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Best Cars for Big Families 2017

2017 Honda Odyssey

2017 Honda Odyssey

Best Car for Big Families

Large families need a car that can comfortably carry six or more and their stuff, so we consider wagons, crossovers, SUVs and minivans.

SUVs may be on a sales streak, but for many large families, only a minivan will do. Although there are many SUVs that are good for carrying big families, it's hard to top a minivan’s ability to move people and  stuff (lots of it) in comfort. The Odyssey tops our list thanks to its seating for up to eight, easy-to-stow third row and family-friendly perks such as a built-in vacuum  on select trim levels. Whether you have kids in car seats or gangly teenagers, the Odyssey is an ideal choice for big families. We really like the Kia Sedona as well, but it fell short of our mpg requirements.

2017 Chevrolet Traverse

2017 Chevrolet Traverse

Best Deal for Big Families

The Traverse combines two things families will appreciate: size and affordability. It is the most affordable of GM's full-size crossover SUVs and has room for up to eight in three rows. Add in its class-leading cargo room behind the third row and it's a winner for big families. The American-made Traverse offers a range of prices and features, from the base LS trim all the way to the top-of-the-line Premier, which adds niceties such as leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, navigation and remote start. All models have V-6 power, and the Traverse is available with front- or all-wheel drive.

2017 Acura MDX

2017 Acura MDX

Recommended for Big Families

Most families think nice things and kids don't mix, but an exception should be made for the exceptionally well-appointed MDX, which took the top spot in our 2016 Worry-Free Index. With seating for up to seven people in three rows — a new second-row captain's chair option shrinks capacity to six — the MDX can accommodate the whole crew while pampering parents with standard luxury features such as heated leather front seats, tri-zone automatic air conditioning and a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel. Kids will appreciate features like one-touch access to the third row and an optional rear entertainment system with a 16.2-inch widescreen display.

2017 Buick Enclave

2017 Buick Enclave

Recommended for Big Families

Quiet, comfortable and roomy, the Enclave checks a lot of boxes for large families looking for a refined yet capable luxury SUV. Its ample cargo space, 288-horsepower V-6 engine and 4,500-pound towing capacity (when properly equipped) means it can haul some serious gear. It doesn't skimp on luxury, however: The Enclave also offers optional heated and cooled front seats, and a heated steering wheel, too. It also was one of eight vehicles to make our 2016 American-Made Index.

2017 Ford Expedition

2017 Ford Expedition

Recommended for Big Families

Large outside and large inside, the Expedition is one of the few full-size SUVs that provides the kind of spacious interior accommodations suggested by its exterior bulk. The Expedition's passenger space and comfort is good in all three rows of seats, making it an ideal choice for families with children who seem to be getting taller by the week. A powerful turbocharged V-6 engine and a refined driving experience are also reasons large families should add the Expedition to their list.

2017 Ford Flex

2017 Ford Flex

Recommended for Big Families

The Flex hasn't had any significant updates in a while, but don't count it out. Its formula remains a winner: The Flex's carlike ride height is a plus for people who have trouble stepping into a higher-riding SUV, its three rows mean there's room for up to seven and its second row is one of the roomiest around, making it ideal for growing teenagers. Bonus: It's got anti-minivan looks and its optional 365-horsepower, twin-turbo V-6 turns the Flex into a family hot rod. Big families looking to break the mold should check out the funky Flex.

2017 Honda Pilot

2017 Honda Pilot

The old Pilot's rugged looks made it stand out from the crowd, but a redesign for 2016 brought sleeker, more upscale styling — a look that should appeal to a wider audience. With seating available for seven or eight passengers, depending on your choice of captain's chairs or a second-row bench, large families will find a lot to like about the Pilot, from its one-button folding mechanism for the second row that allows easy access to the third row to its Blu-ray-compatible rear-seat entertainment center.

2017 Kia Sorento

2017 Kia Sorento

Recommended for Big Families

Flexibility, style and affordability are three hallmarks of the Sorento. Available in two- and three-row form, the Sorento offers seating for five or seven, a generous cargo area and plenty of creature comforts for carpooling, road trips and everything in between. Bonus: The Sorento isn't all about practicality — its available peppy turbocharged engine is fun and efficient and its anti-minivan styling stands out among the typical bland-looking SUVs and minivans.

2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Recommended for Big Families

Large family vehicles don't have to be inefficient and this one shines above the rest when it comes to fuel economy. The Highlander Hybrid is rated at 29/27/28 mpg city/highway/combined and comes standard with all-wheel drive. Its mileage is significantly better than competing full-size crossovers and minivans, and you still get all of the cargo room, three-row seating and creature comforts of the regular Highlander. Bonus: For 2017, its starting price dropped, making it accessible to more families.

2017 Toyota Sienna

2017 Toyota Sienna

Recommended for Big Families

As the only minivan with available all-wheel drive, the Sienna is a good choice for snow-belt families who want the stability of AWD and the family-hauling capabilities of a minivan. Parents will appreciate that the Sienna has class-competitive room behind the third row and kids will be rendered speechless (we hope) by creature comforts such as a widescreen rear entertainment system. If they're not, crank up Toyota's Driver Easy Speak feature: It allows the driver to broadcast his or her voice through the speakers directly to the third row.