RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The van has been the stereotypical vehicle of choice for soccer moms across the United States for years, but is now being replaced by an unlikely successor — the pickup truck.

It’s becoming the mom-mobile of choice for a number of reasons.

The biggest advantage of the minivan for many moms is the ease of getting kids in and out through the sliding doors. Some moms just won’t give up their vans.

“My husband wants a pickup truck desperately, but it won’t replace the van for me,” said Allison Otley. “I’m going to keep my minivan.”

Minivans are utilitarian, but they aren’t flashy. Moms today want something that puts the fun back into driving.

“Parents today are really looking for a more rugged alternative,” said Autotrader managing editor Tara Trompeter. “There are more options than ever that offer power, convenience, tech and safety that parents really need—all while being fun to drive.”

For many moms in 2019, the family vehicle needs to do more than transport the family. That’s why the pickup’s role is evolving.

“We really need a car more than ever before that can keep up, and for our family’s needs,” said Trumpeter.

For years, the pickup truck was practical and built for tough jobs. But, as automakers have added more features to the pickup truck, Trompeter said its appeal has changed. No longer is it considered unwieldy and heavy.

“These days, pickups are giving you all the sport, utility, comfort, and convenience of a crossover, but with added interior and bed space.”

With crew-cab designs, she said the pickup has room for a growing family that’ll allow three child seats in the second row.

Trompeter also said some moms like the height a pickup provides while driving.

“You do feel like you’re queen of the road. You’ve got full control,” she said.

Newer pickups now come with safety features like:

  • Forward collision warning systems
  • Lane departure warnings
  • Traction control & anti-skid systems
  • Cameras
  • Parking assist systems

Today, drivers also want creature comforts when they drive.

“I definitely use my GPS a lot to go places,” said Ally Cooley.

Others want CD players, DVD players, and other things they’ve become used to having. Automakers have responded to that desire for gadgets in newer pickups.

“We love that you can plug your phone in and be totally hands-free and have access to the interfaces you know and love,” said Trompeter.

Although not a gas guzzler, today’s pickup’s average about 19 miles per gallon. So, if mileage is really important, it might be worth looking elsewhere for a mom-mobile.