Best Family Cars for 2019 – Top Rated Family SUVs, Cars and Trucks

Best Family Cars for 2019 – Top Rated Family SUVs, Cars and Trucks


[MUSIC PLAYING] CARLOS LAGO: Will, what do
you look for in a family car? WILL KAUFMAN: Old animal
crackers and the lingering aroma of spit up. CARLOS LAGO: So the
modern family vehicle has a diverse set of needs
because the modern family can range in needs, right,
whether it’s income, whether it’s where
you live, whether it’s the size of your family. Blah, blah, blah. In this video, we’re going to
talk about our favorite family vehicles– SUVs, cars, trucks,
and yes, minivans. Each one of the vehicles that
we’re going to mention here has gone through Edmunds
rating process, which includes standardized road loop,
includes performance testing, includes interior measurements
with the family in mind. If there’s a vehicle here
that you’re interested in, go to edmunds.com
for more information. If your favorite vehicle is
not mentioned in this video, you could leave a comment
below, or you could just go to the site and
find out why it’s not listed because all the
information’s there. WILL KAUFMAN: We do love
your comments, though. CARLOS LAGO: Let’s start
with the most popular segment of vehicles right now, SUVs. WILL KAUFMAN: I
mean, it’s obvious why SUVs are so
popular for families. They’re big boxes on wheels. You get a ton of
space for passengers and for stuff, which is
what you need if you’re looking for a family SUV. CARLOS LAGO: And because
they’re so popular, there’s a wide
range of SUVs, which means there’s a
lot of versatility and features depending
on your price point and the size of the
vehicle that you’re looking at. You get a lot for your
dollar in this segment. And let’s start with
our best small family SUV, which is the Honda CR-V. WILL KAUFMAN: I mean, this
is our top rated compact SUV. But it has a lot of
features that you want when you’re looking
for a family SUV, you know, large back seat
with plenty of space for putting in even rear-facing
car seats, tons of cargo space. You fold down that backseat,
you get 76 cubic feet of cargo. CARLOS LAGO: Which is massive. I mean, we did the math. That’s like 25 TSA
carry-on packages. It really shows the benefits
of the CR-V’s interior. And it’s not just the
cargo capacity, too. It’s how you can configure it. The center console has some
really neat configurations with a sliding tray and a couple
other things going on there. And the load floor
in the trunk can be adjusted for
height, too, depending on what you’re carrying. Couple of other SUVs
have that as well, but no one really blends it
as nicely as the Honda does. WILL KAUFMAN: And for 2020,
they’ve improved the base trim. You now get the Honda
Sensing safety suite with Forward Collision
Avoidance, Lane Keep Assist, things like that. That’s standard across
the whole range. You get the better engine. The 1.5 liter is now standard
across the whole range as well. CARLOS LAGO: Yeah. They dropped the base
engine, which is always the one we were like, eh, you
can probably just skip that one and move up to the–
to the next step. But yeah, the CR-V’s really
smart for a lot of families. And, you know, for next year,
there’ll be a hybrid as well. WILL KAUFMAN: And we like
Honda’s hybrid powertrain. In the other vehicles,
we’ve driven it. So we’re looking forward
to trying this one out. CARLOS LAGO: Yeah. We haven’t rated or
reviewed it, so check back to see our thoughts on that. Let’s move up to our
best large family SUV, which is the Kia Telluride. WILL KAUFMAN: This is our
top rated mid-size three-row overall. And there’s a reason
for that, right? CARLOS LAGO: Yeah. It’s a really,
really well done SUV on a lot of– on all
the fronts, essentially. The interior space, again,
very large, comfortable seats, easy to access seats. But really, what sets the
Kia apart is the value. This is a near premium
experience at not, like, a premium price point. WILL KAUFMAN: Yeah. I mean, if you get
this in high trims, it’s near luxury
for the same money, sometimes even a little
bit less than you’d spend, for a comparably equipped
SUV from a different brand. CARLOS LAGO: Absolutely. V6 power is adequate,
totally fine. You do get a 5,000 pound
tow rating, which, you know, is strong amongst– I’d say mid-pack maybe
amongst this level of SUV. But in combination with the rest
of the Telluride’s attributes, it makes for a really
robust package. You’ve got good
phone integration. The power outlets are smart. WILL KAUFMAN: Yeah. The power outlet design is nice. For the second row,
the charge ports are in the back of
the front row seats. So the kids can reach
them more easily without having to sort of
lean out of their seat belts to try and get down to the
back of the center console where a lot of other SUVs
put their power ports. CARLOS LAGO: Yeah. Overall, the Telluride
is a really smart SUV with a lot of nice
things going for it. We like the Telluride because of
its near premium look and feel, but let’s actually talk
about premium SUVs now. Our best small luxury
SUV is the Volvo XC60. WILL KAUFMAN: This is our
top pick for families. It is not our top pick
overall in the segment. That goes to the
Mercedes-Benz GLC. But we decided to
go with the Volvo when it came to picking
something specifically for families. CARLOS LAGO: Yeah. What the Volvo does that
few other SUVs advertise as successfully, or
offer as much as well, the Volvo delivers
some really attention to family-specific
options, specifically like having the available
second row booster seats in both like heated
and not configurations. It’s a really nice little touch. And there’s a couple
