Best car of 2019

8 Of The Best Commuter Cars

A commuter car typically is for moderate to long distances, and one that is easy to drive on a daily basis. It should be reasonably comfortable, gets great gas mileage, reliable, and won’t break the bank. That doesn’t mean you need to roll around in a Toyota sedan though. For the cost of a Prius, we found a lot of cars for commuting in that all get exceptional gas mileage and keep performance, luxury, and style intact. With the exception of the new Ioniq, we picked gently used models for the cars on our list. They include top quality hybrids and diesel-powered cars, definitely very affordable.

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid
  • $16,000
  • 47 MPG

Starting with the cheapest car on this list, we come to the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid. This car comes with a hybrid 4 cylinder 2.0-liter VTEC engine that produces 195 horsepower, an automatic transmission and gets 47 mpg which is staggering. It’s big, comfortable and although not strictly a luxurious car it is certainly on the higher end of available Hondas. According to KBB, the average price is about $16,000.

2016 Mazda3
  • $18,300
  • 41 MPG

The Mazda3 while not as quick as its Speed version and not quite as domineering as its larger Mazda6 brethren, is a good compromise. It’s cheap, you’ll get an astonishing 40+mpg, and could stand to get even more with its manual transmission. Mazdas are known for having exceptional, responsive handling characteristics and while power might be lacking it’s got enough to get you on the freeway, and is plenty comfortable on the inside to get you through the early morning traffic.

2016 Lexus CT 200H Hybrid
  • $23,400
  • 43 MPG

This car is probably painfully slow, heavy, and not a lot of fun to drive. But if you don’t care about that kind of thing, and are only looking at the fact that it can get up to 43 MPG in the city then you’re in luck. The CT 200H Hybrid from Lexus is a fuel-efficient luxury branded sedan that like other Lexus is very comfortable, easy to drive and easy to relax in. At $23,400 it doesn’t cost very much either.

2014 Mercedes E250 BluTec
  • $25,000
  • 45 MPG

What can be said that isn’t already known about the prestige that comes with the Mercedes brand. This E-class Mercedes comes with a turbocharged 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel engine, producing 195 horsepower and still manages 45 mpg on the highway. While slightly more expensive than the Honda, the E250 is perfectly manageable at $25,000. For that price, you could commute in a Mercedes and not feel guilty about how much you spent on it.

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
  • $23,500
  • 40 MPG

Ford’s luxury line provided a stellar example of what can happen when the efforts of luxury and practicality work together. The Lincoln MKZ isn’t as luxurious as the Mercedes of course, but it does still get a combined 40 MPG out of a hybrid 2.0-liter four-cylinder, and only costs around $23,500. The steering and handling aren’t as refined as other cars and the interior doesn’t feel as expensive as, say, a BMWs, but it’s still classified as a luxury car which means it probably feels more luxurious than a Honda Civic.

2014 Lexus ES Hybrid
  • $22,500
  • 40 MPG

Like Mercedes, Lexus finds itself in contention for high-end luxury and is no less apparent with the 2014 Lexus ES Hybrid. For a mere $22,500, the ES Hybrid is a fantastic option. With a 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid engine that produces 200 horsepower, the ES delivers an impressive 40 mpg, which means commuting to work no longer has to be an uncomfortable chore. You can enjoy it in the Lexus, especially since that probably means comfortable seats and a smooth, effortless ride.

2014 BMW 328D
  • $21,000
  • 45 MPG

BMWs depreciate quickly, and that means you can get a decently priced commuter car that is synonymous with BMW performance. The 2014 BMW 328D is going to perform better than a lot of vehicles by nature, but also with its 181 horsepower turbo diesel 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the car will get up to 45 mpg on the highway. For a sports luxury sedan that’s nothing to sneeze at. Plus it means commuting with some top of the line performance, and for only $21,000.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
  • $22,000
  • 60 MPG wow!

The only brand new car to make the list, the Hyundai Ioniq is certainly a fantastic choice for a commuter car. It starts at only $22,000 but gets almost 60 mpg. It also produces only 139 horsepower out of its tiny 1.6-liter engine, which might not sound like much, but considering how well Hyundai maps out their engines’ power it’ll probably feel like plenty. So when you are shopping for a commuter car, don’t overlook the new Ioniq Hybrid.

For $25,000 or less you could have a really nice, luxurious commuter car that gets almost as good mileage as a Prius. With that in consideration, it’s hard to pass up the chance to drive a more comfortable car every day, to make your commute all the more enjoyable.

The 10 Best Cars for Your Daily Commute

Let’s face it: most of us spend a large chunk of our professional lives commuting to work, whether it’s by car, bicycle, public transport or even on foot.

If you drive to work, though, it’s important to choose a car that’s comfortable, economical and, above all, safe. After all, it’s stressful enough dealing with crazy drivers on a daily basis; you don’t need to add an unreliable car into the mix of your morning routine!

So, if you’re thinking about upgrading your car (and making your commute to work a little easier), then read on.

These are the best cars for your daily commute!

1. Smart Fortwo

smart United Kingdom

Starting price: $12,000 / £11,415

MPG: 46.3

If you drive in the city, a small car like the Smart Fortwo can be a very practical option. You can skip in and out of lanes (cautiously, of course; I’m not advising you to drive recklessly), as well as fit into tight parking spaces, and its comfortable, luxurious interiors are designed to combine both style and extravagance into one. And with the option of personalising its colour, rims, lamps and interiors, you can make your Smart Fortwo truly one of a kind.

2. Fiat 500

Fiat UK

Starting price: $16,245 / £11,810

MPG: 33

Another car that’s on the smaller side is the Fiat 500, a retro-styled hatchback perfect for the budget-minded car shoppers. This car not only has a pretty face, but also an instant MPG option to save petrol throughout your journey. With a 5.0-inch touchscreen and the option to include a Beats premium sound system, you can have a little rave while you drive to and from work every day!

3. Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Malaysia

Starting price: $26,415 / £18,340

MPG: 44.1

Volkswagen is famous for its great engines, affordable MPG and lightweight exterior, but the GTI goes far beyond these things. Its sport-tuned suspension, sharp acceleration and great power are ideal for motorway drivers. The car is fast, reliable, powerful and fuel-efficient with a 2.0 turbo engine. The interiors are just as good, too, with adjustable bucket seats and an 8-inch glass touchscreen with MFD interface, allowing you to manage your entire music and phone system via Bluetooth.

4. Ford Fiesta

Ford.com

Starting price: $14,260 / £13,965

MPG: 35

The Fiesta is one of the smallest vehicles available from the Ford family, but it’s a top choice among daily commuters. It comes in sedan or hatchback and petrol or diesel options, so you can choose what’s comfortable for you. With an EcoBoost engine, a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder unit that rates at 125 pound-feet of torque and 123 horsepower, the Ford Fiesta is also economical in choice. Ford’s latest technology also connects with Amazon’s Alexa, giving you real-time traffic updates, access to your personal music library and other preferences that you’ve chosen at home.

5. Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet

Starting price: $33,520

MPG: 42

The Chevrolet Volt is the first electric car on the list, and it boasts a 53-mile battery life and a 420-mile range with full a battery and a full tank of petrol. With two electric motors, the backup engine kicks in when your charge is running low. This car is the future of motoring, and with a regen on-demand paddle on the steering wheel, you can slow down without having to press the break, making a smooth, easy and economical ride to and from the office. The Volt is smart, efficient and perfect for any car – or tech – enthusiast out there.

6. Toyota Yaris Hybrid

Toyota Cyprus

Starting price: $15,450 / £13,015

MPG: 34

The new hybrid version of the original Toyota Yaris makes for the perfect commute car. Its economic gas mileage makes your daily journey a lot cheaper than you’d ever imagine with the use of both electronic and petrol-fuelled engines. But what makes this car extra special is its safety features. These include pre-collision warning, an automatic emergency braking system, internal cameras and blind-spot detection. With this being such a small car, you’re also able to fit into tight spots and park effortlessly.

7. Honda Civic

Honda UK

Starting price: $19,450 / £18,895

MPG: 39

The Honda Civic has been a popular choice for commuters for many years, and the new Hybrid version just gets even better. With roomy backseats and boot space (and we all know how important that is), the Civic is a top choice for daily commuters. There’s also a number of added features that are essential for daily drivers, including Bluetooth, automatic climate control, blind spot monitoring and cruise control.

8. Mazda3

Mazda USA

Starting price: $18,095 / £20,595

MPG: 42

The Mazda3 is a good choice for long commutes, especially when it’s just as affordable as any hybrid car mentioned on this list. The interior bodes some of the most innovative technology out there, allowing you to access a range of online services via your smartphone. It also has a number of safety features which warn you about any approaching dangers, ensuring that you have a peaceful and accident-free journey.

9. Audi A4

Audi UK

Starting price: $36,000 / £27,815

MPG: 31

For the price that you pay on an Audi, you expect a quality product, and this saloon doesn’t disappoint. It bodes state-of-the-art technology and connectivity, with a luxurious and cutting-edge interior design. The comfortable and lightweight A4 is perfect for the working businessperson who spends a lot of their time on the road.

10. Lexus ES

Lexus UK

Starting price: $39,600 / £35,150

MPG: 30

Lexus is known for its luxurious interiors, but this car, in particular, is smooth-sailing; with a hybrid version also available, you’ll not only be driving in style but also economically. With heated front seats, driving during the winter will be comfortable, while the Lexus ES also boasts a great multimedia setting, allowing you to stay connected to your smartphone when you’re on the go and to experience a much more comfortable journey.

Daily commutes can be tiresome, but investing in a safe, economical and fun car can make them so much more bearable!

Let us know what your top pick is from the list above by leaving a comment below.

The cost savings of living in a suburb compared with a city cannot be ignored. Nevertheless, commuting is a pain. If you’re doing it daily, you might as well make sure you have a ride that makes it as enjoyable as it can be, without being a drag on your savings. Here are a few cars that offer value, efficiency, reliability, safety, performance, ease of parking and comfort — and one or two that will please car enthusiasts. The data are from U.S.News, which offers vehicle research tools and ranking systems.

Best Cars for Long Commutes in 2019

1. Volkswagen Passat

$25,295-$29,995

MPG: 25 city, 36 highway

Though a little more expensive than some other names on this list, the Volkswagen (VLKAF) Passat is spacious and nice to drive. I actually have one of these. I average about 48 mpg on the highway, but my 2015 TDI VW with a six-speed manual might not be what the average commuter is looking for. The more mainstream Passat offers a nice balance between higher end materials, comfort, a nice ride, with the commuter-friendly gas mileage of a much cheaper vehicle. Believe me, these cars very nice for their price.

Positive attributes include: spacious seats, large trunks (they do indeed pack a lot of room), a smooth relaxed tide. Some critiques of the 2019 model included complaints over engine options. Overall, the car has an above-average safety score (though apparently weaker for the midsize sedan class). I’d dock it a few points for an average reliability rating.

2. Toyota Camry

$24,095

Carrying very high reliability ratings, with excellent gas mileage, the Toyota (TM) – Get Report Camry definitely ranks high on any list involving lots of driving. The sedan gets 22-29 mpg in the city, and 32-41 mpg on the highway. Reviews spoke well of the cars fun driving nature, that is coupled with peppy and efficient engines.

If you opt for the Camry Hybrid, you can achieve a whopping 53 mpg on the highway. Unfortunately, it comes with a higher asking price; base models cost around $28,000. Whether that extra few miles per gallon is worth it is largely a personal choice. Both versions of the car receive praise for reliability, safety, and performance. If you want to get the most out of it as a commuter, the non-hybrid version should definitely be paired with the fuel sipping four-cylinder. The V-6 has quite a bit of horsepower, but will increase your commuting costs quite a bit.

3. Nissan Altima

$24,000-$35,750

MPG: 25-28 city, 34-39 highway

The Nissan (NSANF) Altima is noted for being a little less “sporty” in its driving experience than the Camry, but still offers resoundingly good fuel mileage, with strong reliability. A few complaints included the more underwhelming driving experience, and cheaper cabin materials. Ironcially, the reviews also list Nissan Altima as having a very comfortable cabin.

4. Volkswagen Jetta

$18,745-$29,995

MPG: 25-30 city, 32-40 highway

A long-time favorite within small sedans, the Volkswagen Jetta is an easy shoe-in for this list. With above-average reliability, a stellar safety score, and excellent gas mileage, the Jetta is a great commuter car. One of the biggest strengths of the Jetta are the options. You can get a bare bones Jetta for far less than many other names on this list. It’s also one of the few names left where you can get a stick shift. Believe me, it makes any drive a lot more fun. Reviews noted supportive seats, a smooth ride, and an easy infotainment system. Some complaints included a small trunk, and less engaging driving than in the past.

5. Toyota Prius

$23,770-$32,200

MPG: 52-54 city, 48-50 highway

The name Prius almost screams great gas mileage. Definitely not the most attractive or manly car on this list (beauty is in the eye of the beholder), the Toyota Prius tries to make up for it with pure utilitarian efficiency. The car is a bit ironic, as the battery setup actually creates better gas mileage in town than on the highway. Toyota has been making efforts to get the Prius more accessible to consumers. For 2019, all-wheel drive has been added, making the car a better commuter option in northern winters. Of course, the pure fuel savings come at a cost. The car suffers from poor acceleration and unexciting steering. With strong reliability scores, the Prius may very well be the best car for long commutes. Just don’t expect to have a lot of fun outside of that efficiency.

