Special thanks to Kelley Blue Book for sponsoring today’s post. I’m grateful for my partnership with the Mom It Forward Influencer Network that connects me with brands that share my mission to help busy moms enjoy happy home lives.
Your vehicle needs change as your family grows and because of the precious cargo, we feel a lot of pressure to make the right choice. It can be hard to know how to choose the best car for your family.
Back in August, my daughter was in an accident in our minivan. Unfortunately, our family car was totaled and I needed a replacement ASAP.
Heading into the school year, we had too many things going on for me to spend hours researching and test driving vehicles. So, when a family friend mentioned he was selling his used 4-door sedan at a very reasonable price, I jumped at the deal since it provided an immediate, short-term solution.
Months later, I’m facing the fact that a car that is meant to carry four people, but can squeeze five, is not adequate for my family of six. A family sedan won’t carry all of us (and all the stuff we tote around on road trips and to our various activities). Even if we had half as many children, in order to transport them and their friends (for playdates, carpool duty, etc.) we’d still need a car that comfortably seats five or six people.
Choosing the Right Family Vehicle
So, like almost every other mom in America, I realized only an SUV or minivan would work as a family vehicle. The good news is that this eliminated a lot of vehicles from my search. The bad news is, there are still a lot of vehicles that fall into these categories.
I was not looking forward to doing hours of research to read reviews and compare prices and features to narrow the list down to a reasonable list to test drive. Thankfully, I didn’t have to. Kelley Blue Book (one of my most trusted sources for vehicle information) put together a list of the 12 Best Family Cars of 2017.
Kelley Blue Book did all of the testing and evaluations of features. The editors (many of whom are parents too), with help from their own families, put these vehicles to the test in real-world scenarios. They focused on the features that matter most to parents including:
- Fit of child safety car seats
You’ll see the value reflected in the price tags. Most of this year’s winners have starting prices between $20,000 and the low $30,000’s. Only one vehicle on the list has a starting price over $40,000.
What you WON’T see in the list are any sedans. Apparently I’m not the only one who realized we outgrew our sedan with the birth of our second child.
12 Best Family Cars of 2017
Without further ado, here are the 12 cars that made the grade.
Best Two-Row SUVs for Families
If you have a smaller family, this category is ideal for you. You get the standard seating for your family plus a friend and ample cargo space for soccer gear, groceries, or everyone’s suitcases during your upcoming family road trip vacation. Here are the top four from this category:
2017 Honda CR-V
2017 Subaru Outback
2017 Kia Sportage
2017 Honda HR-V
Best Three-Row SUVs for Families
After 16 years of driving a minivan, I was ready for something new. With 4 kids still at home, my only real option (without going larger) was in this category. And now that SUV fuel efficiency and safety have vastly improved, I don’t have to make any sacrifices as I make this change. These are Kelley Blue Book’s picks:
2017 Toyota Highlander
2017 Honda Pilot
2017 Nissan Pathfinder
2017 Chevrolet Tahoe
Best Minivans for Families
Although I am ready to move on from minivans, for the past 16 years they were my dream car. When you’re a mom with young kids, those sliding doors save you from a lot of accidental damage to nearby cars. Plus, you can enjoy a vehicle easily large enough to haul the entire family and all your stuff yet still feel like you’re driving a car and not a bus. Here’s are the best of the bunch according to Kelley Blue Book:
2017 Toyota Sienna
2017 Honda Odyssey
2017 Chrysler Pacifica
2017 Kia Sedona
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, check out my post on how to get the best deal on a new car to make sure you don’t pay one penny extra on your next family car.