Minivan? SUV? or Clown Car?

When we first found out we were having a baby, one big decision we needed to make was what type of car to buy that would be safe for a kid. Not just any kid, but a first child. You know, those special, golden children, the ones the Earth revolves around.

My wife drove a Jeep Wrangler. We loved that Jeep. In fact, we loved Jeeps so much we even rented one on our honeymoon. Who rents the same car they own? But Jeeps aren’t the most kid friendly vehicles on the planet. In order to get to the car seat, you really had two options, move the front seat all the way up and awkwardly wrangle your kid into their seat, or on warm weather days, plop them in through the back window. A fairly easy way, but frowned upon by nosey onlookers.

The car I drove was even worse. After college I bought a Geo Prism. It was cheap, in good shape and got great gas mileage. Six years later, it still got good gas mileage, but that was about it. On more than one occasion, it endured WINDOWS DOWN RAINSTORMS, LEAVING it with a musty smell. The radio no longer worked. Only three of the four doors opened. Honestly, I probably could have used it to drive my daughter around, but the day my wife said, “I’m not putting our child in that car.” I knew it was time to say goodbye.

Less than 24 hours after it went up for sale, at 11PM on a Thursday, a teenage girl showed up with a wad of twenties, tens and fives and off she went with the Geo. Time to find another car.

This time the search was more difficult, we were looking for a car that was worthy of chauffeuring our kid. So we asked around and ended up buying a used Jeep Cherokee off a friend of a friend. It’s a great vehicle and has been excellent for hauling around our daughter and even worked well after our son was born too.

But now that we have three kids and we still haul them around in the same Jeep Cherokee, things have gone from practical to comical. We even had to find special car seats that were slim enough so we could have three across in the backseat.

Now when we unload the car it looks more like a clown car where a dozen clowns come pouring out from all sides than it does a family of five unloading their car.

We’ve found ourselves at a crossroads.

When our kids were small (like really small) I liked the idea of a minivan. It seemed like it would be easier to buckle the kids into one of those than just about any other vehicle on the road. But, now that the kids are bigger, and two of them can basically get in and buckle all by themselves, I kind of want an SUV with three rows.

Whatever we decide, I have one request, a vehicle large enough where the kids can’t touch each other AT ALL. That’s it. I don’t care if it has built in DVD players, a sunroof or navigation, hell I don’t even care if it has power locks or power windows, all I want is no touching.

All of this brings me to a simple question.

What does your family or families that you know, that are similar in size to ours, do for transportation? Minivan? SUV? Clown car?

I would love to hear some suggestions.



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