Here Are the Best Family Cars, Vans and SUVs for 2023, According to Experts

Here Are the Best Family Cars, Vans and SUVs for 2023, According to Experts

According to experts from Kelley Blue Book to Consumer Reports and more, these are the best family cars for 2023

If your car is starting to feel a little crowded—or if your kids are complaining that they don’t have enough USB ports, cupholders, or wifi to get them through the drive—maybe 2023 is the year you ditch your old wheels for something new. Whether you’re looking for a reliable minivan to haul your brood or a comfortable sedan that’ll fit two car seats, there’s a mover for every kind of family. Here’s our list of the best family cars for 2023 (including minivans, and SUVs, of course!) according to experts.

Best Family Minivans

2023 Honda Odyssey

the honda odyssey is one of the best family cars for 2023
Honda

It's no surprise that Honda's iconic family hauler consistently scores top grades on Kelley Blue Book's roster of the best minivans: It has everything a parent might want when lugging around a load full of kiddos. Sure, there's no denying the less-than-chic minivan style, but... so what? It comes with an attached vacuum cleaner. And a camera to keep watch on those bickering backseat antics. And room for a whole basketball team! KBB praised the Odyssey for its "generous standard equipment," excellent safety scores, "well-considered interior,” and great resale values. Here's what else the infamous Mom Car has going for it: 

Best Family Friendly Features:

  • Seats up to eight, with LATCH accommodations for up to five car seats (it’s also the only minivan to earn an IIHS top rating for ease of use of its LATCH child seat attachment hardware)
  • Amazing “Magic Slide” second-row seats let you move the seats not just backward and forward (to get closer to you, perhaps)—but also side to side, meaning if two of your kids refuse to get their hands off each other in the back seat, you can split them up and put some space between them, mid-argument (Be sure to pull over, of course.) 
  • Folding 10-inch screen for back seat passengers can stream movies and games
  • The “Cabin Watch” camera lets you keep an eye on your backseat passengers, even in the dark, and the “Cabin Talk” feature allows you to talk to rear passengers through the speakers and the DVD headphones
  • The split-folding third row offers room for strollers (even unfolded ones) and offers hefty storage space when seats aren’t folded into the floor 
  • Remote start abilities let you warm up or cool down the car before you step in
  • Smart Entry, a walk-away locking system, will automatically unlock the car when you come near and lock it when you walk away (no need to fish around your purse for your keys)
  • An 8-inch display touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Apple CarPlay/ Android Auto 
  • The optional cellular plan allows you to stream videos directly to your car
  • In-car WiFi 
  • Wireless charging pad in the front seat, as well as front and rear USB ports
  • Sunshades for second and third-row passengers 
  • Tri-zone climate control
  • A hands-free power tailgate lets you open the trunk by kicking your foot under the rear bumper

Safety Features:

  • Eight standard airbags, including knee airbags for the front seats and side-impact curtain protection for all three rows 
  • All trims include Honda Sensing (which features Collision Mitigation Braking System with Pedestrian Detection; Forward Collision Warning; Road Departure Mitigation, incorporating Lane Departure Warning; Lane Keeping Assist System; traffic sign recognition; and Active cruise control with a forward-collision warning system)
  • Automatic emergency braking applies the brakes when the car detects that a frontal collision is unavoidable
  • Lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and Road Departure Mitigation all help keep you from veering off the road
  • The blind spot information system will alert you if vehicles are detected in your blind spots when changing lanes
  • The multi-angle rearview camera gives you extra eyes when backing up
  • Snow Mode recalibrates the car’s traction system for more control in winter weather
  • Rear seat occupant reminder notifies you to check the back seats before you get out

Starting price: $37,490

Online: Honda.com

2023 Chrysler Pacifica

The Crysler Pacifica is one of the best family cars for 2023
Chrysler/Stellantis

Coming in Number 1 in Car and Driver's 2023 rankings of minivans, the stylish and roomy Pacifica is praised as being "the preeminent family-friendly utility vehicle in the age of the age of the SUV." Kelley Blue Book also raves about the family-mover, calling it a "practical minivan that offers much appeal to busy families" with a rich, "luxury-like" interior. It's also one of only two minivans to offer all-wheel drive (the other being the Toyota Sienna), a huge bonus if you live in snowy or rainy climates.  

