Choosing the Best Family Car: Features of the Best Family Cars

June 19, 2014

The best family cars offer more than seating capacity. This guide to the best family car and minivan models covers their key features.

Baby In Family Car

Finding the best family cars can sometimes be a challenge. When you need to seat five, six, or seven people, and add to this the extra space needed for car seats, groceries, school bags, musical instruments and sports equipment, you can find yourself in quite a pickle. Fortunately, there are cars for every size of family. You may have to look just a little bit harder, especially to find large family cars in your budget, but they exist.

Minivans for Big Families

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For larger families, a minivan might be the ideal solution. There are several makes and models to choose from.

Honda Odyssey
A minivan that has been around for quite a while and still manages to turn heads. This family car is stylish and affordable. The Odyssey gets great gas mileage, due to its aerodynamic design, and can seat eight comfortably, under most circumstances. If you need more space for stuff, and less space for people, the third row folds down. This gives a lot of options to today's families. The Odyssey is also known for its fantastic staying power, most are still going at way past the 200,000 mile mark.

Honda CR-V
The CR-V is a family oriented SUV. It is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick for 2010. It has bountiful space, including multiple glove compartments, and extra bins for cargo. The back seats recline, making it a great, comfortable ride for your kids. It can get 27 miles per gallon on the highway, and prices out around $21,000.

Mazda 5
If you are looking for a small minivan, then the Mazda 5 would be perfect. It handles like a car, and offers more space than typical cars. It is not powerful for a minivan, but it has the best minivan mileage out there at 28 miles per gallon on the highway. It also prices out under $20,000.

Toyota Sienna
The Sienna has it all, beautiful roomy interior, stylish design, and great reviews. These come at a great price, offer all wheel drive in select models, and can seat eight under most conditions. What is more is that the third row seat can be folded down to offer more space.

Buick Enclave
If you are looking for something with a little more class, that you can take the kids to school in and then impress coworkers with, the Buick Enclave is a good choice. This offers all the luxury of a high class sedan with the functionality of a family car. This vehicle is roomy, safe, comfortable (try out those heated seats), externally beautiful, and much more.

Chevrolet Traverse
You can get this vehicle in all wheel drive, or 4-wheel drive. It fits up to eight people. It has excellent safety ratings. What's more, this super powered V8 gets up to 24 mpg on the highway. With the Traverse you can afford to a car that will hold all your loved ones, and the gas to get them where you want to go.

Hyundai Veracruz
Hyundai is a favorite among the frugal of the world and large families are usually the most frugal kind of family you will ever meet. The Veracruz can seat seven comfortably, and has enough horsepower go get through most terrains. The versatile third row can even seat adults if necessary. The price is very good for a car of this magnitude, and you get the great Hyundai warranty to go with it.

Best Cars for Families on a Budget: Reliable, Safe Models

Some families may be larger than others, so space is a necessity. On the other hand, you may have a small family and want to drive in some class. Here are some of the top rated "family cars."

Chevy Malibu
The Chevy Malibu is also a popular pick for families. The Malibu comes with ample backseat space, great gas mileage, all standard safety features and even has extra large rear seat pockets that are the perfect spot to store toys. The Malibu isn't a luxury vehicle, but many families feel it has everything they need and comes with a very attractive price tag.

Honda Accord
The Honda Accord is a great choice. It has great handling, gets great gas mileage and for years has been named the top family car. It has the perfect mix of different qualities. First, it will not cost you that much, so many families can afford it. Another great thing about the Accord is that even though it is a sedan, it is a full size car with good amounts of space. It can seat five, has a new and improved look, and also scored very high on safety crash tests.

Honda Fit
The Honda fit is a great deal for a small family. It comes with an incredibly low price tag and gets excellent gas mileage. One added feature is that the backseats fold to the floor, creating a big storage area if desired.

Mazda 6
The Mazda 6 is a bit flashier than the Malibu, but with all of the same safety features. One added safety feature is a blind-spot alert system. The Mazda 6 is also an affordable option.

Subaru Forester
The Subaru Forester falls between categories. It's larger than a car, but not quite an SUV or minivan. It has a high roof, so it's great for taller drivers. There's a large storage area that will easily fit strollers and other pieces of baby gear. Handles well and takes bumps with ease.

Volkswagen Rabbit
The Volkswagen Rabbit is a small model, but many small families find it has everything they need. It gets great gas economy and its size makes it a great choice for those in an urban setting. The backseat may be a little uncomfortable for adults, but there is plenty of room for small children.

Whatever your family's needs are, the perfect family car for you is out there. It is important to shop around and do your homework before making such a large purchase. The information above should get you pointed in the right direction.