I admit to all the anti-minivan cliches:  too cool to drive a minivan, too young, too sporty (and in my case, too country). It’s not all my fault. My family is from KY  – truck country.  I went to school with the B’God Boys (“My truck’s biggern’ yours b’god”).  When the time came for me to buy a family car to haul my 3 kids around, there was no question that I would drive some sort of large 4 wheel drive vehicle.

We started out with a Tahoe and upgraded to a Suburban after baby #3.  Gas was also around $2/gallon.We have used every inch of our Burb logging lots of kids and lots of miles.  It is reliable and roomy.  However, when gas prices started to rise and my carbon footprint became more evident, I knew it was time to look for an alternative.   No simple task because my Burb kept plummeting in value to the tune of $3k even though it only had 65k miles on it and was in great shape.  I still have the Burb.Fast forward to planning our longest family roadtrip (14 hours) and I start to freak about driving the Burb because of the cost of gas (calculated to be $800 RT).  This forces me into minivan mode.  Not ready to yet BUY a minivan, I opted to try one out by renting.  Our good friend has worked for Toyota of Stamford for years and has always tried to get me into a Sienna — “the safest car on the road.”  Finally, I took his advice and rented one.  I should get to know it well after 14 hours in the driver’s seat.