Why I’m Not a Mini-Van Mom

I’m not a mini-van mom. I would love to be – really, I would. I think mini-vans are sweet, and I pretty much lust after the Toyota Sienna.

However, there are two reasons I’m not – and am highly unlikely to become – a mini-van mom.

Reason #1:

Our Toyota Camry

and… Reason #2:

Our Toyota Corolla

We bought the Camry in 2002 – just barely used, with 18,000 miles. Now, eight years later, it’s going on 158,000 miles… and still going strong.

We bought the Corolla in 2004 – brand new and fully loaded (and by fully loaded, I mean with windows that you roll up. Like, physically roll up. Remember those?) Anywho, it’s only got 138,000 miles on it.

As you can see, we drive the crap out of our cars. We rack up the miles, let the gas light come on (and then stay on for 30 miles or so) before we bother to fill up, and we have the oil changed sporadically at best (Bobby Rapson, I can see you cringing!).

These cars? Can take it.

We’ve never had the first problem with either one of them, and haven’t had to do anything other than replace the brakes and tires every once in a while (btw, don’t buy tires from WalMart. Don’t say I didn’t warn you). They both get good gas mileage (particularly the Corolla, which is why I drive it 65 miles to and from work every day, even though I prefer the more lush Camry!) and they have plenty of room for our kids and all their stuff.

Also – they’ve been paid off for years.

You know what that means? I am never getting my mini-van.

This post was written as part of the “Every Toyota has a Story” campaign. To share your story, visit Toyota’s Facebook page (where someone posted of a Corolla that has 557,000 miles on it – ugh, I am soooo never getting that van!)

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11 Replies to “Why I’m Not a Mini-Van Mom”

  1. I am the same way. My 99 Toyota Camry has 185,000 miles on it. It is starting to “spit and sputter” a little so I may need to get it checked out. Andrea does not want to get another vehicle until we can pay cash for it, so hopefully it can make it another 50,000 or so.

  2. My first Corolla was a marriage saver. With two beat up old cars in our driveway that were money pits always falling apart, we drove our little crappy white honda civic cvcc hatchback into the Toyota dealership with gas spewing out of the backseat and distributor shaking so bad that the points burned half way off on our trip to the dealership. The 1987 Corolla stayed out of the shop for 8 years then some belts needed to be replaced. I drove it 80 miles a day. A few months later we bought a first generation Corolla-Tercel 1982 used for $1500, put new tires on it and drove it for 5 years and it never went to the shop, sold it to a friend for $500 and he drove it for 5 years (who also sold it to someone in drivable condition).

    The 1987 we traded in for a……minivan…..sorry, and as u know it blew up about 9 months ago..it was actually quite a durable van for 12 years.

    We still have a old Camry that my daughter drives, its a 2001 and has over 150,000 on it but keeps on turning.

  3. My husband drove a 1985 toyota until he had to crawl into the backseat to get out of the car. And even at 300,000 miles when the body was falling apart, the engine was still great. Our father’s advice “Nothing is worse than a car payment.” It’s surprising how quickly savings to buy a car in cash adds up.

  4. I think the new toyota minivan has bucket seats that recline like a lazyboy… I could totally get behind that.

  5. I own the Toyota Sienna. Bought it used. It’s 12 years old. 160,000 odd miles on it and still going strong. We’ve NEVER had an issue. Other than the routine purchasing of tires (I agree with the Wal_Mart thing btw) and the power window motor gave out on the drivers side. I love our older “swagger wagon”. Even if it screams “soccer Mom” (to which I added a soccer ball on the back just to affirm the scream).

  6. {OK, I was about to come share *my* story but I see Mr. MommySnacks already has! What he said}

    We do love our Toyota and the service policy as well. When we only had it less than a year (it was used), the transmission just up and died on us. Toyota replaced it and that was that. Yeah, we are having some spit and sputter issues now but we gotta get it to make us through so we can pay cash for a new one!

    Em, I really hope you get that minivan but you are right in that since your Toyota’s are lasting this long, it may be a while. I am lusting after the new Sienna too!!

  7. No toyotas in our house, but we do love our still limping along POS’s! My dodge is a 2000 with 175,000 and colin’s saturn wagon is a 99 with close to 200,000. Both run okay and the idea of making a car payment kills me! In our house we’re all about the station wagon, hauls more stuff and the same about of people as a minivan!

  8. Even if you only change the oil sporadically, you have to add it between changes. PLEASE check your oil level! You’ll need washer fluid from time to time, also. Toyota makes a great car. Too bad that “operator error” has been a PR problem for them.

  9. We bought a 2003 Toyota 4Runner before we had our daughter three years ago. We have NEVER had one problem with it….EVER. Well, we did have an AC problem once in FL, but Toyota fixed it FOR FREE…and it wasn’t under warranty. They were just being nice since we were on vacation! It has made MANY road trips to Naples, FL and has over 150,000 miles. We love that car! Once we run it into the ground, I’m sure we’ll look at another 4Runner or even the Sequoia….but it will be a Toyota FOR SURE!

  10. I’ve had two mini-vans, both Dodge Caravans. They were fine, but I was so happy when we went to a sedan…a 2002 Toyota with 30,000 miles we bought at where else, Carmax! You should check out the new one in Dayton!!


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