Priorities change when you have a family, with personal desires taking a backseat in the search for products that work for the whole gang. For most parents, that starts with finding the best family car available.
If you're on the hunt for a great ride, you know that it's a difficult task. Cars are in short supply right now, and prices aren't helping the situation. But that doesn't mean you can't still find the perfect car for you and your crew!
Your family size will impact your car-buying decision more than any other factor. With two or fewer children and a family that isn't getting any bigger, you can run the gamut of options from cars to SUVs and even pickup trucks to fit your family.
We'll help you get the perfect set of wheels for your crew by exploring the top options available today.
Best Family Car in Canada (Overall): Honda Odyssey
The Honda Odyssey checks off most of the boxes if you're looking for performance, safety, and family-friendly versatility.
Its exceptional roominess can fit as many bodies and as much cargo as your growing family needs. With fold-down second-row seats and added car seat tethering, you have even more control over how you squeeze them in.
If you upgrade from the base model, you get eight-person seating that can be arranged into several configurations with the Magic Slide system.
The entertainment package is fairly light on the basic model, but every subsequent trim level has full infotainment options. When you upgrade, you get an 8" touch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Added options like third-row USB, rear-seat entertainment, and built-in Wi-Fi give every passenger a way to stave off restlessness on long trips.
Of course, safety is a primary goal for any family vehicle, and the Odyssey comes stocked with the Honda Sensing collection of features. The car keeps you and your family safe with a rear-seat reminder, lane departure assist, adaptive cruise control, and collision detection.
The Honda Odyssey was designed with all of the struggles of a parent in mind. That's why you'll see innovative upgraded maintenance and entertainment features that make this one of the best cars for kids.
The optional cabin controls are the exciting part of the new Odyssey. The CabinControl app is a whole new layer of convenience, giving you access to the climate control system and a social music feature so everyone can add to the playlist.
Keeping tabs on the kids in the backseat is a constant chore, especially as they get agitated on long drives. Instead of constantly turning around and yelling to the backseat, Honda makes the parenting job easier with CabinWatch and CabinTalk.
The CabinWatch feature pulls up live video of the back seats on the display, so you can keep a steady watch on your kids and the road. With CabinTalk, your voice is projected through the rear audio system, making it easy to keep the rowdiness under control.
The cherry on top of all this is the built-in vacuum cleaner. The family car gets abused, and any parent knows the headache of cleaning stuck-on and embedded fast-food debris under and between the seats. The handy vacuum option allows you to keep your car regularly maintained without having to make it a massive chore.
Best Car for Family of 5: Honda Pilot
The Honda Pilot is one of the best cars for families who need a peaceful driving experience. With a noise-cancellation system, the rumbling of the car's engine is eliminated before it hits the cabin, giving light sleepers the quiet they need.
The optional third-row seat opens up room for eight, but you can also raise just one and max out the storage space. For a family of five, you can fit all of your cargo and all of your kids without compromising your space.
The 2021 LX Pilot has a ton of standard features that used to be available as upgrades, giving you more comfort for a low price. It comes standard with dual-zone air conditioning and a touchscreen console with Bluetooth. If you upgrade to the EX, you get a great deal on even better climate control, added entertainment features, and driver-assist sensing.
The Honda Pilot prioritizes safety, both for your family and the environment. It's has a surprising fuel economy for an SUV, and its engine shut-off feature is a smart way to make a traffic jam or red light as eco-friendly as possible.
Avoiding accidents is always the driver's responsibility, but the 2021 Pilot makes their job much easier. Honda takes care of its passengers in any trim level with their Honda Sensing suite. The package includes collision-sensing braking, lane-departure assist, and adaptive cruise control.
Best Car for Family of 7: Kia Sedona
The Kia Sedona is a great value, sporting an impressive set of features for a lower price than many family minivans. It's more spacious than previous iterations, giving you up to eight seats via an optional third row and generous cargo room.
Drivers like the handling and maneuverability of the Sedona. Minivans are usually hard to drive in tight areas, but the Sedona's steering is noticeably light and swift. With the 360-degree monitoring system, it's easy to park and make sure you're safe on all sides.
Speaking of safety, although it gets average scores for its base package, the Sedona can be upgraded with helpful features like lane departure assist and blind spot monitoring.
An all-around great family van backed by an exceptional warranty, the Kia Sedona has earned industry recognition, winning the 2021 J.D. Power Quality award.
The 2021 Kia Sedona is arguably the best car for kids if you want features on a budget. With an upgrade, you can get the rear entertainment setup with 8" touchscreens on the back of the front seats' headrests, giving your kids the chance to play their favourite games or watch TV.
For parents sitting in the front, you get touchscreen entertainment access, allowing you to connect your smartphone with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. From the handling to the entertainment, the Sedona makes for a comfortable overall driving experience.
Best Family Cars Under $15,000
It's important to know how to buy a used car, especially with the pricing in the current market. With added factors like mileage and repair histories, you need to be diligent with used cars to ensure you get a good deal.
The market may be tough, but there are still some great values to find if you need a family car for less. Looking at brands known for performance and cutting-edge features, you can find 2014-2019 models that can keep up with some of today's best family vehicles.
Here are some of the top family cars you can find under $15,000:
- Subaru Outback
- Mazda CX-5
- Honda Civic
- Chevrolet Impala
- Toyota Camry
- Honda CR-V
- Subaru Forester
- Volkswagen Passat
- Kia Soul
- Chevrolet Equinox
- Kia Sportage
- Mitsubishi Outlander
If you're looking for the best car for small families, any of these models from prior years are a fantastic starting point.
Best Fuel Economy Family Car: Toyota Sienna
The best family car options combine the naturally opposing forces of size and fuel economy. In the 2021 Sienna, Toyota took the challenge head-on by making the latest model a hybrid-only minivan.
The long road trip has met its match, as the Sienna boasts a 36 mpg fuel efficiency despite carrying up to eight people. And while it's fuel-efficient, it also has plenty of power through the available all-wheel drive, giving you control through rough and snowy roads.
The Sienna takes connectivity to another level by offering Amazon Alexa alongside the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features we see in similar minivans. It also gets an edge over the Odyssey in terms of cabin space, offering generous legroom for all three rows.
The hybrid powertrain is the most glaring benefit of the 2021 Toyota Sienna, but we want to talk about the roominess a bit more. The second row is by far the most spacious you'll find in any minivan on the list, making it a contender for the best car for the kids.
The captain's chairs have an optional extra-long slide feature to maximize the legroom. Once you're there, the Limited and Platinum models make it even better with an additional ottoman.
A thoughtful upgrade to all 2021 Siennas is the hands-free entry in the side doors and rear gate. It's less common than we'd like to see from other companies, so it's worth mentioning how easy it is to maneuver when you've got your hands full.
Shop for Your Next Family Car with Confidence
You'll bring a laundry list of criteria to your search for the best family car. You need roominess, safety features, and entertainment for the front row and beyond. Taking stock of how you use your car and what features you need will make car shopping easy, even in the toughest of times.
We know that budget is a huge concern for car shoppers, and that there's more to it than just the sticker price. Contact our team at Insurdinary for great auto insurance deals to protect your new ride.