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article details
Author Jeff Palmer
Categories Pilot
Create Date January 22, 2004 00:00
Last Update February 08, 2004 09:48
Introduction

You've been driving short, squatty little cars all your life. You live for the next apex. You row your own gears. You've actually cornerweighted your car. It's safe to say a minivan is not in your future. Or is it?

Imagine if you will, a place and time where you might put down your torque wrench long enough to pursue a meaningful relationship with somebody besides your dyno operator. Ideally (at least for the purposes of the forthcoming scenario), this person would be of the opposite gender.

Let's say this relationship leads to a more permanent arrangement, and at some point (whether intentionally or not), you and your partner in life produce offspring. No sweat, Aiden's baby bucket will snick right in the back of your RSX. The stroller, diaper bag, bottle bag, and pack n' play all fit nicely in the hatch too.

Wow, having that first kid was easy. Whoops, it was so easy you've managed to tee up another one. No worries, mate, the lady's had her eye on that E-class wagon ever since Madison's mommy showed up at playgroup in one. What's that? Don't have the scratch to spring for a Benz just yet? That's okay, for road trips you can pack wisely, distributing articles of clothing between the various door pockets and under the seats of your wife's '99 Accord. Doing so leaves room in the trunk for the doublewide stroller, both pack n' plays, a bouncy seat, and 3 pullmans full of diapers, burp cloths, sundry chapped-ass remedies, onesies, twosies, nighties, BabyGap ensembles, sippie cups, etc...

You might be of great conviction, and continue carting your companion and the fruit of your loins around in small and nimble cars for years. Or you may find yourself actually reaching that threshold: the point where you are absolutely unable to fit everything and/or everybody into your coupe/sedan/wagon. Your choices are now quite limited - basically Minivan or large SUV?

While minivans may not sport the "cool" factor that is supposedly pinned to SUV ownership, a truly practical person should recognize that the value equation of a minivan soundly thumps that of an SUV. And as the Odyssey proves, there are minivans that are more than capable of getting out of their own way.

Don't get carried away just yet, though - the Odyssey won't necessarily remind you of your favorite German (or even Japanese) sport sedan. But compared to the other options out there, you'll probably appreciate what it brings to the table.

So now that your Sunday afternoons are spent at Target and Poverty Barn Kids, you're ready to take on this Minivan stage of life at full speed. Or you should be getting there. We're going to try to help you through it and hopefully help make your minivan shopping a little easier, if not particularly exciting.

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