I think most of us look around at the cars on the road and pick out a few favorites that we would love to drive. I am not a big car person, but I am incredibly sensitive to how things look and so I have definite preferences when it comes to everything, including cars. Over the years I have looked at them a lot. I remember when I was really young I wanted to drive a (blue) Ford Probe. As a teenager I liked the look of the several of the SUVs that were popular, including the Isuzu Rodeo (if I could have it in blue.) I had kind of strange tastes when I was young.
I always knew I wanted a big family, so I figured someday I would be a minivan mom and I was okay with that. There are a lot of really nice minivans out there. Plenty of good options. I would love to drive a (blue) Chrysler Town & Country, for example. Or a (blue) Honda Odyssey.
We are now moving beyond the realm of minivans. With twins coming, even a 9-seat Suburban isn't an option. I have been dreading this aspect of our growing family for a long time, for two reasons.
The first and most valid reason is that I am really uncomfortable driving large vehicles. I am constantly worried that I am going to hit something, especially when backing up or parking. I have been driving our van since 2007 and I am still not totally comfortable with it. And last summer I dinged someone with my tow hitch while trying to parallel park, so now I am even more skittish about hitting things. Trying to maneuver a mammoth van scares the socks off me.
The second reason is silly, really. I just don't like that my two options now are either a 12-passenger or a 15-passenger van. For the most part, they all look pretty much the same: big and blocky. And they're usually white with grey interiors. They're very utilitarian: no sunroofs or anything fun like that. Booooooring. I'm just not excited about owning one and driving one. Petty, I know. Yes, I am grateful they exist and that I have the option of having something that my whole family can fit in. Grateful, yes. Excited, no.
They're also expensive, unless you get a really old one. But we will need a car loan regardless of the age of our selection. This will be a little hard to swallow after nearly five years of owning both our vehicles outright. (Our vehicles may be totally ghetto by now, but they're ours-- and one of them is blue!) Also, the gas mileage these things get makes me cringe. It's just going to cost us in many ways, that can't be helped.
The Badger wants a 15-passenger. He has wanted a 15-passenger van for years. They fit so much stuff! They have so much muscle! He has no problem driving something the size of Long Island. He can't wait.
I want a 12-passenger because it's a lot shorter and less scary. And it would fit in the garage, which is kind of a big deal when you have a bunch of little tiny kids (including infant twins) and you have to go places during the winter when it's 30 below and/or there is a foot of snow on the ground. It would be nice to have a vehicle that makes my life easier, not harder. But the problem with a 12-passenger is that behind that last row of seats there is virtually no cargo space. Where do you put the $1200 worth of stuff from Costco that your big family needs? And what about when you're going on a big trip? No room for luggage, let alone camping gear. That's why the Badger wants a 15-passenger. We could even take out the last row of seats and have a huge space for cargo.
I have recently become aware of a vehicle that would solve a lot of my problems. It's called the Nissan NV and it is not your typical 12-passenger van. The seats are divided up so they can be reconfigured a zillion different ways, so even though there's not much room behind the last row of seats we could take out half the back row and have room for 10 passengers plus some cargo. Or we could take out two seats in the middle in order to get people (including two infant twins) in and out more easily. It has a back-up camera, which would ease my mind considerably. And it gets better gas mileage than most big vans.
The problem with the NV is that it has only been out a couple of years. They are insanely expensive new and the used ones (which are very hard to find) have only dropped down in price a little bit. I haven't seen one for less than 25k.
So for now the NV will remain the car of my dreams. But it makes me happy to even have a car to wish for, that there even is something out there big enough for my family that I would be excited about driving. And you just never know. Our future is so up in the air right now and I believe in the power of positive thinking. Someday I may have this dream car of mine. It even comes in blue.