This article is sponsored by Kelley Blue Book as part of the Mom It Forward Network
I’ll be honest, when my first child was born my husband and I decided to keep right on driving the compact cars we’d both had since we were young and single. A single car seat fits safely in the middle of the backseat and we could get our child in and out without too much difficulty. This has all changed since I had my second child. Fitting two car seats in the back seats of our little compact cars is no longer an option. It’s time to shop for a family car. With minimal car buying experience, I’ve been asking my friends and family for advice on how to search for the Best Family Cars. And the advice coming up over and over is to check out Kelley Blue Book at KBB.com.
When I first began my search for a family car, I didn’t even know what I was looking for. Our main criteria are that it fit two or more car seats safely and comfortably. And we want something bigger than what we’ve been driving. Packing for outings with two kids in a compact car is an exercise in frustration. We really need more cargo space. While researching our options I discovered that Kelley Blue Book just came out with their list of Best Family Cars of 2017.
Shopping for a new car can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t know exactly which vehicles you’re interested in. The Kelley Blue Book list of vehicles has given me the perfect place to begin my search. And the best part is they’ve done most of the research for me. Check out the 12 Best Family Cars here.
Child Car Seat Safety
Car seat safety is a huge concern for me as a mother. And with my children, both so young, any vehicle I purchase will need to accommodate car seats for the next several years. I was happy to discover that car seat safety was one of the main considerations for choosing the vehicles on the Kelley Blue Book list. There is even a car seat guide included with specific tips.
SUV or Minivan?
This year’s list of Best Family Cars focused exclusively on SUVs and minivans. I was considering one of these two family-friendly vehicle types from the moment I began my car search. When I’m looking at comfortably fitting multiple car seats and the added stuff you need when traveling with children a spacious SUV or minivan seems like the obvious choice over a sedan. And the elevated driving position feels safer when I’m driving around with my little ones in the car.
Family Road Tested
When it comes to making a big purchase, I like to do my research first. But I don’t have the time or resources to test drive every minivan or SUV. Even if I could take a short test drive, it would only tell me so much. Fortunately, the staff at Kelley Blue Book has the resources to extensively test hundreds of new vehicles. And their website, KBB.com, has an editorial staff that includes families with children of all ages, from toddlers like mine up through college age. These staff members and their families determined the best family cars by giving them a real-world test drive.
After these real world family tests and a careful evaluation of safety, value, and reputation the KBB.com editors narrowed their list to the top 12 SUVs and Minivans for families in 2017. They even considered ease of use for multiple child safety seats, a topic high on my list of concerns.
But Can I Afford It?
No matter how you look it, buying a new car is a major expense. When I started researching family friendly vehicles I was concerned that the best-rated ones would be out of my price range. I was happy to discover the starting price for most of these vehicles was in the $20,000 to mid-$30,000 range, with only one starting at above $40,000. With a budget in the low $20,000 range, there are multiple vehicles on the Kelley Blue Book list in my price range.
Ready to Hit the Road Family Style
Kelley Blue Book’s diverse list of vehicles has helped me in my search for the right vehicle for my family. The variety of vehicles and features on the list offer something to meet the needs of most every family. Now that I’ve narrowed down the list to a few favorites, I’m ready to take some test drives and get my family on the road in one of the Best Family Cars of 2017.