Which (gasp) didn't exist when I was a child and yet somehow we managed without.
What percentage of the population could afford that back in the 70? or 80's?
Never was a problem getting all the people wherever we needed to go. I rode from the Great Lakes down to Florida several times in the back of a VW Scirocco.
And now we get to the heart of the problem. Would the local police or resident busy-bodies (with 911 on speed dial) let you get away with that today? Everyone needs a proper seat with seat-belt and side air bags. Rolling around lose in the back of a station wagon was good enough for us X'ers, but it's now considered reckless and dangerous today. And that is why minivans are essential to anyone with more than 2 kids.