No one likes driving around in a clunky and chunky minivan, especially when the little ones are screaming bored in the backseat, you’ve ran out of juice boxes, and they start kicking and poking each other while you’re negotiating through a four-way stop.
Seriously, you purposely gave up on sexy curves, raw engine power, and unique features for a rectangular block on wheels with less agility than a whale flailing around on dry land. Minivans are also a gigantic nightmare when you’re trying to park or conduct a simple turn without rolling over, even for the most gifted drivers out there. Of course, it would be totally unfair to ignore the incredible safety features and entertainment options available on most minivans models. It is for your children after all. The interiors are also spacious and roomy with so many different configurations whether you need more cargo space or seats.
However, it’s tough to crack the decades old shell of a minivan considering no one thinks they’re pretty to look at or innovative. So why not look for a crossover that has a little sport in its step while still maintaining all the safety features? Why not look at some midsized or full-sized SUVs that have the same entertainment options for your kids while being imaginative on the outside? Here are some recommendations for family SUVs that will make you forget the moniker, “soccer mom.”
Some Great SUVs for you to consider…
2013 GMC Acadia
If you’re looking for an SUV with a beefy exterior similar to a full-fledged minivan, the 2013 GMC Acadia crossover may be the perfect choice for you. With loads of family appeal including entertainment options, patented sliding seats for easy third row access, and seating for up to eight people, there’s nothing sexier than a minivan that looks nothing like a minivan. The 2013 edition of the Acadia features plenty of bold lines and smooth curves around the exterior with LED headlights for day and night time driving. They’re also wraparound rear glass for improved visibility while parking and the many one-touch options on the dashboard allow you to easily control the comfort inside while you concentrate on the outside. For a crossover SUV shedding the minivan image, you couldn’t do any better than the 2013 Acadia. It combines class, safety, and overall good taste.
2013 Honda Pilot
A crossover combining the raw power of trucks with the spacious interior of minivans, the 2013 Honda Pilot is for the driver who misses the mighty roar of an engine when speeding down the highway. While still maintaining a blocky exterior with rigid designs on the outside, this family vehicle has all the right safety features (including optional all-wheel drive for snowy weather conditions) everywhere else. With three rows of seats bolstered by the chunky exterior for more room, you and your family will never have a problem sitting comfortably when the powerful truck-like engine makes handling and turning easy. If you’re in desperate need of a minivan that’s actual capable of being driven into a parking spot, the Honda Pilot should be on the top of your list. It’s tough, masculine, and non-apologetic for providing great features alongside a minivan feel.
2013 Lexus GX 460
When we’re talking about luxury, minivans do not usually fit the criteria unless you happen to be the 2013 Lexus GX 460. This SUV fits a particular odd niche in that it is built for comfort and a premium driving experience while also catering to families looking for safety alongside plenty of seating. It’s a full-sized utility vehicle capable of towing large hauls like a truck while having the exterior and grace of a Lexus. Yes, it’s pretty on the outside but perfectly capable of handling the toughest jobs when you need epic power. There are bold lines running on the sides of this SUV with just enough truck-like features to make the GX 460 look like a heavily armored protection vehicle. Yet on the inside, there are soft features all around including Lexus-quality leather seats and the dashboard lights with bold color. The paneling is finished with some faux-wood making the whole thing look classy.
2013 Nissan Murano
Who can forget about the always dependable Nissan Murano line of SUVs? Arguably the most stylish of the 2013 models this year, the Murano has always been a popular choice for drivers looking to recapture the feeling of a sports car while keeping their little ones safe in the backseat. With so many entertainment options including dual-TV monitors so one side can watch television while the other plays video games and USB ports for different electronic devices, no one in the backseat will ever be bored. Although the 2013 Nissan Murano only has enough seating for five, everyone gets to do it comfortably. On the edge between affordability and luxury, you’re going to have a hard time finding another SUV capable of making you look so good on the outside while providing an almost perfect atmosphere on the inside for children.
If you must go minivan…
2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
Sometimes, you just have to go with a minivan and trust it has enough sex appeal and features that it makes up for losing out on the more versatile SUV models. The 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan is not only a smart choice for growing families, but it also has one of the highest safety ratings for a minivan combined with countless entertainment options for kids. Seriously, you probably can’t find a minivan capable of giving you seating for up to eight people, USB ports, DVD playback, power sliding seats, and the option to turn your Grand Caravan into a wireless hotspot for such an affordable price. If you’re in desperate need of a great and affordable minivan, the Dodge Grand Caravan is where you want to start.
2013 Honda Odyssey
There is perhaps no higher name in the minivan market than the Honda Odyssey, one of the consistently safest vehicles on the roads. While the priciest of all the basic minivan models, there’s a lot of effort apparent in the interior for maximum leg room and lots of innovative controls for the driver. Under the hood, the powerful 3.5 liter V-6 engine makes handling a lot like a sedan or sporty SUV than a massive minivan. While lacking some of the more standard features on minivans like automatic sliding doors (they’re optional), you’re not going to find a better built minivan than the Odyssey. If you’re looking for the ultimate experience driving around in a minivan (we’re not judging), the 2013 Honda Odyssey is the perfect choice.
So now you have six different options for your minivan lifestyle. You care about your kids and you want something a little safer than your sports coupe. With so many different options across all brands and vehicle types, you’ll be glad to know there are options besides becoming a “soccer mom.” Don’t worry. Your kids will thank you for picking up something a little more stylish.