Typically when people think about the van life they imagine hemp clothing, camping at a national park, and a lifestyle that’s far removed from the busy day-to-day routine we’re all used to in the cities and suburbs where most of us live. That’s the “cool” #vanlife anyway. The alternative view of minivans is that they’re for soccer moms – carting around kids in a big, boring, utilitarian people mover. The cool parents all drive SUVs, right? Not so fast. Some of the best minivans available offer plenty of options for an active and flexible lifestyle. Here is why you should consider a minivan instead.
Reasons to Consider Buying a Minivan
There is a reason vans are so popular with wanderers and travelers of all kinds. There is no substitute for a van when it comes to on-the-road living. Space combined with functionality offers a flexible experience that can fit whatever your needs may be. Many vans can comfortably fit air mattresses, gear, coolers, and so much more. You get more storage than most SUVs and a minivan will usually sit lower too – making the process of loading things up much easier. You can count on a minivan to offer the storage and versatility you need for life on the go.
When you’re looking for leg and elbow room, vans do it better. Whether you are traveling, camping, or just running errands around town, you can fit everyone and everything comfortably inside a minivan. Even other big vehicles struggle to offer as much efficient space as a minivan. For an active lifestyle, space is a must-have. On top of that, the top trims of today’s latest minivans are downright luxurious. If you value space and comfort, the van life might just be for you.
Minivans cost less on average than a similarly equipped three-row SUV, and because there’s less demand for vans, you’ll usually find that there’s more room for negotiation on the sticker price. They are the perfect option for anyone looking to get a multi-purpose vehicle at a great price. SUVs that offer similar benefits can be quite pricey, and a lot of the price comes without many of the benefits that a van brings. If you are the adventure-seeking type, then this leaves plenty of room in your budget for travel and exploration.
Vans offer a variety of critical accessibility and versatility options, and this is where SUVs just can’t compete. Sliding doors allow for easy access, and this is a must if you have plenty of passengers, a lot of cargo, or passengers with physical disabilities. The interior of a van usually offers plenty of options to rearrange the seating for added space and uses. If you want a vehicle that is designed for flexible living, then a van is your best bet.
Best Minivans to Consider
The Toyota Sienna offers all the perks of a minivan, but it has a modern look that doesn’t feel outdated. Its new hybrid-only drivetrain will save you plenty of money at the pump too. The interior is both durable and comfortable, and then there are the available reclining captain’s seats with built-in ottomans. This van is built to be a comfortable place to spend time, which makes it perfect for an on-the-go lifestyle.
The Honda Odyssey is another great choice. Here you will find plenty of storage, and a versatile interior too. The Magic Slide seats make it so you can configure the van however you need it. And when the kids get out of line, the CabinWatch and CabinTalk features allow you to see what’s going on through the infotainment screen and tell them to pipe down directly through their connected headphones or the rear speakers. That’s next-level parenting if you ask us.
One of the biggest draws of the Chrysler Pacifica is the Stow ‘n Go Seating. Longtime van owners are used to pulling seats out when you need some extra space to haul stuff. In the Pacifica, you can simply fold the seats into the floor, and you get a totally flat surface. Plus, when the seats are upright, there are convenient storage bins where the seats would go. Convenience and comfort are pretty much perfected in the new Pacifica, especially the top-of-the-line Pinnacle trim. If you can afford the options, you’ll find this minivan can rival your favorite luxury SUV in day-to-day living.
If you hear the van life calling but you just don’t want to be seen behind the wheel of one, the Kia Carnival would like a word. Kia went to great lengths to give their new “MPV” (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) more of an SUV look with its styling. While you might be able to squint your eyes and convince yourself you’re looking at a low-slung SUV, the Carnival still offers all the space and versatility that you would expect from a minivan. And this is a Kia, so you get all the refinement and dependability the brand has come to be known for the past few years.
Minivans might still carry some stigma, but they have seriously upped their game over the years. Whether you’re a family with an eye on comfort or an adventurer looking to spend a lot of time in your ride, the van life has a lot to offer. You won’t know what you’re missing until you take one for a test drive. Start your search today!