Unmoved by people movers

“Can a real man drive a minivan?” asks James Joyner.

Ordinarily I’d dismiss this whole premise with a handwave and a snort: “A Real Man drives whatever he goddamn well pleases, be it an old Jaguar or a New Beetle.”

But rather a lot of people of the male persuasion worry about things like this to an extent I still find hard to believe: one of the most common questions in the Cars & Transportation segment of Yahoo! Answers is “Is [fill in name of vehicle] a girl car?” Admittedly, I haven’t crosschecked to see if the same boys asking this question are also the ones hanging out on Men’s Health asking “I’m 7.5 inches at sixteen. Is this enough?” (Correct response to this: “Seven and a half inches? Very unusual for someone your age. So how big’s your wiener?”)

Dr Joyner is certainly feeling no shrinkage:

A few weeks back, we learned that the practicalities of road trips with our infant daughter made it worthwhile to trade my wife’s small SUV for a minivan. I occasionally drive it. While it’s neither as cool nor as much fun as the [Nissan 350]Z, my manhood doesn’t mysteriously vanish when I’m behind the wheel.

Of course not. Unlike the adolescents at Yahoo! Answers pining for a Nissan Skyline R34, he doesn’t wear it on the outside.

And I’m willing to bet it holds up even under conditions like this:

Daihatsu Mira Cocoa

This is Cocoa, a Japanese kei-class car in the Daihatsu Mira range, which apparently is being marketed directly to women, a maneuver that hasn’t always worked out well. Perversely, it’s not available with a stick shift: CVT or four-speed automatic only. If nothing else, this will discourage the sort of guy who dreams of a Civic Si.


  1. Baby M »

    25 August 2009 · 7:09 am

    There are those who would argue that a minivan is better than whatever it is you’re driving. (http://www.carlustblog.com/2008/08/a-minivan-is-be.html)

    Grassroots Motorsports had an article a few years ago, a comparison test between a “bathtub” Porsche 356, a Jaguar XKE, and a Honda Odyssey. (http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/articles/soccer-moms-revenge/) The Odyssey won. Wasn’t even close.

  2. CGHill »

    25 August 2009 · 7:25 am

    Similarly, the original Ford Taurus SHO, at its introduction the fastest sedan ever built in the States, now routinely gets its doors blown off by your mom’s Camry. (Okay, maybe by my stepmom’s Camry, if she’s in a hurry.)

    And I’ve actually linked that Car Lust article already, now that I think about it.

  3. Can a Real Man Drive a Minivan? — MANzine »

    25 August 2009 · 7:36 am

    […] Chaz Hill contends that, “A Real Man drives whatever he goddamn well pleases, be it an old Jaguar or a New Beetle.” […]

  4. McGehee »

    25 August 2009 · 8:54 am

    When gas was $4-plus per gallon and I was contemplating retiring my Bronco (not like this) for something with similar load capacity (a large-ish dog and three (at the time) cats, plus luggage, make for quite a load), I considered whether a minivan might be the best choice. Which I narrowed down rather quickly to the Honda Odyssey.

    Which I ruled out even more quickly when I realized even used ones are pretty pricey — a common condition for Hondas in general. Without going into details, I know someone earning decent money who was only able to afford an eight-year-old Civic because it had been totaled and rebuilt for sale under a salvage title.

  5. fillyjonk »

    25 August 2009 · 11:34 am


    You know, I might just be slightly more inclined to buy a car named after a delicious food.

    (Yes, I am such a girl.)

  6. CGHill »

    25 August 2009 · 11:48 am

    So the Dodge Veg-O-Matic is out, then?

  7. fillyjonk »

    25 August 2009 · 3:02 pm

    Yes, even though it’s probably “good for me.”

  8. Jeffro »

    25 August 2009 · 5:39 pm

    Minivan? This is what a real man drives.

  9. Baby M »

    26 August 2009 · 7:51 am

    I was looking at an old Car & Driver from 1981 that has a five-car comparison test: Porsche 911, Ferrari 308 GTi, DeLorean, C3 ‘Vette, and 280Z. My box-stock GTI Mk. V beats the best cars in the bunch (Ferrari and Porsche) in every measured category except top speed. To be fair, if you put 21st-century tires on either of them, they’d probably catch up to me in lateral acceleration, but still…a Vee-Dub outgunning Magnum’s Ferrari!

    ‘Course, the Ferrari and the DeLorean have me ‘way out-cooled in the styling department.

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