Move Over Minivan: The Pickup is the New Family Vehicle of Choice

For the longest time, the unofficial vehicle of the soccer mom was the minivan. Three rows of seats, plenty of space in the back and decent gas mileage made these rides the default vehicle of choice for families going places across town. But things have changed.

These days, trucks and SUVs get better gas mileage, more families are taking adventures in the great outdoors, and larger vehicles can do more to cater to family lifestyles. Of all the options you have — and there are plenty — here’s why a quality, dependable truck should be your next family vehicle.

Sports Gear

A full-size pickup can carry a lot of stuff. Hockey sticks, soccer balls, football pads, baseball bats — you name it. Your kids could play every sport on the map and your truck bed will likely be able to hold every piece of gear for it. And if this sounds like an organizational mess, truck beds are perfectly modular for these situations.

You can pick up all sorts of dividers and cargo nets that will keep your kids’ gear in order. But since truck beds are open and vulnerable against theft, a good tonneau cover will keep it all locked up and safe from criminals in the parking lot.

Outdoors Adventures

Thanks to social media, outdoor recreation has grown tremendously in the last 10 years. But getting out in the wilderness is where the minivan falls short. While most national and state parks offer paved roads for passenger vehicles, the places you really want to go are only accessible by choppy dirt roads.

Now, you don’t need a Jeep Wrangler to access these spots, but a dependable pickup with high clearance (as most now feature) and four-wheel drive will get you to virtually any campsite you desire. Slap a solid pair of all-terrain tires on your vehicle, and you and the whole family will be ready to conquer the great outdoors.

Cabin Space

The older trucks of yesteryear used to serve as single-row utility vehicles, with room for two or maybe three people. Even trucks with back seats could barely fit a family comfortably for a short drive, let alone a long road trip. But today’s pickups have all the room of full-size, two-row SUVs, plus all that room for gear in the bed. No, there is no third row in a pickup, but if you’re only driving four to five people, this really is a non-issue.

Safety Features

Here’s a common misconception: Trucks aren’t as safe as other vehicles. Maybe that was true in decades past, but the roomy cabins inside pickups are now just as safe, if not more, than other passenger vehicles.

Newer versions of the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado and Toyota Tundra come packed with airbags and other added safety features that will protect you and your family in a collision. And since they’re so much larger than other vehicles on the road, it adds an extra layer of protection in the event of a crash.

Fun Factor

Soccer moms, dads and parents all around: Let’s just admit what we always know — minivans aren’t necessarily cool. We buy them because they check the boxes we need for hauling our kids across town, with plenty of room to store their stuff in the back. But deep down we wish we were behind the wheel of something else.

The truck fixes all of that, especially if you’re a family who loves the outdoors. Indeed, there’s nothing better than a full-size, double-cab pickup to kick up some mud with the whole family inside. Let’s see a minivan do any of that.