There's truly a vehicle for everyone in today's automotive market. Though, when it comes to meeting the needs of a unique family, it can be difficult to choose the right car for the job. Through muddy shoes, family dogs, sporting equipment and leftover lunchboxes, it's important that the car you choose can keep up with your demands. Where families previously sought after minivans and sedans, today's market shows that the most popular family vehicles are crossovers and SUVs. This is because they boast plenty of seating, well-planned storage space, and entertainment perks.
The 2017 Subaru Outback
Subaru's Outback is known for being one of the most family-friendly options on the market. It's built with practicality in mind and is arguably the most versatile vehicle on this list. The all-wheel-drive ensures that families get to their destination safely, no matter what the weather's like outdoors. In addition to that, it possesses incredible fuel efficiency for its class.
The resale value of the Subaru Outback is impeccable, and used Outbacks are often hard to find (for a good reason). Many purchasers of this model tend to hang onto them for years, thanks to their outstanding comfort and reliability. The vehicle seats five passengers across two rows. It has 8.7 inches of ground clearance and is ready for any family adventure. The 2017 Subaru Outback contains 73 cubic feet of interior cargo space, and the rear cargo area is also well designed. It's always ready for luggage, camping gear, and the family's furry companion.
Optional features like all-weather floor mats, heated steering wheel, leather seats, in-headrest entertainment systems and upgraded sound systems make this a stand-out choice. It has car seat anchors to accommodate the LATCH system and gets great side-impact ratings.
2017 Toyota Highlander
Another close winner in this category is the 2017 Toyota Highlander. It's the perfect combination of economical function and style. It comes with a 5-star crash test rating from the NHTSA and was a Top Safety Pick of the IIHS. The 2017 model has been upgraded with a bold exterior and more comfortable interior than previous models. The interior is leather-lined and seats up to eight passengers for cruising around town.
Toyota's Highlander comes with Entune technology, which is ingrained into the onboard multimedia system. The interior cabin was planned with storage in mind and has a versatile center console. Though it does have lower fuel economy when compared to others in its class, the ability to carry a larger family is appealing. The LE and Hybrid models house a 3.5-liter V6 engine, which can easily pump out 295 horsepower. In addition to that, it has a 5,000-pound towing capacity.
2017 Honda HR-V
The Honda HR-V is one of the smaller family vehicles in this category. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in storage. The 2017 HR-V contains 60 cubic feet of interior cargo space, which is surprising for its small exterior. It may not be the ideal option for larger families, but the SUV has more interior storage space than others in its class.
There's no third-row seating, which makes it a well-priced option for families who are looking for an economical option. It also contains quite a few features that are usually only reserved for the luxury vehicles in its class. Get behind the wheel of the HR-V, and you'll be greeted with heated seats and the advanced lane-watch system. Its backed by excellent fuel economy and the affordable price tag makes it an attractive choice. Under the hood, it has a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine and the transmission can either be a 6-speed manual or an automatic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission).
2017 Nissan Pathfinder
One of the most important aspects of a family car is versatility. The 2017 Nissan Pathfinder truly excels in this category with its 80 cubic feet of interior space and third-row seating. It can carry up to seven passengers and has great safety features, which keep larger families confident on the road. It has a 360-degree monitoring system, motion activated lift gate, voice recognition software, and drive assist. It's loaded with autonomous features that keep the driver safer than ever before.
For entertainment on long drives, the family can enjoy the 8-inch infotainment system. For short drives around town, the Pathfinder is equipped with a 3.5-liter engine and will effortlessly run errands. It has direct fuel injection, which aids the 284 horsepower that this behemoth kicks out. It's an easy-to-drive option that navigates traffic like a breeze. The Xtronic CVT transmission gives it ample power while respecting fuel economy, as well.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is a family-friendly option that has all the desired features of a crossover. Though it is designed with the exterior of a minivan, it's affordable and houses great finishing touches. It's a new-age take on the old minivan and contains more entertainment perks than ever before. The interior is easy-to-clean and is stylishly done, no matter which trim level a consumer chooses. There are removable captains chairs, front bucket seats, Stow'n Go seating, and a third row that slides into the floor. This creates and environment that converts effortlessly for busy parents on the go.
The standard Pacifica has a 3.6-liter V6 engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission. It pushes out 287 horsepower and gets 28 miles per gallon, combined. Though it's not as easy to handle as the other options on this list, the horsepower and fuel economy should make it a contender for large families. If consumers choose the hybrid option, they'll be greeted with an efficient 33 miles per gallon.