Three years ago, we needed to purchase a new (to us) car.
Because of my Infertility PTSD, we went with a Yukon even though Mr. R really wanted a minivan. I just couldn’t bring myself to purchase a minivan when I had no idea if we’d ever be able to fill all those empty seats. In my mind, those empty seats were less obvious in the Yukon. Over the past 3 years, the third row of seats has been folded down most of the time.
Now, through some miracle of heaven, we have three children. (Say whaaaaa? I still cannot believe it.) We don’t have very many empty seats any more …and I am rethinking my stance on “not being minivan people.”
Ken Garff Honda of Orem let me test drive the Honda Odyessy. It is perhaps the most luxurious vehicle I have ever driven–probably not the flashiest (I did go to prom one year in a Lotus), but if I could design a car for this season of my life with three little boys IT WOULD BE THIS CAR.
We named her Cleo.
Everyday I fell in love with a new feature and I found myself making up errands to run or taking the scenic route home just to get a little more time behind the wheel of our beloved Cleo.
Here’s what captured my heart each day.
DAY ONE: Ken Garff Honda of Orem’s Service.
This car is brilliant. It syncs up your phone to the dashboard so you can listen to all your music (even Pandora!) while driving and make phone calls …all wirelessly and through the dash. I figured out how to have Siri send a text for me just by using the voice commands and again, all through the dashboard. I never picked up or looked at my phone.
You can even load a family photo to be the “wallpaper” of your dashboard screen. No seriously, you can.
This does, however, require some set-up. As someone who doesn’t read directions very well (read “at all”), I appreciated the time Ken Garff Honda of Orem took to walk me through the features and set things up for me.
They even installed my car seats (all three!) without batting an eyelash while the kids and I enjoyed complimentary popcorn and soft drinks (and a billion bathroom emergencies!) from their waiting area.
When I couldn’t figure out a feature in the car, I texted them and they got right back to me. That’s service!
I mean, really …these guys are taking the stress out of car purchasing! Loved them.
DAY TWO: Opening and closing the doors (and trunk!) from the driver’s seat.
When we pick up Tyson from school, we go through the kindergarten pick-up lane. To keep the line moving, parents are supposed to stay in the car while the kids open and close the car doors during loading. No matter how much I WD-40 that Yukon door for Tyson it is still so hard to open and close. Half the time a kindergarten aide has to run over and help the poor soul out.
With the ability to open and close the doors at my fingertips, I can stay in my seat and open the door for my favorite kindergartener. So slick.
DAY THREE: Um yeah. It has a cooler.
DAY FOUR: Massive Trunk Space
DAY FIVE: A Level Floor = Lots of Room
The minivan feels like a moving room. The floor is level (instead of raised in the third row like the SUV) so moving around (and cleaning up french fries) is really easy. Something about the floor being level makes it feel extra spacious.
With the middle seat of the middle row being removable and connecting right to that level third row, it creates an aisle for kiddos to use to get to the back seat without climbing over the seat. It also adds to the roomy feeling.
DAY SIX: Key Fob Door Opening
Let’s say you are sitting on the couch with a sleeping baby on your lap and your pre-schooler approaches you saying he left his backpack in the car and wants to show you his artwork from school but cannot get the car door open. With this key, you can open and close the doors while kicking it on the couch.
DAY SEVEN: Mirror for Spying/Conversing
I like to keep an eye on my people in the back seat (even with my apparently very creepy eyebrows!). While there are external gadgets that do the same thing, I love that this one is built in.
This car is packed with thoughtful features like this that make momming a little easier while on the road. Thank you, Honda!
Other features I loved.
- Cup holders galore
- Third row seats fold into the floor
- Hooks in the back for grocery bags (and one on the front passenger side)
- Power outlets
- DVD player with removable face that acts as a remote (and the headphones that make it so I can still listen to music while they are watching their current favorite movie for the 900th time)
- Built in USB port
- Individual temperature control for passenger and driver as well as the rear
- Heated seats
- Ability to store music (from a CD or USB) to the “hard drive” dashboard
- WAY better gas mileage (SLC to Provo 4 times only cost half a tank)
- XM radio
One thing I like about my SUV is how tall it is. The Odyssey is not as tall as the Yukon, but it also isn’t as short as a car. It’s in the comfortable middle and actually the perfect height for snapping in a baby carrier without reaching up (SUV) or bending over (car). Of course that probably has something to do with how tall I am too (5’2″).
The Yukon and the Odyssey are nearly identical in width. Three full car seats will fit across the middle row of the minivan–from what I understand, that has not always been the case with earlier models. In fact, the two chairs on the end will actually move out a few inches and lock into place making more room for car seats. That middle seat is totally removable though creating the walkway that I fell in love with on Day Five.
The 2013 Odyssey is a little bit longer than the Yukon–which I noticed only because I had less wiggle room in the garage.
What did I miss about my SUV?
Aside from the height (although I don’t know how I really feel about that now that we get to snap in a baby carrier again), I missed one major thing about my SUV: The 4 Wheel Drive. It really is the best in the snow.
I also think I prefer the taller front seat console of the Yukon as well as how cozy my 12 year old driver’s seat has become.
And as cute as Cleo is, in all honesty, the Yukon is better looking.
Again, a special thanks to the good people at Ken Garff Honda of Orem for helping me make an informed (and reformed!) decision about minivans. What can I say? I am a minivan convert.
*Disclaimer: I was given the Honda Odyssey to drive in exchange for this post. My conversion story is real and authentic.