In response to this thread on BimmerPost where someone says his wife’s X5 has maxed out its kid hauling potential and they were considering a Cadillac Escalade, I did the unthinkable: suggest that minivans are the best family-hauling vehicles.

The original post ended,

If anyone has one of these would like to hear their opinion, what I should look out for, must have options, reliability, etc. Also how is the resale on these? Finally, if there is another car you might think would be better fit I’m open to suggestions except for a minivan, regardless really interested to hear from the Escalade crowd.

(emphasis mine)

The very first reply from someone who bought a long-wheelbase Escalade said this:

We ended up with the long bus, my wife wanted the smaller escalade until we went to the dealership with the crap we needed to haul, mainly the stroller that can fit 2 kids, it was an absolute no-go with the third row up.

My recommendation, get the long Escalade, make sure you get second row captains chairs, this is key. If you get a second row bench and you have car seats then the kid in the back row has to climb over the seat, or you have to remove a child seat just to access the third row. You also get a second screen in the ceiling of the longer Escalade.

So you mean, you and your family needed the kid and cargo carrying capacity of a minivan?

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After several other posts talking about using full-size, truck-based SUVs as minivans, I chimed in:

A minivan is the way to go. I don’t care about the stigma, a minivan is much better to drive, much more practical for kid hauling duties, and much cheaper to fuel than a full-size SUV.

The only SUVs with more room are the Suburban, Yukon XL, and long-wheelbase versions of the Escalade, Expedition & Navigator. I’d much rather drive and fuel a minivan than a huge truck based SUV.

If however you and/or your wife have an irrational dislike of minivans then the best crossovers for hauling duties are the new 2018 Chevy Traverse & Buick Enclave. Honda Pilot and VW Atlas are also in the running.

But none of them beats a minivan.

Say what you will about BMW stereotypes, but well, your typical BMW enthusiast with a family is not having a minivan.

Reply #1:

the cost of 3 gallons of gas a week is a small price to pay for ones dignity and self respect.

Reply #2:

You ever see how miserable the guy behind the wheel looks driving one of those things? I’d rather walk.

Then someone suggested a Range Rover Sport, which doesn’t even have a 3rd row of seats.

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I, being a genuine fan of minivans, and a little amused with the fierce anti-minivan sentiment, decided to poke some more:

The two of you are perfect examples of the irrational dislike of minivans I mentioned.

I personally am comfortable enough with myself that driving a minivan would not cause me to lose my dignity and self respect, or feel miserable. Quite the contrary: I would feel happy that I have the vehicle best suited to hauling around a family with 3+ kids.

Modern minivans are luxurious, efficient for the amount of people and stuff they can haul, and much easier to drive and park than a full size SUV that drives like a bus. Some of them even have built-in shop vacs for cleaning up after the kids. If I had 3+ kids, I would happily buy a minivan.

Clearly there are enough insecure people out there who are willing to pay a premium to drive a full size SUV because they’re too afraid to be seen driving a minivan.

What are you trying to hide? All driving a minivan says is “I have a bunch of kids.” You know what else says that? Walking around with your kids. Why is that something to be ashamed of?

So far the replies to that are:

#1:

Thats cool and the gang, man. I just prefer to buy and drive a full size SUV like a Tahoe, Suburban, Escalalde, Yukon, etc.......

#2:

Don’t care how practical a minivan may be. No one drives one because they want to. A vacuum in the cabin? Are you kidding? Who gives a F?

The majority of people who buy large body-on-frame SUVs (perhaps with the old “but I need to TOW THINGS” excuse to justify it vs. a minivan even though they don’t actually tow things) use them as minivans. They insist on the passenger and cargo carrying capability of a minivan but refuse to be seen driving a minivan. Because they think minivans make them look like dorks, or something.

A couple days ago, I saw a GMT900 Suburban with a very detailed stick figure family in the back window and 6SCHMTS vanity tag. I have news for you Schmidt family, you’re not doing a good job of hiding the fact that you are a family of 6, what with your stick figure family and vanity tag. But noooo, a minivan just won’t do, the Suburban is the only vehicle that will suffice for your needs, because it has the carrying capacity of a minivan but isn’t a minivan.

Don’t be the 6SCHMTS.

And remember, actually, minivans are pretty rad.