Best Family Friendly Features:

  • Seating for 7 (the Touring L model offers an optional second-row bench seat to make a total capacity of 8)
  • Stow 'n' Go seats, which allow the rear seats to fold completely into the floor (helpful when you're lugging around stuff instead of kids)   
  • Optional top-view "FamCam" interior camera system that can keep eyes on the back seat—even infants in rear-facing car seats
  • In-car vacuum 
  • Optional hands-free lift-gate, so you can open the trunk without having to push any buttons
  • Uconnect Infotainment system offers Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, HD Radio and satellite radio, and over-the-air (OTA) software updates
  •  Optional back seat 10.1-inch touchscreens, with wireless streaming, wireless headphones, Amazon Fire TV for Auto, and built-in video games
  • Heated steering wheel (not a wholly "family-friendly feature, but nice for Mom and Dad, just the same!)
  • Up to 12 USB ports throughout the cabin
  • Hands-free sliding door and power tailgate lets you open the doors and trunk by simply kicking your foot under the doors
  • The remote start feature lets you warm up or cool down the car before you get in
  • Tri-zone temperature control so everyone can be comfortable

Safety Features: 

  • Standard V6 engine
  • Optional all-wheel drive
  • Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Standard blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Standard adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning
  • Active park assist
  • Automatic high beams
  • Forward collision warning
  • Parking sensors 
  • SiriusXM Guardian Emergency SOS
  • 360 Surround View Back-Up Camera

Starting Price: $37,020* (*according to Kelley Blue Book; the Chrylser website didn't have the 2023 model on its website as of this publishing)

Online: Chrysler.com

2023 Kia Carnival

the Kia Carnvial is one of the best family cars for 2023
Kia America

The highest-rated minivan by Consumer Reports, this stylish hauler looks more like an SUV than a minivan, which is a definite plus for those parents staunchly opposed to the “Mom Car” aesthetic. With seating for up to 8 and a roomy, sleek interior (the second-row seats recline with optional leg rests!), Kelley Blue Book calls the Carnival “the ideal minivan for people who would rather not buy a minivan.” 

Best Family Friendly Features:

  • Seating for up to 8 (in EX and SX models; the LX and SX Prestige models have seating for 7)
  • Sliding/removable second-row seats and reclining third-row seats that fold into the floor
  • The SX Prestige comes with second-row “VIP lounge seats” that slide and recline with leg rests at the push of a button (Note: These seats do not stow into the floor)
  • “Quiet Mode” funnels the sound through only the front speakers—which is a great feature when the littles are snoozing in the back.
  • Optional intercom lets you easily talk to backseat passengers
  • Passenger camera lets you see what’s going on in back
  • Hands-free sliding doors open the doors without you having to fumble for the keys
  • Slide Flex Seating allows the center seat in the second row to slide forward, making it easier for front-rowers to reach a child sitting there. When not used for seating, this seat can also turn into a table for the second or third rows of seats
  • 8-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, Bluetooth, USB ports for all three rows, and six speakers
  • The remote start feature lets you warm up or cool down the car before you get in
  • Tri-zone temperature control, so everyone can be comfortable
  • Heated front seats

Safety Features: 

  • Standard V6 engine
  • Standard forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian and cyclist detection
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Safe Exit Assist
  • Lane-keeping and lane-following assistance.
  • Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Rear and front parking sensors
  • Automatic high beams
  • Parking sensors 
  • 360-degree camera system
  • 10-year/ 100,000-mile powertrain warranty 

Starting Price: $32,900* 

Online: Kia.com

Related: Heck Yeah, I Bought a Minivan

Best Large (Three Row) SUVs

2023 Ford Expedition

ford expedition is one of the best family cars for 2023
Ford

If you’re more into driving a truck than piloting a minivan, the Ford Expedition may be your best bet. Rated the Number 1 Large SUV by Kelley Blue Book, the Expedition is a roomy, stylish mover with “muscular capabilities” and a “family-friendly interior.” Want power and reliability? KBB says the Expedition “can haul the whole family and lots of cargo while towing a boat without breaking a sweat.” 

