA

  • Reply Tiffany Haywood June 27, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Hey Jenell!! I’m with you girl! I do NOT do minivans. My husband ‘surprised’ me near the start of our marriage with a minivan and I was the most unhappy momma for about 3 years. I drive nothing but a truck or suv and then it needs to look exactly like an suv… none of this crossover stuff…LOL

  • Reply Madi June 27, 2017 at 9:18 am

    I love Toyota Highlanders, they look like such great cars! I have a Toyota Rav4 and it has been such a wonderful car, I would definitely get another Toyota car in the future! But definitely NOT a mini-van, I hate mini-vans so much, they are the worst!

  • Reply Natalie June 27, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Even though I have 4 kids, I never really been a fan of driving vans or big suvs, i feel like i am driving a boat. I’ve always been a fan of cars that drive closer to the ground. Could be because I hate driving all together, I’ll have to work up to something like the Toyota Highlanders. It looks way more stylish than a fan or huge suv.

  • Reply Karlyn Cruz June 27, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    My parents have a highlander and they absolutely love it! I kinda like it too to be honest, but I’m happy with mine. I’m not a minivan person either so we had to compromise and traded my car for a bigger car. Auto Trader is fantastic for a lot of vehicles. Fortunately for us we got something we truly wanted from the dealership. Love your post and your honesty!

  • Reply Nancy L. June 28, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    The Toyota Highlander is a very nice choice. I was looking at the hybrid Toyota Highlander for my next car. I know gas is super cheap right now, but I would feel good about purchasing a hybrid. I’ll have to check out autotrader.com.
    We just saw Cars 3 movie and I thought it was a cute, too. Love your sweet family pic 🙂

  • Reply Jennifer G June 29, 2017 at 7:32 am

    We have yet to succumb to the mini van but we only have two children so we have a bit more in terms of options! Our first family car was a Chevy Impala.

  • Reply Tina Butler June 29, 2017 at 11:10 am

    I said the same thing, but with 3 kiddos a minivan was a great fit. That was back years ago and there are so many better choices now, but I do miss my mini van at times because it was one of our favorite family car choices. We got a Chevy Tahoe after the van, but I really missed it.

  • Reply Seppy July 5, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    If I’m honest…I don’t like driving and avoid it like the plague!!! We have a Toyota RAV4 (and so do my parents!) and it’s a great and reliable car!


  • Reply Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate July 6, 2017 at 9:28 am

    I still haven’t even seen the first Cars! I have some catching up to do =)

  • Reply Patricia July 6, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Toyotas are GREAT cars! They not only last a long time and are durable, but I heard that should you have to sell that car, you can have a higher resale value for it than other brands.

  • Reply kelly July 7, 2017 at 12:08 am

    So funny, growing up ALL the moms including my own drove mini-vans, they were so “in-style”. Now, I personally love the idea of a mid-size car or CRV

    Birdie Shoots

  • Reply Nikki July 7, 2017 at 1:26 am

    I think you just got me feeling better about my next car. It’s almost time and everyone has been hinting mini-van to me… It just doesn’t feel right. But I want that third row. I also kind of want sliding doors, so my kids stop swinging them into everything, but that’s another story… haha.

  • Reply Melissa Jellie July 7, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    I’ve seen more and more moms lately skipping the minivan. I totally agree. I’d do the same thing. There are so many other options now!

  • Leave a Reply