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Mom’s Taxi Is Now Dad’s SUV

The image of Mom in the minivan may be a thing of the past. In a recent survey, more than 70 percent of fathers drive their kids to and from school, preschool, and extracurricular activities. And nearly 60 percent use an SUV or CUV to get the job done.

The survey was commissioned by Chevrolet, and it found that dads rate their family vehicle a 6.4 out of 10 -- probably because they’re not driving minivans. Fewer than 25 percent of dads admitted to doing the chauffeuring in a sliding-door mom-mobile. But like moms, dads’ first concern is with safety, not looks. Design isn’t even their second concern -- that position belongs to fuel economy.

SUVs and CUVs have plenty of room for dads, kids, and gear, plus a dash of style not found in most minivans, despite the “swagger wagon” campaign at Toyota. Minivans have come a long way in catering to driver comfort, with more luxury and high-tech options available, like Bluetooth connectivity and seats that can adjust a dozen ways. But exterior styling has remained much the same for years; while SUVs and CUVs at all price points have a more aggressive, masculine look.

There’s also the matter of selection, with far more models of SUVs and CUVs available these days. Buyers can find small vehicles with four seats and gas-sipping four-cylinder engines, or large seven-seaters with enough torque and horsepower to pull a boat to the lake.

That’s the thing with dads and the vehicles they buy -- versatility. According to the survey results, dads want one vehicle that can take the kids to school, get themselves to work without burning too much gasoline, and make a trip to the home and garden center on the weekend. If you’re looking for a vehicle that can do all this and more, check out our New and Used Autos research tools to find the SUV or CUV that fits your lifestyle.