Welcome to the family: Our New Tour Bus

Sometimes the craziest things slip out of my mouth. I try to guard my mouth and pray God silences me when he really needs to, but dadgum if some things don’t slide out anyway. That’s what happened on that Sunday morning.

An older friend of my parents stopped me one morning at church. “Nice looking van you’ve got there!”

“Oh, that thing? It’s our new tour bus!” I laughed.

Tour bus?!?!?

First of all, we don’t tour. Unless you count visits to Costco in which the crowd lines up to watch us parade by, our trail of six ducklings behind me, then it feels kind of famous-y. But truth be told, I’m a behind the scenes kind of girl so the only tour you’ll get on our bus is a trip to the cow pasture for feedin’ time!

I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that we drive this 12-seater Nissan NVP. It’s kind of fancy considering our past “farm” vehicles and “above” us, but it’s a wonderful blessing and we are thankful every day for a vehicle that holds all of our family plus groceries (big family goals).

On a weekly basis, people ask to see inside it so today you get a tour of the bus. If you squint your eyes, tilt your head, and say it really fast, it sounds like “tour bus.”

Kidding, I’m kidding.

Here’s a peek into our newest ride:

 

It’s smooth-riding and spacious, providing the kids with plenty of room to spread out and not touch each other. Win-win! “You’re touching me! She crossed over my seat. He looked at me!” Ok, they still look at each other, which is fine with me if the poking and unbuckling of one another’s seatbelt stops.

2016 Nissan NV Passenger Specs:

Seats: up to 12

Mechanical:

  •  V8 – 5.6-liter DOHC 32-valve
  • 387 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
  • 375 hp @ 5,800 rpm
  • Towing Capacity – 8,690 lbs. (w/ tow hitch)

Interior:

  • 12-Passenger seating capacity
  • Removable split seating for 324 seating configurations
  • Available Technology Package

Safety:

  • Driver and front passenger air bags
  • Roof-mounted curtain air bags for passenger protection
  • Largest brakes in class with 4-wheel anti-lock braking system

*See dimensions and capacity here.

My Review

The 2016 Nissan NV passenger van is a practical choice for our family of eight, with enough room for the family plus friends, groceries, or luggage. We’ve traveled caravan style on a 14-hour trip to West Virginia and survived. We removed half of the back row for luggage which left plenty of room underneath the seats for each child to store their pillow, blanket, and traveling box.

Pros

It’s roomy. Have I said that already? Some babies hate traveling in cars, but the NVP makes it easy to strap the car seats in the back row to save both your sanity and your ears. A sibling seated next to the unhappy (but perfectly fine, freshly changed and fed) baby making silly faces is a gentle reprieve until you reach your destination. There’s plenty of head space and leg space for even adults to travel comfortably in any row.

Even with all of the seats in it, there’s plenty of room in the very back for groceries (a normal stop, not a bulk shopping trip) or diaper bags and a small stroller.

The console between the front seats is large enough to fit a child picnic lunch with all the fixings or a suitcase. This is a great place to store items you keep in the van on a daily basis. There’s a nifty little drawer under the driver seat which is a great place for several small things, like a small purse or a flashlight or a roll of toilet paper for emergencies. There’s also space under the passenger seat large enough to hold a first-aid kit (the Wells’ don’t travel without a first aid kit).

Hubs likes the powerful engine and the clean, uncluttered space under the hood, which is great for tune-ups and repairs. The Bluetooth is part of the “fancy” package and it’s been convenient for answering those forwarded farm phone calls when I’m away from the office. Hubs likes knowing I’m able to drive hands-free while helping our customers.

Cons

Gas mileage. Need I say more? The Nissan NVP averages 15-16 mpg, which is considerably less than your standard minivan, but not surprising considering the vehicle shape and size.

If you’re a family accustomed to traveling with DVD players to distract the kids, you’ll be sorely disappointed as the headrests don’t allow for more than one row to see the screen at a time. Multiple screens would solve this problem or simply remove the headrests during traveling.

The driver side passenger window could be considered a con. If you noticed from the pictures, we currently have both toddler car seats behind the driver seat, conveniently placed near the window where they’ve discovered how to open it. They may or may not rip their school papers and slip them out of the opened window on the way home from school every day. (Every day? I meant the first day I discovered it and then they learned a valuable lesson on littering.)

The seats don’t recline. Don’t misunderstand that as a whine, because it’s only an observation, and it’s not a problem unless you’re traveling for long distances and then it would’ve been convenient.

That’s a Wrap

Overall, we are pleased with our vehicle and highly recommend it if you’re a big family looking for something to fit your family. It’s been a huge blessing to us and we are grateful. When we purchased ours, it was one of a handful in the state and difficult to even find one, let alone buy one. Since then, they’ve grown in popularity so ours isn’t the only one you’ll see on the road.

I joked with Hubs about personalizing the outside in some kind of wrap or stripes. I don’t know…what do you think? We’d love to hear your suggestions for how we can personalize our van!

 

 

 

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