Best Family Friendly Features:

  • Huge interior cargo space, especially in the MAX version (which is a foot longer than the standard model)
  • Seating for up to 8
  • Optional second-row captain seats with a walk-through console so your kids can get to the third row
  • Power-fold the second and third rows for when you’ve got to carry gear, luggage, or the dog in the back
  • A hands-free liftgate for easy access to the trunk
  • Second-row USB ports, plus optional wireless device charging in the front seat
  • The 15.5-inch high-def touch display is the biggest in its class
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Rear seat entertainment systems with Amazon Fire TV lets kids stream videos, play games, listen to music, get information, and watch downloaded shows and movies  
  • The remote start system lets the car warm up before you get in
  • Optional massaging front seats available in Platinum trim
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Power-folding running boards act as a step-stool for kids (and rickety grandparents) to get into the seats
  • It’s built more like the Ford F-150 truck than the Ford Escape, which makes it great at towing heavy loads (if you’re going on, say, an all-summer road trip)

Safety Features:

  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection (warns if a front impact is imminent and will brake for you if you don’t respond in time)
  • Reverse Brake Assist: Backing senses oncoming pedestrians and vehicles while you are backing up; alerts the driver and brakes if the vehicle is at risk of a collision
  • The lane-keeping system makes small steering corrections to keep the vehicle centered in its lane
  • Road Edge Detection engages the steering system to help you maintain your position in the lane on roads with a visible line or a clear edge
  • Available Intersection Assist uses the front camera and radar sensors to detect oncoming traffic while you are attempting to turn left. If there’s a risk of a potential collision with an oncoming vehicle, the car will alert you and apply the brakes
  • A blind spot monitor with cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle is in your blind spot during a lane change or while reversing)
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Cross-traffic alert
  • 360-degree camera
  • Adaptive cruise control with speed sign recognition and lane-centering technology is available on upper trims
  • Ford BlueCruise hands-free highway Driver-Assist Technology allows drivers to operate their vehicle hands-free on the highway while being monitored by a driver-facing camera to ensure they keep their eyes on the road (available in Platinum trim)

Starting Price: $55,125

Online: Ford.com

2023 Kia Telluride

Kia America

This sleek and rugged SUV made both Kelley Blue Book and Consumer Reports’ Number 1 ranking for three-row SUVs, thanks to what CR called a “refined driving experience, user-friendly controls, thoughtful features, and vast cargo room.” Car and Driver magazine also praised its “near-luxury experience,” raving about its “elevated experience that's comparable to SUVs that cost twice as much.” 

Best Family Friendly Features:

  • Seating for up to 8 (with room in the third row to comfortably fit an adult)
  • Available heated and ventilated front and second-row seats
  • In-car intercom to talk to rear passengers
  • Available reclining dual captain’s chairs that slide forward with the push of a button for easy access to the third row
  • Dual rear sunroofs
  • “Quiet mode” will shut off all rear speakers (so as not to wake little nappers) and play audio up front at a low level
  • USB ports for all passengers plus available wireless charging
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to easily connect your music and apps
  • Remote climate feature that lets you use your phone to warm up or cool down your car before you get inside
  • Find My Car system helps you locate your car in a crowded parking lot
  • One-touch sliding and folding second and third-row seats
  • Hands-free opening and closing rear cargo door
  • 12.3-inch infotainment display (up from 10.25 last year) with a split-screen function 

Safety Features:

