Best Family Car of 2022

By Editors

February 24, 2022

What’s eligible: Any model-year 2022 vehicle regardless of when it was introduced or last updated.

Criteria: Along with crash tests, safety features and accommodation of family members and their gear, we consider family-friendly features and overall excellence.

Winner: 2022 Kia Telluride’s editors — many of them parents — expect a lot from a family car. It needs to please a lot of people (big and small) as well as carry a lot of stuff, and this year’s winner delivers. From cargo room and passenger comfort to car-seat fitment and family-friendly features, the 2022 Kia Telluride brings it all home — and does it with an eye on value.

Launched for the 2020 model year, the Telluride three-row SUV is available with seven or eight seats. The sole powertrain is a 291-horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6 and an eight-speed automatic transmission that work well together with front- or all-wheel drive. The Telluride is stable and composed for long-trip-comfortable road manners. If that trip involves pulling extra toys, the Telluride’s 5,000-pound maximum towing capacity should come in handy.

For 2022, the Telluride got a few upgrades to keep it fresh and further its appeal. Kia updated the grille and redesigned the badging, and lower trim levels gain additional standard features including a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen and advanced safety tech, with safety being one area where the Telluride already shines.

The Telluride earned top crashworthiness ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and standard features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, lane keep assist, lane-centering steering, blind spot detection with braking and steering intervention, and rear cross-traffic alert and intervention. Parents will likely appreciate two other standard safety features: the Rear Occupant Alert system, which uses sensors to warn drivers of passengers left behind, and the Safe Exit Assist system for the rear seats, which uses rear-facing radar to detect oncoming traffic and prevent a rear door from opening if an approaching vehicle or bicycle is detected.

The Telluride also did well in our Car Seat Check thanks to ample room and easy enough Latch anchors in the second and third rows. Getting to the third row is also easy with a one-button slide feature on the second-row chairs. The third row itself isn’t a bad seat either, with adult-friendly space.

All of that plus the SUV’s focus on value — the 2022 Kia Telluride is one of the most affordable options in a crowded field — impressed’s editorial staff enough to earn it the 2022 Family Car of the Year award.

Shop the 2022 Kia Telluride near you

2022 Kia Telluride SX
53,443 mi.
$39,200 $300 price drop
2022 Kia Telluride SX
54,866 mi.
$39,516 $459 price drop

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kia carnival sx 2022 05 angle  exterior  front  gray jpg 2022 Kia Carnival | photo by Christian Lantry

2022 Kia Carnival: Nominee

The age-old, hot-button minivan-versus-SUV argument just got a little more interesting thanks to the new-for-2022 Kia Carnival. Yes, it’s a minivan filled with all the goodies you’d expect — and some you’re not expecting — but does it look like one? Not exactly. 

The Carnival replaces the Sedona in Kia’s lineup, and the transformation goes way beyond the name change. Aside from the switch to more blocky, SUV-like styling, the Carnival gets a new engine, upgraded multimedia system, plenty of family-friendly goodies and additional safety features. 

The sole powertrain is a 290-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission; power is smooth and strong, even when loaded with people and stuff. 

The Carnival has seats for seven or eight in three rows and can easily accommodate a tribe of car seats. With three easy-access lower Latch anchors and ample room in the second row, installing three car seats was easy and the roomy third row has two sets of accessible lower anchors, too. 

Family-friendly features make or break a minivan, and the Carnival has loads. Highlights include an optional in-cabin camera system that allows first-row occupants to keep an eye on the kids in back, an available dual-touchscreen rear entertainment system and standard proximity-activated sliding doors. 

Last, but definitely not least for families, the Carnival is a bargain, with more features for the price than other vans. The van’s blend of utility, features and value helped earn it a nomination for 2022 Family Car of the Year.

Shop the 2022 Kia Carnival near you

2022 Kia Carnival LX
55,955 mi.
$30,998 $1,000 price drop
2022 Kia Carnival LXS
52,536 mi.
$28,999 $250 price drop

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chevrolet suburban high country 2022 angle exterior front oem scaled jpg 2022 Chevrolet Suburban | Manufacturer image

2022 Chevrolet Suburban: Nominee

If you’ve got kids, you’ve got stuff, and the updated Chevrolet Suburban can swallow it all and tow anything extra. 

Chevrolet’s largest SUV was redesigned for 2021 and has grown in all the right places, with more legroom, additional cargo space and extra tech features compared with the outgoing version. 

Power comes from a standard 355-horsepower, 5.3-liter V-8 or, if you’re willing to upgrade to the High Country trim level, you’ll get a 420-hp, 6.2-liter V-8. A turbo-diesel 3.0-liter Duramax will also be available. All engines pair with a seamless, quick 10-speed automatic transmission. Adding to the Suburban’s drama-free driving experience is the optional Air Ride Adaptive Suspension and Magnetic Ride Control, which smooth out most bumps in the road for long-trip comfort. 

The new Suburban’s cargo floor is lower and offers more space for stuff; clever storage spaces for small items throughout the cabin are also new. Need more room? The Suburban’s standard towing capacity ranges from 7,800 to 8,000 pounds, but when properly equipped, it tops out at 8,300 pounds (with the 5.3-liter and RWD). It also makes towing easier thanks to options such as side blind zone alert for the trailer and a helpful trailering app in the SUV’s standard 10-inch touchscreen.

Unlike the Chevy Tahoe and its truck-based peers, which aren’t as roomy as you might think versus lighter options, the longer Suburban accommodates both large families and their stuff — at the same time — earning it a nomination for 2022 Family Car of the Year.

Shop the 2022 Chevrolet Suburban near you

2022 Chevrolet Suburban LT
65,280 mi.
$46,997 $1,000 price drop
2022 Chevrolet Suburban LT
64,137 mi.
$46,997 $500 price drop

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