Japanese and Korean-branded models dominated this year’s list of the best family cars, as selected by experts at Kelley Blue Book.
Most of the vehicles on the 2023 list were two-row SUVs and three-row vehicles offering a range of options. The list features three each from Honda, Toyota and Hyundai. Ford was the sole U.S. manufacturer to make the final cut, with KBB choosing the Ford Expedition as one of the best three-row vehicles “for families who want comfort, convenience and maximum capability.”
To lend credibility to their choices, the KBB testers, in addition to using data from Kelley Blue Book, evaluate safety data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The testers, KBB says, “focus on safety, value, reliability, durability, driving experience, comfort and convenience. The goal is to help parents streamline their options — as there are more than 300 new-vehicle models available for 2023 — so they can confidently make the most informed purchase decision for their family.
“When it comes to a family car, it’s crucial to carefully consider things like safety and tech features, seating and cargo capacity, the ease with which you can install a child safety seat, and more to meet the ever-changing needs of a growing family,” said Brian Moody, executive editor for Kelley Blue Book.
Following are the recommendations by category and comments from KBB:
Best two-row SUVs for families
Listed in alphabetical order:
2023 Honda CR-V
All-new for 2023, the already-excellent Honda CR-V is now an even better choice for families.
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 has oodles of space for people and cargo, featuring a quiet, safe, comfortable place for your family and up to 300 miles of range.
2023 Hyundai Santa Fe
Stylish, elegant and loaded with tech, the Santa Fe offers a lot of value among two-row midsize SUVs.
2023 Subaru Outback
The Subaru Outback is a great pick for families, thanks to its impressive standard safety equipment, all-weather confidence, and interior space.
2023 Toyota RAV4
The Toyota RAV4 is practical, versatile and offers a lot of value for families, whether you want a gas engine, a hybrid or a plug-in hybrid.
Best three-row vehicles
2023 Ford Expedition
For families who want comfort, convenience and maximum capability, the Ford Expedition checks all the boxes.
2023 Honda Odyssey minivan
The Honda Odyssey is one of the all-time best family vehicles money can buy, with a family-friendly interior, excellent safety ratings and terrific build quality.
2023 Honda Pilot
All-new for 2023, the Honda Pilot is pleasant to drive, comes with plenty of helpful tech, and has a roomy interior that’s easy to reconfigure.
2023 Hyundai Palisade
The Hyundai Palisade has room for eight in its upscale interior, an impressive amount of standard safety and convenience features, and a terrific warranty.
2023 Kia Telluride
The Kia Telluride is Kelley Blue Book’s Best Buy Award winner in the 3-Row Midsize SUV category for the fourth year in a row because of its practicality, value and overall excellence.
2023 Toyota Highlander
The Toyota Highlander is the best-selling 3-row SUV in the United States, thanks to its well-laid-out interior, reliability, standard safety features and an excellent hybrid option.
2023 Toyota Sienna minivan
The Toyota Sienna is Kelley Blue Book’s Minivan Best Buy for 2023 because it combines the space and practicality you need in a minivan with fantastic fuel economy and available all-wheel drive.