6. Ford Escape

$24,105-$34,120

MPG: 21-23 city, 27-30 highway

Don’t like sitting low? Want a little more of an SUV feel without the SUV costs? The Ford Escape is a decent option for commuting. The added height and shape does take a few miles per gallon from you, but overall the Ford (F) – Get Report Escape gets comparable gas mileage to many sedans. The primary reason is it’s built on a uni-body car frame with a small engine. This is by no means an SUV. It’s a crossover that gives you just a little bit more than a sedan can. Reviews like the decent cargo room, good handling and peppy engines from Ford’s turbo engines. If you want fuel efficiency, steer clear of the SEL trim, which carries a 245 horsepower turbo four cylinder. With a good reliability score, the Escape is a good car for long commutes to work. The smaller size also makes it a good car for parking.

$19,450-$35,700

MPG: 25-32 city, 35-42 highway

The Honda (HNDAF) Civic offers are darn good gas mileage. With sporty looks, strong reviews for performance, and very nice materials, this seems like a great car for long commutes. A sour point for the Civic is a surprisingly below-average reliability rating; a surprising rating for a car from a company like Honda. Something I like about the Civic is the number of options when it comes to trims. You can have a gas sipping 158 horsepower engine, or a 306 horsepower beast. Of course, for commuting you certainly want to focus on the smaller engine.

8. Mini Cooper Countryman

$26,900-$37,900

MPG: 21-24 city, 30-33 highway

Live in the city? Work in the city? Basically have a daily need to be able to park in the city? The Mini Cooper Countryman is a darn good option. The small cars are definitely polarizing. You either like the styling or you don’t. If you get past that, the reviews on performance combined with fuel efficiency are pretty tough to beat. Noted for the famous handling, and the cool cabin style, the Mini Cooper Countryman basically offers the fun sporty appeal of the original Mini Cooper, but adds a little size to appeal to American consumers. In terms of commutes, I include this car for the parkability. Even with the increased size from a normal Mini, the car is small, very small. This means you can park it almost anywhere. The drawbacks here are pricing, and weaker fuel mileage compared to others.

9. Mazda6

$23,800-$35,100

MPG: 23-26 city, 31-35 highway

The Mazda6 is not considered the most reliable name on this list, but it does score high on handling and turbocharged engines. Much to my dismay, the six speed manual transmission was discontinued this year (progress breaks my heart), but the car still gets lots of attention for being a fun and lively car. The car gets praise for nice materials, but there are some criticisms over seat sizing. Perhaps this isn’t the best pick if you’re 6’5″ in height.

10. Mazda CX-5

$24,350-$36,890

MPG: 22-25 city, 27-31 highway

While the Mazda (MZDAD) CX-3 receives great praise for driving fun, I chose to favor the CX-5 in large part due to its larger cabin room. The CX-5 is a great car for long commutes thanks to its strong handling, good ride, nice cabin, many engine options, and great safety score. You can get turbocharged four cylinders, or even a turbo diesel. The drawback here is an average reliability score. For consistent long commutes, you probably want an above-average rating.

11. GMC Terrain

$25,000-$39,500

MPG: 21-28 city, 26-39 highway

The GMC (GM) – Get ReportTerrain has a great safety score, above-average reliability, and a more upscale offering for a commuter car. The Catch-22 here is certainly the higher purchase prices. The Terrain gets good marks for comfort, safety, big seats, and excellent fuel economy. Like so many crossovers these days, there is criticism about rearward visibility.

12. Honda HR-V

$20,520-$28,540

MPG: 26-28 city, 31-34 highway

Size is not on the Honda HR-V’s side, but that’s not what this car is about. This subcompact car is all about fuel economy mixed with a nice little car that will fit in tight parking spaces. Reviews liked the large cargo area (for its size), the great fuel economy, and a surprisingly awesome crash test score.The drawbacks of the tiny powertrain are a weak engine that doesn’t excite. But, you can get this little car with AWD.

13. Subaru Crosstrek

$21,895-$27,195

MPG: 23-27 city, 29-33 highway

Subaru doesn’t make a bad car. It’s that simple. The Crosstrek offers above-average reliability ratings and excellent safety scores, into a compact all wheel drive car that will pretty much get you through any weather pattern you’ll face on a daily commute. It will hold a lot of stuff for its size, is well built, and offers an awesome balance of gas mileage with all road capability. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a Jeep Wrangler, but Subaru has a great AWD reputation for a reason. You pay for this balance with rather unexciting driving performance thanks to the small four cylinder engine that’s mated with a continuously variable transmission. Acceleration is not this cars main priority.

14. Volkswagen Golf SportWagen

$21,895-$36,095

MPG: 21-29 city, 29-37 highway

The SportWagen might not appeal to those judgers of the all too useful station wagon, but I’m including it anyway. Essentially a Jetta with a big trunk, this car has loads of cargo room, with excellent gas mileage. With available AWD, it’s also useful in inclement weather.

15. Subaru Outback

$26,345-$38,995

MPG: 20-25 city, 27-32 highway

The Subaru Outback needs no real introduction. The long popular Outback has the raised ground clearance and all-wheel drive to get you through any long commute; regardless of season. The Outback has room, folks; lots of it. The trunk is large and will carry whatever you need. The seats are comfortable. The ride is smooth, and the excellent balance between its gas mileage and utility makes it a well rounded car for essentially anyone. I’ve driven these, and would not hesitate to use as a car for long commutes. The safety scores, coupled with its more rugged nature make it an excellent commuter for anyone in range of the northern elements.

16. Nissan Rogue

$25,020-$32,840

MPG: 25-25 city, 32-33 highway

The Nissan Rogue offers a good blend of fuel efficiency, good quality materials, and strong cargo room to make it a good commuter for someone that needs more than just a fuel-efficient sedan. The crossover certainly doesn’t get the love of some other names on this list, as it suffers from a weak engine. Nonetheless, it’s a nice balance between many different factors. The safety scores are high, and it carries average reliability.

17. Subaru Forester

$24,295-$34,295

MPG: 26 city, 33 highway

Redesigned for 2019, the Subaru Forester is expected to carry the same reliability ratings that have made the brand so popular. Coupled with the all-wheel drive and fuel mileage, you really can’t go wrong with a Subaru. The car has good safety ratings, while offering good interior space. As with the Subaru Outback, the Foresters well rounded nature makes it an excellent choice if you need more than just commuting fuel economy. Snow won’t ruin your week with symmetrical all-wheel drive.

18. Toyota Rav4

$25,650-$35,050

MPG: 25-26 city, 33-35 highway

The Rav4 has excellent safety ratings, strong reliability ratings, and creates a whole lot of gas mileage while offering the option of all-wheel drive. Reviews favor the cars cargo space, comfortable ride, and the excellent predicted reliability. On the negative, the car has a loud engine noise, and lacks the athletic appeal of some competitors. Nonetheless, this is a reliable crossover with available AWD.

