The family vehicle is alive and well. Automotive manufacturers are still making all manner of vehicles for parents and their kids – from traditional minivans, to sedans and SUVs. We thought it was time that we compiled a list of the ten best family vehicles available for 2020. Consider this a guide to be read before you embark on the hunt for the perfect vehicle for your own family. Here are the best family vehicles you can buy today.
Starting Price: $34,250
The list kicks off with a sedan, believe it or not. Not just any sedan, either. It’s the well-known and reliable Nissan Maxima, a full-size, four door car with a reputation for being extremely durable. You can expect to easily get at least 200,000 miles from the well-built and sturdy Maxima.
The 300-horsepower engine and large interior make this an ideal car for shuttling kids to school and their activities. Responsive braking and handling also win the Maxima high praise as a family friendly sedan. You can fit up to three kids in the back. Passengers and drivers both have ample legroom, even in the back seat. The Maxima’s fuel economy is also strong at 20 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway.
Starting Price: $24,495
The first SUV to make this list is the legendary Subaru Forester. You might think of the Forester as a rugged all-wheel drive vehicle designed for off-road adventures and camping vacations. The truth, however, is that it’s also a great vehicle for families. It has a ton of cargo storage for kids and parents. The Forester is also one of the more affordable vehicles on this list, with a starting price of $24,495. Plus, this is one of the coolest looking vehicles on this list.
The Forester’s high ground clearance gives it a jacked-up appearance. It also allows it to traverse off-the-beaten-paths and bumpy terrain. The driver gets more legroom than in many other SUVs, especially if a rear-facing car seat is installed behind them. If there’s one knock on the Forester, it’s the fact that you can only fit two car seats in the back. Still, this SUV has decent fuel economy, averaging about 29 MPG combined. All in all, it’s a solid choice for families.
Starting Price: $31,650
Another great SUV for families is the Honda Pilot. The $31,650 starting price is affordable for most. Even better, the Pilot has many of the elements found in the popular Honda Odyssey. If you are the kind of driver who is anti-minivan, but still needs a family vehicle, the Pilot is a great option.
There’s a rear seat entertainment system for DVDs or streaming. The Pilot is also an extremely smooth ride. It’s also known for being extra quiet inside. You can opt for a six- or nine-speed transmission, depending on the trimline.
Miraculously, you can fit up to five car seats in the Pilot – three in the second row and two in the third. Opt for the EX trimline and you’ll get second-row seats that fold down and move forward — even with a car seat installed. Fuel economy has been rated at roughly 24 MPG combined.
Starting Price: $27,600
You knew there would be at least one minivan on this list. We start with the Kia Sedona. One of the newer minivans on the market today, the Sedona is also one of the cheaper people movers available. The base model starts at $27,600. That’s a few thousand dollars less than many comparable minivans. The lower price could mean financial flexibility to add luxury upgrades, like a rear seat entertainment system.
The Sedona is plenty big and has a reputation for being comfortable. It steers easily and the overall driving experience has been likened to that of a sedan. The automatic eight-speed transmission was boosted up from a six-speed to help you shift with confidence.
If you have a large family, you’ll be happy to hear that you can fit up to five car seats in the Sedona – two in the back row and three in the middle row. The Sedona can also be outfitted with a pair of touch screens on the back of the front seats, which is perfect for keeping the kids occupied. On the downside, the Sedona does not provide the best gas mileage. It averages only about 21 MPG of combined city and highway driving.
Honda Accord Hybrid
Starting Price: $25,620
We’re back to sedans with the bestselling Honda Accord. In 2020, we’re talking about the Honda Accord Hybrid. It only costs $1,750 more than the regular Accord, but you’ll make that up in savings at the gas pumps. Additionally, the hybrid Accord still provides all of the leg and cargo room you would expect in this full-size sedan.
The Accord also wins top marks for its performance. The transition between electric and gas power modes is said to be seamless. This sedan is large enough that it can hold three car seats in the back. In terms of fuel economy, you’ll be laughing all the way to the gas station in the hybrid Accord. The hybrid engine provides 48 MPG of combined city and highway driving. All of this, and the Accord is still affordable at a starting price just over $25,000.
