Why These Are the Best Family Cars – AKA the Mom Car– and It’s Not Just About The Kids!

When we think 'Mom Car,' minivans no longer come to mind. Capable, stylish and sophisticated – and fun, these are some of the best family cars on the road.

Scotty Reiss And Mazda Cx-90
Scotty Reiss and Mazda CX-90. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Looking for the perfect new car for moms and big families? Our picks to make life easier!

We all know how important a family car is – one that you love and can trust with your child’s safety. But it’s more than that. The perfect car has to take care of other things too: provide tech for passengers, like plenty of places to charge phones and tablets. It needs to help manage cargo, have room for additional passengers and it needs to be comfortable. And, it needs to be a pleasure to drive. Sometimes we call it the Mom Car because that’s who ends up behind the wheel, but really it’s about family. So, which are the best family cars? We asked our writers for their favorites.

Why The Ford Expedition Is A Best Family Car

Captains chairs in the Ford Expedition make getting passengers and child car seats in and out a breeze. Photo: A Girls Guide to Cars

For Me, the Ford Expedition’s New Design is a Dream

As a mom of four, the Ford Expedition is an excellent choice. It has plenty of space for a growing family. A favorite of the critics, the newly redesigned Ford Expedition is a great full-size SUV for new moms. Look at the amount of storage space it has! I love how it has lots of space behind the third row and has a push-button option that lets you put the seats up or down– no climbing into the cargo area to hoist the seats up when you need them. This makes going places with four kids and installing car seats so much easier.

All this is one reason @The_Car_Mom chose the Expedition for her crew:

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Kelly Stumpe – The Car Mom (@the_car_mom)

Also see: My Whirlwind Romance With the 2023 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro

The Gmc Yukon Is A Best Family Car

The GMC Yukon that Connie Peters bought for her family. Photo: Connie Peters

Another Must: Plenty of Room for Everyone and Everything

If you’re looking for a full-size SUV that has seating for 7 – 8 people, often cargo space is sacrificed. But, cargo room is key with kids. Connie Peters of XOConniePeters agrees. She chose the GMC Yukon XL (extended) model for the extra cargo space behind the third-row seats. “Not a lot of 7-seater SUVs have cargo space when you’re using all three rows of seating. Most of the time there is negligible space behind the third row,” she said. “This is why we bought the extended Yukon. We always use the third row with three kids, but we need cargo space for my daughter’s wheelchair.

See also: The Cadillac Escalade V Luxury 3 Row SUV: It Sounds, and Drives, As Good As it Looks

The 2022 Chevy Equinox. Photo: Scotty Reiss

The 2022 Chevy Equinox. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Not All SUVs Need to be Huge

For moms of two, a smaller SUV can make for the best family car, especially when making the transition from a sedan. This has been a big trend in recent years as families, especially those who live in cities and face parking challenges. “I had to get a Chevy Equinox,” said Kristy Bodle. “We had a small car and we couldn’t even put the stroller and groceries in the car. And we had 2 dogs at the time! I like a car that has the room of an SUV.”

See also: The Kia Sportage PHEV Electric SUV Has Changed the Way I Look at Kia

The Toyota Rav4 Is Ideal For Smaller Families. Photo: Chastity Velasquez

The Toyota RAV4 is ideal for smaller families. Photo: Chastity Velasquez

More Love for the Easy Kid-Hauling Compact SUV

“My recommendation for a first-time mom is the Toyota RAV4 or the Honda CR-V,” Jaclyn Musselman of Coffee Pancakes and Dreams told us. “Both cars have excellent safety ratings and positive consumer reviews. Plus it is so much easier to get a baby carrier into a crossover than a sedan.” These cars have a higher stance making it easier to lift with your legs, not your back, when putting kids and car seats into the car. And, folding second row seats give you flexible cargo space when you need it. “You get the benefits of a larger SUV but not the huge size,” Jaclyn said.