19. Subaru Impreza

$18,595-$25,690

MPG: 22-28 city, 30-38 highway

A disappointing moment for Subaru, the Impreza does not have the greatest reliability rating. You definitely don’t want to own one out of warranty. As this list consists of 2019 cars, you’re OK for a few years. The Impreza has a lower purchase price than many competitors, and the MPG for a standard all-wheel drive car are pretty difficult to beat. That does come at a price, as reviews noted a weak engine. But if you’re worried about an efficient commute, you’re not worried about peeling out.

20. Mazda3

$21,000-$28,900

24-27 city, 32-36 highway

Much like the other Mazdas noted on this list, the Mazda3 has excellent reviews for driving enjoyment. When you’re making a long commute every day, that performance can make it all a lot less stressful. Reviews liked the engine, transmission, and high-quality interior. It’s nice to be able to get a car that’s fun to drive, that also has the mileage capabilities of the Mazda3. The car has excellent safety ratings, but only average reliability. Oh, did I mention you can get it with AWD?

21. Honda Accord

$23,750-$35,950

MPG: 22-30 city, 21-38 highway

Reviews praise the handling, tech, room, and engine of the Honda Accord. Offering superb gas mileage, along with tons of cargo space and passenger room, the Accord is a great all-around sedan. The fact that it would work well for long commutes is simply an added bonus.

22. Jeep Compass

$21,845-$29,695

MPG: 22-23 city, 30-32 highway

While I am definitely not a fan of the ever-rising number of crossovers on the market, a nice benefit of the lifted unibody craze has been gas mileage. Indeed, you can get many CUV’s that compromise nothing when it comes to fuel economy. The Jeep Compass is one of those offerings. Depending on where you’re commuting, sometimes all-wheel drive is essential for safe travel. Jeep has a long track record of excellent drivetrain systems for just that. Because it essentially a slightly taller sedan, the Compass comparable fuel mileage to most of the cars on this list. This is not a fast car, or a well-handling, sporty ride. It simply offers a good AWD option with good gas mileage.

23. Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

$22,400-$36,815

MPG: 55-57 city, 54-59 highway

In terms of raw fuel efficiency, The Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is pretty darn good. Reviews don’t exactly favor the ride quality, and it’s not a car for carrying a bunch of passengers comfortably. What it does have is fuel savings, fuel savings, and more fuel savings. If you’re one of those unfortunate souls that have extremely long commutes, the Ioniq’s mileage, great reliability rating, and cargo space will definitely help save you some money.

24. Ford Mustang Ecoboost

Sounds weird, I know, but the Ford Mustang offers an ecoboost fastback Mustang for around $26,000. Are you an adventurous soul that values fun driving? The ecoboost Mustang might solve your problem. Reviews love the cars handling, and sporty styling and interior. Let’s be clear. This obviously isn’t the most practical choice, but if like me you don’t ever want to compromise fun for convenience, the ecoboost Mustang gets a respectable 21 mpg in the city, and 31 mpg on the highway. That’s right, a 310-horsepower, 2.3 liter engine that can still get you 31 miles per gallon on the highway commute. You can even get it in a six-speed manual. If you want to enjoy your commute to work, this car is awesome.

25. Chevy Malibu

$22,090-$31,820

MPG: 22-29 city, 32-36 highway

Getting back to good ol’ practicality, the Chevy Malibu is given good marks for a nice smooth ride, big comfy seats, and excellent mileage numbers. The car is pretty much in line with most prices on this list, all while offering passenger room and a decent trunk. It’s not super exciting. Nor does it receive nearly as much praise as other options in terms of performance. If you’re simply looking for a fuel-efficient car for long commutes, it’ll do the trick.

2019 Best Cars for Families

Family-Friendly Features

It’s easy for an automaker to slap a rear-seat DVD player and a couple of screens in the backseat of a car and brand it for families. However, as the U.S. News team evaluates hundreds of cars each year, we’ve found that some family-friendly features are more useful than others.

Teen controls are among the more useful features. These controls, either through the car’s key or through an app or telematic system, can help parents develop good habits in their teen drivers. Some systems give you reports on speed and hard braking, as in the Chevy Traverse. Others, like the system in the Ford Edge and Ford Expedition, limit stereo volume or won’t let the stereo turn on until all seat belts are buckled. Systems like the ones available in the Mercedes-Benz GLE, Acura RDX, Honda Accord, and Honda Odyssey text you alerts when the car is driven past a certain time of night, above a certain speed, or outside of a geographic area you set. Features like this not only let you monitor teen drivers but can also help you keep an eye on caregivers for little kids or older adults who might be using the family car.

Anyone who has ever wrestled with a squirmy toddler while trying to load groceries will appreciate the hands-free cargo door on the Ford Edge and Expedition, Chevrolet Traverse, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Audi Q7, Acura RDX, BMW 5 Series, and Honda Odyssey. Long road trips fly by with minimal complaining when you have in-car Wi-Fi, which most of our winners do.

All of the winning vehicles have top-notch crash test scores, but we also factor in safety features that can prevent a crash, like automatic forward and rear braking, as well as lane keep assist. A 360-degree camera system is great for checking all around your car, especially in environments where little kids may get too close – like a daycare or preschool parking lot.

Then there are features that just take care of you, like the incredible optional sound system in the Acura RDX, the road-carving abilities of the BMW 5 Series, and the 577-horsepower in the AMG trim of the Mercedes-Benz GLE.

Mostly, though, there’s just a certain thrill that comes from having a car that’s a worthy partner for your family, making your life easier by providing the tools you need to forget about your car, and focus on your family.

See winners from previous years: 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018

The 10 Best Family Cars of 2019

Thirty cars tested. Ninety car seats installed. Three hundred plus cupholders counted. Our winning models (selected from a field that aced the government’s safety tests) deliver enough muscle to effortlessly carry your squad – and all their stuff – for years to come.

  • RELATED: Family SUV vs. Family Minivan: Which Is Right for You?

The Best Minivans

Kia Sedona

This budget-friendly buy ($27,200+) got a makeover for 2019. A restyled bumper, cooler-looking headlights, and redesigned doors fight the mom-mobile stigma. It’s practical too: The seat fabrics are now stain-resistant, perfect for spilled juice and other, shall we say, liquids. The new eight-speed transmission gives the car as much power as its higher-priced counterparts. “Most families should be able to comfortably fit four to five child-safety seats in the Sedona,” says child-passenger safety technician Abbie Patterson, owner of Super Car Seat Geek. “Some of the narrower seats may even provide the option of having three seats across the center row.”

  • RELATED: The Best Car Seats for Babies and Toddlers

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Toyota Sienna

The only minivan with all-wheel drive, the Toyota Sienna ($31,115+) will give you peace of mind if you’re caught in a downpour with the kids. “It improves traction and stability control in rain or snow, making you less likely to skid off the road,” says mom mechanic Rebekah Fleischaker, who owns a garage in Sherman Oaks, California. New standard features like automatic high beams and detection of pedestrians in the road help protect your family. You can expect to fit in four to five car seats or boosters, depending on their size. Families with special needs also appreciate the option of its unique factory-installed Auto-Access Seat. When you push a button on the door, the seat rotates to the outside of the van and lowers almost to street level, making it easier to transport a child or an adult with limited mobility. “My 2-year-old uses a walker, and we love that we can make our Sienna accessible as he gets older,” says Leah Trotter, of Athens, Georgia. “I can store his walker and stroller without putting down the third row of seats, and I have enough space to build a fort inside while we’re between doctor appointments.”

