Dad of Divas' Reviews: Move Over, Mom: Dad’s Becoming the Car Pool King

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Move Over, Mom: Dad’s Becoming the Car Pool King

As children across America head back to school, a new survey commissioned by Chevrolet finds that many fathers in America are taking more of an active role in before-and after-school carpooling duties, with utility vehicles the preferred choice of dads over minivans.

An online survey conducted by Harris Interactive® showed that 80 percent of fathers in the United States with children age 17 or younger take an active role in daily family life, with more than 70 percent driving their kids to school, daycare or extracurricular activities.

But in the evolution of carpooling, the study also showed that both drivers and their vehicles have changed. While moms may prefer minivans for their sliding doors, more than half (58 percent) of the dads surveyed prefer to do their business, personal and leisure shuttling in a family hauler that doesn’t question their masculinity. In fact, survey results demonstrated that fathers gave their current family vehicle a 6.4 “cool” rating on a 10-point scale.

Utility vehicles – such as SUVs and crossovers – were the most-preferred vehicles among fathers for accomplishing all their work week, weekend and family activities. Less than one quarter surveyed indicated that they prefer a minivan for these tasks.

“According to recent Census data, there are 154,000 stay-at-home dads and more than 25 million dads who have kids under 17. The trend is shifting and men are becoming more involved with family-driving duties. We’re seeing the rise of the ‘Dadmobile,’” said James Bell, head of General Motors Consumer Affairs.

“The minivan has long been seen as the quintessential family car, but its heyday might be over with crossovers and SUVs like the Chevrolet Traverse, Tahoe or Equinox combining equal or better fuel economy, safety and convenience with a more rugged edge,” Bell said.

The study showed that fathers first and foremost want a safe, fuel-efficient vehicle. More than half of all dads chose safety as top vehicle feature, followed by fuel economy. Interesting to note that dads cited high fuel prices and traffic jams as the top two most stressful things about travel.

Vehicle versatility is also key as dads surveyed use their current vehicles for everything from holiday travel (94 percent) to work commutes (63 percent) to household do-it-yourself projects (54 percent). Accordingly, passenger capacity was important to nearly 40 percent of fathers, along with functionality, ample cargo space and comfort.

“The survey illustrates a growing trend that crossovers – like the Chevrolet Traverse – are more popular than minivans among dads in America,” said Mark Clawson, Traverse marketing manager. “The Traverse has gone a long way in redefining vehicular versatility and efficiency for the modern driver – even farther than the minivan did 30 years ago. The Traverse borrows the best across all segments, uniting the features the study showed as most important to fathers like me.”

The Traverse continues to be one of the more popular large crossovers thanks to its balance of efficiency, spaciousness and safety. It has the best fuel economy of any eight-passenger utility vehicle, due to its 3.6L V-6 engine with direct-injection technology and variable valve timing that delivers an EPA-estimated 24 mpg on the highway (FWD models).

The Traverse also offers the most storage capacity of any vehicle in its segment. Spaciousness comes from seating for up to eight with up to 116.4 cubic feet of maximum cargo space. It is also recognized as a safe vehicle, receiving a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score for safety in the New Car Assessment Program run by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traverse is also an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 2011 Top Safety Pick

For 2012, Traverse is offered in LS, LT and LTZ models (with two LT trim levels: 1LT and 2LT), in both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations. The starting price is $30,240 including $810 destination but not including taxes and title.

Product highlights include:

Six standard air bags

StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control System with Traction Control

StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with traction control

Four-wheel independent suspension system

Choice of 17-, 18- or 20-inch wheels

Second-row Smart Slide seat, for easy access to third-row seats

Rear-seat entertainment system with second-row controls

Sirius/XM Satellite Radio including NavTraffic real-time traffic feature (with navigation system)

Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity

Cruising range of more than 500 miles (800 km)

Towing capacity of 5,200 pounds (2,358 kg).

·Traverse comes standard with a 100,000 mile/5-year(3) Transferable Powertrain Limited warranty, roadside assistance, and Courtesy Transportation Programs.

·Traverse comes standard with a 100,000 mile/5-year(3) Transferable Powertrain Limited warranty, roadside assistance, and Courtesy Transportation Programs.

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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