2018 Chrysler Pacifica
Chrysler has a history of stuffing its minivans with innovations, and the Pacifica is no exception. It's an achievement in practicality, from the improved Stow 'n Go fold-flat seats to the available rear entertainment system that impresses even versus mobile devices. None of that costs you on the driving front, where the Pacifica pairs refined ride quality and quietness with a capable V-6. Following its 2017 model-year introduction, the minivan improved for 2018 thanks to newly standard safety features, a price reduction in base models, and updated multimedia systems with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It's as competitive as ever, perhaps even more so.
2018 Honda Ridgeline
For more than a decade, the Ridgeline has played the same card against other mid-size pickup trucks, with a car-based unibody chassis instead of a truck-based body-on-frame. It works: Where other trucks shimmy through broken pavement and deep ruts, the Ridgeline rides like an SUV. Indeed, Honda's three-row Pilot shares its platform with the second-generation Ridgeline, which steers clear of the Pilot's optional — and problematic — nine-speed automatic transmission for a six-speed unit that's better in every way. That means families can hit the highway with all the room and comfort of a two-row Pilot, plus some 1,500 pounds of payload (minus occupants and in-cabin cargo) in a fiberglass-composite bed.
2018 Subaru Outback
Whether you consider the Outback an SUV or a wagon, one thing is clear: It has the chops to compete with the best mid-size SUVs on the market. Subaru cements that for 2018 with a long list of minor updates, including new (and standard) Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a quieter four-cylinder engine, a retuned suspension and a smoother transmission. The sum total delivers pleasant drivability at no expense to the Outback's utility or capability. The Outback is Subaru's best-selling model, and it's easy to see why. The current generation has been a strong family choice since late 2014; it remains that more than ever.