Because families come in all sizes, the best family cars can span all vehicle types. Whether you want a minivan for functionality and easy accessibility, a versatile three-row SUV for added passenger space and off-road capability, or even a spacious and practical sedan; there is a family-friendly vehicle to suit your needs. But with so many vehicles to choose from, which ones are best equipped to handle your most precious cargo?

To help narrow your choices, iSeeCars determined the Best Family Cars across multiple categories. These cars achieved a score of 8.0 or above (out of 10) on iSeeCars quality analysis, which takes into account long-term reliability, value retention, and highest average safety ratings over the last five years from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). These family vehicles also all have above-average or close to average cargo space and fuel economy ratings for their respective segments.

Best Family Cars by Vehicle Category

Here are the best family cars from smallest to largest.
Best Family Cars by Vehicle Category
Vehicle Category Vehicle iSeeCars Quality Score
Best Midsize Car Honda Accord 9.0
Best Large Car Toyota Avalon 8.9
Best Hybrid Car Toyota Prius 9.1
Best Electric Car Tesla Model 3 8.9
Best Minivan Toyota Sienna 9.1
Best Small SUV Subaru Outback 9.0
Best Midsize SUV Toyota Highlander 8.9
Best Large SUV Ford Expedition 9.0
Best Hybrid SUV Toyota Highlander Hybrid 9.2

Best Family Cars: Midsize Cars

Midsize cars are ideal for families that want a practical and efficient car but do not require an SUV or minivan. Here are the Best Midsize Family Cars:
Best Family Cars: Midsize Cars - iSeeCars
Rank Vehicle iSeeCars Quality Score Combined MPG Cargo Volume (Cubic Feet)
1 Honda Accord 8.7 26-33  16.7
2 Toyota Camry 8.7 25-32 15.1
3 Subaru Legacy 8.6 27-30 15.1
4 Kia Optima 8.4 24-31 15.9
5 Nissan Altima 8.3 32-32 15.4
Midsize Car Averages 26.2 15.6

1. Honda Accord

iSeeCars Quality Score: 9.0
  • Reliability Score: 9.0
  • Retained Value Score: 8.1
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $28,671

 

The best family car in the midsize sedan category is the Honda Accord. The Accord is fun-to-drive and its spacious cabin provides more passenger room than most of its competitors. The Accord also has an upscale interior that has the feel of a luxury car. The Accord’s base engine gets 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway, which is above-average for its class. It comes with a suite of standard safety features, including forward automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with road sign recognition, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, driver drowsiness monitoring, and automatic high-beam headlights.

2. Toyota Camry

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.9

  • Reliability Score: 8.9
  • Retained Value Score: 7.9
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $30,406

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $27,295

The Toyota Camry midsize sedan ranks second in the segment. The Camry offers a comfortable ride and comes with plenty of legroom and headroom. The Camry’s base engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 202 horsepower, with a more powerful 3.5-liter V6 offered on higher trims. It also comes with a suite of safety features including lane trace assist, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, traffic sign recognition, and adaptive cruise control.

3. Subaru Legacy

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.6

  • Reliability Score: 8.1
  • Retained Value Score: 7.8
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $32,018

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $28,242

The Subaru Legacy ranks third. The Legacy provides ample passenger room and a spacious trunk. It comes standard with all-wheel drive and a suite of active safety features, including adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, automatic high-beam headlights, and a rear-seat reminder.

4. Kia Optima / Kia K5

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.4

  • Reliability Score: 7.7
  • Retained Value Score: 7.6
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $23,173

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $22,558

The Kia Optima, which was replaced by the Kia K5 beginning in the 2021 model year, ranks fourth. The Optima features a 15.9-cubic-foot trunk, which is more spacious than most cars in the midsize car class. The Optima has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for car seats in the rear outer seats and a tether anchor for the rear middle seat. The Optima also comes standard with a suite of safety features including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane change assist, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and automatic high beam headlights.

