Once upon a time, I had a minivan. For the first year, it was happily ever after, but eventually, cleaning my car became as much of a chore as cleaning my home. It basically became a second-hand toybox or laundry hamper on wheels. While it wasn’t necessarily my decision to trade it in, rather the transmission and other unreliable parts at hand, I wasn’t exactly sad about letting it go.
Ready to part with the minivan, I wasn’t immediately keen on getting another one and wanted to explore the options of a crossover SUV or heck, even a Prius. After a few months of searching, we settled on a Ford C-Max, which is definitely a few sizes down from a minivan. We liked it so much, in fact, that we traded in our other vehicle (a Honda Element, which I loved dearly until I had a child and suddenly realized suicide doors are a parent’s worst nightmare) to get a second Ford C-Max.
Here are the 5 reasons I love my SMALL car:
IT’S A GAS! (SAVER).
You know those polls that go around social media which read something like “What would you rather have – a housekeeper, a chef, a personal trainer, etc.?” I want someone to put gas in my car for me, all day, every day. I HATE pumping gas, and I’m not sure why America was so keen to get rid of service gas stations. Bring them back! I digress. But now, I can get by filling up my tank once a month, maybe twice if I charge it every night. Though, to be fair, my car is a plug-in option and I can get to daycare and work round-trip using no or little-to-no gas. I average about 52/mpg, and it is a-ma-zing.
We recently had baby #2. At the time, I didn’t think ahead to order one of those special little head support cushions for the car seat. Driving home from the hospital, with his itsy bitsy head tilting forward, it was a breeze to reach my hand around and tilt his head back to where it should be. Now he’s almost five months old, and I can wrangle a pacifier back in his mouth one-handed and feed him a bottle from the front seat, if I get desperate.
Our car payments for both cars are likely the equivalent to a car payment for one minivan or SUV. Granted, we got great deals on our vehicles, but they were only two years old at the time we bought them and about 50% the retail value of what they would have sold for brand new. Not to mention, the money I save on gas has easily saved me about $1,300/year, which is basically a trip to Disney.
NO JUNK IN MY TRUNK.
Literally. I don’t have room for it. Some may see this as a negative, but I love that it takes me about 10 minutes to clean out my car, if that. And it’s all the more reason for us to pack lightly for trips.
FIVE IS THE MAGIC NUMBER.
I can fit five people in my car, two of them in car seats (I’m not about to attempt a third car seat people). It’s not idyllic, but I can still squeeze a third adult in my car if I need to. And so far, furniture completely aside, there isn’t anything I haven’t been able to squeeze into my car without removing the car seats (without kids present however). At a consignment sale a few weeks ago, I managed two trash bags full of kids’ clothing/items, a swing, AND an exersaucer. By the time I was done stuffing it all in my car, I felt like Houdini. Is that a tree we just bought and fit into the car? Why yes, yes it is.
This is a bonus reason only because I have an electric/hybrid vehicle. Electrical vehicle parking is the #bombdiggity. We don’t live in a high-tech city, but I imagine, if we did, I would love it even more. I always have storefront parking at Whole Foods (and can charge my car for free!), and there’s almost always a spot for me in Market Square Garage. Do you know what it’s like to be in a line of umpteen cars pulling into a parking garage and park ASAP while the rest of those suckers are still waiting on a space? It’s nothing short of euphoric.