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The poor Minivan. It hasn’t ever been considered the cool car on the block (or base). It may not seem as trendy as an SUV- but I think it should really be hailed as THE BEST VEHICLE EVER. My SUV, which is now 10 years old and 150,000 miles strong, is starting to rattle and shake where it shouldn’t. Now is the perfect time to start hunting for the ultimate minivan. These vans are the hidden jewels of the military mom (or dad) world.


Do you need to move across country? Not a problem in a minivan! THE seats fold WAY DOWN to create more room! Do you need to pick up your spouse and all their gear from work? No problem with this big lady! Do you need to hide in it while your spouse covers the bedtime madness? The seats recline way back for relaxation! If I still haven’t convinced you, here IS what some other military spouses say about their swagger waggons.

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Andrea: I have a Honda Odyssey and what I love about it is that it feels like little home on wheels. Seats are immensely comfortable and spacious, there's a lot of storage, enough cup holders, tiny fridge (for keeping cold beverages when picking up hubby from deployment! 😉), enough space for our chiweenie because we don't travel without him… I never had to defend its honor, and to all minivan haters - come over and have a ride in this awesome vehicle and you'll change your mind!


Amy: I love my van! The sliding doors are awesome! Kids can get in and out easily and makes putting a tantrum throwing two-year-old into their car seat easier than having to also worry about banging the car next to you. Plus, I never have to take my keys out of my purse because it unlocks with me next to it. Odyssey middle seats slide sideways to give more room for third car seat or grandparent sitting in the middle.


Heidi: My husband loves he can fold down the seats and haul lumber. Room for people and their stuff, not either/or. Sliding doors mean kids aren't banging traditional doors into cars parked next to you


Natalie: I think my absolute favorite parts are the side sliding doors (so my kids don’t ding other cars while getting in and out), and the fact that I can open those doors and the trunk with a button on my key. There’s so much space and a DVD player.


Paulina: Recently had my "Vanessa" (HONDA Odyssey) in the shop for 5 days and had to rent an SUV. 4 kiddos...oh boy! Anyway, I missed not having space for double stroller and 4 kiddos in van. I missed being able to separate kiddos in different seating arrangements depending on who was getting along.


Jenny: I love how much space there is and how easy it is to change the configuration with the back seats to meet any need. We have gone on family vacations with our two kids, two big dogs, and all of our luggage across the United States multiple times. I can haul the kids bikes or golf clubs with no problem. It's the easiest vehicle to have with young kids.

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If those testimonies don’t convince you that you too need a minivan, maybe the deal you can find with USAA’s Car Buying Service will help you decide! Whether you’re in the market for mini-van or mini-cooper, we want to hear what car is on your wish list?



About the Blogger: Briana Hartzell is a Navy spouse, mother to two beautiful girls (4 and 2 years), a former full time USAA employee and a graduate of Texas A&M University. Briana writes at Being Briana, a blog focused on the joys that military life and parenthood can bring.



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We just sold our last Honda Odyssey (she was #3 in total). We started out needing one when we had our twins, who are now teens. Everything folks have already said is true. The flexibility, gigantic cargo area, the comfort for long range trips, and the pleasure of driving something so well appointed. Now trying to find a car that will make me feel as comfy, but not needing so much space is a challenge!


@JpnBanan77 Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to hearing about which car you choose next!