I drive a 2002 Toyota Sequoia. We bought it brand new in December, 2001, and have put 150K miles on it. I love my car. I call it a car because it feels weird calling it an SUV or a truck. Mostly we call it “Mom’s car,” though.We bought it when kid #1 was less than a year old to be my Mom-mobile. I was convinced I didn’t want a minivan, but I did want something larger than the Chevy Luminas we were driving. Yes, you read that correctly. We had matching white Luminas – mine was a few years newer.
Kid #2 came alone a little while later, and I was still happy with my vehicle. Both kids could fit in the middle row of seats and we could roll the back row up for everything else. Two-ish year later, #3 arrived, and I was still happy with my Sequoia. Especially because it has 4-wheel drive. Nothing like peace of mind during the snowy months with three little ones in the back.
Then we went to England. That was a game-changer for me.
I prayed for several months before we left for the UK for two things: 1 – NO stick shift, and 2 – a minivan because that’s the biggest vehicle rental agencies in England have to offer. Really. I prayed these things.
And God answered. We had a Toyota minivan for the first 3 months. It was nice. Bare-bones, but I enjoyed it. When we turned it in halfway through our stay over there, Enterprise Rent-a-Car gave us another minivan: a totally pimped-out Dodge. It had automatic EVERYTHING, plus seat warmers and side-mirror defrosters. It didn’t take long for me to become a minivan convert. I loved that I could push a button and the side or back door would open or shut. The automatic doors were especially handy when trying to load/unload kids. It’s a universal truth (for my family at least) that a kiddo has to be five years old before he or she can open one of the Sequoia’s doors. It almost hurt to return the van when we left.
But waiting for us upon our return was our faithful Sequoia. Big, comfy, and most importantly, paid for.
We’ve had the Sequoia now for 10 years. It’s a family member. Because of Baby Tay, it’s now called “Mommy’s truck,” because I don’t think she can say either “SUV” or “Sequoia.” I find myself wanting a minivan from time to time because I know that soon Baby Tay will be big enough to crawl in and out of the vehicle by herself, but she won’t be able to open the door yet. Can I handle three more years of opening doors? Of course I can. Can the Sequoia? I’m guessing yes. It’s made it this far with us.