July 16, 2010

My Swagger Wagon

That's right! I bought a minivan!!!

We found out last month before we left for our trip that my wife is expecting. Since I was considering looking for a second car anyways, now the minivan became a consideration.

I know, I don't NEED a minivan for one kid. But the thing is, no matter how much stuff you can throw into the Fit, it is still is a sub-compact. With a child seat in the back, there's really only room for one more adult back there. Now say we want to take the kid out with the in-laws, with whom we are very close. With the Fit, we'd either have to pick only one in-law to take with us, or they'd have to drive a 2nd vehicle.

There are other advantages to a minivan, such as the ability for my wife to stop the car, hop to the rear 3rd row inside the tinted windows, and breastfeed the baby whenever it needs to be fed. Or having enough room inside to easily change a diaper.

So minivan it is. I don't see the point of an SUV (some do have 3rd row seating). And most Fit owners would agree that the ability for a vehicle to maximize usable space vs the space it occupies is very important. And in this respect, a minivan will ALWAYS have an SUV beat. Plus, one of my biggest loves for minivans: sliding rear doors!! Huge openings you can stand directly in front of no matter if there's another car parked next to you. I don't understand why more people can't see the usefulness of minivans and sliding doors. But I expect they'll come around again, just like the return of mini hatchbacks like the Fit.

Anyways, since I'm expecting to keep the minivan for a while, I was basically looking for a lower KM, late model Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna. I came across this 2005 Sienna LE and went to check it out. The van had light to heavy scratches on every panel, and the rear cargo area was well used. However, it was indeed low KMs (just over 50,000km), and well priced, and came with hitch, bike rack, and a set of spare winter tires. I was happy enough with the condition considering the price, so I picked it up.

This thing just absolutely dwarfs the Fit. So far I really like it. It cruises at a much lower rpm on the highway than the Fit, is very comfortable inside (I still have a few small issues with the Fit's driving position), and the 3.3L V6 and 5-speed auto is nice.

Of course I can't leave any vehicle alone. I've already added a GROM USB interface that allows MP3 playback from a USB flashdrive via the stock radio's CD changer interface. I'm also debating parking sensors or rear view camera. and maybe another set of wheels for the van as well. It will probably be something similar to the Fit, with an OEM+ style upgrade (i.e. wheels from another Toyota/Lexus vehicle). We'll see.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

2 words: Honda Freed