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So, now that we've sold VANTACULUS (the Wee Van), we've been contemplating what we should be getting for Operation DEATH BOX.

Ford Econoline E350

The big chungus option, assuming one can find an acual passenger version. The work van version is much more plentiful option, but even though I could technically bolt in seats for the children, it would absolutely suck for them for road trips. While the full size van would rock the utility function in perpetuity, the thirsty V8 (and occasionally, V10) would mean some serious struggling for the short term need for commuting. They look like bricks, but not in a good way.

STATUS: Still technically in contention.

Honda Oddessey

In all honesty, this was my frontrunner when starting the search. Japanese reliability, plus Honda driving dynamics, and I think they look rather smart. Then we went to look at one, and things went wrong. It was discovered that the Oddessey has "touchy" power sliding side doors, which would definitely go wrong for my little idiots. Then we found that the second row seats can't really fold out of the way enough to fit the mountain bikes. In fact, there is some significant doubt about 3 mountain bikes fitting at all.

STATUS: Not currently being considered, and somewhat bitter about it.

Toyota Sienna

The more-reliable near-era Japanese option. I've superficially been not looking for these because A) I think they're ugly, and B) the ex-step-MIL drove one and it scarred me forever. Dimensionally, this van should be approximately the same interior space as the Oddessey, so there is doubt about its ability to accomplish the bike-hauling mission.

STATUS: Technically still being considered, but possibly as a last option.

Dodge/Chrysler Vanageddon

I know. I KNOW. Shitty Chrysler product is like deciding to buy some lucky mechanic a new boat, and to abstain from joy while doing it.

BUT, here me out. These horror-filled boxes of poorly-considered cheap plastic have considerably more room inside, thanks to the Stow-and-Go™ capabilities. Plus, because they are generally considered to be shittier, it is possible to get a much newer specimen, which would allow some increased modern amenities - like back up camera and bluetooth. And while I can't stop seeing the design-by-committee, Amy likes how they look.

STATUS: Probably, unfortunately, the frontrunner.

Toyota Previa

These are all older, and due to their charm, much more expensive for what they technically are. However, they are bubble-era Japanese builds, which is famously high quality. They would be fun(ner) to drive, thanks to the rear wheel drive. And the funky way the rear seats fold up and the second row swivel to face the rear might - just might - provide enough room to haul all the bikes and kids.

STATUS: Hopeful saviour from Chryslery Doom.