other accessories, too, you can option when you get
the Volvo XC60 that are smart, like having a kick protector
on the back of the seat back. So, you know, you
don’t get those seats, those beautifully
tailored seats, all scuffed up in your
premium luxury SUV. WILL KAUFMAN: Yeah. That’s what you want to
do, is teach your kids it’s fine to just kick
wherever they are. Just kick the seat
in front of you. It’s cool. CARLOS LAGO: So
overall, the XC60’s a solid premium luxury
SUV from its attention to design to the tech
and interior features. I mean, you do get
solid phone integration. You do get the– you
get the power ports, and you get a lot of
safety stuff, too. WILL KAUFMAN: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, Volvo still
really heavily pushes that reputation for safety
they built the brand on. And that’s something they
still really care about. CARLOS LAGO: There’s a lot
of trim levels with the XC60. We recommend the T6 specifically
because the base engine feels a little overworked. And the hybrid at the top
end doesn’t feel that great when you roll on the gas pedal. But so, choose the T6. That one really works. The Volvo XC60 when you– XC60, when you
option it correctly, is a really solid
vehicle for the family. WILL KAUFMAN: But if what
you need is just everything– you want all of the space, you
want all the towing capacity, you want just more– and you have the
money for it, there’s our top best large luxury SUV
for this segment, the Lincoln Navigator. CARLOS LAGO: Yeah. The Navigator is the
big family vehicle. I mean, this is kind of the old
school of American SUVs where it’s this massive, massive
shipping container with wheels that also looks good. And you can fit a
ton of stuff in it. It has a powerful engine,
a strong towing capability, like up to 8,300
pounds, which means you can carry the family
and a lot of the toys behind the truck as well. And it feels like a luxury car,
which is really important, too. WILL KAUFMAN: Yeah. And it also has a Wi-Fi hotspot. You have tons of
charging options. There’s lots of storage space. Even the third row get
some nice storage options. And if you don’t want
your kids relying on their personal
tablets, if you still want a built in in-car
entertainment system, you can get up to 10-inch
displays for rear seat entertainment from
the factory, which is– that’s a pretty
hefty screen for an SUV. CARLOS LAGO: That’s big. And overall, the Navigator
just delivers all the stuff you’d expect from a luxury
SUV of this size, especially one for the family. Be it the power, the
capability, the space inside, this is just an
all-around good pick for a vehicle of this type. WILL KAUFMAN: Speaking
of very large vehicles, you know, somebody
asked me recently, what happened to all the big,
giant, thirsty American station wagons that they grew up with? They became trucks. CARLOS LAGO: There’s
an argument for it. The modern pickup truck has
become a really robust family vehicle because they now
have the interior comfort, the technology features, the
safety equipment, and lately, too, the ride
quality that makes– that kind of gets rid of the old
classic old truck experience, where you’re bouncing
around over bumps and stuff with an empty bed. Our favorite family
truck is the Ram 1500. The Ram delivers
all these things. I mean, I’m sure you can get
the Tradesman with the rubber floor mats and
probably a bench seat and all that in a single cab. But when you option
the Ram upright, it really becomes a
pleasant family sedan. WILL KAUFMAN: That
mega cab configuration, the second row is huge. The seat can recline,
so slightly older kids can make themselves comfortable. And of course, you get a bed. You can throw whatever
you want in the bed. And you can tow an
astounding amount. CARLOS LAGO: The
large back seat area means you can fit car
seats really easily, especially like the really
bulky reverse-facing ones. And then there’s a ton
of interior storage, too. The center console, it’s almost
Honda-like with how much space and storage you have in there. You have under floor storage,
right, where who knows what’ll end up there over the life
of the vehicle with families. WILL KAUFMAN: And you also
have the technology features. There’s the Wi-Fi
hotspot available. There’s tons of charging ports. The second row has a lot
of interior storage options as well. The Ram has the best ride. CARLOS LAGO: Yes. Yeah. The coil spring rear
suspension really sets the Ram apart in terms of ride
quality because it’s so comfortable when
there’s nothing in the bed. And let’s be honest, that’s
how these trucks are driven the majority of the time. WILL KAUFMAN: I
don’t believe you. No, can’t be. CARLOS LAGO: And when you have
that comfortable of a ride, especially in the
pickup truck, it gets rid of a lot
of the complaints that you would otherwise
hear from backseat passengers over bumpy surfaces. And that’s really what sets
the Ram apart and makes it our favorite truck overall,
especially for families. This is just solid. Will, do you remember cars? Cars are declining in popularity
versus SUVs, of course, but they still remain
a very formidable force in car sales and car shopping. And they’re still
really strong options for families who
don’t really need the size and price of SUVs. WILL KAUFMAN: And our
top pick for a family sedan goes to the Honda Accord. Full disclosure,
when my wife and I decided we were going
to start a family, this is the car we bought. CARLOS LAGO: So you’re biased. WILL KAUFMAN: I would
love it if Honda had paid me to take one of these cars. Instead, I gave them money– CARLOS LAGO: To Honda. WILL KAUFMAN: –to
