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Why I don't need an SUV or Minivan with Two Kids in Tow

Updated on December 3, 2012

The Small Car Family

We are the small car family. We have two cars and neither one is an SUV or minivan and I am not just ready to go there. We have two kids and a rather large dog. My husband mostly commutes by train but having two cars is still necessary where we live. If we lived closer to the city we could probably do with just the larger of our two vehicles.

With gas prices rising we have found that not having the large vehicles has helped us stay on budget and not worry too drastically about the rising cost.

The two cars we own both only sit 4 people and we are a family of 4. There is no room for extras which can sometimes prove to be a blessing or a curse. I mostly drive a VW beetle which gets great gas mileage and looks cute. The best part is that this is my husbands car, he bought it just after our second child was born when we decided we didn't really need an SUV and traded in the aging Explorer for something more practical in the Cash for Clunkers deal in 2009.

Checking out the Beetle when we first bought it
Checking out the Beetle when we first bought it | Source

The Other Car

Our other vehicle is a Honda Element. Yes it is a slightly larger vehicle and is considered a wagon. It seats four people and has some room for cargo. This vehicle is much more economical than a minivan or SUV. The VW beetle and Honda Element were similarly priced and gave us additional room to transport our dog.

This is the best mom car out there. Number 1 reason - rubber floors! There is no carpeting in this car and every time a kid spills something on the floor, a baby wipe or clorox wipe cleans it up quick and easily. This vehicle is roomy inside and allows for everyone to ride comfortably on long trips.

That being said this is not the vehicle I drive on a daily basis around town.

Driving the Small Car

On a daily basis with both kids I drive the beetle around town. This vehicle is large enough to hold four of us, including my 6 foot 3 inch husband. He fits comfortable in the rounded roof of the beetle.

I am amazed how many people comment on all of us in my small car but not the mom with one child getting out of the huge 8 person SUV. We are able to fit almost any shopping trip into the trunk without much worry. Although I do have to admit that we try not to go to Costco with the beetle - that is a trip reserved for the Element. We can however fit an entire grocery shopping trip into the trunk of the beetle without a problem.


Someday we may have to upgrade to a larger vehicle - especially if we ever have another child. For now we are saving the cost of purchasing a more expensive vehicle, the additional gas prices, and larger maintenance costs to stick with our smaller, economical cars.

This may not be the ideal choice for everyone and I would love to be a one car family someday since my husband now commutes exclusively by train. This was not our scenario when we purchased both cars so for now we are two cars and two drivers leaving one car in the garage most of the time.

During the summer months the kids and I travel a great deal by bicycle and carrier around town and to the swimming pool. As long as the sun is shining mommy can get in shape and transport the kids at the same time.

What about you?

Do you really need a large vehicle to transport the kids?

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    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      This is a great way to save and cut costs on fuel. Voted up and shared.

    • kthix10 profile image

      kthix10 5 years ago from IL

      The Element does have 4 wheel drive which is another reason we got it - We lived in a rural area until recently and you are correct there were many days the beetle wasn't making it our of our driveway

    • pagesvoice profile image

      Dennis L. Page 5 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

      My wife and I now have an empty nest at home, but we do have 2 small dogs. My wife drives a subcompact. She only has a 2 mile commute to work, so needless to say, the car a Toyota Corolla is 16 years old and runs like it is brand new. I on the other hand am the gardener, home improvement guy and woodworker so I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee Loredo. Plus, we live in the snow belt of the northeast and on a very steep hill. Every person on this hill has an SUV, otherwise we cannot climb it in the winter. On those snowy days that is when I drive my wife to her school.