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How to buy the best car for your family


Whether you already have a big family or are just starting a new one, we’ll help you find the right car to carry them all.
Latest Chevy Malibu is lighter, larger, more efficient, packs lots of intuitive cabin tech, and also looks quite good.
Benz’s E400 Wagon brings additional space and a satisfying dose of luxury in a manageable and handsome package.
Chrysler latest minivan offers svelte looks and a nice interior with tops-in-class convenience features and advanced safety tech.
Significantly improved over the last generation’s performance, technology and curb appeal make the latest Honda Pilot a key player in the three-row crossover segment.
A family car can come in all different sizes and forms, meaning there’s no magic bullet vehicle that will satisfy the needs of every household. These vehicles are put into action for everything from driving kids to school, making a trip to the grocery story, hauling gardening supplies home from the hardware store and taking the yearly family road trip.
Since families aren’t all the same, that means there will be numerous vehicles that can be classified as a “family car. ” Fortunately, there are plenty of great options out on the market for families that are small, medium and large.
It wasn’t long ago when minivans were held in high esteem with families. Lots of passenger and cargo space, and the ease of ingress and egress with rear sliding doors, make a good case for these living rooms on wheels. Today, consumer tastes are different, with many turning their backs on vans because they carry a stigma of not being cool. There are still minivan buyers out there, though, but just not as many as before.
Like Minivans, wagons don’t have the greatest reputation, but ones like the Volvo V60 offer healthy amounts of cargo space.
Like minivans, station wagons carry a tarnished reputation. Maybe there are too many bad memories of old family wood-panel wagons floating around people’s heads, but modern wagons also make a good case for families. They feature large cargo areas and low load floor heights, while remaining easily maneuverable without suffering the fuel efficiency penalties of larger, less aerodynamic vehicles.
Crossover SUVs have been streaking in popularity and have become the go-to people mover of choice among families today. The fast growing segment offers entries of all different sizes and drivetrain options, with all-wheel drive available on virtually every model.
Sedans remain big business for carmakers, and are among the most fiercely contested segments in the industry. The midsize category includes perennial best-sellers like the Toyota Camry , Honda Accord , and Nissan Altima , which all offer roomy cabins and large trunks suitable for daily errands and road trips, while delivering impressive fuel economy.
With such a wide range of family-friendly cars available, you can expect to encounter a variety of engine choices, with each type of vehicle offering varying levels of fuel efficiency. For sedans, the volume drivetrain remains four-cylinders offering roughly 180 horsepower. For example, the Nissan Altima’s 2.5-liter I4 packs 182 horsepower and carries a 27 mpg city and an impressive 39 mpg highway fuel economy rating.

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