  • Optional all-wheel drive 
  • The blind spot view monitor shows a live feed of your right rear blind spots and stops you if you try to change lanes while an object is detected in the blind spot
  • The rear occupant alert system can tell if you left your car with someone in the back seat—and alerts you accordingly
  • Standard Safe Exit Assist helps you get off the freeway without worry
  • The 10-inch Head Up display gives you important driving information (speed and road turns) on the front dash, so you don’t have to look down at your console while driving 
  • Smart cruise control keeps your car a safe distance from cars in front of you and stops your car if needed
  • Emergency braking and warning system will warn you of stopped objects ahead and will apply brakes if needed
  • Lane-keeping technology keeps you from straying out of your lane
  • Eight inches of ground clearance keeps the bottom of your car safe from bumps and off-road obstacles

Starting Price: $35,690

Online: Kia.com 

2023 Toyota Highlander

Toyota USA

This three-row family hauler won second place in the Consumer Reports list of mid-size, three-row SUVs (behind the Telluride, for the second year in a row), with reviewers saying “it gets a lot of things right, especially safety, and it gets even better for 2023. Consumer Reports calls it “a smart choice for families looking for a do-it-all vehicle.” It’s also an economical choice, with Car & Driver magazine saying that if you opt for one of the higher trims, you’ll “enjoy a more luxurious environment that just about matches the offerings of a Lexus-branded SUV.”  

Best Family Friendly Features:

  • Seating for up to 8 depending on the model
  • Available hybrid option teaches kids about environmental stewardship (and saves you money on gas!)
  • The infotainment system offers Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Alexa integration
  • The hands-free power liftgate for the XLE and XSE trims makes it easier for you to open the trunk when your hands are full
  • The seat belt reminder system will alert you and show you exactly which passenger (via a map on the dashboard) has unbuckled during a drive
  • The 8-inch infotainment system comes standard, but dual 12.3-inch touchscreen displays are available on higher trims  
  • Wireless charging ports in the front row
  • Available heated front and second-row seats
  • Eight cup holders, six bottle holders
  • Panoramic moon roof
  • Concave conversation mirror to keep an eye on the back seat
  • Wifi connectivity with 5 USB ports throughout the car

Safety Features:

  • Turbocharged four-cylinder engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission helps the car climb hills and accelerate on the highway (Consumer Reports called its drive “smooth and punchy.”)
  • Standard forward-collision warning with emergency braking
  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane-keeping assistance
  • Front and rear parking assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind spot warning (standard on the Hybrid)
  • Standard LED headlights with standard auto high beams
  • Available all-wheel drive 
  • Road sign assist will recognize road signs and alert accordingly 
  • Multi-Terrain Select (available on all-wheel-drive models) lets you choose between four modes (Mud & Sand, Rock & Dirt, Snow and Normal) for enhanced traction
  • Toyota’s Safety and Remote Connect service (free for one year) offers remote engine starting, location tracking, and locking/unlocking 
  • Free 3-year subscription to Toyota’s Safety Connect, which enables emergency crash notification and calls for help when the airbags are deployed 
  • Digital rearview mirror (for when the stroller and other things are blocking your rearview)
  • Road Sign Assist is designed to detect speed limit signs, stop signs, Do Not Enter signs, and yield signs and display them on the Multi-Information Display

Starting price: $36,420

Online: Toyota.com

Related: 24 Car Games to Play on Your Next Road Trip

Best Midsize and Compact SUVs for Families

2023 Subaru Forester

Subaru

Named the top compact SUV of the year by Consumer Reports for the second year in a row, the 2023 Forester is described as “a well-executed small SUV that boasts a roomy interior, great fuel economy, and a comfortable ride.” It's a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and Car and Driver calls it "a compact crossover with outdoorsy street cred."

