I never really wanted one.  And, now having one for four years, I’m still not convinced.  But, I understand why we have it; I just might not buy another one.

Our minivan of choice is a Honda Odyssey.  This was, in two ways, the lesser of the evils.  First, I determined that we needed a minivan rather than an SUV.  This was primarily because we had three children who could not buckle their own seatbelt and I did not relish the idea of climbing into the back of an SUV multiple times per day.  That being said, I definitely prefer the look and cargo configuration of an SUV.  Second, I drove a few minivans and determined that the Odyssey was the least offensive.

Pros:

  • It has 8 seats so we can take people with us.  It’s nice not to have to take 2 cars so often.
  • It has 5 LATCH points.  I really liked that there were two at the sides of the 3rd vs a single more centered one.  This means we can have two car seats and a 3rd person sitting, at least for short distances.  In my mind at the time, the 3rd LATCH in the 2nd row was a bonus that gave us extra flexibility for seating, though now we have three across in that row.  We’ve always used the center seat with one or two of the sides, vs maintaining an aisle.
  • I LOVE the backup camera, especially how it enables me to parallel park fast even on a curve.
  • I do like sliding doors.
  • I like Bluetooth.

Cons:

  • It is a family car, vs anything fun.
  • My #1 pet peeve of this minivan is the locking mechanisms.  There are a couple of configurations, but none fix the fact that when you open the slider on the passenger side, it only unlocks the passenger door.  Why on earth does it not unlock the driver’s door?  Is someone really going to jump in my vehicle?  I still have the keys and I’m right there because the remote doesn’t work from that far away.  I don’t think it’s getting hot wired that fast.
  • Similarly, why is there a lock on the fuel cap?  I haven’t seen that in years.  I have no concerns with someone stealing fuel.
  • Finally, how is it that Lexus invented a method of accessing the 3rd row with a car seat installed and not Honda?  I’ve never HAD to put a LATCHed seat in the captain’s chair that I need to fold/slide to access the third row, but I’d appreciate the flexibility to do so.
  • The storage capacity is only so-so.  I realize by cubic feet it is comparable to an SUV.  But, I like horizontal rather than vertical storage.  Yes, we fit everything we needed in the back for our big road trip last summer, including three sets of golf clubs.  If what you have can stack/be stacked on it works.  But, when I buy milk at BJs (and we know I buy alot), I can’t stack the rest of the items on top of them.  And, the milk really needs to be on the bottom since its a flat surface.

All in all, I’d choose the minivan again given our situation.  I’m just not sure I’ll get another one when this one needs to be replaced.

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