After extensive testing and evaluation, with emphasis on safety ratings, overall value, versatility, amenities, comfort, drivability and technology, Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com expert editors name their recommendations for the Best Family Cars of 2018.
"The biggest news this year might be the mass proliferation of safety, assist and entertainment technologies across these mainstream people-movers," said Jason Allan, managing editor for Kelley Blue Book. "Features like push-button start, Bluetooth connectivity and blind spot warning have been widely available for several years now, but they're still new to the millions of shoppers who haven't purchased a new car in more than six years. And that's just the tip of the tech iceberg in this year's group."
Safety could be the top motivator for Minivan Shoppers! The new AudienceSCAN study found Minivan Shoppers are 167% more likely than average shoppers to have children aged six to nine riding in their family vehicles.
The 2018 model year has been an especially exciting one from a technology perspective. Most of the SUVs and minivans on this list offer smart cruise control and automatic braking, for instance. A smaller number offer teen-driver monitoring, wireless phone charging and lane-keeping assist. And exactly two models, the Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Pacifica minivans, offer built-in vacuum cleaners.
While many of these features are designed to deliver increased convenience or enhanced entertainment, more and more are protecting families with real-world crash avoidance and collision mitigation intervention.
Minivan dealers can inform shoppers of the new tech and safety features in TV and newspaper campaigns. The latest AudienceSCAN survey revealed 22% of Minivan Shoppers think TV is the best source for automotive news or car care advice, and 16% think newspapers are.
Child car safety seats are a hugely important consideration for car shoppers with infants, toddlers or both. Is there enough distance between the front seat and the back seat to accommodate both the seat and the child? Can you fit all the seats you need? If readers are in or are near the child car seat stage, visit the accompanying car seat guide. The KBB.com editors strongly suggest taking your child's car seats and boosters along when shopping. How well they fit could make or break a car-buying decision.
Another effective way to talk to Minivan Shoppers about these top picks is through radio (over-the-air, online, mobile or tablet). The most recent AudienceSCAN study showed Minivan Shoppers are 114% more likely than average consumers to take action after hearing radio spots.
Best Minivans for Families
(Listed in alphabetical order)
- Chrysler Pacifica
- Honda Odyssey
- Toyota Sienna