See also: In A Word, The 2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid SUV is Fun

We Love The Smaller Size And Top Safety Featured Of The Volvo Xc-60 Suv. Photo: Scotty Reiss

We love the smaller size and top safety featured of the Volvo XC-60 SUV. Photo: Scotty Reiss

But don’t forget safety – car makers haven’t

Probably one of the most competitive areas in new cars is safety features. Active safety features can help the driver monitor the road, stay in her lane and brake before something bad happens. This is a great help, especially when kids are having an issue or distracting the adult in the car. “Volvo’s approach to safety gives me so much comfort,” said Kristin Shaw about Volvo’s innovation of driver assist technologies paired with a reputation for being the safest cars on the road. But the brand doesn’t stop there. Fresh, modern design is a feature of every new Volvo. “New moms will love the styling and amenities of the Volvo XC60,” which features a large touch screen, leather seats and open, airy cabins. “It’s mid-sized, so not intimidatingly large, but it has ample room for car seats and cargo.”

See also: The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Will Leave You Feeling Rugged, Wild and Free

The Kids Think The Toyota Sienna Is A Dream Car. We Tend To Agree. Photo: Erica Mueller

The kids think the Toyota Sienna is a dream car. We tend to agree. Photo: Erica Mueller

But Oh, the Minivan: The Awkward Stepchild That Steals Your Heart

What mom hasn’t, even for a brief moment deep in the stress of the new car hunt, considered what many think is the best family car – a minivan? They make life easy, kids love them and they are chock full of great amenities for often half the price of a similarly-equipped and sized SUV. But, that reputation for being un-hip, subservient to your kids and no longer a hot mama.

Some moms, though, refused to be tagged with those images. It’s all about power and accomplishment and a minivan does that for you. When we asked Brett Martin about her favorite car she said, “That’s not hard. A sliding door minivan was amazing when we had infants. Open the door hands-free on a rainy day with a kid and a cart of groceries, and you understand.” And, we get it. A car that gets the job done so you can get on with life is not un-hip, or un-sexy.

See also: Why We Loved the Chrysler Pacifica

The New Mazda Cx-90 Adds More Space And More Luxuries To This Popular Brand'S Top Of The Line Suv. Photo: Scotty Reiss

The new Mazda CX-90 adds more space and more luxuries to this popular brand’s top of the line SUV. Photo: Scotty Reiss

The Perfect Kid-Mom Compromise: A Car That Feels Great to Everyone

“After the kids are tucked into their seats and you’re on the road, it’s time to sit back and relax and enjoy the drive,” said Scotty Reiss. “That is why I love luxury SUVs. They are well-appointed and filled with comforts.” The Mazda CX-90 is one of the newest premium SUVs on the road, and it’s easy to see why families will love it. It’s filled with technology and thoughtful touches, including a third row larger than the CX-9 that it replaces. And features like a large head up display, adaptive cruise and lane keep assist let you relax a bit in heavy traffic or on long drives.

See also: The Kia Telluride Is Luxe, Loaded, and Affordable

A Premium Sound System Can Vastly Change Your In-Car Experience. Photo: Dawn Gibson-Thigpen

A premium sound system can vastly change your in-car experience. Photo: Dawn Gibson-Thigpen

Last Must? Don’t Skimp on the Sound System

Every family car demands something to listen to on the road. From letting the kids listen to a full cinematic movie, to listening to Matilda again, to going full on Beyoncé when you’re alone for a drive, a great sound system can be the salve everyone needs. And then, sometimes we just need to open up and sing. This was the family sing-along playlist that Scotty Reiss and her family sang along to in the Honda Odyssey.

See also: 2022 Lincoln Navigator Review: This Big Boy Will Wow You

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Raconteur, bon vivant, and Managing Editor of A Girls Guide to Cars, Oklahoma-based Gigi Leonard has vivid memories of... More about Gigi Leonard

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