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Honda Odyssey

For transporting a lot of kids in car seats or boosters, you can’t beat the Honda Odyssey ($30,190+). “You can comfortably fit up to six child-safety seats,” says Patterson. “It offers five sets of lower anchors and a tether for every seat in the second and third rows, which gives you so much flexibility for where you position your kids’ car seats or boosters.” Getting your crew’s attention won’t be hard either—even when they’re engrossed in “Baby Shark.” Thanks to the brand’s touch-screen CabinTalk system, a speaker projects your voice to the back rows so you won’t need to shout to break up a sibling squabble or ask if anyone needs to stop to use the bathroom. “I also like how easy it is to move the middle-row seats to let my son get to the third row,” says Melissa McFall, of Olathe, Kansas. Icing on the cake: The new safety package in EX models and higher ($34,160+) features brakes that activate if a collision is imminent, an upgrade to the cruise control (to be adaptive), and technology that steers you back into your lane if you drift.

  • RELATED: These Are the Best Family Cars for Car Seats

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The Best Two-Row SUVs

Ford Escape

This compact model ($24,105) is almost as easy to navigate in tight spaces as a sedan. And you’re not sacrificing space for drivability: “You can nicely fit two car seats in the second row and may get in a third if the seats are narrow,” says Patterson. Using Ford’s free app, you can speak to Alexa in your Escape, asking her to order diapers, start your playlist, or read your calendar, all while you’re waiting in the school pickup line.

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Subaru Forester

This longtime favorite ($24,295+) got a modern makeover this year. Now standard, the brand’s Eyesight Driver Assist Technology prevents you from swaying into other lanes. A more powerful engine provides extra energy for speeding up when needed. Inside, you score tons of room for passengers and all your stuff. “You can get up to three car seats across the second row, if the seats are narrow,” says Patterson. And you won’t have to fill your tank as often because the Forester gets 26 to 33 mpg, the most of any vehicle on our list.

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GMC Terrain

It’s small but mighty: Fold the rear seats and front passenger seat of a GMC Terrain ($25,000+) down flat and you can fit in an IKEA purchase up to 8 feet long. Put up the rear seats and you can squeeze in up to three narrow car seats or boosters. “It also offers an ample amount of legroom for many taller drivers even when a forward-facing car seat is installed behind them,” says Patterson. Innovative safety features include Rear Cross Traffic Alert. “It’s especially helpful if a child or even an animal runs behind your car in a parking lot after you’ve checked your mirrors,” explains Fleischaker.

  • RELATED: Is Your 1-Year-Old in the Right Car Seat? Here Are the Rules

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The Best Three- Row SUVs

Volkswagen Atlas

One of the largest SUVs on our list, the Volkswagen Atlas ($30,895+) provides so much driver legroom and cargo space, even with up to five car seats or boosters installed. And despite its size, it doesn’t guzzle gas, offering an SUV norm of 22 mpg in the city and 26 mpg for the highway. Automatic headlights and heated side mirrors became standard for all models in 2019. Also included: a six-year, 72,000-mile warranty that’s bound to save you money in repairs.

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Subaru Ascent

The newest SUV on the road, the Subaru Ascent ($31,995+) appeals to adventure-seeking families. Some models can tow up to 5,000 pounds (hello, camper!), and all come with raised ladder- type roof rails. Its EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, which includes features like automatic braking if the vehicle senses a crash, comes standard. You’ll also appreciate 19 cupholders and a storage compartment behind the third row to stash weekend essentials. Five car seats or boosters can fit comfortably. “The head restraints are adjustable and removable and have minimal angling—the ideal combination for installing car seats,” says Patterson.

  • RELATED: How to Save on Car Costs

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Nissan Pathfinder

You don’t have to worry about accidentally leaving your sleeping baby or toddler in the back of a Nissan Pathfinder ($31,230+) thanks to a patented rear-door- alert system designed by two mom engineers: If you open the back door before a trip but not after you arrive, the system honks automatically, helping to prevent the death of dozens of children every year in hot cars. Another safety win: The Pathfinder’s Intelligent Around View Monitor gives you a 360- degree view, allowing you to see objects (like your kid’s bike or a shopping cart) on the side that might otherwise be in your blind spot. Expect to fit four to five car seats, depending on their size.

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Honda Pilot

Like everything about the Odyssey except for the fact that it’s a minivan? The newly redesigned Honda Pilot ($31,450+) offers similar cool tech features, such as CabinTalk, and almost as much room. If you don’t opt for captain’s chairs, you’ll likely fit three narrow car seats across the center row and two in the back—one shy of the Odyssey, Patterson says. On the Touring model and above ($42,520+), you can open the truck by kicking your foot under the rear bumper.

  • RELATED: Car Safety Facts and Mistakes

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  • By Karen Cicero

Parents Magazine

12 Best Family Cars of 2019

What Makes a Good Family Car?

Here’s a look at the key elements we consider when choosing our annual list of top family cars, most of which should also factor into your selection process.

Safety

Everyone wants a safe car, but family car shoppers are even more safety-minded. We pay special attention to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, and every rated vehicle on this year’s list has the highest Overall Safety Rating available in the class.

Value

Many of these vehicles are the very best in class in terms of our 5-Year Cost to Own calculations. By considering a vehicle’s Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price, predicted resale value, insurance, fuel and maintenance costs, our 5-Year Cost to Own figures make it easy to compare actual vehicle costs over a full buy-own-sell ownership cycle. Quite often, spending a little more on the right car can save you thousands in the long run over going for the big rebate on another car. Our 5-Year Cost to Own figures make it easy to see the big picture and make the smart decision.

And while there are plenty of excellent, family-focused luxury SUVs to recommend, we focus strictly on mainstream brands for this annual collection. Starting prices for the SUVs and minivans above range from the mid-$20,000 range to the low $30,000 range, with only the Ford Expedition exceeding a $40,000 starting price.

Reputation

Most of the models on this list have been around a long time and have earned strong reputations for durability and reliability. In most cases, however, a few-year-old version of most of the SUVs and minivans on this list would make excellent used cars as well. In fact, several of them are indeed on our most recent list of the 10 Best Used Family Cars Under $15,000.

Driving Manners

Even in a vehicle designed primarily to get you and yours from Point A to Points B, C and D on a daily basis, good steering and pedal feel can make a big difference. A vehicle that goes, turns and stops smoothly and as expected is more satisfying and less fatiguing than one with acceleration delays or non-linear braking response, for instance. Good outward visibility and parking-lot finesse also contribute to stress reduction for the driver.

