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Semi-fast and fabulous: a defense of “mom vans”

“THE MAGICAL MOM VAN IS COMING TO TAKE YOU AWAY...to a soccer practice,” goes The Beatles lyric. Mom vans: Why all the obloquy? They’re chic, not quick and sure to get a mix of carpoolers. One writer pumps out a panegyric to these galluptious gas-saving giants. PHOTO BY Meghan Holloran | photo editor

Perhaps it’s a niche question that was posed to me as a third-grader, but “What is your dream car?” really got my imaginary wheels grinding. My first thought immediately gravitated towards the fancy cars that are seemingly attainable only by billionaires or James Bond. Perhaps the classic Wraith Rolls-Royce or a Ferrari. My second thought was of NASCAR vehicles that have the potency to reach up to 200 miles per hour.

And so I gave the decisive answer that only a third-grader could give…a hybrid Ferrari with a NASCAR engine that would get up to 300 miles per hour. And, by golly, that was an answer that I felt was extremely logical and thought-out. This dream car ideal has taken a mental back seat and only just recently hopped into shotgun as I looked towards college this year.

To give background, I was lucky enough to have a car for most of my high school career, one that wheeled me from my house to class, sports and everything else in a high schoolers life. Now, I loved this car, and so I named him Lenny, in reference to the Lenny cloud slang. It’s with a heavy heart that I report he has now been scrapped, replaced by a shiny Subaru Forester.

At college now, I no longer have a car, and it has brought me back to my original dream car debate. This absence of transportation, paired with my connection with Lenny, has forced me to think about my dream car, and I think I’ve finally come to a satisfying conclusion.

Are you ready? It’s a…mom van!

But what is a mom van? Mom vans, at least in my experience, are the SUVs and minivans that almost always seem to be silver. For some reason, society has attributed these vehicles to moms in relation to stereotypes of mothers using the vehicle as a one-stop shop for their kids’ activities. I don’t care about the connotation because I’ve overcome the undertones of needing a car with the capability to go to absurdly high speeds or that has a sleekly modern look. I truly think mom vans are the cars of the future, and it’s time for me and you to acknowledge that.

Let’s talk about what I consider to be the features of a car: functionality, efficiency and look.

First, functionality. I think this is the one facet of a mom van that is irrefutable because the ability to pair a seven or eight person-seater vehicle with a massive trunk for groceries or items is invaluable. This combination is almost always exclusive to mom vans because trucks and cars simply don’t have this unique pairing. 

Second, efficiency. According to Car and Driver, average miles per gallon for mom vans varies from 20 miles per gallon to 30 mpg. Without a shadow of a doubt, this number can’t beat out other vehicles like trucks, but it provides a baseline for mom vans’ other winning traits of efficiency. Mom vans are often the pullers of RVs or campers. Ultimately, they also are much more condensed than trucks, providing a similar experience in a more efficient way.

Third and my personal favorite: look. I am tired of pretending that the mom van’s “stereotypical” look is not the best in the market right now. There’s something so alluring in the deep chrome that makes both riding and driving one a constant pleasure. I, for one, have pleasant memories locked inside of a mom van, and I don’t think that I’m alone in this. Think of all of the times that you were going to school, soccer practice or the store, and realize that it all happened inside a mom van.

Mom vans are the cars of the future, and it’s time for us all to realize what the true dream car of our society is.

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