5. Nissan Altima

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.3

  • Reliability Score: 8.3
  • Retained Value Score: 6.7
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $28,965

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $23,707

The Nissan Altima ranks fifth. The Altima has a spacious trunk and two roomy rows of seats.  It’s also among the most fuel-efficient vehicles in the class. The Altima comes standard with forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, driver drowsiness monitoring, and automatic high-beam headlights.

For more midsize cars to consider, check out the iSeeCars ranking of Best Midsize Cars.

Best Family Cars: Large Cars

Large cars provide even more passenger and cargo space than their midsize counterparts. Here are the Best Large Family Cars:
Best Family Cars: Large Cars - iSeeCars
Rank Vehicle iSeeCars Quality Score Combined MPG Cargo Volume (Cubic Feet)
1 Toyota Avalon 8.9 25-26 16.0
2 Dodge Charger 8.8 25-32 16.5
3 Nissan Maxima 8.3 24 14.3
Large Car Averages 21.6 16.5

1. Toyota Avalon

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.9

  • Reliability Score: 9.8
  • Retained Value Score: 6.9
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $42,832

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $37,791

The Toyota Avalon is the best family car in the large sedan category. Sadly, the Avalon was discontinued after the 2022 model year, but it will still be widely available in the used car marketplace. The Avalon has ample passenger and cargo space, and has an interior that feels like a luxury car. It comes with a suite of standard safety features such as blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, forward automatic emergency braking, road sign recognition, and LED automatic high-beam headlights to name a few.  

2. Dodge Charger

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.8

  • Reliability Score: 8.1
  • Retained Value Score: 8.4
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $39,931

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $42,070

The Dodge Charger is a versatile and spacious large sedan with many powerful engine choices, ranging from a standard V6 to a potent supercharged V8. It is the perfect choice for drivers wanting the utility of a roomy family sedan with a little bit of extra muscle. The Charger lacks standard safety features beyond rear parking sensors, but a full suite of features are available.

3. Nissan Maxima

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.3

  • Reliability Score: 8.6
  • Retained Value Score: 6.3
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $41,377

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $30,049

The Nissan Maxima has a powerful 300-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine to appeal to drivers who want a powerful sedan with the characteristics of a sports car. It comes standard with a touch screen infotainment system, AppleCarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth connectivity. The Maxima’s standard safety features include automatic high-beam headlights, rear cross traffic alert, pedestrian detection, traffic sign recognition, and rear door alert.

For more large cars to consider, check out the iSeeCars ranking of Best Large Cars.

Best Family Cars: Hybrid Cars

For divers who want a car that offers better fuel efficiency than a standard sedan, here are the Best Hybrid Family Cars:
Best Family Cars: Hybrid Cars - iSeeCars
Rank Vehicle iSeeCars Quality Score Combined MPG Cargo Volume (Cubic Feet)
1 Toyota Prius 9.1 49-52 27.4
2 Toyota Camry Hybrid 8.9 46-52 15.1
3 Honda Accord Hybrid 8.4 43-47 16.7
4 Toyota Avalon Hybrid 8.4 43-44 16.09
5 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid 8.3 47-52 16
Hybrid Car Averages 47.1 18.3

1. Toyota Prius

iSeeCars Quality Score: 9.1

  • Reliability Score: 8.9
  • Retained Value Score: 8.4
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $29,481

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $25,233

The Toyota Prius earns the title of the best hybrid family car. The roomy hatchback offers class-leading fuel economy and plenty of passenger and cargo room. The Prius also provides a suite of standard safety features including a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, road sign recognition, pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure warning, and a pre-collision system. 

2. Toyota Camry Hybrid

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.9

  • Reliability Score: 8.8
  • Retained Value Score: 8.0
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $32,477

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $30,162

The Toyota Camry Hybrid ranks second. The Camry Hybrid is the hybrid version of the best-selling Camry sedan and offers the same infotainment and advanced safety features. The Toyota Camry Hybrid returns 52 mpg combined, compared to 32 mpg combined of its non-hybrid counterpart.

3. Honda Accord Hybrid

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.4

  • Reliability Score: 7.4
  • Retained Value Score: 7.9
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $34,488

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $31,902

The Honda Accord Hybrid, which is the hybrid variant of the popular midsize sedan, ranks third. Like its gasoline counterpart, the Honda Accord Hybrid is praised for its reliability, ride quality, and list of standard infotainment and safety features. The Honda Accord Hybrid also offers added efficiency with 52 combined mpg compared to the 33 combined mpg of its non-hybrid version. 

4. Toyota Avalon Hybrid

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.4

  • Reliability Score: 7.8
  • Retained Value Score: 7.3
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $43,102

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $38,287

The Toyota Avalon Hybrid, which is the hybrid model of the popular Avalon full size sedan, ranks fourth. The Toyota Avalon has an upscale interior that rivals a luxury vehicle and offers a comfortable ride. Standard infotainment features include a 9-inch touch screen, Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. The Avalon also has a suite of standard safety features, including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, automatic high-beam headlights, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking.

5. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.3

  • Reliability Score: 7.9
  • Retained Value Score: 7.0
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $31,641

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $30,445

The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid ranks fifth and is the hybrid version of the popular midsize sedan. The Sonata Hybrid returns a combined MPG of up to 52 and has a suite of standard safety features, including forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, driver attention monitoring, automatic high-beam headlights, rear-seat reminder, and safe exit assist.

For more hybrid cars to consider, check out the iSeeCars ranking of Best Hybrid Cars.

Best Family Cars: Electric Cars

For divers who want a car that offers even better fuel efficiency than a hybrid, here are the Best Electric Family Cars:
Best Family Cars: Electric Cars - iSeeCars
Rank Vehicle iSeeCars Quality Score Combined MPGe Cargo Volume (Cubic Feet)
1 Tesla Model S 8.9 110 26.3
2 Tesla Model 3 8.7 142 22.9
3 Nissan LEAF 8.1 111 23.6
Electric Car Averages 105.2 18.3

1. Tesla Model S

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.9

  • Reliability Score: 9.4
  • Retained Value Score: 8.3
  • Safety Score: Not Available

Average New Car Price: $167,229

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $89,895

The Tesla Model S ranks first. The Tesla Model S was the first-of-its kind electric vehicle and it comes loaded with high-tech features while accelerating like a supercar. The Tesla Model S comes standard with a 17-inch touchscreen display, a rear-seat display, and wireless device charging. It offers 400 miles of driving range on a single charge, which leads the segment. The Model S has a suite of standard safety features, including forward and side collision warning, pedestrian detection, forward automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control.

2. Tesla Model 3

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.7

  • Reliability Score: 7.2
  • Retained Value Score: 9.0
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $57,452

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $50,572

The Tesla Model 3 ranks second. The Model 3 is a more budget-friendly version of the Tesla Model S that still boasts a long battery range and a long list of technological features. ??The Tesla Model 3 offers 23 cubic feet of cargo space, which is above-average for the electric car class, and includes the rear trunk and a small front trunk under the hood. The Model 3 comes standard with front, side, and rear parking sensors, forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and lane change alert. 

3. Nissan LEAF

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.1

  • Reliability Score: 7.6
  • Retained Value Score: 6.6
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $34,884

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $29,211

The Nissan LEAF ranks third. The LEAF is among the more affordable vehicles in the EV class, but it clearly lacks the range of its competitors, topping out at 226 miles on its highest trim. It comes with a suite of safety features that include lane departure warning, lane keep assist, pedestrian detection, and blind spot monitoring. Despite its small size, the compact hatchback has above-average cargo space for the class.

For more electric cars to consider, check out the iSeeCars ranking of Best Electric Cars.

