May 22, 2024 | Peter Kinney

10 Of The Best New SUVs For Families


The Perfect Mix Of Safety And Comfort

There are lots of great new SUVs on the market, but when it comes to deciding which is best for your family, safety is as important as comfort. 

So, to help you choose the best ride, we’ve looked at vehicles that are highly rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). We also went to the manufacturers themselves to compare details like prices and fuel efficiency.

Here the best new family-friendly SUVs on the market.

Best New SUVs

Ford Expedition

The 2024 Ford Expedition, a spacious three-row SUV, has a starting price of $55,525 and is available in 10 trims. 

Under the hood of each model lies a powerful twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine coupled with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Ford Expedition Max Limited Stealth 4X4 display.Jonathan Weiss, Shutterstock

Trim Options

In the XL, STX, and XLT models, the engine delivers 380 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. 

Stepping up to the Limited, King Ranch, and Platinum editions, power increases to 400 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque.

2024 Ford Expedition King Ranch EditionCharles, CC BY 2.0 , Wikimedia Commons

Sheer Power

The Timberline trim is the most powerful, cranking out 440 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. 

While rear-wheel drive is standard in most trims, the Timberline stands out with an intelligent four-wheel-drive system. Luckily, this is also an option for the other trims.

2024 Ford ExpeditionBull-Doser, Wikimedia Commons

Eco-Friendly And Safe

Thanks to its EcoBoost engine, the Expedition has good fuel efficiency ratings at 17 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 19 mpg combined

To keep you and your family safe, Ford equipped the Expedition with a bunch of standard safety features, including rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a 360-degree view camera, and front-seat side impact and dual-stage front airbags.

Canadian International Auto Show all new Ford ExpeditionZoran Karapancev, Shutterstock

Genesis GV80

The 2024 Genesis GV80 is an eye-catching blend of athleticism, luxury, and spaciousness. Starting at $57,700, it is available in two powertrain options.

Genesis GV80 at IAA - 2021Alexander Migl, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Engine

The entry-level models feature a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, generating 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. 

Those who crave more power can opt for a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6, which produces 375 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque. Both trims come with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Genesis Gv80 Jx1 Brunswick GreenDamian B Oh, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Fuel Efficiency

Despite not having the most powerful SUV engines, the GV80 has great fuel efficiency figures. 

The four-cylinder base model has a fuel economy rating of 20 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined. Meanwhile, the V6 variant is rated at 18 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined.

Black Genesis GV80 (JX1) SUVDamian B Oh, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Safety

The GV80 can seat up to seven people and has lots of cargo space behind the second and third rows. 

It also comes with a comprehensive suite of safety features including blind spot monitoring, parking collision avoidance assist, remote smart parking assist, and a surround view monitor.

Genesis Gv80 Jx1 Sds Ii Maroon Brown & Smoky Green Two-Tone Black AshDamian B Oh, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot presents itself as an ideal choice for families who need a spacious midsize SUV, starting at an attractive price point of $37,090. In all six of the available trims, the Pilot's interior is tailored for comfort and versatility. 

The second and third rows offer ample legroom, measuring 40.8 and 32.5 inches, respectively, while Honda introduces thoughtful features like removable second-row middle seats and optional second-row captain's chairs on select trims.

All New 2023 Honda Pilot Family SUV on display at the New York Auto Show.The Global Guy, Shuttertsock

The Engine

Under the hood, the Pilot packs a punch with its 3.5-liter V6 engine generating 285 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, front-wheel drive is standard, but you can get all-wheel drive on certain trims. 

While it's not the most powerful V6 on the road, the Pilot is a worthy competitor in the SUV arena with its fuel efficiency ratings of 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined.

Honda Pilot Engine (Honda3.5- V6)Iamjosemom, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Safety

The Honda Pilot offers peace of mind through its standard Honda Sensing safety suite and advanced driver assistance technologies. This includes features like a blind spot information system, enhanced front side airbags, cross-traffic monitor, and a next-generation front passenger airbag.

Honda Pilot (third generation) - rear view.Alexander-93, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Hyundai Palisade

Hyundai's largest SUV, the Palisade, offers three-row seating and strikes the perfect balance between luxury and value. The base model starts at $36,650, but there are six trims to choose from.

2023 Hyundai Palisade (facelift)User3204, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Lots Of Legroom

While the base model of the Palisade sports a second-row bench seat, higher trims increase comfort with plush captain's chairs. 

Regardless of seating configuration, the Palisade gives you lots of legroom, with the second and third rows boasting 42.4 and 31.4 inches, respectively. There’s also lots of cargo space with 18 cu. ft behind the third row and 45.8 cu. ft behind the second row.

Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy LX2 FL Black MonotoneDamian B Oh, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Engine

All trims are powered by a 3.8-liter V6 engine generating 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. While front-wheel drive comes standard, an optional all-wheel drive setup is available.

Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Lx2 , Serenity White PearlDamian B Oh, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Fuel Efficiency

In terms of fuel efficiency, the Palisade achieves respectable ratings of 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined in its standard configuration. 

Though not quite matching the efficiency of the base Mazda CX-90, the Palisade is an excellent choice for family excursions, boasting a total range of 414 miles on a single tank.

2023 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy AWD RefreshAutomotive Rhythms, Flickr

Safety

When it comes to safety, the Palisade is equipped with an array of advanced features including rear-side impact airbags, forward collision avoidance assist, safe exit assist, reverse parking collision avoidance assist, lane following assist, and driver attention warning.

2023 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy AWD RefreshAutomotive Rhythms, Flickr

Toyota Highlander

The 2024 Toyota Highlander is a versatile three-row SUV, with an awesome blend of power, tech features, and ample interior space. Starting at $39,270 for the base model, the Highlander offers an extensive lineup of 11 trims, including six hybrids.

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle)The Global Guy, Shutterstock

The Tech

With a focus on family-friendly comfort, the Highlander's spacious interior accommodates up to eight passengers. It also has standard reclining second and third-row seats along with five USB charge ports for added convenience.

2024 Toyota Grand HighlanderAutomotive Rhythms, Flickr

Safety

Ensuring safety on the road, Toyota equips all Highlander trims with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+, which has features like automatic high beams, full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control, lane tracing assist, lane departure alert, and pre-collision pedestrian detection.

Toyota Highlander driver seat. Toyota Highlander steering wheel.Best Auto Photo, Shutterstock

The Powertrain

Under the hood, the 2024 Highlander offers two powertrains to suit various preferences. 

Base models feature a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, delivering 265 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. They come with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and while front-wheel drive is standard, you can also get it in all-wheel drive.

Engine Side View - Toyota Highlander Limited PlatinumMichael Sheehan, CC-BY-SA-2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Incredible Fuel Efficiency

The hybrid versions of the Highlander sport a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors that have a combined output of 243 horsepower. 

These models also have incredible fuel efficiency with ratings of 36 mpg city, 35 mpg highway, and 36 mpg combined—that's better than any other SUV on this list.

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander at Hawaii.Automotive Rhythms, Flickr

Mazda CX-90

Mazda's flagship three-row SUV, the CX-90 comes with a starting price of $37,845 for the 2024 model year and is available in eight different trims. 

Each model is capable of seating up to eight passengers and is equipped with advanced features like blind spot monitoring, smart brake support, and radar cruise control.

Mazda Cx-90 3.3 E-Skyactiv-G Awd Hev Turbo Exclusive 2024Ethan Llamas, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Engine

Powering the CX-90 lineup is a new mild hybrid 3.3-liter turbocharged inline-6 engine that delivers 340 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. 

Using a mild hybrid setup enhances fuel efficiency, with the inline-six engine surpassing many rivals by offering impressive ratings of 24 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined.

Mazda cx 90 six-lineGold Pony, CC-BY-SA-3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Eco-Friendly

Alternatively, Mazda offers a plug-in hybrid powertrain combining a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor that produces 323 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. These powertrains are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

White Mazda cx 90Gold Pony, CC-BY-SA-3.0, Wikimedia Commons

KIA Telluride

The 2024 Kia Telluride is a capable midsize three-row SUV, but it’s the interior that instantly wows people. 

The leather seats, and cutting-edge technology like a wireless charging station seem like they belong in a luxury vehicle rather than your average family-friendly SUV. It’s also one of the more affordable options, starting at $36,190.

KIA Telluride SUV is a mid-size crossover SUV - 2024The Global Guy, Shutterstock

The Powertrain

The Telluride is available in 10 different trim options, all equipped with a naturally aspirated 3.8-liter V6 engine that cranks out 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. 

An eight-speed automatic transmission with front-wheel drive is standard but each trim is also available in all-wheel drive.

Dark Grey Kia Telluride - rear view.Jason Lawrence, CC-BY-2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Fuel Efficiency

The Telluride is a cut above most other new SUVs for its great fuel efficiency with the front-wheel-drive variant getting 20 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined

While the all-wheel-drive iteration enhances driving dynamics, it does reduce the fuel efficiency with ratings of 18 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined.

