Even if you have a jam-packed summer schedule, there’s always time for one epic road trip before the kids head back to school. Though hearing “Are we there yet?” from the backseat can certainly get tiring, family vacations are a great way to make memories that last forever. Nothing stands between you and enjoying the warm weather (not to mention the low gas prices) except—oh, right. Finding a vehicle that’s up to the task of hauling your whole family along for the ride.
You may want to consider taking one (or all) of these four family-friendly and road trip-ready vehicles for a test-drive before your next trip!
What makes a vehicle truly family friendly? Is it the safety feature selection? The ample legroom? The extras—like engaging electronics, GPS capabilities and responsive infotainment? Yes, yes and yes. Buying a new vehicle is a large investment, but you’ll gain peace of mind knowing that you’re traveling as securely and comfortably as possible.
And when you make an auto insurance rate comparison, you may be surprised to see you can earn discounts thanks to modern safety equipment that’s available on many new models. According to DMV.org, you may earn car insurance discounts for features such as rearview cameras, blind spot detection systems, daytime running lights, automatic seatbelts and more.
Well-Built Wagon: Subaru Outback
Let’s say your family prefers heading into the mountains for a scenic family getaway over, say, driving to Disneyworld. Or you know you’ll be using the vehicle year-round, perhaps for ski vacations or hiking trips as well as daily driving. You’ll appreciate the 2017 Subaru Outback’s All-Wheel Drive powertrain’s “good capability on slippery roads,” per U.S. News & World Report. Plus, Subaru EyeSight driver assistance features like pre-collision braking and smart cruise control will help out with long drives.
Efficient Two-Row SUV: Honda CR-V
Compact SUVs are all the rage this year because they offer a spacious interior without sacrificing a sleek body and fuel-efficient performance. Wondering why the experts at Kelley Blue Book named the 2017 Honda CR-V one of its ’12 Best Family Cars’ this year? To start, about the infotainment system they write, “everything works well and is easy to use, meaning the driver spends less time fiddling with controls, and more time with eyes on the road.”
Spacious Three-Row SUV: Toyota Highlander
Two’s company, three’s a crowd—what’s eight? If you have a large family, or want to bring your friends and their little ones along for the ride, look no further than the new Toyota Highlander. Last year, this family-focused SUV picked up a slew of awards, including earning a “Best Buy Award Finalist” distinction from Kelley Blue Book.
Plus, Toyota is well-known for manufacturing vehicles with longevity; based on statistics from IHS Automotive, “Toyota has the longest-lasting vehicles of any full-line automotive manufacturer.”
Cargo Capable Minivan: Chrysler Pacifica
The long-beloved Chrysler Town & Country has passed the baton to the new Chrysler Pacifica. But this isn’t the same old frumpy minivan from years past. In fact, even comedian Jim Gaffigan has found a few things to fall in love with on this modern minivan, like the Stow ‘n Vac tucked conveniently in the back to instantly clean up messes. This cutting-edge minivan even won the “Best of 2017” award from Cars.com. For eco-conscious parents, the hybrid version can potentially earn you up to $7,500 in federal tax credits and minimize the impact of your long-distance travel.
Well, what are you waiting for? Hit the road and make some new memories. Just make sure that you’re behind the wheel of the best vehicle for the job before you set out. These four family-friendly and road trip-ready vehicles prioritize safety, entertainment, gas mileage and affordability.