able to say this. Yeah. CARLOS LAGO: The Accord has
been our favorite midsize sedan overall, and especially
for families, because it gives the
thing that we really value for family vehicles,
which is that interior space and trunk space. This is like the CR-V, and we’ve
already mentioned for SUVs. There’s a lot of space in here
and especially in the trunk. WILL KAUFMAN: Yeah. You’re not going to have a
problem fitting child seats in the back. You’re not going to
have a problem throwing a stroller into the trunk. But you also get something
for you, for the driver. I mean, this is a
refined, nice car. I mean, this is a pleasant
thing to drive day to day. CARLOS LAGO: From the engine
options, to the interior space, to the tech and all
that stuff, the Accord really delivers a robust set of
features for the modern family, for everybody
inside the car, too. WILL KAUFMAN: Yeah. And now, you know, if you guys
would pay me a little more, I could step up to our
top luxury car pick. CARLOS LAGO: The E-Class,
the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, which we have to
give special mention to because the E-Class
is available in both a sedan and a station wagon. The sedan is like one of our
favorite midsize luxury sedans, of course, but the
wagon is just cool. I mean, it’s a
good-looking wagon that happens to be
a Mercedes as well. I love this thing. WILL KAUFMAN: Yeah, but
stepping up to the E-Class gets you more than
just luxury, right? There are actually
features here that families are going to appreciate. You get 3-zone climate control,
which is nice to have in a car. It’s not something you see
really in mainstream cars certainly. You also get
technology features, like their Traffic Jam
Assist which is available, which is really nice. If you’re a parent, and
you’re stuck in traffic, it’ll just help you deal
with that if your kids are demanding your attention. CARLOS LAGO: Yeah, because
it slows you down to zero and then will resume
acceleration with the traffic again. And that is just
nice even by yourself because you don’t
have to deal with rush hour as much, or at least
put as much thought into it. But you still should
be paying attention. But I can imagine what happens
when kids are back there yelling and screaming at you. Overall, the E-Class is still
a really nice luxury car that happens to have a
lot of family features, especially in the wagon trim. We also need to call
out, though, if you want to be the raddest
parents on the block, you need to get the AMG E 63
S wagon because nothing says “cool parents” like a 600
horsepower station wagon with seat massagers
and a drift mode. WILL KAUFMAN: Yeah. It’s the only car that comes
from a factory with a call to Child Protective
Services for endangerment. CARLOS LAGO: Well,
and I love it. You could drop the
kids off and then leave the school two turning,
two burning, you know, in the station wagon. That is just– that is
just as cool as it gets. WILL KAUFMAN: Edmunds
does not condone doing drifts after dropping your
kids off at soccer practice. CARLOS LAGO: I do. I do. Edmunds doesn’t. The E 63 wagon is of
course an enthusiast car. But we’ve saved the most serious
enthusiast cars for last, and that is minivans. WILL KAUFMAN: I need
you to justify that. CARLOS LAGO: Minivans get used
for their intended purposes more than any other car out
there, any other vehicle out there. You know, a E 63 wagon can do
a quarter mile in 11 seconds, right, let’s say. A truck, that Ram, can
tow a gazillion pounds. None of them actually do that. Sure, there’s a small percentage
of people who actually do that. But the majority of people
don’t drive their sports cars in the Nürburgring. Van owners use
their vans the way they were intended
to be used and use that capability to the maximum. They use the Stow n Go seats. They use the vacuum
in The Odyssey. They do the thing that these
vehicles are intended to do. And that’s my spiel. WILL KAUFMAN: I’m not convinced. But the Honda Odyssey
remains a very good minivan, our top rated minivan. And a lot of that has
to do with how good it is for families, the purpose
for which it was intended. You mentioned the vacuum
cleaner, of course. That’s a nice feature. A lot of people love that. You also get things
in certain trims, like the infrared camera. So you can see what’s
going on in the backseat even when it’s dark. You get the intercom system. CARLOS LAGO: Some of
it’s a little gimmicky, but they’re nice effort. They’re nice gestures that show
that Honda is paying attention to family use. We also like the sliding–
lateral sliding second row seats, which make ingress
and egress from the third row easier. Of course that means you
can’t stow the second row. But again, we’re
talking about families, not for like pure cargo
hauling needs for the van, because the van’s
about hauling people. The Odyssey also has
a strong V6 engine that we like quite a bit. It’s genuinely
pleasing to drive, although we don’t often think
about drivability in minivans. But when it’s good, it’s more
of a bonus for a minivan. WILL KAUFMAN: I mean,
the one sticking point for the Odyssey here in this
segment might be pricing. But considering all the
features and how good this is as a family vehicle,
we tend to think it’s worth it. CARLOS LAGO: Yeah. You get what you pay
for with the Odyssey. Thank you for
watching this video on the best family vehicles,
SUVs, trucks, cars, minivans, and so on. Oh, wagons too, right? If you want to find out
more about a vehicle here, go to edmunds.com. Be sure to hit subscribe. And we’ll see you
on the next one. [MUSIC PLAYING]

About the Author: Michael Flood

33 Comments

  1. I was planning to buy the Mercedes Benz GLC300 until I saw the Consumer Reports review of it. Now, would not buy it with Carlos and Will's money.

  2. I think you made a mistake with the CRV. People in this market are here for one reason. Price. Keeping that in mind, nothing comes close to the RAV4 hybrid. Any hybrid that can potentially pay for the upgrade in 3-4 years depending on your yearly milage is a must. Not telling what gas prices could be in the future so the RAV4 is a no brainer this year.

  3. What qualifications do you have to give advice or say what are the best family Suvs,Cars and Trucks? Trying to take over consumer reports? Do you possess a mechanical engineering degree ? How many families can afford a Volvo SUV? Hahhahahahaha

  4. Good video. From this list I would probably buy the Kia Telluride. If money were not considered, I might go for the Volvo XC60.

  5. Honda’s reliability has gone down in the past few years. I love the comfort and design of Crv, but thinking of buying RAV4, due to Toyota’s superior reliability. Is crv reliable enough ?

  6. CR-V compact? It's at least mid size, and the 1.5 litre engine is definitely not the better one. I'll never bye a Korean car no matter the specs/features, they're cheap for a reason. You guys don't actually seem to know much about cars.

  7. What a joke. You might as well get Jim Carey give his views and feelings. At least he is funny and you would not get upset by all the nonsense these two men are babbling about. But I know they cannot say that they have not been influenced by special interest groups like consumer reports says and states. Both men look unsure and appear to lack confidence. The one guy looks like he desparetly wants the segment to be over.Hahahaha

  8. Would have liked to see a separate Wagon category. I think the Subaru Outback is a great family vehicle. Also, while I agree that the Telluride is stylish, I think it is a bit overrated. As far as pickups being the new station wagon…they are grossly overpriced compared to the relative cost of the old American wagons.

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