When it comes to a passenger vehicle for hauling your family from point A to B, there are many options out there. While it might be nice to stunt by taking the kids to school in an exotic or muscle car, the family-minded car shopper tends to go for something more practical in terms of cost, fuel economy and space. The good news is that great people haulers exist in various segments. From sedans to large sports utility vehicles or SUVs, you’re sure to find something that works for you and your crew.
Important Features to Consider
Two of the most important features when it comes to transporting the family are space and safety. Your automobile needs to have the interior space to comfortably seat multiple passengers both in the front and rear. Leg room, seat width, head room are important elements to consider when it comes to a vehicle having ample space for everyone. Safety ratings are also an important consideration as you shop. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety rates and ranks vehicles according to performance in various types of crash tests. In addition to these evaluations, you may also be interested in features geared towards teenagers learning how to drive. Other considerations to include are fuel economy, standard vs luxury accommodations, resale value and of course price point.
Best Minivan for 2020
Let’s face it. The minivan segment is particularly suited to those who need to transport family members regularly. The Honda Odyssey earns high marks for its combination of ample passenger space, cargo room and features that are geared towards family use. A rear-seat entertainment system, USB connections and in-car Wi-Fi are some of the technological features that cater to families, especially for long trips. The tri-zone automatic climate control and rear sunshades help to make sure that the car is comfortable throughout. With top ratings by the IIHS for safety features, this is a great choice. You’ll even love the built-in vacuum cleaner for taking care of spills.
Best Sedans for 2020
Sedans remain a great choice for families. The combination of reliability, fuel economy and affordability makes it a great option, especially when trying to secure a car loan. For 2020, Toyota comes on top in the midsize and full-size categories for this segment. The Toyota Camry remains the perennial favorite as a midsize sedan. It earns high marks for safety and reliability, making it a great choice as a people hauler. The back seat has two sets of Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children or LATCH connectors for easy securing of car seats for your youngest passengers. The Camry also includes several standard features including Wi-Fi and easy integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. If you need a roomier option, the 2020 Toyota Avalon sports a wide range of standard features with the reliability that Toyotas are known for. Avalon drivers also enjoy several active safety features including automatic emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert, blind sport monitoring and forward collision warning.
Best SUVs for 2020
SUVs especially crossover versions, continue to be popular picks, especially for buyers looking to comfortably transport multiple passengers. This segment covers a range of autos that give you the ride height, interior cargo space and styling associated with the SUV segment. Each of these vehicles score high marks for safety, interior space and family-friendly technology:
- Compact SUV. The 2020 Toyota RAV4 is a top pick for small SUVs, having some of the most spacious back seats, great for growing kids and teenagers.
- Midsize SUV. For this category, the 2020 Honda Passport and 2020 Kia Telluride are the choices for 2-row and 3-row SUV classes respectively. You can use the HondaLink smartphone app with the Passport to monitor teenage driving, including a warning when a certain speed limit is exceeded. The Telluride includes a reminder to check the rear seat to avoid accidentally leaving a baby in the car.
- Large SUV. The 2020 Ford Expedition is noted for high safety marks and Ford’s MyKey system which encourages safe driving habits through control of stereo volume and speed limit, among others.
Best Hybrid Vehicles for 2020
For eco-friendly minded drivers, hybrid/electric vehicles add strong fuel economy with reliability, safety and comfort. For 2020, Toyota comes out on top with the Avalon Hybrid for sedans and the Highlander Hybrid for SUVs. Both autos feature Toyota’s Guest Driver Monitor which can provide alerts if the car is driven over a particular speed limit or after an established curfew period. The Driver Easy Speak system allows the driver to communicate more easily with backseat passengers as a type of intercom. With greater fuel economy than their non-hybrid counterparts, families will appreciate the savings on gasoline.
When you’re in the market for a family auto, you have plenty of options. From high safety performance scores to technology features that benefit families, there’s a new vehicle out there that’s perfect for the next road trip. If you have kids that are old enough to drive, take advantage of technology that supports safe and responsible driving habits.