Minivans often get a bad rap from people who’ve never owned one, but you’d be hard-pressed to find an owner who doesn’t have positive things to share. In fact, many minivan drivers are passionate about their vehicle, and will gladly recite some of the reasons you should be too.

Five Reasons to Buy a Minivan

If you don’t have much experience with minivans, you may be skeptical about whether you should give serious consideration to purchasing one. Admittedly, everyone has his or her own special needs and preferences, but you might be surprised by some of the features and advantages today’s best minivans offer.

Here are five solid reasons you should think about putting a minivan in your garage.

  • Sliding Doors

We’ve all had that moment when we see an open parking spot near the entrance of a store, but we have to drive 50 yards in the other direction just to find a spot that has no vehicles on either side. Kids can be heedless when they open doors, and the last thing you want is for a door on your car to slam into another vehicle.

When you have a minivan, you don’t have to worry about this. Sliding doors are a life-saver!

  • Plenty of Room

You know what makes a road trip seem longer than it is? … kids fighting in the back seat. Minivans may have other drawbacks, but the extra legroom and sheer space between the captain seats in the second row can make a huge difference with interior noise. If nothing else, each child will have his or her own separate space to operate in.

  • Good Resale Value

One factor a lot of buyers overlook when they shop for a new vehicle is the resale value. They focus on current needs and desires, so they don’t give serious attention to the potential value the vehicle could carry in one, three, or five years.

Though you shouldn’t ever make the decision based on resale value alone, it’s reassuring to know that some of the most popular minivans of the year also tend to bring a good return on investment when you do decide to sell down the road.

  • Cheap Maintenance

“A recent AAA study found that minivans cost 65 cents per mile to drive when you look at gas, maintenance, insurance, tires and depreciation costs,” blogger Apryl Duncan writes. “Annually the cost to drive a minivan is about $9,753. The same study found a large sedan will cost you 72.2 cents per mile to drive or $10,831 per year and an SUV will cost you 73.6 cents per mile or $11,039 per year.”

You might feel that $11,039 against $9,753 might not amount to much, but remember, that’s only a single year. It can add up to nearly $6,500 over a five-year span. If you’re thinking about buying a new van, that’s a hefty chunk of money to keep in mind for the longer haul.

  • In-Car Entertainment

Keeping kids busy, whether it’s during a short drive or cross-country road trip, can be a major proposition. If you get a contemporary minivan, you no longer have to worry about packing a bag full of toys and goodies.

Just flip on the rear entertainment system and your youngsters will be entertained for hours on end. Worried you’ll be annoyed by having to listen to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on repeat? Wireless headphones solve that problem.

It should be noted that the front-seat gadgets can be pretty cool, as well. Between rear-view cameras, blind-spot detection, navigation systems, and Bluetooth connectivity, you’ll have more than you ever thought possible.

Never Say Never

Earlier in life, you might have been prone to say “no” to a minivan. However, once you have kids, everything changes. Thankfully, social perceptions are changing, too. Many of today’s leading models are regarded as pretty cool and advanced.

If you’re on the fence about buying a minivan, schedule a few test drives and check them out in performance. You might be surprised to find out how much you enjoy the handling.