Comfort and Convenience

A smooth ride, quiet cabin and comfortable seats all help keep a family happy while on the move. Convenience features also make a big difference in the overall experience. The sliding doors on some Chrysler Pacificas can be opened with a wave of your foot when your hands are full. The second-row seats on some Honda Pilots will fold and slide forward with the push of a button, granting easy access to the third row. And the Honda Odyssey offers second-row seats that slide not only forward and back, but also side to side. With all the loading and unloading that happens in a busy family car, the benefits of small touches like these can really add up over the years.

Cargo Versatility

Minivans and SUVs are the cargo-friendliest family vehicles on the road, but some are friendlier than others. Usable volume is a key differentiator, but we’re also looking for advantages like low load floors that ease loading and unloading of bulkier items, as well as second- and third-row seats that fold and redeploy with minimal thought or effort.

Technology

Technology is an increasingly significant factor in new vehicles, and for many buyers it’s the most exciting part. This is the fun stuff. Bluetooth phone connectivity and USB ports are almost standard fare at this point, while rearview cameras, keyless entry and push-button start are heading in that direction. From the driver’s perspective, we look for capable and easy-to-use infotainment systems, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability leading the way here. Features like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assists are both helpful and comforting in town and on the highway, while backup cameras/sensors and rear cross-traffic alerts greatly enhance parking lot navigation.

Testing Procedures

The Kelley Blue Book editorial staff drives hundreds of new cars, trucks, SUVs and minivans every year, so our testing never stops. For this year’s Best Family Cars we compiled a list of last year’s winners and the best of the new and redesigned 2019 models and brought them all together for a back-to-back testing regimen. Our group includes several parents responsible for a dozen offspring spanning a full range of ages including an adorable toddler; elementary, middle, high school and college students; and even a couple who’ve made it out into the real world. We put family cars under a group microscope once a year, but we live with them every day.

Other Family Car Stories

NEW YORK (MainStreet) –- The final summer vacations are on the itinerary, the college freshmen are packing for school, the kids’ practices are starting up again and those fall home sales are right around the corner.

Does your car have the cargo space to survive any of it?

Cargo space is getting tough to track and even tougher to purchase as automakers make cars lighter and more fuel efficient while packing in the perks. Beyond that, as the folks at Cars.com explained last year, there isn’t a uniform standard for measuring a vehicle’s interior volume, leaving most consumers scratching their heads about how much space they’re actually getting.

Fortunately, there are independent arbiters keeping track of such things and making sure you can stuff in as much furniture, luggage, soccer gear, school supplies, beach chairs, storage trunks and other items as you can. We spoke with the folks at automotive pricing and review sites Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book about vehicle cargo space and received a deluge of data in return. In searching for the vehicles with the most cargo space, we eliminated pickup trucks — which can be loaded in various configurations and measure their capacity in payload rather than cargo — and cargo vans, which are generally limited to commercial use.

Along the way, we also had to trim designations for hybrid and luxury vehicles, as it brought up some awkward questions about the qualifications for each category. Instead, we pared down our selections to eight categories: Two-door hatchbacks, four-door hatchbacks, coupes, sedans, SUVs/crossovers, convertibles, wagons and minivans. In doing so, luxury and alternative-energy vehicles just kind of drifted to the top of some category lists:

The following eight vehicles have the most cavernous maximum cargo space of their class and a surprising amount of space even with all seats up. We leave it to you to determine which is the best fit for you and your stuff:

Two-door hatchback: 2015 Volkswagen Golf

Starting price: $17,995

Maximum cargo space: 52.7 cubic feet

We’ll note that the Honda CR-Z has 25.1 cubic feet of storage space with seats up, which is larger than the Golf’s 22.8 cubic feet in the same configuration. However, that’s as much storage space as the CR-Z gets.

There are a whole lot of options staring you down when you pick up a Golf. Do you stick with the combined 31 miles per gallon of the standard model or upgrade to a turbodiesel for about $5,000 more and bump that mileage up to 37 per gallon? Do you stick with the standard package with touchscreen entertainment and apps or go with the Xenon headlights, Fender audio system, panoramic sunroof and touchscreen navigation? Do you ditch it all, go with an e-Golf and never see a gas station again. Either option gets you all that cargo space in a surprisingly plush hatchback.

Four-door hatchback: 2015 Honda Fit

Starting price: $15,650

Maximum cargo space: 52.7 cubic feet

In fairness, the four-seater Golf had this much space as well, but the Golf already made this list once, so shut it, Volkswagen.

One of the subcompacts that started the class’s renaissance, the colorful and convenient Fit got a complete revamp that makes it an incredibly worthy tailgate vehicle despite its size. Its cargo space with the seats down actually decreased from 57.3 cubic feet last year, but the seats get a little more modular, to the point that the front passenger seat folds back to serve as a footrest for a passenger in the back who wants to sleep for this leg of the trip. Blind-spot cameras, a multi-angle rearview camera, touchscreen audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, an app suite, leather-trimmed and heated seats, a moonroof and satellite navigation all make for a pleasant, comfortable ride for both driver and passenger.

We’ll note that Kelley Blue Book lobbied for the Kia Soul and its 61.3 cubic feet of maximum cargo space here, but since Edmunds and KBB were divided on whether the Soul was a compact car or a wagon, we went with the consensus compact.

SUV/crossover: 2015 Ford Expedition

Starting price: $44,585

Maximum cargo space: 130.8 cubic feet

The Toyota 4Runner’s cargo space with the seats up (47.2 cubic feet) is bigger than the Expedition’s, which made it KBB’s champ among mid-size SUVs. Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz GL’s space with the rear seats gone (93 cubic feet) outclasses the Expedition’s 85.5 cubic feet without its last row. However, only the Expedition’s luxury sibling — the Lincoln Navigator, with its 128 cubic feet of maximum cargo space — and General Motors’ Chevrolet Suburban/Cadillac Escalade tandem (121 cubic feet) come close to the Expedition’s hangar of a frame.

Just how big is 130.8 cubic feet in SUV terms? It’s more nearly double the total cargo capacity KBB’s roomiest small SUV, the Nissan Rogue (at 70 cubic feet), and about as much maximum cargo space as the Subaru Forester (74.7) and Nissan Xterra (65.7) combined.

Convertible: 2015 Fiat 500c

Starting price: $20.345

Maximum cargo space: 31 cubic feet

We can hear all the Mazda Miata and Ford Mustang owners crying foul, but the basic definition of a convertible is a car with a roof that opens. The fiat 500c certainly fits that bill.

No, the 9.5 cubic feet in the Fiat’s trunk don’t match the 13.5 in the Mercedes SL or the 13.4 in the Volkswagen EOS, but the Fiat is fortunate enough to have seats that fold down and a trunk that’s part of the main cabin. Don’t blame it for taking whatever advantage a subcompact can get.

