Best SUVs for Families of 2020

America sure does love crossovers, so it’s no surprise that many of the best family cars are SUVs. There is no shortage of options in 2020, and the competition is fierce. To earn the title of best SUV for families, contenders need to tick a variety of boxes. Some shoppers see the most affordable derivatives as the best family SUV, while others prefer the more lavish interiors and long list of features of a luxury brand.

Don’t let a cheap price tag distract you from the essentials, though. Size and capability definitely matter here. Smaller families can make do with the less expensive, compact models that still deliver a bit of fun driving, while big households need more space and enough comfort for everyone, which comes at a cost. Thus, the best SUV for a large family will likely be a five- or seven-seat midsize ute.

Advice For Choosing a Good, Affordable Family SUV

Sometimes, the extra money is worth it. While some of these vehicles have attractive starting prices, you’ll realize that a lot of the comfort features require extra investment. Some products that have a slightly higher MSRP come with far more standard-fitted indulgences, so the extra money is often well spent. If you live in an area prone to poor weather and road conditions, it may behoove you to consider a model equipped with AWD.

Those who value frugal fuel economy figures should stick with a smaller, punchy engine. Hybrid powertrains can offer both efficiency and power, although they do cost more upfront. Quite a few products in this segment are reliable and come with impressive warranties, so buying a used model from 2018 or 2019 is also viable.

Characteristics of the Most Reliable SUVs for Your Family

While each brand has its own unique spin on these haulers, there are a few characteristics that stay the same among all variants:

  • Spacious interior - In order to accommodate a few children and a pair of adults comfortably, the inside of these high-riders have to be decently-sized.
  • Capable motors - In order to haul multiple occupants around, there needs to be enough power. While some of them could do with a few improvements in this department, most of them deliver decent outputs.
  • Comfortable seating - These kinds of autos have to prioritize the comfort of their occupants in order to be successful. Most do, and offer agreeable seating for optimal cushioning during longer trips.
  • Safety tech - Since moving precious cargo is the main goal of an auto in this classification, the need for additional features to ensure your loved ones are kept safe is even greater.

What to Consider Before Buying

Before making the big commitment, here are a few key characteristics of the ideal family hauler to think about:

Pros

  • Usually very spacious
  • There is a broad selection to choose from
  • Some are available with tons of standard features
  • Practical, thanks to a decent cabin and trunk
  • Comfortable on longer journeys
  • 4WD can be optioned on if not standard

Cons

  • Some are rather pricey
  • Bigger versions are heavier in terms of fuel
  • Bigger sizes can be harder to maneuver

The Best SUV to Use as a Family Car in 2020

With so many great options to consider, it is quite difficult to narrow the best down to just one. The Cadillac Escalade and Kia Telluride grab the two highest spots on the list, though the former is a lot more powerful and expensive than the latter. The Escalade produces 420 horsepower and costs just over $76k to start. It’s the better choice of the two, but it is far more costly.

FAQs

What size vehicle best suits a family of four?

A large five-seater would be ideal, but it also directly depends on the age of the children. If both are toddlers, a regular compact crossover will do. If they’re in their teens, you may be better off with a sizable high-rider. Seven-seaters aren’t necessary for a family of this size, unless you simply want the extra space.

What are some of the top family cars and SUVs in this category?

The Cadillac Escalade is at the top of the list for now, and is followed by the ever-popular Kia Telluride. The latter is far more affordable. Not one for a frugal budget, the Volvo XC90 Hybrid is also an excellent choice in this category.

Be sure to check out some of our reviews for some of the highest-rated family SUVs for sale in the US.

BuzzScore
Design
Performance
MPG
Interior
Infotainment
Reliability
Safety
Value
#1
2021 Cadillac Escalade
9.1
BuzzScore
9
Design
8
Performance
7
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#2
2021 Kia Telluride
9
BuzzScore
10
Design
7
Performance
7
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
10
Value
#3
2021 Genesis GV80
9
BuzzScore
9
Design
8
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
9
Value
#4
2020 Volvo XC90 Hybrid
9
BuzzScore
9
Design
9
Performance
9
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
7
Reliability
10
Safety
8
Value
#5
2020 BMW X7
#5
BMW X7
9
BuzzScore
8
Design
9
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
8
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#6
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV
9
BuzzScore
9
Design
9
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
7
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#7
2020 Lincoln Navigator
9
BuzzScore
9
Design
9
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
8
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
10
Value
#8
2020 Lincoln Navigator L
9
BuzzScore
9
Design
9
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
8
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
10
Value
#9
2021 BMW ALPINA XB7
9
BuzzScore
9
Design
10
Performance
7
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
8
Reliability
10
Safety
8
Value
#10
2020 Hyundai Palisade
8.9
BuzzScore
9
Design
7
Performance
7
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
10
Value
#11
2020 Volvo XC90
8.9
BuzzScore
9
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
7
Reliability
10
Safety
10
Value
#12
2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
8.8
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
10
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
8
Value
#13
2020 Lincoln Aviator
8.8
BuzzScore
10
Design
9
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
8
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#14
2020 Toyota Highlander
8.6
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
9
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
8
Value
#15
2020 Kia Sorento
8.5
BuzzScore
7
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#16
2020 Ford Expedition
8.5
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
10
Safety
7
Value
#17
2020 Ford Expedition Max
8.5
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
10
Safety
7
Value
#18
2021 GMC Yukon XL
8.5
BuzzScore
8
Design
8
Performance
7
MPG
9
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#19
2021 Honda Pilot
8.4
BuzzScore
8
Design
8
Performance
9
MPG
9
Interior
8
Infotainment
8
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#20
2021 Chevrolet Tahoe
8.4
BuzzScore
7
Design
8
Performance
7
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
10
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value