.Nonetheless, I've been convinced that when I do have kids (young children seem to require a frighteningly large amount of support equipment) a minivan will be the way to go.
Don't buy into the hype. My kid's seven, and we're still doing fine in a 2002 four-door Echo. (They call 'em Yaris these days). And that's counting a week long camping trip this year. Far more important than Massive Cargo Space is simply a back door to get the kid in-and-out of the seat. But what we save in fuel more than pays for the odd time we need to rent a larger vehicle.
Babies need a stroller and a diaper bag - bag goes next to kid, stroller goes in the trunk. (And after about a week you'll get one of those little umbrella strollers for the car because you don't actually need a Baby Suburban Stroller anyway.) Once they're toddler age you're down to just the bag for snacks and such, and that's about the same size as those big purses you see everywhere.