No Minivan Shame: 6 Reasons A Minivan is the Best Thing Ever

Don'T Let Minivan Shame Stop You From Driving The Minivan You Need In Your Life
You can love a minivan! I do! Photo: Maria Smith

It’s true. I have no minivan shame. None.

I believe a minivan is one of the best family cars for the money hands down. All those articles on how to be cool despite your minivan are lost on me. I Resisted (with a capital R) the minivan life until after I had my third child. Eight years later I’m now all about this minivan life. I’m ride or die for my Honda Odyssey. I am ashamed of a lot of things but there’s no minivan shame in my game.

Minivan shame is something akin to the cool kid lunch table in middle school. All the cool kids had those name brand chinos and Hostess cupcakes instead of homemade cookies. They had a new backpack every year and the cutest earrings when your mom still wouldn’t let you get your ears pierced.

Related: Minivan Showdown: Toyota Sienna vs. Chrysler Pacifica vs. Honda Odyssey

Honda Odyssey Minivan

The 2021 Honda Odyssey. Photo: Penny Garduno

Oh, Grow Up

Now those cool kids are grown, have kids and 4-door family cars or SUVs. And they try to make fun of your minivan life. Well, you know what? I refuse to fit into the Prius-driving cool kid crowd or an SUV that just can’t do what my minivan can do. A minivan is one of the best family cars for the money because it just makes my life easier.

I have driven three different Honda Odysseys and have test-driven some fantastic other minivans like the Chrysler Pacifica and the Toyota Sienna (which I found to be the minivan to buy if you don’t really want to buy a minivan).

I’m now a bit of a minivan snob, so I stick with my Odyssey. And while I do love whipping around town in the latest, top of the line speedsters from Lexus or Ford, I cannot and will not give up this minivan life. Here are the reasons why I have no minivan shame.

Related: 2021 Honda Odyssey Elite: The Classic Minivan Wins Again

Who Needs Minivan Shame When You Can Keep The Whole Family Happy For Your Next Road Trip?

You don’t love my minivan? That’s ok. I do. Photo: Maria Smith

6 Reasons I Have No Minivan Shame

1. I don’t care what you think.

The biggest reason I don’t have minivan shame is because I’m grown. There comes a time in every person’s life when they realize the energy it takes to keep up with everyone around them just isn’t worth it. Trying to squeeze my family into one of the cute, hip SUVs with a third row as an afterthought is not worth it to me just to earn some cool points.

I care about global warming and the impact of race and class on our sociopolitical system and if there is going to be a remake of Living Single. But if you don’t like my car? Oh well.

2. My sliding doors will never ding yours.

When I review sedans or SUVs, I find myself repeating things to my kids. “Watch out!” “Open the door slowly!” “Be careful getting out!” “Did you just hit that car?”

When I’m driving my Odyssey, I never, ever have to say these things. Also, my kids can shimmy out of even the tightest parking spots. Bonus! I love family cars that don’t cause my insurance to go up.

Related: Why the 2022 Toyota Sienna Minivan is My Eleven Year Old’s Dream Car

Who Needs Minivan Shame When You Can Have Entertained Kids?

Minivans have tons of room, and many have extras that keep your kids entertained and not bothering you! Photo: Maria Smith

3. I can fit all my kids (and yours too).

With four kids, a minivan made sense for us. We can pile in and everyone has room to breathe. We can also fit several double strollers (though we don’t need to anymore), four car seats (if we have to), and we even have room for $300+ worth of groceries (done it).

When the moms at basketball practice hop out of their trendy family cars and condescendingly tell me how they could “never drive a minivan,” I just smile. I know that at some point this season they will be late or need to leave early, and my minivan will be the way their Johnny and Joey, and even Sally, will get home that day. Even with all my kids buckled in, I can still fit three more. Boom!

Related: The Chrysler Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid Electric Minivan: This Ain’t Your Mama’s Minivan

2022 Toyota Sienna Review

Adjustable, sliding second row seats are one of my favorite things about minivans! Photo by Erica Mueller

4. Automatic sliding doors make me a hit in the carpool line.

The thing I love most about my minivan is the sliding doors. I love that they slide instead of swing open. I love that they open and close automatically at the touch of a button. And I love how they can help me move through car pool or any other drop off scenario super fast.

For someone who lives her life cutting it close, this is huge. I have no minivan shame when I can practically come to a rolling stop when letting kids out of the car. (Ok. Ok. I actually completely stop, but my door is open when I do.)

Don'T Let Minivan Shame Stop You From Driving The Minivan You Need In Your Life. It Is One Of The Best Family Cars For The Money Too!

The Toyota Sienna is one of the minivans that gives families exactly what they need. Photo: Maria Smith

5. No one steals a minivan

Nope. No one steals a mom-mobile. They steal the cool kid family cars. They don’t even steal my dozens of fingerprint-smudged movies in my glove box or the ‘just-in-case-they-get-hangry’ food I keep in the trunk. I think criminals look at my car and think it is definitely too uncool to steal. I’m OK with that.

6. You get the best technology there is

Every year car makers update their cars with new multimedia systems and fancy things like wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, voice assistance, updated navigation and more. And then, minivans have things like “Fam Cameron” systems so you can see passengers in the center and 3rd row, microphone and speaker systems to make it easier to communicate with those passengers, and rear seat entertainment setups that turn your van into a theater on wheels. 

7. There’s a place to put your purse, tote, AND backpack

Minivans simply can’t be beat for front seat storage. Most have a tray or bin between the front seats where even a large tote bag will fit. Your beautiful handbag doesn’t get stepped on, brushed aside or turned over. And sneaky little hands can’t rummage through it looking for things while you’re driving. 

Related: 2022 Kia Carnival: Why We’ll Probably Buy This Minivan, But Not the Top Trim Level

The Minivan Turns 35 - Happy Birthday To The People Mover

There’s nothing like a minivan for a family vacation. Photo: Bert Anderson

A minivan is one of the best family cars for the money

Probably the best reason to have no minivan shame is that you have embraced that you are a parent and you have to be good stewards of your money. It took me having 3 kids in under 3 years for me to realize I was fully, unambiguously, and unapologetically living this mommy life.

For me, this season of life means I’m rolling deep with my swagger wagon. Having 4 kids means I need a car that entertains my kids while getting us from place A to place B.

It means being smart about fuel efficiency. A big family also means I need family cars that will last me and have awesome resale value. Minivans are really the best family cars for the money. Go ahead and start adulting!

Don'T Let Minivan Shame Stop You From Driving The Minivan You Need In Your Life. It Is One Of The Best Family Cars For The Money Too!

Don’t let the cool kids stop you from driving the minivan you need in your life. Photo: Maria Smith

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Maria Smith is the founder of, one of the top parenting, travel and auto blogs in the country.... More about Maria Smith