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2018 Best Cars for Families
The family car is quickly becoming the new family room. With families spending more time on the road, sing alongs, silly games, heart-to-heart talks, sibling rivalry, screen time, and even the occasional date night (if you’re lucky) all happen in the car. That’s why finding the best family car is so important, and why we created the Best Cars for Families awards. The awards highlight the cars, minivans, and SUVs that work for all stages of family life – bringing home a baby, running toddlers and preschoolers to daycare, teaching a teen good driving habits, and even caring for an elderly family member.
How We Found the Best Cars for Families
To choose the award winners, we looked at 127 new cars, SUVs, and minivans from the 2018 model year. The award methodology combines professional automotive reviews, safety and reliability ratings, seating and cargo volume, and the availability of family-friendly features. Within each of the 11 automotive classes covered by the awards, the vehicle with the highest composite score is named the Best Car for Families in that category.
The winners: SUVs and Minivans
The winners: Cars
High-tech active safety features are becoming more common. They can detect potential crashes, warn the driver, and act to lessen the severity of an impact. These days, the best family cars are distinguished by the attention they pay to more basic features that make life easier and more comfortable for all family members. Winners like the Kia Cadenza, Audi Q5, and BMW X5 all have rear sunshades – a simple fix that makes rear-seat passengers much more comfortable. The Ford Expedition, Chevrolet Traverse, and Honda CR-V all have lots of space for their respective classes, making it easy to carry a full load of passengers and their stuff.
Of course, tech features still play a role. The Kia Cadenza, Ford Expedition, Ford Edge, and Chevrolet Traverse all have systems that can help parents monitor teen drivers so they develop good habits. Winners like the Toyota Camry, Audi A6, Honda Odyssey, and Mercedes-Benz GLE have surround-view cameras, which give the driver a bird’s eye view of the car and the area around it, making it easier – and safer – to park. Most winners also have available in-car Wi-Fi to keep passengers connected, or help parents get a little work done while waiting for T-ball practice to end.
See photos of the 2018 Best Cars for Families, and check out the U.S. News Best Car Rankings for a complete list of the best cars on the market. When you're ready to buy, you can get a great deal with guaranteed savings off MSRP using the U.S. News Best Price Program.
See winners from other years: