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Best Family Cars: Volkswagen Atlas Tops Our List

Front angle view of a white 2020 Volkswagen Atlas 2020 Volkswagen Atlas | Manufacturer image

Each year, we poll the expert reviewers and parents on the Cars.com editorial staff about the best cars for families. It’s a tall order with numerous criteria: safety, room, value, comfort, versatility and a machine that pumps out endless snacks … wait, that last one is from a staffer’s kid (but it’s not a bad idea). Taking all that and more into consideration, which ones rise to the top of the list?

Related: What’s the Best 3-Row SUV for 2020?

For the 2020 model year, our favorite family vehicle is the Volkswagen Atlas, the German automaker’s three-row SUV. It wowed the parents on staff for its cavernous interior, long list of creature comforts and long-trip-worthy road manners. It also easily accommodates a bunch of car seats and has a full complement of standard and available advanced safety features.

The Atlas is lightly revised for 2021 — and it looks like VW is making a good thing even better. It gets new front and rear styling, as well as availability of a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with all-wheel drive.

Other SUVs in the running include the three-row Hyundai Palisade — also Cars.com’s Best of 2020 vehicle overall — along with its Kia Telluride corporate sibling as well as the three-row Ford Expedition and two-row Hyundai Santa Fe.

Check out the full list of family car winners.

But, wait: Aren’t minivans supposed to be the ultimate family vehicle? Maybe, maybe not; it depends on the needs of your family. If you’re interested in a minivan, Chrysler’s Pacifica has impressed our staff parents with its blend of room, comfort and family-friendly features. We were also impressed with the Honda Odyssey’s amount of space and tech features — and a new version is coming for 2021 with even more goodies, including added safety systems.

Check out our minivan faceoff to compare models.

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