For years we talked about specific cars for moms, and this sexist car category was used almost exclusively as a pejorative. I guess the insinuation was that moms just cared about cramming as many kids as possible into a vehicle? That means fathers care about something else. I’m not exactly sure what, but I rarely hear anyone talk about “daddy cars.” Since I have a little critter on the way, it might be worth looking into. Here’s my attempt at figuring out what some dads might want from a vehicle, while trying to keep stereotypes to a minimum.
What makes these the best vehicles for dads?
Let’s see if I can get through this without using too much unnecessary gender-based language.
Becoming a father is the coolest time in a man’s life, period. However, if you’re a car-loving dad, you’ll probably have to bow to the models you prefer. The old days of jumping into your sketchy Miata or overly lifted Wrangler are quickly coming to an end, at least probably for a while.
It’s time to step up to the big boys; SUVs, Crossovers or even a minivan. But don’t worry, guys. We can still find fun, satisfying, practical, safe and, dare I say it, cool family-approved rides. Believe me. All you have to do is stay open and maybe change some prescribed views of what’s cool. I know, I sound uncool already.
Look, right away, we’ve got a cool one. Equipment Patrol even agrees that the Toyota 4Runner is a top sire; practical, reliable and in the form of a cinder block. Not only can you easily fit five people, but you can fit stuff for days. You have strollers, carriers, diaper bags, breast pump and whatever else the critters need you can fit it into a 4Runner.
If you’re the type who worries that you’re not “cool enough” anymore, take your family for a ride in the mud. Although, the crushed cheerios in the back can hurt your street creed.
Subaru Forester Wilderness
The Subaru Forester Wilderness is cool. It’s not “cool for a dad car;” it’s just plain cool. The 4Runner demands payment to keep cool with high prices at the dealership and gas station. These off-road bred Foresters are slick, efficient, reliable and much cheaper than they look. You can get a Wilderness edition today for around $35k with the crazy car prices.
Despite being a bit smaller, it still offers plenty of space and a comfortable ride.
What? You all thought I’d skip the minivan, didn’t you? Think again. Minivans are the most dad-approved vehicle on the planet; at least they should be. The Toyota Sienna comes in bold colors, four-wheel drive, a hybrid powerplant, endless safety and comfort features and even a touch of sporty JDM styling. Wake up, fathers! The minivan is ours. Where else can you get a vehicle with 35 mpg, 245 horsepower, AWD and Bluray players?
Buying a Sequoia is like signing a chord; you won’t do it until you need it. The Toyota Sequoia has long been one of the most prolific family dumpers on our roads. These buses are everywhere.
If you need more space than the 4Runner, but still have a bulletproof drivetrain, a great 4×4 system and something you to feel cool, the Sequoia has your name on it.
Okay, I’m going to go rogue now. But there is a bit of a method here. As long as an off-road truck has a certain level of courtesy, they can be great cars for dads. Think about it; if a car is made to get muddy and wet, the waterproof upholstery, rough floor and armored exterior noise are perfect for terrifying little ones.
The Ford Bronco is tough, tough, large and easily washable. I say again: easy to wash.
Mini Cooper compatriot
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Another weird one, I know, but listen to me. Yes, a Mini Countryman will not serve a growing family for long. You quickly fill up on it. However, if you’re just a trio, the Countryman will do the job beautifully. They are fun and sporty, but not as small as they seem.
If you live in a big city and parking is a hassle, you’re walking away from anything big and bulky. The Mini is still SUV-esque, while still being shorter than most sedans. This means a high roof, decent storage options and a short wheelbase for parking. Think about it.
The Odyssey has to be the ultimate father car. The Toyota Sienna is great. But there is something special about the Honda Odyssey. It makes no pretensions. It has never in the history of the model tried to be anything other than what it is: a practical, safe, spacious, potential machine. The Odyssey is full of potential. The space and reliability it offers its drivers create a sense of possibility.
What more could a father want than a safe, reliable car that makes you feel like the future is open and your family can grow to meet those opportunities? A little too cheesy? Sure, but that’s the point. Dads are cheesy. Most of us can agree on that. So if we accept the cheesiness, why do dads go out of their way to have a “cool” car?
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