Coupe: 2015 Ferrari FF

Starting price: $295,000

Maximum cargo space: 28.3 cubic feet

To say we’re surprised puts it modestly. What business does this 12-cylinder, 651-horsepower, four-wheel-drive, six-figure prancing pony have with even pretending to be a practical car? It should be in Monaco drag racing Lamborghinis, in London awkwardly trying to navigate traffic circles or in L.A. looking pretty.

It certainly shouldn’t be parked outside a Costco while the owner is inside stocking up on toilet paper and bulk Snapple. Even without the rear seats down, the FF’s 15.9 cubic feet of trunk capacity is much closer to that of your workaday Dodge Challenger than it is to the 4.1 cubic-feet briefcase box of the Porsche 911. This is about as close as Ferrari puts itself to Camry Country, but the next time you and the folks from the office plan a boozy beach picnic in the Hamptons, don’t be afraid to let the C-suiter in the FF bring the table, folding chairs and hibachi.

Wagon: 2015 Ford Flex

Starting price: $29,100

Maximum cargo space: 83.2 cubic feet

The station wagon is dead, you say? Wrong. The station wagon laughs at death and then laughs at you for picturing the Vista Cruiser from “That ’70s Show” as a station wagon.

Times have changed there, Forman, and the venerable wagon isn’t quite as wagony as it used to be. Sure, the Volvo V60 and its 43.8 cubic feet with the seats up looks a whole lot more like a wagon than the Mini-meets-minivan mashup that is the three-row Ford Flex. However, the Flex is basically just a taller, boxier version of a wagon, which itself is just a stretched-out sedan. Maybe it has a huge captain’s chair, a second-role console with a mini fridge and optional video screens, but it’s just following the wagon model to its logical, bloated conclusion.

Minivan: 2015 Toyota Sienna

Starting price: $28,700

Maximum cargo space: 150 cubic feet

It is an absolute blood feud between the Sienna and Honda’s Odyssey, but no addition of myriad in-car vacuums or wi-fi could give Honda the cubic foot and a half it would have needed to win this space race with the Sienna — the Edmunds and KBB’s clear-cut cargo winner.

The good folks at Chrysler try their hardest with the Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan, but they fall short at 144 cubic feet, including just 33 cubic feet with the seats in place. That’s doesn’t just trail the Sienna and Odyssey at 39 and 38 cubic feet, respectively, but it’s less trunk space than the Kia Sedona’s 34 cubic feet. In what was once a three-way race for the remnants of the minivan market, the Sedona is coming up quick with 142 total cubic feet of its own.

Sedan: 2015 Tesla Model S

Starting price: $71,200

Maximum cargo space: 63 cubic feet

Elon Musk would pump his fist about this if he wasn’t busy creating the next great people mover, shooting supplies to the International Space Station and trying to bring more efficient energy sources to every house on earth. Yeah, that makes trunk space in a midsize sedan seem kind of trivial by comparison.

But not to the worker bees who have to drive them. It’s bad enough that you have to grind it out every day and battle the commute. But spending all your money on gas for a car that’s too small to fit your stuff. That’s just depressing. To give you some idea of just how dominant the Model S is in this category, even with the seats up it has 11 cubic feet on the size-large Ford Taurus and has double the trunk space (31.6 cubic feet) of the best-selling Toyota Camry (15.4) and far more room than KBB’s mid-size cargo-room titleholders: The Chevrolet Malibu and Hyundai Sonata at 16.3 cubic feet apiece. Yes, it’s more costly than any of the above, but it’s not that much of a discount on the Audi, A7, RS 7 and S7 and it still has more trunk space than any of them — which are enormous at 34.5 cubic feet. Oh, and you can plug it in at home and not go out reeking of unleaded or diesel.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held TK positions in the stocks mentioned.

Cars with the Most Cargo Capacity You Can Buy in the United States

What cars on sale today have the biggest trunks and what cars offer the best cargo capacity with the seats folded into the floor? Be that as it may, big cars don’t necessarily equal big trunks. There will always be surprises out there, offering gaping cargo holds for all bits and bobs where one would normally expect an average-sized trunk.
While searching for the SUVs, crossovers, sedans, hatchbacks, drop-top convertibles, and longroofs with the most cargo space, we omitted pickup trucks and cargo vans for a reason. This type of vehicles can be loaded in more configurations than passenger cars. In addition to that, workhorses and commercial vehicles are measured in payload rather than cubic feet.
In their respective segment, the following ten vehicles have the most cargo capacity with the seats in place and the most maximum luggage capacity with the seats folded down. Let’s get on with it:Full-Size SUV – Ford Expedition EL (42.6 CuFT and 168 CuFT / 1,206 liters and 4,757 liters)

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. The unsung hero of maximum space comes in the form of the Ford Expedition EL. Compared to the normal Expedition, the EL model has a 12-inch longer wheelbase. This gives the Expedition EL the edge over the Chevrolet Suburban and virtually all other full-size SUVs.
Based on the Ford T platform, itself based on the P2 truck platform from the 2000s, the Expedition isn’t exactly a thrilling car. It’s a massive gas guzzler with the aerodynamic qualities of a brick. The selling point of the Expedition, especially in EL guise, is the can-do character on and off the beaten track.
42.6 cubic feet of cargo space with all the seats occupied is more than enough for all the family’s belongings. The best thing about the Ford Expedition in EL guise is that you don’t have to make compromises. Some interior trim feels nasty, though, despite the fact that prices start at $48,145.Mid-Size SUV – Toyota 4Runner (47.2 CuFT and 89.7 CuFT / 1,336 liters and 2,540 liters)
A solid choice in its segment, the Toyota 4Runner can keep its own in off-road situations. Potential buyers who plan to stick to the pavement, this isn’t the mid-size SUV you’re looking for. Those people who want acres of space and accommodation, on the other hand, needn’t look any further.
Starting at $33,810, the 2016 Toyota 4Runner offers body-on-frame ruggedness and lots of standard equipment. Power adjustments for the driver’s seat, Bluetooth phone connectivity, air conditioning, satellite radio, and a 6.1-inch diagonal Entune touchscreen infotainment system included.
I’m not too enthusiastic about the hard-plastic dashboard and fake metal trim, to be frank. Nevertheless, the 4Runner has a purposeful thing going on, a utilitarian design that can’t be paralleled by any mid-size segment rivals. A word of warning, though – the third-row seats of the 4Runner SR5 and Limited models are inhospitable to adults unless they’ve mastered the Lotus position.Compact SUV – Subaru Forester (34.4 CuFT and 74.7 CuFT / 974 liters and 2,115 liters)
The Forester definitely isn’t the most sophisticated SUV in the compact segment, nor is the most fuel efficient. If you don’t mind little drawbacks such as the straightforward design of the cabin and a continuously variable transmission that can be jerky at times, then put the Subaru Forester on your shortlist.
Many automotive journalists have bashed the 2016 model year Subaru Forester for the standard 6.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system that knows how to HD Radio. Are they mad? I wonder if these guys also complain about the size of their phones, especially when they use the navigation app.
Something the automotive media didn’t complain about is the space with or without the seats up, as well as the engine lineup. Be it the 2.5-liter boxer or the 2.0-liter turbo boxer, you can’t go wrong with the Forester. As an added bonus, even the $22,395 entry-level Forester comes with Symmetrical AWD.Subcompact SUV – Honda HR-V (24.3 CuFT and 58.8 CuFT / 688 liters and 1,665 liters)
When it comes down to affordability, the Honda HR-V is a pretty cheap subcompact crossover. Starting at $19,215, the HR-V offers up to 58.8 cubic feet for more than just the essentials. Provided that you fold down the rear seats and the passenger-side front seat, you’ll be able to fit a kayak in there.
On Mother’s Day, you can buy a potted tree for the most important woman in your life (other than your S.O.) and store it upright in the HR-V. All you have to do is fold the seat bottom up for almost 4 feet of vertical space. The Jeep Renegade may be more competitively priced than the Honda HR-V, but there’s a catch. The Honda model is far better equipped than the Jeep.

