Today’s market is flooding with options when you are out to buy a car that can fit your wife and kids, their luggage, and your good boi for a long journey from the East Coast to the West Coast. What all options do you get segment-wise?
Crossovers and SUVs. In the SUV range, the mid-size contenders are more than enough in terms of the available engine options, luxury, comfort, and most important of all – roominess. Above all, the fuel economy that these cars (including SUVs) provide is impressive kudos to the hybrid systems that these SUVs come clad with.
We did our research and concluded 8 cars which are just the mix you’d need. Bear in mind that all the cars listed here have a 5-Star overall rating in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests. Also, we’ve analyzed many expert reviews and consumer reviews and ranked the cars best in terms of price, reliability, warranty, and style.
1. Budget-friendly full-size SUV – 2021 Kia Telluride
The 2021 Kia Telluride se starts at $32,595 and for the price, you’re getting a lot of cars. the Telluride has been the recipient of a lot of automotive awards and is the car that had ticked all the boxes to make it the best bet under a budget. It looks big and brawny, is comfortable, plush, and quiet on the inside. The technology is taken care of by providing every bell and whistle that exists in the market, except a few. The steering is fantastic and the throttle and brake feel near perfect. That, coupled with a strong powertrain and a sweet exhaust note makes the Telluride a breeze to drive.
Talking of warranty, you have a very long-lasting 5 year or 60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10 year or 100,000 powertrain warranty, which is the best in the segment. There is a lot to like about the Telluride but after nit picking points, we’ve found that there is no rear-seat entertainment on the Telluride, no Wi-Fi hotspot, and the fuel economy trails a little bit behind the competition.
2. 8-passenger mid-size – 2021 Hyundai Palisade
The 2021 Hyundai Palisade interior is the place to be if you have a big family, and want to carry some more members from your extended family for a trip anywhere! The Palisade is posh and it looks pretty, refined, tough, and has a lot of road presence. For the price, the car is a lot of value for money.
It gets the best of what the Korean carmaker has to offer and can also make some of the other cars in the segment want some of the features. The powerplant and gearbox combinations on offer make the Palisade a breeze to drive, anytime you rev up the engine.
Hyundai provides a humongous warranty on their cars, like Kia, which pans up to 5 years or 60,000 miles for the limited warranty and a massive 10 years or 100,000 miles for the powertrain! The only zonk about this otherwise fantastic machine is that the steering might not be as sharp as some of its rivals (including the Kia).
3. Eco-friendly mid-size – 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Do you want to save the environment, and fancy saving some $$ while on it? Get the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. It is an excellent 3-row crossover and certainly one of the best in the segment. The drivetrain is lovely and the fuel economy figures are something that will surely keep your wallet as happy as you are. The trims on offer provide everything that the Jap carmaker has to provide for the specific price range and the most impressive thing is – Toyota reliability.
The limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles and the powertrain is covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. The hybrid components in use are also covered for 8 years or 100,000 miles. The Highlander Hybrid is an excellent car, but the 3rd row is better kept for the kids only, and if you do so, the cargo space is very limited too!
4. AWD compact – 2020 Subaru Forester
If you have a nuclear family, the Subaru Forester provides the best utility in every parameter. The visibility out of the cabin is excellent and the interior is very comfortable and pleasant to look at, even at this price range. The Forester still has that ‘can do’ spirit with the punchy powerplant and All-Wheel Drive on offer. Well, if you plan to go to some adventurous roads with your family, now you know what car to go for. We’d suggest not going for the base variant but opting for the Premium trim instead if you want to get a perfect balance.
The Forester is covered with a limited warranty of 3 years or 36,000 miles and the powertrain is covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. The rivals provide more in terms of warranty and complimentary services but when it comes to driving, the Forester bests them all. We hope that Subaru gives a little more punch to the engine in terms of output and also give more towing ability in the upcoming iterations.
5. Minivan – 2020 Honda Odyssey
Ah! The perfect definition of a family hauler! The minivan space has been drying up lately with all the crossovers eating up space into the segment but the Honda Odyssey goes against the waves and still maintains quite a lot of fanbase in these times. The perfect ‘soccer mom’ vehicle, the Odyssey feature-list is something that one would want in their crossover.
Also, the seating is very posh, to say the least! The adjustability and the overall room to fit kids and adults is enough to make the other and rather unpopular, minivans envious. Adding to that is the Honda reliability which sits in the higher ranks in each and every reliability list of any motoring journalist!
The warranty on the Odyssey is pretty standard for the segment – a 3 year / 36,000 miles limited warranty and a 5 years / 60,000 miles powertrain warranty. The warranty game is won by Kia Sedona, but as an overall package, the Odyssey makes more sense! The only zonk to be had in this rather perfect minivan is the absence of a 360-degree camera and the lack of power-folding 3rd-row seats. But again, we’re nitpicking on this one!