Parents Magazine is out with its 10 Best Family Cars of 2019.
The list started with 30 minivans and SUVs that all passed government safety tests with flying colors. They all also provided a good value.
Parents Magazine then got into more specifics to narrow the list down. A child passenger safety technician installed multiple car seats in each, and a mom mechanic weighed in about gas mileage, maintenance costs, and high-tech driving features. Parents also looked at family-friendly elements, such as entertainment systems and the number and placement of cup holders.
"Second to the home, the car is at the center of our parenting universe," said Liz Vaccariello, Editor-in-Chief of Parents. "Moms and dads need a vehicle that can handle their squad and haul all of their stuff. In developing this list, we wanted to evaluate what's important to families at a level that exceeds other car rankings. This meant understanding the fundamental features needed in a vehicle, while also keeping in-car entertainment, and of course, safety top of mind."
Here are the magazine’s choices for 10 Best Family Cars of 2019 with their comments along with our Car Pro review when available.
- Honda Odyssey ($30,190+) Parents Magazine calls the Odyssey perfect for shuttling a lot of kids in car seats or boosters. The Odyssey can comfortably fit up to six child safety seats. The touchscreen CabinTalk system allows the driver to project their voice via a speaker system all around the vehicle. New safety features for EX models and higher ($34,160+) include adjusted steering in the event the vehicle drifts, and an updated braking system that activates the brakes if a collision is imminent. Car Pro Honda Odyssey Review
- Toyota Sienna ($31,115+) This is the only minivan with all-wheel drive, which improves traction in rain or snow. Other safety features include automatic high beams and pedestrian detection while on the road. The Sienna is spacious and can fit four to five car seats or boosters. Parents Magazine also points out a unique factory-installed Auto-Access Seat for passengers with limited mobility. Drivers can push a button on the door to rotate the seat outside of the car and lower it to almost street-level. Car Pro Honda Toyota Sienna Review
- Kia Sedona ($27,200+) The budget-friendly Sedona got a makeover for 2019: a restyled bumper, better-looking headlights, redesigned doors, and stain-resistant seat fabric. The Sedona also includes a new eight-speed transmission, which gives the car as much power as other higher-priced vans on the lot. It fits five car seats or boosters.
BEST 3-ROW SUVs
- Nissan Pathfinder ($31,230+) The Nissan Pathfinder is equipped with a patented rear-door alert system, designed by two mom-engineers. The system honks automatically if the back door is opened right before a trip, but not after. Parents Magazine also points out the 360-degree view parking camera so you can see objects otherwise be hidden in a blind spot.
- Honda Pilot ($31,450+) The newly redesigned Honda Pilot provides features found in the Honda Odyssey, like CabinTalk, and offers room for up to five car seats or boosters. The Touring model is equipped with a convenience feature that allows you to simply kick under the rear bumper to open the trunk. Car Pro Honda Pilot Review
- Volkswagen Atlas ($30,895+) One of the largest SUVs on this list, the Volkswagen Atlas provides ample legroom and cargo space even with five car seats or boosters installed. Parents Magazine also notes that the Atlas gets good gas mileage and offers a six-year, 72,000-mile warranty. Car Pro Honda VW Atlas Review
- Subaru Ascent ($31,995+) Parents Magazine calls the first-ever Ascent the “perfect vehicle for the adventure-seeking family”. The Ascent comes with raised ladder-type roof rails, automated emergency braking if the vehicle senses a crash, and a storage compartment behind the third row. It also boasts 19 cup holders, and some models can tow up to 5,000 pounds. Car Pro Subaru Ascent Review
BEST 2-ROW SUVs
- GMC Terrain ($25,000+) Parents Magazine points out the Terrain’s safety features like Rear Cross Traffic Alert, which warns you when someone walks behind your car as you're backing up. Car Pro GMC Terrain Review
- Subaru Forester ($24,295+) The most fuel-efficient vehicle on the list, the Subaru Forester gets up to 33 mpg on the highway. It includes Subaru's EyeSight safety feature that prevents you from swaying into other lanes and slows the car down if you are about to hit an object on the road. Car Pro Show host Jerry Reynolds is a huge fan of EyeSight. Check out his Subaru Forester Review here.
- Ford Escape ($24,105+) The Ford Edge makes the cut as well. Parents Magazine likes that it is easy to navigate in tight spaces, plus it fits two to three car seats or boosters. A free Ford app allows drivers to speak to Amazon Alexa—whether it's to order additional supplies or to check the daily schedule.