I'm a car guy, and I don't just mean that cars are my job. Sure, I'm lucky enough to drive and write about them for a living, but it runs deeper than that: my entire outlook on life revolves around the joy of driving. There's one type of vehicle, though, that's a complete and utter mystery to me: that rolling suburban monolith that everyone loves to hate, the scourge of the road that is… the minivan.
To me, minivans have long represented a sliding door-equipped white flag of surrender to the pressures of parenthood. But why? Why choose the minivan when an SUV can fit the kids AND the soccer equipment just as easily, and still function as an off-road toy on the weekends?
It started off as sort of a challenge. "Make the car guy drive a minivan!” they said. When Toyota dropped a 2017 Sienna off on my doorstep, I shuddered at the thought of driving it -- and only it -- for an entire week. But I did it. I survived. And I learned a thing or two about what life is like with a minivan.