Apr 30, 2010

Who you calling a Soccer Mom?

Come on, admit it!  At one point in your life you looked at a minivan or possibly a station wagon, and said "Uh no way, no how will I ever drive one of THOSE!"  I know I did.  Before kids my vehicles had included a  Thunderbird, a Sebring (convertible even) and an Explorer.  I never would have imagined ever purchasing a minivan of my own free will.  But then again, I never really considered having a family that wouldn't FIT in a car.  Since purchasing my own soccer mom mobile 6 years ago a lot of vehicles I love have added a third row which would not make them possibilities for us in our next purchase.  But in those same 6 years, I've learned to embrace my soccer momness.  I still have a few hold out friends, they're lucky we don't revoke their mom cards!  But I honestly love minivans...ok not my particular minivan but that's a whole long story you can read up another time here. And I'm obviously not alone these days...

By John Wilson

A funny thing happened on the way to the car dealer – the minivan got cool again.

Perhaps it’s because people are done with the big gas-guzzling SUV or that they can get the same features for less found in a crossover vehicle (a SUV built on a car frame).

Simply put, the vehicle that put the soccer mom on the map is no longer treated like a four-letter word. And although it’s still the official car of soccer-mom nation, minivans are now cool even if you’re not a mom.

“I’m on my fifth minivan and I lease them for three years,” said Karen Port of St. Louis. “My husband has had several Chevy Tahoes and Toyota 4-Runners, but my minivans have always had more space, comfort and even features.”

Years ago teenagers that got their driver’s license swore they’d never be caught in a minivan like their mom. Oh how times have changed.

“I was the mom who said she’d never drive a minivan,” said Desiree Miller of Woodstock, Ga. “I now have four kids, a teen-age brother that lives with me and lots of stuff I take on road trips.”

So it’s no surprise that a new generation of soccer moms have taken a page right out of the mom playbook. Go with the minivan.

“The minivan is standard operating equipment for any busy mom, soccer moms included,” said Lynne Thompson, author of SoccerMomBook.com. “We are a proud bunch. We nod at each other understanding each other's plight in life. We are sacrificing our time to practice what we believe – that our kids count. We want them to be successful in all areas of their lives whether it's athletic, academic, social, musical, or even spiritual – and the minivan is often at the center of it all.”

Companies have noticed the “new minivan family,” emphasizing coolness as much as functionality and safety. Toyota plays up its new Sienna minivan in its latest ad campaign that features the self-proclaimed world’s greatest parents who proudly state the Sienna has given them plenty of “swagger.” “After our second child that’s when we got the Sienna minivan,” says the mom in the humor-filled commercials. “It’s so great, it’s a lot like our family – modern, stylish and super good-looking.”

Honda plans to relaunch its Odyssey van in the fall with a new design and updated features.

Car leasing Web site LeaseTrader.com even offers an online marketplace that’s become a haven for soccer moms that get hooked on trading their minivans to each other. “I’m more comfortable getting a minivan from a mom I trust as opposed to shopping at a car dealer,” said Joyce McNealy, a Seattle mother of two.

So don’t be surprised if your daughter says she’ll never drive a minivan because you know she’ll change her mind when she grows up to discover just how cool it is – again.

So come on, fess up what's one thing you never thought you'd do as a mom that you're totally guilty of?


  1. so yeah....ummm I never thought I would be less of a neat freak. Dont get me wrong I still clean - but now its ok if my dining room table has a butt load of crap on it...which it does. Hmmm think I should clean it off now since my monkey man is napping. Eh. Oh well.

  2. Driving the mom van or station wagon is the one thing I never caved on. I can't and won't ever, ever, ever do it! Now using the phrase, " because I said so", well, that I'm afraid I've done.


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