Head vs. Heart
Motor Trend|May 2019
Head vs. Heart

It’s Crunch Time For The Crumb-cruncher Carriers.

Scott Evans

Among the many important decisions you might make during that first pregnancy is the second most expensive purchase for most of us: the family car. Judging from the semifinal results, you now know it’s time to trade in your old sedan that got you through college (though maybe grab the toga from the back seat for future spills).

Based on our final twosome, your heart might say, “I’m still in my 20s and I’m definitely still cool, even with a baby, so I should get that sporty, sharp-looking Chevrolet Blazer.” Your head says, “I have a business degree and know how to do a cost-benefit analysis, and the Chrysler Pacifica is specifically designed for people with my needs.” Which do you trust?

Gut instinct tells you not to buy more vehicle than you need. You only have the one kid on the way, after all. You read the semifinals and you know a two-row crossover like the Blazer seats five and drives like a sport sedan with twice the cargo capacity. Maybe when you have that second or third kid (or when you find out you’re having triplets) you’ll opt for the minivan.

Hang on, though. Most people have their second kid within a few years of their first but keep their vehicle for a decade. You’re going to need those extra seats sooner than you think. Even if you just want to take the spouse, the one kid, and the dog to the park, you’re going to start running out of room quickly. Kids require car seats, diaper bags, strollers, and other accessories, which all take up space. Oh, and maybe the grandparents are in town? You’re going to need room for them and all their stuff. Soon enough, the kid will have friends and sports equipment or instruments, and then what? Even with one kid, it’s not hard to imagine maxing out the two-row crossover.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The first baby isn’t even born yet. Is there anything a minivan like the Pacifica really does that much better besides haul cubic yards of athletic gear and potting soil? Yes, and you might remember it from the semifinals; the same disadvantages of a three-row crossover apply to a two-row.


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May 2019