Kia Telluride in DesertHyundai Motor Group, Pexels

Safety

When it comes to safety, the Telluride’s got you covered. Features like surround-view monitoring, blind spot view monitoring, smart cruise control, rear cross-traffic avoidance assist, navigation-based smart cruise control, and lane following assist are available in all models.

Kia Telluride Sx-Prestige X-Line V6 Awd (2024)Charles, CC-BY-2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Lincoln Aviator

The Lincoln Aviator also gives passengers a taste of luxury with soft-touch materials, power-adjustable front seats, heated first-row seats, and an exquisite Lincoln premium audio system. It starts at $53,340 and is available in three different trims.

Lincoln Aviator (U611) ChinaDinkun Chen, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Powertrain

All trims come equipped with a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that delivers an impressive 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. A smooth driving experience is made complete with its 10-speed automatic transmission. 

Rear-wheel drive is standard, but if you’re looking for more traction, the aviator is also available in all-wheel drive.

2020 Lincoln Aviator with custom fit Gatorback flaps with Lincoln Star logo.Truck Hardware, Flickr

Fuel Efficiency

The standard rear-wheel-drive will give you the best fuel efficiency, with ratings of 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined. The all-wheel-drive variants slightly trail behind with 17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined.

2022 A white 2023 Lincoln Aviator SUVwoodsnorthphoto, Shutterstock

Safety

When it comes to safety, you can hit the road with peace of mind knowing that your family is protected by features like automatic emergency braking, dynamic brake support, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and a rearview camera. 

The aviator also has a comprehensive suite of airbags including dual-stage front, side curtain, front seat-mounted side impact, driver's knee, and glove box door integrated knee airbags.

The cab of A blue Lincoln Aviator hybrid SUVSport car hub, Shutterstock

Volkswagen Atlas

The 2024 Atlas is a three-row midsize SUV that starts at a competitive price of $37,995 and is available in six different trims. Depending on the trim, you can get it with front- or all-wheel drive. 

Under the hood, the Atlas sports a powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that cranks out of 269 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque.

Volkswagen Atlas SE display at a dealership. - 2024Jonathan Weiss, Shutterstock

The Engine

One of the key advantages of the four-cylinder engine is its superior fuel efficiency compared to competitors. The base Volkswagen Atlas achieves a fuel efficiency rating of 20 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined.

Equipping the Atlas with 4Motion all-wheel drive slightly changes the efficiency to 18 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined.

2024 VW Atlas Cross Sport: Sporty Active AdventuresAutomotive Rhythms, Flickr

The Tech

All models in the Atlas lineup come with a bunch of tech features, including adaptive cruise control, six USB-C ports, keyless access, wireless charging, autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, and an advanced airbag protection system.

Volkswagen Atlas interior.Automotive Rhythms, Flickr

Volvo XC90

The 2024 Volvo XC90 is a midsize luxury SUV that can hold its own against competitors like the Lincoln Aviator and Genesis GV80. Priced starting at $56,600, it offers three trim levels: Core, Plus, and Ultimate.

VOLVO XC90 T8 II China - 2024Dinkun Chen, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons

A Luxurious Ride

As Volvo's flagship SUV, the XC90 features the company’s signature style elements like the iconic Thor's Hammer headlights. Passengers are greeted by top-of-the-line interior styling and flexible seating configurations that accommodate up to seven passengers.

Volvo xc90 moving on asphalt road 2023Sid0601, Shutterstock

The Powertrain

When it comes to the powertrain, the XC90 lineup gives you two options: the B5 and B6. Both are 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines supported by a 48-volt electric motor. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

The Volvo XC90 is a mid-size luxury crossover SUVNorth Monaco, Shutterstock

Fuel Efficiency

The base B5 powertrain produces 247 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque and has great fuel economy ratings of 22 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined. The B6 is a bit more powerful, cranking out 295 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque.

Volvo XC90 Recharge is a luxury plug-in hybrid SUV.emirhankaramuk, Shutterstock

Eco Power

For enhanced performance and efficiency, Volvo offers the XC90 Recharge plug-in hybrid variant, featuring the T8 powertrain. 

Combining the four-cylinder engine with an electric motor, the XC90 Recharge produces 455 horsepower while achieving impressive fuel economy ratings of 27 mpg combined on gasoline only and 58 MPGe combined.

Volvo XC 90 Twin Engine car on display at Thailand International Motor ExpoChatchai Somwat, Shutterstock

Final Thoughts

When it comes to style and safety, the SUVs on this list are the best on the market. No matter which one you choose, you'll be guaranteed comfort and peace of mind when you hit the road with your family.

Black Genesis Gv80S And Hyundai Palisade taken at a parking lotDamian B Oh, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons


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