Best Family Friendly Features:

  • Roomy seating for 5
  • Compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Power liftgate for easy access to the trunk
  • Heated front (and rear, in higher trims) seats; ventilated front seats
  • Optional moonroof
  • 11.6-inch vertical touch screen in the center console
  • Two USB ports in front; two optional ones in the rear.
  • Built-in WiFi hotspot connectivity
  • Remote engine start lets you warm up or cool down your car from your smartphone
  • Rear Seat Reminder System will remind you to check the back seat before you exit the car

Safety Features:

  • “Top Safety Pick Plus” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic pre-collision braking
  • A lane departure warning will notify you if you stray out of your lane
  • The blind spot detection system notifies you if it detects vehicles in your blind spots
  • Rear cross-traffic warning alerts you to oncoming cars while backing up (super-helpful when backing out of your driveway or a parking spot)
  • Reverse automatic braking will first give a visual and audible warning—then apply the brakes and stop the car—if there is an object in the rear bumper zone that the vehicle may hit
  • Automatic emergency steering (optional)
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Subaru Starlink will alert an operator if your car is involved in a crash and get you roadside help at the push of a button
  • EyeSight advanced safety with a wide-angle camera (new for 2023) keeps you a safe distance from the car in front of you; it also detects objects in front of you that you’re likely to hit and reduces power to the engine to help minimize the force and impact of a collision
  • Front and rear camera views keep you from missing anything on the road in front or behind you
  • Up to 9.2-inches of ground clearance makes off-road (or on-road) bumps no problem
  • Standard rear seatbelt reminder will tell you which seat is unbuckled
  • My Subaru app lets you set speed limits and boundaries to alert you if your (teenage) driver is speeding or going somewhere they’re not supposed to go

Starting price: $26,395

Online: Subaru.com

2023 Kia Seltos

Kia America

If you don't need three rows to chauffeur your gang around town, this compact SUV was rated Number 1 on Kelley Blue Book's 2-Row SUV category, standing out for its roomy interior (it has one of the roomiest cabins in its class), fuel-efficient drive (29 mpg), and excellent safety ratings. With "unique styling that’s sleek and refined with a hint of ruggedness," its small footprint makes it easy to maneuver and gives it a sportier drive than bigger SUVs. 

Best Family Friendly Features: 

  • Seating for 5
  • The back seat is roomy enough for three full-size car seats
  • 15.3 cubit feet of trunk space is big enough to fit a double stroller
  • Wireless charging pad in the front seat
  • Standard 8-inch touchscreen/ available 10.5-inch touchscreen (both have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto)
  • Kia Connect lets you remotely access your car to adjust cabin temperature, lock or unlock the doors or find your car (like, if you've lost it in the Target parking lot 
  • Split rear folding seats for when you need to make the trunk space even bigger 
  • Front and rear USB charger for keeping devices juiced up
  • The remote keyless entry feature means no more fumbling for your keys
  • Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick

Safety Features: 

  • Available turbocharged engine 
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Blind-spot detection technology with collision avoidance will apply the brakes if you try to change lanes while an object is detected in your blind spot
  • Lane Keeping and Lane Following Assist
  • Auto emergency braking technology will detect a potential collision and apply the brakes if needed
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist will detect if anything is in your way when backing up and stop the car if needed
  • Safe Exit Assist will alert you if opening your door will result in a collision with a cyclist or car
  • Forward Collision-Avoidance with cyclist and pedestrian detection
  • Driver attention warning to alert you if you're getting sleepy while driving or not looking at the road
  • Digital rearview camera helps you see what's behind you (on the center console screen) even if a stroller or car seat is blocking your view out the back windows

Starting Price: $23,140

Online: Kia.com

2023 Santa Fe Hybrid

The Hyundai Santa Fe is one of the best family cars of 2023
Hyundai USA

Consumer Reports gave this stylish hybrid the number one spot on its list of Best Midsize SUVs, praising its "power, quietness, and 30 mpg overall fuel economy." It's also a multiple winner of Kelley Blue Book's Best Buy Award, with its impressive fuel economy and generous pricing. 

