Family and vacations: Like peanut butter and jelly or butter on toast, they just sort of go together, especially in the summertime – the prime time of the year for getting away. Of course, to find "away," you'll need a vehicle, one that's custom built for toting toddlers, teenagers, and tweens. What better way to make new lasting memories than in a brand-new family car?
The following five vehicles, all 2016 model years, are some of the more critically acclaimed cars on the market today that both you and your family are sure to love:
The Civic – one of Honda's most well-known automobiles that's a staple of country and city roads – is highly regarded, especially because of how family friendly it is. The 2016 model received Kelley Blue Book's Best Overall Value nod thanks both to its highly affordable manufacturer's suggested retail price of $18,640, as well as its spacious interior, which is ideal for rambunctious young tikes. Parents magazine, partnered with Edmunds.com, likes the Civic for its roomy center console with fold-down cup holders. The 2016 Civic also has an impressive suite of safety features when fully loaded.
Billed as the world's first sports utility wagon, the Subaru Outback has chauffeured families to destinations near and far for over two decades now, debuting in 1994. Kelley Blue Book called the 2016 version an "all-star" family car, blending the style and practicality that SUVs have come to be known for. It has an MSRP of $25,000, but a more souped-up model adds blind-spot detection technology, alerts for rear cross-traffic, and adaptive cruise control.
If there's one vehicle model type that's the most associated with family travel, it has to be the minivan. Don't let your eyes fool you with the Honda Pilot, though, as looks can be deceiving. This midsize SUV is sneakily spacious, as you'll find upon entering its roomy interior, having a max capacity of eight passengers yet still having enough room to not feel cramped in. Both Kelley Blue Book and Parents magazine give it their respective stamps of approval, particularly in light of the Pilot's safety features, such as a multi-angle rearview camera just to name one.
Meanwhile, the Toyota Sienna is a minivan – and a great one at that, being the only minivan on the market today that has all-wheel drive capability. Parents magazine selected the 2016 Sienna as its Best Minivan, as did Kelley Blue Book, thanks to the minivan's superior handling and custom interior features. The entertainment center, as an example, has a generously sized 16.4-inch display screen and Blu-ray and DVD loading dock station, which is sure to keep the kiddos occupied mile after mile.
Though the Kia Soul didn't make Kelley Blue Book's cut for a premiere family vehicle, both Parents magazine and U.S. News & World Report thought otherwise, with the former picking it as the vehicle to buy for families on a budget. With a starting MSRP of just $15,800, you can understand why. And even though it's a compact vehicle, the ample amount of cargo and passenger space makes it feel a whole lot bigger. U.S. News & World Report awarded the 2016 Kia Soul with its Best Compact Car for Families award, not to mention its Best Hatchback for Families award.
These are just a handful of the selections that Parents magazine, Kelley Blue Book, and U.S. News & World Report picked for 2016's best families automobiles. You can read about some of the others at their respective websites.
If you already have your family vacation planned out, or you're still putting the ingredients together, making one of these vehicles yours could be the icing on the cake.