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This Just in: Minivans Now Cool

toyota.com

In high school my parents owned a minivan, in bronze with wood panels on the side, which they let me borrow sometimes. It was not exactly a sweet ride but it was a ride, so I endured the good-natured teasing from friends. As I grew older, got married and became a mom, the minivan became a symbol of middle-aged fuddy-duddyness. Getting one would be like giving up on the idea of even trying to be cool. Next thing you know I’d be wearing mom jeans and muttering about kids these days.

I call uncle.

After a very long drive from Toronto over the holidays, much of which was spent sandwiched between my two small children’s car seats in the backseat of our Subaru Outback (not exactly a hot rod, but at least it’s sporty), I am ready to trade in cool for convenient. Turns out I am not the only one. According to The New York Times, minivans are back, or so the marketers would have us believe, with a slew of tongue-in-cheek ads designed to change the maligned model’s staid image. Have you watched Toyota’s hilarious “swagger wagon” video? Chrysler is calling its Dodge Grand Caravan a “man van.” Other car manufacturers are using hip music and in jokes to make parents feel less embarrassed about purchasing these family cars.

Do you own a minivan? Would you ever buy one? Would you feel less cool if you did?

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