Vans have become so widely associated with young families that even mentioning the word minivan summons images of children, pets, and young couples. Every year, car companies roll out another round of commercials and billboards that feature minivans in tandem with the nuclear family—bouncing beach balls, barking golden retrievers, children in car seats, and exhausted-looking parents are staples of the genre. Despite the tiresome connotations and lacklustre creativity of the advertisers, vans are still widely sought after for their safety features, versatility, space, and, given their size, their relative inexpensiveness. They’re decent on gas and can accommodate all that the stereotypical young family can throw at them.
If you bristle at the notion of falling into the target market, or you’re just more into stylish and dynamic automobiles, then owning a new or used minivan is last on your list of priorities. If your vehicle is an expression of your lifestyle and habits, then you might want something that still says you’re young, attractive, urban, and sophisticated—and not saddled with diapers and soccer practice (shudder).
However, today many SUV crossovers combine much of the dependability, size, and versatility of the minivan with the style and speed of smaller vehicles. For example, the Honda CR-V crossover has five-star ratings for front and side impacts, childproof rear-door locks, and splashguards—some are even equipped with lower anchors and tethers for kids. These vehicles come with fold-down seats for extra storage space, and boast ventilated disc brakes and front and side airbags for extra safety protection. But with recent facelifts, sunroofs, leather interiors, and even sunglasses holders (!), the CR-V is still a stylish number that won’t embarrass even the most insecure gearhead.
Same thing goes for the Ford Escape—the crossbars, grilles, ergonomic handles, centrestack display, folding mirrors, and range of sophisticated colours and model designs mean it’s a vehicle that savvy drivers will love to get behind. But AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, 3-point safety belt systems, and side intrusion door beams mean it’s also built for safety and storage: another modern compromise that sooner or later has to be made.
Both of these are extremely popular vehicles, meaning there are tons of customizable options on the market. The best way to get a sense of what’s available in your region—and price range—is to type in used Honda CR-V for sale or used Ford Escape into Kijiji’s search engine. They’ve got the widest and most easily searched and sorted list of Escapes and CR-Vs, crossovers and SUVs online. You can search for the right car for the right price, all from the comfort of your home.
Don’t think that upgrading to an SUV or crossover means you’ve crossed over into old age! With such attractive and versatile models now available, buying in to the minivan lifestyle doesn’t mean sacrificing your need for speed or savvy design. Check out what’s available in used models online and you may be pleasantly surprised!