Curious about the key features of the entry-level Renegade? The list consists of four things I can hardly define as key features: the 1.4-liter turbo engine, premium cloth seating, personalized instrument cluster, and remote keyless entry. Nice effort, Jeep, but Honda offers so much more than that.Minivan – Toyota Sienna 7-Passenger (39.1 CuFT and 150 CuFT / 1,107 liters and 4,247 liters)
The 3.5-liter V6 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission could be a little more refined. The ride could be a little less on the rough. But these are minute niggles. When all is said and done, the Toyota Sienna continues to appeal to young families because it is the minivan equivalent of the Camry.
Its packing possibilities are as generous as it gets. From 39.1 cubic feet behind the third row to 150 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded flat into the floor, the Sienna is both minivan and van. The flexible seating also helps with offering the ideal combo of passenger comfort and cargo capacity.
The mid-cycle revamp of the Sienna made it better than before, partly because Toyota improved the quality of the interior and the ergonomics. It may not live up to its “Swagger Wagon” punchline because it’s dull, but the 2016 model year Toyota Sienna is all the minivan you could ever wish for.Full-Size Car – Tesla Model S (31.6 CuFT and 63.4 CuFT / 894 liters and 1,795 liters)
Having two trunks isn’t cheating. That’s what the Tesla Model S would say to explain why it has so much storage capacity. First there’s the front trunk (or frunk) – 5.3 cubic feet. Then there’s the trunk – 26.3 cubic feet. Fold the rear seats and the capacity increases to 58.1 cubic feet. Simple as that.
The Tesla Model S is a case in point that electric cars don’t have to be compromised as far as space is concerned. Then again, the real magic of owning a Tesla lies within its capabilities. 288 miles of range for the 90D isn’t too shabby. In fact, it’s the best EPA-rated range offered by an all-electric car.
As a large family sedan, the Tesla Model S is great. As an electric car, the Model S is a mold for all other manufacturers with electrified ambitions. The only downside to that beautiful body shell is that rear passengers taller than 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 meters) will brush their head against the headliner.Mid-Size Car – Subaru Outback (35.5 CuFT and 73.3 CuFT / 1,005 liters and 2,075 liters)
Go-anywhere, do-anything, carry-everything. The wagon version of the Legacy mid-size sedan is a pragmatic means of transportation with palpable car-folk sense. That’s what a few World Rally Championship titles, all-wheel-drive, and a boxer engine do for the small automaker from Japan that could.
Of course, everybody wants a rally-spec Impreza or a WRX STI with a big spoiler, but the Outback differs from its brothers because it is a car that one needs. The fair handling on pavement and the ability to scurry along unsurfaced roads come as fringe benefits of the family-oriented longroof.
So how come a generously equipped wagon as capable as the Outback starts at $24,995 in the United States? The explanation is Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc., the manufacturing facility where the Japanese outfit makes the Outback, Legacy, and Impreza, along with the facelifted Toyota Camry.Compact Car – Volkswagen Golf SportWagen (30.4 CuFT and 66.5 CuFT / 860 liters and 1,883 liters)
Ignore the whole Dieselgate scandal and focus on what the SportWagen is all about: great handling, premium-feeling materials, ample room for the rear passengers, a cavernous trunk, and excellent fuel economy from the 1.8-liter TSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the one unaffected by Dieselgate.
The highlight feature, however, is how much room is available behind the rear seats and with the seats folded flat. To understand how much junk you can fit inside the SportWagen, I’ll mention that its maximum luggage capacity trumps the Touareg SUV by 2.5 cubic feet. With the seats folded.
Don’t go for the entry-level S model ($21,625), though, because that one is more empty-handed than a bum. The next best thing is the SE, which is a lot more expensive: $27,025. A little too pricey for a compact longroof in my book, more than an abundantly appointed Mitsubishi Outlander SEL S-AWC.Subcompact Car – Hyundai Accent Hatchback (21.2 CuFT and 47.5 CuFT / 600 liters and 1,345 liters)
The sedan may be $250 cheaper than the hatchback, but the latter is worth the premium because it’s more practical. Hyundai is perceived as a cheap and cheerful brand since it set foot on American soil, yet the South Korean manufacturer didn’t cut corners with the Accent five-door hatchback.
From the get-go, Hyundai developed the Accent to feel bigger inside than it looks outside. That’s why the EPA boffins classified the sedan as a compact instead of a subcompact. The thing is, the sedan offers 13.7 cubic feet with the rear seats up while its hatchback brother boasts 21.2 cubic feet.
Packaging is the name of the game here. As if that weren’t enough, the Hyundai Accent Hatchback can do better with its maximum cargo volume of 47.5 cubic feet. For more cargo volume, you will have to go for the Honda Fit (52.7 cubic feet / 1,492 liters), a model that’s almost a grand more expensive. Convertible Car – Mercedes-Benz SL-Class (13.5 CuFT / 382 liters)
THIS! Now this is the biggest surprise of the list thanks to its cavernous trunk. The SL has always been more of a grand tourer rather than a sports car, except for the iconic 300 SL of the 1950s. Speaking of old bones, the W198 SL with the 3.25:1 axle ratio was the fastest production car of its day.
The current Mercedes-Benz SL, on the other hand, is far from that. As fate would have it, the SL gradually transitioned from being a race car with number plates road to a fat bruiser with a heavy retractable hardtop. I don’t mind the change of heart, though, because the SL is brilliant at what it does.
Going on a cross-country road trip by convertible also implies the need to store a pair of socks and a wash bag. Curiously enough, the SL offers the most luggage capacity of any other convertible on sale in the United States, even compared to the Euro-spec Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet (12.3 CuFT / 350 l).Fun fact:
The car with the least cargo capacity in the list is the most expensive ($85,050 for the SL400).