Starting Price: $31,680
Another great SUV for families is the Nissan Pathfinder. Although it’s a little more expensive with a starting price of $31,680, the Pathfinder is nevertheless a great option if you have kids to drive around. The standard model comes with well-equipped lots of gadgets and gizmos, including a high-tech blind-spot monitoring system and rear-parking sensors.
The Pathfinder is also the first SUV to have a system that honks automatically if you open the back door before a trip starts but not after you arrive. It’s a nifty features to help to prevent children or animals from being left inside a hot car.
The Pathfinder’s V6 engine also provides a lot of power, and the steering is very responsive. You can fit up to three car seats in the second row and two booster seats in the very back row. The fuel economy is okay for an SUV, at 19 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway. As a bonus, you can also get the Pathfinder equipped with four-wheel drive.
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
Starting Price: $39,995
Another strong minivan is the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. While it’s one of the more expensive vehicles on this list at just about $40,000, that cost can be partially offset. You can get a tax credit on the initial purchase of the vehicle, not to mention the gas savings over time. A single tank of gas can last for up to 520 miles when combined with the hybrid technology. That’s twice the distance of most other minivans on today’s market.
Two electric-drive motors combine with a V6 engine to provide 260 horsepower. You’ll be able to install car seat in each of the middle-row captain’s chairs and two more in the third row, for a total of four. Adjustable head restraints in the second row make installation easy.
Upgrading to the Limited trimline will get you heated front seats, while the kids get 10-inch touch screens in the back. This hybrid gets an impressive 82 MPG of combined city and highway driving, which ranks among the best in terms of fuel economy.
Starting Price: $28,400
The GMC Terrain makes this list for being a big, roomy SUV. The 2020 Terrain also comes loaded with technology and safety features, including automatic emergency braking — which is standard across all trimlines. Braking and steering is responsive and efficient, and the engine has received praise for being powerful and quiet. Choose the Denali trimline and you’ll get upgraded suspension that provides a more comfortable ride.
The center seat doesn’t have a head restraint, but you can still position a rear-facing or forward-facing car seat in the space. You can also add a backseat entertainment system with a DVD player for an additional $1,995. The Terrain is reasonably affordable at a starting price of $28,400, especially for its size. It boasts strong fuel economy at 28 MPG on average.
Starting Price: $31,100
The last, and arguably best, SUV on this list is the Ford Edge. The Edge is bigger than the smaller Ford Escape, making it a better choice for families with young children. The back row isn’t contoured, so it can fit three car seats — one of the few two-row SUVs that can accomplish this feat. There’s also lots of cargo space in the Edge.
It has a forgiving suspension and the automatic eight-speed transmission makes for a smooth and comfortable ride. Upgrade to the “Convenience Package” for an additional $935 and you’ll get wireless charging and a pretty awesome rear entertainment system that can keep the kids amused for hours. While the Edge is a little pricier than some similar sized SUVs, it also provides decent fuel economy. It boasts about 21 MPG of city driving and 29 MPG on the highway.
Starting Price: $30,790
Our favorite family vehicle of 2020 is the Honda Odyssey. The beloved Odyssey is one of the most reliable and versatile family haulers you can buy. Ideal for carpooling or taking a load of kids to soccer practice, the Odyssey is the best minivan on the market today. While it’s not cheap, the Odyssey has room to spare. It’s the only vehicle on this list that can comfortably hold up to six car seats.
Under the hood, Honda has upgraded the 2020 model to include an automatic ten-speed transmission that gives a very smooth ride. The V6, 280-horsepower engine is powerful enough. It can even go from 0-to-60 MPH in less than seven seconds when fully loaded with people and gear. Not that you should be drag racing in your minivan.
Inside, you can remove the center seat from the middle row and slide the other two seats together to access the back row more easily. If you upgrade to the rear-entertainment system on the EX-L trimline, the kids can watch DVDs or Netflix on a fairly large 10-inch screen that pulls down from the ceiling. As for fuel economy, the Odyssey ranks with other minivans on this list – getting 19 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway.