CARS.COM — Summer is here and for many families, that also means it's road-trip season. Getting to your destination can be almost as fun as the destination itself if you have the right vehicle. For big families, that means plenty of room for people and stuff, and enough creature comforts to keep mom, dad and the kids happy — and quiet.
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Here are four SUVs and minivans that are great for big families:
The Honda Pilot was redesigned for 2016, and it not only looks better — it drives better, too. With seats for seven or eight passengers, large families will find a lot to like, 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.
Large family vehicles don't have to be inefficient, and the Toyota Highlander Hybrid shines in terms of fuel economy. It's rated up to 29 mpg in city driving and 27 mpg on the highway, and comes standard with all-wheel drive. Its mileage is significantly better than competing three-row SUVs and minivans — and you still get all the cargo space, passenger room and convenience features of the regular Highlander. Bonus: For 2017, its starting price dropped, making it accessible to more families.
SUVs may be on a sales streak, but for many large families, only a minivan will do. It's hard to top a van's ability to move people and lots of stuff in comfort, and the Pacifica does it all — in style, too. It replaced the Town and Country minivan, and is better in just about every way, from its comfortable road manners to its impressive features list. The versatile Stow 'n Go seating system is back this year, and this living-room-on-wheels offers extras like a dual-screen touchscreen entertainment system for the second row and even a vacuum for those inevitable snack disasters.
As the only minivan with available all-wheel drive, the Sienna is a good choice for snow-belt families who want the stability of all-wheel drive 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: The driver can broadcast their voice through the speakers directly to the third row.