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Feb 03, 2010


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I *ADORE* our Stow-n-Go seating and will never buy another minivan w/o it. I like that the 2nd row and 3rd row are both easy to put down.


I can vouch for the Honda Odyssey. My "non-mom" car is a sports car and I thought I'd hate driving a minivan but I prefer it over my regular car! There are spots to store everything (sunglasses, cell phones, chargers, iPod, etc) and it drives really great. I wish I had gotten the automatic lift gate in the back, the automatic doors are a lifesaver and that extra feature would make it even better. One thing to consider re: the built in DVD player that I did NOT think about before hand is the fact that children should be rear facing for quite awhile now and they can't even see it. We ended up getting an additional portable DVD player for our 2 1/2 year old for long car trips. As for those on the fence between a mini van and an SUV (I was determined to get an SUV!) be sure to test out putting kids in and out of the SUV first. It ended up being too high off the ground for me.


Absolutely love my Honda Odyssey!! We refer to it as the "hot rod". Never thought I'd drive one in a million years and now I can't imagine having anything else. It also allows others (extra adults)in the car with you when you normally wouldn't have any more room...such a bonus!!


One thing to consider- if you have an older child who is going to be sitting in the 3rd row, it is a big help to have a model in which the 2nd row seats can be pushed together (as in the odyssey). This creates an aisle along the side to access the back row, which is a necessity if the seats in the second row are still in the rear-facing position.


I ADORE my Odyssey. We got our minivan used (its a 2002) so we didn't get to select which features we wanted, but the lady before us went all out.
PROS: *leather seats = easy to clean
*auto open doors = i can open the door and my toddler climbs in the van and up into his seat while I'm buckling in the baby.
*DVD player = I swore up and down I'd never get a car w/ one, BUT it has been a handy to have on our long vacations and during the 2 1/2 hour trip to my parents house that I make all the time by myself. Baby obviously can see it, but my toddler enjoys it and it stops the incessant whining.
*Space = I dont have to worry about packing light. We just leave the third seat down all the time and I toss in as much crap as I want.
*height- I can easily lean in to strap the kids into their carseats w/o having to climb up (i'm not very tall)

Every time the whole family goes on a trip somewhere, hubby and I have a giggly discussion about how much we love our van and how awesome it is. :)


We have a Toyota Sienna and love it. We tried the Honda and the Chrysler (my old minivan was a Chrysler) and I just didn't like how it handled. I am short (under 5') and I fit better in the Toyota, and we found the cabin noise in the Honda to be excessive in comparison to the Toyota, which we found to be a common problem w/the Honda. I have enough problems getting my oldest's attention without having to shout over excessive road noise for her to hear me all the way in the back, and vice versa. We investigated getting the 8 seater, but to make it work our big kids (now 8 and 10) would have had to climb over the middle seat to get in the back every single time they got in the car. We had visions of the littles (now 3 and 5) getting kicked in the face and much mayhem ensuing, so we got the 7 seater. It works for our family of 6 and we can take along one friend or relative. We have 10 cup holders, which are awesome, and we do have the DVD player, but we only use it on trips or special circumstances, like if one of my kids has a class or activity and I can't get a sitter and there's no place outside for me to amuse the other 3. The kids know this and don't even ask if we're just going to the store or to school or whatever.

I resisted going to a minivan for a long time, I thought I wasn't a minivan kind of person. Then I bought one, and the only way I'll go back is to a Mini Cooper. Turbocharged. With a standard tranny.


We're looking to get a minivan sometime soon. It's great to hear all the consumer comments, too.

Looking forward to next weeks post on moving the kids into the same room. We really want to make this happen. Like yesterday.


Another Honda Odyssey owner here. My husband swore we'd never own one, but my decision to be a SAHM reduced our car budget a bit and an Odyssey was more affordable than a similarly sized SUV. The husband now loves the Odyssey. My favosite features are the 2nd row options (you can configure the Captain's seats next to one another, remove the middle seat leaving a space or have three seats together) and the huge number of cupholders.


I have a friend who has the Chrysler Town and Country and really likes it.

That said. I hate minivans. A LOT. In fact, one of the main reasons we bought our current vehicle is because we never wanted to have a minivan OR ride in one on vacations. We only have the two kids, but we wanted lots of space both in case we have more and for vacations.

I know not everyone is willing to spend the $$ on a Navigator, but I believe Ford's Expedition is similar. As for the Navi, we really love it. It has one more seat than a van if you get the middle bench (we did) and the perks (heated/cooled seats, memory seats, power everything, side curtain air bags, a great navigation system, dvd player, 6disc cd changer, etc, along with the obvious notavan quality) are fabulous. Our only mistake? We bought the shorter one because I was going to be driving it. Turns out I did fine (I was going from a MkZ so I was a little afraid) and would rather have had the larger for trips...though bear in mind we can go on vacation for a week with beach gear and 6 people if we use a cargo bag on top so it's not that bad).


Thanks so much for posting this! You've given me so many good things to consider, and I'm loving reading everyone's recommendations. Never considered that the DVD players could be more of a problem than a solution - good things to think about!

Love you guys!


I reluctantly got a minivan two years ago, a Town and Country. We just had our fourth and I so love the stow in go- I essentially have a changing table's worth of stuff stashed, along with paper towels, tissues, sunblock, etc. We even have a tiny little port-a-potty for the big kids that has saved us on longer car trips.
The caboose potty - uses a diaper as a liner - it is AWESOME!!!http://www.bonacoproducts.com/
We do have a dvd system and it has headphones - we use it only on trip longer than 2 hours and the grown ups can listen to the radio while the kids groove to backyardigans.

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