Parents magazine and the car shopping experts from Edmunds have revealed their 2018 list of the 10 Best Family Cars, a reliable resource for families considering a new car purchase. For the 11th consecutive year, the parenting and car experts from both organizations partnered to evaluate more than 300 vehicles, narrowing down the list to the 10 models that offer the best value, safety features, driving performance, and family-friendly elements on the road.
All of the winners received a five out of five safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Contenders also needed to receive an overall rating of at least a four out of five from Edmunds based its evaluation of the vehicle’s driving, comfort, interior, utility and technology. Finally, Parents magazine installed car seats in 20 semifinalists, measured legroom, and counted the number of cupholders and USB ports.
“Finding the right vehicle can be daunting, especially for busy parents who don’t have time to spend hours researching every single option,” Alistair Weaver, VP of Editorial and Editor-in-Chief of Edmunds, said in a prepared statement. “With something to suit a variety of budgets and tastes, this year’s list provides an excellent starting point for any family on the hunt for a new car.”
According to Parents magazine and Edmunds, the 10 “Best Family Cars of 2018” (with starting prices) are:
BEST 3-ROW SUVs
- Volkswagen Atlas ($30,750)
Enjoy 17 cup holders and the Atlas’s Car-Net app to check if your doors are locked and even see where your car is parked. The Atlas also boasts capacity for five car seats.
- Chevrolet Traverse ($33,595)
This SUV offers enough cargo space for bulky sports equipment or musical instruments, plus six USB charging stations to stay connected. All models have added tether anchors in the third row to make car seat set-up simple.
BEST 2-ROW SUVs
- Ford Edge ($29,315)
Offering 24 MPG and enough room to fit three car seats in the back row, this vehicle also comes equipped with expansive cargo space.
- Acura RDX ($36,000)
Enjoy the breeze from the large sunroof in the summer and stay warm with heated front seats in the winter– both features come standard. The Acura RDX also boasts with a powerful V-6 engine, one of a few of its kind for two-row SUVs.
- Honda Odyssey ($30,090)
With adjustable second row seats thanks to the “Magic Slide” system, this newly made-over minivan caters to different seating needs. The Elite models also offer a screen with a view of the back rows.
BEST SUV-LIKE WAGONS
- Kia Soul ($16,200)
The lowest-cost vehicle on our list offers impressive interior space and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s highest rating. Travel-seeking families will relish in the 27 MPG capability.
- Subaru Outback ($25,895)
Pack all of your large gear like bikes and kayaks with the Outback’s roof rails and integrated crossbars while listening to tunes through the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration.
- Toyota Prius ($23,475)
Stay at 100 percent all through your road trips with the wireless charging capabilities of the Prius and enjoy 52 MPG with the gas engine and self-charging electric motor.
- Honda Accord ($23,570)
The new Accord is roomier and packed with even more advanced safety features. To help monitor speeds, the dashboard will also display the current speed limit in this car fit for five.
- Chevrolet Malibu ($22,555)
Tech lovers will favor the Bose nine-speaker sound system on some models. Teen Driver Technology allows you to register your teen’s key which can disable audio features until the front seats are buckled in place.
This year, Parents and Edmunds experts were impressed by these winners for their substantial car seat capacity offerings, roomier cabins and cargo space, and advanced safety features such as blind spot, speed, and lane-departure warnings.
“The 10 Best Family Cars of 2018” appears in the July issue of Parents magazine and online at parents.com/bestcars.