I love my minivan although I never, in a million years, thought I'd ever drive one. I had high hopes, my dream car was an '89 Mustang, white with a sports scoop on the back. It was the one thing I was earnestly working towards...until I had kids. It didn't happen immediately after I had my children. The decision was made one day when I realized that they were getting bigger & taller and I was getting tired of their knees being in my back as we rode in the car. They were too close to me, so close at times I could hear them breathing and often hear them too well (arguing, laughing loudly, singing loudly, begging for things loudly). I needed space and a van afforded the space we all so desperately needed.
There are still times when we are driving down the road and I see a Mustang at a light, parked or driving past and I say aloud, most of the time, that I will have the car of my dreams one day. It will most likely be when my kids are truly grown and away from home and if by chance I happen to have grand children they will have to fit in the car. I figure if I don't make room then people won't assume I have the room and try to leave me with their kids. I want to be able to take quiet evening or weekend drives alone or with a friend, no kids allowed. ;-p
I've had an Oldsmobile Silhouette, a Chevy Venture and the van I have now, a Chrysler Town & Country...there are so many things I love about it and so many things I hate about it. I have heated leather seats...heated! In the midst of a MI winter those are the most awesome creations man has ever come up with! I also love how the rear seats disappear into the floor. I've been able to move furniture, kids, animals and merchandise in it without problems. The entertainment system is great, the speakers, the CD/DVD player, cassette player (for those of us who still have them) and there are even ports to hook up video games or a portable TV if you want. The gas mileage isn't bad and when I first got it all the gadgets that make the doors open automatically were a dream. I could be walking towards my car with my arms full, push a button and voila! the doors would open for me and with a push of the button I could close them just as easily. In the winter it was heaven sent but not anymore...something happened and the car went all HAL on me. (2001: A Space Odyssey, if you didn't catch that HAL reference.)
I'm disappointed in how many times I've had to change the brakes, rotors & other little engine problems I've had with it. Add the electrical problems and my beautiful van soon became a monster. If it weren't for the aforementioned features of the van I would have gotten rid of it long ago, it's fully loaded. The newer standard models don't come with the features I have and after careful consideration, if I traded in what I have for something newer my note wouldn't be that much lower and a lot of the newer vehicles still have some of the same malfunctions. Despite those things I'd still keep my van over the dreaded Ford Taurus I used to have any day...I hated that car almost more than I hate my 2nd ex husband (may he enjoy the bites of many bed bugs for years to come).
It's getting colder and I need to winterize my vehicle. I need to get new tires & an alignment (I shouldn't need brakes again but I wouldn't be surprised if I'm told I do) check my belts, hoses & fluids, make sure all of my fuses are good, get a new battery, reconnect some wires that got severed, do a little body work because of a run in my sister had with an immobile pole and just do a general detailing inside and out. I used to think having a vehicle would be the best thing ever. No more taking a bus in the dead of winter, freezing my tush off. I thought this one guy was crazy because he told me that he'd never owned a vehicle in his life and never would because he saved more money not doing so. I didn't understand that logic until maybe 10 years ago when I had to pay my first car note, insurance, repairs, fuel and whatnot. I guess if I lived in a city where bus services were abundant I could see not necessarily needing a vehicle just like he did, unfortunately I don't so I'll have to push on.