Now if you watch their ads, they say you can be cool and still drive a minivan. But as any good parent will tell you, once the kids come on the scene and rob you of your youth, sleep and will to live, your ego and your cool factor (here comes the BAD pun) take a back seat. Actually, my ego is on the roof rack now and the cool factor is currently a negative integer.
But all the same, I like to drive and I don't like to drive big hulking SUV behemoths that are essentially fancy trucks with price tags that cause me to grab for my nitro pills when I see just how much they want to bend me over for, financially speaking. And I also like to be able to park my car easily, have some flexbility and not look like a total dork. (I am having a hard time with the "dork" part.)
So, I ruled out SUVs and decided on small-ish minivans. When I went shopping for minivans, I remembered all the cool people haulers I saw when I lived in Gemany for a while. The Europeans know a thing about style and large space with a small footprint. And so does Mazda, cuz the Mazda5 hit the register for all the things I need. Notice I didn't say "want." I want a Miata, a BMW 1-series, something with twin turbos, a 911, fast and impractical. But my better half would have snapped off an appendage (I'll let you guess which one) had I come back with a vehicle for the family that wasn't "praktisch" as the Germans say.
So now nearly 2 years into my life as a suburban daddy with kids' seats and so many Costco runs under my belt the CEO sends me Xmas cards for financing the braces on his 4 grandchildren, I have come to not only appreciate, but dare I say it, LOVE my minivan. That thing has saved my derriere on so many occaasions. Hauling six people, going to the aforementioned big box store, rearranging seats to carry odd loads from Home Depot, and lots of moves and whatnot. My Mazda5 has handled it all, and I even got a manual transmission (bless you Mazda)!
Sure, it ain't fast, it lacks a 6th gear, the interior plastic is so-so an the fit & finish are only average, but that thing helps me out every day I don't have to break my back getting the kids into the car. It helps me out by making long trips WAY easier. I can pack a ton of stuff. I can go on a bike ride and have space for the kids and my bike! My hats off to Mazda for this piece of engineering!
And to all of you who have a minivan -- and love them secretly, be proud that you were smart enough to get a people hauler and not a crossover/SUV fuel wasting machine.
Love thy minivan, shun they neighbor's truck and covet thy other neighbor's sports car.