An SUV, or sports utility vehicle, is an automobile that combines the features of a passenger and off-roading vehicle. Over the past few years, small-size, mid-size, and crossover SUVs have gained immense popularity, accounting for 45.9% of the world’s passenger car market. With top-notch safety features and spacious interiors, SUVs make for the perfect family cars. If you are looking for one, here are a few top-performing SUVs for families:
Are SUVs ideal family cars?
SUV is a loose term that covers a broad range of vehicles with a four-wheel drive system. Even within SUVs, crossovers are a distinct type characterized as SUVs with a unibody construction (as with passenger cars). SUVs are ideal vehicles for families, both big and small, owing to multiple features; for instance, the latest mid-size and full-size SUVs provide ample cargo space, a third-row seating arrangement, and ample leg room. This, when paired with easy access, all-wheel drive, and smooth automatic transmission, makes for the perfect family vehicle. While bigger SUVs are ideal for larger families, compact SUV models are among the top choices for nuclear families.
Key features to consider
Now that you know the different types of SUVs and why they are convenient for families of all sizes, the next step is to shortlist the best vehicle based on your requirements. It is important to consider key aspects of the vehicle that would make your life easier. The criteria, of course, vary for every family depending on its size and specific requirements. However, some key factors to consider would be the cabin and cargo space, which is vital for booster and child seats. This space can be even better utilized with third-row seating arrangements, especially when it comes to big or growing families. Apart from this feature, key factors to consider include engine performance, cargo volume, safety ratings, pricing, and fuel economy of the SUV.
Top SUVs for families
Based on the abovementioned key factors, here are the top-performing SUVs for families you can find today:
Honda CR-V and CR-V Hybrid: Offering a flexible range of engines, including gasoline, diesel, and an electronic hybrid, Honda CR-V is a powerhouse that gives great mileage. Moreover, CR-V variants come with a choice of manual and automatic transmission. This 4-cylinder car, which can comfortably seat five people, has an all-wheel drive system that eases overall handling. The left camera helps in keeping an eye on the lane, while the instrument cluster facilitates ease of control. First launched in the mid-1990s, the CR-V has a high safety score, making it one of Honda’s best-selling vehicles.
Kia Sportage and Sportage Hyrbid. A reliable vehicle, the Kia Sportage makes for a great pick when it comes to family SUVs. First, it has a lot of space with a decent-size boot. The engine in the Sportage line-up comes in 1.6-liter and 2-liter petrol variants and the 1.7-liter and 2-liter diesel variants. The low-powered engines have been combined with the Intelligent Stop and Go (ISG) stop-start system. The high-powered engines come with a four-wheel drive. Further, you can pair any of the engine options with an automatic transmission. The Sportage Hybrid comes with key safety technology like forward collision avoidance, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high beams.
Ford Expedition: The largest Ford SUV, the Expedition, has been in production since 1996. The vehicle offers 3-row seating for standard or extended-length Max body styles. While the space is a huge selling point, the Expedition also comes with new technology, self-driving capability, and big infotainment displays. The vehicle’s construction allows it to move in a refined way, considering its size and body-on-frame construction. The overall ride is smooth and quiet, with accurate steering. Further advantages include ample air vents, USB ports, and cup holders. Additionally, Ford Expedition comes with handy driver assistance technology and safety features like front automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring.
Toyota RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid: The Toyota RAV4 is the SUV that led to the obsession with crossover models you can observe today. It introduced the concept of car/SUV part sharing to the world. The car became highly successful and is still considered among the highest-selling SUVs in the world. This stems from perfect customer satisfaction over the years. The unique selling points of the vehicle include fuel efficiency, a somewhat eccentric design, and bulletproof engines. The engines come in capacities of 1.8, 2.0, and 2.4 liters that can generate 125, 150, and 160 horsepower, respectively.
Features other than safety and space can be overlooked when choosing a family car, but they can significantly enhance daily functioning and convenience. Here, handy features like USB ports, connectivity, blind spot detectors, and parking cameras can enhance the safety and utility of the vehicle. Some other important features to look for are favorable price points, lift-over height (how high you have to lift to load luggage), H-Point (driver’s seat height), outward visibility, and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ratings. EPA ratings indicate a vehicle’s fuel efficiency on the highway and city roads. These are just a few aspects that will help you choose the most appropriate vehicle for your family.