Collectively, Americans spent 70 billion hours behind the wheel, according to AAA, which roughly breaks down to 31.5 miles driven per day on average. That number can easily increase for families that have young children or non-drivers in the mix who need to be dropped off for after-school activities and other events.
Consumer Reports analyzed several brands to determine which cars are best for new families. It turns out that if you need a vehicle that is car-seat friendly, you might want to get a sedan over an SUV. If you want to maximize mileage, you may consider splurging on a hybrid.
Here are the top 10 cars that are worth a quick look along with 2019 sales data compiled from the Automotive News Data Center.
10. Hyundai Elantra
Price range: $19,150 to $24,600
Number sold in 2019: 175,094
The Hyundai Elantra rounds out Consumer Reports’ top 10 list of the best family cars. It achieved 33 miles per gallon in the review board’s road test and offers roominess without sacrificing its sporty sedan style. There’s also a hatchback for easy loading and offloading as well as active safety features with automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warning. In 2019, there were 175,094 Elantras sold.
9. Nissan Rogue
Price range: $25,300 to $33,040
Number sold in 2019: 350,447
Next on the list is the Nissan Rogue, a small SUV that is still roomy and quiet. The car can reach 24 miles per gallon, according to Consumer Reports. Other features include forward-collision, blind spot, rear-cross traffic and lane departure warnings. Automatic emergency braking and a rear-seat reminder system are also built-in.
Between the two available models, Rogue D and Rogue I, there were 350,447 Rogues sold in total.
Price range: $24,000 to $35,300
Number sold in 2019: 21,524
The 2020 Mazda6 is a sporty sedan that is better suited for small families since it is on the “snug side,” according to Consumer Reports. However,it is designed to be quick and can handle bumps well in case you have precious cargo. In road tests, the Mazda6 returned 28 miles per gallon. Other modern perks include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, a center console display screen and a full suite of advanced safety features.
7. Kia Optima
Price range: $23,390 to $36,090
Number sold in 2019: 96,623
The Kia Optima is a midsized sedan that pretty much covers all of a family’s bases. It features automatic climate control, heated seats and steering wheel as well as a roomy interior. For safer driving, the 2020 Optima utilizes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic notifications. In Consumer Reports’ road test, the Optima returned 28 miles per gallon.
In 2019, there were 96,623 Optimas sold.
6. Toyota Prius Three
Price range: $24,325 to $32,500
Number sold in 2019: 69,718
The Toyota Prius is one of the better options for families that have to travel long distances. This sedan reached up to 52 miles per gallon in Consumer Reports’ road test, which is the best mileage on this list outside of one diesel-run vehicle. The 2020 model can drive solely on electric power for up to about 25 miles per hour and includes Apple CarPlay as an upgrade. Touch controls, forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking come standard.
There were 69,718 Prius cars sold in 2019.
5. Chevrolet Cruze
Price range: $17,995 to $26,120
Number sold in 2019: 47,975
The 2019 Chevrolet Cruze is a family-friendly car that has the most affordable starting price compared to other vehicles on the list. It has a roomy cargo section and backseat for child-seat access in addition to a quiet interior. The standard model returned 30 miles per gallon in Consumer Reports’ road testing while the diesel model returned between 41 and 60 miles per gallon.
In 2019, there were 47,975 Cruzes sold.
Chevy ended production of the Cruze in March 2019.
4. Honda CR-V
Price range: $24,150 to $34,050
Number sold in 2019: 384,168
The Honda CR-V is an SUV that offers a wide view of the road. Consumer Reports commended the CR-V for its “generous” door openings, roomy interior and easy car seat access. The 2020 model reached up to 28 miles per gallon in Consumer Reports’ road test.
In total, there were 384,168 CR-Vs sold in 2019 – a 1.4 percent jump from the previous year.
3. Honda Accord Hybrid
Price range: $25,320
Number sold in 2019: 267,567
For families that are looking to get a fuel-efficient car that emits fewer carbon emissions, the Honda Accord Hybrid is a popular choice with 267,567 sold in 2019. The 2020 model has a forward-collision warning system and auto emergency brakes in addition to Android and Apple compatibility. The Accord Hybrid achieved 47 miles per gallon, according to Consumer Reports’ road test.
2. Toyota Camry Hybrid
Price range: $28,150 to $32,725
Number sold in 2019: 26,043
The 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid snagged the second-place spot on Consumer Reports’ list even though fewer have been sold compared to the Honda Accord Hybrid. It is roomy enough for car seats and can get up to 47 miles per gallon. The Camry Hybrid also has a forward-collision warning system and auto emergency brakes for safe driving.
However, the non-hybrid Camry had a better year with 336,978 sold in 2019.
1. Subaru Forester
Price range: $24,295 to $34,295
Number sold in 2019: 180,179
The Subaru Forester is ranked No. 1 on Consumer Reports’ best family car list for its forward-collision warning system and auto emergency brakes. This SUV offers considerable visibility, standard all-wheel drive and enough room for storing gear and family essentials. Though, if mileage is a priority, keep in mind that the 2020 Forester can reach up to 28 miles per gallon.
Forester sales climbed five percent in 2019. There were 171,613 sold the previous year.