Best Family Cars: Minivans

The minivan is the consummate family vehicle. Although the rise of the SUV has stolen some of its thunder, the convenience and utility of a minivan for family hauling remains unmatched. 
Best Family Cars: Minivans - iSeeCars
Rank Vehicle iSeeCars Quality Score Combined MPG  Cargo Volume (Cubic Feet)
1 Toyota Sienna 9.1 21 39.1
2 Honda Odyssey 9.0 22 32.8
3 Chrysler Pacifica 8.0 21 32.3
Minivan Averages 21.1 31.5

1. Toyota Sienna

iSeeCars Quality Score: Coming Soon

  • Reliability Score: Coming Soon
  • Retained Value Score: 7.5
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $49,553

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $38,914

The Toyota Sienna earns the top spot. Redesigned for 2021, the new Sienna features sharper interior and exterior styling to give it a more upscale appearance. Perhaps the most significant change is its standard hybrid powertrain that returns a combined 36 mpg, nearly double that of its competitors. The new hybrid four-cylinder engine replaces a V6 engine. An all-wheel drive system is also available and offers similar fuel efficiency at 35 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. The Sienna comes standard with infotainment features including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. Available features include a navigation system, wireless device charging, and a rear-seat entertainment system. You can even get an in-car intercom to easily communicate with rear passengers. The Sienna comes standard with a suite of safety features, including blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, automatic high-beam headlights, and road sign recognition. Available advanced safety features include hands-free park assist and a surround-view parking system.

2. Honda Odyssey

iSeeCars Quality Score: 9.0

  • Reliability Score: 8.7
  • Retained Value Score: 8.3
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $41,538

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $39,999

The Honda Odyssey has above-average cargo capacity for its class with 32.8 cubic feet of space behind the third row and 88.8 cubic feet of space behind the second-row seats when the third-row seats are folded down. If both rows of rear seats are folded down, the Odyssey has a total of 144.9 cubic feet of cargo space. The Odyssey’s base trim has room for seven, with captain chairs in the second row and a third-row bench seat. Higher trim levels seat up to eight with three seats in the second row that use Honda’s Magic Slide system, allowing you to easily slide seats into several different configurations to meet your passenger and cargo needs. It has one of the best interior designs in the segment and offers available family-friendly features including a rear-seat reminder, a camera that shows the rear passengers on the infotainment screen, and an intercom system for projecting the front seat passengers’ voice to the rear seats. The Odyssey comes standard with advanced safety features, including forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist.

3. Chrysler Pacifica

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.0

  • Reliability Score: 6.1
  • Retained Value Score: 7.8
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $45,434

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $36,103

The Chrysler Pacifica ranks third. When it comes to family-friendly considerations, it is a leader in the minivan segment. The Pacifica has a long list of standard features, including a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a power liftgate, power sliding doors, and Stow ‘n Go seating. Available features include heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, a rear-seat entertainment system, and a panoramic sunroof. It also earns an EPA-estimated 19 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway for its front-wheel drive model. All-wheel drive is also available and gets 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. The Pacifica is the only minivan that is also available as a plug-in hybrid. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid earns excellent fuel economy with a combined city/highway estimate of 82 mpg. It also has an all-electric range of 32 miles.  

For more minivans to consider, check out the iSeeCars ranking of Best Minivans.

Best Family Cars: Small SUVs

Small SUVs are ideal for families that don’t require a third row of seats, but still want a flexible people hauler. Here are the Best Small Family SUVs:
Best Family SUVs: Small SUVs - iSeeCars
Rank Vehicle iSeeCars Quality Score Combined MPG Cargo Volume (Cubic Feet)
1 Subaru Outback 8.7 26-29  32.5 
2 Honda CR-V 8.7 29-30  37.6-39.2 
3 Subaru Forester 8.7 29 28.9-31.1
4 Toyota RAV4 8.6 28-30 37.5-37.6
5 Kia Sportage 8.4 21-26 30.7
6 Hyundai Tucson 8.3 23-25 31.0
7 Ford Escape 8.2 26-30 37.5
Small SUV Averages 25 30.5

1. Subaru Outback 

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.8

  • Reliability Score: 8.4
  • Retained Value Score: 8.0
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $36,679

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $34,433

Earning the top spot is a popular car for outdoor enthusiasts, the Subaru Outback. Although the vehicle is technically classified as a wagon, the Subaru Outback comes standard with all-wheel drive and has the cargo capacity and utility of a compact SUV. It comes standard with a suite of safety features, including rear-seat reminder, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and steering-responsive automatic headlights.

2. Honda CR-V

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.6

  • Reliability Score: 8.5
  • Retained Value Score: 8.3
  • Safety Score: 9.0

Average New Car Price: $31,584

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $31,407

The small but mighty Honda CR-V earns the second spot. It's one of the most spacious vehicles in its class, with a cargo capacity that’s comparable to larger midsize SUVs. It also returns excellent fuel economy, earning an estimated 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway for its front-wheel drive models. It comes standard with a continuously variable automatic transmission and a 190-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. A suite of standard safety features are available, which include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist.

3. Subaru Forester

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.7

  • Reliability Score: 8.1
  • Retained Value Score: 8.1
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $33,048

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $31,934

A second Subaru, the Subaru Forester ranks third. Its base model fares just above the segment average for cargo space, offering up to 31.1 cubic feet of cargo space and 76.1 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down. All other trims have 28.9 cubic feet, which is just below the segment average. It also provides comfortable seating for five passengers, with ample head and legroom. It does, however, stand out from the pack for its fuel efficiency, earning 29 combined MPG compared to the segment average of 25. The Forester also comes with the same standard safety features as the Outback, including rear-seat reminder, automatic emergency braking, and steering-responsive automatic headlights.

4. Toyota RAV4

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.5

  • Reliability Score: 8.0
  • Retained Value Score: 8.5
  • Safety Score: 9.0

Average New Car Price: $31,694

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $31,467

The Toyota RAV4, which is the best-selling compact SUV in the United States, ranks fourth. The RAV4 has an upscale interior that offers above-average passenger and cargo space for the compact crossover SUV segment. It was fully redesigned for the 2019 model year, with a stronger powertrain as well as updated interior and exterior styling. The newer RAV4s offers more standard features than competitors, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and pedestrian detection. The RAV4 has one engine choice, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that makes it one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in its class. For drivers who want even more fuel-efficiency, hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions are also available. 

5. Kia Sportage

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.1

  • Reliability Score: 7.6
  • Retained Value Score: 7.6
  • Safety Score: 9.0

Average New Car Price: $28,751

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $25,279

The Kia Sportage compact SUV ranks fifth. Known for its value, the Sportage has impressive driving dynamics and offers a comfortable ride. On the inside, it features a roomy and stylish interior. The Sportage has one of the lowest starting prices in its class and offers a compelling list of standard features, like an 8-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, voice recognition, Bluetooth connectivity, and a USB port, making it a great choice for a budget-friendly family SUV. 

6. Hyundai Tucson 

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.4

  • Reliability Score: 7.5
  • Retained Value Score: 7.8
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $32,236

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $26,080

The Hyundai Tucson, which shares a platform and many of the same features as the fifth-ranked Kia Sportage, ranks sixth. The Tucson offers a comfortable ride and is easy to maneuver thanks to its small size. It also has an attractive cabin and comfortable front seats. 

7. Ford Escape

iSeeCars Quality Score: 7.8

  • Reliability Score: 8.0
  • Retained Value Score: 6.5
  • Safety Score: 9.0

Average New Car Price: $30,888

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $28,081

The Ford Escape ranks seventh. The Escape rides comfortably and offers above-average passenger and cargo space for its class. The compact crossover comes with two turbo engine options: a standard 1.5-liter three-cylinder with 181 horsepower and a 2.0-liter four cylinder with 250 horsepower on higher trim levels. The base engine delivers above-average fuel economy and comes with several standard safety features, including blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, automatic high-beam headlights, and automatic emergency braking. 

For more small SUVs to consider, check out the iSeeCars ranking of Best Small SUVs.

