The Best Used Cars for Big Families

By

Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage. 


, Automotive Editor - August 11, 2016

A comfy sedan might be fine for a family of four, but the modern-day Brady Bunch needs a hauler with three rows, clever storage spaces, and enough elbow room to avoid sibling squabbles. Luckily, automakers have plenty of practice churning out space-efficient family vehicles, and the used car market is brimming with competent choices.

When it comes to handling a full crew without breaking a sweat, these vehicles stand out from the crowd:



Toyota Highlander

While the Highlander might look rugged for a family vehicle, it's a big softie inside with room for up to eight passengers and enough available comforts to pamper all of them. Add to that a pleasant on-road demeanor, and you can see why this midsize crossover has become such a popular alternative to larger minivans and SUVs. The interior features a full-width third row and a surprising level of refinement for this class. With the passenger rows folded, you have up to 84 cubic feet of cargo space at your disposal. Models equipped with the available V6 engine (and most are) can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Find your used Toyota Highlander>>


Chevrolet Traverse

The most affordable full-size crossover from GM also happens to be the most spacious. You get room for up to eight passengers, and a third row that can accommodate actual adults. With the back rows folded, there's a cavernous 116 cubic feet of cargo space, more than any other crossover. You'll likely find a wide range of models on lots, from basic to very luxurious. That's part of the Traverse's appeal—you can dress it up or down according to your budget. All models have the same potent V6, and all-wheel drive has been a popular option.

Find your used Chevrolet Traverse>>


Ford Flex

If there's such a thing as a cool crossover, Ford's seven-passenger Flex is it. The retro-boxy body, grooved side panels, and available white roof give the appearance of a surfer mobile or stretched MINI Cooper. Inside, the Flex is all about passenger comfort. All models are equipped with everything you need for family life, and some have fun features like a multi-panel sunroof and refrigerated console. The Flex also offers an adult-size third row and a low ride height for easy entry and exit. The optional 365-horsepower EcoBoost V6 turns the Flex into one fast family cruiser and comes mated with all-wheel drive.

Find your used Ford Flex>>


Honda Odyssey

Minivans like the Odyssey might seem like throwbacks to a time before crossovers were invented. Although they no longer dominate the family market, minivans continue to sell relatively well and are widely available on the used market.
With up to 148 cubic feet of cargo space, the Odyssey ranks at the top of its class. Eight passenger fit comfortably into the modern interior, and the third row folds neatly into the floor. Some models even have a built-in vacuum cleaner. For a living room on wheels, the Odyssey handles remarkably well, more like a passenger car than a van. Visibility is fine in all directions, and the standard V6 feels energetic, even with whole gang aboard.

Find your used Honda Odyssey>>


Dodge Caravan

The other minivan on our list, the Caravan has been in production continuously since 1984. When it comes to interior room for the price, you simply can't do any better than the Caravan. Other minivans may offer more refinement and features, but the Dodge scores like mad on value. In addition to an easy price, you get "Stow 'n Go" second- and third-row seats that fold completely into the floor. With the seats up, there's a large storage compartment under each row. Since 2011, the Caravan has been powered by a 3.6-liter with a class-leading 283 horsepower.

Find your used Dodge Caravan>>




, Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage.