We are a Swagger-Wagon family. Although I’ve always felt like you voluntarily forfeit all rights to coolness as soon as you transition to the world of minivans, we took the plunge several years ago. I’ve been known to look with a tinge of jealousy on large families who drive SUVs. All the necessary space in such a cooler package.
Well, now I’ve seen how the other side lives.
A few weeks ago, our van was tail-ended and it is still in the shop getting repaired. In the meantime, the insurance company provided us with a Chevy Tahoe to drive. Alright, now! Whose got their swag back?
So I’m here today to offer a little compare and analysis. I’ve now seen the grass on both sides of the fence and I’ll tell you (from my opinion) which one is greener.
My favorite thing about the Tahoe is taking it on dates with Andy. It makes me feel all fancy and hot. It does not give off the same feeling of “Mom-and-Dad-are-going-out-for-dinner” that a minivan leaves you with. The seats are big and spacious. And you feel like you would probably “win” in any run-in with another vehicle. Plus, I’m fairly certain that people are intimidated of us...like perhaps we’re drug dealers or gang members. And, you know, sometimes a little respect ain’t all that bad.
However, the negatives abound.
- It is a beast to park, especially in the Bay Area where they try to promote clean air vehicles by making all parking spaces the size of a SMART car.
- The doors open wide...very wide, as opposed to sliding like a minivan. Not only is this problematic with our postage stamp size parking spaces, but little boys don’t really care if your Mercedes is parked next to us. They will mindlessly bang any car door in their way, thus the reason I have the child-lock on their door so they can only exit upon assistance.
- There is no storage space. Groceries, hello? If I am in need of this many seats in a vehicle, that means I also have that many mouths to feed. Strollers? Beach toys? Luggage? “Here kids, hold this on your lap for me.” (An XL edition would be imperative were we ever to buy one of these things.)
- It takes two strong arms to close the trunk. I cannot be multi-tasking or holding anything else in my hands when I close the trunk. No, this activity requires full engagement. And I have to pull down on that thing as zealously as those people spin the wheel on “The Price Is Right”.
- The third row does not exude kid-friendly accessibility. The seat on the middle row must laboriously be pulled forward each time we get in and out of the car. As a mom trying to quickly squeeze in an errand or two between naptimes, those are precious minutes lost. Our kids have resorted to climbing over the middle seat instead.
It has been fun driving around my Monster Truck for the past couple weeks. I believe I may have achieved a level of coolness that I've yet to experience in my adult life. My neighbors probably think I keep parking it in my driveway just to brag, but the reality is it won’t fit in our garage. It’s just that big.
So, I must say, I’m kinda looking forward to getting my minivan back with it’s sliding doors and trunk that can open and close with a simple push of a button. I realize that my lameness will automatically increase as soon as we make the trade, but for me, convenience outranks coolness in this stage of life.