Mothers & The Minivan . . .

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Hello Mothers . . .

I’m greatful for my mother and I’m constantly impressed by how much you put into this world and how much you give up for your children . . .

That being said . .. we need to have some words . . .

So. let me ask you . . . what car has a lower death claim rate?

The Chevrolet Suburban or the Honda Odyessy?

I’ll tell you at the end of this rant . . . please read on.

In dealing with thousands of people who buy cars, I’ve come across one very strong trend in mom’s: they  hate the minivans. . .

I’m not really sure where this disgust stems from, but I’m willing to wager it’s this belief they they are succumbing to the dreaded “soccer mom” status . . . where a woman loses all identity to become a droning slave to her offspring and has abandoned any will to live because her purpose is served and she may now wait to die.

But the fact is, women don’t buy minivans and the “soccer mom” car is actually the SUV and the rule seems to be, “the larger the better.”

It’s actually men who buy most minivans . . . and if you don’t believe me, look who is driving what when you are out and about. I’m right.

When asked what they feel is most important, young parents and, especially mother’s, will say “safety” above anything else . . . but are SUV’s and large SUV’s actually safer than minivans?

The answer is, yes . . . and no . . . not really . . .

Fact is, if you want to be really safe. Don’t drive . . . next, fly . . . if you can’t fly, get a tank. . . What! what?

That’s ridiculous?!! (you say?) Well, actually there are people who own them and they can be street legal. Take this man in Iowa for example:

So the fuel economy sucks . . . a little . . . maybe it’s a little worse than a H2 or a Suburban, but you’re safe right?

And, really, if anyone would dare call anyone a “soccer mom” when she comes rolling up in a beast like this?

Actually there is something greater than just what type of car you are driving to determine how safe you are going to be . . . Here’s a chart showing the most unsafe and safest cars between 2002 and 2005:

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Now, do you see a correlation?

Fist . . . the “unsafe cars” are generally lower-end models and the “safe cars” tend to be higher priced and higher quality cars, but more than the car is the story not shown but underlying this data . . . it’s the demographic buying these cars.

Having sold every one of these cars to many different clients over the past decade, I can speak with experience that the person buying a Dodge Neon is in no way similar to the person buying the BMW 7-series.

I’m going to offend some people . . .  but education and one’s willingness to stay educated has a strong correlation between who buys what and how they drive.

Going off on this tangent and saying the SUV’s are actually “safer” than cars, isn’t necessarily true.

There is evidence to support that small cars are not as safe as their larger counterparts,  but what studies have shown is that once you get over 3200 lbs (in to the mid-sized car area), you’re in the right place to find a really safe car.

Unless you’re hauling a boat or a trailer and taking 7 people with you, a large SUV is a waste of gas you your money.

Minivans and mid to large higher-end sedans are great alternates and will save you money in the long run . . .

A BMW 2006 3-series is a very safe and reliable car and it get 30mpg on the highway . . . if you were to drive this over the course of 50,000 miles you would save $4,100. Oh,  and a 2010 Prius will save you over $5,000! And, yes, they are safe cars . . . go ahead a check my facts.

In short, mothers . . . listen to reason . . . the SUV isn’t the anti-soccer mom car. It’s the “I want to waste money” car.

And if you want to use “safety” as your reason for buying the gas guzzling land yacht that you will tow nothing more than 3 kiddos and a dog in over buying that minivan, here’s something to chew on . . . according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Chevrolet Suburban’s death claim rate is almost 5 times greater than the Honda Odyssey (which also get 50% better fuel economy).  http://old.swivel.com/graphs/show/15821601?limit_modifier=limit&graph[limit]=200&commit=>

Also, according to Consumer Reports, the Honda’s is a better choice due to its reputation for have a lower cost of maintenance and stellar reliability, where the Suburban is patchy at best.

And I shouldn’t beat up too much on the Suburban, it isn’t a bad car . . . but if you’re a mother planning to escort the kiddos about, it makes almost more  sense to buy a tank over a minivan over the Suburban — at least the tank is actually safer.

So, if you’re a mother looking for a new car for that family you love, maybe you should put the ego aside, look at your facts . . . the minivan (like the Odyssey) will cost less to own, is safer, and more reliable.

And, if you’re worried about image . . . here’s one last little tidbit that the auto industry itself says about the average SUV buyer based on its numerous survey to understand their core demographic . . . are you ready?

Their conclusion is this: SUV owners are usually “”less giving, less oriented towards others.”  and that they are insecure.

So, if you want to come off as self centered . . . buy an SUV . . . if you want to look like a good mother, buy a minivan.

That’s my 2 cents.

10 Comments

  1. [...] Counter Post: Mothers and the Minivan In cars cars and cars on April 22, 2010 at 12:52 pm Read Article this is in response to Here [...]

  2. CJ says:

    Someone did their homework-and I love the Mom-Jean skit from SNL…Here is the thing…you and Amber (The Simply Peachy) are onto something. I DO hate mini-vans-for me…Of course the ‘live and let drive’ philosophy applies to everyone else. First? Think there is an unwritten three child prerequisite for owning a mini-van. I mean how much space do you really NEED? This also applies to the monster SUV. Second? No matter how aero-dynamic and chic they attempt to make the mini van-I STILL see a teal hued, wood-sided rust bucket. Sue me. But I’m a mom, not a rock star-image has little to do with my reasoning. I drive a moderately sized SUV (Pilot) and it gets the same gas mileage(give or take) as the ultra-safe, high performance four door car I drove previously. My payment is less and I have a lot more room. Furthermore, as an inhabitant of Colorado…4 wheel or all-wheel drive is somewhat mandatory…at least- if you plan on leaving your hood between the months of October and April. So- for the environmentally aware (which I strive to be-not quite arrived) there IS a third (in my opinion-far more attractive option) the sleek grocery getter…? Think the Subaru Outback may be next on my coche’list. Safe, somewhat easy on the eyes, decent in the snow, space and reasonably attractive gas mileage. Anyway, the modern mom may be a bit more consumed with appearances, but she is also savvy enough to know that she has options…Thanks for the fun, informative read! Oh…and I DO see a lot of men driving mini-vans and they are trying to race me from the stop light with their egos riding shot gun…looking like a puppy who got his bone taken away…I am kidding!…Sort of…

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