10 best cars for a family of 5

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Susan Meyer

Senior Editorial Manager

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Susan is a licensed insurance agent and has worked as a writer and editor for over 10 years across a number of industries. She has worked at The Zebr…

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Ross Martin

Insurance Writer

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Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

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Which car is best for your family?

If you’re a family of five, it can limit what vehicles you have to choose from. Your days of comfortably rocking up in a midsize sedan are likely over. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have some great choices. 

Choosing the right car for your family is a personal decision based on a number of factors, such as:

  • Are you ready to embrace life with a minivan or are you sticking with an SUV?
  • What’s your day-to-day like? Do you want fuel efficiency for a long commute? Do you need all-weather features?
  • How many of your family members are in car seats? Do you need to fit three side-by-side? 
  • What's your budget? Will car insurance costs factor into your decision?

However, while your family’s needs may vary according to your preferences and lifestyle, there are some things all families likely want:

  • Robust safety ratings 
  • Excellent reliability
  • Plenty of space both in seating and in storage

Based on all these factors, here are our top 10 vehicles for families of five.

1. Kia Telluride

The Kia Telluride tops our list because of its roominess, safety and family-friendly features. It's a three-row SUV with some best-in-class legroom for back-row passengers, along with decent trunk space for hauling all the gear that comes with being a family of five. The infotainment system is excellent, and includes a feature called Driver Talk which amplifies the driver's voice through speakers in the back two rows to better communicate with kiddos. The Telluride seats seven or eight, and its third row has one set of lower latch anchors and two top tether anchors. Car seats in both rows install easily and have ample room; however, only two car seats can fit in each row.[1]

MSRP: From $36,190

Average gas mileage: Up to 20 mpg city / 26 mpg highway

Safety rating: 5-star all around safety[2]

2. Chrysler Pacifica

The Chrysler Pacifica is a top-rated minivan with plenty of room for the whole family. If you opt for the plug-in hybrid model, it also has an impressive fuel economy. It has excellent storage options and the back two rows can be easily stowed. In terms of family-friendly features, it has a conversation mirror making it easier for the driver to have a view of children in all rear seats, rear-seat entertainment systems and full-latch anchors in the third-row seats, so you can have three car seats without having to put them side-by-side.[3] Finally, it has a built-in vacuum cleaner, which anyone with any number of kids will know comes in clutch.

MSRP: From $39,400

Average gas mileage: Up to 19 mpg city / 28 mpg highway 

Safety rating: 5-star all around safety[2]

3. Hyundai Ioniq 5

The Hyundai Ioniq is a fully-electric SUV which means both that it has a higher starting price and much better fuel economy than some other vehicles on our list. Both US News and Edmunds included it on their list of best SUVs for families because of its massive rear seat with plenty of room for three kids, and which can even fit three car seats across.[4][5] The trunk space is also ample and the infotainment system received positive feedback and includes family-friendly features like "quiet mode" where you can quickly disable speakers in the back and send sound to the front. If you're new to electric vehicles and are concerned about charging time, the Ioniq has very quick DC fast-charging capabilities.

MSRP: From $44,000

Average range: 325 miles per charge

Safety rating: 4-star frontal crash, 5-star rollover, not yet rated for all around safety[2]

4. Honda Passport

The Honda Passport received U.S. News Best Midsize two-row SUV for 2024, but are two rows big enough for a family of five? Obviously, you won't have the space of a minivan or larger SUV with this option, but what it makes up in capacity, you get back in performance and off-road capabilities. As the name would suggest, the Passport can take you wherever you want to go, so if off-roading and all-weather travel is your family's jam, this might be a good fit. Additionally, despite only having capacity for five, the second row does have three sets of latch anchors and can fit three car seats if need be.[6] 

MSRP: From $41,900

Average gas mileage: Up to 19 mpg city / 24 mpg highway 

Safety rating: 5-star all around safety[2]

