What Are the Best SUVs for Families?

By Staff WriterLast Updated April 24, 2019
Photo Courtesy: Pixabay/Toby_Parsons

Looking for an SUV but overwhelmed by the thought of balancing factors such as cost, performance, safety ratings and capacity? A good SUV needs to do a lot, especially when it comes to meeting the needs of a large family. Fortunately, these SUVs offer a range of features and benefits that can cater to families of all kinds.

Mazda CX-9

Compared to other vehicles in its price range, the CX-9 is surprisingly luxurious, with the materials used in the interior better than you’d expect for a vehicle in that price range. While it has a bit less storage space than other SUVs, it still offers plenty of room compared to a car, so only larger families should notice the difference.

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With a 4-cylinder 227-horsepower engine, you won’t be participating in NASCAR races anytime soon. However, between the responsive handling and great fuel economy for its class, you also won’t care.

Dodge Journey

With 68 cubic feet of storage space, numerous cubby holes for storing small items out of sight and third-row seating, the Dodge Journey is an excellent car for large families with plenty of small children. Long trips become just a bit more manageable with extra legroom and comfortable seating

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The 172-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and four-speed automatic transmission are unremarkable, and some of the Journey’s competitor’s offer a smoother ride. Even so, if you’re looking for a comfortable interior and room for lots of luggage at an affordable price, the Journey is difficult to beat.

Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V gets a solid 8.1 out of 10 on Edmunds, and it’s no secret why. The CR-V is the rare SUV with both great acceleration and fuel economy, and unlike some of the other models on this list, it offers storage space that’s even competitive with other SUVs.

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If the CR-V has weaknesses, they’re probably the touchscreen, which isn’t as well-designed as it could be. All-wheel drive is also optional but not the standard. Even so, most drivers will find that the CR-V’s other features more than compensate.

Toyota Highlander

The Highlander can seat seven to eight passengers depending on its seating package, and it has a powerful 295-horsepower engine that ensures you’re not trading storage for performance. While the handling is nothing to write home about, it’s more than enough for highway driving.

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Gasoline-powered models with front-wheel drive have a fuel economy of 29 mpg on the highway, with all-wheel drive cutting that down to 27 mpg. Hybrid models can expect 36 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.

GMC Acadia

While the Acadia comes standard with a modest 193-horsepower engine, it still stands out from the pack by providing a smooth, quiet ride and quality interior materials. And if performance is a dealbreaker, you can upgrade to a V6 engine to ensure you have the power you crave on the highway.

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Post-2017 models have been downsized compared to earlier Acadias. However, while this SUV offers less space behind its third row than you might like, it makes up for it with additional cargo room behind the second row.

Ford Edge

The Ford Edge comes with an easy-to-navigate SYNC 3 touchscreen, 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat and extra soundproofing for a more enjoyable ride, with 2020 models offering standard dual-zone climate control. While some SUVs may have more top-of-the-line technology, the Edge offers a tried-and-true experience that makes daily driving just a bit easier.

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In addition to its practical interior, the Edge has solid acceleration and great fuel economy for a vehicle of its size, with 21 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway with the base front-wheel drive package.

Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot may not be the flashiest car on the road, but with plenty of interior space, a variety of cubbyholes and spots to store small items. and an astonishing 16 cupholders, it can serve larger families well. With 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, the Pilot is also surprisingly fuel-efficient for such a whale of an SUV.

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In addition to comfort, the Pilot offers excellent visibility for the driver and deceptively easy maneuvering in parking lots and other low-speed areas. The 20-inch wheels do end up sacrificing rider comfort to a small degree, and the size of the vehicle can make sharp turns more difficult, but the benefits largely outweigh the drawbacks.

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