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Buying a minivan

 I’ve always enjoyed cars, especially small, fast ones with big engines. There’s something about a slightly noisy engine with lots of power that puts me in a happy place. A sports car is my sanctuary, mostly because I can’t fit my family in it.

I do love my family, honestly. But, if I need some me time, I can find that in my car. Plus, my wife really doesn’t want the little ones getting a ride in Dad’s car.

Alas, I finally caved and started checking out minivans. Yes, I used the word no guy EVER wants to have come out of his mouth: “minivan.” I have five kids, so it was inevitable that the day would come when I needed a family car. Basically, it’s a tiny school bus.

Searching for the perfect minivan

My goal was to ultimately get a larger car that still looked masculine and had a powerful engine and impressive wheels. If I was going to make the transition, it had to be to a car that is a workhorse.

I was able to test drive a few new minivans over the past couple months. These vehicles are a blast to drive and have some impressive features that work for both me and my antsy little passengers. And, they have a super quiet ride.

Elite exterior

The newer body styles on minivans are nicely sculpted, giving them a more sleek appearance than vans of the past. Many have rear lift doors that are completely hands-free. Some even have alloy wheels as large as 19 inches with 235/55R19 all-weather tires.

Elite interior

The interiors are luxurious, with padded seats and lots of legroom. There are three rows of seats. The front bucket seats feel like first class on an airplane, often heated and ventilated, too. The middle row can now often slide in different directions for ease of getting in and out of the car. On many models, the back row of seats can be unlatched and lifted out for more cargo space.

Other elite features you can get in a minivan include three-zone climate control, 11-speaker audio systems, and entertainment systems that play DVDs or stream content via 4G LTE. These babies are loaded with technology!

Elite performance and safety

OK, so I said I still wanted some power. Minivans have that! It’s not quite the V8 of a performance sports car. But you can get a 3.5-liter V6 engine with direct fuel injection. To be honest, this isn’t the gas-guzzler of an older high-speed vehicle, and that’s pretty nice on my wallet.

Minivans even come loaded with safety features, such as a rain-sensing wiper system, Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM) via camera, and Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™). There’s also the ability for passengers to input navigation points. All of these are great for keeping me in check if the kids distract me.

Do I miss driving my sports car?

You bet I do. But, I have to come clean and admit that I really enjoy the comfort and quiet of a larger car. Maybe the kid in me is just growing up a bit. Or, maybe I really am getting a little older and wiser and looking for the peace of mind of a nice car that’s powerful, practical, and safe for me and my family.