Minivans can be a polarizing thing. They often carry a stigma that prevents some families from even considering them.
I previously resided in the “no minivan ever” camp. And then I had twins. Twins changed my perspective completely.
Do you need a minivan with twins?
I highly recommend a minivan for parents of twins. While having a minivan isn’t required with twins, they do make life much easier. In addition to the safety features, versatility, added storage, and better price point compared to SUVs…they provide superior accessibility.
As a mother to twins, I find that I am constantly looking for anything that might make my life a bit easier. Minivans fit those criteria.
We didn’t purchase a minivan until my twins were almost 3. We drove a Honda CR-V up to that point and found that the minivan offered so much more space for all the various accessories that come with needing two of everything.
I recently conducted a poll of 34 twin moms to see what kind of car they owned. Out of the 34 women polled, 21 drive minivans with 13 choosing an SUV. However, three of those 13 women who now are driving SUV’s had only recently switched from a minivan.
Currently, minivans are considered the most popular car in America based on inventory. When you learn more about them, it’s not hard to see why.
How to Choose a Vehicle When You Have Twins- Considerations
Several factors go into deciding what car you want to have for your family of twins or multiples. Factors such as headcount, safety, convenience, and in today’s inflation, fuel economy are some important ones to consider.
Number of Seats
Minivans are able to fit 7-8 people comfortably. And I do mean comfortably! Having owned a mid-size SUV and a minivan, the middle seat is much roomier in a minivan.
This also means you can transport more than just the twins if you’d like to add some more chaos into the mix.
Most models of minivans from Honda, Toyota, or Chrysler will average about 22 mpg combined city and highway. Compare this to the Ford Expedition, the GMC Yukon, and the Cadillac Escalade which all have 3 rows of seats but only average about 16 mpg combined.
Minivans are also built more like a sedan than a truck or a SUV and thus have smaller engines.
Room to Maneuver Inside
Several components such as the center console and the middle seat are able to be removed to make maneuvering so much easier, especially on road trips. Especially when your daughter is carsick and you make the desperate lunge to catch her vomit.
And if you happen to miss that vomit, the roomy space in the van allows you to clean with ease.
The entire 3rd row of seats in a minivan are known as “stow and go” seats that can be collapsed to allow huge amounts of storage. Strollers, diaper bags, and other necessities all fit perfectly when the seats are collapsed as well as when the seats are raised.
The 2nd-row seats are able to be completely removed for greater storage or to clean goldfish crackers out of every crevice imaginable.
Here we arrive at the most known and lauded feature of the minivan. The sliding, automatic doors! Doors that open with the push of a button have the power to transform your life. It’s a big statement but I stand by it!
It’s a luxury you won’t fully appreciate until your arms are loaded to the brink with backpacks, water bottles, and their latest artwork. They also eliminate the inevitable dings to other cars that occur when your kid enthusiastically opens the door in the Target parking lot.
Minivans offer nearly twice the cubic feet storage space as SUVs. In some cases such as the Ford Expedition and the Honda Pilot, they offer over twice the cargo space and that is both with the rear seats in place as well as when they are stowed.
Minivans also offer more leg-room for people in the 3rd-row seating.
Most newer models of minivans come equipped with several safety features that parents find appealing as we transport our precious cargo. Blindspot cameras and rear backup cameras are helpful for safe driving. Most also come with collision warning systems that alert the driver to danger to avoid an accident.
Minivan Pros and Cons
Lest you think that a minivan can solve all your life with twins woes, there are some drawbacks. MInivans come with a bigger price tag than their sedan counterparts. As larger cars, they also have larger gas tanks and use more fuel than compact cars.
All-wheel drive can be hard to find in most minivan models. And lastly, minivans do not have much towing capacity or ground clearance. However, minivans are magical for long road trips with most offering drop-down entertainment for kids and sanity for parents.
And their size and versatility mean you can fit your family and your vacation needs comfortably.
So, you have twins and you need the space but just can’t bring yourself to sign up for the minivan life? You still have options!
The Honda Pilot, Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe, and Ford Expedition all offer three rows of seating and fairly good storage space.
The main drawback of buying a large SUV is that the average MSRP is often significantly higher than that of the minivan. The Escalade alone has an MSRP of $70,000+.
Do I Need Two Cribs for Twins?
The short answer is yes. The main reason for having two cribs is safety. Infants, especially newborns, need to sleep in an empty crib to prevent suffocation. Another infant in the crib with them could create an obstruction to breathing.
Are SUVs Safer Than Minivans?
Sports Utility Vehicles are top-heavy thus making them more dangerous than the low to the ground minivans. The factors by which they measure safety ratings in vehicles are complex and extensive but minivans are generally considered to be safer vehicles.
Families with twins have options when choosing their vehicles. But, at the end of the day, it’s hard to beat a car that seats 7-8 people, has automatic sliding doors, outstanding storage capacity, and versatility and handles more like a sedan with similar gas mileage.
As a mom who never saw herself driving a minivan, I’m still sometimes shocked with how much I love it. And I’m not the only one. The second quarter of 2021 saw an 84% increase in minivan sales.
So if you’ve decided that the minivan is the right choice for your family, you’d certainly be in good company.