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Giving Moms An Alternative To The Minivan

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jeffgilbert Jeff Gilbert
Automotive reporter for WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBS Radio News....
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SANTA MONICA, CA — (WWJ) On this Mother’s Day 2013, fewer moms are driving the classic “mom mobile”–the minivan.

“A mom doesn’t necessarily turn in her cool card when she becomes a mom,” said Caroll Lachnit, features editor at Edmunds.com.


Interview: Edmunds.com features editor Caroll Lachnit speaks with WWJ’s Jeff Gilbert.

In honor of mom’s everywhere, Lachnit has authored a piece entitled “Top 10 Vehicles for Mom’s Who Don’t Like Minivans.”

The list includes sporty crossovers, like BMW’s X-3, funky cars, like the Kia Soul…and several mass market large crossovers, including the GMC Acadia, and the Ford Flex.

“It’s got a cabin that will seat up to seven, and a lot of optional features,” says Lachnit, who also gives the Flex points for its cool looks.

While many people think a parent needs to have a minivan, to haul lots of kids and lots of stuff, Lachnit says that’s not always the case. She says buyers have more choices than ever before.

“What should guide people’s choices is, ‘What are you going to do with your car,” she said. “What’s your family profile? What are the features that you’re looking for?”

If those features tend more to the sporty, you may find a crossover more to your liking.

However, Lachnit say there are some attributes–like sliding doors, and a low profile–that still make minivans appealing to parents.

“You may have to just make your peace with that, and know that in a couple of years as the kids grow up, you might be able to have more of the mom car of your dreams.”

The minivan has evolved a lot since the original Chrysler models were introduced in the early 80’s. Those vehicles were smaller, had only one sliding door, and were very boxy.

Today’s minivan can come with entertainment systems for back seat passengers, seats that fold flat easily, and high end audio systems for the driver. The next generation Honda Odyssey will even come with a vacuum cleaner.

Chrysler–which now has a Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Caravan–is planning to introduce a new generation of minivans. One will be a traditional minivan, but the other will become a “lifestyle vehicle.”

Despite the changes, Lachnit says there are some people who just “react viscerally” to the idea of a minivan, and that’s why she came up with here list of alternatives.

“That’s what this list is about, to say ‘We get it. You had minivans. But, there are still vehicles that have features you need, if you’re a mom with a family.”

Connect with Jeff Gilbert
Email: jdgilbert@cbs.com
Facebook: facebook.com/carchronicles
Twitter: @jefferygilbert

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