It’s been about two years since I took the plunge into minivan life. I bought a minivan for the same reason anyone buys a minivan: I had a growing family, which, as of this writing, consists of one wife and three children. I wasn’t interested in a three-row crossover because I wanted my third row to be usable and easily accessible, so I went the more sensible route and bought a 2007 Honda Odyssey Touring.
It’s by far the most practical vehicle I’ve ever owned.
Even before I got a minivan, I liked the idea of a vehicle that was built for family transportation and family transportation only. I liked the idea of power sliding doors and a versatile interior that could hold a lot of people and a lot of stuff.
Now that I’ve owned one for a while, I don’t think I’ll ever not have a minivan — at least not until I don’t have three or more kids in my house. Once you’ve lived the van life, there’s no going back. I can’t imagine what a pain it would be to stuff all these kids in a crossover without sliding doors or with a third row so cramped that even my 5-year-old wouldn’t have enough space. I, a 6-foot adult, can sit in the third row of my Odyssey and still have plenty of space, which means a minivan will likely be able to comfortably carry my whole family for a long time.
Maintenance, and Lack Thereof
Right now, my Odyssey has about 187,000 miles, and it’s been about as reliable and low-cost as your typical Honda.
This part of the article will be pretty boring. Please bear with me.
Over two years and a little more than 20,000 miles, all that my Odyssey has asked for is routine maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations, new brake pads all around (which cost me $24.08) and a new power steering pump ($54.24). There was one job that I wasn’t ambitious enough to do myself: One of the sliding doors started jumping on its track when it opened and closed. The part that rolls on the track needed replacing. That was the most expensive maintenance my Odyssey has needed so far — and I got it done at a local dealer for a whopping $238.68.
Oh, the rearview camera stopped working, too. I asked the dealer about it, and they said that the part is discontinued and that they couldn’t help me out. It doesn’t bother me enough to look into it any further.
You get the idea. This is an incredibly cheap car to own.
Oh, One Other Thing
Did I mention that the Odyssey is my only car? That’s right: Here I am, a guy who claims to like cars, and I have a minivan as my only car. My wife doesn’t even have her own car. One Odyssey is enough to be the sole transportation for my family of five. The one-car life is pretty easy when no one in the house has a commute — I work out of the home and my wife is a stay-at-home mom. (Well, there’s the kindergartener. Do we count the kindergartener?) In case you’re wondering why this guy hates fun, don’t worry. I also have a motorcycle — a naked 1983 Honda Gold Wing, for you bike nerds.
Having just the one car for my household is a lot easier than I expected it to be. It’s very rarely an inconvenience, and the pros drastically outweigh the few cons. Imagine paying for insurance, registration, gas and maintenance on just one car. And imagine that one car is a Honda Odyssey — one of the cheapest cars in the world to insure and maintain. This might sound like a nightmare if you just have to have rear-wheel drive and a manual transmission, but it’s a dream come true if you like money more than you like cars.
And that kind of sums up why I love my boring minivan so much. It just makes my life easier, and sometimes that’s all I want out of a car. I know a lot of car enthusiasts are masochists who get some sort of sick pleasure out of owning unreliable cars and pouring work and money into them all the time. For me, there’s a greater joy in a car that just always works and makes it easy to load and unload my kids. And I have acres of space in my garage, to boot.
I know this sounds like the rambling of the average driver who hates cars and hates driving. I swear that I really do love both of those things. But at this time in my life, my only car is an appliance car — and it’s a very, very good appliance. Find a Honda Odyssey for sale