Loading up the kiddos and deciding on your next car just got a little easier.
Edmunds and Parents Magazine are teaming up once again for their annual list of Top 10 Family Cars. There are ten categories with a wide range of choices so no matter what your budget is or how many kids you need to squeeze into the car, there’s something on this list worth test driving.
Editors based their picks on a number of factors including safety, affordability, and availability of family-friendly features.
Best Eco-Friendly Car
Chevrolet Bolt EV
($37,495 without the $7,500 federal tax credit)
The Bolt makes the top Eco-pick for families with a 238 range on a full charge. It offers a funky EV look similar to the BMW i3. There’s comfortable seating for four and a usable middle seat for a fifth. It gives you all the latest in-car connectivity tech, and as a Chevrolet comes with Teen Driver. So you’re set when it’s your kid’s turn to get behind the wheel.
The Bolt starts selling nationwide in August.
Best Budget Vehicle
The Kia Soul is the fun and funky car of the list as well as the most affordable. It offers a roomy interior with comfortable, roomy, seats good for even the tallest drivers.
The optional sunroof is a huge bonus for natural sunlight boosting morale. There’s not a ton of trunk room, but the rear seats do fold.
I personally took a Soul out for a drive and love its spunky personality.
Subaru Crosstrek ($22,570)
This is the perfect model for the adventuresome family. Subaru raises the ground clearance to 8.7-inchs, improves cabin material, and builds it on the new Global Platform for 2017.
It meets the safety standard of Subaru AWD plus offers the available EyeSight suite of safety technology which we always recommend. You’re not going to find bigger fans of Subaru than the Car Pro.
Crosstrek has plenty of cargo room for all your gear. Despite its size and AWD, the EPA rates it at 26-city and 33-highway mpg.
Best Small Sedan
The 2017 Honda Civic makes a good choice with its fuel economy, safety, and the overall reliability of just being a Honda.
The trunk offers plenty of room for your standard family needs and there’s also a hatchback version if you’re looking for a little bit more cargo space. It also rates high in the cool factor.
It is also one of Kelley Blue Book’s Coolest Cars for around $18,000.
Sedans are meant to offer a well-rounded choice for families. The Sonata’s roomy cabin fits five adults and comes with the connectivity tech to keep everyone happy. It even has a driver’s knee airbag. Plus, a technology package on the Limited edition features retractable sunshades to shield your precious cargo from the sun.
Best Midsize Crossovers
The all-new 2017 Mazda CX-5 crossover just arrived in March. It keeps its affordable price point and comes with Mazda’s fun Zoom-Zoom handling, Soul of Motion design, and optional safety package. You can add AWD on any trim.
The wildly popular Honda CR-V continues to be one of America’s best-selling crossovers. Like the Mazda, it’s also all-new for 2017. It improves on the previous year’s fuel economy and comes with extra rear legroom and seat-down cargo space. New tech features include two ports for charging digital devices.
Best WagonSubaru Outback ($26,520).
Need we say anything? This classic Subaru dominates the niche wagon market. The Outback has a true rep for being reliable, safe, and go anywhere with your family – of children or dogs – vehicle. If you like taking the kids off-roading, AWD and hill descent control are standard.
Like the Crosstrek, the Outback offers Subaru’s available Eyesight safety technology which includes automated reverse braking.
We recommend the Honda Odyssey as our top minivan choice with the Toyota Sienna a close second. However, we’re keeping an eye on the new Pacifica; especially its hybrid version which is also the 2017 Family Car of Texas. The Pacifica offers the full minivan experience with optional rear entertainment with two 10-inch touchscreens, blue-ray player, 115-volt outlet, and USB and HDMI inputs.
You can check out our review of the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica here.
If you just can’t bring yourself to buy a minivan, Edmunds and Parents Magazine recommend the Toyota Highlander. It’s smaller than other Toyota SUVs but comes with more than enough room for families. The Toyota V6 makes it a good choice for parents looking for that extra kick in the family car and the five charging ports and a safety suite with advanced pedestrian detection make it practical and safe. Check out our Highlander SE and Highlander XLE Hybrid test drives.
Edmunds and Parents magazine also throw in a handful of honorable mentions:
- Nissan Rogue SUV ($25,380)
- Mazda 3 sedan ($18,720)
- Mercedes-Benz GLC300 SUV ($40,075)
- Hyundai Santa Fe SUV ($31,695)
- Honda Odyssey minivan ($30,930)