Best Family Friendly Features: 

  • Seating for 5, with up to 44-inches of legroom 
  • An 8-inch touch screen comes standard; 10.25-inch on higher models
  • Heated front seats are standard, with heated rear seats available on the Limited edition
  • A hands-free tailgate makes it easy to open the trunk when your hands are full
  • The hybrid version can teach kids about environmental stewardship (and gets 30 mpg) 
  • The Rear Seat Motion-detecting feature can help remind the driver to check the rear seat before leaving the car so kids or pets aren't left inside
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • The remote start feature lets you warm up or cool down before you get in the car 
  • Four USB charging ports (two in front, two in back)
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for up to five devices

Safety Features: 

  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • SmartSense system comes standard with collision avoidance, pedestrian/cyclist detection and automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance/lane departure warning, and blind-spot collision avoidance. 
  • Highway Driving Assist (lane centering)
  • 360-degree camera system available in the SEL Premium trim 
  • Blind-Spot View Monitor shows video of both sides of the vehicle in the driver information display  
  • Navigation-based cruise control can read the road and speed up or slow down accordingly at curves
  • Remote Smart Parking Assist can help you get into hard-to-fit parking spots while standing outside the vehicle
  • Safe Exit Assist warns you that opening your doors could result in a collision with a car or cyclist
  • Three years of free SOS and Automatic Crash Notification to alert emergency services of an accident

Starting Price: $35,660 

Online: Hyundaiusa.com

Related: Mystery Road Trips Are Perfect for All Kinds of Families—Even Yours

Best Luxury SUVs

2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Jeep/ Stellantis North America

Named the Number 1 Luxury Full-Size SUV (and Number 2 for the L version) by Kelley Blue Book, this roomy family hauler is described as a "super-sized, uber-luxurious SUV that goes toe to toe with established premium 3-row SUVs like the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator." Says Car and Driver: "Before the Grand Wagoneer arrived, Jeep had never built an SUV so big and luxurious."

Well, now they have. Here's what to expect with the fancy off-roader:

 Best Family Friendly Features:

  • Seating for up to 8, with award-winning second and third-row legroom
  • Available heated and ventilated front seats plus a four-zone climate control
  • 24-way power front seats with massage and power-adjustable head restraints
  • USB ports for all passengers plus wireless charging in front
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Alexa-enabled so you can easily connect your music and apps
  • Premium audio system featuring 23 speakers, including a 12-inch subwoofer with 3D Surround System,
  • Most cargo volume in its class behind the third row
  • Power-folding seats in both back rows
  • Up to 75 inches of total screen display, including a 10-and 12-inch center stack touchscreen and two 10-inch touchscreens available for second-row passengers
  • Amazon Fire TV with Alexa, including access to hundreds of thousands of movies, TV shows, and apps
  • Large panoramic sunroof that opens over the front and second-row seats; fixed window panel over the third-row seats also available
  • A rear-seat monitoring system that displays a video feed onto the central touchscreen

Safety Features:

  • Standard all-wheel drive and suspension are built for rugged terrain
  • Selec-Terrain Traction Management System has various settings for different terrain and weather, including Rock, Sand/Mud, Snow, and Sport—all of which help the car handle all weather conditions
  • Head-up display lets you see the controls/speed on the windshield in front of you
  • Available digital rearview mirror (for when car seats or gear in the back is blocking your rear window view)
  • Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking will warn—and then stop the car—to avoid a frontal collision
  • Blind spot warning
  • Adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assistance
  • Rear cross-traffic warning, as well as rear park assist sensors that will stop the vehicle if needed
  • Available 360-degree Surround View and night vision with a pedestrian, cyclist, and animal detection camera
  • Hands-Free Active Driving Assist allows for hands-free driving on an approved road
  • Intersection assist will warn drivers in intersections if a car is approaching from the right or left and apply brakes if needed
  • Available Drowsy Driver Detection will detect driver fatigue and monitor steering wheel behavior; if it detects an issue, it will warn you with an alert
  • An automatic parking system can park the car for you

Starting price:$88,640

Online: Jeep.com

2023 Genesis GV80

Genesis

Sleek and stylish, this five-seater SUV is  rated Number 1 in Kelley Blue Book's Luxury Midsize SUV category, calling it "some of the finest premium automobiles money can buy." Reviewers called it a class leader due to its "roomy, luxurious interior, fantastic engine choices, and outstanding value proposition." It's also great for families thanks to its excellent safety scores, enviable tech, and smooth, quiet drive. 

