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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Narrowing down the choices

We knew that by bringing in another couple feet into the household, there would be many changes coming. We also knew that it would be hard to have two car seats in one vehicle and then have easy access to the third row seating (for Josh). While it's not impossible, it's extremely inconvenient and frankly, I don't want him crawling over the seat repeatedly in cleats, with bags, etc. I want him to have a comfortable ride, just like the rest of us.

But while the whole idea of getting a new vehicle may be exciting for the rest of you, the fact remains that I LOVE MY CAR! I love that it's paid for. I love that I know it. I love that it's got the dark wood trim -- very stylish. I love my heated seats. I know its capabilities, turning radius, how close I can pull up before tagging something with the front bumper, and most definitely the kickin' stereo system (Bose)!

However, there were a few things I really WANTED in my car (a DVD player, for instance) but honestly, I think if I could have found someone to remove my second row bench and install two captain's chairs, I'd have been much more on board for that than of getting a new vehicle and five more years of payments. I love having a paid off car. It's liberating. It's smart. It's not going to happen, however. Sadly.

So, when thinking of what to "upgrade" to that will allow us to have 2nd row seating with easy access to the third row, MY first choice was another SUV like a Ford Expedition XL. However, those have V8 engines (read that as "gas guzzlers" for a 95% city driver). It just really doesn't make good sense at this point I fear since (as Andy says) gas will never go back down too far again. Filling up a 30 gallon tank to get crappy gas mileage with $4 and $5/gallon gas would put another big bite into the ole monthly budget.

Then what else do we look at? Why the minivan of course! (Barf!) I take Josh with me and we go look at and test drive the Toyota Sienna and the Chrysler Town and Country. I look online at the Hondy Odyssey, the Volkswagon... whatever it's called, the Dodge Caravan. I "build my own" on all of their websites and frankly, they're all pretty much the same. However, the Chrysler Town and Country really had some features that I really, really liked. (GASP!) Photobucket">

I liked that they have not one but TWO DVD players. Why is that a big deal? I don't know but it just is. Don't try to reason with a pregnant woman shopping for cars. You just can't! To me, it just makes sense since my kids are going to have a ten year span between them. I fear that Josh at 15 certainly wouldn't be interested in watching what a 5 year old would. Also available is SIRUS backseat tv which means they can watch the Cartoon Network, Disney and Nickelodian... two different shows on each TV! How cool is that? Photobucket">

And it has "mood lighting" for evening trips. It just looked neat to me. :)
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Then there's also the game port so that the boys can play the Playstation on long trips. Again, not necessity but really neat. Photobucket

Also, they have an amazing nav system (trust me, I need a nav system). Oh, and the storage beneath the floor is AWESOME!

And see how the third row also rotates back so that you can use it for tailgating! VERY COOL! Photobucket">

I like the fact, too, that the third row can easily be moved for trips to the grocery store. Trust me, I need that!

So, Andy goes to the dealership yesterday and lays the groundwork for what we want. I get a call from the dealership today that they've located one that has a few "extras" that we didn't necessarily want but... we'll see if we wind up with it. One thing this has is the swivel seats (the second row seats swivel to face the third row). I can see how this would be helpful/fun for a long distance trip or something... maybe even eating lunch or something but, it's not a real "practical" thing for us that we really need. This option means that the 2nd row seats don't store in the floor like on the model we were looking at (and another $575 on the price tag). This is what they'd look like... WHEN they're swiveled back. Otherwise, they'd be turned around like normal and the table stowed away.
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This one also comes with a towing package (and another $600 added to the price because of it). We may let it pass because adding in extras we don't need just adds to the bottom line but we'll see.

I have a mindset (and it's horrible to stereotype, I know) about all who drive minivans. (Sorry, ya'll, I just do.) But, I need to set those prejudices aside since I will now become one of you. I think that's karma in its finest form.

So, what do you think? Do I look like a "minivan mom?" Can I handle it? I guess we'll see.

1 comment:

MaryC said...

I have a friend who vowed never to drive a Mini-Van. Then when they had kids in sports, her husband said it might be necessary. She refused until she found out it had 17 cupholders. Then she was all over it. I guess it depends on what your priorities are.