Best Family Cars: Midsize SUVs

Midsize SUVs bridge the gap for families who require a little more space than a small crossover can provide, but don’t want a full-size SUV. Some of these SUVs have an optional third row of seats that can be folded down to maximize cargo space.
Best Family SUVs: Midsize SUVs - iSeeCars
Rank Vehicle iSeeCars Quality Score Combined MPG Cargo Volume (Cubic Feet)* 
1 Toyota Highlander 8.8 23 16.0/48.4 
2 Honda Pilot 8.7 22-23 18.5/46.8 
3 Ford Explorer 8.7 13-24 21/43.9
4 Ford Edge 8.6 21-24 39.2
5 Hyundai Santa Fe 8.4 24-26 36.4
6 Nissan Murano 8.3 23  32.1/67
7 Dodge Durango 8.2 15-22 17.2/43.3
8 Kia Sorento 8.1 24-26 12.6/45
Nissan Pathfinder 8.0 21-23 16.6/45
Midsize SUV Averages 21.4 26.3
*Vehicles with two figures represent space behind the third row and with third row folded down

 

1. Toyota Highlander

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.9

  • Reliability Score: 8.5
  • Retained Value Score: 8.2
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $44,665

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $41,762

The Toyota Highlander earns the top spot as the best midsize SUV for families. The Toyota Highlander is a capable crossover with a comfortable, high-quality cabin and three rows of seats. The Highlander comes standard with a suite of safety features including cross traffic alert, traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and pedestrian detection. 

2. Honda Pilot

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.7

  • Reliability Score: 8.6
  • Retained Value Score: 7.4
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $43,648

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $38,652

The Honda Pilot crossover ranks second in the midsize SUV category. The Honda Pilot is a spacious three-row crossover SUV for those seeking a family-friendly hauler without the bulkiness of a full-size SUV. It’s available in all-wheel-drive or front-wheel drive and is a popular minivan alternative with spacious seating for up to eight passengers.

3. Ford Explorer

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.5

  • Reliability Score: 8.4
  • Retained Value Score: 7.1
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $46,563

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $43,243

The Ford Explorer ranks third. The Explorer has multiple powerful turbocharged engines to choose from and drives comfortably. The most efficient engine is the four-cylinder paired with rear-wheel drive, which achieves 24 mpg while providing more-then enough power for most family needs. Adding all-wheel drive drops the efficiency slightly to 23 mpg, which is still above the segment average. The Explorer also has plenty of cargo space, with three rows of seats and a list of standard features that include active safety features and an intuitive infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen included with the base model. 

4. Ford Edge

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.0

  • Reliability Score: 8.2
  • Retained Value Score: 6.7
  • Safety Score: 9.0

Average New Car Price: $40,241

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $32,820

The Ford Edge ranks fourth. The Edge offers similar technology and safety features as the Ford Explorer, but the Edge comes standard with a larger infotainment touchscreen at 12 inches. The Edge only has two rows of seats and less powerful engine choices, as well as a lower starting price, making it a more practical option for families who don’t require a third row of seats. 

5. Hyundai Santa Fe

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.5

  • Reliability Score: 8.5
  • Retained Value Score: 7.0
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $35,540

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $29,774

The Hyundai Santa Fe ranks fifth for its combination of quality and value. The two-row SUV seats five passengers. The Santa Fe consistently earns high rankings for predicted reliability and has above-average fuel economy for its class. It has an upscale interior and comes standard with safety technology like adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring. 

6. Nissan Murano

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.2

  • Reliability Score: 8.2
  • Retained Value Score: 6.5
  • Safety Score: 9.9

Average New Car Price: $40,282

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $33,086

The Nissan Murano ranks sixth. The two-row Murano comfortably seats five and has an efficient V6 engine. The Murano also has many active safety features and an intuitive infotainment system. 

7. Dodge Durango

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.1

  • Reliability Score: 8.5
  • Retained Value Score: 7.7
  • Safety Score: 8.0

Average New Car Price: $49,264

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $41,300

The brawny Dodge Durango ranks seventh and is available with two or three rows of seating. The Durango is available with multiple powertrain options: a standard 293-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine, a 5.7-liter Hemi with 360 horsepower, and a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 with 475 horsepower.   The 3.6L Pentastar V-6 engine is the most efficient, providing fuel efficiency figures of 19 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined. 

8. Kia Sorento

iSeeCars Quality Score: 7.8

  • Reliability Score: 7.8
  • Retained Value Score: 6.7
  • Safety Score: 9.0

Average New Car Price: $38,854

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $27,772

??Redesigned for 2021, the Kia Sorento is similar to the Hyundai Santa Fe and shares the same platform. It has an upscale interior while being among the lowest-priced vehicles in its class, making it an excellent value. Unlike the Santa Fe, it offers three rows of seating, making it a practical choice for larger families. 

