Choosing a new car is difficult enough. Add to that the stress of keeping your kids safe in a car big enough to carry the family, and suddenly it got even harder. While many of us millennials grew up with a minivan or station wagon in the driveway, young families today rely on a slightly different stable of family cars. So, what are the best cars for parents in 2022?
Are minivans still the best cars for parents?
When someone says “family car”, what do you envision? For decades, smart money said either a minivan or a station wagon. However, that is no longer really the case. Minivans are probably still the most stereotypical ‘family car’, but they are becoming less and less. But what does the minivan replace for the modern family?
American news published a list of the “12 Best Cars for Parents,” which is a far cry from what was popular with moms and dads when I was a kid.
- 2022 GMC Terrain
- 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
- 2022 Subaru Outback
- 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid
- 2022 Mazda CX-30
- 2022 Kia Forte
- 2022 Kia Telluride
- 2022 Mazda Mazda3
- 2022 Honda Accord Hybrid
- 2022 Honda CR-V
- 2022 Honda Odyssey
- 2022 Aries 1500
This list is as much a sign of the times as anything else in our world right now. It’s wild to see more pickup trucks than minivans. I don’t want to hammer on the minivan, but it almost feels like this list is deliberately trying to be contrarian. I understand people hate minivans, but in what world is a 2022 GMC Terrain a better family car than the 2022 Chrysler Pacifica? That math just isn’t right.
This is not to say that pickup trucks can’t be a good family car. They certainly can. But how can the Ram 1500 be better than the Honda Odyssey for driving some little goblins around? Let’s see.
What is the best car for families?
Just to be clear, I don’t think this is a completely illogical list. Your family would do well to own many of these models, such as the Kia Telluride, Honda CR-V, Toyota Highlander or Subaru Outback. However, the pickup trucks feel a little too much like a “cool guy” answer to really make sense, at least compared to three-row minivans or SUVs.
This list from US News has the top three best cars for parents: 2022 Honda CR-V, 2022 Honda Odyssey and the 2022 Ram 1500.
The Ram 1500 is a great truck. This is almost undeniable. However, that is not good for families. Despite my grumpiness, a point needs to be made here. For families planning to haul RVs for a family vacation, there’s a good argument for the Aries. It is technically rated for five people and can tow up to 12,750 lbs. Other positive aspects include good safety ratings, solid reliability and a comfortable ride. While the Ram isn’t a bad choice for the best car for your family, there’s no point in being in first place.
The Honda Odyssey is one of the greatest vehicles ever made
Our modern tastes have dealt a major blow to the minibus market. The latest generation of minibuses is one of the best, best equipped, reliable, powerful, spacious and versatile cars on our roads. Not to mention that hybrid technology has gotten to a point where these big movers are just as fuel efficient as some sedans.
The only “disadvantage” of the minivan these days is the social perception. How strange is that? Millions of people leave one of the most practical cars on the road, not to mention one of the best equipped cars, to buy something objectively worse in every way. And for what? Looking cooler?
Let’s put the minibus back in the spotlight as the best family car segment on the market.
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