Best Family Car of 2024

By Cars.com Editors
February 7, 2024

Winner: 2024 Kia Telluride

  • Starting price range (all prices include destination charge): $36,190-$54,780
  • Estimated combined fuel economy: 20-22 mpg
  • Number of seats: Seven or eight

Kia has continued to make a good thing better with frequent updates to its Telluride three-row SUV that have kept it competitive and a family favorite of Cars.com editors. When we evaluate what makes a great family car, we look for good crashworthiness scores, standard safety features and how well it accommodates families of all sizes, as well as child-safety seat fitment and overall excellence. The 2024 Kia Telluride hits all of those marks.

For 2023, Telluride updates included an available digital dashboard and standard larger media touchscreen that brought significant modernity to the interior, though it was no slouch before. With available dual 12.3-inch screens for the instrument panel and center touchscreen, the Telluride continued its steady improvements that have kept it competitive since debuting for 2020. For 2024, there are only small tweaks, including amber LED daytime running lights and some different exterior accents on higher trim levels.

What hasn’t changed is that the Telluride is welcoming for families who need to use all three rows of seats. There’s easy access to the third row via a one-button slide feature on second-row chairs, and the third row itself is certainly manageable for adults. The Telluride is also good for families with younger children, as it performed well in our child-safety seat installation tests.

Speaking of safety, the Telluride is loaded with standard safety features, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, lane departure steering assist, lane-centering steering, blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert with braking intervention. There’s also a standard rear occupant alert system that uses ultrasonic sensors to detect motion in the second and third rows, and it issues multiple alerts if it detects continued movement. One more standard feature we appreciate is a safe exit assist for the rear seats, which uses rear sensors to detect oncoming traffic and prevent a rear door from being opened if there’s an approaching vehicle or bicycle.

The Telluride does all of this with a focus on value. The bulk of what we appreciate about the SUV comes at its starting price of just over $37,000, though the almost $55,000 version of the Telluride is still appropriately priced considering the quality and luxuriousness it offers. Add it all up, and the 2024 Kia Telluride is Cars.com’s Best Family Car of 2024.

2024 Kia Telluride Specs and Reviews Find a 2024 Kia Telluride Near You

ford expedition  timberline 2024 exterior oem scaled jpg 2024 Ford Expedition | Manufacturer image

2024 Ford Expedition: Finalist

  • Starting price range: $56,550-$82,690 (Expedition); $64,585-$85,690 (Expedition Max)
  • Estimated combined fuel economy: 17-19 mpg
  • Number of seats: Five to eight

Families that need to haul a lot of people and stuff with their vehicle need to look no further than the 2024 Ford Expedition and extended-length Expedition Max for a maximum effort family hauler. Up to eight people can ride in comfort across all three rows of seats thanks to the Expedition’s roomy seating area that includes an especially comfortable third row, while the most affordable XL STX trim level deletes the third row to seat five with a cavernous amount of cargo room.

With off-road Timberline and on-road Stealth Performance Package versions, the Expedition can accommodate adventurous off-road explorers with its legitimate off-road capability or those exploring the urban jungle with 440 horsepower and 510 pounds-feet of torque, respectively.

The Expedition’s available 15.5-inch vertically oriented touchscreen for multimedia, climate and vehicle controls is well done for a screen that incorporates digital controls for climate and audio systems that have traditionally relied on physical buttons, though we still prefer physical controls like what’s available in lower trim levels that have a 12-inch landscape touchscreen. At least you have options.

For most shoppers, however, the reason to consider an Expedition is that it can tow up to 9,300 pounds when properly equipped — and in our experience, the Expedition tows with confidence thanks to its 10-speed automatic transmission that’s a standout performer. For its size, the Expedition also drives like a smaller, easier-to-handle SUV versus others in its class.

Because of its versatility for large families, as well as its accommodations for off-roading and towing, the Expedition is a finalist for our Best Family Car of 2024 award.

2024 Ford Expedition Specs and Reviews Find a 2024 Ford Expedition Near You

subaru outback wilderness exterior oem 01 jpg 2024 Subaru Outback Wilderness | Manufacturer image

2024 Subaru Outback: Finalist

  • Starting price range: $30,240-$44,140
  • Estimated combined fuel economy: 23-28 mpg
  • Number of seats: Five

The 2024 Subaru Outback easily enters the conversation of best family cars thanks to its focus on value, safety and child-safety seat fitment. The Outback earned an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 2023 Top Safety Pick+ award after passing the agency’s latest, more stringent crash tests that have tripped up many family cars.

Standard features on the Outback include Subaru’s EyeSight suite of driver-assist features with adaptive cruise control featuring lane-centering steering, lane departure warning and precollision automatic emergency braking. And on models equipped with blind spot monitoring, the Outback has automatic emergency steering to help avoid a possible collision.

But it’s not only about safety. The Outback’s carlike handling and high seating position make it extremely comfortable to drive, and its standard engine and transmission have respectable EPA-estimated fuel economy of 28 mpg combined. Improvements to the large available 11.6-inch touchscreen for 2023 put the display back in our good graces; when first unveiled, we had issues with the move to touchscreen controls.

And we can’t talk about the Outback without mentioning its off-road credentials, which on the Outback Wilderness is impressive thanks to 9.5 inches of ground clearance (an additional 0.8 inch over other trim levels), unique suspension tuning and meaty all-terrain tires.

Add in how well it fits child-safety seats, especially bulky infant and convertible seats, and the 2024 Subaru Outback earns its spot as a finalist for our Best Family Car of 2024 award.

2024 Subaru Outback Specs and Reviews Find a 2024 Subaru Outback Near You

Honda Accord: Nominee

  • Starting price range: $28,990-$31,005
  • Estimated combined fuel economy: 32-48 mpg
  • Number of seats: Five

2024 Honda Accord Specs and Reviews Find a 2024 Honda Accord Near You

Honda Pilot: Nominee

  • Starting price range: $38,485-$53,875
  • Estimated combined fuel economy: 20-22 mpg
  • Number of seats: Seven to eight

2024 Honda Pilot Specs and Reviews Find a 2024 Honda Pilot Near You

Hyundai Ioniq 5: Nominee

  • Starting price range: $43,175-$61,775
  • Estimated combined fuel economy: 99-114 mpg-equivalent
  • Number of seats: Five

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Specs and Reviews Find a 2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Near You

Hyundai Palisade: Nominee

  • Starting price range: $37,735-$54,935
  • Estimated combined fuel economy: 21-22 mpg
  • Number of seats: Seven to eight

2024 Hyundai Palisade Specs and Reviews Find a 2024 Hyundai Palisade Near You

Toyota Grand Highlander: Nominee

  • Starting price range: $44,715-$55,190
  • Estimated combined fuel economy: 22-24 mpg
  • Number of seats: Seven to eight

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander Specs and Reviews Find a 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander Near You