Our van hit 10,000 miles this week.
Which seems like a good time to update you on how we like our ride. The review I wrote of our Nissan 12-passenger NV is still one of my most popular posts. I get new questions every week and some of you have even sent me pictures of your snazzy new wheels. I love it!
So here’s the stuff I know now that I didn’t know then:
You will literally stop traffic. I was pulling through a drive-thru once and I had a man walk up to the speaker where I was ordering and demand to know what mileage the van gets. BEFORE I’d finished my request for chicken mini biscuits and a sweet tea. He was so insistent I had to answer him before the server could give me my total and tell me to drive around.
Please note: I am happy to answer your questions, I’ll probably even let you look inside, but let a girl order her chicken first, ok?
P.S. 14-18 in town, 21 on highway. You’re welcome.
We regularly field questions about our van from random strangers on the road, at gas stations, and yes, even in the drive-thru. If you make this purchase, be prepared to be friendly!
Vacationing in the NV:
- In September, we filled the van to the brim with 12 people and enough stuff to feed and clothe us for a week at the beach. And we had us a comfortable ride to our vacation.
- I LOVE having the headrests fit on any seat in the back so I know that no matter where we squeeze any adult riders in, they have a comfy place to rest their heads.
- Go ahead and spring for the trailer hitch. We installed the trailer ball on the back ourselves (in the dark at 10 pm, not recommended) but the pigtail that you need to make the lights work on a trailer and such is really easiest installed by a dealer.
- We used the hitch to add a cargo extender on the back for our beach trip. Worked like a charm.
- Cruise control. It is a God-send.
- We actually go places now. And we don’t mind.
Twelve Seats and How We Rearrange Them:
- We make use of the flexibility of seating like WHOA. When we were getting our house ready to sell, we rearranged everyone so that Andrew could pop out half of the back seat and stuff boxes to haul to storage with our whole gang in tow.
- Andrew can leave car seats attached to the seats and remove them from the van. This makes reconfiguring SO much easier.
- The back row splits in half and each half has wheels. So even though those are pretty heavy seats to get out the back door, once you do, it’s super easy to roll them right into the garage.
Other Things We Love:
- That center console up front. It is my everything. It’s got TONS of storage and it’s comfortable to lean on. There’s also a plug and a slot for your charger cord so you can juice up your phone inside the console if you need to. (With that many people in the van, we’re bound to have more than one device that needs charging at a time. Nissan clearly thought of this.)
- We use the auxiliary input to play our iPods all the time. And I hear from some of you that the Bluetooth is wonderful, too.
Our One Complaint:
- That driver’s side head rest. It doesn’t bother me, but for taller guys like Andrew, he will get a headache on long trips from having his head pitched slightly forward. The dealer insists it’s a safety feature, so we’ll stay stocked up on Advil and roll with it. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a tiny price to pay for a ride that we love.
There are a ton of great questions and comments on my original post. I tried to answer everyone’s questions there, so check there for more info.
Also, we received a LOT of questions about being able to reverse the second row. There are conflicting versions of this from the dealer. I’m doing my homework and we’ll get back to you on it.
Whenever we load up to go somewhere and we finally buckle the last car seat and get the preferred tunes playing, I always sit back for a minute and just breathe in the sweetness of riding together. I remember many days when I would have been happy just to have something… anything, that would hold all of us.
And now: we’re together, we’re comfortable, and sometimes God’s goodness just overwhelms me, even if its only about a hunk of metal on wheels.
There’s something about being contained in a small space that’ll make you crazy and make you feel crazy blessed all at once.
Even if that “small space” is a gigantic twelve-passenger van…