9. Nissan Pathfinder

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.4

  • Reliability Score: 8.3
  • Retained Value Score: 6.8
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $42,357

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $30,225

Introduced as a rugged body-on-frame SUV in the 80s, the Nissan Pathfinder has evolved into a family-friendly crossover. Available with front- or all-wheel drive, the Pathfinder offers three rows of seating for up to seven passengers. The Nissan Pathfinder has a roomy interior with high-quality materials, an intuitive infotainment system, and an array of safety features.   

For more midsize SUVs to consider, check out the iSeeCars ranking of Best Midsize SUVs.

Best Family Cars: Large SUVs

Large SUVs are the heavyweights of family hauling. These body-on-frame models offer three full rows of seating and an abundance of cargo capacity, but they sacrifice maneuverability and fuel-efficiency due to their large size. Built on truck platforms, these vehicles also have high towing capacities.
Best Family SUVs: Large SUVs - iSeeCars
Rank Vehicle iSeeCars Quality Score Combined MPG Cargo Volume (Cubic Feet)*
1 Ford Expedition 8.3 19 20.9/63.6 
2 Chevrolet Tahoe 8.3 16-24 25.5/72.6
3 GMC Yukon 8.2 16-23 25.5/72.6
4 GMC Yukon XL 8.1 16-23 41.5/93.8
Large SUV Averages 17.7 33.4 
*Vehicles with two figures represent space behind the third row and with third row folded down

1. Ford Expedition

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.6

  • Reliability Score: 8.8
  • Retained Value Score: 6.8
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $66,814

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $61,716

The Ford Expedition ranks first as the best large SUV for families. Unlike its rivals with V8 engines, the Expedition has a twin-turbo V6, giving it better gas mileage than the rest of its class. Ford introduced a new base two-row trim for the 2021 model year, which makes the vehicle available as a two- or three-row SUV for the first time. It has vast cargo and passenger space with 19.3 to 20.9 cubic feet behind the third row, which expands to 57.5 to 63.6 cubic feet with the rear row folded down. 

2. Chevrolet Tahoe

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.2

  • Reliability Score: 8.7
  • Retained Value Score: 7.8
  • Safety Score: 8.0

Average New Car Price: $64,551

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $54,766

Ranked second is another American full-size SUV, the Chevrolet Tahoe. Fully redesigned for 2021, it has three available engine options, including two powerful V8 engines and a turbo diesel inline-six. The Tahoe features impressive cargo and passenger space, and its redesign increased its legroom and added standard safety features. The Tahoe has 25.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, which grows to 72.6 cubic feet when the third row is folded down. The third-row can fold down with the touch of a button for ease of loading, and it features an abundance of storage options.

The Tahoe is also among the more affordable vehicles in the large SUV class, with a new Chevrolet Tahoe costing between $48,000 and $72,600. If you opt for a used Chevrolet Tahoe, you can expect to pay between $26,994 and $50,916.

3-4. GMC Yukon/GMC Yukon XL

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.1

  • Reliability Score: 8.7
  • Retained Value Score: 7.5
  • Safety Score: 8.0

Average New Car Price: $73,293

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $59,353

 

iSeeCars Quality Score: 7.9

  • Reliability Score: 8.7
  • Retained Value Score: 7.0
  • Safety Score: 8.0

Average New Car Price: $76,508

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $61,572

Ranked third and fourth respectively are the GMC Yukon and its extended variant, the GMC Yukon XL. Also redesigned for 2021, the Yukon and the Yukon XL share a platform with the other full-size GM SUVs, including the Chevrolet Tahoe and the Chevrolet Suburban. All these full-size GMs will pull more than 8,000 pounds, making them great options for families with regular towing needs. 

For more large SUVs to consider, check out the iSeeCars ranking of Best Large SUVs.