5. Honda Odyssey

Still in the Honda wheelhouse, but when you're ready to enter minivan territory, it's time for the Honda Odyssey. The eight-seater has Honda's Magic Slide seat system which allows a lot of flexibility in how you position the second row seats, so it can really grow with your family as your needs change. The third row easily folds down for more cargo space. There’s an optional rear-seat entertainment system and an in-car camera so you can keep an eye on rear-seat youngsters. There's even a PA system so you can remind them you can see them when they're acting up. As one driver said: "We have a Honda Odyssey and it changed my life for the better. If you can make your life even slightly easier as a parent of three, jump on it."[7]

MSRP: From $38,240

Average gas mileage: Up to 19 mpg city / 28 mpg highway 

Safety rating: 5-star all around safety[2]

6. Toyota Sienna

Still on the minivan train, the Toyota Sienna is a great option for a family of five because of its roomy interior and flexibility with seat arrangements, reliability and fuel efficiency. It seats seven or eight, and it can fit three car seats across in the second row. The Sienna has a number of family-friendly features like kick-activated dual-power sliding doors so you can get in and out even with your hands full. The Sienna is full of tech features including the usual rear infotainment system and driver intercom feature which can project your voice to the rear speakers to easily speak to kids in the back.

MSRP: From $37,685

Average gas mileage: Up to 36 mpg city / 36 mpg highway 

Safety rating: 5-star all around safety[2]

7. Volvo XC 90

If you've been scanning through the last couple of entries because you refuse to buy a minivan, welcome back! If you're looking for a bit more luxury, the Volvo XC 90 is a great choice as a three-row SUV in terms of safety and style. The interior looks sharp and the car is equipped with a ton of driving and safety features. In terms of cons, you can't easily fit more than two car seats, and it can be difficult to access the third row with two car seats in the second row, so if you have younger kiddos, another model might be more appropriate. That said, the newer models do have integrated booster seats built right in.

MSRP: From $57,895

Average gas mileage: Up to 22 mpg city / 27 mpg highway 

Safety rating: 5-star all around safety[2]

8. Hyundai Palisade

Mixing utility with a touch of luxury, the three-row Hyundai Palisade has the roominess to accommodate seven or eight passengers along with a decent cargo volume. You can, however, only fit two car seats. In terms of family-friendly features, it has a good infotainment system and Passenger Talk function to reach kids in the back seat. One driver reports: "It feels like it was designed by a mom with 3 kids who thought of all the extra features I never knew I was missing!"[7]

MSRP: From $36,650

Average gas mileage: Up to 21 mpg city / 24 mpg highway 

Safety rating: 5-star all around safety[2]

9. Volkswagen Atlas

The Volkswagen Atlas is another three-row SUV option for families of five. The second row is available as captain's chairs or a bench seat, thus seating seven or eight total. If you opt for the bench seat, it can fit three car seats across with lower anchors. The third-row is easy to access and there's still a large amount of cargo space. It has a user-friendly infotainment system and a variety of safety features, making it competitive with other similarly roomy SUVs for a family of five.

MSRP: From $37,995

Average gas mileage: Up to 21 mpg city / 25 mpg highway 

Safety rating: 5-star all around safety[2]

10. Toyota Grand Highlander

The Toyota Grand Highlander is a beast. It can fit a family of five and then some. That said, it's a better choice for families with older kids because, although even the third row is roomy enough for fully-grown adults, putting more than two car seats in is difficult. It has a number of family-friendly features including including a power-operated liftgate, heated front seats, second-row window shades and a number of USB and power outlets throughout the cabin.

MSRP: From $43,320

Average gas mileage: Up to 21 mpg city / 28 mpg highway 

Safety rating: 5-star all around safety[2]

Choosing the right car for your family of five is an important decision. And it can be a difficult one as you account for ever-changing needs. You may need a car that can suit several car seats or boosters now, but then also need it to transition to a great road trip car with plenty of room for teenagers. Hopefully this resource has provided you a good place to start as you narrow down your dream car priorities.