Best Family Friendly Features:

  • Seating for up to 7
  • Option to turn off the audible lane departure warning alert and use a vibration alert instead (useful when a baby is napping in the back!)
  • Insurance Institute of Highway Safety Top Safety Pick for 2022
  • Heated front seats; available heated second-row seats
  • USB charger for every passenger  
  • Lay-flat third seats make for massive cargo space for gear, strollers, and groceries
  • 14.5-inch touchscreen display with Apple Carplay, Android Auto, and navigation system
  • Available Remote Smart Parking Assist lets you stand and watch (from the sidewalk!) as the GV70 takes over and parks your car in  even hard-to-fit spots
  • Genesis "Digital Key" lets you use your phone as a key to open the driver's door, open the trunk, or start the engine
  • The hands-free power liftgate lets you open the trunk when your hands are full 
  • A smooth, quiet ride makes it an easy nap space (hello, quiet time!)
  • Front seat massage settings, plus an option to make the side bolsters snugger when you turn on Sport mode
  • Best-in-class 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty
  • Available 21-speaker sound system  

Safety Features: 

  • All-wheel drive comes standard in all models
  • Forward and Rear Collision Warning and Assist will warn you if a collision is imminent (and apply the brakes if necessary)
  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection
  • The blind spot view monitor displays a live view of your blind spot in the instrument cluster
  • When initiating a lane change, Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist senses potential hazards on both sides and can apply the brakes to reduce the risk or severity of an accident
  • Rear cross-traffic warning with rear automatic braking
  • Lane departure warning and lane-keeping assistance help you stay in your lane 
  • Turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with optional turbocharged V6 help you zip in and out of traffic  
  • Driver attention warning alerts you if you are dozing off or not paying attention to the road
  • Dynamic Voice Recognition can control climate settings, get directions, and change audio channels, so you don't have to take your hands off the steering wheel

Starting Price: $55,550 

Online: Genesis.com

Related: The Ultimate Guide to the American Road Trip

Best Family Sedans for 2023

2023 Honda Accord

Honda

Sure, sedans make up only 22.1 percent of new car sales in the U.S., according to this New York Times article—but not everyone wants to drive an SUV or minivan. But being a parent doesn't mean you have to give up your traditional car-driving days. Sedans can be perfect cars for small families, offering fuel-efficient options, affordable prices, plenty of tech, and space for car seats. Look at the all-new Honda Accord: The roomy five-seater topped Kelley Blue Book's list of Best Sedans for 2022 and 2023, offering great fuel economy (30/38 mpg), good tech options, and a ton of safety features.

Best Family Friendly Features:

  • U.S. News calls the interior “cavernous,” with comfortable seating for five and room for three car seats/boosters in the back row
  • 16.7 cubic feet of trunk space makes for one of the biggest in its class, says Edmunds.
  • Passenger seats have tons of pockets and bins for all your kids’ books and small items
  • Available heated and ventilated seats
  • A back seat big enough for three car seats, according to Carmax
  • Dual-zone climate control keeps everyone happy and warm (or cool)
  • Drawer inside the trunk for storing smaller items that may roll around while you’re driving
  • Cargo hook for hanging grocery bags in the trunk
  • Standard 7-inch touchscreen/ 12.3-inch for top trims
  • Apple Car Play and Android Auto for connecting your phone’s apps and music to the car
  • All new Google Built-In lets you control select vehicle functions by voice with Google Assistant, get directions and live traffic updates with Google Maps, and download music, podcasts, audiobooks, and more with Google Play.
  • WiFi hotspot connectivity
  • Impressive fuel efficiency at 30 city/38 highway mpg for the standard model; 48/47 mpg for the hybrid model