Best Hybrid Family SUVs

If your family hauling includes excessive distances, a hybrid SUV might be a smart vehicle choice. Here are the best family SUVs with hybrid powertrains.
Best Family SUVs: Hybrid SUVs - iSeeCars
Rank Vehicle iSeeCars Quality Score Combined MPG Cargo Volume (Cubic Feet)*
1 Toyota Highlander Hybrid 9.2 35-36 16/48.1
2 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid 8.3 40 37.4
*Vehicles with two figures represent space behind the third row and with third row folded down

1. Toyota Highlander Hybrid

iSeeCars Quality Score: 9.2

  • Reliability Score: 9.2
  • Retained Value Score: 8.3
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $47,515

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $45,097

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is the hybrid variant of the midsize Highlander and earns the spot as the best hybrid family SUV. Like its non-hybrid counterpart, it can seat up to eight passengers with a second row bench seat and seven if you opt for captain’s chairs. It has the same features and cargo capacity as the standard Highlander, but its combined MPG improves to 36 mpg for front-wheel drive and 35 mpg for all-wheel drive.

2. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.3

  • Reliability Score: 6.2
  • Retained Value Score: 8.8
  • Safety Score: 10.0

Average New Car Price: $36,063

Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $38,330

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid ranks second. It has the same features as the standard RAV4, but offers added fuel efficiency with a combined mpg of 40. The compact SUV is ideal for families who don’t require a third row of seating.

Important Safety Features and Technologies

When choosing a family vehicle, it’s important to consider a car’s driver assistance features. Newer vehicles are more likely to have these advanced driver assistance features, but there are other safety features that are commonly found on older model vehicles. Here are some important safety features to consider:
  • Automatic Emergency Braking -- when forward sensors detect an imminent collision they can apply the brakes, even when the driver doesn’t
  • Automatic High Beams -- the vehicle can automatically switch between low beams and high beams when appropriate
  • Blind-Spot Monitor -- alerts the driver when another vehicle is in the blind spot to reduce the chance of a collision during a lane change
  • Cross-Traffic Alert, Forward and Rear -- sensors monitor the movement of vehicles passing in front of, or behind, a parked vehicle, alerting the driver to potential collisions
  • Driver Attention Warning -- monitors driver behavior and creates an audible and visual warning if the driver shows signs of distraction or fatigue
  • Forward (or Pre-) Collision Warning -- alerts the driver of a potential or likely collision; this system sometimes works with Automatic Emergency Braking to apply the brakes if the driver doesn’t
  • Lane Departure Warning -- alerts the driver when the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane
  • Lane-Keeping System -- monitors the vehicle’s position in its lane and makes steering corrections to help keep the vehicle centered
  • Parking Sensors, Front and Rear -- produces audible warnings when parking a vehicle to help the driver understand how close the vehicle is to a solid object (another car, wall, etc.)
  • Radar (or Smart) Cruise Control -- uses sensors to maintain a set distance from vehicles traveling in front of the primary vehicle, thus reducing the need for driver input to maintain a set speed
  • Rear Seat Reminder -- reminds the driver to check the back seat area before exiting the vehicle and can sound the horn if rear-seat movement is detected after the vehicle is locked
  • Safe Exit Assist -- monitors street traffic when a car is parked to reduce the likelihood of opening a door when another vehicle is approaching or passing by
  • Surround View (or 360-Degree) Camera -- provides an overhead view of the vehicle to see how much space is available on all sides when parking
These safety technologies may come standard on some vehicles, or may only be available in higher trims.

Bottom Line

Finding the best family car doesn’t have to be a challenge. Because families come in different sizes and have different needs, the best family car might be a full-size hauler for some or a roomy sedan for others. Whichever vehicle type you choose, these safe, reliable, and efficient haulers are the best cars out there worthy of your most precious cargo.

More from iSeeCars.com:

If you’re in the market for a new or used family SUV, you can search over 4 million used and new cars, trucks, and SUVs with iSeeCars’ award-winning car search engine . It helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars VIN check report and Best Cars rankings. Filter by price, fuel economy, third-row availability, and other family-friendly parameters to narrow down your crossover or SUV search.