Best Family Cars: Volkswagen Atlas Tops Our List

20 Volkswagen Atlas OEM jpg 2020 Volkswagen Atlas | Manufacturer image

Each year, we poll the expert reviewers and parents on the 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?

Shop the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas near you

2020 Volkswagen Atlas 3.6L SE w/Technology
85,484 mi.
$17,960 $540 price drop
2020 Volkswagen Atlas 3.6L SEL Premium
53,076 mi.

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’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.

More From’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Photo of Jennifer Geiger
News Editor Jennifer Geiger joined the automotive industry in 2003, much to the delight of her Corvette-obsessed dad. Jennifer is an expert reviewer, certified car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats — many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer Geiger

Latest expert reviews