Cars have come a long way since the Griswolds piled into the Wagon Queen Family Truckster. As proof, Consumer Reports has prepared a list of family-friendly vehicles recommended for holiday road trips and shopping sprees this year.
These cars are spacious, comfortable rides that meet Consumer Reports’ standards for reliability, performance and safety. And just because you might need to seat five or more passengers doesn’t mean each vehicle on the list is unaffordable. Two of the models that were tested were priced under $30,000 — less than the average cost of a new car nowadays.
Best family cars for holiday road trips
Here’s the list, in ascending order of price:
1. Subaru Forester
Base MSRP price range: $22,395 – $33,795
2. Subaru Outback
Base MSRP price range: $24,995 – $33,395
Read more: 10 best cars with a 4-digit price tag
3. Honda Odyssey
Base MSRP price range: $29,275 – $44,750
4. Kia Sorento
Base MSRP price range: $24,900 – $43,100
5. Toyota Highlander
Base MSRP price range: $29,415 – $49,990
Both of the Subaru vehicles were about $24,000 and $29,000, respectively. According to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, Subaru is also among the most well-liked car manufacturers. The same goes for Toyota.
The Odyssey is the only minivan on the list. And the Sorento is perhaps the most customizable vehicle of all, able to act like a minivan while looking like an SUV. Its base model checks in at $24,900, but can climb as high as $43,000 with the full package of add-ons and goodies.