10 family vehicles you can still look cool in
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It's tough to knock the minivan for being good at its job. It's spacious enough to hold the entire family and its gear, comfortable enough to keep everyone sedate for hours on end and has enough power under the hood to slide through lanes of vacation traffic like a sleeker car half its size.
The downside: It's a minivan. When you've resigned yourself to one, you've dropped the veil of illusion. Families weren't driven to SUVs in the 1990s and 2000s because they were more convenient. They were roped in because they weren't an immediate signal to those around you that you had a family, children in the back, potentially a mortgage payment waiting for you when you get home and nothing more exciting than a trip to the theme park ahead.
The SUVs and all their commercials featuring vehicles climbing rocky terrain and winding their way up coastal cliffs implied an escape that never was. Maybe you were mom or dad inside, but on the outside you were an intrepid explorer ready to pull offroad at any moment and send the prairie dogs ducking for cover.
It didn't help that carmakers began abandoning minivans altogether and ceding ground to the SUVs. The broad minivan market of the 1980s became a three-van race between Honda's Odyssey, Toyota's Sienna and Dodge's Grand Caravan. Plenty of families will still proudly trot out those vehicles for their Memorial Day trips, but for those drivers whose fragile little feelings simply won't put up with the implications of practicality, the folks at Edmunds offer 10 vehicles that put up a sporty, urban and not-at-all parental facade:
10. Volvo XC60
Volvo killed off the last of its trademark wagons a few years back, which is why it started affixing that XC label to everything remotely wagonlike. The XC60 is Volvo's base crossover and comes with all the safety features parents love, including a five-star crash safety rating, low-speed collision avoidance system, pedestrian detection and a driver-attention monitor that issues a warning if the driver appears to be drowsy at the wheel. But knowing you aren't the average mom or dad -- just a free-living cosmopolitan urbanite riding out the next 18 years until you can renew your theater membership and drinking engagements -- Volvo has thrown in Sirius XM satellite radio, HD Radio, Bluetooth hands-free communications and other fun little toys as distractions. The good times haven't ended: They're just on an inconvenient break.