Safety Features:

  • The updated 1.5-liter Turbo engine (LX, EX) adds refinement and responsiveness while remaining fuel efficient 
  • Next-gen front airbags designed to reduce traumatic brain and neck injuries
  • The collision mitigation braking system will automatically apply brakes when the car detects a collision is unavoidable
  • Road departure mitigation system detects if you’re straying from your lane and will help correct you or apply brakes if needed
  • Available Head Up display shows important driving information—speed, directions, and incoming calls—in the driver’s line of sight. 
  • Remotely lock your car or see the fuel status from your phone
  • Blind spot information system, updated for 2023 to have 82 feet of radar range
  • Traffic Sign Recognition  
  • A multi-angle rearview camera with available cross-traffic monitor, plus a wide-angle radar with a 120-degree field of view
  • Smart Entry with Walk Away Auto-lock lets you lock and unlock your car without taking out your keys
  • Rear occupant seat reminder makes sure you don’t forget anyone in the back when you exit the car
  •  Stolen vehicle locator, remote immobilizer, and a Find-My-Vehicle function

Starting price: $26,520 

OnlineHonda.com

2023 Lexus ES

2023 Lexus
Toyota USA

Sure, you may only be driving to the school pick-up line, but who says you can't cruise in style? The Lexus ES has all the safety and tech to keep the kids protected and entertained, plus the looks, luxury, and reputation of a high-end vehicle. Kelley Blue Book called it the "Best Luxury MId-Size Car for  2023—and last year, it won the top spot on KBB's list of the Best Safety-Rated Sedans. And, while technically a "luxury" car, it nabbed KBB's "Best Buy of 2023" award, with a starting price of $42,490.

Best Family Friendly Features:

  • Available heated and ventilated seats, plus a heated steering wheel.
  • The dual-zone climate control keeps everyone happy, and the “Lexus Climate Concierge” automatically adjusts the temperature and seat heater settings based on the outside and cabin temperature
  • Quiet cabin, with Kelley Bluebook calling it an “oasis of calm”
  • High-end Mark Levinson PurePlay Surround Sound
  • Use your voice to control various car functions such as temperature and radio station (just say, "Hey Lexus")
  • Wireless phone charging
  • Standard 8-inch (or optional 12.3-inch) touchscreen infotainment center comes with a navigation system
  • Apple Car Play and Android Auto for connecting your phone apps and music to the car—plus built-in Alexa integration
  • 4G WiFi connectivity
  • Six USB ports (four in front; two in back) so everyone stays charged on the road
  • A hybrid model is easier on the environment (and your wallet), running about 42 miles per gallon
  • The trunk can open and close with a kick under the rear bumper
  • Available all-wheel-drive
  • Lower LATCH anchors are easy to access with pop-off covers, though the car probably won't fit three car seats

Safety Features:

  • Blind spot warning
  • Panoramic View Monitor uses four high-resolution cameras mounted on the front, sides, and rear of the vehicle to give drivers a bird’s-eye view of the immediate area
  • A rear cross-traffic warning will alert you if someone is approaching as you are backing out
  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection will automatically apply brakes when the car detects a collision is unavoidable
  • The “sway warning” will give an audible alert if the vehicle is straying from its lane
  • Adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist
  • Intersection Turning Assist warns drivers of any oncoming vehicles when turning left across an intersection; it also looks for pedestrians on left and right turns
  • Intuitive Parking Assist with Auto Braking
  • Automatic high beams
  • Optional front and rear parking sensors
  • Heads-up display projects speed, gear and rpm onto the windshield in front of you, so you can more easily keep your eyes on the road
  • Siri Eyes Free and Google Assistant are supported with a paired phone.
  • 3.5-liter V6 engine gets you from 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds (great for merging into highway traffic)
  • Rear seat belt reminder will alert you—and get increasingly louder—if someone unbuckles while driving

Starting price: $40,800

Online: Lexus.com

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